The term “Kundalini” used by yogis means the Sacred Fire located in the area of the base of the spine. The Kundalini has seven layers; each of these layers has seven sub-layers. Therefore, there are forty-nine degrees of its awakening. In other words, the question is not so much whether the Kundalini has awakened or not, but how much or to what degree it has awakened. In this article, I want to share with you some of my research on how to awaken kundalini.
Why Is Kundalini Energy So Important For Spiritual Practice?
Kundalini energy allows the brain cells to register spiritual experiences and urges. The capabilities of the physical body, especially the brain and nervous system, increase. After a while, a person whose Kundalini has awakened to a high degree can become a genius, a great charismatic leader or a great spiritual teacher.
When Kundalini awakens, the positive and negative traits of a person’s character are much more intense. Kundalini energy is similar to fertilizer: just as fertilizer stimulates the growth of any seeds in the soil, Kundalini brings to life all the ancient seeds present in man – both good and bad. Therefore, a person entering the spiritual path experiences the strongest internal struggle. Therefore it is very important to practice inner purification.
One of the side effects of an improper, premature Kundalini awakening is excessive, uncontrolled sexual desire. A man can become a violent sex maniac. In some cases, a person may develop an excessive sense of pride or even megalomania.
Kundalini Energy In Different Traditions
In Egypt, the awakened Kundalini energy, rising to the center of the head, was symbolically depicted as a snake on the headdress of the Pharaoh. During ancient times, the Pharaoh was presented as being enlightened, an advanced personality on the path of the spirit, and a wise and benevolent ruler.
In China, the sage who managed to fully awaken Kundalini energy and took control of it was depicted as a man riding a dragon. This is how Bodhisattva Quan Yin is depicted in some paintings.
In India, the degree of awakening of Kundalini energy is symbolized by the number of cobras rising above the head of yogi. The number of cobras indicates the number of already awakened Kundalini layers. Sometimes you can see a statue of a meditating yogi with one, three or even five cobras above his head. However, it is rare to see an image of seven cobras. Seven cobras symbolize a soul that has reached a very high level of development, for example, a great spiritual teacher.
In the Indian tradition, Shiva represents spiritual energy and Shakti, symbolizing female power, which represents kundalini.
In the esoteric Christian tradition, “the condescension of the Holy Spirit” represents spiritual energy and “sacred fire” represents Kundalini. This is what John the Baptist says in the Bible, “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Matthew 3:11) In other words, it means that someone will come to give spiritual initiation or to give spiritual power.
The Holy Spirit is the spiritual energy, while the Holy fire is the Kundalini energy located at the base of the spine. When Shiva and Shakti, or the Holy Spirit and the Holy fire, unite, the spiritual energy awakens the Kundalini energy and raises it to the crown chakra, which leads to spiritual enlightenment, or expansion of consciousness. This sexual union of the Holy Spirit and the Holy fire is also what is meant by being born again. Just like a child is born of sexual union to become enlightened or reunited with God in Heaven one must be reborn and baptized through the sexual union of Holy Fire and the Holy Spirit.
In the European tradition, this spiritual energy is called “Prince charming“, and the Kundalini energy is called “Sleeping beauty”. When “the Prince” kisses the “sleeping” Kundalini energy it awakens and these two energies rise together to the center of the crown. After that, the Prince and the Princess got married and “lived happily to the end of their days”. Sometimes fairy tales are created by great spiritual teachers to convey inner teachings and practices to spiritually Mature disciples.
A comparative study of different traditions will help you understand spiritual truths from a universal point of view, not just from the point of view of one culture. These examples show that the truth is universal. And spiritual truths do not belong to any culture or religion.
Kundalini Awakening Preparation
Usually, people ask how to awaken Kundalini but they don’t even know that they need to pass the preparation process first.
There are many methods of Kundalini awakening. Proper preparation is necessary!
- First of all, you need to purify your physical and energetic bodies so that the awakened Kundalini energy can move easily and unhindered without harming your physical body.
- It’s important to practice inner purification by means of character progression. You can achieve this through the development of virtues and the eradication of vices and bad habits.
- You need to activate your higher chakras (particularly the Heart and the Crown chakra) BEFORE you start practicing the methods of Kundalini awakening.
Activation of the Heart chakra is necessary for increasing intellectual abilities and willpower.
Activation of the Crown chakra allows the spiritual energy to descend in order to:
- safely awaken the Kundalini energy;
- awaken it to a higher degree;
- regulate the Kundalini energy.
Kundalini Awakening Symptoms
The descriptions of the Kundalini awakening in yogic traditions and in modern western spiritual traditions are very different. The most typical, so-called “classical way” describes Kundalini awakening starting from the base of the spine up to the head along the Central energy channel, Sushumna. As a rule, the awakening begins, with the heating of the base of the spine. Then the heat rises along the spine and spreads throughout the body. When the Kundalini reaches the level of the heart, it begins to pulse rapidly. If the Kundalini reaches the head, there may be a feeling of light coming from the third eye or from the top of the head.
