Kundalini – In our body we have five elements. The element responsible for production of the elixir of life (prana) is earth. The element of air is used as a churning rod, through inhalation and exhalation, and distribution is through the element of ether. Ether is space, and its quality is that it can contract or expand. When you inhale, the element of ether expands to take the breath in. In exhalation, the ether contracts to push out toxins. Two elements remain: water and fire. If there is a fire, water is used to extinguish it. This gives us the idea that fire and water are opposing elements. With the help of the elements of earth, air and ether, a friction is created between water and fire, which not only generates energy but releases it, just as water moving turbines in a hydroelectric power station produces electricity. To generate electricity, the water has to flow at a certain speed. An inadequate flow will not produce electricity.
In its hidden state, the kundalini is said to be sheer potentiality. It embraces much more than that. It activates our capacity for unity with everything in life. At the same time, it creates a lot of changes on the bodily level. The vibration of our cells, brain, organs, and blood flow is activated to a new level of light. It nourishes and rejuvenates our entire organism and awakens the capacity of our body to live life fully. Now scientists are busy exploring ways of freeing up the energy stored in matter by smashing high-energy subatomic particles into protons. The yogins are engaged in a parallel operation in the laboratory of their own body-mind.
The kundalin in itself is neither good nor bad. It simply is the Goddess energy as it manifests in the human body. Unless we consciously collaborate with it, it remains on the most subtle level of existence, sustaining us through the agency of the life force (prana) but never entering our field of awareness. Through self-purification and an appropriate course of disciplines, we can benefit from it more immediately by inviting it into our life as a powerful transformative force.
In its hidden state, the kundalini is said to be sheer potentiality. It embraces much more than that. It activates our capacity for unity with everything in life. At the same time, it creates a lot of changes on the bodily level. The vibration of our cells, brain, organs, and blood flow is activated to a new level of light. It nourishes and rejuvenates our entire organism and awakens the capacity of our body to live life fully.
Kundalini carries the quality of unity. In expression, it can be silent, motionless, and yet expressive. It all depends on what the Kundalini encounters on its way through you. If there is fear, you can be sure that fear will be actively expressed. If there is happiness, it will come shining through equally. It is important to understand that Kundalini is exposing everything hidden inside us, fear as much as joy. Kundalini is a non-dual energy that always looks for union. If there is something in the way of unity, it will be exposed so that it can be dropped or transformed. This is the powerful beauty of Kundalini: It is a healing, transformative force which awakens us to unity. It calls us back to our state of oneness.
Kundalini is a condensed, primal force, similar to the potential energy found in water. When released, it creates a vertical connection between the chakras by opening the subtle channels known as nadi, most specifically, the central channel that moves up the spine called sushumna. If we put water through a small hose at very high pressure, the end of the hose will undulate like a snake. Similarly, the intense energy of Kundalini undulates in the body as it rises through the chakras.
It is believed on this earth dimension in the yoga philosophy that the serpentine energy of the goddess Kundalini-Shakti resides three and one half times coiled around the Muladhara or base Chakra holding matter together as the creator of all BEing; that when awakened, Kundalini journeys up the spine piercing and awakening each Chakra in turn seeking her Divine partner Shiva who abides in pure Infinite Spiritual Oneness. Together, two BEing as One, they dance in energetic embrace, interconnecting the energetic system within the physical body and soul, reminding us of our connection to All That Is and to the earth, two BEing as One.
This energy system is viewed as a Lotus Tree with eight main Chakras (or spheres of being) consisting of 50 petals. The imagery of our inner soul as a budding Lotus gifts us with our sours beauty as it blossoms in Soul Remembering of Spiritual Oneness. We see the Spiritual Soul BEing we are being manifested as a flower within a garden of flowers. It is through this resonance of visualization that we can begin the transformation journey of the physical body resonating in Spiritual Oneness with our Spiritual soul BEing, Two BEing One. The eight main Chakras within the physical body present themselves from the tailbone to about twelve inches above the Diadem (pronounced as dye uh dem) or Crown of the head. The Chakras are considered to be gradations of consciousness and reflects within physical presence of the body the resonance of the soul.
Kundalini can also be seen as a result of the chakras connecting to each other. Theoretically, as the chakras enlarge, the spinning of one can enhance the spinning of the one above or below it. Kundalini is basically a healing force.
We can understand the evolutionary process from the transcendental plane to the earth realm through an analogous model furnished by modern cosmology. At the “rime” of the Big Bang, the world existed in a state of unimaginably condensed ball of energy, sometimes called “quantum vacuum.” Suddenly (and for no known reason), some fifteen billion years ago, a chain reaction occurred in this original high-energy soup which led to the creation of hydrogen atoms.
This event coincided with the emergence of space and time and the gradual formation of our spatio-temporal universe, with its billions of galaxies, supernovas, black holes, and quasars, and the cold dark matter interspersed between them. Within this unimaginable vastness are planet Earth and the human species-both products of the original flash from chaos to cosmos or, in Indian terms, of Shiva’s ecstatic dance.
Now scientists are busy exploring ways of freeing up the energy stored in matter by smashing high-energy subatomic particles into protons. The yogins are engaged in a parallel operation in the laboratory of their own body-mind. They use the vital energy to repeatedly “smash” against the blocked opening of the central pathway of the nadi system. The Goraksha-Samhita describes this process very clearly: 1. The serpent power, forming an eightfold coil above the “bulb” (kanda), remains there all the while covering with its face the opening of the door to the Absolute.
The ascent of the Goddess power in the body is associated with the progressive dissolution of the elements-a process that is called laya-krama (“process of dissolution”) or laya-yoga (“discipline of dissolution”).
