Modification from - Rajasthan. c. 19th century, gouache on paper
कुंडलिनी kundalini [kuṇḍdalinī] phil. [yoga] "the Coiled One", epith. of the shakti (or shakti) of Siva under the shape of the snake Kundalini, energetic force that rises during kundaliniyoga to awake successively the six energetic centers [cakra] by piercing them; see Susumna.
क Kh' a dot (black stone); hollow, aperture (sometimes symbolised by the open vagina), the cup; the yoni as the feminine symbolised ु u' the moon calling to the sun ं N' wave (as of the ocean) ebb and flow of consciousness ड Dh' virtue, merit, true wealth as in receptive, assuming focus of that which is inner ल A' the concept of going inward, within or in; the feminine of the first sound (sruti) (hidden) from which all words are formed and from which all life emanates as a bidirectional action ि li' to adhere and to hold; to rock, pulse, sway, tremble, vibrate न n' the lotus plant; the pearl; the primal mother; seed; naked ी i' to pervade as perception or consciousness; to go beyond; to grow; to evolve;
Kundalini-Shakti is the name given to the vital and fundamental energy. It animates all levels of beings. This energy is present in beings and symbolized under the shape of a snake residing in the subtle root center, mulhadara. This snake is described as wrapped three and a half times around a black Linga (the Svayambhu Linga). Its head rests, asleep, on the top of the linga. Kundalini is the existence of Shiva. It is the life and glory of Shiva. It is Shiva Himself.
लिङ्ग Linga: n. [anything attaching to an object] mark, token, sign, emblem, characteristic; catchword; deceptive badge (rare, E.); proof, evidence; sign of guilt, stolen property; sign of sex, sexual organ; grammatical gender; Siva's phallus (as an object of worship); image of a god (rare); typical or subtle body (the indestructible original of the gross visible body: Vedânta phil.). The root linga, of black color is seen as an oblong stone directed upwards. It contains all that exists under its unconscious and unknown aspect. Linga signifies more fundamentally "singularity."
Swayambhu (also spelt Svayambhu) means self-manifested or "bor from itself"; a being without parents, without known origin, or more basically not conditioned by something exterior to itself.
The Kundalini energy resides asleep in the depths of the being. It provides a sleeping poison (Vishà), which numbs the being and maintains him alive like in a dream. However, this snake is not totally asleep. It is watching for specific experiences which, if manifesting, awaken it and makes it rise. These experiences can be triggered by Yoga, as well as by live events. They have in common the fact of being linked to intense and extraordinary energies. These energies mobilize one way or the other the deep vitality of the person (ojas).
विष visa [viṣa] m. servant - n. ["what acts quickly"] poison, venin || gr. ιος; lat. virus | acting as a poison.
The awakening of Kundalini-Shakti is the main goal of tantric yoga. This awakening can be triggered gradually or suddenly, and can be accompanied by knowledge or not. This awakening takes different manifestations according to the person and to the timing of the experience. Its strength and manifestations vary as well. Generally, this awakening occurs gradually, according to the practice and life experience of the person. It finally manifests at the time of death. These steps are like levels of energies that spread under the form of various centers (cakra) along the spine. Finally, this awakening escapes all logic and remains an extraordinary experience which is impossible to codify clearly.
The texts and all narrated experiences agree however to give a definition of this primordial energy. It is described as the manifestation of an ascending energy that goes up along the spine to flourish, during a complete experience, up to the summit of the skull, in the heaven of consciousness. At that level, the awakening of the latent energy becomes then the true awakening of the individual to his or her own nature. One must note that there is also a kind of similar energy that is described as descending the spine.
Tantrism and Kundalini
In Tantrism, kundalini yoga is the most important yoga system. It includes three units: Parâ Kundalini, Cit Kundalini and Prana Kundalini.
Parā Kundalini Yoga is the supreme yoga developed by Lord Shiva at the level of the cosmic body and not that of the individual body. The supreme kundalini is of cosmic nature. It is the heart of Shiva; the whole universe is created by Para Kundalini and exists within it. It is through her that the universe is animated and in her that it is reabsorbed.
