Sahasrara Chakra (Crown Chakra)
The final chakra in the process of Kundalini awakening is the last 'human' chakra. Tantra postulates the existence of chakras beyond human awareness: these could be chakras that the developed human could display or perhaps an super-human alien intelligence.
"Evolved" in this case is the real evolution into a higher species.
Several tantric traditions consider this to be the seventh chakra (in the Kundalini systems of seven chakras), I have presented this as the eighth principal chakra.
Awareness manifests at different levels according to the chakra that is predominantly active. Therefore, awareness also takes on various forms. Sahasrara awakening is a manifestation of all the chakras collaborating in harmony. The crown symbolizes all the other awakened chakras. It is accomplishment of pure consciousness that makes us realize how awareness is constantly over-flowing.
Sahasrara is the culmination of the progressive ascension of Kundalini. It is the crown of expanded awareness where the power of all the other chakras reside. However, when all the chakras have awakened - except sahasrara - we have still not reached true Kundalini awakening. In this context, there is no overactive crown chakra or underactive crown chakra. You should just accept that no sahasrara awakening has occurred if there is any doubt. Another analogy is 'infinity plus 1' or 'infinity minus 1' - it does not make any difference to infinity.
An awakened sahasrara is complete and absolute - there is no less or more of it!
Thus, sahasrara chakra is described as a lotus with an infinite number of petals, usually said to be red or multicolored. Sahasrara is shapeless, has shape, and is likewise beyond the principle of any shape. This can be comprehended during any form of crown chakra meditation: awareness goes from an object to the observer to the concept of awareness itself (self-awareness) and after that to the supreme observer who observes the object, observer, and the observer's self awareness. This supreme observer is oneself!
When religious people convert this supreme observer into a deity or a god, they destroy our ability to reach that level. However, thanks to Tantra we know that sahasrara is supreme consciousness of the supreme observer who is none other than myself.
In the tantric experience of infinity, we don't ponder over it as an itellectual concept but as a sensation almost as real as heat or hunger. The bindu nectar makes this possible. Time stands still or races faster than the speed of light - both sensations are united. The physical body unites with the universal consciousness and Kundalini energy fills us with existential ecstasy. At this level of Kundalini consciousness the ego manifests as the entire universe. The universe is created by the ego!
My identity has become insignificant to me and the universe has acquired an identity that I have created. The chakra system has fused into a single spiritual connection. As an egotistical person (not egoistical), I rejoice that the universe has acquired "my meaning"
The word Brahman is often used to describe a Brahmin (someone of the higher caste in the Hindu system of caste). It's actual meaning is a wise person! There's another word Brahmand that means the universe, however the word Brahman is used to describe the communion of the wise person with the universe.
Existence, Knowledge, Infinite. That is the Brahman!
When Kundalini energy is at it zenith in the crown chakra, then we attain cosmic consciousness. The Yogi who has attained ajna (sixth chakra) awakening, will still not comprehend this awakening. Sahasrara transcends logic, for logic compares one thing with another. It transcends all concepts and finds meaning in the communion of the highest awakening and the lowest forms of awareness (chakras below the root chakra).
When Kundalini Shakti reaches sahasrara, Shiva and Shakti unite to realize the self.
Self-realization is not the process of discovering oneself but of creating oneself.
This is when one attains Samadhi - the individual dies, not in the physical body but in mundane awareness.
At this time, all objects become one with the continuous flow of consciousness, especially the different ideas of one's own personality, the sub-personalities, the id, ego, superego, the husband/wife, the father/mother, the professional/businessman...
The object, the observer, and the observation become one.
In other words, there is no multiple or dual awareness. There is only single awareness.
Some have called it nirvana while others call it samadhi and still others call it Buddha or self-realization. Patanjali does not mention Kundalini but the Eightfold Path does talk about achieving awakening of the highest order. Tantra identifies technique with which to achive Kundalini Shakti and does so in a rather mechanistic way. Tantra is not judgmental nor is it a philosophy. However, enlightenment or awakening has been a goal - probably the only goal - of all Yogis. When tantric techniques were discovered, the Yogis acquired great powers. People believed these powers to be telepathy, mind-reading, teleportation, levitation, etc. This is rubbish!
The tantriks achieved the freedom to be immoral!
In the sense that, they acquired the freedom to be whatever they wanted. They also introduced several tattvas some of which transcended God. Having acquired this confidence of being god like, it's no wonder that people easily believed they could walk o water! Lack of any moral or ethical bindings also meant that tantriks could prey on people this endangering the fabric of civilized society. Hence, tantriks has to be labeled dangerous, evil, and bad! Since Kundalini chakras fell in the domain of Tantra, they couldn't be discussed openly.
Some tantriks even advocated achievement of divine consciousness through purely sensual powers: tantric sex or the Vama Marga (Left Hand Path) could enable spiritual awakening without going through any intellectual or ritualistic rigor. Imagine the horror!
Achieving divine bliss through sexual acts! The idea was as dangerous 2500 years ago as it is today!
Intellectual awareness does not come to an end suddenly. This is wakeful and logical awareness that we are referring to. Our wakeful intelligence is slowly replaced by intuitive intelligence or an intelligence that is coming from other parts of the brain. These parts had been dormant so far. The same consciousness is undergoing the experience - consciousness itself does not change but the sensations do. When Kundalini is rising consciousness is also expanding. We may not realize it - in the same way as we don't realize how our facial features have changed gradually. But look at a picture taken many years ago and you will see major differences.
The ego remains persistent throughout the process. It is fearful of its destruction, not wanting to give up the familiar; and it's also skeptical of a higher consciousness, one that is superior to itself. However, when Kundalini reaches ajna chakra the transcendence begins. The ego transforms itself. No longer insecure it finds solace in being subservient to Shiva (the idea of the Supreme Self).