Sometimes the awakening of the Kundalini begins with the twitching of the toes. Then the tremor rises up the legs and covers the whole body. Sometimes Kundalini is crawling along the spine slowly and gently. Sometimes it can instantly move from one energy center to another. There are cases when Kundalini instantly reaches the center of the head.
For some people, Kundalini awakening is accompanied by sexual pleasure. Sometimes Kundalini rises with piercing pain in the spine or in energy centers. The rise of Kundalini can be accompanied by involuntary, spontaneous movements of the body, fixation of unusual poses or yoga poses. Often the breath rhythm changes. A person can see the light and hear different sounds. Some people see the visions of images or fragments of a real physical body. Sensitivity to odors may increase.
To learn more about symptoms of Kundalini awakening read the article “Kundalini Awakening Symptoms Everyone Should Know“.
How To Awaken Kundalini?
Now that we have covered the preparation needed, I can finally share with you how to awaken Kundalini.
The Bihar school of Yoga describes how to awaken Kundalini and gives 10 main methods.
1. Awakening by birth
If parents have a high level of spiritual development, it contributes to Kundalini awakening of their child.
2. Regular mantra practice
This method takes a lot of time and patience. You should have a guru who will give you the necessary mantra. Such a guru himself should have his Kundalini awakened, know Tantra and Yoga.
This is the purification of the mind and emotions from inferiority complexes. Tapasya is a psychoemotional process that eradicates bad habits and strengthens the will. This is the path for ascetics who are strong in spirit.
The term “tapasya” basically means a practical spiritual discipline that involves deep meditation, self-discipline, and efforts to reach self-realization. By practicing tapasya you can reach spiritual liberation.
4. Awakening with the help of power plants
In the ancient Vedic texts of India, there is mention of the soma plant. It’s a creeping plant that’s picked on the special Moon days. By taking Soma juice people reach the state of clairvoyance, divination, and revelation. The method of preparation of this drink is secret. The use of drugs or psychedelics has nothing to do with it.
5. Raja yoga
This is a very powerful method of perfecting the mind by concentrating, meditating, and merging with the Divine. But I have to say that Raja Yoga practice without prior Hatha Yoga practice sometimes may lead to depression. It requires a lot of patience, time, discipline and perseverance. For most modern people it is very difficult.
Raja yoga is aimed at establishing control over one’s mind. In Raja yoga practitioner mainly focuses on how to control his mind, although certain minimum practices of asanas and pranayamas also take place as part of the preparatory process for meditation and concentration.
There are eight stages or levels in the practice of Raja yoga:
Yama is a set of ethical norms that teach us to communicate with others in the right way. To be brief, it means one thing: treat people the way you want them to treat you.
The step of forming the self-discipline and uplifting spirituality. This step involves regular visits to temples, meditative practices, a study of nature, thinking and walks.
Body care is one of the most important stages on the path to spiritual growth and enlightenment. Performing certain asanas, we learn concentration and self-discipline.
It is the ability to control your breath. Pranayama is a set and a system of special techniques that make it possible to establish a relationship between breath, mind, and emotions. Pranayama practice allows us to rejuvenate the entire body and prolong your lifespan.
It is the ability to concentrate and not be distracted by various external stimuli. This step gives us the vision of the internal systems, understanding what can stop our personal and inner growth.
Dharana means ‘concentration’ or ‘single focus’. This is how we can calm down our mind, which distracts us from knowing more than we are able to understand. It helps us to see the limitless of our possibilities.
Dhyana means ‘contemplation, reflection’ and ‘profound, abstract meditation’. This is the stage of the full development of the properties of meditation and concentration.
This is a state of intense concentration that can be achieved through meditation. Samadhi is a state of bliss and understanding. Samadhi is the highest stage of meditation, in which we experience oneness with the universe. In samadhi, the mind becomes still. We become totally aware of the present moment.
If the disciple is sufficiently prepared, practices intense pranayama in a quiet and peaceful environment, eats only to sustain life, one day his Kundalini will explode like lightning and rapidly rise to Sahasrara. However, for those who are not prepared in advance physically, emotionally, mentally and intellectually, the explosion of energy can be tragic. Pranayama is an elitist method. It is very complex and not everyone can cope with it. However, I want to share with you one of the pranayama techniques that can help to awaken Kundalini.
The Pranayama Technique:
- When performing this exercise, it is necessary to concentrate on the basis of the spinal column – the first chakra (Muladhara). The first chakra is the location of the Kundalini energy.
- Close your right nostril with the thumb of your right hand. Inhale through the left nostril, while slowly pronounce the mantra “Om” 3 times. Imagine that together with the air you draw prana out of space.
- Then close your left nostril with your pinky finger and the ring finger of your right hand and hold your breath, pronouncing the mantra “Om” 12 times. Send a flow of Prana down the spine right into the base of the first chakra. Imagine that energy strikes the base of the spine (the first chakra) and awakens Kundalini.
