We have reached the final part of the VR first aMsaM. We have been looking into the japakAla bhAvaNAs. We saw the avasthA pancakaM first, then the shUnya ShatkaM. We also saw how to combine these and contemplate as well.
Now, we are going to look into the last bhAvaNA called sapta viShuvaM – meaning 7 viShuvAs. Again, bhAskararAyA didn’t come up with these himself. He only took these from yOgiNi hRudayaM and expanded on these. So there is a solid pramANaM for these japa kAla bhAvanA. bhAskararAyA has explained this with 9.5 shlOkAs. yOgiNi hRudayaM has explained this with 8.5 shlOkAs. This concept of viShuva bhAvanA is a little complex to understand and after reading VR numerous times, I still had difficulty understanding it – forget about contemplating it. However, when I went back to its source – YH, it was musch easier as I got the grasp of the higher level. While bhAskararAyA was trying to explain in details, to me visualizing the forest first helped. Hence, I am going to give you all the YH perspective of the vishuva bhAvanA and I will still go to VR for the completion of the first aMshA. I can only explain what I understood and experienced isnt it? If I can’t understand something, how can I explain it to you! It would be simply a blind leading a blind.
So, I am going to explain at the YH level. If you understand at this level, then the details would be easier to grasp.
Before I get into YH explanations, we will first understand what is a viShuvaM. Astronomically, viShuvaM means equinox. There are two equinox in a year. One during uttarAyaNaM and the other during dakShiNAyaNaM. The first day of sun entering mESha rAsi and the first day of sun entering tulA rAsi. These are names caitraviShuvaM and arpishiviShuvaM.
agni purAnaM states – samrAtriMdivE kAlE viShuvadviShuvaM ca tat. – meaning when the day and the night as equal, they are called viShuvaMs. That is why they are called equinox – equal units of day and night.
Now, we know what viShuvaM means astronomically. But how is this applicable to our context? Remember, I have always been talking about the intersections and unions whenever we talk about Atman. Union of shakti with shivA, the intersecting points -sandhis between avastAs, then we say the ShUnyAs – again as intersecting points. So tantra shAstrA and for that matter, the entire spiritual path is all about unions and intersections only. So, depending on how you see it, it is the meeting point of two equal entities manifesting as a third one. In the case of viShuvam, it is the meet of equal day and night, but we call it as something different – caitra viShuvaM or sun entering some rashi.
This Union and Intersection is called as samyOgaM and viyOgaM in tantra shAstrAs – saMyOgaM means union or addition. viyOgaM means – subtraction or intersection.
So, in short, viShuvaM means two equal entities meeting to be seen as third entity. Simple.
If you remember, we started this first aMsaM with the explanation about brahmaN and how his vimarsha shaktI is responsible for all that exists and the various dimensions of its manifestations. These various manifestations are indeed various paths to hold to for us to relate and experience the Atman. Any of those manifestations would work. You simply need to work with it and keep on focussing and walking towards it. So bhAskararAyA and for that matter, his source granthA, YH has taken so much pain is laying down the various mechanisms for you to understand the various dimensions and for you to pick any one or try all and then hold to something that is easier for you to relate to and thus end up with the great experience at the end.
japa kAla bhAvanA is also explained in the same context. You can choose any of the bhAvanAs explained. You need to understand that they are all different aspects of the same vimarsha shakti only. So whatever dimension you pick, you will end up with the same destination. This vishuvaMs also, there are 7 of them. Interestingly, these 7 viShuvaMs are not unique to just the shakti tantrAs. This can be seen in several other shaiva tantrAs, purANAs etc. One I complete my explanation, you will understand why this common.
Let us now look into what the 7 viShuvAs are –
- prANa vishuvaM
- mantra viShuvaM
- nAdi viShuvaM
- prashAnta viShuvaM
- shakti viShuvaM
- kAla viShuvaM and
- tatva viShuvaM
So, when we say vishuvaM, just by definition, we need two equal entities and we need that to be manifested into something else isnt it? I struggled heavily on this concept and theory because none of the texts explained these in that fashion. So I had to dig that out to actually construct it in that fashion so I can see what those three variables are and how to contemplate on them.
