The Serpentine Power is called Kundalini-Sakti on account of its spiral-like working in the body of the Yogi developing the power in himself. It is an electric fiery occult power, the mighty pristine force underlying all organic and inorganic matter. The Yoga which treats of this Kundalini-Sakti is called Kundalini-Yoga (for detailed particulars on the subject vide my book “Kundalini Yoga.”).
Kundalini is the Divine Cosmic Energy in bodies. Siddhi or perfection in Yoga is achieved by arousing this Supreme Force which is lying dormant in the Muladhara Chakra at the base of the spinal column in the form of a serpent with 3 1/2 coils. That Yogi in whom the Kundalini is awakened and taken towards the top of the head is the real King of kings or Emperor of emperors. He has all divine powers. All Siddhis and Riddhis (minor powers) roll under his feet. He can command Nature. He can command the five elements. His glory is indescribable.
Before proceeding to know something about the Chakras and the Kundalini-Sakti it is essential to know something about the spinal column and the Nadis or nerve-currents. The spinal column is called Meru-danda, and it extends from the Kanda (situated between the anus and the root of the reproductory organ) to the base of the skull. There are two Nadis on either side of the spinal column called Ida and Pingala, and between these two runs a hollow canal called Sushumna at the lower extremity of which lies the Kundalini-Sakti sleeping a trance-sleep (Yoga Nidra). Ida starts from the right testicle and Pingala from the left, and they both meet the Sushumna at the Muladhara Chakra. Ida flows through the left nostril and Pingala through the right. Ida is cooling, while Pingala is heating. Sushumna which originates at the Muladhara Chakra runs right up to the top of the head. Ida and Pingala indicate time; Sushumna is the devourer of time. When the Prana flows through the Sushumna, “the most highly beloved of the Yogins”, the mind becomes quite steady. The Yogi defies death by devitalising Ida and Pingala and taking the Prana through the Sushumna to the crown of the head or Brahmarandhra (Seat of Brahman). When the Kundalini is awakened, it forces its way through the Sushumna, and its progress is characterized by supernatural visions, acquisition of various special powers, knowledge, peace and bliss. When the Kundalini is taken to the Sahasrara Chakra (at the top of the head). The Yogi enjoys Supreme Bliss.
When the Kundalini enters the Sushumna Nadi, the Prana also enters the Sushumna of itself along with the Kundalini. Regular practice of Uddiyana Bandha awakens the Kundalini and enables it to rise upwards along the Sushumna. This is a powerful Yogic Kriya. All Kundalini enthusiasts should practice this daily. The practice of Yoga-Asanas, Pranayama, Mudras and Bandhas is prescribed only to awaken the Kundalini. These are all potent practices in rousing this great pristine Force.
A detailed knowledge of Nadis (psychic nerves or astral tubes for carrying Prana) and the Chakras (lotuses or psychic nerve-currents) is of paramount importance for all students of Kundalini-Yoga. The psychic nerve lodged in the hollow of the spinal column is the chief or medium Nadi. It is called the Sushumna Nadi. Just as electricity is stored up in dynamos, so also the vital force (Prana) is stored up in the Chakras and the Sushumna Nadi. Prana plays a vital part in all psycho-physical processes. The first attempt on the part of the young Kundalini-Yogi is the purification of the Nadis which will lead to the opening of the Sushumna which generally remains closed up in all worldly-minded people.
All students of Kundalini-Yoga should possess a clear and sound knowledge of the six Chakras. Then only they can contemplate on these Chakras. Meditation on these Chakras brings psychic powers. A Chakra means a centre of spiritual energy. The different plexuses in the human body correspond tentatively to the different Chakras in the astral (Sukshma) body. Otherwise Hatha-Yoga is impossible. There is difference of opinion as to where the Chakras are really located. Doctors dissect the physical body. They are not able to find the centres, lotuses and so forth. Some say that the Chakras are situated only in the astral body. Some others maintain that the Chakras are developed during the course of meditation through the force of Dhyana (contemplation), and that they are not in the astral body. This is the real truth viz., that the Chakras are in a dormant state in the Pranayama Kosha (vital air-sheath) of the astral body and that they become opened owing to intense and deep meditation.
