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Theory And Practice of Kundalini

Meditation - Introduction
Saturday, July 13, 2013

Kuṇḍalinī is not just a force, but Parāśakti Herself in Her subtlest form. It is one of the quickest

methods to liberation. Even without practicing kuṇḍalinī, She ascends to higher chakras

depending upon one’s level of love (the highest form of devotion) for Her. Ascension of

kuṇḍalinī is directly related to the purity level of one’s mind. Yoga Cūḍāmaṇi Upaniṣad talks

abou90t the importance of kuṇḍalinī. Verse 37 says, “Kuṇḍalinī rests in the passage of

Brahman. If one goes through this passage, Brahman is attained.” Passage of Brahman that is

referred here is a tiny nāḍi (often explained as a nerve or an artery or a vein) inside the spinal

cord known as suṣumna, where all the three guṇa-s (sattva, rajas and tamas) are present. Within

suṣumna, there are two other nāḍi-s, one within the other. Outer nāḍi is suṣumna and within

suṣumna there is another nāḍi vajra (literal meaning – impenetrable) and within vajra, there is

a very tiny nāḍi known as citriṇi and this citriṇi nāḍi is referred as the pathway to Brahman,

who is seated at the top of the head in a tiny orifice known as brahmrandra (the orifice of

Brahman). Yoga Cūḍāmaṇi Upaniṣad (39) says, “When kuṇḍalinī is awakened, ascends

through citriṇi nāḍi and opens the door for the practitioner to realize Brahman.” We need the

help of only mind and prāṇa to awaken this Divine Power Kuṇḍalinī which lies dormant in the

base chakra and through practice have to make Her unite with Her Consort of Śiva. When this

Divine Union takes place, the yogi is liberated.

How importance kuṇḍalinī is in the path or liberation is explained in Haṭhayoga Pradīpaka in

the chapter samādhi. “When kuṇḍalinī is awakened through various means, one enters into

the state of samādhi automatically. The one, who knows the path abandons all actions when

his prāṇa enters into suṣumna (technically speaking it is through citriṇi nāḍi, which is the inner

most nāḍi in suṣumna. He is liberated when kuṇḍalinī enters into sahasrāra.” Therefore, the
main purpose of understanding and practicing kuṇḍalinī meditation is only to attain

liberation. Some supernatural powers that are attained during practice are to be ignored, if one

is able to attain these powers; however, these powers are rarely attained. Kuṇḍalinī Yoga is

also known as Mahā Yoga, which itself indicates its importance and supremacy.

Before practicing kuṇḍalinī, we need to have thorough understanding of the subtleties of

kuṇḍalinī, which is the subtlest and yet the most powerful form of Parāśakti. As we know, She

has three forms, Gross (different forms with which we worship Her, such as Kālī, Ṣoḍaśī etc.

Her subtler form is Kāmakalā and Her subtlest form is Kuṇḍalinī. All these three forms are

discussed in Lalitā Sahasranāma in detail.

It is always advisable to practice kuṇḍalinī meditation under the direct supervision of a learned

Guru, who has experienced the Bliss of kuṇḍalinī and got liberated. Expertise of a Guru is

needed in case of wrong practice which could cause serious damage to the whole body,

particularly, the nervous system. While practicing kuṇḍalinī meditation, certain biological,

hormonal and chemical changes happen in the body and such changes in general do not cause

any harm, provided, this meditation is practiced step by step in a slow pace.

This series will discuss all possible angles of kuṇḍalinī meditation, including theory, practice,

required āsana-s, prāṇāyāma, mudra-s, bandha-s, yoganidrā, activating and balancing psychic

centres apart from discussing spiritual, scientific and biological angles. However, extreme

caution should be exercised while practicing these procedures. Most importantly, one should

have absolute faith on Her Grace.

(to be continued)

Further Readings:

Kundalini Syndrome

Kinetic Kundalini Energy


Is Kundalini Deaf

Kundalini Meditation - Part 1


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What is Kuṇḍalinī? It is a difficult question to answer. Though kuṇḍalinī itself is the power of

prāṇa, the life sustaining force, it is typically a spiritual alchemy. Alchemy can be interpreted

to mean the way two individuals relate to each other. Two individuals referred here are the Self

and the self. In other words, it hastens the process of spiritual evolution and ultimate realization.

There are three types of spiritual evolution. The normal type is related to external worship

accompanied with rituals, where connectivity between God and the practitioner is established

in stages, which is comparatively a slow process. However, this practice lays a strong

foundation for a perfect spiritual path. The first transformation towards spiritual life happens

during this state, where one’s ego begins to get depleted. The second type is meditating on

Parāśakti’s kāmakalā form, which can be broadly defined as the innermost triangle of Śri Cakra

and the bindu within. On the grosser side, kāmakalā can be described as Her mantra form, but

subtly this conveys much more. . Kāma refers to the object of adoration, the object that is

desired. Here, Śiva becomes the most desired of all, as He is the Supreme Reality or

Paramārtha. Śiva being the Supreme Ruler, He is addressed as Kāmeśvara. By addressing Him

thus, He not only becomes the object of desire (Kāma), but also becomes the Supreme Ruler

(Īśvara). This is how He becomes Kāma + Īśvara = Kāmeśvara. Kalā refers to vimarśa form of

Śiva, Mahātripurasundarī. Śiva alone is Self-illuminating and Śaktī illuminates the universe

with the brilliance of Śiva. Their conjoined form is Kāmakalā. There are two triangles in

kāmakalā, one upper and one lower. The lower triangle is in inverted position. Her Pañcadaśī

manta is placed on the three sides of the triangle, from where the material world originates.
Her subtlest form is Kuṇḍalinī. Though it is Her subtlest form, yet it is Her most potent form.

Under normal circumstances, kuṇḍalinī is posited at the lower tip of the spine. When this

energy is awakened, She begins Her journey towards top of the head, where Śiva awaits Her

arrival and their union takes place at sahasrāra, which technically is not one among the six

psychic chakras. This type of worship is also known as samayācāra (established procedure or

proven method, a terminology often used in Tantra Scriptures). This type of worship is

considered as the most secretive worship, where no external objects, whatsoever are involved.

For this type of worship only two things are needed, one’s mind and one’s consciousness. This

is called kuṇḍalinī meditation. It is not simply one of the meditative techniques, but being with

Her during this meditation.

Other terms that are generally used to refer kuṇḍalinī are vital force, life energy, prāṇa, chi (or

chee), etc. But none of these terms can exactly describe kuṇḍalinī, because it really means only

the subtle form of Parāśakti. There are two ways of activating kuṇḍalinī. One is the natural way

and solely depends upon one’s purity of devotion. When one’s devotion to Her transforms into

love for Her, kuṇḍalinī gets awakened automatically and depending upon one’s depth of love,

it activates different psychic centres (chakras). Alternatively, on Guru’s initiation, Śaktipāta

(descent of Her Grace) descends on the aspirant. Guru, who is referred here should be a Self-

realized person and should be capable of initiation by working on the psychic body (energy

body) of the aspirant. This Guru on initiation kindles the kuṇḍalinī of the aspirant and makes

it active. The disciple on instructions from his Guru works on his kuṇḍalinī through higher

level of inner contemplation takes Her upwards till ājñācakra, which is the chakra (the word

chakra is used both as cakra and chakra; the former is in IAST font) of the Guru. Only in this

chakra, the disciple receives his Guru’s commands, even from a distance. Mantras are imparted

by a Guru through this chakra, which is considered as the best of initiation. But it is important

that Guru should have the ability to initiate this way.

Vijñānabhairava Tantra (verse 67) speaks about Kuṇḍalinī. “By closing the sensory organs,

prāṇa begins to ascend through the central canal of the spinal cord and this can be realized
through tingling sensations at different chakras in the spinal cord. At the time of feeling the

tingling sensation, one can realize Bhairava. Prāṇa is used for all actions of the body. For

example, for seeing, hearing, walking, etc prāṇa is required. If the organs of perceptions are

closed, there is no work for prāṇa. Prāṇa cannot remain idly. Since there is no work for prāṇa,

it begins to ascend through suṣumna (spinal cord) from mūlādhāra to brahmarandhra at

sahasrāra. Brahmarandhra is an orifice at the top of the head in sahasrāra, through which gross

body draws prāṇa from the cosmos.” Therefore, a proper kuṇḍalinī meditation needs an

appropriate control of sensory organs. For example, while practicing kuṇḍalinī yoga, there

should be no distractions whatsoever, as this could cause panic attack in the practitioner. Thus,

it is clear that capacity to control and modify prāṇa is the most important factor in kuṇḍalinī

activation. Śiva tells His Consort Bhairavi (Vijñānabhairava Tantra verse 154 till the end),

“Inhalation and exhalation happen on its own, thereby awakening the Kuṇḍalinī energy, which

goes up the spine and She (Parāśakti) is to be worshiped in suṣumna, the central canal of the

spinal cord. This is true kṣetra (pilgrimage centre). She is the experience that happens in the

mind and She is also beyond human experience (immanent and transcendent). Dualism

gradually gets dissolved along with the gaining of potency by Kuṇḍalinī. It is like the growth

of a girl to womanhood. Kuṇḍalinī does not become potent in the initial stages, but attains

potency over a period of time. The increase in potency is directly related to the depth of

contemplation, nature of life, food habits and above all practice. The one, who perpetually stays

connected with Parāśakti, the Goddess Kuṇḍalinī (Parāśakti and Goddess Kuṇḍalinī are the

same) enters the state of supreme bliss, and in this state he attains Bhairava. Śiva can never be

attained directly. It is only through Parāśakti, the Supreme Śiva can be attained. Once Śiva is

attained, there is nothing left for him and he is never born again. The knowledge about Śiva is

sovereign in nature and none can impart that knowledge except Parāśakti and thus, She

becomes his Guru. In reality there is nothing in that Supreme Knowledge and this is known as

void. When one becomes Śiva due to realization, he does nothing and becomes like a moving

object, unconcerned and unattached with the material world. In a day (day and night consisting

of 24 hours), a person inhales and exhales 21,600 times and this is the true mantra (ha at the
time inhalation and sa at the time of exhalation. The continuous concentration on these subtle

sounds gives rise to the inherent mantra ‘soham’ and this is known as a-japa, which means no

japa. When the japa is happening inwardly and perpetually, where is the necessity of other

mantra japas? 21600 breaths are meant for normal human beings. If one attempts to reduce this

number – by slow breathing and by holding the breath both internally and externally – it not

only increases the life span, but also helps in concentration during meditative sessions.)

“O! My dear Bhairavi! The Supreme Goddess! I have explained to you (upper case y is not

used because She is now addressed by Śiva) the most precious and sacred teaching which leads

to immortal state (liberation) and this should not be revealed to someone who is not worthy of

this sacred teaching. This should be taught only through a Guru (not guru). One should learn

from this teaching that all material things are impermanent and this sacred and secretive

knowledge alone is permanent. One can even choose to die but the quest for final liberation

should never be given up.”

Though there are several well known and authentic texts on kuṇḍalinī, certain portions of

activation and certain attainments at the highest spiritual levels are always withheld.

PRACTICE

Prāṇāyāma (breathing techniques) is one of the basic necessities of kuṇḍalinī activation.

Different types of prāṇāyāma-s, āsana-s (sitting postures), bandha (arresting) and mudrā-s are

used either independently or jointly during kuṇḍalinī meditation. In this part of this series, nāḍi

śodhana prāṇāyāma, which is used for the purpose of cleansing the nervous system, is

explained for the purpose of practice. At the end of each article of this series, practicing

methods will be provided, which will ensure proper practice of kuṇḍalinī meditation.

Nāḍi Śodhana Prāṇāyāma: (based on Haṭhayoga Pradīpaka and Yoga


CūḍāmaṇiUpaniṣad):
Haṭhayoga Pradīpaka has allotted an entire chapter (chapter 2 consisting of 78 verses) for

prāṇāyāma. This chapter begins by saying, “After mastering āsana-s, attaining self-control and

diet control, one should practice prāṇāyāma. When the breath is not steady, mind is also not

steady. When nāḍi-s are impure, prāṇa does not enter suṣumna. Nāḍi-s’ impurities can be

removed by inhaling through left nostril and after holding as long as possible, exhale through

the right nostril. Again inhale slowly through the right nostril (through which exhalation was

made) and again holding for a specified time, should exhale through the left nostril. This should

be practiced for three months and all the nāḍi-s will be purified.” Yoga Cūḍāmaṇi Upaniṣad

also conveys the same meaning, except that it says that complete purity of nāḍi-s can be attained

in two months of practice.

There are twelve stages in nāḍi śodhana prāṇāyāma. Stages depend upon the duration of

inhalation (pūraka), holding of breath within (kumbhaka) and exhalation (rechaka). For

practicing the first three stages, no particular sitting postures have been suggested. However, it

would be ideal to sit in padmāsana (lotus posture) or (ardhapadmāsana) half lotus posture.

These postures will be discussed in later parts of this series.

To begin with, one can take any comfortable posture to sit. While sitting, there should be no

tension in any parts of the body. Little finger and the ring fingers should be used to close the

left nostril. Middle and index fingers should either be folded or extended outwards. These two

fingers should not be placed at ājñācakra, as this could cause varying degrees of pressure on

both the nostrils. Thumb should be used to close the right nostril. While closing the nostrils,

very moderate pressure is to be applied on the nostrils. Similarly, instead of closing the tip of

the nostrils, an inch above the tip of nose can be used to block the breath.

Yogic breathing:

Before we proceed to actual breathing practice, it is important to understand and practice

diaphragm breathing, also known as yogic breathing. In many of us, when we inhale, our
abdomen contracts and when we exhale our abdomen expands. If this is the trend of breathing,

it should be modified in such a way that when we inhale, our abdomen should expand and when

we exhale, our abdomen should be contracted to the extent possible.

I stage: Inhalation as slowly and as deep as possible – no holding of breath – exhalation as

slowly and deeply as possible.

II stage: Same as above, but duration of exhalation should be equal to inhalation. No holding

of breath in this stage also.

III stage: Same as II. But holding of breath is introduced for the first time here. After

inhalation, hold the breath for about three seconds and exhale for the same duration as that of

inhalation. For example it could be like this. 5 – 2 – 5 seconds for inhalation, holding and

exhalation.

Further practice will be discussed in the next part of this series.

Kundalini Meditation - Part 2


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Kuṇḍalinī can be explained as the store house of Divine potency, which is present in all the

human beings, mostly in dormant state. Naturally dormant kuṇḍalinī becomes active depending

upon the spiritual evolution of a person. Spiritual evolution is directly related to purity of one’s

mind, as Brahman can be realized only through mind and not through any other external

sources. There are two types of organs, which make a human existence possible. One is external

sensory organs and the other one is inner psychic organs, which is far more powerful than the

external organs. Inner psychic organs are mind, intellect, consciousness and ego (in Trika

philosophy, consciousness is not included in antaḥkaraṇa, as consciousness is considered as

Śiva). For awakening kuṇḍalinī we need to have only breath and consciousness. Consciousness
here means awareness. When we draw a tiny point before us and fix our attention on that point,

by continuously looking at this point, external sensory organs gradually lose their functional

nature. When the concentration on this dot is so intent, no sound is heard, eyes are not moved

from the dot, etc. After a few minutes of intent concentration on the dot, the one who gazes at

the dot becomes the dot himself. In other words, the knower and the known become a single

identity. If we look at the reasons for this union, it is only the intensity of the awareness that

alone was responsible for this union. What is the difference between the dot and the kuṇḍalinī?

There are quite a few significant differences. One, kuṇḍalinī is subtle and the dot is gross.

Secondly, kuṇḍalinī is within the body and the dot is outside the body. Thirdly, kuṇḍalinī is

powerful and the dot is inert. In general there are three ways available to all of us to awaken

the dormant kuṇḍalinī and these were discussed in the previous part.

Biological and medical aspect of kuṇḍalinī should be known to us, before we begin practicing

kuṇḍalinī meditation. Basically, kuṇḍalinī is the purest form of energies that we can think of.

All powerful energies are derived from Parāśakti, the energy of Śiva. They are ānanda śakti,

icchā śakti, jñāna śakti, kriyā śakti, kuṇḍalinī śakti and mantra śakti. All these śakti-s are

derived from Supreme Śakti, the independent and absolute power of Śiva. This Supreme Śakti

is also known as Svātantrya Śakti. Out of the above śakti-s, the most potent of the energies is

kuṇḍalinī śakti and hence to be practiced with great care. Let us take an example of a balloon

filled with Hydrogen. If a hole is made in this balloon near a lamp, the balloon will explode, as

Hydrogen is combustible. In order to prevent this explosion, balloon should be kept in a safer

place away from fire. Similarly, if proper precautions are taken while practicing kuṇḍalinī

meditation, kuṇḍalinī syndrome can be avoided.

