निषण्णां षण्णामप्युपरि कमलानां तव कलाम्।
महापद्माटव्यां मृदितमलमायेन मनसा
महान्तः पश्यन्तो दधति परमाह्लादलहरीम्॥
niṣaṇṇāṁ ṣaṇṇāmapyupari kamalānāṁ tava kalām |
mahāpadmāṭavyāṁ mṛditamalamāyena manasā
mahāntaḥ paśyanto dadhati paramāhlādalaharīm ||
taṭil lekhā tanvīṁ - having a body like lightning streak; tapana śaśi vaiśvānara mayīṁ - having a form of sun, moon and fire; niṣaṇṇāṁ - seated; ṣaṇṇām api upari kamalānāṁ - above the six lotuses; tava kalām – Your kalā; mahā padma aṭavyāṁ - the sahasrāra; mṛdita mala māyena – devoid of impurities of māyā; manasā – with the mind; mahāntaḥ - great yogī-s; paśayanto – seeing; dadhati – experiencing; param āhlāda laharīm – the highest degree of bliss.
“Great yogī-s, with their minds free from impurities of māyā, experience the powerful bliss by having Your vision in the form of streaks of lightning, sun, moon and fire appearing above the six chakras at sahasrāra.”
When the verse talks about six chakras, it also subtly conveys the three granthi-s through the words api upari (knots known as Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Rudra granthi-s). These chakras and granthi-s refer to kuṇḍalinī meditation. This verse can also be interpreted as follows: When a great yogī by balancing iḍā and piṅgala and thereby activating suṣumna, making his mind devoid of impurities caused by māyā, sees Her radiant form above the six chakras, in sahasrāra, like a streak of lightning as a result of which he experiences an inexplicable bliss. Here sun, moon and fire mean iḍā, piṅgala and suṣumna. Suṣumna can be activated only if iḍā and piṅgala are controlled and balanced. The breaths passing in and out of both the nostrils are to be equalised, known as samanā in Sanskrit. When one nostril is more active than the other it is imbalance. The importance of breath is paramount in kuṇḍalinī meditation.
When Śakti ascends through a tiny nerve in the spine, in the form of kuṇḍalinī to conjoin Her Consort Śiva, at sahasrāra, at the time of their union, flashes of Lighting will be distinctly visible in the forehead area. This Light will not be a static light, like the one that is visible at ājñā chakra. When She conjoins Śiva, it is like the union of two divine Lights, though Śakti on Her own is not Self-illuminating. She is radiant as long as She is with Śiva and the fact that She is always radiant is because of the fact that She always remains with Śiva and never leaves Him even for a millisecond. If She does so, then it is annihilation. At the time of annihilation, Śiva alone remains and She only acts as a witness to the process of annihilation initiated by Śiva. Lalitā Sahasranāma mention about this through two nāma-s 232 maheśvara-mahākalpa-mahāthāṇḍava-sākṣinī and 571 mahāpralaya sākṣiṇī.
An aspirant who wants to pursue a true spiritual path should get rid off māyā, which is the foundational cause for all the dualities, which in turn gives rise to all the impurities in the mind such as desire, ego, attachment, emotions, etc. Without dissolving dualities, realization will never be complete. The factors that can help in dissolving dualities are compassion and love, becoming devoid of desire which means leading a contended life, unshakable faith in karmic impressions and above all mentally surrendering to Her, who is omnipresent. Many of the devotees fail to become aspirants because of their inability to search Her within. No sacred waters, no places of worship can absolve one from his or her karmic account. Further accrual of karmic account can only be stopped, provided one mentally surrenders to Her. Karma cannot be removed immediately and it has to spent only by experiencing.
Mentally surrendering to Her is neither an easy task nor a difficult task. This surrender cannot happen overnight. Repeated affirmations are necessary to make the mind feel that She is within. When the affirmation is strong enough, one can realize the dawn of love and compassion for others. This is the primary step in the spiritual path. An aspirant can become a yogī only through persistent practice. The path of practice may be different but the foundation for the spirituality is only the mental affirmation. Improper spiritual foundation gives rise to innumerable unprincipled gurus.
The end of the second line of the verse says tava kalām, which literally means Your kalā. Kalā in this place means the Divine Power or the Svātantrya śakti of Śiva, which is nothing but Śakti Herself. Śiva alone has independent power of authority known as Svātantrya śakti, which He hands over to Śakti in its entirety by means of a power of attorney. She alone can exercise His Power. Kalā is the expression of Her creative delight (the process of creation) which appears in the form of a streak of lightning. This lightning becomes visible to the yogī because, She in Her subtlest form known as kuṇḍalinī (Her subtle form is kāmakalā - Lalitā Sahasranāma 322 and Saundaryalaharī verse 19) reflects the Light (Prakāśa) of Śiva. Hence She is known as Vimarśa (reflecting the Light of Śiva. Vimarśa means reflection). There are other explanations saying that the kalā referred here is the kāmakalā, discussed in verse 19.
The verse also says that She is seated through the word niṣaṇṇāṁ. Lalitā Sahasranāma 905 baindavāsanā explains this and the interpretation of this nāma goes like this: Baindava means a bindu or dot and āsana means seat. This nāma says that She is seated on a bindu. There are two types of explanations for bindu.
The central point of Śrī Cakra is called bindu. It is placed in the midst of the inner most (top most in the case of Meru) triangle. This bindu is called sarvānandamaya cakra, also known as baindava sthāna. The presiding deity of this ninth āvaraṇa or covering is Śrī Mahā Tripurasundarī. She is worshipped here with yoni mudra. Those who are initiated into ṣodaśī should worship Her here with trikhaṇḍā mudra. Lalitāmbikā is worshipped here in Her highest form. She is adored as Parābhaṭṭārikā (bhaṭṭāra means highly noble, worthy of worship) and Mahā-kāmeśvarī.
In kāmakalā there are three bindu-s. They are white, red and multi coloured. The white bindu represents Śiva and the red bindu represents Śaktī. They expand and contract thereby causing the creation of the universe. The multicoloured bindu represents the sun. Kāma refers to the sun and kalā refers to the red and white bindu-s. All the three put together is called kāmakalā. The red and white bindu-s are the Divine couple. Their union happens in equal degree. As already discussed in various nāma-s, Śiva is prakāśa form and Śaktī is vimarśa form. When prakāśa and vimarśa unite, the union is known as ahaṃkāra or ego. The ahaṃkāra consists of many alphabets which subsequently produce sound and its meaning. Since She is seated on the bindu (red coloured), this nāma calls Her Baindavāsanā, the Creative aspect of the Brahman.
The three bindu-s can be compared to the three nāḍi-s, iḍā, piṅgala and suṣumna. When the energies transported through these nāḍi-s merge in the bindu in the ājñā cakra, the practitioner transcends individual consciousness and enters universal consciousness. The meeting point of the three nāḍi-s is known as bindu and She is said to be seated here. A practitioner enters the universal consciousness, when his soul, individual consciousness and mind unite at this bindu point.
This verse of Soundarya laharī underlines the importance of kuṇḍalinī meditation.