S.P. Austen has practiced, written on and taught the subject of meditation for over 40 years.
What Is Kundalini?
Kundalini is a term from the ancient Indian Sanskrit language, which is described as a force or energy source which resides at the base of the spine in an etheric substance, nestled in three and a half coils, like a serpent. It is often referred to as the Serpent Power or Serpent Energy. It is stored in the Base Chakra, the lowest energy centre or chakra, at the very bottom of the spinal column. Kundalini is the primordial life force found in everything.
There are said to be many practices that can invoke this kundalini, most of which are part of the yoga system and which require great discipline and practice to arouse the force slowly and safely. Most of the deeper books on this subject emphasize that the student of Kundalini Yoga should be under the direct guidance of a spiritual guru to achieve this arousal of kundalini safely.
I have never been an advocate of forcing the arousal of the kundalini. Still, I do believe that many yoga practices and meditation techniques have the effect of developing this latent power and causing it to slowly rise up the spine.
In most cases, I feel that kundalini is likely to ascend safely as long as the student of yoga and meditation maintains a balanced lifestyle and outlook. Some esoteric literature says that forcing the kundalini to rise when the student is not spiritually ready can have disastrous effects upon the person, sometimes being physical effects, but mostly of a mental nature, it seems.
Samadhi is another Sanskrit word that literally means superconsciousness. It is often referred to as the Superconscious State.
Apparently, according to the spiritual literature on the subject, there can be no experience of samadhi unless the kundalini has arisen first.
The person who experiences samadhi attains a great measure of bliss, often beyond description. It is said to be the true meaning of yoga, (yoga means union) which ultimately means union with God.
On a personal note, I have on some few occasions experienced a measure of this samadhic state, which actually only lasts for a few seconds in deep meditation and introspection. It is brief, but utterly exhilarating. I have never been able to force it, and nor would I wish to, but it does seem to be definitely connected to certain breathing practices which involve visualisation of light ascending up the spinal canal to the top of the head.
I have been able to invoke somewhat of this sensation, due to simply recollecting the previous experience of it. This creates a tingling sensation at the top of the head, and literally feels like being illuminated. There is also an accompanying feeling of well-being and spiritual elevation.
The Crown Chakra
At the very top of the head, there is situated the Sahasrara Chakra, or the Crown Chakra, often called the Thousand Petalled Lotus. The energy generated during meditation which passes up along the spine is like a golden-white light that ascends into the sahasrara, and causes certain vibrations to open up the 'petals' of this lotus.
The Thousand Petals are actually composed of fine filaments found in etheric substance, that radiate out in all directions from the core of this psychic centre. Such a filament is known individually in Sanskrit as a nadi in the singular, or nadis collectively. It is these filaments that actually create the appearance of a lotus in bloom, opening in the sun. Each of these nadis represent the unfolding of certain 'soul characteristics' which the student is developing or revealing, in his/her nature.
The more of these 'thousand petals' that open, the more spiritually advanced is the student of yoga and meditation. They can only unfold and open however, when the student is ready. This means spiritually ready. There can be no genuine spiritual advancement or unfoldment of these nadis when the student still clings to false realities, is jealous, hateful, angry, unkind, or otherwise preoccupied with the mundane affairs of life to an excessive degree.
There must first be a loss of interest in and attachment to, the 'things of the world' and one must live in the world but not be of the world. Until there is a high stage of spiritual learning and genuine advancement, the kundalini tends to stay put at the base of the spine. This is a safety measure, as such a force of light and creative power can destroy as easily as it can enlighten.
The many thousands of nadis which run through the etheric body, are of a finer substance than the physical tubes of capillaries etc; the nadis are formed in etheric substance, and run parallel to the system of nerves found in the Central Nervous System. To compare the difference between nadis and nerves, is like comparing water vapour with solid ice. Both are basically of the same substance, but the nadis are considerably finer in form and vibration.
In addition, the mind of the individual permeates all of the body, via the nadis; it is the mind which fills every cell in the body via the system of nadis which connect all of the major seven chakras, and the many lesser chakras, or psychic centres. It is for this reason too, that only when spiritual development (which implies development of the mind) is of a certain level, that the vital force of the kundalini can ascend to the Sahasrara Chakra at the crown of the head.
However, most of us on a spiritual path are really not that perfect yet, therefore, we are rather mixed in our energy field. Some of the energy in our aura is advanced, and some is not so advanced; some of the chakras are more 'open' and developed than others. The kundalini has to pass through all of the chakras to reach sahasrara, so it can only unfold these centres of energy one by one and in incremental stages.
The very ascending of the kundalini however, confers on the individual certain 'spiritual gifts'. These gifts can be recognised as clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, ESP, telepathy, precognition, prophecy and prediction, healing gifts, intuition, and many more. These spiritual gifts are all found in the realm of the esoteric, the extrasensory part of human nature. They are the gifts of the Spirit mentioned in the Bible, and are a sign of advancement.
However, some people develop similar abilities forcibly and artificially. You will know such individuals by the content of their character, and it has been well said that being psychic does not necessarily infer being spiritual.
As kundalini awakens the chakras, and particularly the fine filaments that compose the Thousand Petalled Lotus, these spiritual gifts appear and increase. But the true mark of the spiritually advanced is not that he or she is clairvoyant or psychic, but is unselfish. Unselfishness is the hallmark of the advanced yogi and saint.
When the disciple of yoga and meditation lives a life devoid of selfishness, and makes sacrifices for others, the kundalini can arise unimpeded and safely. If we follow the instructions of Jesus on the two most important commandments we will recognise that we must:
a) Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength
b) Love others as you love yourself
We can never go wrong if we follow these instructions. It doesn't matter if we don't know what God is exactly; who does? What matters is that we love Nature, the planet, the Universe, Life itself, and respect all forms of life. When we treat other people and other creatures in the way that we would like to be treated we are on the right path.
Therefore, kundalini rising represents our spiritual evolution, and can only come safely when the disciple is ready to receive illumination and enlightenment. When we give up the idea of 'self' we are on our way to that understanding.
© 2018 S P Austen