Kuṇḍalinī is posited at the base of the trunk or at the lowermost portion of the spinal cord. The

position of the kuṇḍalinī is different for men and women, though there are contrary opinions

on this. In men kuṇḍalinī is situated in the perineum (the place between the organs of

procreation and excretion). In women it is placed in a point between external opening and the

uterus. The exact position of kuṇḍalinī should be known because while practicing mūlabandha,
only this portion alone should be contracted and not other organs. If other organs are also

contracted, it could lead to wrong ascension of kuṇḍalinī. It is extremely important that

kuṇḍalinī should ascend only through citriṇi nāḍi, the innermost canal of suṣumna nāḍi (spinal

cord).

Biologically, kuṇḍalinī can be explained as the sum total of parasympathetic and sympathetic

nervous systems, sexual energy (this is one of the vital components of kuṇḍalinī), growth

hormones produced by endocrine system comprising of thyroid and parathyroid glands, pineal

gland (this is also known as gland of Divinity), pituitary gland, adrenal gland, ovaries and

testicles, pancreas and thymus. Each of these glands are connected to kuṇḍalinī in some way

or the other. The psychic chakras we talk about are associated with one or more of these

endocrine glands. Kuṇḍalinī is awakened due to the dilation of the blood vessels connected to

the organs of procreation. Dilation of blood vessels is directly linked to heart and brain. When

love and compassion levels are strong enough in a person, both heart and the brain expands.

By expansion of heart, blood vessels are expanded. Expansion of brain means change in the

emotional status of a person. When love and compassion manifests, emotional status undergoes

significant changes. If the emotional status is already positive, it becomes more positive and if

it is negative, it changes from negativity to positivity.

Activation of kuṇḍalinī also depends upon generation of sex hormones and production of nitric

oxide (NO). Nitric Oxide in particular is used for the dilatation of blood vessels, apart from

host of other benefits to the various parts of the body. Apart from dilating blood vessels, NO is

also responsible for the production of scavenger cells, known as phagocytes. These cells

eradicate the impurities of the biological system. At the time of ascension of kuṇḍalinī, an

enormous amount of NO is produced to purify the blood, muscular and nervous systems. The

first advantage of kuṇḍalinī awakening is disease free body.

There are two occasions where Nitric Oxide is produced in huge quantities. One is during the

descent of Divine Grace, known as Śaktipāta (Divine Grace due to which a jīvātman realises
His True Nature – realization of the Self, his essential Divine Nature or Self-realization) due

to Guru’s initiation. All the Self-realized Gurus initiate their disciples through penetrating into

their energy body, which in turn causes Śaktipāta. Alternatively, during certain medical

conditions or undue stress or due to some injury in the place where kuṇḍalinī is posited, will

also make the kuṇḍalinī to ascend. But in the latter case, it will always be powerful, coupled

with huge force, which at times may throw of a person several feet away. However, the best

way to make the kuṇḍalinī active is to surrender to Divine, as seen earlier, as kuṇḍalinī is

directly related to love. Based on this principle it is said that love is God.

Kuṇḍalinī ascension is also directly related to the type of food we consume, the types of

physical exercise we do, positive thoughts also activate kuṇḍalinī or if kuṇḍalinī is already

active, way of life plays a crucial role in making it ascend to higher chakras without causing

any hindrance. If one approaches a Guru for spiritual awakening, on the date of initiation, he

or she is advised to fast at least three to five hours before initiation. If kuṇḍalinī is initiated

when the stomach is full, it not only causes nausea and vomiting, but could also cause serious

damage to nervous and endocrine systems. It would be always ideal to prepare the body for

initiation at least one week in advance by consuming fibrous food, fruits, milk, etc.

PRACTICE:

Further practice in Nāḍi Śodhana Prāṇāyāma:

Stages I, II and III of 12 are discussed in the previous part. Stages IV, V, VI are discussed in

this article.

IV stage: Inhalation – holding – exhalation ratio is now to be increased to 5 – 5 – 5 or multiples

thereof. However, one should not hold the breath beyond their holding capacity. Holding

capacity will increase over a period of time.

V stage: 2 – 8 – 4 (inhalation: holding: exhalation ratio 1:4:2)


VI stage: 4 – 16 – 8 (the same ratio is maintained, however the duration differs. Always

inhalation should be faster and exhalation should be longer.

Kundalini Meditation - Part 3


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Abhinavagupta in his Śrī Tantrālokaḥ (chapter III) says (not verbatim), “How does the beautiful

beloved (Parāśakti) be separated from Her Consort, as riding on the Consciousness, if the

Supreme Consciousness (Śiva) does not join Her. That, which is expected with the splendour

of Bhairava (Śiva) is Parāśakti (the Supreme Power of Śiva) expands as kula (expansion of

Śakti into worldly process), where She is known as Kaulikī and with whom Paramaśiva always

rests. During this Divine Union, vibrations take place and this is how the world appears. This

is also known as the mercy of Śiva, also known as Aghora (aghora also means non-terrific.

There are different interpretations for aghora in Trika philosophy.)” Understanding this is very

important, as Kuṇḍalinī is not just a force; It is Parāśakti Herself in Her subtlest

form. Therefore, arousal of Kuṇḍalinī, either through practice or due to immense and

immeasurable love for Her, in both ways She alone manifests in our body and unites with Śiva

at sahasrāra. Thus, Kuṇḍalinī meditation is not just another meditation, but it is about

experiencing Her Absolute Grace, during Her state of Ānanda. This Bliss is caused by Her

because of Her union with Śiva at sahasrāra. Since kuṇḍalinī is about experiencing Her Bliss,

we have to keep our body as well as mind in purest possible conditions. Experiencing Her Bliss

is possible only after attaining Her initial Grace. There are two types of Grace, one is Her

relative Grace and another is Her Absolute Grace. When relative Grace is compared to Her

Absolute Grace, former is the Grace that makes an aspirant to pursue the right kind of spiritual

path and this is generally attained by Śaktipāta. If the aspirant pursues Śaktipāta in the way it

should, She directly showers Her Grace. The difference between these types of Grace is that

the former is done through a Self-realized Guru and the latter is the direct Grace from Her,
which is Her Absolute Grace. Relative Grace is the beginning of spiritual path and Absolute

Grace is the end of spiritual path (revealing Śiva, which is also known as emancipation).

Ethereal body

Every human has two types of bodies, one is the physical body that we see and another is

ethereal body, also known as astral body that is invisible to normal biological eyes, but visible

to clairvoyant eyes (Extra Sensory Perception or ESP). Any illness or disease has to first

penetrate ethereal body before entering into the biological body. With a little practice, all of us

can see our own ethereal body or others ethereal body. Ethereal body will be in the form of

smoky light around the body. Luminosity of the ethereal body depends upon the level of energy

generated by the physical body, which in turn depends on various factors such as food, thought,

breath, etc. Apart from these factors, psychic centres in the body also play a significant role in

the luminosity of ethereal body. These psychic centres are situated in the spine, whose energy

level is felt both at the anterior and posterior side of the body. These psychic centres are

energised on account of two factors and they are kuṇḍalinī energy and the cosmic energy.

Cosmic energy is derived from the top of the skull, known as brahmarandhra, also known as

the orifice of Brahman. Under normal circumstances, cosmic energy is derived through

medulla oblongata and brahmarandhra. These two are not merely energising centres, but

according to Ayurveda they also act as marma points (marman means sensitive part of the body

or mortal part of the body, that requires to be concealed. Maintaining tuft is based on this

principle).
krikatika marma points

There are two marma points known as “krikatika” situated exactly at medulla oblongata, one

on either side of the spine (where spine joins the brain). These two marma points control blood

circulation to the head and ensure that the skull is properly lubricated. In addition to this, they

also control subconscious mind. The marma point at the top of the head is known as “adhipathi”

(adhipa means commander). This marma point controls very important organs connected to

spirituality and they are sahasrāra (crown chakra, where brahmrandhra is situated), pineal gland

(the gland of Divinity, situated just behind ājñācakra), the entire nervous system and prāṇa

(important prāṇa-s such as prāṇa, apāna, vyāna, udāna, and samāna) and is the cause for

transcending māyā. Both these places allow entry of energy from cosmos into the physical

body through ethereal body. First ethereal body is energised, which in turn energises the

physical body.

These two marma points allow the flow of cosmic energy into the body and by properly

directing it towards the resting place of kuṇḍalinī, activates it. When consciousness (awareness)

is fixed at the point, where kuṇḍalinī is situated, cosmic energy entering into the body and

prāṇa act together to wake up the sleeping kuṇḍalinī from the deep slumber and activates it.

Therefore, it is important to know the exact position, where kuṇḍalinī rests. Even under normal

conditions, kuṇḍalinī’s slumber is not the same for everybody. The slumber of kuṇḍalinī

depends upon one’s spiritual level. Kuṇḍalinī will be in the state of deep quiescence for those

who are not spiritually inclined, who do not observe any rituals, who never think about God,

who are not compassionate, etc. Waking up their kuṇḍalinī will never be easy and those who
do not have Divine bent of mind, should never attempt to practice kuṇḍalinī meditation, as this

could lead to serious nervous problems.

Kuṇḍalinī in Her dormant state rests at the base chakra, known as mūlādhāra cakra. Lower end

of the spinal cord ends at coccyx, which is also known as tail bone. Coccyx, though a muscular

area where the spinal cord ends, it has also numerous tendons (connecting muscles and bones;

acting like adhesive). Here, there is an inverted triangle within which kuṇḍalinī rests. She is

coiled three and a half times around a bindu (this bindu is also known as liṅga). The triangle

referred above has a very minute aperture at its lower tip. The tip of this triangle faces

downwards under normal conditions. As long as this triangle is facing downwards, one’s sexual

energy is in active state. By meditative techniques, which include āsana-s, prāṇāyāma, mudra-

s and bandha-s, this triangle can be turned upwards. Once this triangle is turned upwards,

kuṇḍalinī which is in the state of deep slumber, begins it’s ascend through citriṇi nāḍi, which

is the inner most nāḍi in suṣumna. This is because, once it is turned upwards, the aperture is

connected to citriṇi nāḍi directly, making the energy to ascend. This triangle is not merely a

triangle. Each of its three sides is represented by icchā śkati, jñāna śkati and kriyā śkati (will,

knowledge and action). These three śkati-s are Divine Powers from which, world process

begins. When the worldly process begins at mūlādhāra cakra, the lower most psychic centre,

liberation happens at sahasrāra at the top of the head. In other words, one spiritual life begins

when the triangle at mūlādhāra cakra is turned upwards and ends at sahasrāra (where the union

of Śiva and Śakti takes place), where the practitioner is liberated forever. During the initial

stages of awakening kuṇḍalinī, there will be too much of secretion of sex hormones and other

endocrine hormones are also produced in huge quantities. This results in partial activation of

other psychic centres. One has to be extremely careful during the period of awakening, which

could last from a minute to perhaps a week or so, depending upon the intensity of practice.

Physical body will produce immense heat during this period. One has to excise extreme caution

during the period of awakening.


PRACTICE:

Further practice in Nāḍi Śodhana Prāṇāyāma:

Up to stage VI has been discussed in the previous articles. As already discussed, there are

twelve stages in nāḍi śodhana prāṇāyāma. All the six stages can be mastered in a matter of two

months. It is easier to practice the first six stages and it is going to be difficult to practice the

next six stages, as the holding period and exhalation period is more here. Holding period

mentioned here are only indicatory and one should not hold breath beyond one’s capacity.

Holding breath beyond one’s enduring capacity will even cause death.

In two months, we have 60 days and the chart below will explain how all the twelve stages can

be practiced in 60 days. This chart is only indicatory in nature.


Stage inhalation retention exhalation ratio du
I slow nil slow NA 3
II slow nil slow 1:0:1 3
III 5 2 5 1:0.5:1 3
IV 5 5 5 1:1:1 3
V 2 8 4 1:4: 2 3
VI 4 16 8 1:4:2 3
VII 6 24 12 1:4:2 4
VIII 8 32 16 1:4:2 5
IX 10 40 20 1:4:2 6
X 12 48 24 1:4:2 8
XI 14 56 28 1:4:2 9
XII 16 64 32 1:4:2 10
TOTAL 60

This schedule is for a period of sixty days. One can make minor adjustments in the number of

days. In particular, Stage VII to XII should be practiced very carefully. One should not hold

breath beyond one’s capacity. Once stage XII is reached, one should continue to practice this
forever. Further, unless perfection is attained in a particular stage, next stage should not be

practiced. It is also not mandatory that one should follow this 60 day schedule and can

comfortably be extended to suit one’s convenience. From stage VII, one can allow sufficient

gap between two rounds. Numbers in inhalation, retention and exhalation are counts. One can

count mentally. The basic principle is that inhalation, retention and exhalation should be in the

ratio of 1:4:2. Under any circumstances, retention should not exceed 4 times of inhalation, As

far as exhalation is concerned, counts be increased if possible. As a principle, inhalation should

be faster and exhalation should be slower.

Kundalini Meditation - Part 4


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Awakening kuṇḍalinī is a serious subject and should be done with extreme caution in the

presence of a learned Guru. There are two vital parameters to effectively awaken the kuṇḍalinī

without any side effects. One is our consciousness and another is our breath. Without dissolving

dualities, mind cannot be purified. When the mind is not purified, our consciousness cannot

stay focused. Therefore, spiritual advancement is absolutely necessary before attempting to

awaken kuṇḍalinī by yogic means. Sometimes, kuṇḍalinī ascends on its own depending upon

the intensity of love for the Divine. Love for Divine is far superior to other spiritual practices

such as mediation and consequent trance. In fact, Love for Divine automatically leads to higher

stages of samādhi, without any serious efforts. Therefore, in order to awaken the kuṇḍalinī, one

should have moved away from dualism to non-dualism (dvaita to advaita). When one truly

practices non-dualism, distraction of mind and consequent multiple thought processes get

annihilated. In order to attain this stage, one’s breathing pattern helps a lot. Nāḍi Śodhana

Prāṇāyāma is one of the best breathing practices to purify the mind, and this has been explained

in the previous parts. There are more breathing practices for awakening the kuṇḍalinī and move

it to higher chakras, without any difficulty. Apart from breathing practices (prāṇāyāma), certain
āsana-s, mudra-s and bandha-s need to be practiced and all of them should be synchronised for

effective activation of kuṇḍalinī.

diaphragm breathing

Concentrating on the movement of breath both during inhalation and exhalation is one of the

effective ways for increasing our level of concentration. By focusing our concentration, the

mind also stays focussed on the breath and during this period, mind is disconnected from

sensory inputs. Mind by default is prone to sensory inputs and changing the inherent nature of

the mind is surely an arduous task. The mode and pattern of breathing is directly related to the

nature of our activities. If someone breathes fast, it signifies his agitated mind and on the other

hand, if breathing is deep and slow, it signifies the calm state of mind. The first thing that one

should learn in breathing, is yogic breathing. In yogic breathing, also known as diaphragm (a

muscular partition separating the abdominal and thoracic cavities; functions in respiration)

breathing, during inhalation one’s abdomen should be expanded and during exhalation

diaphragm should be contracted. When abdomen is expanded during inhalation, diaphragm

goes down causing the lungs to expand and the air inhaled enters to the remote parts of lungs,

as a result of which more oxygen is generated and passed on to the blood stream.

