The Centers, Lotuses, Knots, or Chakras
THE CENTER OF THE JEWELED ALTAR (mani pitha chakra)
According to certain yogis, above the seven envelopes lies the center of the Jeweled Altar. It has twelve petals. In it is a triangle within which is the sacred altar of Jewels (mani-pitha). Here lies the Jewel-Island (mani-dvipa) surrounded on all sides by the Ocean of Ambrosia (amrita-arnava). At the apex of the triangle is the point-limit, the bindu, whence manifestation begins, and below it stands the Transcendent Lord of Sleep, Parama Shiva together with the Eros digit (kama kala). In the two other angles of the triangle are respectively the sun and the moon which have together sixteen digits. The seventeenth digit is the Life digit (jivana kala).
THE LOTUS OF A THOUSAND PETALS (sahasrara)
At the crown of the head and rising four finger-breadths above it lies the Lotus of a Thousand Petals. Here dwells the Lord and Lady of Love, Kama-Natha and Kama-Ishvari. Here the sandal of the guide (guru paduka) is worshipped, and here the Self is realized. The petals correspond to the hundred possible articulate sounds (matrikas), each of which becomes ten-fold from the imprint of the ten senses, five of action, five of perception.
Another name for this center is Kailasa, the Pleasure Mountain, where, eternally present, the God of Gods, the Arch-Lord, the Supreme Shiva dwells.
"Above the palate is the divine Lotus of a Thousand Petals, This lotus, giver of Liberation, stands outside the body which is spoken of as the Universe. It is called Kailasa, the Pleasure Mountain where dwells, the lone Great-Lord indestructible, without increase or decrease." (Shiva Samhita 5, 186-187.)
"There, in this place called Kailasa, dwells the swan [emblem of supreme discernment]. The seeker who fixes his mind on the Thousand Petaled Lotus sees all his sufferings disappear. Being freed from death, he becomes immortal." (Shiva Samhita 5, 189.)
"When the mental activities dissolve into Supreme Divinity known as the womb-less (Akula) then the process of identification becomes smooth and steady." (id. 5, 190.)
"Constantly meditating, the existence of the world is forgotten, and it is then that the yogi acquires strange powers." (id. 5, 191.)
"The yogi constantly drinks the ambrosia flowing from this [Lotus of a Thousand Petals]. Having conquered Death and the womb of Nature he becomes immortal. It is here in this lotus that the coiled energy, Kundalini Shakti, also called the Womb (kula), dissolves. Then the fourfold creation is resorbed into the Supreme Self." (id. 5, 192-193.)
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