Kuṇḍalinī is not just a force, but Parāśakti Herself in Her subtlest form. It is one of the quickest methods to liberation. Even without practicing kuṇḍalinī, She ascends to higher chakras depending upon one’s level of love (the highest form of devotion) for Her. Ascension of kuṇḍalinī is directly related to the purity level of one’s mind. Yoga Cūḍāmaṇi Upaniṣad talks about the importance of kuṇḍalinī. Verse 37 says, “Kuṇḍalinī rests in the passage of Brahman. If one goes through this passage, Brahman is attained.” Passage of Brahman that is referred here is a tiny nāḍi (often explained as a nerve or an artery or a vein) inside the spinal cord known as suṣumna, where all the three guṇa-s (sattva, rajas and tamas) are present. Within suṣumna, there are two other nāḍi-s, one within the other. Outer nāḍi is suṣumna and within suṣumna there is another nāḍi vajra (literal meaning – impenetrable) and within vajra, there is a very tiny nāḍi known as citriṇi and this citriṇi nāḍi is referred as the pathway to Brahman, who is seated at the top of the head in a tiny orifice known as brahmrandra (the orifice of Brahman). Yoga CūḍāmaṇiUpaniṣad (39) says, “When kuṇḍalinī is awakened, ascends through citriṇi nāḍi and opens the door for the practitioner to realize Brahman.” We need the help of only mind and prāṇa to awaken this Divine Power Kuṇḍalinī which lies dormant in the base chakra and through practice have to make Her unite with Her Consort of Śiva. When this Divine Union takes place, the yogi is liberated.

How importance kuṇḍalinī is in the path or liberation is explained in Haṭhayoga Pradīpaka in the chapter samādhi. “When kuṇḍalinī is awakened through various means, one enters into the state of samādhi automatically. The one, who knows the path abandons all actions when his prāṇa enters into suṣumna (technically speaking it is through citriṇi nāḍi, which is the inner most nāḍi in suṣumna. He is liberated when kuṇḍalinī enters into sahasrāra.” Therefore, the main purpose of understanding and practicing kuṇḍalinī meditation is only to attain liberation. Some supernatural powers that are attained during practice are to be ignored, if one is able to attain these powers; however, these powers are rarely attained. Kuṇḍalinī Yoga is also known as Mahā Yoga, which itself indicates its importance and supremacy.

Before practicing kuṇḍalinī, we need to have thorough understanding of the subtleties of kuṇḍalinī, which is the subtlest and yet the most powerful form of Parāśakti. As we know, She has three forms, Gross (different forms with which we worship Her, such as Kālī, Ṣoḍaśī etc. Her subtler form is Kāmakalā and Her subtlest form is Kuṇḍalinī. All these three forms are discussed in Lalitā Sahasranāma in detail.

It is always advisable to practice kuṇḍalinī meditation under the direct supervision of a learned Guru, who has experienced the Bliss of kuṇḍalinī and got liberated. Expertise of a Guru is needed in case of wrong practice which could cause serious damage to the whole body, particularly, the nervous system. While practicing kuṇḍalinī meditation, certain biological, hormonal and chemical changes happen in the body and such changes in general do not cause any harm, provided, this meditation is practiced step by step in a slow pace.

This series will discuss all possible angles of kuṇḍalinī meditation, including theory, practice, required āsana-s, prāṇāyāma, mudra-s, bandha-s, yoganidrā, activating and balancing psychic centres apart from discussing spiritual, scientific and biological angles. However, extreme caution should be exercised while practicing these procedures. Most importantly, one should have absolute faith on Her Grace.

(to be continued)