“Padmasanasthithe Devi, Parabrahma Swaroopini… Oh Devi! seated in a Padmasana, whose form is that of Parabrahma…” so begins a stotra in praise of Devi.
Brahma is referred to as Sarasijasana, Padmasana, Kamalasana All meaning “Lotus – Asana”.
Does Padmasana refer to sitting on a lotus as shown below? This follows from interpreting the word Asana as a Seat/Chair/Throne.
Or does Padmasana refer to the Yogic Asana, preferred for meditation? This follows from interpreting the word Asana as a Posture that can be easily held for a long time.. suitable for meditation. When both the upturned feet are placed above the knees, you get a Padmasana as shown below. The rare depiction of Brahma, below, shows him in an Ardha Padmasana with only one foot above the legs.
For long have I wondered about the depiction of Vishnu and Brahma below where you see a lotus stalk emerging from the navel of Vishnu, with Brahma seated on the lotus at the other end. (When I thought of the PalaSamudra : Milky Ocean as the Milky Way, then I saw Vishnu as the Black Hole at the Galactic Centre which changed colours from white to black as the star went through its stages and the stalk as something to do with Quasars, perhaps? ). Yesterday I understood it differently (on a different layer) and was blessed immediately with headache of phenomenal proportions.
The Insight :
The Second Chakra from the base, located at the Navel is called the Vishnu Chakra. That is the Vishnu Nabhi.
From there the lotus stalk is the spinal cord.
The Sahasrara Padma or the Thousand Petalled Lotus at the crown, the seventh chakra is the Brahma Chakra.
The process of enlightenment is the process of upward movement along the chakras.
“yasya — whose; ambhasi — in the water; śayānasya — lying down; yoga-nidrām vitanvataḥ — who is (meditating) in Yoga Sleep; nābhi — navel; hrada — out of the lake; ambujāt — from the lotus; āsīt — was manifested; brahmā —Brahma; viśva — the universe; sṛjām — the creators; patiḥ — master.” (Source-Srimad Bhagavatham)
This sloka gives us no reason to assume a “lotus stalk perpendicular to the spinal cord” as commonly depicted. The posture for Yoganidra is a Padmasana.
(It gets more interesting also. Siva’s third eye is between the brows, Bhairava is created from between Siva’s brows, and the Rudra Chakram is the Sixth Chakram between the eyeborws… I am yet to follow this train of thought, but think of the unending pillar between Brahma and Vishnu where Brahma went towards the top and Vishnu went towards the bottom and neither reached the ends. More references to the Yogic, Spinal Cord? We also need to keep in mind that the Siva MahaPuranam and the Bhagavatham are more spiritual texts while the Ramayanam and Mahabharatam are Itihiasas.)
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