Shambhavi State of consciousness: A secret Yoga state of being explained

All the Yoga books have gone com­pletely silent after talk­ing about Shamb­havi Mudra.It is a secret mudra in Yoga and one has to col­lect sev­eral ref­er­ences in scrip­tures to fully under­stand this mys­te­ri­ous yoga mudra. In the prac­tice of shamb­havi mudra, the most pow­er­ful mudra, eyes are focused on the eye­brow cen­ter, there­fore it is also called as “Eye­brow cen­ter gaz­ing”. This prac­tice is widely quoted in the scrip­tures like Gherand samhita. You can tran­scend the fet­ters of indi­vid­ual ego by prac­tic­ing shamb­havi mudra for a suf­fi­ciently long period of time. In Shamb­havi Mudra’s place is said to be between the throat and the fore­head. This is a secret Mudra in which the per­son doing it should sit still and con­cen­trate. He should then close his eyes par­tially as some peo­ple do when they sleep. Reg­u­lar prac­tice of Shamb­havi Mudra makes a yogi per­fect in doing it and makes him one step closer to sal­va­tion. Shamb­havi Mudra makes a per­son free from all his sins and helps in the attain­ment of knowl­edge and ulti­mate truth. It also pro­vides peace to the body and the mind.

Shamb­havi mudra, also call Bhairavi mudra, is a sub­tle inter­nal tech­nique involv­ing the eyes which can lead one to the depths of yogic med­i­ta­tion. It is described in many texts includ­ing Hathapradipika, Gherandha Samhita, Amanaskya Yoga, and Vij­nan­ab­hairava Tantra. These texts how­ever do not give full instruc­tions of this pow­er­ful tech­nique but rather only hint at what it truly is. It has been a well guarded secret in yoga and only dis­closed to a deserv­ing dis­ci­ple on whom a guru is extremely happy. The Agya Chakra opens dur­ing this mudra and the yogi becomes aware of the divine knowl­edge. A yogi can eas­ily awaken kun­dalini shakti in oth­ers when he is in this state of being and per­form shak­ti­pat. Not every­one is autho­rized to do shak­ti­pat and with­out being con­nected to the supreme guru con­scious­ness (shiva con­scious­ness) the a guru who attempts to do shak­ti­pat risks his own down­fall. On the other hand a yogi who is per­fect in shamb­havi mudra can eas­ily do shak­ti­pat, awaken kun­dalini , open not only the lower chakras in oth­ers but also the most difficult/premium agya chakra and sahas­trar chakra in oth­ers. Very few known yogis are known to have per­fected this mudra like — Chai­tanya Mahaprabhu ji, Guru Nanak Dev ji and Lahiri Mahashaya in KalaYuga. There could be oth­ers but very few yogis come out in the open in pub­lic dur­ing their shamb­havi state. Yogis pre­fer to stay secluded from pub­lic and pub­lic­ity and live this state of bliss. Acharya Chan­dra­has Ji was one such yogi who was blessed with this mudra when his guru was extremely happy with him. In his med­i­ta­tion he saw the rea­son why he was blessed with this extremely rare bless­ing. It was in one of the past births HH Ram­lal ji Maharaj promised him after meet­ing Acharya ji’s dur­ing penance that he would be granted a higher state of yoga in his next birth. It was dur­ing his life time he per­fected this mudra over a period of con­sis­tent prac­tice of 30 years. The photo of Acharya ji with this arti­cle shows him in this state of con­scious­ness. Peo­ple have seen him med­i­tat­ing for tens of hours in this samadhi state. He could eas­ily enter or get out of this samadhi state while talk­ing to peo­ple and describ­ing his Guru, stand­ing, lis­ten­ing to devo­tional songs or while med­i­tat­ing in cross legged pos­ture. The nice thing about Shamb­havi is that it can be done any­where and at any time. It is not lim­ited to seated ses­sions of prac­tice. It takes our asana and phys­i­cal prac­tices to a whole other level.

Shamb­havi is the name of the wife or con­sort of Shambhu (Shiva). She has many other names, such as Par­vati, Shakti, etc., all of which have spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance in Indian mythol­ogy. It is believed that Shambhu taught Shamb­havi the prac­tice of shamb­havi mudra and urged her to prac­tice it dili­gently if she wanted higher aware­ness. It is said that the prac­tice of shamb­havi mudra will stir Shambhu (super­con­scious­ness) and make him appear before you.

The prac­tice is also known as bhru­mad­hya drishti. The word bhru­mad­hya means ‘eye­brow cen­tre’, and drishti means ‘gaz­ing’. This name describes the prac­tice exactly – eye­brow cen­tre gazing.

