Sahasrara, the Abode of Light

by Eesha Sardesai

Siddha Yoga Celebration Satsang
in Honor of Baba Muktananda’s Mahasamadhi
Saturday, October 31, 2020

Sahasrara, the Abode of Light

So much of the work of being human, it seems, is about ascribing meaning to our lives and our world—and with that, acquiring some semblance of security in this vast, beautiful, complex manifestation we’re a part of. As children, we blink up in wonder at our surroundings, asking what that is, who we are, how that thing over there relates to us. This inquisitiveness—this longing to make sense of the world and how we fit into it—doesn’t go away as we get older. We just accumulate ideas and labels, customs and traditions, concepts and judgments of what’s good and of value—and to varying degrees, these satisfy our need to know.

Yet this world of ours can be unpredictable. We have our notions of how things should be, of what is right and wrong, of how we and others ought to behave. Often, however, what we see around us does not conform to our standards. Despite our best efforts to live with order and purpose, we find ourselves in circumstances that defy logic or reason.

What to do in such situations?

As students on the Siddha Yoga path, we know it’s not a matter of relinquishing our duties or otherwise “checking out.” Rather, it’s about understanding that there’s something more to this manifest world. There are reserves of strength and energy available to us that cannot be depleted, a source of meaning and purpose not dependent on circumstances we have limited control over. Within us are entire worlds untapped, an abode of light more dazzling than what our outward-facing eyes can process. We come to the Guru, we do sadhana, to experience this inner world—and to thereby bring an expanded and enlightened perspective into our life on this earth.

Baba Muktananda taught with great enthusiasm about the sahasrara, the thousand-petaled lotus at the crown of the head in the subtle body. It is the destination of our journey as seekers, the goal of our sadhana on the Siddha Yoga path.

The Prashna Upanishad tells us that crisscrossing the subtle body are 720 million nadis, or energy channels. These nadis carry the prana, the life force, through our being. When Kundalini Shakti is awakened within us by the grace of Shri Guru, this conscious and divine power begins her ascent through the central channel, the sushumna nadi, which runs parallel to the spine in the physical body.

To facilitate the transformation effected by Kundalini Shakti as she moves upward, we do spiritual practice. We chant, we meditate, we offer dakshina, we recite Shri Guru Gita. As we perform the Siddha Yoga practices, the shakti steadily purifies each of the six chakras, the lotus-shaped nexuses of nadis that lie along the sushumna. The prana, in turn, moves through the millions of nadis that branch off of the sushumna, and it dislodges the samskaras, the past impressions and karmas that are stored there. Up, up, up Kundalini Shakti continues to travel—cleansing, purifying, ridding us of the hurt and hardness we’ve collected for far too long, helping us bring greater harmony to our being until, finally, at the crown of the head, she reaches… the sahasrara.

Sahasrara, in the Sanskrit language, means “thousand spokes.” True to this description, the thousand petals of this lotus fan out concentrically, a spiraled pattern that reaches out to infinity. These petals are pristine white in color, perfect in shape, and the light they emanate is so bright it is said to have the brilliance of millions of suns.

In the center of the sahasrara is the nila bindu, the luminous Blue Pearl that Baba so often taught about. The Blue Pearl, which is the size of a single sesame seed, represents the supreme Self, and it is the point of origin of this entire universe.

To receive darshan of the sahasrara and the Blue Pearl is to experience the merging of the individual soul with the Supreme. For this reason, it is said that in the abode of the sahasrara, words stop short. Thoughts cannot reach. The sahasrara surpasses the faculties of the mind and the senses; it transcends all that could qualify or characterize our existence. Instead, what arises is the awareness of purno’ham—the pure “I am.” And after a lifetime of attaching something more to that phrase—“I am”—we reunite with the light we were before it became contracted by all our concepts, ideas, labels, and principles. The pairs of opposites (pain and pleasure, elation and sorrow), which seesaw within us when we define ourselves solely by what’s external, no longer hold sway here.

In the dwelling place of the sahasrara, we simply… exist. I am. Or, as Baba would teach people to say: I am light.

The title of this satsang is “Reside in the Realm of Divine Repose.

The Siddha Yoga path is beyond compare precisely because following this path leads us here. This is why what Baba did was so revolutionary—in bringing shaktipat diksha to the world, in teaching about and giving people the direct experience of the sahasrara and the Blue Pearl. Through Baba Muktananda’s grace, through Bhagavan Nityananda’s grace, and through Gurumayi Chidvilasananda’s grace, we actually can reside in the realm of divine repose. The sahasrara is not an abstraction. It is not an esoteric concept consigned to scriptural discourse. It is the lived experience of seekers on the spiritual path, and it is yours to know.