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Advanced Yoga Practices

Advanced Yoga Practices
Directory for Main Lessons

Source: aypsite.org/

1-9 (Not Used)
10 Why This Discussion?
11 What is Yoga? What is Religion?
12 The Essential Ingredient – Desire
13 Meditation – Awakening the Silent Seed
14 Meditation Q&A – Not much Happening
15 Meditation Q&A – Restlessness
16 Meditation Q&A – Bliss
17 Meditation Q&A – Was I asleep?
18 Meditation Q&A – Finding the time
19 Meditation Q&A – What tradition to follow?
20 Meditation Q&A – Enlightenment without God?
21 Meditation Q&A – Objects of meditation
22 Meditation Q&A – Vibratory quality of mantra
23 Meditation Q&A – Watching the clock
24 Meditation Q&A – Does meditation cure sickness?
25 Meditation Q&A – Effect on high stress situations
26 (Not Used)
27 Meditation Q&A – Location of mantra
28 Meditation Q&A – Will I become a milquetoast?
29 Meditation Q&A – Alcohol, tobacco and drugs
30 Meditation Q&A – Diet
31 Meditation Q&A – Enjoying the great outdoors
32 (Not Used)
33 Meditation Q&A – A new way to sit in meditation
34 Meditation Q&A – Meditation and world problems
35 Meditation Q&A – Enlightenment milestones
36 Meditation Q&A – The fifth dimension
37 Meditation Q&A – Group meditations
38 What is your time line?
39 Pranayama – Cultivating the soil of the nervous system
40 (Not Used)
41 Pranayama – Spinal Breathing
42 Pranayama Q&A – Is this natural?
43 Pranayama Q&A – Relationship to meditation
44 Pranayama Q&A – Finding the spinal nerve
45 Pranayama Q&A – Breathing is slowing down
46 Pranayama Q&A – Which way is up?
47 Pranayama Q&A – Chakras?
48 Pranayama Q&A – Pranayama and health
49 Pranayama Q&A – Perspiration
50 Pranayama Q&A – Managing the time
51 Pranayama Q&A – Strange gurglings
52 Pranayama Q&A – Big little nerve
53 Pranayama Q&A – Light and sound
54 Kundalini – A code word for sex
55 Mulabandha – Enlivening sexual energy upward
56 Sambhavi – Opening the third eye
57 Q&A – The guru is in me?
58 Q&A – Step by step
59 Q&A – Some mantra particulars
60 Q&A – Unexpected interruptions
61 (Not Used)
62 Q&A – Duration of one spinal breathing cycle?
63 Q&A – Cool and warm currents in pranayama
64 Q&A – The ecstatic silver thread
65 Q&A – The pineal and pituitary glands
66 Q&A – Arriving, not leaving
67 Bhakti – The science of devotion
68 Q&A – Relationship of traumatic experiences and bhakti
69 Q&A – Kundalini symptoms, imbalances, and remedies
70 (Not Used)
71 Yoga asanas – A wonderful billion dollar industry
72 Q&A – Please tell me exactly what to do
73 Q&A – More on chakras
74 Q&A – For this life, and the next one
75 Siddhasana – Living in a fountain of ecstasy
76 Q&A – Siddhis: Are powers real?
77 Q&A – Still more on chakras
78 Q&A – Pleasure and the path
79 Q&A – Mantra reminders
80 Q&A – Physical fitness and yoga
81 Q&A – Charging ahead too fast?
82 (Not Used)
83 Q&A – There she goes. Kundalini, that is.
84 Q&A – The art of doing nothing
85 Q&A – Enlightenment milestones revisited
86 Q&A – Finding your meditation routine
87 (Not Used)
88 Q&A – The magic of bhakti
89 Q&A – The caduceus: a snapshot of you and me
90 Caduceus correction, and ida/pingala review
91 Yoni mudra kumbhaka – Purging the third eye, and much more
92 Q&A – The Star
93 Q&A – Changing times
94 Some house cleaning tips
95 Q&A – Stabilizing ecstasy
96 Q&A – Spinal breathing startup review
97 Q&A – Tantra: Help for sex maniacs and ordinary lovers
98 Q&A – Yoga and marriage
99 Q&A – Practices, front end and back end
100 Q&A – What is enlightenment?
101 Q&A – What is brahmacharya?
102 Q&A – Importance of smooth long-term meditation routine
103 Q&A – Destiny and free will
104 Q&A – Stubborn energy blockages
105 Q&A – Hitting a wall at mulabandha
106 Q&A – Mantra and breathing in meditation
107 Q&A – Self-pacing in postures and practices
108 Kechari mudra – A giant leap for humankind
109 Q&A – Bhakti, meditation and inner silence
110 Q&A – Romantic love
111 (Not Used)
112 Q&A – Bhakti: Up close and personal
113 Q&A – Bliss, ecstasy, and divine love
114 Q&A – Kechari: “Throat jamming” in stage 1
115 Q&A – Mantra, language and meaning
116 Meditation – First enhancement of mantra
117 Q&A – Finding a mantra with no meaning?
118 Q&A – Strong pulse in meditation
119 Q&A – Some other approaches to mulabandha
120 Q&A – “Getting enlightenment”
121 Q&A – Pratyahara: Expansion of the senses inward
122 Q&A – Witnessing
123 Q&A – Importance of the Q&As
124 Q&A – Keeping it simple
125 Q&A – Kundalini heat
126 Q&A – Relationship of pratyahara, intellect and bhakti
127 Q&A – Siddhasana or padmasana?
128 Q&A – Siddhasana and pressure in the head
129 Nauli – Raising kundalini with your abdominal muscles
130 Q&A – Vibrations at the root
131 Q&A – Coordinating sambhavi and spinal breathing
132 Q&A – What is sin?
133 Q&A – Nectar
134 Q&A – Yoga and Western Psychology
135 Q&A – Kundalini currents in legs and arms
136 Q&A – Vigyan Bhairav Tantra – the 112 techniques
137 Q&A – Getting both feet into paradise
138 Q&A – Would you like to get reconditioned?
139 Dynamic Jalandhara – The chin pump
140 Q&A – Chin pump: Coordinating head rotation and breathing
141 Bhakti article (from here) in Hindustan Times
142 New “Links” section – Share your favorite yoga website
143 Chin Pump – Effects in the lower body
144 Q&A – Chin pump lite (without kumbhaka)
145 Q&A – Overdoing it with asanas
146 Q&A – Shaktipat: Direct transmissions of spiritual energy
147 Q&A – Sequencing of asanas, pranayama and meditation
148 Q&A – Why practices twice a day?
149 The eight limbs of yoga, and samyama – Melting the darkness
150 Samyama practice
151 Q&A – Samyama: Settling in with your sutras
152 Q&A – Thinking about meanings versus doing samyama practice
153 Q&A – Yoga Sutra translations, and on becoming “super-normal”
154 Q&A – Samyama: “Let go and let God”
155 Q&A – Samyama: Lightness, lurching … and levitation?
156 Q&A – Muladhara/root and integration of practices
157 Q&A – What is inner silence?
158 Q&A – Too relaxed in meditation?
159 Q&A – Too many thoughts in meditation?
160 Q&A – Extreme sensitivity to meditation – what to do?
161 Q&A – Dark nights and the rise of inner silence
162 Virus and Updated Spam Alert
163 Q&A – Sublime clarity
164 Q&A – Human power
165 Q&A – Desire and change
166 Q&A – Pay It forward
167 Q&A – Living on air and sunlight alone?
168 Q&A – Is pain a prerequisite for inner peace?
169 Q&A – Is this ecstatic conductivity?
170 Q&A – That’s kundalini?
171 Spinal bastrika pranayama – Pressure washing your karma away
172 Q&A – Spinal bastrika energy, sleep, and time of practice routine
173 Q&A – Spinal bastrika cycle time
174 Q&A – Sex and Sambhavi
175 Q&A – New experiences
176 Q&A – Dissecting samyama
177 Q&A – Advanced siddhasana
178 Q&A – Dharma
179 Q&A – The star revisited
180 Q&A – Off to a good start in meditation
181 Q&A – Expectations and our time line
182 Q&A – Healthy skepticism
183 Q&A – Movements and automatic yoga
184 Q&A – Teleportation, samyama & siddhis
185 Q&A – Role of the intellect
186 Meditation – Second enhancement of mantra
187 Q&A – Establishing and maintaining daily practice
188 Q&A – Mantra Design 101
189 Q&A – Where is the third eye?
190 Q&A – Sambhavi during meditation?
191 Q&A – How to cultivate ecstatic conductivity
192 Q&A – Tips on kechari
193 Q&A – Extending practice time safely
194 Q&A – More flashing lights
195 Q&A – Mantra, thoughts, and attention
196 Q&A – Refining a sound in the mind
197 Q&A – Kechari sensations
198 Targeted bastrika – A laser for karmic cleansing
199 Managing the opening of the crown
200 Q&A – Follow-up on a sensitive meditator
201 Q&A – The drama of a premature crown opening
202 Q&A – Free form versus structured practices
203 Q&A – Reflections on some dramatic experiences
204 Summary of principles, abilities, and practices
205 Q&A – More on kechari
206 Q&A – Varieties of spinal breathing
207 Q&A – Left or right side imbalances
208 Q&A – Inner energy collisions and strong emotions
209 Fitting daily practices into a busy schedule
210 Q&A – Handling automatic yoga and siddhis
211 The new Web Site is up and running!
