The piercing of the six chakras is one of the most important subjects dealt with in the Tantra, and is part of the practical yoga process of which they treat. Details of practice (1) can only be learnt from a Guru, but generally it may be said that the particular is raised to the universal life, which as cit is realizable only in the sahasrara in the following manner: The jivatma in the subtle body, the receptacle of the five vital airs (panca-prana), mind in its three aspects of manas, ahamkara, and buddhi, and the five organs of perception (pancajnanendriyas) is united with the Kulakundalini. The Kandarpa or Kama Vayu in the muladhara, a form of the Apana-Vayu, is given a leftward revolution and the fire wich is around Kundalini is kindled. By the bija “Hum,” and the heat of the fire thus kindled, the coiled and sleeping Kundalini is awakened. She who lay asleep around svayambhu-linga, with her coils three circles and a half closing the entrance of the brahmadvara, will, on being roused, enter that door and move upwards, united with the jivatma.
On this upward movement, Brahma, Savitri, Dakini-Sakti, the Devas, bija and vritti, are dissolved in the body of Kundalini. The Mahi-mandala or prthivi is converted into the bija “Lam,” and is also merged in Her body. When Kundalini leaves the muladhara, that lotus which, on the awakening of Kundalini had opened and turned its flower upwards, again closes and hangs downward. As Kundalini reaches the svadhisthana-cakra, that lotus opens out, and lifts its flowers upwards. Upon the entrance of Kundalini Mahavisnu, Mahalaksmi, Sarasvati, Rakini Sakti, Deva, Matras and vritti, Vaikunthadhama, Golaka, and the Deva and Devi residing therein are dissolved in the body of Kundalini.
The prthivi, or “earth ” bija “Lam ” is dissolved in apas, and apas converted into the bija “vam” remains in the body of Kundalini. When the Devi reaches the manipura cakra all that is in the cakra merges in Her body. The varuna bija “vam ” is dissolved in fire, which remains in the body of the Devi as the Bija ” ram.” The cakra is called the Brahma-granthi (or knot of Brahma). The piercing of this cakra may involve considerable pain, physical disorder, and even disease. On this account the directions of an experienced Guru are necessary, and therefore also other modes of yoga have been recommended for those to whom they are applicable: for in such modes, activity is provoked directly in the higher centre and it is not necessary that the lower cakra should be pierced.
Kundalini next reaches the anahata cakra, where all which is therein is merged in Her. The bija of Tejas, “Ram,” disappears in Vayu and Vayu converted into its bija “Yam ” merges in the body of Kundalini. This cakra is known as Visnugranthi (knot of Visnu). Kundalini then ascends to the abode of Bharati (or Sarasvati) or the visuddhacakra. Upon Her entrance, Arddha-narisvara Siva, Sakini, the sixteen vowels, mantra, etc., are dissolved in the body of Kundalini. The bija of Vayu, “yam,” is dissolved in akasa, which itself being transformed into the bija “ham,” is merged in the body of Kundalini.
Piercing the lalana-cakra, the Devi reaches the ajnacakra, where Parama-S’iva, Siddha-kali, the Deva, gunas, and all else therein, are absorbed into Her body. The bija of akasa, “Ham,” is merged in the manas-cakra, and mind itself in the body of Kundalini. The ajnacakra is known as Rudra-granthi (or knot of Rudra or S’iva). After this cakra has been pierced, Kundalini of Her own motion unites with Pararna-S’iva. As She proceeds upwards from the two-petalled lotus, the niralambapuri, pranava, nada, etc., are merged in Her.
The Kundalini has then in her progress upwards absorbed in herself the twenty-four tattvas commencing with the gross elements, and then unites Herself and becomes one with Parama-S’iva. This is the maithuna (coition) of the sattvika-panca-tattvas. The nectar (2) which flows from such union floods the ksudrabrahmanda or human body. It is then that the sadhaka, forgetful of all in this world, is immersed in ineffable bliss.
Thereafter the sadhaka, thinking of the vayu bija “yam” as being in the left nostril, inhales through Ida, making japa of the bija sixteen times. Then, closing both nostrils, he makes japa of the bija sixty-four times. He then thinks that black “man of sin” (3) (Papapurusa) in the left cavity of the abdomen is being dried up (by air), and so thinking he exhales through the right nostril Pingala, making japa of the bija thirty-two times. The sadhaka then meditating upon the red-coloured bija “ram” in the manipura, inhales, making sixteen japas of bija and then closes the nostrils, making sixty-four japas. While making the japa he thinks that the body of “the man of sin” is being burnt and reduced to ashes (by fire). He then exhales through the right nostril with thirty-two japas. He then meditates upon the white candra-bija “tham”. He next inhales through Ida, making japa of the bija sixteen times, closes both nostrils with japa done sixty-four times, and exhales through Pingala with thirty-two japas.
During inhalation, holding of breath, and exhalation, he should consider that a new celestial body is being formed by the nectar (composed of all the letters of the alphabet, matrka-varna) dropping from the moon. In a similar way with the bija “vam, ” the formation of the body is continued, and with the bija ” lam” it is completed and strengthened. Lastly, with the mantra “Soham, ” the sadhaka leads the jivatma into the heart. Thus Kundalini, who has enjoyed Her union with Paramasiva, sets out, on her return journey the way she came. As she passes through each of the cakras all that she has absorbed therefrom come out from herself and take their several places in the cakra.
In this manner she again reaches the muladhara, when all that is described to be in the cakras are in the position which they occupied before her awakenmg.
The Guru’s instructions are to go above the ajna cakra, but no special directions are given; for after this cakra has been pierced the sadhaka can reach the brahmasthana un-aided. Below the “seventh mouth of S’iva” the relationship of Guru and sisya ceases. The instructions of the seventh amnaya are not expressed (aprakasita)
1. Fuller details are given in the author’s translation from the Sanskrit of the Satcakranirupana by Purnananda Svami, author of the celebrated Saktanandatarangini (The Serpent Power).
2. In the Cintamaniistava attributed to S’ri S’amkaracarya it is said â€œThis family woman (kundalini), entering the royal road (susumna), taking rest at intervals in the secret places (cakra), embraces the Supreme Spouse and makes the nectar to flow (in the sahasrara.)”
3. As to Papa-purusa see Mahanirvana-Tantra Ullasa, V. (verses 98, 99).