American Institute of Vedic Studies

HAMSA RAHASYA: The Secret of Hamsa

Shaivite Yoga and the Hamsa

 

The Hamsa is one of the key concepts in Vedic, Yogic and Tantric thought. Along with the Kundalini, it holds many secrets of deeper Yoga practices. Indeed without understanding the Hamsa, the Kundalini force cannot be properly developed or understood.

 

The Hamsa as a bird is portrayed in later Sanskrit literature as a swan, which is a symbol for Prana and the inner Self that is the highest Prana. The Hamsa in Puranic thought is the vehicle for Lord Brahma, the Creator, and his consort Sarasvati Devi as the bringers of knowledge. Yet Hamsa has other meanings and there are many forms of Hamsas back to the Rigveda where the Hamsa is primarily a solar symbol, the bird of light. Hamsa is also the shyena, the hawk or falcon that steals the Soma and takes it up from the Earth to enjoy it in the freedom of the highest Heaven.

 

The Hamsa in Tantric thought represents the individual soul or Jiva, whose life is governed by the breath, and all the dualities of body and mind that arise from it. This is because Ha and Sa are the natural sounds of the breath through inhalation and exhalation. Many forms of Pranayama follow these sounds accordingly.

 

Yet at a higher level beyond duality, Ha and Sa are the natural sounds of the Self, which is the inner breath of awareness, the unitary Prana that is Self-existent and immortal. Ha is the Self as I (aham) and Sa is the Self as that or the inner Being. Hamsa also refers to the supreme or Paramahamsa, which is the liberated soul that dwells in the state of the Supreme Shiva. In this regard, Hamsa teachings are an integral part of Shiva Yoga and Shiva is also Hamsa. Hamsa as sound and prana vibration is also Om or Pranava, of which Lord Shiva is the indicator.

 

Hamsa represents the union of Shiva and Shakti, which are Ha and Sa, Sun and Moon, Prana and Apana, the incoming and outgoing vital energies. All dualities, starting with the breath, are a reflection of the greater two-in-one power of Shiva and Shakti, which gets divided in the lower worlds.

 

In terms of Tantric Yoga practices, the Hamsa represents the Shiva principle just as the Kundalini indicates the Shakti principle. Hamsa and Kundalini must unite and move together. It is the Kundalini that carries the Hamsa up the spine. At the same time, it is the Hamsa or soul energy that turns the Kundalini into a force of spiritual aspiration and ascent.

 

As Kundalini is the serpent power or Shakti of the soul, Hamsa is like the bird or Shiva/Purusha of the soul, whose two wings are prana and mind. Hamsa is the Jiva that seeks to fly upward to heaven, the thousand petal lotus of the head. Together Kundalini and Hamsa are the feathered serpent, or the bird that flies upward holding the serpent. Yet Kundalini is not always a serpent, it is sometimes a bird, the Hamsa itself. Similarly, the Hamsa is not always a bird; sometimes it is also a serpent. Both serpent and bird indicate electrical and ascending energy. The Hamsa is an extension or expansion of the bindu or the point-focus in its movement and expansion. Yet the Nada or vibratory principle forms its wings.

 

Without this soul awakening or Hamsa Chaitanya, the “consciousness of the Hamsa,” one cannot work with Kundalini Shakti in a completely harmonious manner. If the Kundalini moves without the Hamsa, it is likely to disturb our physical and subtle bodies. It is Shakti without Shiva. First one must awaken the Hamsa in order to effectively awaken the Kundalini, though both tend to manifest together. This means to awaken as an individual soul in its perennial pursuit of the Godhead.

 

The Hamsa is the Jiva or individual soul that must take its journey back through the chakras guided by Shakti, to realize the supreme Shiva above in the thousand petal lotus of the head. The Hamsa is propelled in its ascending movement by Nada (vibration), Bindu (concentration) and Bija (mantras), and energies the Lingas (powers of stillness) and Yonis (powers of receptivity) along the way. The Hamsa carries the Soma or nectar of delight (Amrita, Ananda) up from the lower chakras to the thousand petal lotus of the head, where it can release it in a thousand streams.

 


Different Colors of Hamsas

 

Yet there are several types and colors of Hamsa, reflecting the cosmic energies that it is working with:

 

Nila Hamsa – Dark blue Hamsa, power of electrical energy or lightning, the Vidyut Hamsa, represented by the bija mantra Krim (Kreem). Here the dark blue is that of a rain cloud from which the streak of lightning arises.

Suvarna Hamsa – Golden Hamsa, the expansive power of the Sun and the heart, Surya Hamsa, represented by the bija mantra Hrim (Hreem).

Shveta Hamsa – White Hamsa, the expansive power of the Moon, the Soma Hamsa, represented by the bija mantra Shrim (Shreem).

Rakta Hamsa – Red Hamsa, the ascending force of Fire, Agni Hamsa, represented by the bija mantra Hum (Hoom).

 

These different types of Hamsas are manifestation of the same Hamsa that is the soul in all of its manifestations. The supreme Hamsa is the liberates soul that is all the Hamsas or all forms of manifestation.


Shiva and Hamsa Mantras

Hamsa as the sounds of Prana combines mantra and Prana in various forms of Hamsa Yoga. Hamsa mantras serve to awaken the inner consciousness and aid the soul in its ascension to Divinity. They are perhaps unparalleled in this regard. They are commonly used to promote Shiva awareness, to stimulate the Kundalini, and open the chakras. Below are a few examples.