Under normal circumstances, inhalation enters into the body till heart chakra, which is about

six to eight inches from the nostrils (openings of the nose). Similarly, when the air is exhaled,

it can be felt till the distance of six to eight inches from the nostrils. Thus, there are two points

where inhalation and exhalation end and these points are to be observed keenly. The point

where inhalation stops inside the body and the point where the exhalation is felt outside the
body can be connected through a straight line. These are the two points to be observed. This is

the first step towards transforming into a yogi. Holding breath either inside the body or outside

the body is known as kumbhaka (suspending breath). There are certain laid down procedures

to practice kumbhaka, which are given at the end of this article, under practice section. When

antara kumbhaka (holding breath inside the body) and bāhya kumbhaka (holding breath outside

the body) are practiced to perfection, the inhalation gets energised. Perfection means

concentrating that point of breath, where it stops during kumbhaka period (measure of time

holding the breath without inhalation or exhalation), both antara and bāhya. Kumbhaka is like

the resting period of the body. When inhalation is made after bāhya kumbhaka, the breath is

highly energised and becomes capable of entering through the citriṇi nāḍi, through which

kuṇḍalinī ascends. When kumbhaka is not practiced, breath passes through only iḍa and piṅgala

nāḍi-s. But, when the inhalation is energised, the inhaled breath attains potency to enter into

suṣumna (spinal cord). This can be explained as the dissolution of duality, the commencement

of spiritual life. This is also explained in Haṭhayoga Pradīpaka (II.4 - 6) which says, “When

the nāḍi-s are disrupted by impurities, the breath does not enter suṣumna. The yogi becomes fit

to control his prāṇa only when all his nāḍi-s become pure. It is important to practice prāṇāyama

only with sattvic mind.” Sattva not only refers to one of the guṇa-s, but also means prāṇa, life,

consciousness, etc. As long as breath flows through iḍa and piṅgala nāḍi-s, ones perception is

always towards dualism. Unless, dualism paves way for non-dualism, no worthwhile spiritual

life can be pursued. Frequent and proper energisation of breath works in two ways. In the initial

stages, it cleanses all the nāḍi-s and after cleaning other nāḍi-s, it begins to cleanse the path of

kuṇḍalinī, which is citriṇi nāḍi placed inside suṣumna. Secondly, after cleansing citriṇi nāḍi,

gradually it awakens the dormant kuṇḍalinī at the perineum. Therefore, properly practicing

prāṇāyama is very important in kuṇḍalinī meditation. Unless proper breathing exercises are

practiced, iḍa and piṅgala are not properly balanced, and suṣumna cannot be opened at the

bottom to enable kuṇḍalinī to ascend. Ascension of kuṇḍalinī should be a slow and gradual

process and if any other stimulating methods are used, it could lead to severe nervous problems.
Prāṇāyama is one of the instruments used to awaken kuṇḍalinī. Sage Patañjali speaks about the

importance of prāṇāyama in the second chapter of his Yoga Sūtra-s (II. 50 to 53). These

aphorisms are explained here in a nutshell. “Prāṇāyama means either exhalation or inhalation

or holding (kumbhaka). It depends upon the place in which it is practiced, timing, number of

counts and long or short breathing. By focusing prāṇa, one is able to focus his mind on a

particular object. Which object is to be contemplated? The concentration should be on the

Light, which is known as Prakāśa or Śiva, as Śiva is Self-illuminating. When the mind affirms

that it is Light, and if this affirmation becomes perpetual, the mind becomes fit for

concentration.” Patañjali clearly establishes the importance of prāṇāyama in purifying mind

and without purified mind, awakening kuṇḍalinī is not feasible. Kuṇḍalinī awakening is

directly related to one’s ability to synchronise breath, mind and consciousness. For example, if

a Guru asks his disciple to fix his prāṇa at a particular point, let us say mūlādhāra chakra, he

does not mean to say that he should breathe from mūlādhāra chakra, which is not possible. It

means that he should fix his mind and consciousness at that point. The disciple should visualize

as if he fixes his prāṇa at mūlādhāra chakra. By controlling and regulating prāṇa, proper

visualization, calmness of mind and purity of consciousness can be attained.

By practicing proper prāṇāyama (proper prāṇāyama refers to duration of inhalation, antara

kumbhaka, duration of exhalation and bāhya kumbhaka as these durations vary from person to

person), subtle heat is generated within the body, which is not reflected in body temperature

(normal temperature 98.6 o F). Heat generated by prāṇāyama first works on ājñā cakra and

activates it, which in turn makes the passive kuṇḍalinī at mūlādhāra, active. Ājñā cakra is

related to mind and if the mind is purified and becomes devoid of anomalous material pleasures,

ājñācakra automatically gets activated. But this is not the case with other impetuous practices.

Without properly practicing prāṇāyama, which is discussed in the previous part, trying to

activate kuṇḍalinī through extraneous forces, will cause irreparable damage both to body and

mind and hence should be totally avoided. Further when ājñācakra is active, by will it is

possible to make the kuṇḍalinī ascend through citriṇi nāḍi, thereby totally eliminating any
possible signs of kuṇḍalinī syndrome. If kuṇḍalinī syndrome manifests, it is difficult to cure,

as nobody will be able to diagnose the cause of the problem. Though there are practices

available to cure kuṇḍalinī syndrome, cure cannot be assured.

Further, when ājñācakra is activated, subtle light is generated at ājñācakra which works like a

torch light and is focused on mūlādhāra. The heat and light thus generated awakens the

kuṇḍalinī at mūlādhāra with Guru’s Grace (Guru can be interpreted to mean both Lord Śiva as

well as the Guru who imparts kuṇḍalinī meditation). If we are able to focus our consciousness

on mūlādhāra, through suṣumna by using our mind, eye balls and prāṇa, the sleeping kuṇḍalinī

at mūlādhāra gets up from its deep slumber and begins to ascend through citriṇi nāḍi, leaving

no scope for any type of kuṇḍalinī syndrome. When we focus our attention on mūlādhāra from

ājñācakra, all the chakras between mūlādhāra and ājñācakra get well balanced. When these

psychic centers are well balanced and purified, ascension of kuṇḍalinī through citriṇi nāḍi,

which is within suṣumna becomes perfect without any blockades.

PRACTICE:

While sitting for prāṇāyama, it is important to take a proper posture. There are two types of

āsana-s recommended. One is padmāsana and another is ardha-padmāsana.

Salient features to be noted while practicing padmāsana. Soles of the feet should be facing up

and the heels should be pressing the pubic bone. The placement of heels will work on the anal

muscles and produce intense heat that makes the dormant kuṇḍalinī to become active. When

padmāsana is practiced for the purpose of kuṇḍalinī meditation, it would be ideal to place the

palms on the thighs, so that there is a minimum of 45o gap between the trunk of the body and

the arms. If this gap is not given in the arm pit area, the central auxiliary lymph nodes in the

arm pits get compressed and blocked, thereby obstructing the drainage of lymphatic fluids

(lymphatic system is the main source of immunity and also drains fluids from the cells and
distributes into the blood stream). Further, by practicing this posture, stiff shoulders can be

avoided.

padmāsana

In ardha-padmāsana, one foot alone is placed under the perineum and the other foot is placed

on the thigh. But for this, all other parameters are the same as per padmāsana. This is

comparatively an easy posture.

Further prāṇāyama practices should be done by choosing either of the above postures. In case,

these postures are not possible, any other posture that is convenient to the practitioner can be

followed. But for the sitting position, other parameters remain the same.

Kundalini Meditation - Part 5


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

There are six psychic centers in the spine and they are also known as chakras. They are known

as chakras, because circular motions in the chakras can be felt when these chakras are hyper

active. When kuṇḍalinī ascends through practice, it crosses these chakras to reach sahasrāra.

Before the energy enters into certain chakras, there are blockades called granthi-s or knots. But

during śaktipāta, kuṇḍalinī pierces these granthi-s on its own, which happens only in certain

blessed individuals. Śaktipāta is the descent of Divine Grace. In order to effectively lift the
kuṇḍalinī from the base chakra to top of the skull by practice, basic understanding of chakras

is necessary, so that one can feel and experience these chakras when kuṇḍalinī sojourns in these

chakras while making its upward journey. These chakras appear in the form of lotus flowers

and different chakras have different number of lotus petals. Different Sanskrit alphabets are

contemplated in different chakras. These details are being discussed in the series “navāvaraṇa

pūjā” and hence not discussed here. More over such intricate details are not needed for

practicing kuṇḍalinī meditation. Each of these chakras is connected to some of the endocrine

glands situated in the body. Further these chakras have numerous nerves intertwining each

other thereby causing the appearance of a wheel or a cobweb; the latter description fits these

chakras perfectly, as they do not appear in perfect wheel shape. Major portions of these nerves

are connected to the spinal nerve and endocrine glands. These nerves appear like spokes of a

wheel.

Six chakras from the base of the spine to the top of the head are – mūlādhāra, svādhiṣṭhāna,

maṇipūraka, anāhata, viśuddhi and ājñā and they can be translated as base chakra, sacral chakra,

navel chakra, heart chakra, throat chakra and third eye. But, technically speaking only four

chakras and sahasrāra are more powerful and important than the rest and they are mūlādhāra,

maṇipūraka, anāhata, ājñā and sahasrāra (brahmarandra). These five energy centres are always

sedentary in nature in an ordinary person. But, depending upon one’s spiritual elevation, these

psychic centres become active and begin to vibrate and make one feel the rotary sensation due

to energy circulation in these areas. The exact locations of these energy centres slightly differ

from person to person and can be perfectly located only by the concerned person. Someone

with clairvoyant eyes can, to a very great extent locate these centres in others and can also

manipulate them. Many Gurus impart mantras by working on these chakras, which alone, can

yield better results.

Mūlādhāra is the resting place of kuṇḍalinī. Mūlādhāra is located in the perineum. Location of

perineum marginally differs according to gender. Irrespective of its location, kuṇḍalinī has to

ascend only through the tip of the lower end of the spinal cord which is known as coccyx or
tail bone. The brahma nāḍi within citriṇi nāḍi begins only from the tip of the spine and kuṇḍalinī

ascends only through this brahma nāḍi. After entering into the brahma nāḍi, kuṇḍalinī goes up

the spine to reach sahasrāra, but its journey is not always smooth, There are certain blockades

called granthi-s (granthi means knot) and kuṇḍalinī finds it difficult to pierce these granthi-s to

move up. If granthi-s are not properly and effectively pierced, it could lead to kuṇḍalinī

syndrome. Any difficulty experienced during kuṇḍalinī ascension is known as kuṇḍalinī

syndrome. As discussed earlier, it is difficult to predict the exact nature of these syndromes, as

they vary from person to person. Hence it is always better to go slow while practicing kuṇḍalinī

meditation. The ascension of kuṇḍalinī is generally taught, only after one masters his or her

breath.

The ideal way to awaken kuṇḍalinī is to first meditate on mūlādhāra and in order to meditate

on mūlādhāra, one has to know its exact location (location is discussed in the previous part).

Due to the power of awareness generated during quality meditation, kuṇḍalinī begins to ascend.

The ascension is possible due to the combined effect of consciousness and prāṇa, which

produces intense heat at the perineum. This way is the safest way to awaken the kuṇḍalinī.

When kuṇḍalinī is awakened this way, it begins to enter brahma nāḍi through brahmadvāra

(dvāra means opening and brahmadvāra means opening of Brahman) without causing any

syndrome. Kuṇḍalinī’s journey starts from brahmadvāra at the base of the spine and ends at

brahmarandhra (Brahman’s crevice). Both dvāra and randhra mean an orifice. Kuṇḍalinī travels

from brahmadvāra to brahmarandhra and back. At the time of death, a yogi’s soul escapes only

through brahmarandhra. When brahmarandhra is connected to liberation, brahmadvāra is

connected to creation. It is said that a child is connected through brahmadvāra to its mother

during its sojourn at the womb. In other words, brahmadvāra of both mother and child is

interconnected during child’s nourishment in mother’s womb. One’s sexual activity is

controlled by mūlādhāra and there is a direct relation between one’s sexual activity and

kuṇḍalinī. But activating kuṇḍalinī through certain means is against ethical practice and that

too when better methods are available for perfect and flawless awakening. The symbolic union
of Śiva and Śakti at mūlādhāra is often misinterpreted, due to the reading of sāmarasya-

parāyaṇa (Lalitā Sahasranāma 792). Śiva is Cit (Consciousness) and Śakti is Ānanda (Bliss)

and their union results in Cidānanda (Ultimate reality consisting of both Consciousness and

Bliss or the union of Śiva and Śakti). Irrespective of these controversies, activation of kuṇḍalinī

is also related to conjugation and orgasm, but it requires lot of knowledge and expertise.

Therefore, it would be wise to ignore this for the reasons explained earlier. Apart from

meditating on mūlādhāra and visualizing prāṇa at the base chakra, to awake the kuṇḍalinī

firmly and steadily, certain mudra-s and bandha-s are to be practiced, which will be discussed

later in this series.

Mūlādhāra is connected to testes or ovaries, both being part of endocrine glandular system and

produce either testosterone or oestrogen and progesterone as the case may be. When kuṇḍalinī

is awakened from mūlādhāra it begins to climb through brahma nāḍi, but faces its first

resistance at Brahmā granthi (often written as Brahma granthi) or the knot of Brahmā, the

creator who is different from Brahman. Brahmā granthi is also connected to procreative organs

and many of the nerves emanating from procreative organs form Brahmā granthi. Granthi-s

form as blockades in the path of kuṇḍalinī, as there are clusters of nerves and blood vessels

applying pressure on Brahma nāḍi, which is a normal phenomenon in all human beings. More

efforts are needed to make the kuṇḍalinī ascend to go past these granthi-s. Mudra-s and bandha-

s are used to transcend these granthi-s. After awakening from mūlādhāra and after crossing

Brahmā granthi, the next target is the navel chakra or maṇipūraka, though it traverses through

svādhiṣṭhāna chakra, which is not discussed here. Maṇipūraka chakra is located exactly behind

the navel. This chakra is connected to pancreas and adrenal glands. Pancreas is situated just

above the navel and adrenal glands are situated at the top of the kidneys. Both these glands are

situated in the abdominal cavity. When maṇipūraka is fully activated, rarely first signs of

certain siddihis are realized. After crossing maṇipūraka, kuṇḍalinī faces another blockade in

the form of Viṣṇu granthi, situated just below the heart chakra or anāhata. Without piercing

this granthi, kuṇḍalinī cannot reach anāhata, one of the important psychic centres, as a fully
activated heart chakra manifests into universal love. Viṣṇu granthi is loosely knit when

compared to Brahmā granthi, as this granthi has more blood vessels than nerves. Once Viṣṇu

granthi is pierced, kuṇḍalinī ascends to heart chakra. The signs of kuṇḍalinī energising heart

chakra can be realized through the destruction of ego and manifestation of universal love and

compassion towards every being.

Heart chakra is connected to the endocrine gland thymus, which is situated above the heart in

the thoracic cavity. When heart chakra is activated, immunity system in the body gets fully

developed. But, thymus is not fully active in adults and it is fully active only in children.

Though it is not fully active, it does not become dysfunctional totally. Granthi-s though can be

opened by certain mudra-s and bandha-s, purity of the mind is more important. For example,

one cannot transcend Viṣṇu granthi, without annihilating non-essential ego (the “I” ness such

as I am the doer, I am knowledgeable, etc). As kuṇḍalinī is the subtlest form of Parāśakti, it

can effectively be handled by our subtle body, mind. From heart chakra, kuṇḍalinī moves

towards ājñācakra, the point between the eyebrows, after transcending throat chakra. Before

entering ājñācakra, it faces resistance at Rudra granthi, which is situated just below ājñācakra.

Rudra granthi is the most complicated and toughest of the three granthi-s and is full of nerves

intertwining. More than mudra-s and bandha-s, this granthi can be transcended only through

pure consciousness and effectively directing prāṇa. One has to take enough pains in getting

past Rudra granthi. Unless Rudra granthi is fully opened, ājñācakra cannot become fully

functional. Out of the three granthi-s, the first granthi, Brahmā granthi is easier to cross due its

lesser density. Viṣṇu granthi is denser than Brahmā granthi and is difficult to cross and if

crossed, one can reach the heart chakra, which manifests as love and compassion for others.

Ājñācakra is connected to pineal and pituitary glands. Pineal gland is also known as the gland

of divinity. When consciousness is fixed on the pineal gland which is just behind ājñācakra,

this gland begins to illuminate. Guru-s initiate their disciples through ājñācakra focusing on

their pineal glands, which receives the commands of one’s Guru. Pineal gland is also known

as the seat of the soul. When ājñācakra is fully active, the whole body is illumined and radiates
powerful energy. This is the point where all the three nāḍi-s iḍa, piṅgala and citriṇi (which is

within suṣumna) unite, thereby dissolving all dyads (I and That) and triads (practitioner, the

practice and the object of practice Parāśakti). A fully activated ājñācakra radiates energy on all

the four sides – into lower chakras, emitting energy through forehead, emitting energy through

back head chakra and also moves up in stages to reach brahmarandhra in sahasrāra. The

movement of kuṇḍalinī from ājñācakra is possible only due to Her Grace.

There are minor chakras between ājñācakra and sahasrāra and out of these minor chakras,

which are said to be twelve in number, manas chakra and soma chakra are the most important

chakras. Manas chakra, also known as mind chakra becomes fully active when ājñācakra is

fully activated. If mind chakra is fully activated, the remnants of ego are annihilated paving

way for the purest form of Consciousness. Mind chakra cannot be activated through any mudra-

s and bandha-s. All the chakras above ājñācakra get activated on their own, depending upon

one’s spiritual elevation and the descent of Divine Grace. When kuṇḍalinī reaches soma chakra,

also known as moon chakra, ambrosia is generated here which drips down the throat. Though

in the initial stages ambrosia can be swallowed, over a period of time, the secreted ambrosia is

to be pushed back into the skull, by blocking the hole in the upper palate with the help of the

tongue. When the flow of ambrosia is blocked, it becomes solidified and attains immense

potency and ultimately becomes another bindu, which cause many supernatural powers in the

yogi. The other two bindus are situated one at ājñācakra and another at sahasrāra. These three

bindus are known as nāda, bindu and kalā. Yoga CūḍāmaṇiUpaniṣad (IV.1) says, “namaḥ

śivāya gurave nādabindukalātmane (ननन ननननन ननननन

ननननननननननननननननन).