There are six subtle Chakras or centres or lotuses in this Sushumna Nadi. These are Muladhara, Svadhishthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddha and Ajna. Above all these there is the Sahasrara, the chief of all the centres. All the Chakras are intimately connected with the Sahasrara Chakra. Hence it is not included as one among the six Chakras. Sahasrara is situated above all the six Chakras at the top of the head.
The MULADHARA CHAKRA is situated between the root of the reproductory organ and the anus at the base of the spinal column. It is here, as I have already mentioned, that the two Nadis, Ida and Pingala, meet the Sushumna. The Muladhara Chakra is two fingers above the anus and two fingers below the genitals and four fingers in width. It has four petals of crimson hue. In the pericarp of this Chakra there is a beautiful triangle in which the sleeping Kundalini of the form of a coiled-up serpent dwells. She holds her tail in her mouth and covers the mouth of the Brahma-dvara (the gateway to the Seat of Brahman) with her head. The Yogi who concentrates on the Muladhara Chakra gets full knowledge of the Kundalini and the various means to rouse it to action. As soon as the Kundalini is roused, the Yogi gets the power to rise up above the ground. He gets full control over his breath, mind and semen. His Prana flows through the Sushumna and all his sins are destroyed. He gets knowledge of the past, present and future. He is immensely happy.
The SVADHISHITHANA CHAKRA is located within the Sushumna at the root of the sexual organ. It has six petals and is pure blood-like red (vermilion) in colour. Concentration on this Chakra frees the Yogi from fear of water. He gets several other psychic powers, intuitional knowledge and freedom from the faults of the mind and the senses. He becomes an object of love and adoration to all beautiful goddesses, and recites all the Sastras unknown to him before. He becomes the conqueror of death and moves throughout the universe fearlessly.
The MANIPURA CHAKRA is situated within the Sushumna in the region of the navel and is the third Chakra from the Muladhara. It is of the colour of dark clouds and has ten petals. It is the solar-plexus or “city of gems” because it is very brilliant. Meditation on this excellent Chakra bestows power to destroy and create worlds. The Goddess of Speech, Saraswati, ever dwells in the face of the Yogi. He gets knowledge of the hidden treasures and is freed from all kinds of diseases. He has no fear at all from fire. He can make gold and see Siddhas or Adepts clairvoyantly.
The ANAHATA CHAKRA is located in the Sushumna in the region of the heart. It is of deep red colour and has twelve petals. The Anahata sound, the sound of Shabda-brahman, is heard at this centre. You can clearly hear this sound if you concentrate silently at this lotus. He who concentrates on this Chakra gets full control over air. He can fly in the air, enter the body of another and become prosperous. He becomes wise and does only noble deeds. He gets cosmic love and all other divine virtues.
The VISUDDHA CHAKRA is situated at the base of the throat within the Sushumna. Its colour is smoky purple and has sixteen petals. Concentration on this Chakra enables the Yogi to attain the highest success. He does not perish even during the Pralaya (Great Deluge). He gets full knowledge of the four Vedas and becomes the knower of the three periods of time (past, present and future). He becomes eloquent, wise, enjoys peace of mind, and it is said that by his Yogic power he can move the three worlds.
The AJNA CHAKRA is situated in the Sushumna between the eyebrows. This is also known as Trikuti. This is the seat of the mind. This Chakra has two petals and is of beautiful white colour. He who concentrates on this most excellent Chakra destroys all Karmas or actions of the past lives and becomes a Jivanmukta (living liberated sage). He gets all the eight major Siddhis and the thirty-two minor Siddhis.
|The SAHASRARA CHAKRA|
The SAHASRARA CHAKRA is the thousand-petalled lotus at the top of the head and is the Abode of Lord Siva. When the Kundalini is awakened, it pierces one Chakra after another and finally unites with Lord Siva and enjoys the Highest Bliss. Now the Yogi attains super conscious state and becomes a full-blown Jnani. He drinks the Nectar of Immortality. Illustration shows the ascent of the Kundalini to the top of the head and its union with Lord Siva.
When the Kundalini is awakened, it does not directly proceed all at once to the Sahasrara Chakra. You will have to take it from one Chakra to another. You will certainly live even after it is taken to the Sahasrara. But remember that even after it is taken to the Sahasrara, it may drop down to the Muladhara at any moment! Only when you are firmly established in Samadhi, when you have attained Kaivalya, the Kundalini cannot and does not drop down. Illustration gives a rough idea as to how the Kundalini, when aroused, reaches the top of the head after piercing one Chakra after another.
