According to Gandharvatantra  Kundalini moving up from muladhara to Anahata chakra, shining like molten gold is known as Fire Kundalini; from Anahata to Visuddha, as bright as a million suns, as Sun Kundalini; from Visuddha centre to the end of Sushumna-nadi, lustrous as a milllion moons, as moon Kundalini. The aspect of Kundalini which is beyond Sushumna becomes supraconscious, embracing all forms of sound and light.

The essential, however, is not in the complexities of the chakras, symbolism but rather in their function within the subtle body, the role they play at the moment the Kundalini, rising through the Sushumna channel toward the top of the head, touches each one on her journey. The chakras represent a symbolic theory of the psyche.  In the system of chakras we find that each phase of energy is represented by an element, in ascending order earth, water, fire, air and ether.

Each of the five vortices signifies a new quality, and each is both an extension and a limitation of another. Thus at the root centre Muladhara associated with the element earth the quality is cocontent, experiencing no desire to change or to expand into any other state. At the same time, just as the root of a tree implies the possibility of its growth, the earth centre denotes an opportunity to expand the awareness. Likewise the second chakra, Svadisthana, has the nature of its corresponding element, water: an energy that tends to flow downward.

The third chakra, Manipura, associated with the element fire, has an upward, consuming movement like flames. The fourth chakra, Anahata, associated with air is characterized by a tendency to revolve in different directions and to relate itself to other possibilities. Here ‘air’ is not vital breath but the atmosphere the immensity of soace and the conveyor of sound. The name of the chakra implies that it emits a mysterious cosmic vibration, as of unstruck (anahata) sound  that is sound beyond the realm of the senses. The fifth chakra, Visuddha associated with ether, is like a vessel within which all the elements mingle.

The process of becoming is not unilinear  that is, moving in one pushes at every level. The Kundalini energy does not shoot up in a straight line, but at each stage of its unfolding unties the knots of different energies. Each successive unlocking brings transformation. In Tantric teachings  the purusha is first seen at the fourth chakra, the heart chakra Anahata. Purusha is the essence of man, the Supreme man.

In the recognition of feelings and ideas one sees the purusha. This is the first inkling of a being within whom one is contained greater and more important than oneself but which has a purely psychic existence. Traditionally, the two interlocking triangles within this chakra symbolize the union of the male principle (the upward-pointing triangle) and the female principle (the downward-pointing triangle), so that here they indicate a cosmic universal value.

To cross from Anahata to the fifth chakra visuddha, one must admit that all one’s psychic ‘facts’ have nothing to do with material facts. If one has reached this stage one is beginning to leave Anahata because one has succeeded in dissolving the ‘union of material external facts with internal or psychic facts’ the element ether related to visuddha is the one that is placed above the five others’ and transcends them. The presence of the syllable Om within the inner triangle of Ajna, the sixth chakra is a clear indication that the associted symbolism is that of the origin the beginning of all things and also of their end.

Om is in equal measure the sonic vibration from which all things emerge and that into which they must eventually be reabsorbed at the end of the cosmic cycle.the elements and other symbols associated with the vortices must be understood as referring to the positive and negative polarities functioning within the personality. As kundalini ascends through the planes of the psychic centres the initiate experiences an interplay of visionary experences, with sensations of sound, light and colour.

At the level of the sixth chakra, Ajna the centre between the eyebrows, the dialectical functioning of the personality is constrolled by means of a power to command that can harmonize the energies. Just as Jung’s subjects in the process of individuation transcend the barriers of polarities interacting within their personalities with the help of a therapist so in kundalini-yoga the initiate learns through long apprenticeship under the guidance of a guru to balance the dialectical processes of the lower chakras. Once a balance is attained psychic individuation results in an entirely new awareness; so too with the adept when all functions are equilibrated at the level of the Ajna chakra.
The seventh and last chakra Sahasrara, has no associated element, colour or sound. As a lotus Sahasrara has a thousand petals, but there is no other specific symbolism connected with it. The colour white, the syllable Om, and the element universal consciousness of the Ajna chakra admit nothing beyond themselves, unless it be the Absolute Brahman.

To attain Sahasrara is thus to attain the world of Brahaman in which liberation is symbolically located. One ought therefore to say that this chakra is located above the crown of the head in order to stress that it is differentiated from the other six. The best graphic representations, indeed show it in the form of an inverted lotus emitting a radiance that bathes the subtle body in its entirety like the aura.

Terminating her journey at Sahasrara, the Kundalini Sakti which has the brilliance of lightning and is composed of three gunas [qualities], after piercing the unmanifest, lustrous abode of Siva, which is in the form of Bindu [the transcendental centre] and which is situated in the midst of eternal bliss and divine nectar, having the brilliance of million moons and suns, returens to her resting place, Muladhara.
How long the aspirant will have to stay at each chakra depends on his attachment and karmic action. The root chakra Muladhara, fourth chakra Anahata and fifth chakra Ajna are the greates obstacles to the rising of Kundalini. Three chakras are associated with the Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra knots (granthis), and with psychic blockages called lingas (the Svayambhu, Bana and ltara lingas respectively). The Sanskrit word lingam is derived from the roots, if to dissolve, and gam to go out which symbolizes dissolving and evolving again. To clear the Brahma knot is to get established in totality ; to clear the vishnu knot to perceive the existence of a universal life-principle ; to clear the Rudra knot to attain the non-dual state, realization of one-ness the universal joy.
In tantric symbolism the state of samadhi is the union of Siva and Sakri. If it is true that this total union knows no end, it means that the aspirant who has achieved this condition will not return will never again return from his free state as a jivan-mukta as liberated while yet living’.
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