Sahasrara

To speak about the lotus of the thousand petals above, the sahasrara center, is quite superfluous because that is merely a philosophical concept with no substance to us whatever; it is beyond any possible experience.  In ajna there is still the experience of the self that is apparently different from the object, God.  But in sahasrara one understands that is it not different, and so the next conclusion would be that there is no object, no God, nothing but brahman.  There is no experience because it is one, it is without a second.  It is dormant, it is not, and therefore it is nirvana.  This is an entirely philosophical concept, a mere logical conclusion from the premises before.  It is without practical value for us.

The soul beholds God, but the aim of the mystic is to be one with its beloved.  “I and the father are one” (John 10:30).  Halaj, the great Sufi mystic, describes the situation this same way.  Ramakrishna says, “When you behold god you are not god.”  There is a pane of glass between.  The soul beholds its object, but the goal is to be one with that.  How can we break through?  How can we remove that barrier and join soul and God?  We’re beyond the pair of opposites.

   Halaj says the situation is like that of a moth seeing at night a lantern, and it wants to get to the flame.  But the glass keeps it out.  It batters itself all night long, and then goes to its friends in the morning and tells them what a wonderful thing it has just seen.  They say, “You don’t look the better for it.”  This is the condition of the yogi, the ascetic knocking himself to pieces to get through.  The moth goes back the next night and, by luck or device, does break through.  for an instant he has achieved his goal and is the flame.  That instant is an eternal instant beyond space and time.  That is the goal here, to remove the barrier. Bang!

  In Cakra 7, sahasrara, the serpent becomes one with the thousand-petaled lotus as the crown of the head.  Sahasrara means “thousand-petaled.”  In the center all we see are two footprints.  These are the footprints of Vishnu, which are to be worshiped.  Why do we have footprints here?  We though we had broken through.  They are symbols, and words can act as barriers.  We can get stuck with the footprints, or we can pass through.  There’s a saying that appears both in Lao-tzu’s work and in the Upanishads.  “Those who know do not speak.  And those who speak do not know.”  That’s hard for one giving a lecture, but it’s a warning that we’ve got to go past the footprints.

   From the muladhara, where the kundalini sleeps, three portals open upward, those to the right and to left leading to subtle channels bearing the breaths, respectively, of the left and right nostrils; only the portal between opening to the subtle “serpent channel,” sushumna (“most gracious, rich in happiness”), leads to the cranial lotus “Thousand Petaled” (sahasrara), “replete with every form of bliss, and Pure Knowledge itself.”