After crossing these twelve chakras beyond ājñācakra, kuṇḍalinī finally reaches sahasrāra to

merge with Śiva. Sahasrāra is not connected to any gland and this is the place of Brahman

(Śiva) and when the union between Śiva and Śakti takes place at sahasrāra, one is liberated.

During the intense stage of Śiva and Śakti union, one automatically enters into the highest stage

of samādhi, known as nirvikalpa samādhi (state of complete thoughtlessness). During this stage
of nirvikalpa samādhi, there is decrease in the level of prāṇa and the mind is completely

dissolved like salt getting dissolved in water. This is the end of Self-realization and there is

nothing to be attained beyond this state. The yogi now exists as a jīvanmukta and as soon as all

his karmic impressions are exhausted, he dies only to merge with Paramaśiva, the state, where

not even Śakti exists. Liberation is the completion of the process of dissolution of both prāṇa

and mind, says Haṭhayoga Pradīpaka (IV.17).

Vijñānabhairava tantra (dhāraṇa 110) says, “I am free both from bondage and liberation” says

the liberated one. Bondage and liberation are dualities, hence limited by time and space. Only

the ignorant are bound by dualities and consequent delusion. They consider the image of the

sun in water as the real sun, not knowing that what they are seeing is only a reflection. Bondage

and reflection arise due to the wild imagination of buddhi or intellect. In reality, Pure

Consciousness is the Self, which alone is Self-illuminating and which alone is real. All that we

see is only the Self, the all pervasive, which is wrongly perceived as the material world. But

He alone exists everywhere in different shapes and forms.

Kundalini Meditation - Part 6


Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Prāṇa, mind and consciousness are all connected to Kuṇḍalinī meditation. What is the role of

prāṇa in kuṇḍalinī meditation? According to Trika Philosophy (Kashmir Śaivism), there are

three types of Kuṇḍalinī yoga and they are parā kuṇḍalinī yoga also known as pūrṇa kuṇḍalinī

yoga, cit kuṇḍalinī yoga and prāṇa kuṇḍalinī yoga. Out of the three, cit kuṇḍalinī yoga is

Supreme and is directly related to Śiva and nothing to do with empirical beings. Cit kuṇḍalinī

yoga is related to consciousness in an empirical body and Prāṇa kuṇḍalinī yoga is related to

prāṇa. What is generally practiced is the yoga combining both consciousness and prāṇa.

Therefore, it is important to understand the significances of consciousness and prāṇa as the

latter originates from consciousness.


Consciousness is Brahman and consciousness (lower case c) is individual soul. Consciousness

becomes consciousness due to the veil of māyā. If this veil is removed, Consciousness can be

realized, which is in its purest form. The veil of māyā can be removed only through a purified

mind and the mind can be purified by controlling and regulating breath, known as prāṇa. Purest

form of Consciousness is Paramātma or the Transcendental Consciousness. Jīvātma on the

other hand is an embodied being and is associated with mind and matter. Kulārṇava Tantra

(I.7-11) explains Paramātma and Jīvātma thus. “There is One Real who is Śiva, omnipresent,

omnipotent and omniscient and He is the one without a second without any impurities. He is

known as saccidānanda (perpetual existence in the state of Bliss). Empirical individuals are

merely portions of Him due to ignorance and separated from Him like a spark though emerging

from fire, yet separate from it.” Thus, Śiva becomes the cause of this universe and He manifests

through His Power known as Śakti. Both Śiva and Śakti are interdependent, as one’s power

cannot be a separate existence from the person who holds the power. Thus, in a human body,

both Śiva and Śakti exist, as they cannot exist separately or independently. Thus, wherever

Śiva is present, Śakti is also present. If Śiva is omnipresent, Śakti is also omnipresent as they

are eternally inseparable. In a human body, Śiva exists as the Self and emanate kaulikī śakti

which form mind and matter of a human body and after having emanated as kaulikī śakti,

known as Parāśakti, who exists in the form of Kuṇḍalinī at mūlādhāra and Śiva continues to

emit Light from sahasrāra. Now, Śiva and Śakti are in two different places and their

‘separation’ or gap in a human body is reflected as māyā, or spiritual ignorance. Śiva exists as

Consciousness and Śakti as kuṇḍalinī and when their union takes place, it leads to experience

of Bliss. Tantraloka (III.68) says, “The coupling form of Them is said is be collision or

embracing, which leads to Ānandaśakti from which this world appears.” A yogi through his

consciousness and prāṇa makes the kuṇḍalinī move up through his spinal cord and unites Her

with Śiva at sahasrāra and because of their union, the yogi experiences Bliss. How kuṇḍalinī is

awakened and made to unite with Śiva is kuṇḍalinī meditation. Kuṇḍalinī is situated at the base

of the spine in coccyx area and this area has smooth muscles that are capable of pulsation and

this pulsation or vibration can be felt during kuṇḍalinī meditation.


In order to practice a good kuṇḍalinī meditation, three attributes are required – purified mind,

purified consciousness and ability to manipulate his prāṇa. Therefore, in order to practice

perfect kuṇḍalinī meditation, we need to know more about mind and consciousness.

The following subjects, mind, consciousness and ego are already dealt with elaborately in these

links.

1. MIND

2. CONSCIOUSNESS

3. EGO

What needs to be studied now is prāṇa, though prāṇa has been discussed in various articles

under different circumstances. Primarily, the subtle body depends upon the breath or prāṇa

inhaled through the nostrils. The prāṇa thus inhaled is transported to kanda, which is deep red

in colour is just above mūlādhāra below the navel. Kanda, is the place where all the 72,000

nerves originate and get distributed throughout the body. The prāṇa that reaches kanda does

not belong to the respiratory system that ends up in lungs. When the inhalation is made, nostrils

inhale both air and the vital force or the cosmic energy. Air goes to the lungs to keep our body

system functioning. The cosmic energy, on the other hand is directly routed through idā and

piṅgala. The cosmic energy that we inhale along with air aids in spiritual and psychological

systems. Kanda is the place where kuṇḍalinī, the vital energy of human beings rest. Properly

directing the cosmic energy to kanda will make the kuṇḍalinī to ascend and awaken the dormant

spirituality. The atmospheric air mainly consists of nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), and other

minor gases forming the balance 1%. The vital energy gets converted into ten different types

of prāṇa and spreads throughout the body. They establish interconnectivity between gross and

subtle bodies. Prāṇa is widely prevalent in Nature, also known as Prakṛti. Prāṇa can be

manipulated with certain exercises and techniques. This in turn casts its effect on the mind to

seek the spiritual path, by muting sensory inputs from the gross body. Sensory organs depend
upon prāṇa and the mind to be active. Manipulation of prāṇa leads to mind control and which

in turn controls the sensory organs. Therefore, mind and prāṇa are directly related to each other

in functioning of a human body. Further, the quality of prāṇa and one’s ability to manoeuvre

prāṇa also has great relevance to kuṇḍalinī meditation. In addition to these inherent qualities

of prāṇa which is extremely subtle, observing the point of reversal of breath energises prāṇa

further, which enables prāṇa to move into suṣumna to activate kuṇḍalinī. When the turning

point of breaths is observed, both inhalation and exhalation becomes equal and unless the

breaths become equal, prāṇa cannot enter suṣumna. When prāṇa energises by fixing our

consciousness on the point of reversal, we can observe pulsation in our ājñācakra. This can be

better explained through the first four dhāraṇā-s of Vijñānabhairava Tantra (Entire

interpretation of Vijñānabhairava Tantra can be read in this link).

Dhāraṇā 1:

During normal breathing, breath goes in (inhalation) and goes out (exhalation). During

inhalation, the breath enters our body through trachea to the lobes of the lungs and reaches the

end points of the lobes. These end points meet the heart and the diaphragm. Visualise this point.

Medically this area is known as cariodphrenic pleural sinuses. The air that we breathe in goes

up to this point making an impact on the heart and the diaphragm. The movement of the

diaphragm helps kuṇḍalinī to ascend. At the end of inhalation the air stands still for a fraction

of a second before it makes a U turn ( in fact it is V turn, as we do not get a point in U) to

commence its exhalation process. Once exhalation is completed and before the commencement

of inhalation, the air stands still for a few second before it commences its inhalation process.

Normally inhalation begins at twelve inches from the tip of the nose. Observe this stillness of

breath, the state of breathlessness. This may not be possible immediately, but with persistent

practice this becomes possible to realize these two stillness points. When these points of

stillness are realized, one realizes the state of Bhairava. In other words, Self realisation

happens.
Dhāraṇā 2:

This is the continuation of the previous one. At the end of inhalation and before the

commencement of exhalation and after that momentary stillness, the breath takes a V turn and

commences its exhalation process. Observe this exact point of V turn, the point where the return

(exhalation) begins. There Bhairava is realized at that point. If one is able to concentrate on the

points that Bhairava mentions, such awareness cleanses the path of kuṇḍalinī, the central canal

of the spinal cord. The cleansing happens due to the vibratory effect of the awareness.

Dhāraṇā 3:

This skill activates the suṣumna nāḍī or the central canal of the spinal cord. This skill involves

in knowing the point of fusion of in-breath and out-breath. This fusion happens around the

point of return that has been discussed in dhāraṇā 2. This point of fusion is where neither

inhalation nor exhalation happens. While fixing awareness here, the entire intellection ceases

to function as awareness is fixed on the point of fusion and not on the worldly connections.

The awareness becomes so strong that his thoughts are destroyed and he becomes thoughtless.

His consciousness is fixed inwardly and his external connection through senses is sealed.

During this process, sushumna becomes activated. In dhāraṇā 2, suṣumna is cleansed by mere

concentration. In this dhāraṇā, suṣumna is activated by the stage of thoughtlessness

(nirvikalpa). In this stage, one realizes Bhairava.

Dhāraṇā 4:

When inhalation is made, exhalation does not happen immediately and when exhalation is

made inhalation does not happen immediately. Either breath is retained for a moment or one is

without breath for a moment. It is called kumbhaka. Breath is the source of energy for the body

to survive and hence it is called prāṇa, the vital energy. Without prāṇa physical body cannot

continue to exist. On many occasions, one could have noticed that he could have momentarily

entered the state of death out of fear when his breath stops for a moment. When someone is
flying and the aircraft develops serious technical snag, he becomes breathless when he hears

the announcement made by the flight commander. Though he continues to exist, his

consciousness for a moment becomes un-conscious. He becomes unaware of himself and the

surroundings. He becomes thoughtless. For effective functioning of the mind, prāṇic energy is

required. When the required supply of prāṇa is suspended, the mind also becomes thoughtless.

During the stage of thoughtlessness, the individual self ceases to exist due to lack of prāṇa and

merges into Bhairava. The ignorance of duality paves way for the knowledge of Reality. This

dhāraṇā does not refer to forced holding of breath (kumbhaka). When this dhāraṇā is practiced

in the stage of thoughtlessness, Bhairava is realized. It happens on its own.

Following words of Abhinava Vidyātīrtha Mahāsvāmi of Śṛṅgiri mutt are self-explanatory. “A

practitioner of kuṇḍalinī yoga should strive to arouse the kuṇḍalinī to raise her all the way to

sahasrāra, overcoming any obstruction in her path regardless of where it may be encountered.

He does not have to take radically different steps to pierce a granthi than to raise the kuṇḍalinī

from one chakra to the next. ........the lack of uniformity in the specification of the locations of

the granthi-s is not of practical consequences to a spiritual aspirant.”

Kundalini Meditation - Part 7


Monday, August 12, 2013

We will have some serious apprehensions about cohesion between kuṇḍalinī and psychic

chakras, benefits of activating chakras and the possible changes at emotional and physical

levels during different stages of kuṇḍalinī meditation. Since kuṇḍalinī is the subtlest aspect of

human life, any wrong practice could lead to serious repercussions. Therefore, it is necessary

that one should have the first hand knowledge on kuṇḍalinī and its associated subjects. This

article discusses about the following subjects.


1) Cohesion between kuṇḍalinī and psychic chakras:

The word cohesion seems to be more appropriate here as cohesion is explained as sticking

together. Though kuṇḍalinī, the vital force and psychic centres already exists, they are not

activated unless, kuṇḍalinī is activated. As discussed earlier, the best way of activating

kuṇḍalinī is absolute love for Her. Love for Divine is the ultimate stage in spiritual path, the

penultimate stage being unstinted devotion for the Divine. Transformation of devotional state

of mind to the pervasion of absolute love for Her happens only in the emotional level; however

this transformation gets reflected in physical level also.

Psychic centres are inherently not active fully; but at the same time, each chakra is active to a

certain extent, as when we inhale and exhale, prāṇa enters through both iḍa and piṅgala, which

is normal in human being. If one is able to manipulate prāṇa through certain practices, prāṇa

enters the spinal cord, known as suṣumna. When prāṇa enters through suṣumna, these psychic

centres are energised by fixing our consciousness on the psychic centres due to the combined

effect of prāṇa and consciousness. These chakras are activated on their own, if one is blessed

to receive the descent of Divine Grace. Descent of Divine Grace is possible only when devotion

transforms into love for the Divine.

Iḍa is the left nostril, which represents moon and is considered as feminine in nature. Piṅgala

is the right nostril, which represents sun and is considered as masculine in nature. Under normal

circumstances, one nostril is active for certain period during a day and the other nostril is active

for the rest of the time. Though both nostrils are active throughout the day, single nostril alone

is predominant at a given time. Iḍa starts from the big toe of the right foot and piṅgala starts

from the big toe of the left foot. Through thighs, they enter the perineum and for the first time

they meet each other at mūlādhāra and ascends up to the top of the skull crisscrossing each

chakra. Their crisscrossing is extremely powerful in two chakras, maṇipūraka and anāhata

(navel chakra and heart chakra). Even lymphatic system has a very strong presence in these

two chakras. They proceed towards sahasrāra outside suṣumna. Iḍa controls the right brain and
piṅgala controls the left brain. Iḍa controls antaḥkaraṇa comprising of mind, intellect,

consciousness and ego and they together (antaḥkaraṇa) control the subtle body, which is

required for the physical body to exist. Further, when inhalation is made through the left nostril,

as the breath uses iḍa nāḍi, the prāṇa that travels through this nāḍi works on vijñānamaya kośa

and manomaya kośa and controls the mind. This is one of the reasons for saying that moon is

responsible for mind. If inhalation is done through left nostril and exhaled through the right

nostril when the mind is disturbed, mind attains its composure after a few rounds of breathing.

Similarly piṅgala is instrumental in causing modifications in the gross body. Piṅgala controls

annamaya kośa, ānandamaya kośa and prāṇamaya kośa. As piṅgala controls prāṇa, it produces

heat which in turn heats up prāṇa, which makes the dormant kuṇḍalinī to ascend. It is more or

less like vaporisation of liquid when heated. Thus, when inhalation is made through the left

nostril, mind is calmed down and when the inhalation is done through the right nostril,

kuṇḍalinī is activated. In order to effectively activate kuṇḍalinī, proper breathing practice as

discussed in Part 3 of this series is to be followed, along with other techniques, that will be

discussed later in this series. With perfect breathing practice along with certain postures,

mudras, bandhas, etc, prāṇa enters into suṣumna blocking the passages of iḍa and piṅgala.

When their passages are blocked, inputs to sensory organs are also blocked, intensifying the

level of concentration, which in turn induces samādhi. When kuṇḍalinī is activated, it ascends

through suṣumna passing through five chakras - svādhiṣṭhāna, maṇipūraka, viśuddhi, anāhata

and ājñā to enter sahasrāra. Chakras can be effectively activated only if prāṇa enters through

suṣumna.

Thus chakras can be activated only if prāṇa enters through suṣumna, establishing a clear

relation between prāṇa, kuṇḍalinī and psychic chakras.

2) Benefits of kuṇḍalinī meditation while pursuing


spirituality:
Ascension of kuṇḍalinī is directly related to several factors, such as one’s karmic account,

spiritual evolvement, Guru’s Grace and above all Her Grace. If kuṇḍalinī ascends on Her own,

it means that his karmic account accumulated over several births is going to be exhausted in

this birth; he is going to be liberated at the end of this life.

Even if one begins to practice kuṇḍalinī meditation, it also signifies his elevated spiritual level,

but to a far lesser extent. Unless one is spiritually evolved, perfection in kuṇḍalinī meditation

cannot be attained. The level of spiritual evolvement is directly related to activation of higher

chakras, through practice. If one is not spiritually evolved, granthi-s cannot be pierced easily.

