Sri Matre Namaha
Kundalini – The One Hundred & Tenth name in Lalitha Sahasranamam.
Kundale asyah stah sa
She who has earrings
Kundalini santi asyah
she who has three and half loops
Kundalini – she resides in the muladhara in three and half coils, as light or as power and controls our body. Her form is like a coiled serpent. She is the life-giver.
Vagbhavabija is also known as kundalini. She is therefore identified with vagbhavabija.
She is in the form three and a half coiled snake in muladhara chakra. Her subtlest form is described in this single nama. Her subtler form ‘kamakala’ (322) is also described in a single nama. But vak devis used namas 13 to 54 to describe her subtle form. This also goes to prove the importance of inner pooja or meditation than the external rituals. The vital energy of prana is called kundalini. This lies in the muladhara chakra in the midst of fire that keeps our body warm. Any modification in this fire causes sickness. The sound of the kundalini can be felt by anybody. If your close both your ears tightly, you can listen to a hissing sound from inside. The base chakra is a triangle where icha, jnana and kriya shakthis (desire, knowledge and action) form the three sides of the triangle. From these three shakthis the sound of OM a,u and m is generated. Yogavasishta in nirvana prakarana talks about kundalini.
Sage Vasishta says to Lord Rama “Like the coiled body of a serpent when it sleeps…like a plantain flower it is exceedingly delicate within…hissing like an angry female serpent…causing fluctuations in the mind. All other nadis are connected with this. This becomes purified only by the rays of jnana or knowledge….thus this shakthi rejoices in the name of ‘puryashataka’ (we have discussed about this earlier). Should the upward and downward actions of this kundalini shakthi be arrested by the control of prana and this prana be made to rest in the heart, diseases will never affect those who have such control.” Yogavasishta also talks about siddhis. Kanchi Paramacharyal in his magnum opus ‘Deivathin Kural’ observed that kundalini meditation has been commercialized and it has become a fashion to talk about kundalini. Vishnu sahasranamam Nama 907 is ‘kundali’.
She who is in the form of Kundalini ( a form which is a snake hissing and exists in mooladhara)
Kundalini Shakti (Divine Serpent Power) has been compared to electrical energy, power and aura. In one scriptural aphorism it is said to be as brilliant as the line of lightning. In another aphorism it is said that Kundalini is akin to divine Vaishwanar fire and an intense fire flame.
In the Yogakundalyopanishad it is said that:
That Kundalini dwells in the center of the Mooladhar Chakra in the form of soul radiance and Brahman radiance. It is our life force in the form of radiance and is the vital force.
In the same way in the Mahayog Vijnan it is said that:
In the Mooladhar Chakra the soul light appears as fire. In the Svadhishthan Chakra it appears as a shoot of coral. In the Manipur Chakra it shines like electricity. In the Nabhi Chakra it is like the light of lightning. In the Anahat Chakra it is like the shape of a phallus, in the Vishudhi Chakra as white in colour and in the Taalu Chakra there is an experience of oneness and formlessness. In the Bhroo Chakra it is like the flame of the shape of our thumb. In the Ajna Chakra it is like a flame of smoke and in the Sahasrar like a shining axe.
The above symbolic description is a glimpse of the electrical power of Kundalini Mahashakti. Of course, on the basis of scientific research and proof one can call Kundalini as an intense part of human electricity. Gun powder can either help in burning harmless crackers or like dynamite, blow off huge mountains. A lighter form of electricity can be seen on the face or as an aura of the body and its more intense form can be seen by opening the 3rd eye of Shiva which had burnt up Kaam Dev (Cupid) to ashes. Vyaadh could be burnt to ashes as a result of Damayanti’s curse.
