There are more systems of chakras in the tantrik tradition than most people realise. One of the most ancient appears in chapter nine of the Kaulajnana Nirnaya, attributed to Siddha Matsyendranath. Said to be the progenitor of the Kaula school of tantra, this chakra system is eightfold. Each of the lotuses has eight petals and these represent the 64 yoginis, famed in Kamarupa.
"The letter ksa is in the Brahmarandhra, la in the forehead, ha between the eyes, sa in the mouth, sa in the throat, sha in the heart, va in the navel, and ha in the genitals. Dear One, listen to the collective meditation in these chakra places.
"The first of the eight is a celestial eight petal lotus of pure crystal effulgence, a heavenly fire or flame, completely without stain, free from all duality, from the fires of cruelty, devoid even of nothingness. One should avoid perturbation and practise equipoise (Sama) consciousness. One my see even beyond the future, one with the endless circle of time, having knowledge of what is spoken at a distance, able to both grant boons and to paralyse, with the ability to seize and subjugate pashus, or to destroy or to kill them, mortal, always truthful, and in equipoise, becoming eloquent, a Siddha, and able to do anything.
"One should meditate on the second as having eight petals, as bright as a beautiful pure flame. One conquers death and becomes the cause of great excitation. Meditating one-pointedly on this multi-fold form one becomes an emperor amongst kings, doing whatsoever one wills, and may destroy all in the three worlds, whether animate or inanimate - like Kruddha, the cause of both creation and dissolution, always engaged in love.
"The third great chakra is the deliverer from the nine tattvas. After meditating on the Guru in that chakra for six months, one my achieve whatever is wished for, destroy old age, be able to see at a distance, able to obstruct, even if one hundred yojanas distant. In a lonely place one should meditate on that multi-fold form.
"The fourth chakra is the cause of peace, increasing happiness and pleasure. By always meditating on it, afterwards one becomes immortal, eloquent, victorious over death and disease. Practising it daily, one causes death to flee. By continual practice for a period of sixteen seasons on this great chakra, one becomes able to destroy in a day and a night.
"O Surasundari, the fifth great lotus has eight petals. One should always meditate on it as being of a smoky colour, then one my shake the three worlds. It causes eloquence and avoidance of untimely death, and allows one to both enslave and paralyse.
"If one should meditate devotedly on the sixth royal chakra, fiery, with a pericarp of eight petals, as bright as liquid gold, the cause of Iccha Siddhi, it enables one to see into the future, giving Anima and the other seven siddhis - of this there is no doubt.
"Dear Mahadevi, the seventh is as bright as the full moon, auspicious, within the body, bestowing both enjoyment and liberation, destroying fever and death, enabling one to enter into another's body. what may not be done? One becomes the best within a circle of people. "Pretty-Eyed One, the eighth great chakra, adorned with eight petals, gives Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha."
Artwork is © Jan Bailey, 1995. Translations are © Mike Magee 1995. For more information, send e-mail to [email protected]