Spirituality is not related to dualism or external worship. Spirituality is the state of mind where

one is able to realise the Self beyond all material forms as well as his own body. It is the path

of realizing the Self within, which is explained as “I am Brahman” or “I am That”. Only

realizing the Self within alone leads to liberation. Getting liberated at the time of death is the

ultimate stage and he is not reborn again to undergo the pains of transmigrations. Therefore, it

is highly important that one should not practice kuṇḍalinī meditation as long as his mind sticks

to duality. Even if he practices, ascension of kuṇḍalinī to higher chakras like anāhata, ājñā and

sahasrāra will not be possible. If one feels that his or her kuṇḍalinī is activated due to vibrations

in these higher chakras, it could be only deceptive activation. These vibrations are realized due

to movement of prāṇa mostly in iḍa and piṅgala. This also means that his or her suṣumna is not

yet opened at mūlādhāra and the prāṇa moves up and down only through iḍa and piṅgala.

Unless these two channels are closed, prāṇa cannot enter into suṣumna. Though, one practices

various methods to activate the kuṇḍalinī, activations will not be perfect if all dualities are not

annihilated.

Depth of devotion is possible due to recitation of mantras initiated by a Guru. Mantras cause

subtle vibrations on the psychic body and these vibrations intensify the heat at mūlādhāra which

cause subtle vibrations in kuṇḍalinī and this vibration of mūlādhāra is noticed at ājñā and

sahasrāra. However, this is not kuṇḍalinī ascension. These subtle vibrations at mūlādhāra will

impact the sleeping kuṇḍalinī, which in turn cause modifications of the mind by annihilating
all types of dyads. Further, when there are vibrations in kuṇḍalinī, the effect of these vibrations

are felt at pineal gland, which is also known as the gland of spirituality, which is posited behind

ājñā chakra, in the midpoint between back head and forehead. Though kuṇḍalinī has not yet

began its journey towards sahasrāra, its awakening from the slumber is realized at ājñā chakra,

which in turn works on pineal and pituitary glands by making the practitioner to look for the

Self within. Thus, intensity of spiritual evolution works on awakening kuṇḍalinī.

There are other methods of awakening such as tantric awakening, which is almost

instantaneous. In these cases, ascension is almost like a blast happening within the body, when

kuṇḍalinī is awakened and reaches sahasrāra in no time. But this depends upon various factors,

such as stability of the mind, detachment, devoid of addiction, etc. In Tantric awakening, one’s

kuṇḍalinī should not be totally sedentary. This involves ‘maithuna’ which means more than

one person. But, this is not the way to awaken kuṇḍalinī and the whole procedure is often

misinterpreted and quoted out of context. This procedure is not meant for sadhāka-s like us and

needs to be condemned strongly. Whether these practices are discussed in Tantra Scriptures,

whether this is right or wrong are different sets of questions that will never have proper

answers. There are other methods too to forcefully awaken kuṇḍalinī by using certain drugs

that work on central nervous system. Activation of kuṇḍalinī without devotion and love for the

Divine will only be a futile exercise, leading to severe physiological problems.

3) Changes in emotional and physical levels during


different stages of kuṇḍalinī meditation:

Generally changes can be observed under three categories – kriyāyoga (action), layayoga

(absorption) and jñānayoga (knowledge).

Awakening of kuṇḍalinī is also related to several extraneous factors, which cannot be

completely described, as most of the factors vary from person to person. For example, the

energy level prevailing in a particular place, phases of the moon, climatic conditions,
surroundings, cosmic influences, etc will vastly influence kuṇḍalinī ascension. It would be

ideal to practice kuṇḍalinī meditation in a hill, river side, one’s home, an aśram, Guru’s place,

etc, as these places will have immense positive energy. Full moon days and new moon days

are the best days to practice kuṇḍalinī meditation. There should not be any human or animal

movements in the place, where kuṇḍalinī meditation is practiced. There should be enough

natural ventilation and the air should not be artificially controlled, as this air will be devoid of

potent and pristine prāṇa.

Changes happening in emotional and physical levels of a person during and after kuṇḍalinī

ascension are significant. However, most of these changes vary from person to person. In the

mental and emotional planes, changes are almost the same in everyone. When kuṇḍalinī begins

to make Her ascension, passing through every chakras, the qualities of these chakras are

reflected in the mind of the practitioners. The first of significant change happens in anāhata

(heart chakra) and the aspirant with this chakra fully activated, becomes an embodiment of

universal love and compassion. When kuṇḍalinī moves to throat chakra (anāhata), he gains

powers to compose poems, etc. In other words, he becomes master of letters, mantras, etc.

When kuṇḍalinī reaches ājñā, the practitioner completely controls his mind and acquires

immense knowledge. In this stage, he establishes astral connection with his Guru. Finally when

kuṇḍalinī reaches sahasrāra, he becomes a yogi; he is a yogi because he has merged his

individual consciousness with Cosmic Consciousness. Such a yogi always stays calm and

composed without any aspirations for name and fame. He is not concerned with the material

world; he does not have desires and always remains in the state of complete satisfaction. His

sensory organs are under his complete control.

Kriya yoga:

In the physical body, there could be lot muscular twitching, cramps, body twisting, trembling,

itching, frowning, contraction or expansion of abdominal muscles, emotional outbursts

resulting in tears, etc. In particular, there could be high velocity tingling sensation in the left
leg. There could be immense heat in the feet, due to auto grounding (diabetic feet will also

produce heat in the feet and it is difficult to differentiate). In the beginning stage, there could

be purging, indigestion, dryness, fatigue, excessive sweat, excessive heat in the perineum, etc.

There could be twin protrusions above eye brows and at sahasrāra. In exceptional cases,

protrusion in sahasrāra could turn red, which will make birds peck it. This is one of the reasons

for having matted hair at the top of the head covering the sahasrāra. There could be many more

symptoms which could vary from person to person. In certain cases, nectar flows down from

sahasrāra even in ordinary state. There could be serious disturbances in sleep.

Layayoga:

Laya means disappearance or absorption. This is the mental state of practitioner, where his ego

is annihilated and as a result of which, he perpetually stays connected with Her. His individual

consciousness merges with Supreme Consciousness, dissolving his individual indentify. When

this happens, the practitioner begins to have inner visions and the nature of visions could be

anything from light to vision of his favourite deity, vision of great sages and saints, etc. There

could be inner sound like blowing a conch, ringing a bell, stringed musical notes, sound of

cracks in the skull. Etc.

Jñānayoga:

Many myths of spirituality are revealed to him. He attains the highest spiritual wisdom. His

level of understanding and his level of interpretation become deeper. He composes poems in

praise of Divinity. He transcends religious afflictions. His level of concentration becomes very

high and he attains mastery over spirituality. At this stage, he becomes eligible to teach others.

He transforms into a perfected Guru.

With this, theoretical aspect of kuṇḍalinī is completed. Subsequent parts will deal with practical

aspects.


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Kundalini Meditation - Part 8


Sunday, August 25, 2013

More attention is to be paid to practical aspect of kuṇḍalinī. As already discussed, ascension of

kuṇḍalinī depends upon two factors. One is the depth of devotion, which ultimately transforms

as love for Parāśakti, who completely pervades our mind, causing series bouts of inexplicable

happiness or Bliss. When Bliss prevails for longer time, kuṇḍalinī automatically ascends on its

own. No practice, whatsoever is needed and this is called descent of Divine Grace, which is

also known as śaktipāta. When the devotion is not ripe enough to transform as love for Her,

certain practices are required to purify our mind. This purification is required because Bliss

manifests only in a thoughtless mind. When the mind remains impure, psychic centres and

nāḍi-s are blocked and cause obstructions at various places in suṣumna. If these centres and

nāḍi-s continue to remain congested, the ascension of kuṇḍalinī does not happen and even if it

happens, it ascends through wrong channels, causing kuṇḍalinī syndrome. When kuṇḍalinī

syndrome is experienced, it is very difficult to sort it out. In many cases, healing has to happen

only through Her Grace. Hence, Yoga CūḍāmaṇiUpaniṣad (63) says, “with the force of prāṇa,

it (power of prāṇa) attains union with the bindu and his body becomes divine perpetually.” This

verse refers to maṇipūraka chakra. Yoga CūḍāmaṇiUpaniṣad also emphasises the importance

of postures, mudra-s, bandha-s, etc. For example, verse 65 talks about mahā mudra, which

alone can purify the nāḍi-s so that there are no blockages either in the nāḍi-s or in the psychic
chakras. If one attempts to awaken kuṇḍalinī without practicing Nāḍi Śodhana Prāṇāyāma,

he or she is bound to suffer from kuṇḍalinī syndrome. Therefore, before proceeding to this part,

one should be thorough with Nāḍi Śodhana Prāṇāyāma. In addition to Nāḍi Śodhana

Prāṇāyāma, one should also be well versed with the following bandha-s and mudra-s.

i) jālandhara bandha

ii) mūla bandha

iii) uḍḍiyāna bandha

iv) śāmbhavī mudra

v) agocara mudra

vi) khecarī mudra

vii) mahā mudra

It is important that prāṇāyāma, bandha-s and mudra-s should be practiced only in empty

stomach and should not be practiced when hot weather prevails. It is advisable that these

practices should be done only in early morning or late night, when stomach is empty. In general,

there should at least be three hours gap between food and practice. Any deviation from the

prescribed norms will cause general health impairment.

i) Jālandhara bandha:

Jālandhara means continuously netted and appearing like a web and bandha means control.

This is also known as chin lock. By practicing this, flow of blood and prāṇa into various nāḍi-

s (nāḍi includes blood, nervous and lymphatic systems) and cleanse them. There are few

variations.
It would be ideal to sit in padmāsana (lotus posture) while doing this. If this is not possible,

one has to compulsorily sit in ardhapadmāsana, without which this cannot be practiced

effectively.

Sit erect. Place the palms on the knees. There should not be any bend in elbows. Arms should

be straight from shoulders to knees. It would be ideal that both knees are on the yoga mat. If

not, pillows can be kept below the knees. Once pressure is applied on the knees, they should

not go down. As arms are in straight line, shoulders will go up. As far as possible, spine should

be erect. Close the eyes and keep the entire body in relaxed position. After a few rounds of

normal breathing, inhale deeply and hold the breath. Gradually bend the head forward till the

chin touches the chest. Any bends in the arms now should be straightened up. In order to avoid

any stiffness in the shoulders, shoulders should be raised. As we are already holding the breath,

all these adjustments should be done in a few seconds. This is the perfect stage of jālandhara

bandha or chin lock. Under normal health conditions, at the most one can remain in this posture

for a minute or less. As there is no movement in any part of the body during this practice, it is

called lock as this lock is due to chin pressing the chest and it is called chin lock.

Exhaling should not be done until every body part is pulled back to their normal states. First

unlocking should be from relaxing the shoulders, bending the elbows and finally raise the head

backwards and release the held breath slowly. Releasing the breath slowly is important and this

is directly related to the duration of holding breath. If breath is held for longer duration,

exhalation will be faster which should not be the case.

During inhalation and holding breath, shoulders should be raised, arms should be fully

stretched and opened palms should be pressing against the knees that are to be fully supported

either with a cushion or by the yoga mat/ground.

Another variation is that while inhaling, head can be slightly pushed back and at the

commencement of holding breath, chin should be brought to touch the chest. One more
variation is that the shoulders and arms can be kept in a relaxed manner instead of keeping

them erect. However, it is best to practice jālandhara bandha without any variations.

Main advantage of this bandha is that, it calms down the mind, which is an important factor in

kuṇḍalinī meditation. It also helps in cleansing nāḍi-s and chakras. It unites prāṇa, which is

predominantly present in thoracic region and apāna, which is present in abdominal region. The

union of prāṇa and apāna produces powerful energy at the base of suṣumna (which is situated

in the perineum) where apāna is predominant. This energy is caused due to the friction between

prāṇa and apāna at the base of the spine, where kuṇḍalinī is posited. Due to the potent energy

prevailing around mūlādhāra chakra, kuṇḍalinī is made to ascend in stages. Overdoing

jālandhara bandha will cause kuṇḍalinī to ascend through iḍa and piṅgala nāḍi-s and if this

happens, it is difficult to rectify this syndrome.

On the subtle plane, jālandhara bandha helps in purification of mind and consciousness leading

to higher spiritual planes. There is kūrmanāḍi in the pit of the throat which controls hunger and

thirst. When this nāḍi is activated, it subjugates hunger and thirst of the practitioner, so that he

can meditate for longer duration. Importance of kūrmanāḍi is also emphasized by sage Patañjali

in his Yoga Sūtra (III.32) which says, “kūrma nāḍyāṁ sthairyam”. This means that one has to

concentrate on the area of kūrmanāḍi, which is just below the throat pit. This is called kūrma

because the collar bone area appears like a tortoise, which is known as kūrma.

ii) Mūla bandha, aśvini mudra and vajroli mudra.

Mūla literally means root or foundation. But contextually, it means the area between the organ

of excretion and procreation. This area is known as perineum, where kuṇḍalinī is posited and

mūlādhāra is situated just above this. Contraction and expansion of perineum is known as mūla

bandha. Contraction and expansion of sphincter muscles is not mūla bandha, but is known as

aśvini mudra (aśvin means horse). Practicing aśvini mudra is essential for attaining perfection

in mūla bandha. Therefore, we need to understand both these mudra-s concurrently. Since
sexual organs are strongly connected to perineum, simple practice of vajroli mudra is also

essential. These three are the most important bandha-s to awaken the dormant kuṇḍalinī from

the perineum. Out of the three mūla bandha is primary and the other two or secondary in nature.

This image represents the effect of all the three bandha-s on kuṇḍalinī. The arrow with blue

colour represents the effect of aśvini mudra, the one with green colour represents the effect of

vajroli mudra and the one with red represents the effect of mūla bandha. The convergence of

the three arrows represents the position of kuṇḍalinī. The starting point of blue arrow represents

excretory organ, the one with green represents procreative organ and the red arrow in the centre

represents perineum. Thus perineum has three different parts, which vary according to gender.

The muscular portion that connects organs of procreation and excretion is known as perineum.

The size of the perineum is smaller in men when compared to women. Medically a male

perineum is known as prerectal raphe and in women, it is known as perineal raphe. Though it

is difficult to contract rectal muscles, perineum and muscles connected to procreative organs

independently, with practice one can attain close to perfection.

a) Aśvini mudra:

This is about contraction of sphincter muscles in the anal area. There are few steps involved.

We have to take a comfortable position, preferably a flat and hard surface. Close the eyes lightly

and fix consciousness at mūlādhāra chakra. In the initial stages of practice, it would be ideal to

fix our attention on the anal muscles, which are known as sphincter muscles. Sphincter refers

to a ring of muscles that contract to close an opening. The muscles that close the rectal opening
are called anal sphincters. By fixing our attention on the rectal opening and sphincter muscles,

contract the later in quick successions. It is important that one should try to contract only

sphincter muscles, as normally when anal muscles are contracted, perineum also contracts.

Though this is normal during initial stages of practice, over a period of time, one should try to

contract sphincter muscles in an isolated manner. In the initial stages, there should be sufficient

gap between two cycles. But as we progress, there need not be any gap between two

contractions; contractions can be done in quick successions. The maximum permissible

contraction per session is only ten. Breathing should be allowed to take its own course during

this practice.

In advanced version, this is to be aligned with breath. Slowly inhale with yogic breathing; while

inhaling contract sphincter muscles; retain the breath for a few seconds and while doing so,

sphincter muscles should remain contracted. Release sphincter contraction and exhale slowly.

The awareness should be fixed at mūlādhāra chakra.

b) Vajroli mudra:

This is about contraction of muscles of urethra and procreative organ. Take the most

comfortable sitting posture. Keep the spine erect and push the head slightly backwards. Keep

the opened palms on the knees (palms facing down). Fix the consciousness on urethra. Inhale

and hold the breath within (kumbhaka). Now pull the urethra upwards towards the navel.

Continue to contract for a few seconds and release both the breath and the mudra. This should

not be practiced more than five times per sessions. Any overdoing will hamper health

condition. In both the genders, procreative organ should be pulled upwards and with perfection

in practice, one will be able to control sexual energy, which will transform into heat energy

and this heat will cause kuṇḍalinī to ascend.


Vajroli refers to one of the nāḍi-s that establishes connection between sexual organs with the

brain. Controlling this nāḍi through certain other practices is an important aspect of tantric

practice.

c) Mūla bandha:

It is best to practice mūla bandha after perfecting the previous two mudras-s, as mūla bandha

is more powerful than the other two in activating kuṇḍalinī. At the same time, if mūla bandha

alone is practiced, it will not bestow the expected benefits. The energy generated from these

different sensitive points cause extensive heat and pressure in mūlādhāra area to awaken the

kuṇḍalinī in a perfect manner. As energy generated is centered and focused exactly on the point

where kuṇḍalinī seeps at the base of suṣumna, making kuṇḍalinī to enter into the path of

suṣumna without causing any syndrome. Hence, practicing this trine is extremely important in

kuṇḍalinī meditation.