212 Q&A – Whole body mudra
213 Q&A – Conscious sleeping
214 Q&A – Finding your spiritual “hook”
215 New Web Site Enhancements
216 Q&A – Kundalini jolts and self-pacing in practices
217 Q&A – Responsibility
218 Q&A – Meditation sensitivity and head movements
219 Q&A – Irritability in activity
220 Q&A – Opening the heart chakra
221 Q&A – Expanding Heart Space
222 Q&A – Chimes in Inner Space?
223 Q&A – Kechari Stage 1 and-a-half? (a dialog)
224 Q&A – Automatic Kechari and Visions
225 Q&A – Clearing the Clouds
226 Q&A – Expansion on our mind
227 Q&A – Meditation, Activity, and Sleep
228 Q&A – Heart Opening and Service
229 Q&A – Spinal Breathing in Inner Space
230 Q&A – Crown and Third Eye
231 Q&A – Dusty Rooms
232 Q&A – Meditation and Automatic Yoga (a dialog)
233 Q&A – Yoga and Religious Beliefs
234 Q&A – Inner Wisdom Shining Through
235 Q&A – Blending Inner Silence and Ecstasy
236 Book Update and an Important Notice
237 Kechari Image Added to Web Site
238 Resuming Lesson Postings
239 Spinal Breathing Pranayama and Asanas
240 Regarding One’s Highest Ideal
241 Smoothing Out Pranayama
242 The Tsunami and Yoga
243 Meditation and Powers (Siddhis)
244 Going for a Smooth Start in Meditation and Pranayama
245 New AYP eBook Now Available
246 Intelligence, Bhakti and Genius
247 Nausea
248 Culture, Samadhi and Snow
249 AYP Book is on Amazon USA as of Today
250 Balancing Practices with Advancing Experiences
251 Visions and Nodding off in Meditation
252 Self-Pacing, Surrender and Enlightenment
253 A Book List and a Brief History of the Rise of Yoga in the West
254 The One is the Many and the Many are the One
255 Everyone Can Teach Yoga
256 Yoga for Our Children
257 Introducing the Open AYP Forum
258 Divine Ecstasy – Is That All There Is?
259 Fear and Enlightenment
260 The Difference Between Enlightenment and Perfection
261 Kundalini Surge
262 Beyond the Cycle of Birth and Death
263 The Secret of Yogic Concentration
264 Astral Projection
265 Backup Website Launched, plus New Book News
266 Harvesting the Best from India
267 About the Word “Hindu”
268 The Secrets of Wilder Novel is Available
269 Leapfrogging to Samyama – Moving Inner Silence Outward
270 New AYP Forums Launched on www.aypsite.com/forum
271 Kechari Story – From Tongue-Tied to the Yoga Super-Highway
272 Addiction, Abusive Conduct, Tough Love and Yoga
273 Importance of Cultivating Inner Silence
274 What’s the End Game in Yoga?
275 Navi Kriya – The Middle Way
276 Granthis – The Three Knots
277 Crown, Ajna and Spiritual Intuition
278 (Not Used)
279 Read New Yogani Writings in the AYP Interactive Community
280 Kundalini Reminders
281 Yoni Chin Pump – Leveraging Two Practices
282 Bhakti, Deep Meditation and on Becoming the Mantra
283 Is Enlightenment an Illusion?
284 Ecstatic Energy in Higher Stages of Kechari
285 Balancing Asanas with Deep Meditation
286 Yogic Dying
287 Crown Strategy and Kundalini
288 Yoni Spinal Breathing Pranayama – Balancing Energy in the Head
289-296 (Not Used)
297 Is an Awakened Kundalini the Same as Enlightenment?
298 Deep Meditation, Purification and Karma
299 Cosmic Samyama – Advanced Yoga Nidra
300 Samyama and Yoga Postures (Asanas)
301 Prayer and the Principles of Samyama
302 The Far-Reaching Consequences of Samyama
303 Siddhis – Super-Normal Powers
304 Diet, Kundalini, and the Nectar Cycle
305 Must We Become Vegetarians?
306 Vitamins, Supplements and Herbal Remedies
307 Hallucinogens and Yoga
308 Addictions and Flights of Fancy
309 Yoga, Overcoming Hunger, and Weight Control
310 Fasting A Powerful Spiritual Practice
311 Inner Silence, Eating Habits and Mind-Body-Spirit Connection
312 Shatkarmas, Bodily Purification and Enlightenment
313 Cleansing of Mouth, Nasal Passages and Sinuses
314 Colon Cleansing
315 Intestinal Wash
316 More Shatkarmas and Overall Guidelines
317 Eleven Key Questions on Samyama
318 Is the Witness the Same as Enlightenment?
319 Amaroli Urine Therapy
320 Kundalini and Refined Sensory Perception
321 An Inquiry about Ending Suffering
322 The Witness as Underlying Cause of Self-Inquiry
323 Roles of Knowledge, Philosophy and DirectExperience
324 Self-Inquiry From Inspiration to Realization
325 Relational and Non-Relational Self-Inquiry
326 Styles of Self-Inquiry and Bridging the Gap
327 The Evolutionary Stages of Mind
328 On Becoming “Ripe”
329 Pitfalls of the Mind
330 Self-Inquiry and the Limbs of Yoga
331 Non-Duality and Ecstatic Kundalini
332 Darshan, Shaktipat and the Global Web of Awakening
333 Dissolving the Witness in Unity
334 Advaita (non-duality), Free Will and Karma
335 The Role of Desire in Self-Inquiry
336 A Confirmation of Unity
337 Dare to Dream
338 Bhakti You are the Doorway
339 Your Chosen Ideal
340 Transforming Emotional Energy for Enlightenment
341 Bhakti and Self-Pacing
342 Bhakti and Your Yoga Practices
343 What is Karma?
344 Transcending Karma and Putting It to Good Use
345 The Spiritual Evolution of Action
346 Mapping the Transformation of Action
347 The Role of Service
348 A Journey from Here to Here
349 The Convergence of Bhakti and Self-Inquiry
350 Practices for Moving Beyond the Witness Stage
351 Adding Self-Inquiry to Core Samyama Practice
352 How to Boil a Frog
353 Alternate Sutra for Self-Inquiry Samyama
354 Is Mind the Enemy?
355 Deep Meditation Reminders
356 How to Recognize Relational Self-Inquiry
357 Who is the Perceiver?
358 Can I Trust the Mantra?
359 Pratyahara The Forgotten Limb of Yoga?
360 Acts of Surrender
361 Ramana Maharshi and AYP
362 Ideological Jnana Yoga (Advaita-Vedanta)
363 Liberation of the One is Liberation of the Whole
364 Each Practice in Its Own Time
365 The Range of Sensitivities to Deep Meditation
366 Suggestions for Under-Sensitive Meditators
367 Suggestions for Over-Sensitive Meditators
368 The Solar Centering Enhancement
369 Alternate Approach to Mantra Enhancements
370 Clarifications on the Solar Centering Enhancement
371 Self-Directed Mantra Enhancement Strategy
372 Witnessing versus Focused Attention to Dissolve Obstructions
373 Fear as a Cause of Under-Sensitivity to Deep Meditation
374 Samyama and Solar Centering
375 Out of Our Heads
376 Beyond Death
377 Inner Sound During Meditation
378 How Does Pranayama Awaken Kundalini?
379 Swallowing Air
380 Catching the Attaching
381 Ida, Pingala and Kundalini Awakening
382 Is Ecstasy a Prerequisite for Enlightenment?
383 Yoga Asanas (postures) Traditional or Modern?
384 Baseline Systems of Practice and Research on Modifications
385 Review on Building a Baseline Practice Routine
386 Group Practice
387 Retreats
388 Our Role as Teachers
389 Why Wont You be My Guru?
390 When Will I be Enlightened?
391 Changes in Bhakti from Dual to Non-Dual
392 The Aloneness of Enlightenment
393 On Self-Defense and Forgiveness
394 Satsang The Importance of Spiritual Community
395 The Power of the Pen, and the Keyboard
396 Do Online Forums Inhibit Spiritual Progress?
397 Deep Meditation and Analysis Paralysis
398 Is Self-Inquiry Necessary for Enlightenment?
399 Mind Faster than the Speed of Light
400 Theory and Practice
401 Mulabandha and Full Yogic (belly) Breathing
402 About that word “Advanced”
403 The Question with No Answer
404 On Jumping to the Third Mantra Enhancement405 The Uncertainty of Life
406 Kundalini Conundrum
407 Pranayama for Relaxation or for Kundalini Awakening?
408 Samyama, Elbow Grease and Non-Duality
409 Asanas (Postures) and Premature Kundalini Awakening
410 Early Signs of Kundalini Awakening
411 Less is More
412 Will Kechari Mudra Practice Deform the Soft Palate?
413 Is Enlightenment No-Thing or All-Things?
414 Off to a Good Start with Meditation, but
415 Samyama and Prayer for Dissolving Global Problems
416 From Third Eye to Sixth Sense, and Beyond
417 Automatic Yoga Revisited
418 Gurus, Teachers and Self-Sufficiency
419 Wheres the Shaktipat Coming From?
420 The Doctor Is In
421 Spirits?
422 Curing Kundalini Excesses
423 Why So Much Fuss about What is So Simple?
424 After the Ecstasy
425 Urgent Bhakti and Overdoing
426 Enlightenment Time Line
427 Taking the Leap to Direct Experience
428 The Transformation of Ego
429 We Can Do This
430 Freedom


