Yogachudamani Upanishad is one of the minor Upanishads of Hinduism, composed in Sanskrit and attached to the Samaveda. It is also known as the “Crown Jewel of Yoga”, as it reveals the highest teachings of yoga for advanced and initiated aspirants. In this blog post, we will explore some of the main themes and insights of this Upanishad, which deals with the topics of kundalini yoga, ajapa gayatri mantra, and the nature of the supreme reality.

The Goal of Yoga: Kaivalya

The Upanishad begins by stating its goal as kaivalya, which means “liberating aloneness” or “isolation”. This is not a state of loneliness or detachment, but rather a state of oneness with the absolute reality, which is beyond all names and forms. Kaivalya is achieved by realizing one’s true nature as the self (atman), which is identical with Brahman, the supreme spirit.

The Upanishad says that the purpose of yoga is to unite the two principles of Shiva and Shakti, which are the male and female aspects of the divine energy. Shiva represents pure consciousness, while Shakti represents dynamic power. They are inseparable and interdependent, but they appear as distinct in the phenomenal world. The Upanishad teaches that by awakening the dormant Shakti within oneself, one can attain Shiva, who is the source of all bliss and knowledge.

The Path of Kundalini Yoga: Chakras, Nadis, Prana, Mudras and Shakti

The Upanishad describes the path of kundalini yoga, which is a system of practices that aim to awaken the latent spiritual energy (kundalini) that lies at the base of the spine. This energy is coiled like a serpent and sleeps in a subtle center called mooladhara chakra. By applying various techniques such as breath control (pranayama), body locks (bandhas), gestures (mudras), meditation (dhyana), and sound vibration (mantra), one can stimulate and raise this energy through a series of psychic centers (chakras) along the spinal column.

The Upanishad mentions eight chakras, which are:

  • Mooladhara: The root chakra, located at the base of the spine. It represents the element of earth and governs survival, security, and stability.
  • Swadhisthana: The sacral chakra, located below the navel. It represents the element of water and governs creativity, sexuality, and emotions.
  • Manipura: The solar plexus chakra, located above the navel. It represents the element of fire and governs power, will, and confidence.
  • Anahata: The heart chakra, located at the center of the chest. It represents the element of air and governs love, compassion, and harmony.
  • Vishuddha: The throat chakra, located at the base of the throat. It represents the element of ether and governs communication, expression, and truth.
  • Ajna: The third eye chakra, located between the eyebrows. It represents the element of mind and governs intuition, vision, and wisdom.
  • Sahasrara: The crown chakra, located at the top of the head. It represents the element of spirit and governs connection to the divine.
  • Nirvana: The hidden chakra, located above sahasrara. It represents transcendence and liberation.

The Upanishad also mentions three main channels (nadis) through which prana (life force) flows in the subtle body. They are:

  • Ida: The left channel, is associated with lunar energy, feminine qualities, cooling, calming, and receptivity.
  • Pingala: The right channel, associated with solar energy, masculine qualities, heating, stimulation, and activity.
  • Sushumna: The central channel, associated with neutral energy, balance, harmony, and awakening.

The Upanishad says that kundalini is blocked by a knot (granthi) at each chakra level. By piercing these knots with prana and shakti (the awakened kundalini), one can access higher states of consciousness and ultimately reach kaivalya.

The Practice of Ajapa Gayatri Mantra: Hamsa

The Upanishad introduces a special mantra called ajapa gayatri, which is also known as hamsa. This mantra is the natural sound of the breath, which is “ha” on inhalation and “sa” on exhalation. The Upanishad says that all beings are constantly chanting this mantra, day and night, without knowing it. The mantra means “I am That”, implying the identity of the individual self with the supreme self.

The Upanishad says that this mantra is the most sacred and powerful of all mantras, and that by meditating on it, one can attain salvation. The mantra is also associated with the movement of kundalini, as it rises from mooladhara to sahasrara and descends back to mooladhara. The Upanishad says that by synchronizing the mantra with the breath and the kundalini, one can achieve a state of samadhi (absorption) in which the mind becomes still and merges with the self.

The Nature of Para Brahman and Para Shakti: Om

The Upanishad concludes by revealing the nature of the supreme reality, which is called Para Brahman and Para Shakti. Para Brahman is the absolute spirit, which is beyond all attributes, qualities, and limitations. It is the source of all existence, the essence of all beings, and the goal of all seekers. Para Shakti is the supreme power, which is the manifestation of Para Brahman in the form of energy, intelligence, and creativity. It is the cause of all creation, preservation, and destruction, and the mother of all living entities.

The Upanishad says that Para Brahman and Para Shakti are inseparable and interdependent, like fire and its heat, or sun and its rays. They are also represented by the sacred syllable Om, which is composed of three sounds: A, U, and M. A represents Para Shakti as the creator, U represents Para Shakti as the preserver, and M represents Para Shakti as the destroyer. The silence that follows Om represents Para Brahman as the transcendent reality.

The Upanishad says that by meditating on Om with devotion and concentration, one can realize one’s true nature as Para Brahman and Para Shakti, and attain kaivalya.


Yogachudamani Upanishad is a treasure trove of wisdom for those who are interested in the ancient science of the soul and the secrets of the supreme reality. It teaches us how to awaken our latent potential through kundalini yoga, how to harness our natural breath through ajapa gayatri mantra, and how to connect with our divine source through Om. By following its teachings, we can achieve a state of blissful liberation that is beyond words and description.

Works Cited:
(1) Yogachudamani Upanishad – Wikipedia.
(2) Yoga Chudamani Upanishad – Translation – VedaRahasya.Net.
(3) Yoga Chudamani Upanishad by Swami Satyadharma – The India Club.
(4) Yoga Chudamani Upanishad, , Swami Satyadharma, Yoga Publications Trust ….