When I analyzed all these viShuvaMs initially, I found that there is one common element to it. It is the nAdaM. The nAdaM that comes from the mUlAdhAraM and the nAdaM that comes from the hrIM-kAraM. These are equated. In fact, in some cases, one is substituted for the other. My experience has also been the same from the AdhAra dhvani as it has the similar vibration.
Let us look one by one at the high level and then we will go into VR and see them in detail. I am giving you my high level of understanding and how that really helped me to contemplate. These are my understandings only.
1. PrANa vishuvaM –
When you chant the mantrA, the words that come out has to take the vaikhari form. These are possible because the prANA starts from mUlAdhArA as parA and comes out from the lambikAgraM as vaikhari. The effort to pronounce, the desire to chant, and the oneness while chanting – all these happen. The faculties involved are prANA, manas (needed for the desire), and the Atman to experience the oneness.
If I remove the Atman from this equation as it is going to be destination for everything regardless, the equation should happen between prANA and manas. The desire and the effort – icCA and kriyA – here jnANA is inherent in the kriyA as without the jnANA, kriyA would be impossible. So the equation to icCA and kriya is logically applicable.
So in the case of prANA vishuvaM, prANA is equated with manas and the represented as prANa viShuvaM.
How is this bhAvanA performed in the mantrA chanting? The nAdA of the hrIMkArA in the mantrA basically triggers the kunDAliNi from the mUlAdhArA and becomes the same. This should be contemplated upon. Basically the breathing alignment of the mantrA while chanting. I have talked about this numerous numerous times about the importance of aligning the mantrA with the prANA.
This is prANA viShuvaM.
2. mantra viShuvaM –
This is going to be an interesting explanation. Assume a temple bell. It would all be typically made of brass – Once you ring the bell and leave it, the vibration takes a while to subside but sometimes depending on how far or how near you are to the bell, the vibration can prolong for a long period of time.
Similarly, we know the first kUTaM of K15 is from mUlAdhArA to maNipUrakA. The second kUTaM of K15 is from maNIpUrakA to vishuddhi. The third kUTaM is from vishuddhi to AjnA. The hrIM-kAra nAdaM from the first kUTaM will also reach the brahmarandhraM. Similarly the second kUTaM will also reach the brahmarandhraM and the shakti kUtaM will also reach the brahmarandhraM. The first kUTaM hrIMkAram – due to the distance, will take time and will be very subtle by the time it reaches brahmarandhraM. The hrIM kAraM of kAmarAja kUTAm will have to cross vishuddhi, AjnA, bindu, ardhacandran etc all the way to mahAbindu and will be stronger than the vakbhavakUTa hrIMkAra nAdaM. The shkati kUTA hrIM kArAm though will be very strong.
Let us assume that we have three temple bells kept in different prakAraMs. There are three prakAraMs. When you enter the first prakAraM you ring the first bell, and the second bell when you enter the second prakAraM and the third bell when you are at the inner most. The vibration of all the three bells will be heard when you are at the inner prakAraM. The vibration will be more profound when you are closer to the inner garbagrahaM as well. Also, understand that the more closer you go, the prakAraMs are smaller, and enclosed making the vibrations stronger.
This is what happens with the K15 chanting as well.
So where is the equality here? Each hrIM kAraM is called vyaShti and the union of all that is called samaShTi. The equality of vyaShTi and samaShTi of this vibration is implied in the mantra viShuvaM.
3. nADI viShuvaM –
This is a very simple equation. Let us look at this
There are 6 cakrAs until AjnA. There are two granthis before and after each chakrA. So that makes up 12 granthis. The kuNDaliNI shakti has to do bhEDanaM and chEdanaM to traverse up. bhEdanaM is pierce/penetrate, chEDanaM is cut/remove. It has only one path – called suSHumnA nADi to do this.
It would be difficult to contemplate on the kuNDaliNI shakti initially. So visualizing that as going up the nADi is the next easiest thing to contemplate. This means, we are equating the nAdaM with the shaktI and that also to the nAdI as we cannot contemplate the shakti.