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Swami Ramdev Philosophy of Practice

A seeker desirous of awakening his kundalini should practise daily and methodically :

  • bhastrikå prånåyåma for 5 minutes
  • kapålabhåti for 30 minutes
  • båhya prånåyåma 11-21 times
  • anuloma-viloma for 30 minutes

with perseverance, rhythm, absorption, faith and sincerity.

 

In the beginning, when one feels tired one can take rest in between. If one meditates on OM with each breath while doing pråƒåyåma, the goal will be achieved sooner. After anuloma-viloma one must do bhråmari and udgμitha for 5 minutes each, meditating upon the divine radiance.

In the end one must go on inward journey by concentrating the mind along with pråƒa (life-breath). Thus, by meditating upon ëOÀKÅRAí [OMKARA] along with pråƒa one can reach the highest firmament of yoga.

 

 

Although various procedures of pråƒåyåma are described in
scriptures and each pråƒåyåma has its special significance, yet all the
pråƒåyåmas cannot be practised daily. Therefore, with the grace of my
preceptors and on the basis of my own experience, I have condensed
within eight procedures the whole process of pråƒayama in a distinct
scientific method and spiritual way. The benefits which accrue from
the complete practice of this pråƒåyåma are briefly listed below:

  • The three do¶asñvåta, pitta and kaphañbecome balanced.
  • The digestive system becomes completely balanced and all stomach ailments are cured.
  • All the diseases of heart, lungs and brain are cured.
  • From the common disorders like obesity, diabetes, cholesterol, constipation, flatulence, acidity, respiratory troubles, allergy, migraine, blood pressure, kidney ailments, all sexual diseases of male and female, etc to the incurable diseases like cancer are cured.
  • High immunity is developed.
  • One can protect oneself from hereditary diabetes, heart disease, etc.
  • It gives protection against falling and greying of hair, wrinkles on face, poor eyesight, weak memory, etc,. i.e., old age will be delayed and one will live longer.
  • There will be radiance, glow, lustre and serenity on your face.
  • Spiritual power (kunOEalin∂ jågaraƒa) will be attained through purification, penetration and awakening of cakras (energy centres).
  • With the mind getting very stabilized, serene, cheerful and enthusiastic, one will get rid of diseases like depression, etc.
  • One will start going into dhyåna (meditation) automatically and one will develop the capacity of practising meditation for hours together.
  • All the diseases of the gross and the subtle body and the flaws like lust, anger, greed, delusion, egoism, etc. are eradicated.
  • Negative thinking is eliminated, and one who practises pråƒåyåma is always full of positive thinking, energy and self confidence.

