What is the Sri Chakra?

Thoughts on Sri Chakra

You might have noticed the painting displayed in studio 2.That beautiful matrix of 43 triangles with the dot in the middle of it all. And when you ask around as to what it is, you might have got answers from ‘Sri Chakra’ to ‘artistic geometry of Lay Peng and Leng Hee’. Now, is it really an artistic creation? Perhaps, something like how Coleridge dreamt of the stately pleasure dome in Xanadu or how Blake wrote of the Tiger’s fearful symmetry?

The answer is both Yes and No.

No, because it did not originate as an imagination, but as an insight revealed to ancient sages in India; to whomthe manifest forms of our world gave way to reveal its light and sound energy patterns.

Yes, because, those revelations are beyond the scope of those who haven’t experienced those states. So the sages had to teach in symbolic ways which correspond in some way to what normally one experiences in one’s life. So, in that sense, the precise triangles and the underlying symbolism do carry a certain artistry, too.

So what is this insight of the sages?

That the universe you and I see and feel as solid is a splendidly detailed luminous projection on the screen of our minds. What shimmers beneath this projection, and which is beyond the grasp of our current state of mind, is a highly intricate light and sound interference pattern. The clear vision of these underlying light patterns, occurring in an all encompassing light (they call it Maha prakasha), was their experiential realisation.

This great light is what our three dimensional world, (which they termed the tri-pura) is completely ensconced in. In fact, the entire creation of forms in the formless starts by the splitting of light into three, as bhaga (frequency of sun), vajra (frequency of lightning) and soma (frequency of moon). This again is symbolic, as this is how every man/woman understands light.

The bindu (the dot in the middle) is the point where all that is to be manifested is held, as concentrated intention, or as the sage Paramahansa Yogananda would say, as ‚Äòthoughtrons’ of the consciousness (light).

Now, when the supreme light sets about manifesting the objective world, it bathes all the ‚Äòthoughtrons’ or thought objects with these three beams of light, so to speak. By the third wash of light, the thought object projects out as a clear, three dimensional gross object.

Now if all this sounds too imaginative, let me assure you it is not, as more and more modern physicists are now starting to agree and view the universe as exactly how the ancients saw it – a light projection, or to be precise, a holographic projection.

Now, what is a hologram?

It is a three dimensional photograph made with the aid of a laser. To make a hologram, the object isbathed with a first washof laser beam. Then a second wash of light is directed to the reflected light of the first, resulting in an interference pattern, which is captured on a film. If this film is developed, the object reveals itself as a meaningless swirl of lines. But when this film is again illuminated by a third wash of laser beam, a three dimensional image of the object appears.

Thus, our entire universe is that, says leading physicists like David Bohm, including our brains, as explained by renowned neurologists like Karl Pribam. Everything projected as a hologram. Projected by light, sustainedin light, and eventually absorbed back into the formless light!

The tantriks depict the energy of this light which pervades all three dimensions of the world as the Tripura sundari (the beautiful one with the three-fold body). While ordinary minds can perceive the light only in its third stage, as the holographically projected multitudinous objects of our three dimensional world, the sages could see the light in its second and first stages. Second stage is where the light forms into patterns of lines, triangles, circles, etc. And that is the vision of the Sri chakra, as the geometric energy abstract of the cosmos, simultaneously emanating and dissolving in the bindu.

What is the bindu?

It cannot be easily explained. A point circle with no radius, where siva as consciousness and sakti as its energy are totally inseparable. In the ‚ÄòBig bang’ theory of how the universe came into being, they too speak in a similar way, that everything started from an infinitely small point of energy. Some call it the point of singularity. The point in which all matter of universe was held. And then, the point expanded, trillions of times, evolving into space, time and objects.

In a cosmological sense, I understand. But how does it help us individually?

Yes. How can we apply the teachings to aid our individual path is the main focus at Manasa. The Sri chakra has nine levels or chakras. Each chakra represents a particular level of awareness of the aspirant. Hope you remember the term prati prasava used by Patanjali, meaning return to the source. We, from birth, have evolved a concept of ‚Äòself’ through the years, which is basically concretized beliefs and ideas. In fact, if you look at it, each person is a unique personality. And this personality in fact is a swirling amalgamation of beliefs, likes and dislikes. Based on these beliefs, and motivated by the unique likes and dislikes, we live.

Spiritual practice is about seeing through these walls around us, and slowly realising the pure essence, from where all these have come about.

So, in the end, again what is sri chakra?

Sri chakra is you. The nine chakras are the swirling energy patterns in you, expressing as:

1st stage (outermost chakra)- where we are identified fully with the gross body and subject to various emotions. Sensory world is the only world and we are totally in enchantment with it.

2nd stage is where many of our desires and material enchantments have been fulfilled.

3rd stage is the state which follows desire satisfaction, where we realise that desire gratification through material objects haven’t really quenched our thirst. So there is a clear disappointment after the initial happiness, as we discover various shortcomings in the objects and experiences. This dissatisfaction is the junction where most of us find ourselves to be, at different stages of our life. Then we might think that the disappointment is due to some fault of the objects we have chased after, and then begin to look at other objects, other relationships, etc. We plunge back to the first chakra again. Most of us keep on ascending and descending in these three swirls of energy. At a certain point, detachment arises, wisdom arises, and we realise that no object or person can really satisfy our thirst for fulfilment, happiness, etc. That lies totally in the pure subjectivity of consciousness, and we start to sink deeper and deeper.

4th and higher, innerlevels. Then we start to move on, towards that subtlest and sublime essence of consciousness.