Sit in a relaxed manner. Sitting posture is important for mūla bandha. Irrespective of āsana

(padmāsana, ardhapadmāsana, sukhāsana, etc) one practice, placing one of the heels below the

perineum is significant. By keeping a heel pressed against the perineum, it physically applies

pressure on the dormant kuṇḍalinī and makes it active. In women, it is suggested that this

pressure should be applied on labia majora instead of the perineum. This is because of the fact

that exact location of perineum marginally differs between two genders.

Close the eyes. Sit erect and in a comfortable position. One of the heels is to be kept as

described above. Now inhale deeply using yogic breathing (expansion of abdomen during

inhalation and contraction during exhalation). Retain the breath. Now contract the perineum,

with breath remaining within. When perineum is contracted when inhaled air is retained

(kumbhaka), the air within will try to find out an exit point, which is readily available in the

form of a minute opening within suṣumna. But at this entry point, kuṇḍalinī is in deep slumber

and kuṇḍalinī is pushed through brahma nāḍi, which is within citriṇi nāḍi of suṣumna. Mūla
bandha is one of the three bandha-s that form mahā bandha. The other two are jālandhara

bandha and uḍḍiyāna bandha.

Kundalini Meditation - Part 9


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

iii) Uḍḍiyāna bandha

The bandha-s and mudra-s that are being discussed here should be practiced in empty stomach.

Similarly, Mūla bandha, aśvini mudra and vajroli mudra should be practiced only after

excretion and urination.

Uḍḍiyāna means flying up. Uḍḍiyāna bandha is contracting abdominal muscles, so that, prāṇa

moves up the spine towards higher chakras instead of moving to the lower chakras. During this

practice diaphragm moves up pushing prāṇa towards anāhata and higher chakras. This bandha

is to be learnt in two stages; first by standing and next by sitting.

a) Uḍḍiyāna bandha in standing position:

Stand erect by keeping a distance of about 12 inches between the feet; comfortable standing

position is more important than religiously following any prescribed distance between the feet.
Spine should be erect and this can be ensured by standing comfortably and confidently in

standing posture. Do a few rounds of normal breathing in this posture.

Now slightly bend the body forward by bending the knees and with stretched palms hold the

middle portion of both the thighs; right palm on right thigh and left palm on left thigh as shown

in the picture. Bend marginally at the elbows to enable forward bending. Bend forward as much

as possible, so that chin comes very close to kūrma nāḍi as discussed in jālandhara bandha in

the previous part. While bending forward, expel all the air within. If the entire air is not expelled

inhale one more time, maintaining the above posture. When settled in this posture, push all the

air within by contracting the abdomen. Now the lungs are without air. Continue to remain in

this position, which is known, bāhya kumbhaka, contract the abdomen by pushing the

abdominal area towards the spine and lift the abdominal portion towards thoracic area. Before

contracting, one has to ensure that his chest is pushed forward and shoulders are marginally

raised. These movements are needed to facilitate the movement of diaphragm upwards. Any

wrong action could cause serious damage to abdominal organs. Though, it may appear simple,

while practicing this, adequate care should be taken. By continuing the contraction, one has to

move up his palms gradually towards the pelvic region and up. Gradually move to normal

position, chin still in contact with the chest. Now release the abdominal contraction, lift the

chin and inhale. All these three actions should be in succession and in the same order. It is

important that one should not release jālandhara bandha without releasing uḍḍiyāna bandha.

Now let us understand this step by step.

1. Stand erect with one foot gap between the feet.

2. Do a few rounds of normal breathing (normal breathing means only yogic breathing).

3. Now bend the head forward and press the opened up palms on mid thighs. Bend elbows to

accommodate forward bending as shown in the above image. While bending forward, all the
air within the lungs should be expelled by exhaling with force. There should be no retention of

air in the lungs. This is known as bāhya kumbhaka.

4. Do jālandhara bandha, as discussed in the previous part. Chin should be in touch with kūrma

nāḍi (do not over do this part. If one is not able to touch kūrma nāḍi with chin, it is not a

problem. On the contrary, if pressure is applied to touch kūrma nāḍi with chin, this could end

up in serious neck related problems). The red mark in the image is kūrma nāḍi.

5. Now contract the abdomen towards the spine and simultaneously lift the abdomen up, by

pushing the diaphragm towards thoracic region. Push the chest forward and slightly lift the

shoulders to accommodate the diaphragm (Diaphragm is a muscular portion that separates

abdominal and thoracic regions. It’s up and down movement expands and contracts the lungs

respectively). The relevant image is available in part two of this series. At this stage, the

abdomen remains contracted, palms in mid thighs, jālandhara bandha in place. Now the reverse

begins. In yoga practice, if a forward movement is done, same amount of backward movement

is also done to balance the energy flow. Typically this means that for every action, there is an

equal and opposite reaction. This is one of the fundamental principles of yoga.

6. While continuing with jālandhara bandha and uḍḍiyāna bandha, move the palms slowly

towards the pelvic region and come back to normal standing posture.

7. Release abdominal contraction (uḍḍiyāna bandha). While releasing uḍḍiyāna bandha,

jālandhara bandha continues. Now the abdominal contraction is fully released. Now release

jālandhara bandha and bring back the head to its normal position.
8. Now inhale slowly.

This completes one round. The whole movement should happen in few seconds, say in 30 to

40 seconds, in quick succession (1 to 8). This bandha helps in removing blocks in suṣumna

(not granthi-s) and also activates maṇipūraka chakra. Uḍḍiyāna bandha also activates solar

plexus (maṇipūraka chakra) which is one of the important centres for energy distribution in the

body, emotional and mental balance.

b) Uḍḍiyāna bandha in sitting position:

After attaining mastery in the standing position, uḍḍiyāna bandha in sitting position should be

practiced. There are no major variations, except the following.

1. Sit in a comfortable posture with one of the heels pressing perineum, as described in mūla

bandha in the previous part. Spine should be erect and palms should touch the knees as

explained in mūla bandha.

2. Inhale and exhale with force. Inhalation and exhalation should be only through nostrils,

except otherwise specified. Do not inhale again. Remain in bāhya kumbhaka.

3. Raise the shoulders by straightening the elbows, apply pressure on the thighs with palms,

and do jālandhara bandha. At this stage, spine in the thoracic region will be fully stretched.

4. Now contract the abdominal muscles (uḍḍiyāna bandha). Remain in this posture for about

10 to 15 seconds.

5. Now release uḍḍiyāna bandha, bring down the shoulders to normal position and finally

release jālandhara bandha and inhale slowly. This is one round.

iv) Śāmbhavī mudra:


This is a mudra related to eyes. There is another mudra very closely associated with śāmbhavī

mudra and this is known as nāsāgra dṛṣṭi (nāsikāgra means tip of the nose). Since both are

needed while practicing kuṇḍalinī meditation, we need to understand both the mudras.

a) Śāmbhavī mudra: (with open eyes)

Śāmbhavī is derived from the word Śambhu or Śiva. Śāmbhava refers to worshipper of Śiva.

Śāmbhavī means the Consort of Śiva, Parāśakti. Therefore, this mudra is related to both Śiva

and Śakti. By properly using this mudra, kuṇḍalinī can be moved towards sahasrāra, where

Śiva and Śakti unite.

This mudra is related to eye balls and can be practiced along with meditation. Overdoing this

mudra could cause damage to retinal nerves. In the first stage, śāmbhavī mudra should be

practiced with eyes open and after attaining perfection, this should be practiced with closed

eyes. If this is practiced with eyes closed, pineal gland, which is known as gland of divinity,

can be activated comfortably.

1. One has to take his/her normal meditative posture.

2. Close the eyes and take a couple of deep breaths (yogic breathing or diaphragm breathing or

abdominal breathing refer to the same type breathing – contraction and expansion of abdomen,

discussed in uḍḍiyāna bandha). Before beginning any yogic exercise such as mudra-s and

bandha-s, it is advisable to practice deep breathing exercises in order to relax both body and

mind. While doing deep breathing, close eyes lightly.

3. Now, open the eyes and focus on a particular point. In the initial stages, keep the right index

finger just opposite to the nose by stretching the right hand to the maximum extent. Now look

at the tip of the right index finger. In other words, focus both the eye balls on the tip of the

finger.
4. Now move up the index finger and while moving the index finger upwards, continue to look

at the tip of the index finger. Index finger can be lifted up to 12” from its original position.

Without moving the neck, continue to fix gaze at the tip of the finger. The important factors

are that head should not be moved up and down and there should be no tension in facial nerves

and muscles. If the head is not kept straight, the ascension of kuṇḍalinī will face resistance in

higher chakras. But, while practicing this, there are bound to be frowns in the forehead and

tensions in facial nerves and muscles. This is to be avoided carefully. Similarly, if the index

finger is moved upwards more than a foot there could be twin issues. One, head is bound to

move upwards and secondly, there could be enormous strain on optical nerves. Therefore, it is

extremely important to consciously avoid these twin issues.

5. Moving up the eyeballs and bringing back to the normal position is one round and in a

session, maximum of only five rounds can be practiced.

6. After attaining perfection in the above practice, one can proceed to practice this with closed

eyes.

b) Śāmbhavī mudra: (with closed eyes)

Same procedure as explained above is to be adopted. Please look at the image below.

You will find two spots one in red color and another is in green color. Red color is the pineal

gland, the gland of divinity. The one in green color is pituitary gland, which is known as the
master of all glands which also oversees the functions of pineal gland. Spiritual gland is only

the pineal gland and not the pituitary gland. Since the pituitary gland is the master of all

endocrine glands, pituitary gland is often misconstrued as the spiritual gland. Now using the

same procedure explained above, one should try to look at the pineal gland which is situated

deep inside the frontal bone (forehead area; frontal bone is a bony structure forming the anterior

part of the cranium within which frontal lobes of the brain are placed). The pineal gland is

called third eye and it responds to light. When both the eye balls are focused internally on the

pineal gland, light energy is produced in the pineal gland, as a result of which pineal gland is

well activated. Activation of the pineal gland can be experienced through mild pressure at the

base of the spine and tingling sensation in the nape of the neck and this sensation will be more

pronounced if the groove in the nape of neck is massaged, which could lead to bouts of goose

bumps. If anything goes wrong with kuṇḍalinī ascension above viśuddhi chakra, massaging

this groove with oil could heal the syndrome.

While practicing śāmbhavī mudra with closed eyes, one should start focusing internally exactly

behind the central point of the eyebrows (externally, this point is known as interciliary space);

this central point is in the mid position between pituitary and pineal gland, within the frontal

bone. First one has to concentrate on this point and gradually lift the focus on the pineal gland

for some time and again towards sahasrāra. Under normal conditions, one should not practice

more than five rounds. Over a period of time, concentration on pineal gland will produce

immense energy within the skull and this energy can be directed towards sahasrāra by

manipulating breath. This will be useful to move the kuṇḍalinī towards sahasrāra when it

reaches ājñācakra. This part will be discussed in practice section, which will come up after this

part.

c) Nāsāgra dṛṣṭi:

Nāsāgra means tip of the nose (just above the lips. Tip of the nose is often confused with the

beginning point of the nose from interciliary space. This explanation will be useful in
differentiating the different points of concentration in the practical section.) and dṛṣṭi means

sight. Looking at the tip of the nose is known as nāsāgra dṛṣṭi.

Sit in normal meditative posture and focus both eye balls on the tip of the nose. First, this can

be practiced by keeping the eyes open and later, this can be closed with closed eyes. There are

no rounds involved as there is no movement of eye balls involved, except to focus on the tip of

the nose. This also helps in making kuṇḍalinī ascend towards higher chakras, when aligned

with breath. This will be discussed further in practical section.

v) Agocara mudra or Agocarī mudra:

Agocara means imperceptible to senses. This is explained as nāsāgra mudra.

vi) Khecarī mudra:

This is one of the most important mudra-s. Khecara means flying in the air. It is also known as

lambikā yoga, where lambin means hanging down, referring to the soft palate in the jaw.

Haṭhayoga Pradīpaka (III. 6 and 7) says, that jālandhara bandha, mūla bandha, uḍḍiyāna bandha

and khecarī mudra are known as mudradaśakaṁ (ननननननननन) meaning 10 mudra-s and

with other six mudra-s, they destroy old age and death. It is also said that these mudras are

taught by Śiva. It is further said that these ten mudra-s confer supernatural powers. Khecarī

mudra is also explained in Yoga CūḍāmaṇiUpaniṣad (52). There are two types of khecarī

mudra; one as per Rāja yoga and other Hatha yoga. What is being discussed here belongs to

Rāja yoga.

This mudra is about rolling the tongue backwards and touching the hanging soft palate with

the tip of the tongue. Sit in normal meditative posture. Fold the tongue backwards and try to

touch the soft palate. Breathing can be normal yogic breathing. Continue the contact between

the tip of the tongue and the soft palate as long as possible. To begin with, 10 to 20 seconds
would be ideal and the duration of this connection can be increased over a period of time. This

mudra can be used during the initial stages of any meditative practice.

Sometimes, during advanced stages of kuṇḍalinī meditation (when kuṇḍalinī is in ājñācakra

and above), one can feel the flow of nectar from the skull towards soft palate. Flow of nectar

will be more pronounced while practicing khecarī mudra. This nectar is known as Sudhā or

amṛtavarṣini and is explained in Lalitā Sahasranāma 106, Sudhāsārābhi-varṣinī and

Saundaryalaharī (verse10). In Śri Cakra navāvaraṇa pūjā, viśeṣa arghya is worshiped as Sudhā

Devi.

Yoga CūḍāmaṇiUpaniṣad (53, 54 and 55) explains in detail the benefits accruing out of khecarī

mudra. It says, “Disease, death, sleep, hunger, thirst, etc do not disturb him. He is no more

attached to karmas (this means that further accrual of karmas is stopped).”

But, in due course, the flow of nectar should be arrested by practicing mahā mudra. If

amṛtavarṣini is allowed to flow down, it gets transformed into procreative fluids. Ambrosia is

generated from candra maṇḍala, which exists in sahasrāra and drips down towards sūrya

maṇḍala which exists at maṇipūraka cakra, where digestive fire jaṭharāgni also exists. Hence,

one should also learn to reverse the flow of nectar back to sahasrāra.

vii) Mahā mudra and Mahā bandha:

Mahā mudra and mahā bandha are two different aspects. Mahā bandha is synchronising three

bandha-s jālandhara, mūla and uḍḍiyāna bandha-s. Whereas, mahā mudra is practiced to arrest

the flow of nectar from sahasrāra through throat chakra to maṇipūraka cakra, by reversing its

flow at throat chakra itself. Hence, Mahā mudra and mahā bandha are to be understood and

practiced separately.

a) Mahā bandha:
Mahā bandha is synchronising three bandha-s - jālandhara, mūla and uḍḍiyāna bandha-s. Sit in

normal meditative posture. After a few rounds of normal yogic breathing, exhale with force the

entire air in the lungs. Now get into bāhya kumbhaka, which means no inhalation should be

done. First do jālandhara bandha followed by uḍḍiyāna bandha and finally mūla bandha. Stay

with these three bandha-s and bāhya kumbhaka as long as possible. Ideal time would be about

30 seconds. It is important that all the three bandha-s are to be done in quick succession, say

within 3 to 5 seconds or even less. Start from the neck, proceed to the abdomen and end at

perineum. While releasing the bandha-s, release mūla bandha first, followed by uḍḍiyāna

bandha and finally release jālandhara bandha and inhale slowly. Releasing bandha-s should

also be in quick succession. All other precautions as explained under relevant bandha-s should

be strictly adhered to.

b) Mahā mudra:

This is practiced with stretching left and right legs separately. Sit in normal and comfortable

meditative posture. First, press the perineum with the heel of the left foot (mūla bandha) and

stretch the right foot forward. Now inhale and hold the breath (antara kumbhaka). Bend forward

and hold the toes of the right foot with both hands. Now follow the details given below.

1) After doing mūla bandha with the left foot, do khecarī mudra and continue to remain in

khecarī mudra till one round is completed. Fix consciousness at mūlādhāra.

2) Do jālandhara bandha (throat lock) and śāmbhavī mudra in quick succession.

3) Then release śāmbhavī mudra first, followed by jālandhara bandha and finally mūla bandha

and exhale very slowly.

4) Follow the same procedure with the other leg. Press the perineum with the heel of the right

foot and stretch the left foot forward. Rest remains the same.
Mahā mudra helps in making the kuṇḍalinī ascend through suṣumna by blocking iḍa and

piṅgala nāḍi-s.

Plan for practice:

1. Practice and remain in mahā bandha for about 30 seconds. Mahā bandha can be practiced

for the maximum of ten times. Total time taken for actual practice could be around six minutes.

Rest of the time can be used for normal breathing (normal breathing between any two rounds).