 

First procedure : Bhastrikå Pråƒåyåma

Sitting in a convenient meditative pose and filling the breath inside
up to diaphragm through both the nostrils and then breathing it out
gently is called bhastrikμa pråƒåyåma.
The noble resolution (‹iva saΔkalpa) during bhastrikå
While filling the breath inside during bhastrikå pråƒåyåma one
should think (resolve) in his mind whatever is noble and pure in the
Universe, such as divine power, energy, sanctity, serenity and bliss,
is instilling into my body along with pråƒa. I am getting suffused
with divine powers. The pråƒåyåma done with this divine resolution
is essentially beneficial.
The duration of bhastrikå
There should be inhalation of 2½ seconds and exhalation of 2½
seconds in a rhythmic flow. Thus by doing it non-stop, one can do
bhastrikå pråƒåyåma 12 times in one minute. One should do it for
5 minutes in one sitting. In the beginning one may have to take rest
in between. It takes about a week to develop the practice of this
pråƒåyåma for 5 minutes non-stop.
Healthy persons and slightly sick persons should practise bhastrikå
for 5 minutes daily. Those who are suffering from cancer, lung
fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, MS, SLE and other incurable diseases
should do this pråƒåyåma for 10 minutes. Thus bhastrikå is done
12 times in one minute and 60 times in 5 minutes. If done in two
sittings in incurable diseases like cancer this pråƒyåma is best done
120 times. Normally pråƒåyåma is best done empty stomach. If
for some reason one is not able to do pråƒåyåma in the morning it
can also be done 5 hours after mid-day meals. If persons suffering
from incurable diseases practise pråƒåyåma both in the morning and
evening, they will soon benefit more.
Special precautions
ı Those who are suffering from high B.P. and heart disease,
should not practise bhastrikå at vigorous speed.
ı We should not inflate our stomach while filling the breath inside
during this pråƒåyåma. If you fill in the breath up to diaphragm
it will inflate the chest up to ribs, not the stomach. The name of
diaphragmatic deep breathing only is bhastrikå.
ı Practise it at a slow pace in summer season.
ı Those whose both nostrils are not properly open due to excess of
cough or sinus problems, etc, should first close the right nostril
and do recaka and pμuraka with left nostril. Then they should
close the left nostril and do recaka and pμuraka with the right
nostril at slow, medium or vigorous speed as per their capacity.
Then in the end, they should do bhastrikå pråƒåyåma using
both iOEa end piΔgalå energy channels. One must practise this
pråƒåyåma for 5 minutes daily. Keep your eyes closed while
doing this pråƒåyåma and meditate on ‘OM’ in your mind with
each inhalation and exhalation.
Benefits
ı All kapha diseases like colds, catarrh, allergy, tuberculosis,
asthma, chronic catarrh, sinusitis, etc, are cured. Lungs become
strong and by getting purified air heart and mind also become
healthy.
ı All the throat diseases like thyroid and tonsilitis are cured.
ı The three do¶as become balanced. Blood is purified and toxins
and foreign matter are expelled from the body.
ı Pråƒa and mind get stabilized. This is helpful in pråƒa- elevation
and awakening of serpent power (kuƒOEalin∂ jågaraƒa)

 

Second Procedure : Kapålabhåti Pråƒåyåma

Kapåla means ‘brain, forehead’, and bhati means ‘glow, radiance,
lustre, luminosity, etc.’ The pråƒayåma which gives glow, radiance,
lustre to the brain or forehead is called kapålabhåti. The procedure
of this pråƒåyåma is a bit different from bhastrikå. In recaka and
pμuraka in the bhastrikå pråƒμayåma, equal pressure is exerted on
inhalation and exhalation, while in kapμalabhμati the whole attention
is on recaka, i.e. exhaling vigorously. No effort is made to breathe
in, the air that is breathed in naturally is allowed to be inhaled; the
whole emphasis is on throwing the air outside. While doing this there
is naturally contraction and expansion of abdomen and special force
is exerted on mulådhåra (pelvic plexus), svådhi¶¢håna (hypogastric
plexus) and maƒipμura cakra (solar plexus).

The noble resolution (‹iva saΔkalpa) during kμapalabhμati
While doing kapålabhåti pråƒåyåma one should resolve in mind that
with the air exhaled by him all the diseases and disorders of the body
are being thrown out, being eradicated. The recaka (exhalation)
procedure should be performed with the feeling that he is expelling
all the physical diseases and disorders as well as the mental flaws
and distortions like lust, anger, greed, delusion, envy, attachment,
aversion, etc. With this resolution of eradication of diseases and
disorders while exhaling, one gets a lot of benefit.
Duration of Kapålabhåti pråƒåyåma
The breath should be exhaled in a rhythmic flow once in a second
and should be held up effortlessly. If done non-stop kapålabhåti
pråƒåyåma is done 60 times in one minute or 300 times in 5
minutes. Very sick and weak persons get tired in 2-3 minutes in the
beginning, but in 10-15 days every person becomes capable of doing
kapålabhåti non- stop for 5 minutes. Kapålabhåti must be done for
5 minutes in one sitting. One cannot get full benefit if it is done
for a lesser time. With the increase in capacity after a long practice
as well as with the maturity of experience one can do kapålabhåti
pråƒåyåma up to 15 minutes. A healthy and even slightly sick person
should do kapålabhåti for 15 minutes. In three rounds in 15 minutes
kapålabhåti is done 900 times.
Persons suffering from incurable diseases like cancer, AIDS, hepatitis,
leucoderma, vitiligo, psoriasis, excessive obesity, infertility, cysts/
nodules in uterus, ovary, breast or any where in the body, MS and
SLE should do kapålabhåti for half an hour. It would be better if
such incurable patients do kapålabhåti for half an hour both in the
morning and evening. For healthy and slightly sick persons once a
day is sufficient.
Benefits
ı It increases glow, radiance, lustre and beauty of the face and
brain.
ı All kapha disorders like asthma, respiratory diseases, allergy,
sinusitis etc are cured.
ı All the diseases of heart, lungs and brain are cured.
ı Obesity, diabetes, flatulence, constipation, acidity and kidney
2nd Text Page English 63-124.indd 91 3/15/2010 4:39:32 PM
and prostate diseases are definitely cured.
ı With the regular practice of this pråƒåyåma for about 5 minutes
daily, an obstinate disease like constipation is cured. Diabetes
can be regulated without any medicine and the weight due
to abdominal fat can be reduced by 4-6 kgs in one month.
Blockages in the arteries of heart are removed.
ı The mind remains stabilized, serene and cheerful. Negative
thinking disappears and one gets rid of depression.
ı The cakras are cleansed and a divine energy starts circulating
in all the cakras, right from mulådhåra cakra (pelvic plexus) to
sahasråra cakra (cerebral gland).
ı This pråƒåyåma especially improve the health of stomach,
pancreas, liver, spleen, intestines, prostate and kidneys. Even
if one does not get much benefit by doing many åsanas for
stomach disorders, he can be benefited more than all the åsanas
by doing only this pråƒåyåma. This is the best pråƒåyåma for
giving strength to weak intestines.

