Sahasrara padma

Above the ajna-cakra there is another secret cakra called manas-cakra. It is a lotus of six petals, on which are sabda-jnana, sparsa-jnana, rupa-jnana, aghranopalabhi, rasopabhoga, and svapna, or the faculties of hearing, touch, sight, smell, taste, and sleep, or the absence of these. Above this, again, there is another secret cakra, called Soma-cakra.

It is a lotus of sixteen petals, which are also called sixteen Kalas (1). These Kalas are called krpa (mercy), mrduta, (gentleness), dhairya (patience, composure), vairagya (dispassion), dhrti (constancy), sampat (prosperity), (2) hasya (cheerfulness), romanca (rapture, thrill), vinaya (sense of propriety, humility), dhyana (meditation), susthirata (quietitude, restfulness), gambhirya (gravity), (3) udyama (enterprise, effort), aksobha (emotionlessness) (4), audarya (magnanimity) and ekagrata (concentration).

Above this last cakra is “the house without support” (niralamba-puri), where yogis see the radiant Isvara. Above this is the pranava shining like a flame and above pranava the white crescent Nada, and above this last the point Bindu. There is then a white lotus of twelve petals with its head upwards, and over this lotus there is the ocean of nectar (sudha-sagara), the island of gems (manidvipa), the altar of gems (mani-pitha), the forked lightninglike lines a, ka, tha, and therein Nada and Bindu.

On Nada and Bindu, as an altar, there is the Paramahamsa, and the latter serves as an altar for the feet of the Guru; there the Guru of all should be meditated. The body of the Hamsa on which the feet of the Guru rest is jnana maya, the wings Agama and Nigama, the two feet S’iva and Sakti, the beak Pranava, the eyes and throat Kama-Kala.

Close to the thousand-petalled lotus is the sixteenth digit of the moon, which is called ama kala, which is pure red and lustrous like lightning, as fine as a fibre of the lotus, hanging downwards, receptacle of the lunar nectar. In it is the crescent nirvana-kala, luminous as the Sun, and finer than the thousandth part of a hair. This is the Ista-devata of all. Near nirvana-kala is parama-nirvana-Sakti, infinitely subtle, lustrous as the Sun, creatrix of tattva-jnana. Above it are Bindu and Visarga-Sakti, root and abode of all bliss.

Sahasrara-padma – or thousand-petalled lotus of all colours – hangs with its head downwards from the brahma-randhra above all the cakras. This is the region of the first cause (Brahma-loka), the cause of the six preceding causes. It is the great Sun both cosmically and individually, in whose effulgence Parama-S’iva and Adya-S’akti reside. The power is the vacaka-Sakti or saguna brahman, holding potentially within itself the gunas, powers and planes. Parama-S’iva is in the form of the Great Ether (paramakasa-rupi), the Supreme Spirit (paramatma), the Sun of the darkness of ignorance. In each of the petals of the lotus are placed all the letters of the alphabet; and whatever there is in the lower cakra or in the universe (brahmanda) exists here in potential state (avyakta-bhava). Saivas call this place Sivasthana, Vaisnavas, Parama-purusa, Saktas, Devi-sthana, the Samkhya-sages, Prakrti-purusa-sthana, Others call it by other names, such as Hari-hara-sthana, Sakti-sthana, Parama-Brahma, Parama-hamsa, Paramajyotih, Kula-sthana, and Parama-S’iva-Akula. But whatever the name, all speak of the same.

1. Kala -a part, also a digit of the moon.
2. That is, spiritual prosperity.
3. Of demeanour evidencing a grave nature.
4. The State of being undisturbed by one’s emotions.