tantra

I acknowledge this graphic from the Internet

Cast into fire or air

The mind stable in bliss

Rises to Shiva

In this 45th verse and dharana Shiva reverts to a chakra based technique to reach him.

The word Shiva means bliss. It’s the blissful auspiciousness of this universe that just is. One does not need to plan for it and work towards it. Its mere acceptance is enough.

For most of us this acceptance does not happen by itself. Even when it does, it is beset by doubts. Even when we are joyous and blissful, we wonder is this bliss?  Isn’t there some place better? What if this state shifts?

In the last technique Shiva advised us to block our senses and move the inner breath energy upwards through the central energy pathway sushumna nadi, in order to experience the subtle vibration as if ant crawling to reach the supreme bliss of Shiva. In this process, the inner energy kundalini rises from its home at the root energy center of muladhara through the central pathway sushumna nadi. Its next stop is the swadishthana chakra, called also the spleen energy center. From here kundalini moves to the navel center manipuraka and then to the heart center anahata chakra.

In tantra, the manipuraka chakra relates to the fire element and the anahata chakra to the air element. The lower two chakras, muladhara and swadishthana relate to earth and water element . The muladhara chakra is the seat of our worldly desires, and the swadishthana of the fears related to the desires. These are the primal emotions that governs us, the towards and away forces that define our thoughts, beliefs, behaviors and actions. Given free rein these two centers define us in the way we live and act.

When the inner energy is raised, when the kundalini moves upwards through these centers, the practitioner goes through intense experiences related to greed and fear. Some get stuck in these centers. Some move up and revert to these centers. This is also why many spiritual aspirants get mired in bodily desires of sex and power, while seemingly beyond these. Relating to the four stages of awareness we talked of earlier from the Mandukya Upanishad, one is still in the awake and dream states of consciousness while traversing the first two chakras. The mind and body still rule.

At the manipuraka our passions, obsessions, desires, greed, fear, anxiety, guilt, and shame get burnt to ashes in the inner fire. This does not happen by sitting in a ring of fire or walking on fire as some believe. One can do all these and still be caught in our greed and fear. The seeker needs to move into the prajna state of causal body awareness to reach the primal emotions at their seed level of samskaras and vasanas and burn them.

Interestingly, there are techniques related to NLP, such as Core Transformation, which work at the sub conscious level to reach the being state of causal awareness.

Moving upwards after burning desires and fears in the inner fire of the manipuraka chakra, kundalini reaches the anahata chakra, the heart center. This is the neutral point of energy in a sense. Till the manipuraka one is inward focused, on the self and for the self. This is the demonic state Krishna talks about in Gita, the I state. By burning the egocentric mind, one is a position to turn outwards, from Me to We, the demon turning divine.

At the anahata one starts the journey in merging the inner with the outer. The metta meditation practiced in Buddhism is a beautiful exercise to increase anahata awareness. One can practice expanding one’s energy outwards in love and compassion to envelop the entire universe.

Some say that there is no turning back after one reaches the anahata. i am not so sure after meeting some who claim to have progressed even beyond, and then return to their muladhara based activities. This journey of the kundalini is a constant and continuous exercise. As long as we are in this body and therefore mind, the kundalini rests in the muladhara. To raise her to Shiva and keep her there, one must be constantly aware.

 

 

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