In this 8th dharana sutra Shiva says:
Crossing the eye brows
Beyond the mind games
I am using poetic liberty in translating the Sanskrit words and concepts. Purists may cringe.
The sutra refers to energy centers of moordha, above the palate and bhrumadhya, the bridge between the eye brows, or ajna. It refers to nirvikalpa state, one of the vrittis or modifications of the mind, which i interpret as mind games. It says reaching omnipresence, which i interpret as Shiva.
Do forgive my trespasses. They are less than those of Paul Reps in Zen Flesh Zen Bones.
Tantric scriptures say that once the kundalini shakti rises above the navel or manipuraka reaching the anahata at the heart, it does not turn back towards its seat at the muladhara. They also say that the last energy center is the ajna between the eyebrows, and after that it is all Shiva. Shiva seems to lie in different layers between the ajna and sahasrara.
The ajna is the seat of our ego. Once Shakti crosses the ego at ajna, our highest intelligence, buddhi, awakens. The mind has four parts: buddhi, intuitive transcendental intelligence that we are capable of; chitta, storage of conditioned memories, mostly unconscious and instinctive; manas, the receiver and transmitter of our senses; and ahamkara, the false ego identity that prevents us from realising our true divinity.
Patanjali says in the Yoga Sutras that the mind has five modifications or vrittis: Correct knowledge, incorrect knowledge, imagination, deep sleep and memory. He says that Yoga, union of mind body energy is the cessation of these vrittis, modifications. Cessation of the mind modifications is not a no thought or no mind state.
Several ‘masters’ teach sunya meditation, claiming this to be a no mind no thought state. There is no scriptural basis, either in yoga or tantra, for this. In yoga, the closest to no mind is samadhi, which Patanjali defines as a witnessing state. In tantra, the bindu, a virtual energy center between ajna and sahasrara, represents the sunya or void. This is a point where mind games stop.
To progress further towards Shiva at the sahasrara, the aspirant still works with the mind and thoughts. Howver, they are one pointed towards this transcendence from the mind games and in the witnessing mode. I disappears. Onemerely observes what happens .
In this sutra, Shiva refers to only one of the vrittis, imagination or vikalpa, as the modification to cross to reach Him. This may mean that having crossed the ego center at the ajna the only modification left is imagination or fantasy or delusion, knows as vikalpa is Sanskrit. The nirvikalpa state is the state of stillness of the mind.
This is the state Patanjali describes as the samadhi state, known also as nirvana, nibbhana, buddha state, moksha etc. When the mind rests, consciousness arises. Strangely, the anahata, heart center is believed to be the seat of our consciousness. We seem to go in a cycle. Shakti finds Shiva at the sahasrara at the crown of the head and then rests at the anahata, at the heart.
Perhaps not so strange when we realize that in deep meditation it is not the head where we rest but the heart. In Yoga Nidra, the perfect meditation, if there is one, the resting point is the anahata, the heart. This leads to awareness in deep sleep, called prajna , which is the pathway to turiya, the fourth state of consciousness, akin to samadhi.
Complex in one sense, but simple when one realises this experientially.
I understood this contemplating on Bhagawan Ramana’s description of Self Enquiry, where he says to meditate upon the secret cave of the heart, while questioning where one is coming from. It took years for the answer. There was no distinction between the space of the heart, eye brow, the head or even the navel. The energy spread seemed all across. The energy was still.
The chakras represent emotions as manifestations of energy. At the starting point of muladhara, our energy is all physical and material. It’s all about lust, greed , anger and so on. They reflect the desire to survive and procreate. To rise above this base emotional energy, we need to understand that there is no end to desire and greed. When we transcend desires, we become afraid. The swadishthana or groin is the energy center of fear . The greatest fear is of death, not knowing where we are headed. The only way to face this fear is to experience it, perhaps virtually. Greed and fear are the two basic emotional states, and mirror images.
Overcoming fear leads to is subtler expressions of worry and stress, centered on the navel , manipuraka chakra. In today’s world this is the life chakra we live in. Energizing the manipuraka helps overcome stress and tension, and leads to the anahata at the heart, with a subtler need for acknowledgement, appreciation and attention. At tha anahata, the heart, we move from within to without. We start relating to the world around us.
Our controlled conditioning from childhood for acceptance blocks our anahata. It blocks us from being free and loving. We cannot even love ourselves without permission from others. We dance to others’ tunes.
When we rise above this block and learn to love ourselves, and therefore others, we run into doubt about how good and capable we are. We compare ourselves with others, as we have been taught from school, and burn in envy. when we realize our own strengths and uniqueness and stop comparing ourselves with others, we energize the visuddhi , throat center, and liberate ourselves from others too.
This leads us to the ajna, with our ego left intact, in fact strengthened. Energizing the ajna helps to understand that we are here as part of this universe and that we do not exist in a vacuum. As Krishna explains in the Gita, in the chapter of divine and demonic qualities, we move from the demonic I to the divine WE.
The energized ajna leads us to the sahasarara, Shiva’s abode, with no delusions of duality. Ego removed is divinity revealed. Discontent leads to bliss. The thousand petal lotus blooms in brilliance. The awakened one smiles. Buddha opens his eyes.
In VBT, Shiva provides us dharana techniques to energize each of our chakras. We shall discuss them as we move on.