top of page

Shambhavi Mudra

Shambhavi mudra, described in many yogic texts, is now often understood in a rather simplified way – concentrating at the eyebrows while performing certain asanas, mudras, or kriyas. Meanwhile, this great mudra is praised in the texts as the highest, it is compared with Vidya (higher knowledge) or Shakti (the power of the Goddess), which is inaccessible and is the secret of all secrets. This knowledge is saving and giving liberation because it is the knowledge of Shiva himself. Let's take a closer look at this mudra.

"Hatha Yoga Pradipika" says:

“When the consciousness is [focused] inside (on the inner lakshya), and the gaze, without blinking, is directed outward – this is the desired Shambhavi Mudra, hidden in the Vedas and Shastras.” [4.36]

“When yogi is in the state of chitta and prana absorbed by the inner lakshya, looks outwards with a fixed gaze, but actually sees nothing, this is truly known as the Shambhavi Mudra. Received by the grace of the Guru, it [leads] to a state beyond duality and non-duality (shunya-ashunya-vilaksana), the pulsation of the true reality of the lotus feet of Shambhu (Shiva).” [4.37]

Another Nath text, "Amanaska Yoga", adds:

“This mudra is the image of Adishakti Uma, it originated from me.” [2.11]

Shambhavi is the name of the Goddess Uma, the wife of Shiva, who is otherwise called Shambhu. That is why it is said, "She arose from me." The essence of any mudra is pratibimba, the reflection (of the light of consciousness in form). Shiva looks at Shakti and sees a reflection of his greatness, but also Shakti looks at Shiva, and plunges into him. Then she becomes Shambhavi. Thus, Shambhavi mudra is a focus on Shiva, immersion in this infinite perfect peace. The root शम् śam, from which the words Shambhu and Shambhavi come, means "rest", "stop", "be calm/satisfied". All fluctuations dissolve in this peace, you are immersed in a state where “the highest reality of Shiva shines, which cannot be described as emptiness or fullness” [Goraksha-vachana sangraha, 122]. This state is beyond duality and non-duality, or else the Nathas call it dvaita-advaita-vilaksana.

When it is said that we direct our unblinking gaze outward, it is unblinking and motionless, because it comes from the Atman, which is unchanging. That is, your pure consciousness is watching. This is not just “to roll your eyes between the eyebrows”, the initial state in which this practice is performed is important. By the way, the mid eyebrow (bhrumadhya) is not always mentioned when describing Shambhavi mudra, so it may just be a look that simultaneously sees and does not see external reality. It would be more accurate to say that in this mudra you see only Shiva both inside and outside at the same time. In this case, Shambhavi mudra is actually an analog of the Khechari or Bhairava mudra.

A glance between the eyebrows can be a good help in the initial stages of practicing this mudra because you are moving your eyes at one point, and your eyes are connected with the ida and pingala channels, with the moon and the sun. Between the eyebrows – the "third eye" – is associated with fire, with sushumna, and it turns out that you connect the moon and the sun, directing prana into the sushumna. If sushumna becomes active, then there is absorption in it, this is exactly the necessary absorption of chitta and prana, which is mentioned in the texts. It talks about inner lakshya, lakshya in this context means something Higher that you meditate on. The inner lakshya can be sushumna, Atman, the light of the true Self, the sound of Nada.


bottom of page