2. Do khecarī mudra for about five times and this should be followed by agocarī mudra. After

practicing these mudra-s with eyes open, it would be ideal to practice these two mudra-s with

closed eyes. Each of these mudra-s can be practiced ten times in advanced stages. This could

take another six minutes. One round involves ordinary position of the eye balls, mudra and

again back to ordinary position.

3. Mahā bandha and mudra-s should be practiced twice a day for fifteen minutes for each

session. In addition to this nāḍi śodhana prāṇāyāma should also be practiced as per the chart

given in part 3 of this series. First prāṇāyāma should be practiced followed by mahā bandha

and mudra-s. Nāḍi śodhana prāṇāyāma could take about another ten minutes. In the morning

session, it would be ideal to practice early in the morning. Evening session can be practiced

when sun is about to set or after sun set. When sun is at its peak, no practice should be done.

4. After practicing the above prāṇāyāma, mahā bandha and mudra-s normal meditation should

be practiced at least for fifteen minutes during each session. At this stage of practice, we need

to practice prāṇāyāma, mahā bandha mudra-s and meditation for forty five minutes twice a day.

This practice should be followed continuously for a period of two months without fail.

Practicing kuṇḍalinī meditation could take about another forty five minutes per session. Thus

we may have to practice 90 minutes in the morning and 90 minutes in the evening in empty

stomach. However, this time will be considerably reduced when one attains perfection
This completes the preliminaries of kuṇḍalinī meditation. From the next part onwards, chakra

meditation will be taken up for discussion along with activating kuṇḍalinī.

Kundalini Meditation - Part 10


Thursday, October 24, 2013

There are many methods and techniques by which kuṇḍalinī energy can be activated. There are two

possibilities in kuṇḍalinī activation. One is involuntary activation, when immense devotion transforms

into love for Parāśakti; Parāśakti means the Power of Divine. Second is activation through practice.

Former is far safer than the latter, as automatic ascension happens due to Śaktipāta (descent of Her

Grace). When She showers Her Grace, the aspirant undergoes instantaneous transformation and

during this time, kuṇḍalinī ascends on its own. During activation through practice, the depth of

devotion is extremely important. Without the highest level of devotion, it is not advisable to practice

kuṇḍalinī meditation and even if practiced, it could lead to some inexplicable syndrome, which is often

called kuṇḍalinī syndrome. In the case of Śaktipāta, Divine energy descends from the cosmos into the

body of the aspirant through an orifice known as brahmarandra at the top of the skull and this Divine

energy enters through the spinal cord and activates the dormant kuṇḍalinī energy at the perineum.

Only during this type of activation, extraterrestrial visions and decipherable sounds are possible. One

can consider himself/herself as a blessed one, when Śaktipāta is showered, which instantaneously

makes one realize the Self. Unless one is thorough with the procedures and other intricacies of

kuṇḍalinī meditation, it is always better to refrain from practicing this. Role of a Guru is extremely

important in kuṇḍalinī meditation, as many times during practice, one will have several doubts.

Before we proceed further, it would be wise to read this interpretation given under Lalitā

Sahasranāma 110. “Kānci Paramācāryā in his magnum opus ‘Voice of God’ observed the following

about Kuṇḍalinī yoga: “Kuṇḍalinī yoga is not the only path available to the seeker. Choose any path

other than it, adhere to it with a mind that is one-pointed and with faith and sincerity. As you advance

to a high state on this path, your breathing will change automatically and it will be similar to that of
one practising yoga-s. You may even be aware of it; the breathing will change on its own” and after

saying that one’s breath will undergo modifications, he says, “....the movement of breath will impinge

on the nerves in the roof of our head and touching the feet of Ambāl (referring to Śaktī) create a flow

of ambrosia. Even in worldly life when we are in ecstasy of delight our breathing stops and we faint. In

this, there is reflection of the emotion experienced by us during kumbhaka (holding breath). During

this time we exclaim: ‘Ah, I feel cool in the crown of my head.’ This also means that a tiny droplet of

the ambrosia has trickled on the nerves in the crown of the head. I have said this to show that even

by following the path of devotion you can have inward experience of sublime nature.”

There are two methods to activate kuṇḍalinī through practice. The first method is the proven method

in which beginning from mūlādhāra, every higher chakra is activated step by step. This takes a longer

time to activate higher chakras. In this method, meditation is done at every chakra, so that every

chakra is not only fully activated, but also well balanced. But there are some risks involved. Activation

of chakras can be done only with the help of prāṇa and consciousness. In this method, while moving

from one chakra to the next higher chakra, there is a possibility that the prāṇa does not move through

suṣumna and instead could move through iḍa and piṅgala, causing side effects and most of the times,

any damage caused to the system is difficult to repair. Such effects are known as kuṇḍalinī syndrome,

which cannot be explained as this will vary from person to person. One common thing in kuṇḍalinī

syndrome is that, it is bound to affect the nervous system and brain leading irreparable psychic state.

However, if proper foundational practices such as prāṇāyama, bandha-s and mudra-s are perfectly

practiced, chances of manifestation of syndromes could be less. However, it is always advisable to

practice under the direct guidance of a Master/Guru. Whatever being discussed here is applicable only

to those who have attained perfection in various practices discussed in the previous parts (1 to 9).

The second method is to activate the pineal gland situated very close to ājñā chakra. If ājñā is activated

fully, pineal gland gets automatically activated. This is comparatively a safer method, as directly

activating ājñā chakra will avert kuṇḍalinī syndrome, as in this method, there are least chances of

kuṇḍalinī ascending through either iḍa or piṅgala. Further, in this method kuṇḍalinī is not awakened

straightaway, as a result prāṇa first purifies suṣumna to enable kuṇḍalinī at the time of awakening to
traverse through suṣumna without any blocks. Prāṇa not only cleanses suṣumna, but also blocks iḍa

and piṅgala during ascension of kuṇḍalinī. This action of prāṇa is known as prāṇa-utthāna.

Let us understand what prāṇa-utthāna is. As we know, prāṇa is the vital force or life energy and

utthāna means ascension or causing to ascend. Prakāśa (Self-illumination) is Śiva and Śakti (svātantrya

śakti of Śiva) is Vimarśa (Self-consciousness of Śiva). When Śiva is Light, it is Śakti who makes His Light

get reflected on worldly objects created by Her. It is only the reflection of His Light and not direct Light.

His direct Light is known as Kālāgni, the fire meant for annihilation of the universe. In order to avert

annihilation, Śakti casts a veil around this Light and this veil is known as māyā. By praying to Her, She

removes the veil of māyā cast by Her and when the veil of māyā is removed, Śiva is realized. The veil

of māyā can be removed only by Her Grace known as Śaktipāta (descent of Her Grace on the aspirant).

Kuṇḍalinī is the subtlest and yet, the most powerful form of Parāśakti. She manifests in the form of

three types of kuṇḍalinī and this is known as Her triple emission. Vimarśa can also be explained as

emission, as emission means the act of causing to flow forth. Parāśakti emits the Light of Śiva to create

and sustain the worldly process. Her emission happens through three aspects of kuṇḍalinī -

śaktikuṇḍalinī, parakuṇḍalinī and prāṇakuṇḍalinī. In Her non-emitting state, She merely remains as

dormant kuṇḍalinī, though She is highly potent and in this form She is known as Śaktikuṇḍalinī. While

lying in dormant state, She encompasses parakuṇḍalinī and prāṇakuṇḍalinī. At this point, we are not

going into more details, as this will involve further discussion of Trika philosophy. To understand this

in a simpler way, at the time of formation of foetus, prāṇa gets deposited in mūlādhāra just above

kuṇḍalinī. During prāṇāyama and other practices, this prāṇa rises up from mūlādhāra chakra and if

practice is perfect, it enters through suṣumna and cleanses the innermost nāḍi called citriṇī, also

known as Brahma nāḍi. Only when citriṇī nāḍi is purified, ascension of parakuṇḍalinī will happen in

the way it should ascend. It is only parakuṇḍalinī, that ultimately unites with Śiva at sahasrāra.

However, Śaktikuṇḍalinī continues to remain in kula-sahasrāra (below mūlādhāra). Kula-sahasrāra is

Parāśakti’s Abode. She remains there in Her subtlest form Kuṇḍalinī and akula-sahasrāra is Śiva’s

Abode. When their union takes place at sahasrāra, it signifies the union of Śiva and Śakti and when

this happens in our body, it signifies realization. It is also said that when this union takes place, one’s
karmic account is totally annihilated, but many do not subscribe to this view. If this view is accepted,

the explanation for jīvanmukta becomes obliterated. It can be said that at this stage, a practitioner

becomes a jīvanmukta, provided he is able to perpetually sustain in this stage.

At this point, we understand that kuṇḍalinī does not ascend in the beginning, but it is only prāṇa

(prāṇakuṇḍalinī) from mūlādhāra chakra that goes up to cleanse citriṇī nāḍi, through which

parakuṇḍalinī travels to meet Śiva at sahasrāra. This cleansing process will not happen if nāḍi śodhana

prāṇāyāma (discussed at the end of part 3) and other practices described in other parts are not

followed meticulously.

Energizing ājñācakra:

By this practice, kuṇḍalinī will not ascend. This will activate prāṇa-utthāna to clean citriṇī nāḍi; during

this process, not only citriṇī nāḍi is cleansed and purified, but also iḍa and piṅgala are blocked. This

prevents any possible kuṇḍalinī syndrome.

Take the sitting posture as discussed in the previous parts. Do yogic breathing. Breathing has to be

slow and deep. First few rounds of breathing may not be slow and deep. When breathing becomes

slow, fix the attention on the ājñā chakra using śāmbhavī mudra (with closed eyes). This is not exactly

śāmbhavī mudra, as there is a modification. In this modified form of mudra, which is neither śāmbhavī

mudra nor nāsāgra dṛṣṭi, first fix the concentration on the pineal gland (ājñā chakra) using both the

eye balls (pineal gland is discussed in part 9 of this series). After a minute or two, shift the attention

to anāhata chakra (heart chakra). Continue to fix the attention there. Without moving the awareness

from heart chakra, inhale and exhale. At the time of inhalation, visualize that cosmic energy is entering

into the body and at the time of exhalation, visualize that citriṇī nāḍi is being cleansed. Both these

visualizations are to be done on the spinal cord. When our attention is fixed at anāhata chakra,

following happen.
This image explains this practice. Violet colour star just above the central point of eyebrows is the ājñā

chakra, behind which pineal gland is situated. Two downward black arrows indicate the focus of the

eye balls on the heart chakra, which is in green colour. The red colour upward arrow is the upward

movement of prāṇa cleaning citriṇī nāḍi. It can be observed that when prāṇa ascends from the base

chakra, it traverses through ājñā chakra and then to sahasrāra. This process is called prāṇa-utthāna or

ascension of prāṇa.

1. As we are focussing on ājñā chakra, it becomes fully active.

2. As we are not using any force to awaken the kuṇḍalinī, it continues to remain in its hibernated state.

3. Deep inhalation and exhalation work on prāṇakuṇḍalinī at mūlādhāra chakra to become active and

as a result, prāṇakuṇḍalinī moves up through citriṇī nāḍi. When prāṇakuṇḍalinī enters citriṇī nāḍi,

activities of iḍa and piṅgala are annihilated. When iḍa and piṅgala are blocked, the only way for

prāṇakuṇḍalinī to move up is through citriṇī nāḍi and thus, kuṇḍalinī syndrome is averted.

4. When this is perfectly practiced, the passage of kuṇḍalinī is completely cleared of any blockages

and when parakuṇḍalinī ascends, it ascends with ease and to higher chakras.

5. When prāṇakuṇḍalinī moves through the citriṇī nāḍi within the spinal cord, it goes up to sahasrāra

and cleanses the entire path of parakuṇḍalinī.

When the path of Kuṇḍalinī is cleansed, Kuṇḍalinī can be activated with ease and confidence.

Kundalini Meditation - Part 11


Friday, November 15, 2013
After having cleansed citriṇī nāḍi (within suṣumna), we have to begin the process of cleansing our

psychic chakras. This article discusses about cleansing chakras. Chakras should not have any blocks

and should be able to spin freely. However, we must also remember that these chakras are only

psychical in nature and do not exist in the form of wheels. These chakras are connected to endocrine

glands. All the endocrine glands function under the control of pituitary gland, which is situated just

below the pineal gland. Please look at the image 1.

IMAGE 1

Both pineal and pituitary glands are situated very close to each other behind ājñā chakra, in the middle

of the skull. Please refer image 2 below.

IMAGE 2
When pineal gland is activated, pituitary gland also becomes hyper active. Pituitary gland is also known

as the master of all endocrine glands. Let now have a look at how each chakras are associated with

different endocrine glands.

psychic chakras endocrine glands

1 sahasrāra Pituitary gland

2 ājñā Pineal gland

3 viśuddhi Thyroid gland

4 anāhata Thymus gland

5 maṇipūraka Adrenal gland

6 mūlādhāra Procreative glands

All these glands are under the direct control of Pituitary gland, which is related to sahasrāra. In the

last article we have discussed about prāṇa-utthāna or ascension of prāṇa from mūlādhāra chakra. This

was dealt with in the last section of the previous article which can be read here: Kundalini Meditation

– part 10. Understanding this part as well as Kundalini Meditation – part 3 are extremely important

before proceeding to cleanse the chakras. In part 3, nāḍi śodhana prāṇāyāma is discussed in detail.

Without practicing nāḍi śodhana prāṇāyāma, progress in kuṇḍalinī meditation may not be significant

and often one ends up only with prāṇa-utthāna, which is nothing but an illusionary or deceptive

ascension of kuṇḍalinī. Often we are misled by pulsations, twitches, pricking sensation, build up of

pressure, etc at ājñā chakra. These symptoms are mostly due to prāṇa-utthāna. However, this also

could signify that kuṇḍalinī is ready to ascend. These symptoms and experience vary from person to

person. Generally, one can find out whether his or her kuṇḍalinī is ready to ascend. As already

discussed, the ascension of kuṇḍalinī primarily depends upon the depth of love for Divine, which can

be experienced by tears, sobs, cries and goose bumps (goose pimples).


Now let us begin the process of cleansing psychic six chakras mentioned in the chart. Let us have a

look at the image below.

IMAGE 3

This is the side view of psychic chakras, where face is at the top marked in black. Above the face

sahasrāra is marked and other chakras are marked below sahasrāra and ājñā. In the previous article,

we have learnt to cleanse citriṇī nāḍi. In the above process only citriṇī nāḍi was cleansed. Cleansing

chakras are important because, they spin in such a way to aid the ascension of kuṇḍalinī as smooth as

possible. In fact these chakras either decrease the speed of the kuṇḍalinī or increase the speed of the

kuṇḍalinī depending upon various physical and psychological factors of the person concerened. These

factors are directly related to mind and physical strength of the body. Therefore, chakras can spin both

clockwise and anticlockwise and many times we may not be even aware of how chakras spin. When

they spin, they produce extensive energy. For example, when anāhata chakra is active, energy of love

is manifested.

In the previous article, we have cleansed citriṇi nāḍi from ājñā chakra and also energised it. Using ājñā

chakra, we have to cleanse other chakras. Posture explained in the previous article is to be strictly

followed. But there is going to be some change in the breathing pattern. Here inhalation and
exhalation will be connected to ājñā chakra and with any one of the other chakras below and sahasrāra

above.

We have to visualise that we are inhaling and exhaling through ājñā chakra. First let us cleanse

mūlādhāra chakra. Concentrate on ājñā and mūlādhāra and visualize an oval shape track connecting

these two chakras, as mentioned in the image 3 above and image 4 below. The red coloured oval

shape shows how ājñā and mūlādhāra are to be connected. Using both the eyeballs, fix the attention

on ājñā chakra. Inhale through ājñā chakra and this inhalation is to be visualized, as the air we inhale

enters only the lungs. Now exhale to mūlādhāra chakra which is to be visualised again. Consciousness

should be fixed on mūlādhāra chakra till the entire air is exhaled. While shifting the consciousness,

use both the eye balls. To explain this further, both the eye balls should be fixed at one chakra at a

point of time. This is further explained below. There are several steps involved and let us understand

this step by step.

1. Each chakra including sahasrāra is to be cleansed from ājñā chakra, which has already been

energised in the previous part.

2. At the time cleansing a particular chakra, consciousness should move from ājñā to that particular

chakra and back. For example, let us take mūlādhāra chakra. To begin with, after taking sitting posture

as explained in the previous part and after performing nāḍi śodhana prāṇāyāma, we have to move to

the next step of cleansing mūlādhāra chakra. Eyes are to be closed.

3. It is assumed at this point that we do only yogic breathing. Without yogic breathing, chakras cannot

be effectively cleansed.

4. To begin with we have to energize ājñā chakra first. After energising ājñā chakra, visualize a oval

shape, connecting both front and back sides of the body. This can be seen in the image 3 above.