 

Third procedure : Bμahya Pråƒåyåma (with three bandhas) :

Method:
ı Sit properly in siddhåsana or padmåsana and throw the breath
out, as much as you can, in one go.
ı After throwing the breath out, apply mμulabandha, udd∂yåna
bandha and jålandhara bandha, and hold the breath out as much
as you can.
ı When you feel like breathing in, take the breath while relaxing
the bandhas slowly.
ı After taking in the breath, throw it out again as before, without
holding it up.
The noble resolution (‹iva saΔkalpa) during båhya pråƒåyåma
Like kapålabhåti, in this pråƒåyåma also all the disorders and do¶as
are being expelled while breathing out, this is what we should say
to ourselves. We should know it for certain that the stronger is our
power of thinking, the sooner will disappear all our afflictions. If our
mind is inspired by a noble resolution, all our mental and physical
diseases will be eradicated and we will be benefited all over.

Duration of båhya pråƒåyåma
Filling in the breath effortlessly in 3-5 seconds, throwing it out
effortlessly in 3-5 seconds, holding it out for 10-15 seconds, and
again filling it in 3-5 seconds and doing båhya pråƒåyåma by
exhaling it, in this way båhya pråƒåyåma is completed in about 20-
25 seconds. It is better if two båhya pråƒåyåmas are done non-stop
one after the other. If in the beginning one has to take 1-2 normal
breaths between two prånåyåmas, one may take them. Normally one
can easily do båhya pråƒåyåma 5 times in 2 minutes, and that is
generally sufficient. Persons suffering from rectal prolapse, piles,
fissure, fistula, vaginal prolapse, excessive urination, scanty urination
and venereal diseases can practise it up to 11 times. Seekers desirous
of awakening kuƒOEalin∂ and of being μurdhvaretå (with upward
movement of semen) may practise it maximum 21 times.
Benefits
It is a harmless pråƒåyåma. It dispels the unstability of mind. It
improves the digestive power and is beneficial in stomach ailments.
It makes the intellect sharp and subtle. It cleanses the body. By
promoting the upward movement of semen, it removes the sexual
disorders like nocturnal emissions, quick ejaculation, etc. In båhya
pråƒåyåma all the organs in the abdomen are strained a lot and slight
pain is felt in the weak or diseased part of the abdomen in the beginning.
Therefore, for giving some relaxation and therapy to the abdomen
this pråƒåyåma should be done by applying the three bandhas.

 

Fourth procedure: Ujjåy∂ Pråƒåyåma

In this pråƒåyåma we contract the throat while doing the pμuraka
(inhaling) and when we breathe in by contracting the throat, we
make a sound like snoring. We sit in a meditative pose and breathe
in through both the nostrils. With some contraction of the throat we
feet the friction of air in the throat. There should not be any friction
of air in the nose. A sound is produced with the friction in the throat.
In the beginning we should practise only pμuraka- recaka (inhalingexhaling)
without applying kumbhaka (holding in). After the pμuraka
we should practise the kumbhaka gradually as long as the pμuraka,
and after practising for some days we should double the duration of
kumbhaka. If the kumbhaka is to be done for more than 10 seconds,
we should apply jålandhara- bandha and mμulabandha as well. In this
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pråƒåyåma we should always do the recaka (exhaling) with the left
nostril and keep the right nostril closed.
Benefits
This pråƒåyåma is beneficial for those who suffer from colds, cough
and catarrh throughout the year, for those who suffer from thyroid
problems, snoring, sleep apnoea, heart disease, asthma, lungs
diseases, for those who suffer from throat problems like tonsilitis,
thyroid glands, etc, and for those who suffer from insomnia, mental
stress, hypertension, dyspepsia, rheumatism, dropsy, tuberculosis,
fever, spleen disorders, etc. It should be practised regularly to keep
the throat fit, healthy and melodious. It is an excellent pråƒåyåma
for awakening kuƒOEalin∂, ajapå- japa, meditation, etc. It also rectifies
the lispy (defective) speech of children.

 