Scrip­tural references

This prac­tice (like agochari mudra) is widely quoted in the yogic scrip­tures. For exam­ple, in the Gherand Samhita it states: “Direct your eyes towards the mid­dle of the eye­brows. Reflect on your real nature. This is shamb­havi mudra, the most secret of all tantric scrip­tures.” (3: 59)

The same text devotes the next few verses to show­er­ing praise on this mudra. Among other things it says: “The man who dili­gently prac­tises and knows shamb­havi mudra becomes Lord Shiva him­self. He becomes Narayana (Vishnu), the sus­tainer of all and also Brahma, the cre­ator of the universe.”

This means many things, most of which are under­stand­able only when one knows the sig­nif­i­cance of the Hindu gods. But we can say that one of the mean­ings is that one can tran­scend the fet­ters of the indi­vid­ual ego through prac­tic­ing shamb­havi mudra for a suf­fi­ciently long period of time. Through this one is able to expand aware­ness and see a sig­nif­i­cance and essence behind every­thing. Fur­ther­more, one real­izes that one’s real nature is far more than we can nor­mally conceive.

The seal (mudra) that pro­duces hap­pi­ness (shamb­havi). Shambhu (from which the word shamb­havi is derived), or Shiva, then refers to the Self-realized state, which pro­duces hap­pi­ness. A mudra is thought to be like a seal­ing device with a raised sur­face, like a signet ring. In the same way the ring stamps an impres­sion on a soft wax like sur­face, so Shamb­havi Mudra stamps, or seals, its divine imprint on the recep­tive con­scious­ness of the med­i­ta­tor, who is trans­formed into an image of the Divine. Through some type of phys­i­cal or men­tal tech­nique, a mudra also seals, or closes off, a nor­mally open energy chan­nel, thereby seal­ing in and recir­cu­lat­ing the body’s energy to inten­sify the med­i­ta­tive effort.

Shamb­havi Mudra, is an open-eyed med­i­ta­tion designed to inte­grate (or per­haps rein­te­grate) our inner and outer worlds. In the his­toric texts, the instruc­tions for prac­tic­ing Shiva’s Seal don’t extend beyond prac­tic­ing the seal in med­i­ta­tion. It is highly secre­tive and only passed to a devo­tee through a fully real­ized Yogi guru who is attached to the supreme con­scious­ness 24/7. Such yogis are extremely rare to find and the prob­a­bly of this ‘purna siddha-yogi’ extremely happy with his devo­tee to bless him with ‘Shammb­havi mudra’ state of con­scious­ness is rarest of rare blessing.

Through Shamb­havi Mudra, as Hindu scholar Mark Dyczkowski writes in his book The Doc­trine of Vibra­tion, the power of aware­ness “man­i­fests itself on two lev­els simul­ta­ne­ously,” that is, indi­vid­u­ally and cos­mi­cally, so that these “two aspects are expe­ri­enced together in the bliss­ful real­iza­tion that results from the union of the inner and outer states of absorp­tion.” It is in this way that we are sealed and stamped with Shiva-consciousness. To para­phrase Patan­jali, is that the phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal grip of your lim­ited indi­vid­ual body-mind relaxes. Your con­scious­ness expands beyond its nor­mally per­ceived bound­aries to encounter what Patan­jali calls the “end­less,” the con­scious­ness that per­vades all space. At this stage of the med­i­ta­tion, one often expe­ri­ence a –feel­ing of great open­ness and peace, as if “I” am still there, but there’s more to that “I” than I am usu­ally aware of.

Mudra is a ges­ture that starts in a very sub­tle way and then fol­lows a pow­er­ful move­ment gra­di­ent to affect objec­tive per­cep­tion, trans­form­ing the energy that under­lies this objec­tive man­i­fes­ta­tion to one of pure clar­ity. This clar­ity can be fol­lowed inter­nally to the cen­tral nadi Susumna. At this point many “doors” open, through which the move­ment can be con­tin­ued and the expan­sion of knowl­edge through one of these door­ways can be facilitated.