In the present context, the technical term laya refers to the resorption of the elements into the pretemporal and prespatial ground of nature (prakriti-pradhana). In principle, laya is effected as the kundalini rises from center to center. Its arrival causes each center to vibrate intensely and to function fully, but as it goes to the next higher psychoenergetic center, the departure of the Goddess power leaves the previous center or centers as if void.
The reason for this is that at each center, Shakti works the miracle of a profound purification of the elements (called tattva), rendering them extremely subtle. More precisely, their vibration is speeded up to the most subtle level of nature (prakriti), and hence they are said to have become reabsorbed into the cosmic matrix.
The intelligent Goddess power henceforth-or at least for the period of kundalini arousal-takes over their respective functions. This esoteric process is the basis for the bhuta-shuddhi ritual in which the elements are visualized as being purified through their progressive absorption into the divine Shakti. This practice is done prior to visualizing oneself as one’s chosen deity (ishta-devata) and doing ritual worship.
The earth element governs the area between the feet and the thighs; the water element has authority over the area between the thighs and the navel; the fire element rules the zone between the navel and the heart; the air element is reigns over the section between the heart and the forehead; the ether element governs the area above the forehead.
The practitioner visualizes earth dissolving into water, water into fire, fire into air, air into ether, and then ether into the higher principles (tattva) until everything is dissolved into the Goddess power itself. Thus the yogin starts out as an impure being (papa-purusha) and through the power of visualization recreates himself as a pure being, a worthy vessel for the divine Power.
Through the kundalini process, this visualized pure body-mind then becomes actuality, for the ascent of the serpent power through the axial pathway of the body recapitulates the mental process of bhuta-shuddhi, literally changing the body’s chemistry. Through repeated practice of kundalini-yoga, the Tantric adepts succeed in speeding up the vibration of their body permanently, leading to the creation of the much-desired “divine body” (divya-deha).
Along the route, the ascending kundalini may produce all kinds of physiological and mental phenomena, which are all the result of incomplete . identification with the Goddess power and a certain attachment to the body. The Tantras mention startled jumping (udbhava or pluti), trembling (kampana), whirling sensation (ghurni), drowsiness (nidra), as well as ecstatic feelings (ananda) that are not, however, of the same magnitude or significance as the supreme bliss of transcendental realization.
The ascent of the serpent power through the six principal “wheels” of the body is technically called shat-cakra-bhedana or “piercing the six centers.” This curious expression is explained by the fact that in the ordinary individual, the cakras are undeveloped and more like knots (granthi) than beautiful lotus flowers. The awakened kundalini breaks them open, disentangles their energies, vitalizes and balances them. Three of the cakras represent a particular challenge to the yogin.
Thus the Tantric and non-Tantric scriptures mention three knots at the base of the spine, the throat, and the “third eye.” The goal of Tantra is to have the kundalini remain permanently elevated to the topmost psychoenergetic center, which state coincides with liberation. At the beginning, however, the kundalini will tend to return to the cakra at the base of the spine, because the body-mind is not yet adequately prepared. Tantra-Yoga aims at dissolving the illusion of being a separate finite entity, and it does so by means of the union of the kula-kundalini with the transcendental principle of akula, or Shiva.
When this is accomplished there is nothing that is not realized as utterly blissful. Even the body, previously experienced as a material lump (pinda), is seen to be supremely conscious and suffused with the nectar of bliss and at one with all other bodies and with the universe itself.
The element responsible for production of the elixir of life (prana) is earth. The element of air is used as a churning rod, through inhalation and exhalation, and distribution is through the element of ether.
Ether is space, and its quality is that it can contract or expand. When you inhale, the element of ether expands to take the breath in. In exhalation, the ether contracts to push out toxins. Two elements remain: water and fire. If there is a fire, water is used to extinguish it.
This gives us the idea that fire and water are opposing elements. With the help of the elements of earth, air and ether, a friction is created between water and fire, which not only generates energy but releases it, just as water moving turbines in a hydroelectric power station produces electricity. To generate electricity, the water has to flow at a certain speed. An inadequate flow will not produce electricity.
Similarly, in our system, normal breathing does not produce that intense energy. This is why we are all suffering fro stress and strain, causing poor circulation which affects our health and happiness. The current is not sufficient so we are merely existing, not living. In the practice of pranayama, we make the breath very long. In this way, the elements of fire and water are brought together, and this contact of fire and water in the body, with the help of the element of air, releases a new energy, called by yogis divine energy, or kundalini shakti, and this is the energy of prana.
Other texts recommend similar procedures in which the left and the right pathway of the life force are alternately activated. According to the Shiva-Samhita, alternate breathing should be performed twenty times four times a day-at dawn, mid-day, sunset, and mid-night. If done regularly for three months, this procedure, we are told, will definitely cleanse the channels. It is only then that the practitioner should turn to breath control proper. The Shiva-Samhita also states that when the nadis have been purified, certain signs will manifest:
The body becomes harmonious (sama) and beautiful, and emits a pleasant scent, while the voice becomes resonant and the appetite increases. Also, the yogin whose subtle pathways are thoroughly cleansed is always “full-hearted,” energetic, and strong. The Hatha-Yoga-Pradipika mentions leanness and brightness of the body as indications of a purified nadi system. Now the practitioner is like a finely tuned instrument and ready to engage the higher processes of Tantra, leading to the activation of the serpent power.
In the human body, which microcosmically replicates all cosmic principles and levels of existence, the divine Energy expresses itself in two principal forms-the life force (prana) and the serpent power (kundalini-shakti). The life force is universally present in the cosmos and as such is known as mukhya-prana or “primary life force.”