Fifth procedure: Anuloma- Viloma Pråƒåyåma Method of

closing the alternate nostrils
Raise your right hand and with its thumb close the right nostril
(piΔgalå nåOE∂) and while closing the left nostril use the ring finger
and middle finger of the right hand. The palm of the hand should not
be in front of the nose; it should instead be held away to the right
side. (Vide Illustrations Nos. 2 and 3 at the outset).
Since iOEå nåOE∂ (left nostril) represents moon, lunar power, coolness
and calmness, anuloma- viloma pråƒåyåma is started from the left
nostril for cleansing the nåOE∂ (energy channel). Closing the right
nostril with the right hand thumb, we should gently fill the breath
inside through the left nostril. When the inhalation is complete, we
should close the left nostril with the ring finger and middle finger
of the right hand and exhale completely through the right nostril.
The rate of inhalation-exhalation should gradually be increased
from medium to vigorous. Inhale vigorously with full force and then
exhale. Make the rate of inhaling and exhaling slow, medium or fast
according to your capacity. If you do pμuraka (inhaling) and recaka
(exhaling) at a fast rate, there is a loud sound of breathing. After
you have exhaled completely, keeping the left nostril closed, fill in
complete breath through the right nostril and exhale it through the
left nostril. Thus, one set is completed. You have to do this procedure
non-stop, i.e. inhaling through the left nostril and exhaling through
the right nostril, and then inhaling through the right nostril and
exhaling through the left nostril. One starts feeling tired by repeating
this series for one minute. When you feel tired, take some rest and
begin the pråƒåyåma again when you feel better. Thus you can begin
this pråƒåyåma by doing for 3 minutes and go up to 10 minutes.
After practising regularly for a few days the capacity of a learner
starts increasing, and in about a week he can do this pråƒåyåma nonstop
up to five minutes.
With the constant practice of anuloma- viloma the energy lying in
the mμulådhåra cakra (pelvic plexus) starts awakening. Vedas call it
being μurdhvaretas (one with an upward movement of semen), and
in the language of modern yoga it is known as ‘kuƒOEalin∂ jågaraƒa’
(awakening of serpent energy). While doing this pråƒåyåma
one should chant and meditate upon ‘OM’ in his mind with each
inhalation-exhalation. By doing so, the mind gets situated in the
sublime state of dhyåna (meditation).
The noble resolution (‹iva saΔkalpa) during anuloma viloma
While doing this pråƒåyåma, you should think in your mind that with
the friction and churning of breath in iOEå and piΔgalå nåOE∂s, su¶umƒå
nåOE∂ is getting awakened. From the eight cakras right up to the
sahasråra cakra (cerebral gland) a celestial light is moving upward.
My whole body is aglow with a celestial light. As per illustration
No. 16, one should meditate upon a celestial light, illumination
and energy inside and outside the body, and realise ‘o≈ kha≈
brahma’. One should think that God, the controller of universe, is
suffusing him with divine energy and divine knowledge. Initiate
yourself into the discipline of ‘‹aktipåta’. Guru (preceptor) is only
a catalyst for attaining ‹akti (energy); he only connects you to
divine vibrations. In fact, ‘‹aktipåta’ (instilling of energy) is done
by OM, the Supreme Lord, the limitless ocean of energy. Thus,
by practising this anuloma-viloma pråƒåyåma, by getting suffused
with divine vibrations, one will be blessed with a lot of physical,
mental and spiritual benefit. A light will stir up automatically
from mulådhåra cakra (pelvic plexus), kuƒOEalin∂ will awaken, you
will become ‘μurdhvareta’ (one with upward movement of semen)
and will find yourself automatically suffused with divine energy.
Duration of anuloma- viloma pråƒåyåma
Filling in the breath with a rhythmic flow for about 2½ seconds
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through the left nostril, and without holding it up, throwing the
breath out gently through the right nostril in about 2½ seconds, and
immediately after throwing it out through the right nostril, filling in
the breath effortlessly through the right nostril in 2½ seconds, and
without holding it up, throwing it out in a rhythmic flow through the
left nostril in about 2½ seconds. this procedure should be done nonstop
for about 5 minutes. although it may be a bit tiresome in the
beginning. Don’t use too much of force and don’t raise the elbow too
high while doing anuloma-viloma ñ this will enable you gradually in
5-7 days to practise anuloma-viloma for 5 minutes at a stretch.
One set of anuloma-viloma pråƒåyåma will be performed in 10
seconds, i.e., 6 times in one minute. In a sitting of 5 minutes anulomaviloma
is performed about 30 times, and if a healthy person or a person
suffering from light common ailments does it for the prescribed
duration of 15 minutes, it will be performed about 90 times. Persons
suffering from incurable diseases like cancer, leucoderma / vitiligo,
psoriasis, muscular dystrophy, SLE, infertility, HIV, AIDS, kidney
diseases, etc. should practise anuloma-viloma pråƒåyåma up to 30
minutes. When the practice gets perfected anulom-viloma prμa§nμayμama
can be done for 15 minutes or even half an hour at a stretch.
Benefits
ı This pråƒåyåma cleanses seventy-two crore, seventy-two lakh,
ten thousand, two hundred ten nåOE∂s (energy channels). With the
cleansing of all the nåOE∂s the body becomes completely healthy,
radiant and strong.
ı All the våta diseases like arthritis, rheumatism, gout,
Parkinson’s Disease, nervous debility, etc., all pitta diseases
like urinary diseases, tissue diseases, spermatorrhea, emissions,
hyperacidity, heart burn, skin rashes etc., all kapha diseases like
colds, catarrh, chronic rhinitis, sinusitis, asthma, cough, tonsils,
etc., are cured. All the three do¶as are pacified.
ı Blockages in the arteries of heart are removed. With the regular
practice of this pråƒåyåma, almost 30-40% blockages are removed
in 3-4 months. We have tried it on a number of patients.
ı All disorders of cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, LDL, etc are
removed.
ı Negative thinking is transformed into increasingly positive
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thinking. One starts attaining bliss, zest and fearlessness.
ı In short, this pråƒåyåma purifies the body, the mind, the thoughts
and the dispositions. All the diseases of the body are cured, and the
mind is cleansed and gets absorbed in the meditation of ‘o≈kåra’.
By doing this pråƒåyåma 250-500 times, the serpent power
(kuƒOEalin∂ ‹akti) which lies with head downward in the pelvic
plexus (mμulådhåra cakra) holds its head upward, and the process of
kuƒOEalin∂- awakening sets in.
N.B.
To know more about it and the precautions related to it, please refer
to the chapter ‘Ways of kundalini- awakening and precautions’.

 

Sixth Procedure: Bhråmar∂ Pråƒåyåma

Inhale completely, press lightly at the root of the nose near the eyes
with the middle fingers of both hands, keep the mind centred on the
medullary plexus (åj¤å- cakra). Close both the ears completely with
thumbs. (Vide Illustration No.4 at the outset). Now, humming like a
bee and resonating ‘OM’, breathe out. Repeat this procedure.
The noble resolution (‹iva saΔkalpa) during bhråmar∂ pråƒåyåma
This pråƒåyåma should be done by identifying your consciousness
with divine consciousness and God’s existence. One should have in
one’s mind this divine resolution or thought that God’s compassion,
peace and bliss is raining on him. God is enriching him with pure
intellect (ætambharå praj¤å) by dispelling all his ignorance with His
divine light illumining his åj¤å cakra (medullary plexus). Thus by
doing this pråƒåyåma with pure intentions one feels a nebula of light
in his åj¤a – cakra and starts going into meditation automatically.
Duration of bhråmar∂ pråƒåyåma
Inhaling for 3-5 seconds, and closing the ears, eyes, etc, as per
the procedure, breathing it out in 15-20 seconds, makes one set of
bhråmar∂ pråƒåyåma. After completing one set, one should again
breathe in for 3-5 seconds with a rhythmic flow, and humming like
a bee breathe it out in 15-20 seconds according to procedure. Thus,
everybody should do bhråmar∂ pråƒåyåma at least 5-7 times nonstop,
which will take about 3 minutes. Those who are suffering from
cancer, depression, Parkinson’s Disease, migraine, heart disease and
some other incurable disease or who are desirous of fathoming the
depths of yoga can do bhråmar∂ pråƒåyåma 11-21 times.
Benefits
It dispels the instability/ fickleness of mind and is beneficial in
mental tension, agitation, high B.P, heart disease, etc. It is very
useful for meditation.

 

Seventh procedure : Udg∂tha Pråƒåyåma

Inhale for 3-5 seconds in a rhythmic flow, and breathe it out in about
15-20 seconds while chanting the sacred word ‘OM’ methodically.
After one chanting is complete one should again breathe deep inside
for 3-5 seconds in a rhythmic flow and breathe it out in 15-20 seconds
chanting ‘OM’. Thus, everybody must do udg∂tha pråƒåyåma about
7 times in about 3 minutes. Those who are suffering from incurable
diseases and the learners (sådhakas) desirous of fathoming the
depths of meditation can do udg∂tha pråƒåyåma for 5-10 minutes
or even longer. Both bhråmar∂ and udg∂tha are gentle and effortless
pråƒåyåmas. Therefore, if a sådhaka practises them for longer
duration there is no possibility of any sort of harm.