So, while chanting K15, visualizing the nAdaM to traverse from mUlAdhAraM till AjnA going through the shuShumNA nAdi piercing the chakrAs and cutting the granthiS is called nADi viShuvaM.
While this bhAvanA was not difficult and easier to experience, the question came up on what about the stAnAs above the AjnA? How can this bhAvaNA relate with those as the destination is definitely not AjnA and but mAhAbindu. That is when the niShkala sAdhAnA came handy and I will explain that at the end of the session. That is also a nAdi viShuvaM bit at a higher plane. But neither YH nor VR describes that at this context but they do talk about it at the end.
4. prashAnta viShuvaM –
This is interesting. prashAntA means – peace – tranquil state.
The next three vishuvaMs would only deal with the states above bindu. It deals with only the hrIM-kAraM. Remember the temple bell example that I gave? Visualize that. Those who have done some nAda meditation or nAda prAnAyAmam would know what I am talking about. When you are doing this nAda praNAyAmam first, when you chant the a-kAra, u-kAra, and ma-kArAs and close your mouth and simply stay in that vibration, in the initial days of practice, you will run out of breath quickly and won’t be able to sustain this vibration for long. But with constant practice, you would be able to keep this vibration even longer than a minute. The more and more you practice, you will start enjoying this nAdaM with mouth closed and the vibration it generated all over the head.
Inital days could only result in head aches. But the more you practice, the bliss you experience and the calmness that settles while you do, is the state of prashAntaM. This is called as prashAnta viShuvaM. What are equating here? The nAda dhvani again equating with the hrIMkAra nAdaM in nAdAntaM.
So when the hrIM-kAra nAdA continues through the h-kAra, rEphA, I-kAra, bindu, ardhacandran, rOdhini, nAdaM and goes till nAdAntaM, you can say that you have transcended the states of stUla, sUkShma, and reached the sUkShmatara state. This peaceful, calm, tranquil state when nAda dvani equates with the hrIMkAra nAdaM extending till nAdAntaM and merging there is called prashAnta viShuvaM.
5. shakti viShuvaM –
If the same nAdaM goes till samAnA – then it is called shakti viShuvaM.
Why is it called the shakti viShuvaM? You need a lot of practice to get until prashAnta viShuvaM. Without Guru’s grace, you won’t be able to extend it further. I have heard from bAbAs in Himalayas how when they do kapAlabAti, it can be heard for 1 km. That is the power of practice and one pointed focus. Similarly, when you keep on focussing and sustain your practice while doing the japA by establishing this bhAvaNA – just the hrIMkAra dhvani extending all the way to samAnA, you will feel a lush of new energy drenched on you. Again, I am going to go back to my prANAyamA experiences. Those who have done proper prAnAyAma practices with extended time of kUMbAkA would know how when they keep on pushing their limits and extremes, there would be a point where your entire body would suddenly get drenched as if you just took bath. You are not supposed to wipe this off as this is not sweat. This is pure prANic energy. This drenching can happen in multiple dimensions. Several people experience this at various states.
This state is possible after you cross the prashAnta viShuvaM state and move into shakti viShuvaM state.
6. kAla viShuvaM –
This is the last dash – the final push – if you ask those who run the marathon, they would tell you how they will always remember the last mile. That last mile is when they truly cross all their own limits and boundaries. They truly become free. Those who constantly challenge themselves would feel like actually flying – not running. They won’t feel any time or space, they would just be one with their own spirit. This experience would be felt by those marathon runners at their physical level. They unfortunately would link this at the physical level and assume that as a result of their running. But if the same is transformed into a spiritual experience, they can transcend time and be at this state by simply extending the nAdaM all the way till unmani state.
Since the transcending of time happens at this state, it is called kAla viShuvaM.
We will now look into the final viShuvaM –
7. tatva viShuvaM –
This is a totally different dimension and a very interesting short cut given by tantra shAstrAs.