Cit Kundalini is the one experienced by yogis when meditating on the emptiness between two breathings, two thoughts, two actions, and so forth. When Cit Kundalini awakens, the yogi experiences an intense bliss. This joy is a beatitude analogous to sexual pleasure but the happiness felt in Cit Kundalini is infinitely more intense then that of the sexual experience.
In addition, this ecstasy is accompanied by the realization of the Self. The true nature is found and the feeling of "I am only beatitude and consciousness" arises.
When a yogi keeps the trace of the awakening of Cit Kundalini during regular activities, the sexual act can occur normally, but there is no emission of fluids during the orgasm: the orgasm is completely shadowed by the energy of the subtle body and is found truly absorbed upwards by the kundalini energy which maintains open the middle path in the energetic body.
Prana kundalini also comes about through the process of centering. Prana kundalini, however, is only experienced by those yogins who, along with attachment to spirituality also have attachment to worldly pleasures.
The main difference between Prana and Cit kundalini is that only Cit kundalini can go through Urna, the stone (lapis lazuli) which in the forehead, guards the access of the door located at the level of the fontanel or Brahmârandhra Chakra.
The awakening is described as essentially being that of the senses: knowledge occurs once all senses are awake: smelling, tasting, seeing, hearing, touching, analyzing. It is then that in a unique feeling it is possible to perceive from within a single savor that permeates the whole universe.
In the presence of the awakening of kundalini, the behavior of the person is exacerbated. This is why kundalini brews all inner feelings. Kundalini-Shakti brings forth all deeper tendencies buried in the spirit (vasana) of the person. These tendencies are activated and resonate or reawaken the vibrant trace of subconscious existences, past and future.
Of all these various experiences that bring forth traces of the personality from the depths of the psyche, the adept listens to his guide. He has described to him these new discoveries on reality and applies the advice that is given to him at the crucial moment, be indifferent to these extraordinary visions, seek peace and rest in the immutable consciousness.
The awakening of the kundalini is brought forth by the cessation of the breaths and the cessation of the mental activities. The sight of the loving gestures of the Self is only feasible in the complete cessation of the mechanical breathing and of the ordinary mental contents. One must be able to flip the mirror of the senses to lighten the inside, to see within the Self what the very essence of the cosmic Self is.
The realization occurs in the non-breath, the breaths must be entirely consumed. The inhalation and the exhalation must completely stop, thus operating a true energetic mutation.
Apana is the exhalation; it is the process of excretion that governs the energies downward. It is the root of the consumption of pleasures and material objects. By this, it links us to terrestrial foods, as well as to the body sufferance and the mortal limitation.
Prana is the inhalation. It the process of absorption and of inner inhalation. It governs the heart and the feelings of the personality. Prana is the root of the aspiration to beauty and esthetic emotion, to the mental reality of thoughts and dreams. It gives us the unquenchable desire and the will to start something, bringing us ceaselessly in the happening to create what we call a history or a personal view, specific and limited, of the universe.
One descends, and the other ascends. One pulls us, and the other pushes us. One breathes hot, and the other cold. One inhales, the other exhales. Together, they prevent constantly the rest in the inner view. There is only a momentary possibility to find back the Self where all manifests and in which all moves. The Breath is the manifested activity of the Self, the trace left by its act of consciousness, its power of creation, of maintenance, and of reintegration.
In reality, the experience is obtained when the yogi masters apana and prana. In order to do this, one technique is available, which consists in reproducing within him or her the very act of the universe.
First of all it is necessary to sanctify the body. A pure, subtle and adamantine body is necessary to obtain the mastery of prana and apana. Only hatha yoga, through the repetition of the exercises, allows the preparation of the body to the awakening of the energies. The one who attempts the control of the breathings to awakening kundalini without first preparing his or her body through hatha yoga practices can not have the ladder that gives access to raja yoga (See Hatha Yoga Pradipika).
Even if it is true that the awakening of the energies can always occur. Those who, roaming in the search of the Self, without the protection of the Guru, are confronted to alone to the Door (brahmarandhra), and attempt to cross it at first without the support of the progressive path, often obtain only calamities.
The one who is successful in hatha yoga gains the ladder that leads to the hierarchy of accomplishments, to the sahaja yoga or yoga of spontaneity. The adept who can firmly adopt a posture must establish a double concentration in order to tame his or her breathings.
