While some people use a specific terminology “Kundalini Yoga” for certain practices, all of Yoga actually leads to the activation of Kundalini. Thus, in a sense, all of Yoga is Kundalini Yoga, regardless of whether you use that specific name. Awakening kundalini and leading it to union with the Absolute is the goal of the path of Yoga, Vedanta, and Tantra.
Spontaneous kundalini awakening
Kundalini awakening may also come spontaneously to people who have done no intentional practices. One may argue that spontaneous awakening may be coming as a result of previous practices ( past birth) that are not remembered, but in either case the perception of the individual may be that nothing was done to bring forward the experience. Regardless of whether Kundalini Awakening comes spontaneously or through practices, there may be some amount of time and effort needed to integrate the effects of such experiences into the body and personality. It is a time when stabilizing actions are important. During this time it is very useful to be around someone who has knowledge of this process, and has experienced the entire process personally. For this reason guru disciple tradition was developed.
Preparation is much more important than the practices of Kundalini awakening themselves. If one skips the basics and the preparation of body, breath, and mind, then the surge of energy can be more disruptive than beneficial.
Importance of sushumna awakening
When kundalini shakti awakens it passes through sushumna nadi. Mooladhara chakra is just like a powerful generator, now supposing you have started your generator but you have not plugged the cable, the Generator will keep running but distribution will not take place. You have to connect the plug into the generator so the generated energy can pass through the cable to the different areas of your house. When only ida and pingala are active and not sushumna, it’s like having the positive and negative lines in your electrical cable, but no earth. When the mind receives the three currents of energy all the lights start working, but if you remove the earth wire, the lights will go down. Energy flows through ida and pingala all the time, but its effulgence is very low. When there is current flowing in ida, pingala and sushumna, then enlightenment takes place. This is how you have to understand the awakening of kundalini, awakening of sushumna and the union of the three in ajna chakra.
It is very important that you awaken sushumna before kundalini. This essential point has not been stressed clearly in any books, but Swami Sivananda hinted at it in his writings. “ If sushumna is not opened, where will the shakti go ?” It will pass through either ida or pingala and complications will arise.”
The whole science of kundalini yoga concerns the awakening of sushumna, for once sushumna comes to life, means of communication between the higher and lower dimensions of consciousness is established. When the roots of a plant are watered properly, the plant grows and its flowers bloom forth beautifully. Similarly, when kundalini awakening occurs in sushumna, awakening occurs in all the stages of life. But if awakening only occurs in ida or pingala or in one of the other centers, it is by no means complete. Only when kundalini shakti awakens and travels up the sushumna passage to sahasrara is the entire store of higher energy in man unleashed. Apart from this you are also supposed to purify chakras and other nadis.
Before commencing the practices which bring about the actual awakening of kundalini, you must prepare yourself step by step on the physical, mental and emotional planes. Adequate preparation is necessary to ensure that one has the strength to bear the impact of full awakening of the mighty potential force within. Most of us do not even have control over our physical manifestations and behaviors. Supposing you were given a sleep inducing injection, you would become drowsy whether you wanted to or not. This is because you have no control over the processes and actions of your brain and you do not know how to control sleep. Similarly, if you have a headache, you are unable to exert control over it. When physical manifestations such as sleep and pain are not under your control, what would happen if other manifestations began to occur in your brain? You wouldn’t be able to control them. Therefore, before kundalini awakens, it is important that you are able to manage the mind.
If you can maintain a balanced mind in the face of mental and emotional conflicts, and you can endure anger, worry, love and passion, disappointment, jealousy, hatred, memories of the past, sufferings and sorrows, you are ready for the awakening. If you can still feel joy when the scales are heavily loaded against you, you are an aspirant for kundalini yoga. Before you bring into use a generator of five megawatts, you must have a factory ready to utilize the energy. In the same way, before you awaken kundalini shakti, you must be able to merge yourself with the higher spirit and you must know how to utilize the creative energy of kundalini.
Even if you practise austerity or mantra, use herbs, practice pranayama, undergo tantric initiation or get shaktipat, or are born with awakened kundalini, if your mind is not ready, your evolution will definitely be retarded at some point.
If you have a good, strong automobile but the road is bumpy and covered in rocks, pebbles and marsh, try to accelerate and see what happens. It is very important that the mind is prepared and the personality is rendered ready. Samskaras, positive and negative, must be exhausted, awareness must be extended to every level, dedication or consecration must be perfected, your attachments, illusions and infatuations must be spotted, scrutinized and analyzed.
Preparation is not the job of one lifetime. Man strives spiritually life after life. In fact, this body is given to you only for that purpose. For eating, sleeping and sexual interaction a human body is not necessary, so in our lower stages of evolution we had an animal body. However, even with this human body, we still have animal in us, so these natural urges follow us. Let them, but remember, this body is not for their fulfillment alone. In this human body the consciousness is the most important point. Man is aware of his awareness and he does not only think, he knows that he thinks. The evolution of his awareness has been going on life after life. And what you have been practicing for your spiritual life in the last five to ten years is in addition to what you have already done. Supposing your children are studying in primary school and you are transferred to another city. Where will your children begin their education in the new city? Right from the beginning? No, from the point where they left their studies. The same thing happens in reincarnation. That is why, even though you may have brothers and sisters born of the same mother and father, they will be different from you. In your previous incarnation your preferences were different from theirs. May be after a few incarnations they may come to the point where you are now. So we can’t say how long preparation takes, because this life is one of those milestones and you have left behind many, many milestones. However, if you are eager to awaken kundalini and the chakras, you should not be in a hurry. This is not to say that the awakening cannot be brought about within one, two or three years – it can be. Total awakening can even take place in a month, or the guru can give you awakening in one day, but you will be unable to hold and sustain the awakening. When one is in possession of a weak mind which cannot sustain even a little bit of cheerfulness or excitement, or bear the death of a spouse or separation from a loved one, how can he sustain the tremendous force of an awakened kundalini? Therefore, the years of practices are not for the actual awakening, but for preparation so you can hold and sustain the awakening.
Ref -1) Kundalini yoga – Swami Sivananda Saraswati
2) kundalini tantra -Swami Satyananda SaraswatiPhoto by RKTKN on Unsplash