 

Eighth Procedure : Praƒava Pråƒåyåma

After doing all the aforesaid pråƒåyåmas, concentrate your mind on
inhalation and exhalation, and meditate upon udg∂tha (OM) with
your pråƒa. God has made poles in the shape of ‘O≈kåra’. This
piƒOEa (body) and this brahmåƒOEa (universe) ñ both are in the form of
‘O≈kåra’. ‘O≈kåra’ is not a particular person or figure; it is a divine
power which is controlling and regulating the whole universe. Turn
yourself into a spectator (=Soul) and while inhaling deeply and
exhaling subtly your respiration rate should be so subtle that you
do not feel like hearing the sound of your breath, and even if one
puts a cotton swab before your nose it should not shake or quiver.
Gradually increase the practice and try to breathe in and breathe
out once in one minute. Thus, try to look at the breath inside. In
the beginning the friction of breath will be felt on the tip of nose.
Gradually you shall be able to feel the touch of breath deep inside
you. Thus, by chanting ‘O≈kåra’ with every breath as a spectator
(=Soul), one starts going into meditation automatically. Your mind
will become highly one-pointed, absorbed in and identified with
‘O≈kåra’. Along with ‘praƒava’ the great Gåyatr∂ mantra from the
Vedas should be chanted and recited, imbibing its meaning. Thus,
through meditation a seeker can become identified with Brahman,
the very essence of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss, and can
attain the unique divine ecstasy of samådhi. Even while going to
bed one should meditate into sleep, By doing this his sleep will be
blessed with yoga; he will get rid of nightmares and will have a
quick and sound sleep.
Duration of praƒava pråƒåyåma
When as a spectator (=Soul) we concentrate our mind on the
rhythmic flow of breaths, the pråƒa gets subtle automatically, and
we inhale once in 10-20 seconds and exhale in 10-20 seconds.
Through long practice a yogi takes one breath in one minute. After
bhastrikå, kapålabhåti, båhya pråƒåyåma, anuloma-viloma, bhråmar∂
and udg∂tha, this praƒava pråƒåyåma is done, which is another
form of vipa‹yanå or prek¶å dhyåna. It is completely meditationbased.
Everybody must do this meditation-based pråƒåyåma. Yogis
practising samådhi do this penance of breathing accompanied with
meditation of praƒava for hours together, according to the availability
of time. There is no sound of breathing in this procedure, i.e., this
soundless penance takes a seeker into the deep silence within, where
his senses merge in the mind, the mind in the pråƒa and the pråna
in the Soul, and through Soul a seeker realizes the universal Soul,
supreme Soul and Brahman. It is the path which has pråƒåyåma as its
starting point from where it gradually and spontaneously leads from
the constant practice of pråƒåyåma to pratyåhåra (withdrawal), from
the constant practice of pratyåhåra to dhåraƒå (concentration), from
the firm and constant practice of dhåraƒå to dhyåna (meditation), and
from the constant practice of dhyåna to samådhi (absorption). With
this pråƒa-sådhanå (prånåyåma), there is a union of dhåraƒa, dhyåna
and samådhi, and sa≈yama is attained (trayamekatra sa≈yama¨).
From sa≈yama a sådhaka attains praj¤åloka, which gives him selfhealing,
which ultimately blesses him with the experience of selfrealization.
He is encompassed by a dazzling aura which works as
an impenetrable armour to protect the sådhaka (seeker) from all
diseases, disorders and polluting influences.


next page next page close Master the breath of fire and it is the key to higher consciousness."
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Kundalini Class Yoga for Beginners

Dawn’s lovely energy is perfect for this beginner kundalini yoga class. She introduces basic concepts that will help you for all kundalini classes that you do, then guides you effortlessly through a kriya that is easy to follow and will induce a deep sense of clarity, calm and focus.

View the Kundalini Yoga Beginners Class


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Ayurveda and the City

Five Tips for Thriving in an Urban Environment
Let’s face it—regardless of where you live, stress will be a part of your life. But city dwellers often experience a particular brand of stress that emerges from sensory overload, a sense of compressed time, and the pressure to go, go, go! As a longtime yoga practitioner and teacher, I arrived in New York City with tools to work with, and a move from my tiny studio sublet in NoLita to Brooklyn calmed me down and gave me more space. But, after a difficult injury and recovery, the city felt like my nemesis—little things like grocery shopping became a major feat. Even when you’re not dealing with a particular challenge like this, your energy and enthusiasm can wane when the body and senses are frazzled.

Ayurveda offers self-care routines for supporting, nourishing, and rejuvenating mind, body, and spirit. Here are five tips that are beneficial for everyone, but especially city dwellers.

  1. Eat lunch. Who knew that eating a good lunch could make such a difference in your life? Like many New Yorkers I know, I used to skip lunch all the time. It seemed so much more convenient: I could power through my day at work, grab a yogurt or energy bar, keep on cruising through, and save up my calories for a good dinner. But Ayurveda teaches that we should eat our main meal in the middle of the day, when the digestive fires are at their strongest. Once I adopted this very natural habit, I found that my body and brain felt more nourished, and I was able to be more effective and focused throughout the day.
  2. Take in the sky, trees, flowers, and natural light. So many urbanites spend their days traveling underground and working eight-plus hours in buildings with temperature control and fluorescent lighting. Ayurveda teaches that it’s our nature to be with nature. Getting outdoors to take a walk in a nearby park, sit in a garden, or just inhale fresh air can improve our outlook, calm the nervous system, and bring greater clarity. If I have errands to run, I often book appointments or look for establishments near a park or along the waterfront. It’s not always the closest place I could go, but it gives me a reason to walk through Central Park with my dog after a vet visit, or take in the Battery Park waterfront after a meeting with my accountant. Along with setting aside larger blocks of time to connect with nature, find a few minutes throughout your day to simply gaze at a tree outside your window, or to cultivate houseplants at the office.
  3. Drink warm water. In Ayurveda, the key to good health is through the care of the digestive system. This requires a good look at the foods and liquids we consume. Water consumption has always been a hot topic, and I’ve worked with many clients who thought they were doing their bodies a favor by drinking glass upon glass of ice-cold water. That’s easy to do on those sweltering summer days in the city, or while you’re waiting for your meal at a restaurant. But the digestive system is hot by nature, and we need these acids to thrive in order to properly digest and assimilate our food. Ayurveda suggests sipping warm water during a meal to aid digestion, and not chugging a glassful of water prior to eating as it cools down the agni (digestive fire).
  4. Take a loving-kindness commute. It’s rush hour, and your subway car is packed. Or someone just grabbed that cab that you were desperately hailing, and you’re already late. This is the opportunity to put meditation and deep breathing into practice. Every conscious slow breath will activate the parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the relaxation response. As you exhale and allow your body to soften rather than stiffen, you’ll feel more open to those around you and begin to realize that we’re all just trying to get somewhere together.
  5. Pay attention to your feet. In Ayurveda, a hugely important practice of self-care consists of a daily self-massage, or abhyanga, using oil. If you don’t have time to massage your whole body, focus on your feet, which get a daily workout pounding the city sidewalks. As a former ballet dancer, I was familiar with self-massage (our feet don’t really fit into those pointe shoes as gracefully as one might think) but the addition of warm oil was a game changer. Sesame oil is the recommended choice for cool weather, and coconut oil for warm. After a long day of hustle and bustle, a foot rub with warm oil will relieve stress and relax you before bed. Ideally, start your day this way, too, and take on the city feeling balanced and nurtured from head to toe.

