Article by Gabrielle Bonneville
Extracts from “Kundalini Tantra” by Swami Satyananda Saraswati
Right from the beginning of creation, man has witnessed many transcendental happenings. Sometimes he was able to read the thought of others, or witnessed the ability to predict the future or see how one’s dreams manifest into realities. Many a times, man has pondered why some people could write music or poetry- and why others couldn’t.
During the course of one’s life, a man came to understand that within every individual there is a special form of energy. He saw that in some people this energy was dormant, in others it was evolving and in some small minority, it was very awakened. Originally, man named this energy after the gods, angels, or divinities. Then he discovered prana and he called it breath. In tantra, man called it kundalini.
What is Kundalini?
Kundalini is the source of all energy.
Whatever happens in the spiritual life- is related to the awakening of kundalini. The goal of every form of spiritual life, whether you call it samadhi, Nirvana, Moksha, Union, Liberation, is in fact awakening of kundalini.
In Sanskrit, kundal means “coil” (that which is coiled). Kinda means a deeper place, pit or cavity, The word kundalini refers to the energy or power when it is in its dormant potential state, but when it is manifesting, it is called Kali.
In tantric texts, kundalini is the primal power or energy. In modern psychology, it can be called the unconscious. It is the process of waking the energy potential within all of us or bringing the unconscious to the conscious.
Kundalini represents the coming consciousness of mankind. Kundalini is the name of a sleeping dormant potential force in the human organism and it is situated in the root of the spinal column. In the masculine, it is in the perineum, and in the female, it’s located at the root of the uterus, in the cervix. The centre is known as Mooladhara Chakra, and it is a small gland.
Kundalini is illustrated as a sleeping serpent coiled three and a half times. The serpent is a symbol of consciousness
The meaning of the three coils of the serpent is as follows:
1. The first coil is the three Matras of OM – past, present, and future;
2. The second coil is the three states of consciousness (Gunas) – waking, sleeping, and dreaming;
3. The third coil is the three types of experiences: a subjective experience, sensual experience, and absence of experience.
The half coil represents the state of transcendence, where there is neither sleeping, waking, or dreaming.
So, the three and a half coil signifies the total experience of the universe and the experience of transcendence.
How do you Awaken Kundalini?
To awaken kundalini, you must prepare yourself through yogic practices such as asanas, pranayama, Kriya Yoga, and Meditation. When you are able to direct your energy into the seat of kundalini, the energy wakes up and makes its way through Sushuma Nadi (the psychic passage in the center of the spinal cord) ascends through each chakra and its way waking up different silent parts of the brain. In essence, Kundalini is the process of waking up silent areas of the brain.
Sustainable practice is key. To activate silent parts of the brain, one must practice pranayama and mantra regularly and consistently over a long period of time.
A genius is someone who has awakened one or more of the dormant areas of the brain. Someone can get a spark of genius, but that is not total awakening. If the awakening is not sustained, those centres of the brain return to dormancy.
The steady practice of mantra, which requires time and a lot of patience. Get guided into your sadhana and practice it incessantly which will help you develop the vision of higher force and bale you to live amidst the sensualities of life with indifference to them.
When you repeat a mantra, the sound force gathers momentum and creates vibrations in the ocean of the mind. It permeates every part of your brain and purifies your entire emotional, spiritual, and physical being.
Tapasya is a psycho-emotional process through which the aspirant tries to set in motion a process of metabolism that will eradicate the habits that create weakness and obstruct the awakening of willpower. This will diminish the space between resolution and execution.
Austerity is one of the most explosive methods of awakening. Bad habits must be destroyed at their psychic state to gather sufficient strength for manifestation. We must face our instincts, our temptations, our desires, and cultivate willpower. We must transcend the assaults of our satanic and tamalstic forces, years of cultivations of habitual habits and attachments. With austerity, all of our samskaras and karmas will rise to the surface. By overcoming them, we may develop extrasensory perceptions, read the minds of others and can suppress others by mere thought, or see our own materialize instantly.
Aushadi is the use of herbs to help visualize divine beings, holy rivers, mountains, sacred places, and help us be guided from other dimensions. The effects of herbs can help separate the self, from the body, and travel astrally.
Self-surrender is to not aspire for anything through a deep belief and knowing that the awakening will happen in its own right and time.
How do you know that you are Awakening Kundalini?
When kundalini wakes up your mind and your priorities and attachments change. All your karmas undergo a process of integration. Someone with awakened kundalini feels that his experiences are very much under his control, has a clarity of vision, high quality of thinking, and a sublime philosophy. His attitude of life is unusual as it is completely detached, and does not react emotionally to many things in life.
Once awakened man is no longer a mere physical body operating with lower nubs and low voltage prana, instead, every cell in the body is shared with high voltage. When total kundalini awakens, man becomes a junior God, an embodiment of divinity.
How is Kundalini Related to the Arts?
Many artists have an unconscious waking of kundalini through practicing art. The energy of Kundalini is one energy, but it expresses itself differently through the individual psychic centres or chakras. First in the gross instinctive ways, and then in the progressively more subtle ways. Refining the expression of this energy at higher and more subtle levels of experience represents the ascent of human consciousness to its highest possibilities.
Kundalini is the creative energy, it is the energy of self-expression. Just as in reproduction, life is created. For humans, we express this energy in the way we design our lives. For Einstein, he created the theory of relativity. For musicians, it’s composing music. For movement artists, it’s dance. It is the same energy which is expressed in all parts of life, whether it’s building a business or reaching a vision you aspire for. These are all expressions of the same energy.
Awakening kundalini, or our creative force, is the prime prose of human incarnation. All the pleasures of sensual life, which we are enjoying now, are intended only to enhance the awakening of kundalini amidst the adverse circumstances of human life.