Thousands of unruly sons of King Sagar could be burnt to ashes. Indra and Moon can experience a downfall due to Gautam’s curse. The Yadav clan could get destroyed due to Durvasa’s curse. This is the human electrical Kundalini that can take up a terrible form. It can also be called a “Spiritual Dynamite.” Ordinary energy is present in every pore of a person. But it is more concentrated in the brain, heart and genitals (Mooladhar Chakra). In Vedic parlance these 3 fires are called Ahitagni, Dakshinagni and Gahrpatyagni. This is also Mahakali, Mahachandi and Mahadurga (the 3 Goddesses). Due to the closeness of two individuals the ordinary energy of long vital force influences the small vital force. Due to the holy or vile association the influence is good or bad.
The union of a male and a female is the divine sport of this energy. A man of penance performs austerities on this very Yoga fire. The fire of the stomach (Jatharagni) digests food and takes it to the stage of semen formation. Men and women agitated by the fire of sexual passion (Kaamagni) burn themselves like a moth in a flame. The fire of speech (Vaani Agni) makes friends or foes with good/ bad speech. The radiance of Ojas, Tejas and Varchas includes brilliance in all humans. Fire of Brahman (Brahmagni) dwells in the Sahasrar Kamal (1000-petalled lotus) and gives the individual soul a vision of God. The fire of sentiments (Bhavagni) in the heart manifests as compassion, friendship, sense of service etc. Kaalagni or the fire of time induces death.
The fire of lethargy (Mandaagni) induces lethargy and diseases in man. There are innumerable fires of this type in the human body. Today’s modern material science describes 13 such fires. All of them have their own special qualities. Amongst them the vital force fire is Kundalini which abounds in life force, daring and vigor in mankind. It is believed that this latent source of energy is locked in the vault of 6 locks present in man’s subtle body. These 6 locks are the 6 Chakras (plexuses) which are present in the body as an electrical flow, eddy or plexuses. Scriptural scholars have talked of the Chakras and Kundalini Shakti (Divine Serpent Power) in a very symbolic manner.
Shambhavi Tantra believes that just as you can enter your own home using a lock and key in the same way man can enter Brahmalok via the Sushumna path over and above Kundalini awakening. In the Taitereya Aryank, Chakras are called Devlok. Adi Shankaracharya while describing this Kundalini Shakti in Soundarya Lahiri has said that the Ajna Chakra and Sahasrar represent Brahman, Brahmalok and how she “swims” in God.
Following is his description:
O Kundalini, by activating earth in Mooladhar, fire in Svadhishthan, water in Manipur, wind in Anahat, space in Vishudhi you give light to the mind in the Ajna Chakra. Over and above this you sport with God in the Sahasrar Kamal.
In the Samadhi Paad of Yoga Darshan aphorism 36 it is said:
When the divine light Kundalini blazes brilliantly men overcome all sorrows.
The Hindu religion talks of 3.3 million or 33 Koti demigods. These correspond to the 33 components or bead-like structures found on the Merudand (spine). These are called vertebrae. The Merudand is of the shape of a snake. Between every 2 vertebrae there is a bed of flesh which supports the vertebrae. Therefore it is elastic in nature and on its axis it can rotate in any direction.
It can be divided into 5 parts
1) cervical – 7 vertebrae
2) thorax- 12 vertebrae
3) lumbar – 5 vertebrae
4) sacral – 5 vertebrae
5) carksegial – 4 vertebrae.
The capacity embedded in these 33 parts is compared to divinity.
No doubt the Merudand is hollow (porous) but it is not shallow like a drum. In it one finds brain marrow. At the backside of every vertebra i.e. on the left/right side there are holes of the shape of rings from which emerge big nerves which are nothing but a bunch of smaller nerves. The lower part of the Merudand is of the shape of a cone and is called phylum terminal.
The more the vertebrae are small in certain regions the more wide they are. They are not hollow inside and are united to one another. These 4 vertebrae unite to form an egg shape or the bud of a flower. These are called carcix. This ball is called “Kand” in Kundalini Yoga and is also called Svayambhoo Linga.
From the regional viewpoint Chakras are named as follows.
5) Vishudhi. The Merudand ends at this point.
The Ajna Chakra is between the eyebrows and the Sahasrar is at the center of the scalp.
