Human Spiritual Structure: Kundalini
Notes in progress © 1998-2002 Alan McAllister  

[Spiritual Structure Home] [Whole Being Explorations
Host Site
[Subscribe Here]

The final expression of the extroversial phase of the circle of creation, the fullest expression of Prakrti in the human body is the muladhara chakra at the base of the spine, which controls the crudest aspect of existence, the solid factor. This is the point where Prakrti is most static. [AS]

This is the seat of Bhavanii Shakti, the basic energy of Prakrti in the human being lies asleep, dormant, in the form of a coiled serpent. This energy, waiting to be awakened for the final journey back to the supreme is called the kundalini. She is referred to as kula, which means the `container of the body', as this refers to the muladhara chakra, and as the force of fundamental negativity, as the return journey is said to be negative.[AS]

Swami Rama talks of the Kundalini as being a reservoir of latent, or potential, prana, as opposed the the much lesser active prana that we use in our daily physical existence. Switching the flow of prana from the Ida and Pingala into the Sushumna, by removing a block at the base of the spine, awakens the Kundalini and lets it rise up the spine. [SB]

The main goal of meditation ( sadhana is the raising of this energy alone the spine, piercing the chakras along the way, and finally merging into the Cosmic energy in the sahasrara chakra at the crown of the head. Practices and theory related to this process can be found in most of the world religious traditions, including Christianity, Judism, Taoism, and Buddhism, as well as in the Yogic and Tantric.[CAS]

It is the samskaras and their expression via the vrttis in each chakra that block the path of the kundalini up the susumna (the main nadi along the spine). As one practices meditation these bondages, which arise in the mind, are gradually removed allowing the kundalini to rise through the chakras. This rise of the kundalini corresponds to the whole spiritual journey, and the channeling of the energies of the body higher and higher, until they merge back into the Godhead. [CAS]

Awakening (Initiation)

A mantra given by a true guru has the power to awaken the sleeping kundalini. When used in this fashion, as an initiation, the mantra should be received verbally directly from the guru. It can then directly `strike', vibrate, the dormant energy in the muladhara chakra. As long as the mantra is repeated by the sadhaka the kundalini will remain awake and can continue to rise. Once the repetition stops the kundalini descends and becomes dormant again. If the mantra is continuously repeated (mentally) then the kundalini is always awake. It is only when the kundalini is awake that the mind can enter the fourth state of consciousness, nirvikalpa samadhi or turiiya. This is the state of non-duality.[CAS]

There are two aspects to initiation: diipanii shakti, which allows the sadhaka to visualize the mantra in the mind. This is necessary for the mantra to be effective. The second is Mantra caetanya, whereby the whole of the Cosmic citta is also vibrated. This is what gives the mantra its true power, and can only be accomplished by a mahakoala guru. [CAS]

The Rising Kundalini

Once awakened the kundalini begins to work its way up through the chakras with the goal of merging into the Cosmic Consciousness seated in the sahasrara chakra at the crown of the head.[CAS]

As made very clear in Kopi Krishna's account of his experience of the rising kundalini, this is a very powerful force, which if not channeled properly can cause the body harm and even lead to death. His experience indicates that when the kundalini starts to rise it is possible for it to enter any of the three nadis along the spine; the Susumna, the Ida, or the Pingala. The proper channel is the Susumna and if it enters one of the other two then it can cause severe problems, in his case, having entered the Pingala, it came close to burning up his body with fever before he managed to shift it back to the proper center channel.[LK]

His subsequent experience showed clearly that the processes which expand the mind also adjust the physcial body, so that it can hold and support the expanded consciousness. The kundalini was felt to race through the body working on the nerves and the various organs to adjust them to hold and support his expanding consciousness.[LK]

The purpose of many of the auxiliary yogic practices (e.g. diet) and even some of the limbs of astanga yoga (e.g. asanas and pranayama) are involved in preparing the body for this energy, and easing the process of transformation. In particular the nadis must generally be purified and strengthened, to safely carry the increased flows of energy.

It is important to note that Gopi Krishna's experiences also showed why mental purification is as necessary as physical. [LK]

Leadbeater states that as the kundalini is initially awakened a dull glow is experienced at the coccyx, or in the abdomen. As the kundalini rises it burns "etheric dross" around the spinal cord. This is said to be a painful process (see Kopi Krishna's comments above). As it rises through the head and expands into the atmosphere there is a only temporary loss of consciousness and slight fatigue. Once awakened proper control is important. Generally each chakra is activated by concentration and an infusion of prana, then the kundalini is wakened and directed to the chakra. The order of working the chakras varies with the individual and this close supervision of a Guru is necessary. As the kundalini passes through the chakras they are awakened along with various astral powers and abilities. When the seventh chakra is awakened the kundalini can pass easily through all the others, ordinary consciousness is transcended and bliss is experienced. [TC]

Leadbeater states that one must be properly prepared before awakening the kundalini. This preparation is of physical and moral nature. The development of selfless love and service to society are necessary, as is the guidance of a guru. He mentions possible problems due to premature activation. These include i) damage to the physical and possibly subtler bodies, including possible death, ii) movement of the kundalini downward, activating seven lower, animal, chakras. iii) intensification of base characteristics, e.g. ambition, jealousy, selfishness. [TC]

Satyanada states that as the kundalini rises any negative or pessimistic attitudes or thoughts may cause it to descend again to the muladhara. When this happens from the manipura, or below, it can be raised again, but if this happens from the anahata it becomes very difficult to raise it again. [TC]

As the kundalini rises the sadhaka experiences qualitative differences in samadhi . In each of these the Omkara is also perceived differently. [CAS]

The Granthi

Certain of the chakras are particularly difficult to `pierce' and have been called granthi, or knots. These include Brahma Granthi ( at the manipura chakra), Vishnu Granthi ( at the anahata chakra), and Rudra Granthi, or the knot of Shiva, ( at the ajina chakra). [AS]

Brahma Granthi. The process of piercing Brahma Granthi requires firm adherence to Yama and Niyama and purity of mind and body. There may be problems with the digestive system.[CAS] This knot must be untied before the kundalini (shakti) can rise [TC].

Vishnu Granthi.

Rudra Granthi. In piercing the ajina chakra there must be extreme devotion and intense desire for the supreme. After this the sadhaka loses will power, which is why the last step to raise the kundalini to the sahasrara chakra requires the assistance of a mahakaola or sadguru. This results in nirvikalpa samadhi. [AS]

The Psychic Kundalini

In the teachings from BPI there are said to be three Kundalini channels. The first rises from a triangular structure at the first chakra, through the chakras and out the crown. The second comes up through the feet and legs, through the first and second chakras, into the third, exiting out the front of the third. The third channel comes down through the crown, sixth, fifth, fourth, into the third and out the front. Some energy also flows down the arm channels from the fifth. [MB]

The main channel is essentially the traditional Sushumna, while the second two channels are the routes of the two principle vayus, the Prana and Aprana Vayus. Note: the specific invocation of these two in Drunvalo's Merkaba meditations. [AHM]

[Previous] [Top] [Index] [Next]

Page Created, February, 1998.
Last updated February 6, 2000.
© Alan McAllister

free hit counter