by Avadhutika Ananda Mitra Acarya
The science of Kundalini is thousands of years old. It is an essential part of Tantra, the spiritual science which was systematized seven thousand years ago by Lord Sadashiva. Tantra was never publicly revealed: only worthy disciples were taught it in direct transmission from their spiritual teachers, lest the powerful practices fall into the hands of immoral or power-seeking individuals. Thus for centuries this ancient science was passed only from the guru to disciple, and never written down. But gradually the caliber of masters degenerated and it became necessary to write the secrets down so they would not be completely lost. But when they were written, they were written in a “twilight language,” that is, in allegory, symbolism, code, so they could not be misinterpreted and misused by unworthy seekers. For this reason, if we do not have a proper guide, the ancient texts may be confusing or even misleading to us today.
What is Kundalinii?
Prakrti (the operative principle of the supreme consciousness) manifests Herself in and through the cosmic order as Shivanii, Bhaeravii and Bhavanii, respectively. Her last expression, Bhavanii, is static in nature. By her influence the Infinite Consciousness becomes crudified to the ultimate stage, the solid factor. The kundalinii is the expression of this Bhavanii shakti in the human form. According to Tantra, the human structure is a microcosm of the Macrocosmic Universe. The five cakras (chakras) or subtle-energy centers of the human body are the controlling points of the five fundamental factors within the human form:
• Muladhara, controls the solid factor
• Svadhisthana, the liquid factor
• Manipura, luminous factor
• Anahata, aerial
• Vishuddha, etherial
The unit mind is the microcosmic replica of the Cosmic Mind and its controlling seat is ajina cakra; and the seat of the Supreme Consciousness in the human body is the sahasrara cakra. Thus in the human form muladhara cakra is the controlling center of the crudest factor, solid – the most static point of the body. This is the ultimate state of crude expression, the end-point of creation, so to speak. Here the momentum of Prakrti has come to an end: She is exhausted, in her most static state. It is here in the Muladhara cakra that the Bhavanii shakti in the form of kundalinii is asleep. Asleep – but not dead: here all the infinite potential energy of the Universe, the powerful fo rce that has created this vast world of infinite variety, is lying, waiting to return to its state of union with the Supreme Purusa again. She is waiting to be awakened from Her slumber, to ascend to the seat of pure Consciousness, the sahasrara cakra.
The kula is the last point of the spinal cord. “Ku” means “physical structure” and “la” means “container” So “kula” means “the container of the physical structure.” Since the Bhavanii shakti is lying; in potential form in the kula, in the muladhara cakra. She is called “kulakundalinii.”
The cakras have been described as “nerve plexuses” and seem to be related to the endocrine system, but they are far subtler than the physical glands or nerves. They are the controlling centers of all the nadiis, the subtle-energy flows within the body. The kundalinii is lying quiet in the muladhara cakra which blocks her free passage-way up the susumna. The unit consciousness came from the Supreme Consciousness and has the potential to, merge again in that Source; what separates the two are the various bondages of mental propensities, represented in the human body by the cakras. As the kundalinii rises in the susumna and pierces the cakras one by one, the bondages break, and the unit again becomes the Supreme – jiiva becomes Shiva. Thus the spiritual journey is essentially the journey of the kundalinii, transmuting energy from lower centers to higher ones – the opening of the susumna canal and the progressive release and channeling of the powerful dormant energies in the human body.
All spiritual practice, of whatever variety, consists of elevating the kundalinii; and every genuine spiritual experience – the visitation of the Lord or angels, flashes of light hearing the subtle sounds of divine music, ecstasy, union with God, trance – is a manifestation of the ascent of this spiritual energy.
Awakening The Kundalini: Mantra
The liberation of the kundalinii can be interrupted by a single stroke of a siddha mantra, a “proven” or effective mantra A mantra is a collection of sound waves which can produce a powerful resonance, or sympathetic vibration, in the mind. The tantrik a scriptures say, “inconceivable is the power mantra”. Mantra is, in fact, the very basis of the science of Tantra; it means, “that which liberates the mind” from the bondages of Prakrti and returns it to the state of pure Consciousness (“man” – “mind”; “trae” – “to liberate”).
A Siddha mantra is one which has been invested with spiritual power by a true guru. In the process of investing a mantra, the guru raises his own kundalinii to the highest point, sahasrara cakra, and then repeats the mantra, giving it intense spiritual energy. Then he lowers his kundalinii again.
When the mantra is given correctly in the process of initiation, spoken directly from teacher to disciple, the vibration of the phrase or word will actually “strike” the sleeping spiritual Source within the individual and awaken it. For this reason mantras learned from books or other sources (even the internet!) will not carry the force of a siddha mantra.
The scriptures say; “Only that mantra which is received through the Grace of the Guru can give all fulfillment.” (Kularnava Tantra).
From the time the mantra is given, the more frequently and intensely the spiritual aspirant repeats it, the more the kundalinii rises under its vibrational impact. But when the repetition stops, it again returns to slumber. If the mental repetition of the siddha mantra continues all the time, day and night, the kundalinii remains perpetually awakened. When the kundalinii is sleeping, the individual remains in one of the three states: wakeful, dream or dreamless sleep. Only when the kundalinii is awakened can the individual enter the fourth, turiiya, state, the state of non-duality.
The Tantrika scriptures say, “Initiation is the first ladder to the terrace of liberation.”
Initiation is that process by which the powerful siddha mantra is conferred upon the worthy aspirant by his guru, and the disciple’s kundalinii is suddenly awakened from slumber by the “hit” of the mantra (mantraghat).
The true guru is the Mahakaola:
According to Tantra, there are two categories of yogis, kaola and maha kaola. A kaol a is a spiritual aspirant who has raised his or her kundalinii to the controlling point of the pineal gland, who has achieved the union between the fundamental negativity and the fundamental positivity, between the starting point and the culminating point. Kaola: the adjective of “kula” is “kaola.”
Each and every sadhaka can become a kaola by his sadhana. Mahakaolas are rare personalities. For a devotee (mahakaola] is called “Taraka Brahma.”
“Taraka Brahma takes shape to help people in their progress in Tantra. Shiva was a mahakaola. He came here about 7000 years ago. After him, about 3500 years ago, there came another mahakaola: He was called Krsna. The difference between kaola and mahakaola is that kaola raises his kulakundalinii by sadhana and establishes union with the fundamental negativity and the fundamental positivity. In the case of mahakaola, he has the power to raise the kulakundalinii of others also. Kaola cannot raise others’ kulakundalinii, he can only raise his own. But a mahakaola can, if he so desires, raise the kulakundalinii of others also.”
Shrii Shrii Anandamurti
A Universal Science
Many spiritual and religious traditions throughout the ages have known this science of the kundalinii and its ascent: the Chinese alchemists and Taoists, and Hebrew mystics. Some believe that the “seven churches” and the “mystery of the seven stars” referred to by John in Revelation represent the seven cakras. A great medieval Christian mystic, Jacob Boehme, described his own experience: “For the Holy Ghost will not be held in the sinful flesh, but rises up like a lightning flash, as fire sparkles and flashes out of a stone when a man strikes it. The Holy Spirit rises up, in the seven unfolding fountain spirits, into the brain, like the dawning of the day, the morning redness… though an angel from heaven should tell this to me, for all that I could not believe it. But the Sun itself arises in my Spirit, and therefore I am most sure of it.”