To do this, the yogi/yogini must only follow a direct path that is as short as possible. it is the one discovered in him or herself.
This double concentration realizes the fusion of the two bindus, which maintain the illusory world. These two bindus create an opposite tension and maintain the ghost of the Self vibrant and unlimited.
On one side, to absorb oneself in the infinite tendency of letting go and abandoning, in perfect carelessness; one the other side, finding the absolute certainty of the memory of past and future actions, of the taste of the flesh and of the location without pity.
The location without pity is extremely important and constitutes by itself the angular stone of tantric philosophy. It is the place where is found the inevitable fight for survival, the place where is revealed the power of the person who knows then that he or she is alone in front of his or her destiny.
The adept, at that moment, establish him or herself firmly in the right attitude (mudra) which, assuming his destiny irrevocable, ends at once all discourses and all controversies.
Facing the limitation, his condition leaves him no rest. Thrown in the happening, in the material world, slaves of the laws of men and nature, he or she must pay his life, with for only perspective the annihilation of his or her own existence. The taste of the burn, made his or hers, in the mouth, how can this person free him or herself, with for ultimate weapon, once more, what made him or her slave up until now?
The place without mercy happens to exist as support, where nothing is forbidden, where there is no more judgments or morals, where resides only the freedom to start what is important. To free oneself of karman, one must throw his or her own logs to the sacrificial fire, where they are, from personal attachment and happening of a slave, a providential bridge to establish the path to reintegration. What is below is as what is above; and freedom occurs through what binds.
Firmly seated in the place without mercy, the adept then contemplate his own future. Perceiving being lost in the game of limitless energies, he sees the impersonality of the words, the inefficiency of convictions, and all the vanity to discern in it a reasoned knowledge.
He annihilates the illusory points of views that held him worried by his own conscious and unconscious modalities. Having allowed to be trapped by the complexity of his own personal history, he sees how he plays again the same actions, in the decorum of an eternal theatre, where so many divine energies applaud the performance, and where the hues and cries continue to resonate in the crashing noise of the non clapped Sound.
There, above his head, in the immense ether, the adept sees the becoming of the being and start distinguishing the "reddening net" that keeps captive the desire of the souls. On the other side is the Guru, the pure mystical efficiency, which can never be the object of knowledge, because being the knowledge itself, where the individual continues to perceive him or herself in absence of activity or specific realization.
The spirit is the substrate of all beings and since one cannot bite his or her own mouth, one cannot become aware of this awareness by the still ignorant veiled or unconscious awareness. It is only the intuition of the heart, the loving call that can serve as support, but not the thought. Only the vibration, the still pure resonance, that cannot be separated from Shiva, like the sun beams from the sun, can allow the adept to draw at will in this unlimited efficiency.
This efficiency is the heart itself of the Self, because the ultimate property of the subject is being aware of being affected. From it emanates a powerful, soft and pure vibration, soft and pure like the birth of the day (Trikona). This is where the adept identifies him or herself this energy and wishes more to identify him or herself to this energy than to possess the love. Uma personifies the love of Shiva for himself, and this perfect love is to love Shiva as he loves himself. It is him that the yogi or yogini desires.
The texts say,
"A single and same taste of the unity constituted by the soft and powerful emanation of the triangle of the heart, the mystical path generating the knowing, the known and the knowledge. There is no need to go because the starting point is the ending point. The celestial tree with its powerful branches of the awareness exists already grown in the kingdom of the heart. Its flower is the radiant bliss; its fruit is the bursting jubilation of happiness. And from this heart, rise the axis of kundalini." Citation: .
"From this contact, the pure energy of consciousness suddenly awakens. The one how is its sovereign reaches the supreme domain where all the energies of his body are found satisfied, a worthy receptacle of the spontaneous mystical knowledge. The one who remains attentive to this spotless omni penetration, is a living liberated and he identifies himself to the supreme Bhairava."
"O Uma, she is located in the empty sky of the consciousness freed of all veils. She contains the sum of all differentiations, under its vibratory aspect, she is part of the totality; and this Bhairavi, it is you." Citation: .