SRI—CHAKRA Its Yantra, Mantra & Tantra:- Prof. S. K. Ramachandra Rao


1. THE MEANING OF CHAKRA:- The Sanskrit expression ‘chakra’ usually means a ‘wheel’. The etymolo-gy of the word would suggest ‘that by which anything is done’ (kriyate anena). The wheel of the cart, the wheel of the potter, the wheel-like weapon that is flung against the enemy are all called ‘chakas. In its extended meaning, chakra also signifies a kingdom, & because the wheel of the king’s chariot can roll on there without hindrance. The king of the land is thus described as a ‘chakra-vartin’. The word also signifies an arrangement of the army (chakra-vyuha), in order to fortify its position & secure victory. Sanskrit poets are found to employ characteristically circular patterns of letters of words (chakra-bandha), to convey the meaning more forcefully (if also more tortusly) than usual. II. Sri-Vidya & Sri-Chakra:- The significance of the prefix ‘Sri’ in the expression Sri Chakra denotes that the instrument employed is auspicious, benefcient salutory, conducive to prosperity. ‘Sri’ is the name of the mother-goddess who rules THE TANTRIK BACKGROUND --- ATHARVA-VEDA:- Bhavanopanishad is a short text dealing with the symbolism of Sri-chakra & bringing out the importance of meditation on this symbolism. It is described as an upanishad in the sense of ‘secret doctine’ & ‘higher wisdom’. It is included in the classical collection of 108 upanishasic texts (enumerated in Muktikopanishad,1,5),& more specifically in the collection of texts known as ‘Sakta-upanishads’ viz., the upanishads that emphasiz the tantrik outlook & seek to reconcile this outlook with traditional Vedantic approach. Such upanishads are usually affiliated to the Atharva-veda corpus. Muktikopanishad, itself a minor upanishad, suggests the existence of as many as 1,180 upanishads, but provides : 10 of them belongi-ng to Rg-veda, 32 to Yajur-veda of the ‘Krahna’ division, 19 to the same veda of ‘sukla’ division, 16 to Samaveda, & 31 to Atharva-veda. The classification is rather arbitrary. 2.UPANISHADIC FRAMEWORK:- There is an Upanishad called Atharva-sira-upanishad, meanning “the secret doctrine concerning the head of the Atharvan”. The gods approach of the terrible Rudra in the heavenly region, & ask him : “who are you?” & Rudra reveals to them his identity as the sole reality, all-pervasive & ever-enduring: (SRI SATGURU PUBLICATIONS)