Do not mistake, my dear Kundalini brothers! O ye enthusiastic and emotional young Yogins! the movement of the rheumatic winds in the back due to the chronic lumbago for the ascent of Kundalini. Do your Sadhana with patience, perseverance, cheerfulness and courage, till you get the Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
It is easy to awaken the Kundalini, but it is very difficult to take it up to the navel, to the Ajna Chakra, and thence to the Sahasrara in the head. It demands a great deal of patience and persistence on the part of the practitioner. But there is nothing impossible for a man of determination and iron-will. That Yogi who has taken the Kundalini to the Sahasrara is the real master of the forces of Nature. Generally Yogic students abandon their Sadhana on account of false satisfaction. They foolishly imagine that they have reached the goal, when they get some mystic experiences and powers. This is a mistake. Complete Asamprajnata Samadhi (Nirvikalpa Samadhi) alone can give final emancipation.
Some Yogic students ask me: “How long should one practice Sirshasana or Paschimottanasana or Kumbhaka or Maha Mudra to awaken the Kundalini? Nothing is mentioned about this point in any treatise on Yoga.” A student starts his Sadhana from the point or stage where he left in his previous birth. That is the reason why Lord Krishna says to Arjuna: “Or he may be born in a family of wise Yogins. There he recovereth the characteristics belonging to his former body and with these he again laboureth for perfection. O joy of the Kurus,” (Bhagavad-Gita Ch, VI-42, 43).
So it all depends upon the degree of purity, stage of evolution, the amount of purification of the Nadis and the Pranamaya Kosha, and above all the degree of Vairagya and yearning for liberation.
Shat-Chakras, Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna Nadis
Develop virtues like generosity, forgiveness and so forth. Mere Yogic Kriyas alone will not help you much. Do self-analysis and eradicate your faults and evil habits. Rectify your defects like selfishness, pride, jealousy, hatred, etc. Develop your heart. Share what you have with others. Do selfless service. Then alone you will get purity of mind.
In these days aspirants neglect these things and jump at once to do Yogic Kriyas for getting Siddhis. It is a serious Himalayan blunder. They have the hopeless downfall sooner or later. Therefore be careful. Mere Yogic Kriyas cannot bring in much results. Purification of the heart is very necessary. Without it no success in Yoga is possible. You should free yourself from lust, anger, greed, jealousy, hatred, egoism, vanity, attachment, delusion, etc. This is more difficult than the control of the heart or the practice of Nauli or the uniting of Prana and Apana.
Kundalini can be awakened by various methods such as Japa, devotion, Vichara (enquiry of “Who am I”), Asana, Kumbhaka, Bandhas, Mudras, and above all by the Grace of the Guru. You must become perfectly desireless and free from all earthly longings.
Many persons jump with curiosity and expectation of acquiring occult powers and rousing the Kundalini. They do Sirshasana and various other Asanas and Pranayama. But no one sticks to the practice for a sufficient length of time. They leave off the practice after a few months. This is not good. Application and tenacity, patience and perseverance are essential for sure success and acquisition of Siddhis.
My advice is: Never care for Siddhis or quick awakening of the Kundalini. Have devotion to God. Have perfect trust in Him. Have the spirit of service to humanity. The Kundalini will awaken by itself.
Awakening of Kundalini is not so easy as you may imagine. It is extremely difficult. When all desires die out, when the mind becomes absolutely pure, when all the senses are subdued, when you attain one-pointedness of mind to a considerable degree, when all the ideas of egoism and “mine-ness” melt away, the Kundalini will awaken by itself. Then alone awakening of the Kundalini is also beneficial. Therefore purify yourself first. Have full trust and faith in the Mother. She will do the needful for you at the proper time.
Be not troubled. Be not anxious, my dear friends and brothers! A glorious day is waiting to dawn on you. You will shine with full powers, nay, you will become God Himself. Laugh at all troubles and obstacles and keep your eye on the Kundalini-Sakti all the twenty-four hours. Do all you can in order to rouse her up. If purification is ordained, purify you must. What other alternative is there? Therefore do purity yourself.
O Mother Kundalini! Having pierced the six Chakras, Thou sportest with Thy consort Paramasiva in the thousand-petalled lotus of the Sahasrara Chakra all alone! Salutations unto Thee! Guide me. Give me Light and Knowledge!
Peace love harmony