People often hear about Kundalini; seeing images of it on manuals, books, etc. Often people associate Kundalini with yoga yet such association is quite superficial. In a previous article titled “Kundalini Yoga”, I explained a bit further what real Kundalini Yoga entails and why most people should not attempt to awaken the Kundalini without proper inner work and guidance.
The word Kundalini makes reference to a particular and powerful force, which is usually represented as a coiled serpent. Too many people confuse the symbology of the snake with something evil and damaging; this couldn’t be further from the truth. The serpent in symbology was used by ancient cultures and even some modern ones who understand its actual meaning. They use it to represent wisdom, knowledge, high levels of spirituality; powerful forces which one carries inside but which need to be awaken carefully for Kundalini can heal or destroy you.
Why was the serpent picked to represent such power? Let me give you a mundane example: When a cobra awakens, it uncoils itself and rises with a very big burst of energy. The kundalini energy being very powerful yet undetectable when it is in a latent state, and Kundalini being the Sanskrit adjective that means circular, it is very logical the association between the coiled serpent and the sacred energy took place.
Kundalini energy is so powerful because it is a primordial energy, it was not created; it was always there. Within Tantra as in real yoga, there is the belief of subjacent realities, which one can only sense or feel when the person is willing to connect with his core first.
Those subjacent realities are part of the primordial basic unit, which is made up of two principles: The male principle or Shiva and the female principle or Shakti. As you can see there isn’t a denying of one force or the other; for creation cannot take place if there is no unison between the two. A sacred dance, in which both forces are recognized as powerful.
Shiva contains the universal elements and the expression of universal consciousness. Shakti is the dynamic feminine principle or powerful principle of action. When Shiva unites with Shakti, life is created–a fusion of primordial principles which have a creative or generative effect. Being a unison of feminine and masculine forces, it is considered sexual energy in its purest form.
Since we are part of creation, we are part of this energy; that energy of creation is called Kundalini. Kundalini in its natural state is latent, which means is sleep; it does not belong to our physical body but to our etheric, energetic or subtle body/energy. This etheric body has many channels or pathways running all over us, through which Kundalini energy can move.
There are thousands of channels, but 3 are the key ones: Central nadi or Shushumna, left nadi or Ida and right nadi or Pingala; these 3 main nadis run from the base of the spine to the head.
Right nadi or Pingala is associated with the male principle and the sun. Left nadi or Ida is associated with the females principle and the moon. Both are the base of the energetic system but have nothing to do with biology, instead it has to do with qualities and quantities; we all carry male and female energies within, they express themselves at different ratios within different people.
The Shushumna or central nadi is the axis and is independent of the other nadis. All nadis flow through the chakras and they do so in specific ways.
There are seven chakras which are the main ones:
-Muladhara, which is the root chakra responsible for your sense of safety and stability and which is located at the base of your spine. -Svadhisthana, which is the sacral chakra, responsible for your sexuality, pleasure and creativity. -Manipura, which is the solar plexus chakra responsible for your self esteem and confidence. -Anahata, which is the heart chakra responsible for love and compassion -Vishuaddha, which is the throat chakra responsible for communication -Ajna, which is the third eye chakra responsible for intuition and imagination -Sahasrara, which is the crown chakra responsible for awareness and intelligence The kundalini resides on the root chakra, but when awaken it ascends through the principle chakras until it reaches Ajna or Third Eye Chakra. The third eye is where rests individual consciousness and it is through it that a bridge with cosmic consciousness can be stablished. When Kundalini starts to ascend through the central nadi towards the third eye, it opens up other chakras; in other words, it activates energetic centers, which means an elevation in consciousness starts to take place. As such when kundalini reaches the third eye, it has impacted our energetic field, our nervous system, expands our senses and activates parts of our psyche which were sleep--it affects our physical, energetic, spiritual and mental plane. The process of awakening with cosmic consciousness takes place between the third eye and the crown chakra. To awaken the Kundalini is not a easy task nor should it be taken lightly. It does not happen through the repetition of niceties nor through meditation alone. In order to awaken all the serpents of the kundalini, one requires time, constancy and practice--it takes years to work in awakening each serpent. The awakening of the kundalini is not recommended to anyone who does not wish to confront and dance with his or her shadow, for although this energy can be of much benefit to self, it will destroy anyone who isn't ready for it. It can seriously disturb anyone who is not ready to be awaken; for there is a difference between dancing with your madness or inner genius and craziness or losing yourself to an incoherent world. Kundalini does not respond to rigidness, much less to abuse of self. Hence working with one's shadow, seeking balance between light and darkness and understanding (not just at a logical level) each has value and one cannot exist without the other, is imperative. There are many ways to awaken the Kundalini: Mudras, mandalas, yoga, meditation, breathing techniques, chanting, Tantra, sacred geometry. Why so many paths? because there is no one path that leads to illumination. "The truth will set you free"; which to Kundalini, means the truth within yourself will set you free and that truth was revealed by the cosmic consciousness through its many expressions--in other words all paths hide a piece of the puzzle and you are the philosopher's stone; the choice of working on self or not, is yours.