So what is kundalini?
In a simple form of representation, the best and scientific way to explain kundalini is that all humans have an inbuilt system or network through which, for example blood or breadth is circulated through the body, and for some people such network is clogged and for some it is less efficient.
In case of blood circulation, in some people the artery is clogged or the blood flowing through it has a problem. Some people have a breathing problem; it is erratic, since there is a clog in the respiratory system because of presence of say mucus.
Likewise humans and animals alike, a system is present where in the feed to the senses happening through the neural network by way of Neurotransmitters is cyclically sent back to the brain. This system works for all of us to some level of efficiency and happens when we sleep in an involuntary manner. In a simplified way to have this activated in a conscious state helps us tap into the feedback mechanism providing us better insights from the inputs. The higher the efficiency of the system the better is the output from the system. Some people call these physic abilities either way it is nothing but proper and efficient and appropriate processing of information which intern increases the efficiency of the neural network in totality. The memory the neural network carries for example is based on the experience in one’s life and is also depended on the experience the soul present inside every individual, which has gone through multiple levels of metamorphosis and this memory lies dormant with in us. In other world we with a properly trained center nervous system are limitless in knowledge. (For people who do not believe in the presence of a soul let us limit this to the enhanced performance of the central nervous system.)
This feedback system happening through the neural network happening involuntarily can be channelized in a voluntary manner making the neurotransmitter pass through specific node points present in the central nervous system. These node points are traditionally called as chakras. Each of these node points have their own information processing mechanism which again happen involuntarily, giving rise to specific type of ability or sense with in the individual. In case of a fire your hand moves away from it and you later realize that the hand had moved without your conscience asking it to do so. This will be a typical example of involuntary behavior triggered by one of the nodes in the central nervous system. In a common man’s perspective taming of these involuntary behaviors and converting them as voluntary so that proper benefits can be reaped is what you may call as awakening of the kundalini, but this is not the ultimate goal and the true goal will be realized when the process is started.
As indicated in the earlier, there is a recycling that happen, for men who practice hatayoga, there is one more recycling that happens where in the divine nectar travels through the central nervous system and gets discharged through the rear of the throat into the rear of the palate. The person who has reach this level of yoga practice will not feel hunger and the necessity to eat or drink will seize to exist. Either way let us focus on the topic which is on hand.
How can one understand that the process has initiated inside him or her. There are simple symptoms that tell us that the process has got initiated few are listed below.
During meditation if you have divine visions, experience ecstatic smell, taste, ecstatic touch, or hear ecstatic sounds. You receive instructions from within. These indicate that the Kundalini Shakti has been awakened.
When there is throbbing or ticking like a clock ticks in-between the anus and the sexual organ, when your hairs stand on their roots, understand that Kundalini has awakened.
When the breath stops without any effort, know that Kundalini Shakti has become active. When you feel currents of rising through the spine to the top of your head, when you experience bliss, when you repeat Om automatically, when there are no thoughts of the world in the mind, know that Kundalini Shakti has awakened.
When, in your meditation, the eyes become fixed on, the middle of the eyebrows effortlessly, know that Kundalini has become active.
When you feel vibrations of energy in different parts inside your body, when you experience jerks like the shocks of electricity, know that Kundalini has become active.
During meditation when you lose track of your body and the presence of your body is not felt, when your eyelids become closed and do not open in spite of your exertion, when electric-like currents flow up and down the nerves, know that Kundalini has awakened.
When you meditate, when you get inspiration and insight into things which you have never really understood, all doubts disappears and a clarity comes forth into you and you understand automatically and clearly the meaning of the Vedic texts, know that Kundalini has become active.
When your body becomes light like air, when you have a balanced mind in perturbed condition, when you possess inexhaustible energy for work, know that Kundalini has become active.
When you get divine intoxication, when you develop excellent power of oration, know that Kundalini has awakened.
When you involuntarily perform different Asanas or poses of Yoga without the least pain or fatigue, know that Kundalini has become active.
The awakening of kundalini is a very important, pleasant experience in life. If you can see and experience something more than what you can generally see and experience through your senses, you are indeed fortunate. But at the same time, if you have such experiences without adequate preparation, you may be startled, frightened and confused. Therefore, before the actual awakening of kundalini occurs, it is better to experience some mild awakenings in the chakras first.