There are to chakrAs below mUlAdhAra – one is a sahasradala padmA and above that is a 6-petal lotus. mUlAdhArA sits above this. Those who have done antaHcakra nyAsA would know about this. There is also another sahasradalA padmA on the top at brahmarandhraM. So these 3 chakrAs that I talked about are called akula chakrAs. The remaining chakrAs from mUlAdhArA till unmani are called kula chakrAs.
Now, I am going to give you some calculations and there are no derivations or pramAnAs for that. While I can somewhat figure out from where these would have come, I want to share those calculations first.
The K15 should be chanted within your mind with the bhAvaNA that the nAdaM is traversing from the bottom most sahasrArA until the top most sahasrArA within 3.5 nimEshaM and 317 tRuTi.
That’s it. If this is done, you will experience brahma jnAnA. The state of tatvamasi will be experienced. All the tatvAs will be experienced as one. This is called tatva viShuvaM. YH calls this state as nisargAnanda sundaraM.
परं स्थानं महादॆवि निसर्गानन्दसुन्दरम् ।
meaning you can be in this great state mahEshvarI which is nothing but the natural bliss-AnAnda and beautiful.
Now, what is 3.5 nimEShaM and 317 tRuTi? Assume that you are totally relaxed sitting on the banks of mAnasarOvar and enjoying the majestic kailAsh. Imagine that tranquil state and also your state of mind where you just don’t have any other thoughts and just the overflowing grace of the Guru and brahmaN for granting you this anubhavA in this janmA. At that peaceful time, while you are watching kailash, at that restful state, if you had to twinkle your eyes, the time it would take is called 1 nimEShA. 3000 tRuTis make 1 nimEShA. So if it is 3.5 nimEShA and 317 tRuTIs, it means a total of 10817 tRuTis. In fact YH gives this calculation beautifully. I am just giving this to you so that you can understand how tantra shAstrAs explain such things secretively.
They don’t give this 3.5 nimESha and 317 tRuTi. This is the line that tells it is 10817 tRuTis and you have use this for nAdI vEdanaM. This 10817 number is given as follows – muni candra aShTa dasha. Whenever numbers are involved, I have informed that you have to reverse it. So muni candra aShTa dasha should be dasha asTa candra muni. so dasha is 10, aShta is 8 , candra is 1 as there is only one moon, and muni is 7 – sapta RuShis. So 10817 tRuTis. Got it? bhAskararAyA made it easy by saying it is 3.5 nimEshAs as 3000 tRutIs is one nimEShA. and the remaining 317 as tRutIs. How did he explain this?
अध्युष्ट निमेषोत्तर सप्तदशाधिक शतत्रयत्रुटिभिः
adhyuShTa means 3.5 The next – saptadasha adhika – 17 over shatatraya – 300. So 317. tRuTis. BhAskarA was straight forward in VR whereas, YH was little tricky.
Now, getting back to tatva viShuvA, we now that 3.5 nimEShA and 317 tRuTi should be the time you should take to chant a K15 mantra internally simply visualizing the nAdam to be going from the bottom most sahAsrAraM till top mOst sahasrAraM. Again, you can’t do these for your lakhs of japas. These should be done with the intential of vishuvaMs and even if you do 10 times a day, do it with this proper bhAvanA. YH claims that just by doing this, you can attain brahma sAkShAtkAraM. You don’t need to do any breathing practice or catch hold of any shUnyAs or sandhiS. Simply vishualise and make sure that you get this time right. It has to be in this time. How you get it right? You need to figure that out as it is chanted internally.
Now.. why 3.5 nimEShA and 317 tRutIs? As I said I have not seen any pramAnAs for this. But the only logical relation I can make is that kuNDaliNI is a 3.5 coiled snaked lying at the mUlAdhArA state. Since you rae visualizing that the nAdA from the the bottom most sahasrArA has to go all the way till the top most sahasrArA, it must have taken that time to uncoil the kuNDAliNI and make it go and hit like ZOOM within 317 tRuTis. That is just one idea I had. Again, there is no pramAnA for what I am saying and I could be waaay out of line here. Regardless, this is definitely a short cut method.