The tech­nique of Shamb­havi mudra begins with the eyes. We keep the eyes open. The texts say not to blink but in my opin­ion this mat­ters not in the slight­est because it doesn’t mat­ter what we are see­ing. The impor­tant point is the see­ing itself. This tech­nique in my opin­ion is also not about direct­ing the gaze. Gaz­ing is not Shamb­havi mudra. Gaz­ing at the mid­brow or third eye only puts the atten­tion on an object and not on the see­ing itself. The see­ing itself is what draws us in, not what the eyes are look­ing at. The open­ing of the third eye comes when the ordi­nary two eyes become clear of the men­tal pro­jec­tions. Ordi­nar­ily our eyes are com­pletely con­t­a­m­i­nated by the “eye of the mind” which dis­torts what we are see­ing through the pure­ness of the see­ing itself. I have given the exam­ple before of try­ing to see purely when one is think­ing of one’s favorite movie. Try it. Can you do it? Can you see with com­plete clar­ity and focus while the mind thinks of some topic? It can’t be done. We are either see­ing through the mind’s eye or the 2 eyes of the body. Both can­not be simul­ta­ne­ously acti­vated. In our every­day func­tion­ing, we are bounc­ing back and forth between objec­tive and instru­men­tal aware­ness, nor­mally so quickly that we are not even aware of it. And our home base is in the objec­tive level of per­cep­tion. Con­tin­ued appli­ca­tion of Shamb­havi mudra takes our home base lower into the instru­men­tal realm, a vast realm com­pletely unlike the objec­tive reality.

The Book “The Secret of Golden Flower” also advo­cates the half opened eyes; it tells amaz­ing facts regard­ing this. It says closed eyes rep­re­sent anima and fully opened eyes rep­re­sent ani­mus, or bet­ter under­stand that anima is fem­i­nine energy and ani­mus is male energy. And with half opened eyes both energy get bal­anced. The reg­u­lar prac­tice of Shamb­havi Mudra leads to Turiya State (super con­scious state).

As per Gheranda Samhita a yogi who mas­ters Shamb­havi Mudra is a liv­ing Adi­nath and Brahma him­self! ‘नेत्रांजन समालोक्य आत्मारामं निरीक्षयेत .. ” Netran­jan Samalokya Aat­mara­mam Nireek­shyayet”. Other Yoga prac­tices and tech­niques are to raise the life force up, but after Shamb­havi Mudra, the prana stays up on its own.Lahiri Mahasaya had writ­ten some com­ments about it in his diaries. Yogananda Paramhansa repro­duced those com­ments in his ‘Auto­bi­og­ra­phy of a Yogi’. No other guru has claimed expe­ri­enc­ing it. It’s a rare occurrence.

Gen­er­ally speak­ing, prac­tic­ing the Shamb­havi Mudra stim­u­lates and opens up the third eye, which is located between the eye­brows. The third eye is also known as the Ajna Chakra. When this chakra is open, a Yogi or Yogini is more read­ily able to com­mu­ni­cate with a teacher, guru or other spir­i­tual guide. He or she may also develop the abil­ity to read minds, become omni­scient and even align with Shiva and Shakti in cre­at­ing, main­tain­ing, destroy­ing and then re-creating the three planes of exis­tence. Neu­rol­o­gists have deter­mined that each eye is con­nected to the oppo­site side of the brain. The right eye is directly con­nected to the left side of the brain, and the left eye is con­nected to the right side of the brain. When the prac­tice of Shamb­havi Mudra is sus­tained for some time, the left and right sides of the brain bal­ance and inte­grate with each other. The inte­gra­tion helps the Yoga prac­ti­tioner to expand his or her nor­mal range of aware­ness. This expanded state of aware­ness enables a Yogi or Yogini to pen­e­trate into the sub­tle lev­els of real­ity that are nor­mally not acces­si­ble to most peo­ple. With this expanded state of aware­ness comes an under­stand­ing of the inter­con­nect­ed­ness of the web of life and a rev­er­ence for all life forms, includ­ing one’s self.

4 thoughts on “Shambhavi State of consciousness: A secret Yoga state of being explained

  1. Jai ho..Shri Prabhu ji ki aur shri acharya ji ki..
    jab sharir tyaga tab bhi yahi mudra thi shri acharya ji ki, that day I was in kan­gra with shri achraya ji..
    Acharya ji jaise na mile aur na milenge..na bhuto na bhav­ishayti.
    ek ek pal yogyana andaj me jiya aur hum logo ko bahut shik­sha di. jine ki kala shikha gaye..pura jeeven kam padega unn ki di hui shik­shao ka palan karne me…

  2. shri charno me van­dan
    sab par­vat syahi karu, ghoru saman­dar jaay, dharti ka kagaj karu, sadguru stuti na samaye,
    aacharya ji jab sharir dha­ran kiye huye the tab hum unhe samajh nahi paaye, aur jab samjhe to kisi se kuchh kah naa paaye ki wo kya hai

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