Why do we call it as a risk? Imagine if a common man is asked to compete with a Olympic sprinter in a 100 meters sprint, by the time the sprint is over the person who has not accustomed his body for such a grueling task will be left exhausted, panting for poor life that may be hanging inside him with last few thin strings of thread attached. Just by pushing the body to its extremities without getting it accustomed to such a task leaves you desperate. Imaging what will happen if you push not just your body but along with it your brain and its associated central nervous system. This is for sure no one would wish for.
So is the risk so huge?
Nowadays, if you travel by motor car at a very high speed, you do not really feel anything unusual, but if a man did it a hundred years ago when there was no adaptation to speed, he would have felt very giddy. Similarly, if a sudden awakening takes place and you are not used to the experience, you may become disoriented. You will not be able to cope with the radical changes in perception or with the contents of the unconscious mind welling up into the consciousness. But if you have been practicing yoga and meditation, and have experienced slight awakenings previously, you will be better able understand what is happening and cope with it easily.
When the body in totality is purified by the prerequisite practice, when the mind is purified, when the breadth is brought under control through the practices of pranayama and proper breathing technique and the diet is pure and balanced, at that time, awakening of kundalini takes place without any incident.
But with those who are in a hurry to awaken kundalini and who take to any practice in a haphazard manner without going through the preliminaries, and who do not take care of their diet, there will be some problems because they do not know how to control and utilize the fantastic energy they are unleashing.
There are so many talk about the dangers of awakening and dark hints about people going crazy or developing disturbing powers. This is not true. Everything in life is risky and there are far more dangers in ordinary daily life than what you will encounter on the path of kundalini.
Every time you walk across the street or travel by car or plane, you take a risk. In the pursuit of desires, passions and ambitions, people take great risks every day without thinking twice about it. Yet they allow the relatively minor risks of kundalini to deter them from pursuing the supreme goal of life itself.
When a woman discovers she is pregnant, does she think it might be dangerous for her to have a child? She might die! She may have to have a cesarian! She may lose her figure for life! She may become seriously ill! Does a woman think like this and decide she doesn't want a child at all? No. Then why to think like this about kundalini?
Kundalini practices is for sure no more dangerous than many of the activities people engage in for the sake of thrills, sport or altered states of consciousness. The risks are not nearly as great as those associated with LSD, hashish, marijuana and alcohol, which are commonly used by many people in their everyday life. Those who practice kundalini yoga are assured of attaining states of expanded consciousness which are safer, smoother, more comprehensible and longer lasting.
The science of kundalini yoga has its own inbuilt safety mechanisms. If you perform asanas or pranayama incorrectly, your body will immediately force you to stop practicing. In the same way, when kundalini awakening takes place and you are not prepared to face it, the body will puts obstacles in your way. If ever you become scared and want to stop the process of kundalini awakening, all you have to do is revert to a gross lifestyle. Just revise all your passions, dreams and worldly ambitions.
Just imagine that you eat something that has upset your digestive system, your body immediately has an inbuilt system which will get rid of it by making you feel nausea and will purge itself by way of vomiting or by way of diarrhea or any other means. The process of vomiting and diarrhea is a system by which the body purges and cleans and is not a disease by itself.
Likewise the body has an inbuilt system to correct its balance and this will set in to maintain the equilibrium. So please be rest assured that if you proceed slowly, sensibly and systematically being aware of your bodies needs and listening to it every step, there is no harm that can be bestowed upon you.
Kundalini in the masculine body it is in the perineum, between the urinary and excretory organs. In the female body its location is at the root of the uterus, in the cervix. This center is traditionally known as mooladhara chakra and it is actually a physical structure. It is a small gland which you can even take out and press. This is done in some tantaric massage therapies as well.
However, kundalini is a sensory perception that is dormant in a human being, and even if you press the glands or the nerve center, it will not activate. To activate this nodal point you must prepare yourself through proper techniques. You must practice asanas, pranayama, and meditation.