Have I tried this method? When I have tried all other complicated techniques, would I have skipped this one? Of course I have tried. Does it work? Would it work? It definitely works in kuNDalini jAgran but getting that time is complicated. Even the 3.5 nimEShAs are ok. But that 317 tRuTIs? That is just a miniscule of time. The way I started to practice was to get the first kUTaM, second kUTAM, and third kUTaM in 3 nimEShAs. The extension of hrIM will go for another half nimEshAs. That was easy. The 317 tRutIs I have to just make a very small extension to the half nimEshA and assume that to be 317 tRutIs. Regardless, initially it was difficult because you need to develop the focus on the nAdaM from mUlAdhArA to raise and move upward through all the chakrAs and reach the brahmarandhrA and at the same time focus on the 3.5 nimEShAs and 317 tRutIs. That was impossible. So I ignored this whole bhAvanA for a few months and only focussed on getting the rhythm right with the time. Once I got hold of that rhythm consistently and was able to do it effortlessly without focussing on that, I then started adding the bhAvanA to it. It was also a challenge because I would not be able to move through all those chakrAs within that time and would then adjust my chanting to align with the bhAvAna when it should in fact be the other way around. So that took a while to get aligned and when this synchronization happened, it all worked beautifully.
Remember, all these vishumans assumes that the AdhAra dhvani is audible to you. Even this tatva vishuvaM states that the AdhAra dhvani is visualized as going up. So, don’t try to call me tomorrow and ask if you have attained tatva jnAnA.
How to hear the AdhAra dhvani? Constant practice of hrIM-kArA nAdaM and its vibrations felt within the body and along the spine is the secret.
I mentioned initally that these vishuvaMs are not just for shakti upAsanA but is there across several other tantra shAstrAs and even purANAs. If you closely observe, even when we talk about the hrIM-kAraM, we only talk about the states from the bindu. This is true for praNaVa also. The same avastA pancaka, ShUNya ShaTka and sapta viShuvAs can be applied to praNava nAdaM too and would result in the same state.
With this I have covered all the 7 viShuvAs. A total of 51 shlOkAs are completed. In the 52nd shlOkA, bhAskararAyA talks about the 3 states of chakra bhAvanA for samayAchArIs. They are sakalA, sakaniShkalA, and niShkalA chakra bhAvaNAs.
These are nothing but the antashcakra nyAsaM in our nyAsa prakaraNAm of pUjA paddhati.
The antashcakra nyAsaM in the pUjA paddhati explains how to visualize each AvaraNam in the various cakrAs of our body – starting from bottom most sahasrAraM, the ShaT dalam above that, mulAdhAraM, svAdhiShTanaM, maNipUrakaM, anAhataM, vishuddhi, lambikAgraM, and AjnA. This is called sakala cakra bhAvanA.
Now, if you start visualizing it from the middle of the forehead and go all the way till unmaNi, then it is called sakala niShkala bhAvanA.
If you simply visualize the entire chakrA at the mahAbindu sthAnA itself, then it is called the niShkala cakra bhAvanA.
The last shloKA – 53rd shlOkA is his Guru samarpaNam for completing the 1st aMsham of VR.
I feel that this itself would have given you a good understanding of the saptaviShuvAs and instead of me going line by line details of VR as usual, I am going to skip it. I will have that detail posted online so that those who are interested to see the meanings, can still go and look into it. But, trust me, I struggled a lot to understand these by simply going through the details and by not havinga overall understanding of what I am supposed to visualize and what I am supposed to equate etc.
With this, we have come to an end of the first amSaM.
The second aMshaM is all about the meanings of K15. I have already received requests from several of you that you need a break from this dry subjects and want something interesting. However, the whole purpose of me taking up this monumental task of explaining VR was to complete the meaning for Rashmi mAlA mantrAs and I don’t want to leave this task without explaining the mantra meaning for LalitAmbA – our pradhAna dEvatA. While bhAskararAyA has given 15 meanings, YH has given only 5 meanings. I will pick one simple meaning called sampradAya arthaM for K15 and explain that. This way, we would have completed that purpose.
We would pick up the 2nd amsha of VR sometime in the future when you all get bored with mundane stuff and get to the mood of listening to the dry subject again 🙂