This is part XII of kundalini series. The cosmic energy is nothing but the universal consciousness. This is also called divine energy or prana. The cosmic energy enters our body through our top head chakra or sahasrara and reaches the tip of our spine. Through the spinal nerves the cosmic energy is distributed to the various parts of the body. Cosmic energy is one of the factors in waking up the kundalini. When the cosmic energy enters our body it further adds energy to the pre-existing energy of kundalini and makes the kundalini more powerful. In the natural process of evolution, kundalini ascends on its own. This is the reason for increased level of wisdom and spirituality as you grow old. Nervous system is affected by drugs, smoking, alcohol and sleeping pills. If our nervous system is not maintained properly the arousal of kundalini leads to complications.
You should maintain your nervous system in a healthy condition when you are planning to do kundalini meditation. If you go to the higher chakra without activating its lower chakras, the result would be a nervous breakdown. Kundalini should be raised slowly and steadily by intense practice and mind control only and not by resorting to other means. In the olden days rishis used to do penance keeping a pebble below the perineum, so that the kundalini rises due to the pressure it exerts on the perineum. You continue to be associated with worldly things when you are still with the first five chakras i.e. from muladhara to visudhi. Since these chakras are activated with the help of your mind, you continue to give importance to ego. The only positive factor is that your level of ego diminishes when you are proceeding towards the higher chakras. The time factor to master kundalini purely depends upon your ability to concentrate. Some of you may reach the top head chakra and beyond within a matter of a few months, whereas others may take years. For attaining complete perfection a minimum period of six years is recommended. But it all depends upon your perseverance.
If you would like to go a little deep in the subject, kundalini is covered by three sheaths. Please do not confuse with the five sheaths covering the atman that was discussed earlier. What we are discussing here are the sheaths of kundalini alone. Kundalini is the divine energy that is covered by these three sheaths. They are five basic elements (akash, air, fire, water and earth), tanmatras (sound, light, smell, taste and touch) and the three gunas (satwik, rajas and tamas). If you look at these three sheaths, you will notice that all the three influence our mind. In order to have a refined mind, these sheaths are to be removed. Kundalini is said to be in the form of three and a half rounds of a coiled snake when she is in her house. The three coils represent these three coverings and the half represents your ego. When she ascends through the lower five chakras, she carries with her all the three and a half sheaths. We have already discussed elaborately about the tatwas, gunas, tanmatras and ego. There is yet another concept about breathing.
We have already discussed about ida, pingala and sushumna nadis. Ida nadi is called the nadi of the sun representing your right nostril; the pingala nadi is called the nadi of the moon representing your left nostril and the sushumna is called the nadi of the fire, the central canal of the spinal cord. When you inhale through your right nostril, your body becomes warmer and when you inhale through your left nostril, your body becomes cooler. You will never breathe through both the nostrils in equal proportion. For 90 minutes sun nadi is active and for the next 90 minutes the moon nadi is active and this process continues. This you can feel with the help of your indeed finger, by keeping it close to your nostrils. You will feel the air coming out through any one of the nostrils more pronounced at a time. This alternate system of breathing keeps our body in the right temperature. This is the concept of pranayama. Without proper training in pranayama, kundalini may ascend through the ida nadi and cause irreparable damage to the nervous system. The important thing you have to follow in kundalini mediation is not to hurry through the process. Slow and steady progress will give you results beyond your imagination.