Then, when you are able to force your internal breadth into the seat of kundalini, the energy wakes up and makes its way through sushumna nadi, the central nervous canal, to the brain. As kundalini ascends, it passes through each of the chakras which are interconnected with the different silent areas of the brain. With the awakening of kundalini there is an explosion in the brain as the dormant or sleeping areas start blossoming like flowers. This is why the activated sahasrara chakara is depicted with a 1000 petal lotus blossoming. Therefore, kundalini can be technically equated with the awakening of the silent areas of the brain and the central nervous system.
We are all at different stages of sensory awakening or perception. Not all of us are the same. In some of us kundalini may have already reached swadhisthana, manipura or anahata chakra. If this is so, whatever sadhana you do now might start an awakening in anahata or some other chakra. However, awakening of kundalini in mooladhara chakra is one thing, and awakening in sahasrara, the highest center of the brain, is another. Once the multi-petalled lotus of sahasrara blossoms, a new consciousness opens up.
Our present consciousness is dependent, as the human mind and intellect depends on the information supplied by the five senses, the mind and intellect level of awareness is limited. However, when the super consciousness emerges, experience becomes completely independent and knowledge also becomes completely independent of the primary five senses, this stage is what in other words called as all Seeing Eye.
In the Christian tradition, the terms "the Path of the Initiates" and "the Stairway to Heaven" used in the Bible, refer to kundalini's ascent through sushumna nadi. The ascent of kundalini and ultimately, the descent of spiritual grace, are symbolized by the cross. This is why Christians make the sign of the cross at ajna, anahata and vishuddhi chakras, for ajna is the center where the ascending consciousness is transcended and anahata is where the descending grace is made manifest to the world.
Whatever happens in spiritual life, it is related to the awakening of kundalini. This is the final goal of every form of spiritual life, whether you call it samadhi, nirvana, moksha, or whatever, is in fact awakening of kundalini.
Once you have reached this point, you see everything, you hear everything, you understand everything but one thing for sure this is a boon as well as a curse. Some times in this process you feel that you are struck, like a whale struck in a pond or a well this needs to be overcome mentally. This is also a reason for some people who practice its preferable to be in an ashram or in the midst of people who are in the same or higher level of development.
The word kundalini refers to the shakti or power when it is in its dormant potential state, but when it is manifesting, you can call it Devi, Kali, Durga, Saraswati, Lakshmi or any other name according to the manifestation it is exhibiting before you.
When kundalini has just awakened and you are not able to handle it, it is called Kali. When you can handle it and are able to use it for beneficial purposes and you become powerful on account of it, it is called Durga.
According to yoga philosophy, Kali, the first manifestation of the unconscious kundalini is a terrible power; it completely subdues the individual soul. This is what is represented by Kali standing on Lord Shiva. It sometimes happens that by mental instability some people get in contact with their unconscious body and see inauspicious, ferocious elements - ghosts, monsters, etc.
When Kali, the unconscious power of human, is awakened and further refined she goes up to meet the further manifestation, being Durga, the super conscious, bestowing glory and beauty on the individual.
there is also one more trap. A trap that is far greater and deeper. This is a trap is created by an individual onto him or herself. As the process of evolution takes place when an individual attains the ability to understand, see, hear, visualize, contemplate and govern things what a normal person is unable to comprehend, this creates a feeling inside the individual that he is superior. This intern leads to a chain of events that boost the individual’s Ego and inadvertently traps the individual and deprives the individual of the final fruit.
This is why in eastern philosophy a system is set up where in an individual seeker is always a disciple and lets goes of all his worldly belongings, whatever he may attain, whatever he may know, whatever he may gain or for the matter of fat whatever he may lose, it is not his as it is leant from or absorbed by the master.
The individual is obligated and indebted to his master all through. This way the seeker starts as a disciple, lives as a disciple and ends as a disciple, humble all through his existence.
The raising of the kundalini is the one and only spiritual thing that can happen to an individual, the purpose of our existence is to understand, enhance this process and merge with the omnipresent or cosmic conscience whatever we may call it.
Key to the path of the enlightened is by opening the chakras. The location of the chakras is indicated in the image above. However we need to note that we all are individuals and physically each one of us is different.