- Then slowly exhale through the right nostril, pronouncing the mantra “Om” 6 times.
- Continuing to cover the left nostril with the pinky finger and ring finger, inhale through the right nostril, at the same time slowly pronounce the mantra “Om” 3 times. Imagine that together with the air you draw prana out of space.
- Then close your right nostril with your thumb and hold your breath, pronouncing the mantra “Om” 12 times. Send a flow of Prana down the spine right into the base of the first chakra. Imagine that energy strikes the base of the spine (the first chakra) and awakens Kundalini.
- Then slowly exhale through the left nostril, pronouncing the mantra “Om” 6 times.
Start with performing this exercise up to 3 times before meditation. With time and practice, it is possible to increase the duration and frequency of pranayama. Do this gradually and carefully, according to your abilities and capabilities.
7. Kriya Yoga
This is the easiest, softest and most accessible method for a modern person. Kriya yoga is an ancient meditative technique for controlling energy and breathing. It is also a comprehensive spiritual path that includes meditation practices and proper living. The correct practice of Kriya Yoga allows the heart, lungs and nervous system to slow down naturally, creating a deep inner silence of the body and mind, thus freeing attention from the constant cycle of thoughts, emotions and sensory perceptions. In the state of this clarity and inner silence, there is a feeling of deep inner peace and harmony with your soul and with the Supreme.
8. Tantric initiation
This initiation is a very powerful experience for those who seek to control their feelings, passion and understand the nature of the Shiva-Shakti principles. In this case, a Guru helps to awaken Kundalini. The student may not even notice how he spontaneously crossed the path of ascension to superconsciousness.
Many people believe that this is the safest method to awaken Kundalini. The Teacher personally should perform this method for his disciple. The initiated disciple can instantly enter the altered state of consciousness. He may, without prior training, to perform the asanas, understand mantras and Sacred Scriptures.
The right to shaktipat (initiation) does not depend on social status or behavior of a person. One can live 50 years as an ascetic, austere practices, and penance and still not receive shaktipat. And someone can live a normal life and receive the blessing from the Teacher at the very first meeting. It depends on the development of consciousness, which gives the Teacher the right to give someone Shaktipat. This is what only the Teacher can see. It is not an indicator of intellectual, emotional or religious development and is not related to lifestyle, nutrition or thinking.
This is a paradoxical method of Kundalini awakening without any desire to its awakening. By following this path you’re living according to this principle: “I’m not going anywhere. The Universe takes care of everything. I accept everything that comes to me.” And if you really believe that, Kundalini will eventually wake up.
Abnegation automatically affects the heart of a person, and this impact is not understood by many, because only a few reach the level of development at which abnegation becomes possible. This action ignites a spark of spirituality in the soul. And when a person reaches this stage, he/she takes the first step on the path to spirituality. The spark produced by this action in the depths of the heart turns into a flame, into a torch illuminating life. It changes the whole Outlook of life. The whole world seems different.
The Magic Of Kundalini And Its Mystery
The Kundalini experience is a universal phenomenon and it does not belong exclusively to the tradition of Yoga. It was common for most cultures and traditions to keep knowledge about Kundalini in a great secret. Back in the days, only Masters had the right to pass this knowledge to their disciples.
The greatest mysteries of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome were connected to Kundalini awakening. Kundalini is also known in the tradition of Christian Gnostics and Neoplatonists, in Kabbalah and Christian ascetics.
Although Kundalini awakening has always been a mystery, there are many cases when energy manifests itself unexpectedly, in completely unprepared people. Quite often it happens with teenagers during puberty. Some people connect it with hormone increase. For a similar reason, there are many cases when women spontaneously experienced Kundalini awakening during the change of hormones.
Sometimes people who are not familiar with Yoga and the concept of Kundalini may experience its awakening without the understanding of what is going on with them. They may complain that they can not sleep at night, feel the heat, the flow of energy, vibrations, etc. Also, they may feel the waves of pleasure in their bodies that they have never experienced before. Instead of using this situation for cognition and spiritual growth, usually, these people go to the doctor. The doctor does not know what it is, but treats it anyways, saying that it is hormonal change.
To learn more about symptoms of Kundalini awakening read the article “Kundalini Awakening Symptoms Everyone Should Know“.
Due to the fact that Kundalini awakening is quite a serious and multi-layered process, there is no room for haste. It is necessary to take your time for consciousness to keep up with the ongoing energy changes. It is important to go through all the necessary stages on this very deep, delicate, transformational path. Sometimes this does not happen as quickly as we would like, and it is certainly important to continue the practice. At some point, it may seem that nothing is happening, or that you are not moving forward. But the thing is – it is just an illusion that your inpatient mind creates. Keep practicing, and at the end of the process, you will certainly see the result.
I hope in this article you found some answers on how to awaken Kundalini. I’m wishing you good luck in your spiritual practices and self-realization path. Namaste!