 

Hamsa – used as the natural sound of the breath, particularly Ham as inhalation through the right nostril and Sa as exhalation through the left; relates to the day or solar breath.

So’ham – also used as the natural sound of the breath, particularly So as inhalation through the left nostril and Ham as exhalation through the right; relates to the night or lunar breath.

Hamsa Soham – combines both, and reflects the balanced movement of the unitary prana, through the unity of the Sun and Moon.

Shivoham – the natural resonance of the prana and mind as “I am Shiva,” the supreme Self-aware Prana.

Hamsa Soham Shivoham – Combined meaning of “I am he, he am I, I am Shiva.” This is the “Shiva Hamsa mantra.”

Om Hoom Hamsa – Adds the fiery mantra Hum with Hamsa as the solar breath to arouse the Kundalini, the Agni Hamsa Mantra. For example, Om Lam Hum Hamsa stimulates the Kundalini in the root chakra.

Om Hreem Hamsa Soham Svaha – Mantra to the Supreme Light, uses the solar mantra Hrim and the fire offering mantra Svaha; a Surya or Solar Hamsa mantra. Many other mantras can be added to this. Using the lunar mantra Shrim instead of Hrim, it becomes a Soma or lunar Hamsa mantra.

Om Hoom Hamsa Soham Svaha – Mantra to the Supreme Light emphasizing Kundalini and Agni; Agni Hamsa mantra.

To chant these mantras is the essence of Prana and Atman.

 

Dr. David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri)

Latest Articles
Articles on Yoga

The Yoga of Consciousness: The Supreme Yoga

Traditional Yoga, as defined in key Yoga texts like the Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita, is first of all a “Yoga of Consciousness”, requiring a deepening and expansion of an inner awareness. It is not a mere Yoga of outer action or bodily movements, but a Yoga of meditative

Read More »
Articles on Ayurveda

Svastha: Wellbeing in Ayurveda

Ayurveda, the Vedic science of life for all living beings, defines health and wellbeing in terms of Svastha. Svastha means abiding (stha) in one’s own Self (Sva). Yet to understand it, we must recognize that this Vedic abiding in our own nature reflects the Vedic view of the universe, which

Read More »
Articles on Vedic Counseling

Calming Emotional Turbulence

Emotions are powerful forces of nature, not just our own personal reactions. For example, anger is much like fire. When you are angry, it is not your anger, but anger is expressing itself through you, as it does through other creatures. Like fire the force of anger has a destructive

Read More »
Articles by Yogini Shambhavi

Shakti Sadhana and Divine Grace

Shakti Sadhana by Yogini Shambhavi   All of our lives should be a Shakti Sadhana, a cultivation of the Yoga Shakti on all levels outwardly and inwardly. For this we are always supported by Mother Nature who is the very embodiment of Shakti for us. Shakti sadhana is not about

Read More »
Articles on Vedic Astrology

Karma, DNA of Our Soul

By Dr David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) Karma, meaning action, is a Vedic term for explaining the reincarnating soul’s evolution from life to life. Karma is portrayed as the effect of our individual actions, extending from past lives to present and future lives. It is often regarded as a force

Read More »
Articles on Ayurveda

Ayurveda and the Mind: Keys to Yoga and Ayurveda Psychology

Ayurveda is inherently a psychological as much as a physical system of medicine. Its scope of practice includes both physical (sharirika) and mental (manasika) diseases. Therefore, we cannot really understand Ayurveda without looking at its view of the mind and consciousness. As Ayurveda holds that diseases arise more from our

Read More »
Articles on Yoga

The Upanishadic Connection to Neuroscience

Upanishadic sages thousands of years ago understood the secrets of neuroscience, but going beyond the physical body to higher levels of consciousness, ultimately transcending the manifest universe. Vedic Deities (Devatas) can be defined relative to mind, sensory, pranic, and motor functions that can easily be correlated to the workings of

Read More »
Articles on Vedic Counseling

Transcending Our Two Dimensional Media World

  We spend our time looking at small flat screens, which are not only limited in size but in the process of viewing them we lose the depth vision of the third dimension. We are gradually conditioning our minds to the limited perception of a two dimensional world to define

Read More »
Articles on Vedic Counseling

Psychological Immunity and How to Measure it

American Institute of Vedic Studies
American Institute of Vedic Studies
Psychological Immunity and How to Measure it
/

We all know the importance of physical immunity. This is our ability to resist disease, ward off pathogens, endure the dualities of heat and cold and seasonal changes, have physical strength and stamina, slow down the aging process and heal our bodies from within relative to injuries or chronic diseases.

Read More »
Articles on Vedic Counseling

Shravana: The Vedic Yoga of Listening

There is an inner state of listening, called Shravana in Vedanta, where the mind is silent, receptive and non-reactive, allowing it to access a higher level of communication and learning. This meditative of listening called Shravana holds an inner space in which the real meaning of anything said can be

Read More »
INTERNATIONALLY BEST SELLING
SPECIAL HOLIDAY DISCOUNTS!Get additional $50 discount on CERTIFICATION COURSES!

This season of the renewal of the Light, treat yourself or your loved ones with an additional $50.00 discount on on any of our Online Vedic Certificate courses.

Learn Yoga, Ayurveda, Mantra and Meditationwith Dr David Frawley

Take an inspiring online program on classical Yoga and traditional Ayurveda for body, mind and consciousness. Learn how to heal yourself according to a higher awareness that you can share with all! This many-sided course covers all eight limbs of Yoga according to Ayurvedic principles, from asana and pranayama to deeper practices of mantra and meditation.