When we use the terms Chakra activation, purification, awakening etc. it only means that the potential energy of these secret centers are being manifested.
Here one should understand deeply that in the scriptural arena bodily science (anatomy) is looked upon as a form of subtle sciences. The gross body is merely a shadow of the subtle body. Never should any gross organ be correlated to the subtle body. But it should only be looked upon as an image and a representative. None of the organs of the gross body has any of the divine powers described in the spiritual body science. From the gross body you can only get a faint glimpse of those subtle powers.
The word Mooladhar is made up of 2 parts. Mool + Adhar. Mool means root, base and Adhar means support. Because it is the basic support of life force that region is called Mooladhar. Because it is in the subtle world it is invisible. The symbolic marks of the invisible are present in the gross body. For example the divine sight of Ajna Chakra is seen to work in the gross body as 2 eyes called pituitary and pineal glands. At the area of Brahma Chakra our heart is at work.
Mooladhar is seen in the sacral plexus of the Merudand (spine). Because of its spiritual quality it is apt that it attains that status and glory. Mooladhar is the source of Prana (vital force) but its widespread nature, behavior and distribution function is possible only through the medium of Merudand.
According to anatomists just above the Mooladhar and slightly below the Svadhishthan Chakra is the prostrate gland. Here lies the semen center. The waves emanating from this induces area sexual passion. The hormones emitted by it are responsible for sperm production. The womb of women too lies in this region. In the lower area of the Sushumna lies the lumbar and sacral plexus. These 2 plexuses control urine emission and sexual passion of the genitals. If there is an agitation in this region, either one or both function are hampered. It is from this region that medical problems of excess urination, excess sexual urge originates. This is the area of all useful inspirations of life and is also called Kand, Kurd or Kaam Beej (seed of sexual passion).
Kand also has another name called Kurma (tortoise). It is the representative of Kurma Avatar i.e. tortoise incarnation of God. Because of its activity of withdrawing and stretching its legs it is said to be the symbol of divine powers. The shape of Kand region is like that of an egg. It is compared to the withdrawn state of the hands and legs of a tortoise. In the legend of ocean churning the churning rod was the Mount Mandarachal. Lord Kurma as the tortoise sat under this mountain and took its weight on his shoulders. This is a symbolic description for the churning and power of the inner world of the Kand region or tortoise.
Great thinkers have correlated the hormonal centers (glands) as the gross aspect of the 6 Chakras. According to them in men and women one sees an evolved form of flowing electricity in these Chakras. In males it is in the form of steadfastness and in women as tenderness. Also it is a mere glimpse of ordinary activities of a living being. It is not an overstatement to call these endocrine glands that secrete hormones as magic boxes.
The following are the 6 hormone glands:
1) Pineal (hormones – ceratonin and melatonin)
2) Pituitary (growth hormone)
3) Thyroid (thyroxin)
4) Thymus (reproductive hormones)
5) Adrenals (adrenalin, ACTH)
6) Gonads (testosterone and estrogen).
Ordinarily the snake-like Kundalini and Chakras like Ajna, Sahasrar etc. are generally in a latent state. In deep sleep or unconsciousness man too appears as though he is dead. In such a state he loses all awareness and consciousness. Even if someone robs him he is not aware. Even if his clothes are removed he is not aware of it. But when he wakes up he becomes fully aware of his might and his losses too.
The ordinary flow of the bodily electrical energy is in a latent state but if it is incited and activated via spiritual practices then there is a great transformation.
When strong wind hits the holes of a flute, a sound emanates from it. Similarly if strong winds hit a large group of bamboo trees, a forest fire can ensue.
One can see dry leaves, grass, dust etc. running after fast moving trains, cars etc. When water bangs against huge rocks in a river then it rises high. When the wings of a water-wheel rotate then one can even grind wheat grains to get wheat flour. When technical apparatus is attached to a waterfall that comes down from a great height, electricity is generated. Typhoons, storms, cyclones give us a taste of their extraordinary might. Thus when Chakras are incited and activated, all the 3 bodies i.e. the gross, subtle and casual bodies simmer and thus give us an introduction of its power.