5. Now move the eye balls along the visualized line. In the case of mūlādhāra chakra, this line can be

noticed outside red area. Red represents mūlādhāra chakra. It can be observered that when outer

lines are connected, an egg shape or an oval shape can be noticed. The shapes of the eggs get reduced

when we move closer to ājñā chakra. Technically, it can be explained that due to the decrease in the
distance between ājñā chakra and the respective chakra. For example, let us take anāhata chakra,

which is much closer to ājñā than mūlādhāra. This can be compared to altitude of a descending aircraft

while landing.

6. Let us now begin the process of cleansing mūlādhāra. To begin with, inhale through both the

nostrils, using yogic breathing method. Move down the eye balls along the visualised oval shaped line

marked B to mūlādhāra (marked C) from ājñā, marked A in the image 4 below. On the left is the back

of the body and on the right is front of the body. While moving down the eye balls towards mūlādhāra,

exhale and on reaching mūlādhāra, exhalation should have been completed. Exhalation should sync

with the movement of eye balls (consciousness or attention). When exhalation is complete on

reaching mūlādhāra, stay at mūlādhāra for a few seconds. This is known as bāhya kumbhaka, as no

breath is held within the body. This practice is explained in figure 4 below. We use both bāhya

kumbhaka and antar kumbhaka throughout this practice.

IMAGE 4

7. Now lift the consciousness from mūlādhāra to ājñā along with inhalation through the front of the

body in the oval shaped visualized line D and end at ājñā chakra, marked A. Continue to remain with

antar kumbhaka at ājñā chakra for a few seconds. This completes one round.

8. Like this one has to practice three rounds.


IMAGE 5

9. Now, the entire process is be reversed. In the previous practice, we synced exhalation while moving

consciousness from A to C via B and synced inhalation while moving consciousness from C to A via D.

In this practice this to be exactly reversed. Inhale at ājñā chakra, move consciousness and exhalation

via D to C from A. Stay at C with bhaya kumbhaka for a few seconds and move consciousness syncing

with inhalation from C to A via B. This is to be repeated three times.

10. Three times referred in 8 above and three times referred to 9 above makes one round of cleaning

of one chakra.

11. The same procedure is to be adopted for all other charkas, including sahasrāra.

This may appear confusing, but if understood, this can be easily practiced.

Precautions:

It is quite possible that one may feel drowsy or giddiness while practicing this. If intensity of giddiness

is more, open the eyes and resume after sometime. Reduce the number of rounds. Stomach should

be empty while practicing this. It would be ideal to practice this for all the chakras and sahasrāra in

one sitting. This practice may not take much time.

At the end of this practice, we would have cleansed citriṇi nāḍi as well as all the psychic chakras. The

next step would be to ascend the kuṇḍalinī with mild force. Sometimes, depending on the intensity of

love for the Divine, kuṇḍalinī may ascend after completing both the cleansing processes (citriṇi nāḍi

and psychic chakras).


It would be ideal to practice this both in the morning and in the night.

Kundalini Meditation - Concluding Part


Thursday, November 28, 2013

After having discussed about both theoretical and practical aspects of kuṇḍalinī, in this last

part, we will discuss activating kuṇḍalinī using the techniques discussed in the previous parts.

However, it is extremely important that no excessive force should be used in any of these

practices. Similarly overdoing any of the procedures could cause damage to the physical body.

Such damages are known as ‘kuṇḍalinī syndrome’ and many times, this may not have proper

treatment. Therefore, it is extremely important that all the previous parts are read and

understood properly. In particular, one should be conversant with nāḍi śodhana prāṇāyāma and

abdominal breathing. At this point it is assumed that we are conversant with all the procedures

explained in the earlier parts.

This practice could take longer time, around an hour. This includes making the kuṇḍalinī to

leave its base, the perineum and take it to sahasrāra and bring her back to Her abode, kula

sahasrāra, a point below mūlādhāra chakra. Typically, this is known samayācāra worship and

this is explained in Lalitā Sahasranāma 98.

During this practice, one’s sitting posture is significant, as improper posture could cause

shoulder stiffness, back pain, headache, rashes in the body, lack of appetite, weight loss, etc.

Diet restrictions are also essential. Intake of higher amount of milk products, plain water, more

fruits and vegetables along with normal diet is the right diet. As far as possible, spicy food

should be avoided. In general sattvic food (purity and benignity) is ideal during this practice.

Once kuṇḍalinī is well activated, it will decide what is essential for the body. When we speak

about kuṇḍalinī, we refer to the subtlest form of Parāśakti. Therefore, ascension of kuṇḍalinī

also depends upon one’s karmic account.


Importance of posture:

Since one has to be seated for a longer duration, the seating should be the most convenient

posture, often called sukhāsana. The surface on which one is seated should neither be hard nor

soft. Sitting under a fan or sitting in air conditioned room, etc is to be decided on the climatic

conditions. As this practice could generate heat in the body, it is better to have water in a

container by the side. During this practice, the practitioner’s body should not be touched by

anyone and there should be no sound anywhere nearby.

Open the palms and place them in the place between thighs and abdomen, as shown in the

image. Please note that this posture is different from the postures explained under mudra-s and

bandha-s earlier. While practicing them, our palms were kept on the knees. Here they are to be

placed differently. The gap between the trunk and the upper arms should also be the same as

shown in the image. The advantage of this posture is that arms will be in line with the trunk,

which will not cause any stiffness in the shoulder. Further, while sitting in this posture, the

head should be slightly tilted backwards. The position of the head can be marginally adjusted

forwards or backwards depending upon the feel of movement of energy through the neck area.

During practice, this can be observed. Shoulders should be slightly lifted so that there is no

stiffness in the sternum area (this is the place where neck muscles are inserted in the top of the

trunk region in the front). Pressure in this area can be felt if the position of the shoulder is

wrong. Similarly, both the shoulders should be in a perfect vertical line. These are extremely

crucial as they alone cause syndrome.

Both the nostrils should be kept clean. It is advisable to wear lose clothing. Inner garments

should be loose and should not hold on to the body tightly. The entire practice should be done

in empty stomach. A sip of plain water should be taken just before the commencement of
practice. It is ideal to practice this either in the morning or in the evening or night, provided

stomach is not full.

Practice:

Movement of kuṇḍalinī purely depends upon breath and consciousness (total fixation of

awareness at a particular point at a given time). It is assumed at this point that the citriṇī nāḍi

and all the psychic chakras are cleansed. These procedures are explained in the previous

sections. Entire procedure is given below in numerical order. Whenever inhalation, exhalation

and breathing are referred, it means only yogic breathing (contraction and expansion of

abdomen). Eyes should remain closed lightly.

Preparatory and warming up:

While performing the first three, concentrate on the mūlādhāra chakra and notice for any subtle

vibrations there. Many times vibrations will not be felt, hence feeling the vibration is not the

criteria, whereas fixing our consciousness at mūlādhāra chakra is crucial.

1. Inhale and simultaneously do aśvini mudra; exhale and release aśvini mudra, both at the

same time. Repeat this three times.

2. Inhale and simultaneously do vajroli mudra; exhale and release vajroli mudra, both at the

same time. Repeat this three times.

3. Inhale and simultaneously do mūla bandha; exhale and release mūla bandha, both at the same

time. Repeat this three times.

4. Take rest and do normal breathing. It is preferable that eyes remain closed throughout the

practice. However, if giddiness is felt, eyes can be opened and closed. It advisable to keep the

eyes closed, as opening the eyes could result in dilution of our concentration.
Practice:

5. Inhale and simultaneously practice all the three mudras discussed 1, 2 and 3 above. Contact

the abdomen using uḍḍiyāna bandha with air within (kumbhaka). While inhaling, raise your

shoulders marginally up. While doing this, focus on maṇipūraka chakra. Release the three

mudra-s and uḍḍiyāna bandha and exhale.

6. Resort to normal breathing.

7. Inhale, do all the three mudras (1, 2 and 3 above) along with uḍḍiyāna bandha. During

inhalation, lift your shoulders by applying pressure on the place where palms are kept. Now,

bend the head forward by gradually exhaling, which is known as jālandhara bandha. By the

time chin touches the chest (kūrmanāḍi), you should have completely exhaled the air.

8. Resort to normal breathing and relax your shoulders.

9. In this stage, we have to make the kuṇḍalinī go up and up from mūlādhāra using short

breaths. It is like making a badminton ball not to fall down using a racquet. When the ball

comes down, we hit it back to go up. In kuṇḍalinī meditation, ball is the kuṇḍalinī, our breath

is the racquet and the arm holding the racquet is our consciousness.

Inhale, do mudra-s (1, 2 and 3) above. While inhaling, expand the abdomen (uḍḍiyāna bandha).

Do jālandhara bandha, while fixing consciousness on mūlādhāra (not on viśuddhi chakra).

While bending the neck forwards exhale slowly and gradually synchronising with the

movement of the chin towards the chest. At the time of exhalation, raise the shoulders and pull

the energy from mūlādhāra. If the shoulder is not raised, it could cause stiffness. After two or

three rounds, area around mūlādhāra will become warm. Repeat this process few times (3 to

5) times and resort to normal breathing for a few minutes.

10. Inhale, do the three mudra-s and expand the abdomen and exhale. This should be done in

quick successions. Inhalation and exhalation along with the three mudra-s and jālandhara
bandha should be done in quick succession. During every exhalation, visualize that literally the

kuṇḍalinī is being pulled from mūlādhāra. Its crawling movement will be felt in the spinal cord.

Feel of the crawl could vary. It could be in the form chillness or warmness. This feel differs

from person to person. In some persons, this sensation will never be felt.

11. Further upward movement of kuṇḍalinī should be effected using the three mudra-s and

through abdominal breathing. In order to ensure that the kuṇḍalinī does not go back to

mūlādhāra, very short breaths should be used to keep it in higher chakras (like badminton ball

and racquet). Eye balls should be internally focused on the point where kuṇḍalinī has ascended.

While levitating (ascension against the gravitational force) kuṇḍalinī, we have to use short

breaths, lifting of shoulders, the three mudra-s and the eye balls. This is to be practiced till

kuṇḍalinī reaches anāhata (heart chakra).

12. From anāhata to ājñā, the same method is to be followed. Additionally, using nāsārga dṛṣṭi,

fix the attention on the heart chakra. Along with the breath move the eye balls to focus on

viśuddhi chakra. Short breaths should always be used to keep the kuṇḍalinī in higher chakras.

13. Now, we will be able to feel powerful vibrations in ājñā chakra. The pressure in ājñā chakra

will be felt around the head, more so in the forehead. The air we exhale will be warmer than

the exhalation during normal times.

14. Remain in ājñā chakra for a longer duration, say about five minutes. Practically, we will

not be aware of the time, as our concentration will fully fixed on the kuṇḍalinī. Losing

concentration on the movement of kuṇḍalinī will hamper the practice.

15. To complete one full cycle, we have to move kuṇḍalinī till sahasrāra. From ājñā to

sahasrāra, other mudra-s need not be used except short breaths and śāmbhavī mudra (with

closed eyes).
16. When kuṇḍalinī is perfectly awakened and quite active, on its way to sahasrāra, it passes

through two minute, yet very powerful chakras known as mind (manas) chakra and soma

chakra. When kuṇḍalinī reaches manas chakra, it causes Bliss. When the kuṇḍalinī crosses

manas chakra and reaches soma chakra, it produces nectar (amṛta), which drips down towards

the throat. This nectar not only strengthens the body, but also acts like immunity booster against

diseases. In the initial days, this nectar can be consumed. Later on, this nectar is to be pushed

back by using śāmbhavī mudra (with closed eyes).

17. When kuṇḍalinī reaches sahasrāra, it will reach a point called brahmarandhra, which is an

extremely minute aperture. This is explained as Brahman's orifice, a suture or aperture in the

crown of the head, through which the soul is said to escape at the time death. When kuṇḍalinī

reaches brahmarandhra, it establishes a connection between our body and the cosmos. Since

kuṇḍalinī is neither the soul nor consciousness, it will not go past brahmarandhra. When

kuṇḍalinī is in sahasrāra, top of the head becomes very warm and this could cause some blisters

or rashes in the body. How to reduce this heat has been already discussed.

18. When kuṇḍalinī reaches sahasrāra, it also triggers higher levels of trance (nirvikapla

samādhi). This stage is similar to unconscious stage, which could make the body to fall down.

Hence, one has to be extremely careful. There should be no lamps burning in the area of

meditation. Such minute things should be taken care of. This does not mean that everyone will

enter this stage or could fall down during this stage. Intensity of this stage depends upon one’s

ability to control the mind.

19. When kuṇḍalinī reaches sahasrāra, one has to take some time to experience this unique and

inexplicable stage of happiness it produces. This is the time when Parāśakti showers Her Grace,

known as Śaktipāta. The effect of Śaktipāta is phenomenal and inexplicable. It is called the

Descent of Divine Grace. Many things could happen after Śaktipāta. It also paves way for

absorption into Śiva (liberation). There are other interpretations for Śaktipāta and according to

many Śaktipāta is possible during proper initiation by a Self-realized Guru. The right and
logical explanation is that Śaktipāta is possible only through the Grace of Parāśakti through

initiation by a Self-realized Guru.

20. Bringing down kuṇḍalinī from sahasrāra to lower chakras is also important. In highly

evolved practitioners, kuṇḍalinī will not go down beneath maṇipūraka (navel chakra). This is

perfectly in order. Descent of kuṇḍalinī should be managed only with breath and consciousness

(consciousness means using both the eye balls to look at a particular point). Kuṇḍalinī on its

own will move down from sahasrāra towards lower chakras via ājñā. But this descent should

be supported with breath and consciousness.

When kuṇḍalinī is in sahasrāra, it would have produced a lot of energy and this energy would

have accumulated in the area around sahasrāra. This entire energy is also to be moved down

and grounded, otherwise, it could cause inconvenience in the head. In order to move down this

energy, we have to visualize that we are inhaling through brahmarandhra. It is only

visualization; breath will only enter and exit the lungs and not through other parts of the body.

Generally, inhalation and exhalation are visualized to move the kuṇḍalinī up and down the

spine. Effectively this is visualized by fixing our consciousness on a particular point. We have

to fix our consciousness on a particular point and visualize that we are inhaling and exhaling

through a particular point and the vibrations can be observed on that point. This visualization

is often used to bring down the kuṇḍalinī from higher chakras to lower chakras. If kuṇḍalinī is

not descending smoothly, we can rotate our shoulders in anticlockwise manner. Similarly,

clockwise rotation of shoulders will smoothen kuṇḍalinī’s ascension. During this practice, it is

important that head is slightly pushed backwards. When the shoulders are down, we have to

push the kuṇḍalinī down with our breath during its descent and when the shoulders are up, we

can push the kuṇḍalinī upwards during its ascent.

21. When kuṇḍalinī reaches maṇipūraka during its downward journey, kuṇḍalinī meditation is

complete. After completing kuṇḍalinī meditation, without getting up immediately, lie down

flat in supine position (face facing the sky). Stretch the hands sideward ensuring enough gap
between the hip and palms. Palms should be opened completely and should be facing the sky.

Similarly, sufficient gap should be there between the feet, so that inner thighs do not rub against

each other. Do normal yogic breathing and relax. After sometime, turn towards the left and get

up slowly and sip water.

Conclusion:

Kuṇḍalinī meditation, if performed after thoroughly understanding and practicing various

postures, will not cause any harm. One should not rush through to taste the ultimate result. If

we progress slowly and steadily, we can surely become a Yogī. There are contradictory

opinions about marital life while practicing kuṇḍalinī meditation. It is wrong to say that one

should follow celibacy during this practice or thereafter.

There could be many doubts while practicing kuṇḍalinī meditation. All such doubts should be

referred to the teacher who teaches this meditation. It is always better to practice this in the

presence of the teacher. If one does not have a teacher, such doubts should be referred to a

person who has practiced kuṇḍalinī meditation.

With this, this series on kuṇḍalinī meditation is concluded.

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Kundalini Meditation Theory And


Practice
Monday, December 02, 2013
Articles published under Kunadlini meditation is now published in the form of books and

kindle editions.

This book about Kundalini discusses about both theoretical and practical aspects of kundalini

meditation, which is generally considered as a complex subject. There are many serious

problems associated with kundalini meditation, known as kundalini syndrome. These

syndromes manifest only due to lack of proper understanding and practice. This book dwells

at length both theoretical and practical aspects of kundalini meditation.

This book also explains the importance of proper postures, breath control, meditative

techniques, etc. A few explanatory images are also provided. Apart from dwelling in detail on

preliminaries and practices, this book also explains step by step procedure to attain perfection

in kundalini meditation.

Throughout this book, IAST font is used and a few characters of these fonts may not appear

properly in some of the kindle devices.