City of Nine Gates!


Chakras in human body (wikipedia picture)

Research paper written by London Swaminathan

Research article No.1531; Dated  30 December 2014.

Hindus view their body as a City of Nine Gates. It is amazing to the see the same description from the days of Atharva Veda to the days of Tamil saint Pattinathar and others. It is in the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads. Hindus described the human body as a wind bag. Though they knew the body is important to attain God, they did not hesitate to leave it at any time. They knew that it is like changing one’s shirt or dress and the soul inside the body is eternal. Tamil Siddhas also sang about it.

Adi shankara in his Viveka Chudamani described the body as Ashtapuri (City of Eight). Kalidasa followed the tradition and called it as the City of Nine Gates.

Here are some interesting quotations about the body:

Atharva Veda says,

“O man, if they fully understndest thy body, having nine gates, enhance thy pleasure, otherwise thou art powerless (Book/Kanda 5- Hymn 16-9).


Lord Krishna says,

“The embodied soul, who has controlled his nature having renounced all actions by mind dwells at ease in the city of nine gates, neither working nor causing work to be done (Bhagavad Gita 5-13)

The nine gates are the two eyes, the two ears, the two nostrils and the mouth and the two organs of excretion and generation.

Katha Upanishad (V-1) and Svetasvatara Upnishad (III-18) described it the same way.

Great poet Kalidasa says,

“And who, having fixed in his heart his mind, with operations through the nine gates entirely suspended and completely  under the influence of concentration, was realizing himself  his own Self, whom the seers call the Eternal” (Kumara Sambhavam 3-50)

Tamil saint Pattinathar sings,

Having witnessed the cruel vultures hop and hop,

Adjust the feathers with their beaks

Tug and tear at the flesh, and eat it

In vociferous gaity,

You have roamed about to foster always with love

The nine holed leathern bag, alas!

(Tamil: onpathu vaay thorpai…………… Translated by Dr T N Ramamachandran)

kanchi kovanandi

Kanchi Sri Shankaracharya (1894-1994)

Kanchi Paramacharya (Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswati)

Kanchi Shankaracharya in his Madras talk on 15-10-1932 says: A great man has spoken about the wonder in the world. He says the most amazing in the world is the life breath inside one body. Even though there are nine holes to escape still the life is inside the body! Is there a more wonderful thing in the world?

Navadware  sarire asmin ayu: vasathi santhatham

Jeevath adhiadbutham thathra gachathithi kimadbhutham

Great Tamil Siddha Tirumular says

In the body with nine gates ,nine different winds enter. Those who are able to control them are great Yoga masters they have the intuition to see the places where they join. They hear different sounds inside (Tirumanthiram 638)

(Tamil line: Onpathu vaasal utaiyathor pindaththul…………)

Tamil Vaishnavite saints knwns as Alvars and Saivite saints known as Nayanmars also referred to body with nine gates. Manikkavasagar, one of the four great Saivite saints says,

I am imprisoned by the five senses in the body with nine holes which are excreting impurities – Manikkavasagar in Sivapuranam, line 54.


Tamil poetess Avvaiyar in her Vinayakar Akaval

Tamil scholars believe at least six different Poetesses with the name Avvaiyar lived at different periods. Tamil linguists can easily differentiate at least three people with the name Avvaiyar on the basis of style and language. One of them who lived in the middles ages sang on Lord Ganesh a verse with lot of Yogic information. In her ‘Vinayakar Akaval’, line 33, she prays to Lord Ganesh to help her shut down the doors of five senses and to close the nine gates with one magic spell (mantra). She prayed to Ganesh to teach her to attain wisdom/siddhi by understanding the six chakras (inside the body)  and reach a stage where there is no word, thought and deed.