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SEVAMED EDITORIAL

Kundalini Yoga and Spiritual Awakening

Considerable amount of scientific research and resources are spent on exploring systems external and internal at gross level but little effort is made to understand at subtle level, the awareness of true self. The effort of the Emerging Sciences Foundation to find important insights related to consciousness, mystical experience and the evolution of the human brain by connecting people to interactive Kundalini database is laudable.
            Kundalini is a psycho-physiological process and a gateway of empirically verifying the evolution of the body and mind thus merging physical and spiritual sciences. Traditionally Kundalini is held to be responsible for creativity, inspiration, genius, mystical experience, psychic phenomena and in its morbid form, certain classes of mental illnesses. In the ‘Dawn of a new science’, Gopikrishna uses several examples from the research and writings of others to support the hypothesis that Prana exists. In the ‘Mystery of the Mind‘, Penfield states ”the mind is peculiar. It has energy. The form of that energy is different from known electrochemical energies”.
            Kundalini is the force and the controlling mechanism of the divine and intelligent, cosmic evolutionary life-force (Prana) that resides in every one of us. Coiled three and half times like a serpent, Kundalini awakens from its sleep at the base of the spine through meditation or prayer, sometimes spontaneously, or by a near death experience. The Kundalini power works to transform the brain and body in order to reach cosmic consciousness – the evolutionary target of humanity.
            India and China have an incredibly long historic record of subtle energy research. In India, the practice of Yoga was developed in order to adjust and refine the human body, which allows the pranic energy released by Kundalini to accomplish the transformation of the brain. The initiates found that a Spiritual awakening coincided with sublime states of consciousness, an upliftment of morals, creativity, and a deep love for humanity, concluding that this evolutionary energy follows a predetermined path towards cosmic consciousness and divine in nature (www.emergingsciences.org).

            Kundalini Yoga derives its name through a focus on awakening Kundalini energy through regular practice of Meditation, Pranayama, Chanting mantra and Yogasana. The practice of Kundalini Yoga is supposed to arouse the sleeping Kundalini Shakti from its coiled base through the 6 chakras and penetrate the 7th chakra, or crown chakra. This energy is said to travel along the Ida (left), Pingala (right) and central or Sushumna nadi, the main channels of pranic energy in the body. Kundalini energy is technically explained as being sparked during yogic breathing when Prana and Apana blends at the 3rd chakra (naval center) at which point it initially drops down to the 1st and 2nd chakras before travelling up to the spine to the higher centers of the brain to activate the golden cord – the connection between the pituitary and pineal glands – and penetrate the 7 chakras (see figure). Daily practice of kriyas and meditation in sadhana are described as a practical technology of human consciousness for humans to achieve their creative potential. With practice of Kundalini yoga one is thought able to liberate oneself from one’s karma and realize one’s Dharma (life purpose) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/kundalini yoga).
            Metaphysics is the inner scientific study of reality beyond our five senses. The system of chakras (centers of energy and consciousness) is a key metaphysical concept in Hinduism. There are seven chakras (1) Mooladhar, (2) Swadhisthan, (3) Manipur, (4) Anahat, (5) Vishuddhi, (6) Ajna and (7) Sahastrar chakra located from the base of the spine up to the top of the head. Through the lower three chakras, we interact with the world of our five senses. Through the higher four chakras, we perceive and interact with the reality beyond our five senses – the world of metaphysics. As we evolve spiritually, we become aware of the higher ones. A great writer may use the fourth chakra’s power of direct cognition. A person filled with love for all mankind is experiencing the fifth chakra. Some are seeing into the future through the power of divine sight is experiencing the sixth chakra. Through the seventh chakra, we can directly experience God and awaken miraculous powers.             
Weaving through the chakras in the spiritual body are three nadis, or energy channels which flow through spine. The Ida nadi associated with the Moon is pink, emotional and feminine in nature. The Pingala nadi associated with the Sun, is blue, logical and masculine in nature. The yellow Sushumna nadi is the channel of pure spiritual energy, flowing through the centre of spine. A highly spiritual person seeks to balance the Ida and Pingala and live in the pure energy of Sushumna (Hinduism Today, Jan-Mar, 2011). Along with the many kriyas, meditations and practices of Kundalini yoga, a simple breathing technique of alternate nostril breathing (left nostril, right nostril) is taught as a method to cleanse the nadis or subtle channels and pathways, to help awaken Kundalini energy.
            The chakras regulate the energy flow throughout our body and also govern the seven major endocrine glands located in their vicinity. The chakras radiate specific colors and energy. The sequence of colors from 1st to 7th chakra (see figure) is in rainbow pattern showing that the body is mini universe. The body with its solar and lunar energies, five elements, senses and the mind becomes the perfect temple for the inner worship and meditation for Spiritual development. Kundalini Arousal appears to be a delicate task. If the energy rises through the Ida or Pingala channels instead of Sushumna channel, it may cause severe mental disturbances (www.newbrainnewworld.com). Hence it is advised to approach real Guru for Kundalini awakening. The interested may also be in touch with Kundalini Research Institute (www.kundaliniresearchinstitute.org) and Kundalini Research Network Conference to see the progress in Kundalini Research.   


           September 11, 2014                                                                Prof. B.C. Harinath

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