The two snakes which, in this tantric depiction, symbolize cosmic energy, are wound around an invisible lingam (phallus). In Sanskrit
, the microcosmic form of this universal energy is called kundalini
. The vital stream of the awakened kundalini ascends along the spine via the central, subtle channel, the susumna, to the center of the brain. To the left, is the lunar channel, ida, to the right the solar channel, pingala. The three channels come together again in the area around the eye brows.