Yogvritti: Shambhavi Mudra, Keys to Transendence

Shambhavi literally means appertaining to lord Shiva.It has two fold meaning. Shambhavi is also one of the names of goddess  Parvati(consort or better half of Lord Shiva), so Shambhavi means Parvati or Kundalini Shakti.Another purport of shambhavi is – assumed by shambhu, hence shambhavi mudra is so significant that lord shiva himself posits himself in this mahamudra. Mudra literally means a gesture ,movement or a pose in yoga. Shambhavi mudra is an ancient tantric and yogic technique which was enunciated and taught by lord shiva or mahadeva to parvati or shambhavi. The prime reason behind teaching the shambhavi mudra to goddess parvati or shambhavi was to gain control over one’s senses and self-awakening. It is a cardinal mode for opening the third eye of wisdom by converging all our outgoing and digressive tendencies towards the ajna chakra with eyes open and gazing towards the center of our forehead. Shambhavi mudra is a form of sensory meditation and the final stage of trataka,(concentrated gazing)with internalized one pointed cognizance and external gaze unblinking ,as mentioned in the Vedas.
shambhavi-mudra2
It is also known as bhairavi mudra or the eyebrow gazing center.(bhairavi is another name of parvati or shambhavi).another appellation of shambhavi mudra is bhrumadhya dhrishti, bhru means “eyebrow center’’ and dhristi means “gazing” hence this is the practice of eye gazing.  it is said that practicing this mudra bestows upon the sublime and supreme awakening on the practitioner. Shambhavi mudra or the state of supreme and paramount shiva is a stage of involuntary or extemporaneous meditation, in which the eyes converged within and the mind thrills and raptures in the inner self naturally. Shambhavi mudra is an indispensable tool of dharana used to still and quieten the restive  mind in a tranquil state and reach an elevated phase of self awakening.it aids one in opening the third eye and also leads to Kundalini arousal to the hilt.If the yogic practitioner remains with the citta and prana absorbed in the internal object and gaze motionless, looking. He is not seeing it is verily shambhavi mudra. This is the real state of shiva consciousness. Shambhavi mudra has been delineated in details in many texts like gheranda samhita, hatha yoga pradipika and shiva samhita.

The greatness of shambhavi mudra is well elucidated by this famous shloka :

SHAMBHAVI MUDRIKAH KRITVA ATMA PRATYAKSHA MANYETA|                                         

BINDU BRAHMA MAYAM DRASTVA MANSTATRA NIYOJYETA||

SATYAM SATYAM PUNAH SATYAM SATYAMAAH MAHESHWARAHA|

SAMBHAVI YO VIGYANIYATSA CHA BRAHMA NA CHANYATHA||

(GHERAND SAMHITA)

By assuming the position of shambhavi mudra a yogi beholds the self.when the brahma is seen in the form of a dot he should fix his mind on it and nowhere else. A Yogi who knows the science of shambhavi he himself becomes brahma and none else. I Lord Maheshwara(Shiva), am telling this again and again that this is the truth.

Shambhavi mudra essentially involves focusing the inner gaze and in some cases even the outer gaze at the ajna chakra. It is practiced in order to gain mastery over ones turbulent and frivolous senses.as the practice evolves gradually, light and and variegated visions are beheld at the trikuti or the  eyebrow center. The light and various visions that are seen vary from person to person and depends upon many factors. This “game of light’’must be observed incisively without digressing and wavering mind and simultaneously maintaining inner and outer purity.

Anyone who practices the shambhavi mudra gains complete self control over one’s scattering and rambling psyche.the practitioner gradually elevates its consciousness to a sublime and supreme level. From the physical standpoint, shambhavi mudra energizes and beefs up the eye muscles and helps in releasing the garnered strain in this area. From the mental perspective, it soothes and quietens the high-strung mind. It also aids in eliminating the emotional stress,wrath and pent up passions. The salutary benefits that are accrued as a result of exercising shambhavi mudra are deep concentration,mental steadiness,poise and thoughtless state.The regular practice of shambhavi mudra checks the devolution of the pineal gland and owing to this it is specially advocated for children and adolescents to harmonize their emotional advancement.shambhavi mudra is a built-in part of kriya yoga.it is a potent mode of arousing the ajna chakra and is a contemplation practice in toto. It assists in gaining deep insight and profound experiences with regular practice in continuity. However, it should be always performed under the strict observance of an enlightened master. It is also encompassed in asanas such as simhasana(the lion pose). People suffering from eye disorders or eye diseases should not practice shambhavi mudra sans the guidance and supervision of an adept teacher.