My journey through spiritual life took me places I never expected even existed and conferred upon me knowledge some would deem as occult. In fact, knowledge of Kundalini has remained shrouded and relegated to the realms of mystery and closed circles for a long time now. Some of us might even think this is some kind of dark magic. However, during recent times with the “democratization” of yoga we have witnessed in the 20th century, as people have been practising many forms of yoga on a regular basis – some in a really committed and dedicated way – they have at some point or another encountered this serpent power.
It has been said that this energy remains mostly dormant throughout most or all of our lives if we remain confined to the basic necessities of life and never cross the borders to see what’s beyond. And I see yoga as a universal path to realize the beyond because we seem to connect through ourselves to something undefined which pulls us towards realization of the infinite. Along the way, all of us encounter Kundalini whether we know it explicitly or not. Even in the bhakti traditions, the 8 mystic perfections or siddhis are specifically conferred upon the bhakta by the Kundalini Shakti.
But what is Kundalini and what is its importance in yoga? Kundalini is a powerhouse of energy located at the base of the spine near the sacrum and its powerful effects are felt more conspicuously through the overwhelming force that the sexual energy can be in our lives. So the energy is technically dormant in that it is not being used from a spiritual perspective but rather to fulfil the survival instincts of our species. This means that at this point there is no effort from the part of man to tread the path of the internal nature. Here, man’s gaze is turned entirely outwards.
Kundalini comes into play when man creates the necessary environment for it and when the body reaches a point of appropriate cellular strength to be able to withstand the thousands of volts of electricity it is said to manifest. As the energy is unleashed, the serpentine force progresses in a bipolar mode through the positive Ida and the negative Pingala, both referred to as nadis or nervous pathways in the human body. For accomplished yogis, this energy progresses through the middle path, the Sushumna and causes no disturbance at all. This is acquired after months or even years of spiritual practice and under the guidance of an accomplished spiritual master. This is the safest way to arouse this energy and we need to point out that some say it is entirely optional to spiritual realization. This means not all of us necessarily encounter this serpentine force.
Without a doubt, the most telling presence of this serpentine nature is our bodies is in the double-helix structure of DNA. The DNA backbone has a structure exactly like Kundalini’s progression with the difference that DNA encodes information as matter and Kundalini encodes metaphysical experience. DNA was formerly known to the ancients as Tvasta and descriptions are found in the Rig Veda as to the aspects of this phenomenon.
Demonstrating one of the decoded hymns of the Rig Veda Dr Chandraprakash Trivedi, a Vedic Indian scientist explained, “The Tvasta (as the DNA is referred to in the Rig Veda) that gives shape to all creatures is termed as an omni form (visvarupa) and it proves that DNA is present in all living beings. The same hymn goes further and identifies the ‘Brhaspati’ which is the nucleus embedded in the DNA. Similarly, there are codes for photosynthesis, the development of eukaryotic cell, bio-geo chemical cycle, oxidation, and reduction, and even global warming, which is elucidated in Atharva Veda, which is what comes at the end of consumption of the world’s resources.” (SOURCE: http://www.dnaindia.com/bangalore/report-rig-veda-a-treasure-trove-of-transgenics-1506241)
Kundalini, apart from sharing the structure of the backbone of DNA, puts the seeker on a spiritual journey of his own. The cognizant energy confers experiences with telepathy, astral travel, sentient knowledge, access to higher dimensions of reality, beatific visions, ecstasy and so on. From my own experiences with Kundalini, I have experienced the veil of Maya lifted as I have often shared a very deep connection with nature as vibrant, thriving and teeming with life. At some point, I caught a kaleidoscopic, fractal and psychedelic sky and was enthralled by union with the Universe’s boundless, infinite and all-pervasive nature. Nature is not simply felt as something to be exploited to our benefit. It becomes part of the ecosystem of our consciousness as we intuitively start speaking to it.
Kundalini has been defined by Gopi Krishna as the evolutionary force in man. Gopi Krishna has demonstrated spontaneous mastery of languages he never learnt before his Kundalini awakening. My own encounters with this energy has felt like bolts of current throughout my entire body as it shifts the vibratory frequency of all your cells and the body becomes malleable to your will.
For people who have not yet mastered their Kundalini awakening, such experiences will be periodical. They tend to occur in specific cycles and can lead to changes in the psychic forces within. One has to be careful while awakening this force which has been described by Vadakayil, a famous blogger, as the “energy of the Universe”. In the next section, I give an overview of the 7 chakras and their specific functions. I also explain what is the influence of the rising serpent energy through these vortices of energy in our bodies that are called chakras.
I would like to end this post with a dire warning to those who are entirely new to meditation, spirituality, yoga or even bhakti. Be very careful when you tread the spiritual path: if you are not prepared for a Kundalini awakening and purposely activate the energy out of amateurism, you will definitely go through a lot of trouble. This energy is the most powerful energy that man can awaken. As such, because of its primal, raging and cathartic nature it can overpower your nervous system and actually lead to serious health problems. I will in the course of this series elaborate on how one can cope with a premature awakening.
Kundalini was kept within closed circles for this very reason. Normally, a Guru puts you through a process of sadhana (spiritual practice) and seva (service) whereby you first purify yourself from past samskaras (or karmic imprints) and vasanas (or impure desires). There is an intentional process of internal and external purification that one needs to go through first. Then the Guru will anoint you with his own Shakti, awaken your pathways and open up your chakras to be able to receive the energy WITHOUT damage to your health.
So kindly be careful and be responsible in your spiritual life. In this way, Kundalini can, instead of becoming a source of problem, become a source of liberation, enlightenment and emancipation for you.
By Krishna Leela Prakash ©
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