In various spiritual texts it is said:
Those demigods who give us sense objects can never give salvation. Those who give spiritual salvation cannot give sense objects. But Kundalini Shakti gives us both i.e. sense objects and salvation.
In the Mahayog Vijnan it is said:
If a person’s Mooladhar Shakti is sleeping then his entire world is asleep. But if a person’s Kundalini Shakti awakens his destiny too will bloom.
If the Mahatantra it is said:
If the person’s Kundalini Shakti is awakened then his Vaikhari, Madhyama, Paraa and Pashyanti Vani (speech) too awakens. Such a person’s speech always comes true.
In the Yogini Tantra it is said:
As soon as the Kundalini awakens that person’s inner grandeur and glory can be clearly perceived.
There is a famous incident in the Mahabharat wherein Bhishma Pitamaha was unwilling to give up his mortal frame when the sun was in Dakshinayan. He wished to die in Uttarayan. Hence he chose the Devyan Marg to reach the other world. Even here there is an incident of Kundalini. Dakshinayan is fire of Kundalini and Uttarayan is energy of Brahmarandhra in the head region. Devyan is the path of Merudand. The Kundalini awakening practice of Bhishma was half complete. In order to complete it he endeavored in this direction while lying on a bed of arrows. When his goal was fulfilled he left his mortal body.
In Atharva Veda (19/37/1) it is said:
O fire of the soul, Due to your grace light, might, radiance, daring, vigour overflow in me. O fire, may your 33 departments bless me.
In the Yajurved it is said:
O divine fire, by becoming age, valor, good children, wealth, sharp intellect, love, perseverance may you bless us.
Modern psychologists say that the Kundalini (Divine Serpent Power) is the latent energy of the unconscious mind. Chinese and Japanese followers of Yoga call it Chi, Ki, power.
The American author Dr. Lee Senelia in his book “Kundalini Psychosis and Transcendence” while writing about the importance of Kundalini says if Kundalini is awakened man will become more active. The character radiates and those potentials of the hidden brain manifest which are otherwise in a latent state.
Vrihajabalopanishad says that:
When this fire of time i.e. Kundalini travels downwards, man becomes weak both physically and mentally. But when it rises above it gives that person divine powers (Sidhis) and leads him to Brahmalok.
There is an interesting story in the Skand Puran. At the beginning of creation Brahma performed penances for a long time span. As a result an intense fire manifested. When it touched earth, it caught fire. When the fire rose high in the sky the latter caught fire. From that Tejas sparks set fire to all the 10 directions.
Fire told Brahma: I am burning with hunger. Give me food. Hence Brahma gave fire all his bodily parts one by one to eat. Yet the hunger of fire was not satiated. Hence fire while shouting “hunger-hunger” started crying too.
Because had no solution to offer he said: O fire, You should enter the bodies of very desire oriented people and eat up all their minerals. Fire did exactly this. Fire ate up innumerable males/ females who were full of desires. Yet fire was not satiated. Hence Prajapati asked fire to enter the psyche of Rishis and demigods where there was nectar. Fire drank this nectar and was hence satisfied. Thus fire started dwelling there.
The conclusion of the above story is that if Kundalini enters the arena of desires, it can shatter a human being. But when Kundalini is used for spiritual endeavors then not only is it self happy but that it gives joy to the person harboring it.
Kundalini is compared to a forest fire which burns up a huge forest to ashes. It is also like a submarine fire which rises up in the ocean as fire and renders the ocean totally devoid of water. When the central fire of land erupts, there is an earthquake and hot flames erupt. Man’s basic power principle is Kundalini which is joined to cosmic consciousness and based on desires and needs it imbibes energy from the cosmic storehouse. The latent serpent fire present in the Mooladhar Chakra keeps spitting venom while lying in the Kund. But this venom can be converted to nectar. Kundalini awakening involves raising it to higher Chakras for “drinking” nectar and Soma Rasa (juice).