Not everyone has the shame shape of eyes, ears or nose. So there will be minor shifts in the locations of the charkas depending on the individuals build. However, these minor shifts are immaterial and as the process begins, the locations will be understood.
All matter and living beings have this chakra system, so what makes us human beings unique is that we spend maximum amount of the time holding our spine erect aligning it along the gravitational force of the earth. This makes us unique and the process of rising of the kundalini faster and unique in human beings. The nature of the kundalini sakthi is to flow against the gravitational pull of the earth similar to the tendency of a salmon swimming against the flow of the river.
Traditionally there are multiple ways of awaking and raising the kundalini sakthi. But it must start by opening the chakras and energizing them. By way of stating that the chakras need to be opened, we mean that the locations must be identified and by way of stating that energizing we mean that the chakras bust be strengthened. Like an athlete strengthens the bone and muscle to accomplish a specific task.
Out of the multiple ways present we will discuss few methods listed below which would be apt and easy to understand.
4. Chanting of mantra Bejams
Each one of these method has a specific science behind it and as we proceed further will post in detail on each one of them.
AND NOW PART 7
As we have seen the activation of the root chakra from the five techniques let us understand the details of Mudras, Chanting of mantra Bejams and Meditation as these have been less discussed about.
Mudras are specific body positions that are adopted to achieve a specific result.
As per the eastern philosophy, all mater is made up of Panchaboothas.
The word Pancha means five and bootha in this context meaning constituents.
These constituents are
These five constituents reflect and create and govern the following with a human being for example.
Five Sense Organs (Eye, Ear, Nose, Tongue, Skin.), Five Functions Of Sense (Vision, Hearing, Smell, Taste, Touch), Five sensory perceptions namely (Smell, Taste, Sight, Touch, Hearing) and Five Intellectual Faculties (Manam-Mind, Bhuddhi- Intellect, Siddham- Perfection, Ahankaram -Pride, Anubhava - Wisdom by self-realization or in other words intuition.)
So by balancing, re balancing and reorienting the five constituents within us the effects of theses constituents can also be altered. This is accomplished by managing these five constituents individually or in combination.
Our five fingers represent these five elements and performing specific hand pose reorients these five constituents accordingly. Additionally each of the mudras also creates and activates the corresponding nerve centers similar to acupuncture.
Chanting of mantra Bejams:
Mantr Bejams are Sanskrit words or sound that is repeated.
The word Bejam also means seed.
So to understand properly these sounds we make are like a seed that we sow in the soil of our five elements that intern grow and flourishes within us.
When you throw a pebble into water, it produces circular ripples. In the same way, when you repeat a mantra over and over again, the sound force gathers momentum and creates vibrations.
When you repeat the mantra millions and billions of times, it permeates every part of your brain and purifies the whole physical, mental and emotional body.
In order to understand how sound effects, regulates and balances the energy inside us we need to understand sound further.
Sound can be divided into four primary divisions which are,—
Para which activates and resonates only in Prana or the soul,
Pasyanti which activates and resonates in the mind,
Madhyama which activates resonates in the Indriyas (The five senses),
and Vaikhari which activates and resonates in articulate expression.
Some of these sounds are heard and some are out of the human range of hearing.
When we ask about resonation, to any structural engineer or a physics person they would say that all mater have their natural frequency with which it oscillates.
Likewise each of our chakras have a natural frequency with which they oscillate the frequencies of the individual chakras are
Root Chakra G -16c/3107 Hz,
Svadhisthana or Sacral Chakra Ab +32c/3367 Hz,
Manipura or Solar Plexus Chakra B +38c/2020 Hz,
Anahata or Heart Chakra C# -31c/2178 Hz,
Throat Chakra C# +33c/2260 Hz,
Ajna Chakra A +10c/3540 Hz,
Sahasrara or Crown Chakra F -26c/2753 Hz
So by chanting the syllables we are activating the corresponding chakras and strengthening it.
This is how the chanting of the mantras work.
This also is accomplished in tradition using Singing bowls, bells or the dungchen, the Tibetan long horn.
In the next post we will discuss about meditation and how this works and understand the process with a scientific perspective before we proceed further.
stay tuned ;-) love and peace be on to ALL