Source: The Kripalu Blog by Kristen Rae Stevens


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Pranayama for Awaking Kundalini

When you practise the following, concentrate on the Muladhara Chakra at the base of the spinal column, which is triangular in form and which is the seat of the Kundalini Shakti.

Close the right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale through the left nostril till you count 3 Oms slowly. Imagine that you are drawing the Prana with the atmospheric air. Then close the left nostril with your little and ring fingers of the right hand. Then retain the breath for 12 Oms. Send the current down the spinal column straight into the triangular lotus, the Muladhara Chakra. Imagine that the nerve-current is striking against the lotus and awakening the Kundalini. Then slowly exhale through the right nostril counting 6 Oms.

Repeat the process from the right nostril as stated above, using the same units, and having the same imagination and feeling. This Pranayama will awaken the Kundalini quickly. Do it 3 times in the morning and 3 times in the evening. Increase the number and time gradually and cautiously according to your strength and capacity.

In this Pranayama, concentration on the Muladhara Chakra is the important thing. Kundalini will be awakened quickly if the degree of concentration is intense and if the Pranayama is practised regularly.

 

Note: The Kundalini Yoga teachings and methodology provided here have been perfected over the centuries to not only, optimize the benefits of the kriyas, but, also to reduce any dangers and risks associated with awakening Kundalini Shakti. The general idea is not to activate the chakras by excessively using the Beej Mantas (seed sounds) associated with each chakra or other direct methods; the idea, instead, is simply to prepare the system physically, emotionally and mentally for greater and greater flow of Kundalini Shakti. The approach is to trust the Universe to awaken this energy in accordance with the level of preparation. This approach helps avoid many of the difficulties involved with the premature awakening of Kundalini that one sometimes comes across in the literature. – AnmolMehta


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List of Kundalini Warnings

Kundalini and the Paranormal: Proceed with Caution

by Paul Pond, Ph.D.

Abstract

The Kundalini hypothesis asserts that there is a specific psycho-physiological mechanism in human beings that is responsible for mystical experience, creativity, genius, psychic phenomena and, under certain conditions, some types of mental illness. We believe that mystical experience is the ultimate goal of the Kundalini process and the other benefits or ‘gifts’ which result from this process are to be used cautiously lest the goal be lost.

The purpose of this work is to examine the paranormal in terms of psychic powers, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, pre-cognition, healing, etc. and the danger the pursuit of these powers is said to hold for the spiritual seeker.
Warnings of the dangers of the development and use of psychic powers comes from established religious traditions, respected spiritual teachers, contemporary researchers into the paranormal and from practicing psychics themselves. We will examine a wide variety of opinions on this subject.

These warnings are found in the Bible, the teachings of Buddha and in eastern esoteric writings such as those of Patanjali. Yogis such as Gopi Krishna have recommended restraint. Practicing occultists such as Eliphas Levi who issued cautions in the 19th century and more contemporary mediums such as Edgar Cayce all warn of the possible loss of mystical ideals.
The dangers spoken of, aside from the distraction from spiritual goals, are the psychological and physical damage these practices can have on the individual. There are also the ethical implications of the misuse of these powers both for the individual and society.

Yoga theory is based upon the existence of prana (bioenergy) as a subtle intelligent life energy. This prana is unlike any energy being investigated by present day science. Kundalini is held to be the mechanism by which an enhanced flow of prana reaches the brain. Under the right conditions this enhanced prana operating in the brain can lead to higher states of consciousness such as genius, psychic abilities and mystical experience.
The fact that this intelligent energy (prana) is of such an extremely subtle nature could explain why the empirical verification of psi experiments has been so difficult. That this energy has its own intelligence may also explain why many psychics when under pressure to repeat their successes have often been discredited.
The Kundalini hypothesis emphasizes that the real treasures of this process are mystical experience and inspired knowledge. It is for this reason that we suggest that attempts to verify the Kundalini experience via psychic research is an avenue that is both limited and dangerous.

KUNDALINI AND THE PARANORMAL: PROCEED WITH CAUTION

Psychic Phenomena, Yoga and Kundalini

Webster defines paranormal as something which cannot be explained scientifically. This definition can be applied to a broad base of occurrences i.e. mystical experience, occult practices, magic, miracles and other psychic phenomena. For the purpose of this paper we will confine the topic to Kundalini, its connection to psychic phenomena and the need for caution in the pursuit of this knowledge.

The Kundalini hypothesis[1] holds that there is a psycho-physiological mechanism responsible for mystical experience, genius, psychic abilities and, under certain conditions, some types of mental illness. Mystical experience is considered the ultimate goal of the Kundalini process. Psychic powers, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, psychokinesis, etc. are believed to be gifts that come with a Kundalini awakening.

The fact that Kundalini is associated with the appearance of siddhis, or psychic gifts is presented in esoteric writings. For example: The first canto of the Kashmiri hymn Panchastavi[2] illustrates this relationship.

O Goddess Tripura; Pervading the visible and invisible worlds, whatsoever be the Siddhi for which Thy devotees of stable intellect pray. . . they undoubtedly, freed from all obstruction, gain fulfillment. . ..

in the third canto, verse 15:

. . .What Siddhi there is, O Thou adored one of the Deities, that cannot be gained by Thy worship and what Yoga is there that cannot be achieved by centering the mind on Thee?

The Kundalini hypothesis further asserts that there is an evolution going on in the brain which is refining both the body and the mind and preparing it for the ultimate mystical experience. Concentration on psychic powers alone could interfere with this evolving process producing a life style which, at best, interrupts or, at worst, damages this evolution. It is not unheard of, that under pressure to ‘perform’, psychics and healers become tempted to fake it, thus becoming slaves to their abilities, jeopardizing their credibility and often, their physical and mental well-being.

The Kundalini hypothesis also holds that this energy is intelligent and that the subject is not the one in control of it. If this is so, other than preparing oneself, i.e. living a balanced life and practicing methods recommended by all spiritual belief systems, we are not in control of Kundalini and should proceed with this understanding in mind.

Classical yoga as described by Patanjali contains eight steps or limbs that should be followed by the earnest spiritual seeker.[3][4] The first two limbs, yama (restraint) and niyama (discipline) are essentially the proper codes of conduct and thought that must be followed before any real spiritual advancement can occur. The next three, asana (posture), pranayama (control of breathing) and pratyahara (control of senses) lead the seeker to the necessary control of the physical senses, and prana. The final three stages collectively are known as samyama. Dharana (concentration), dhyana (unbroken contemplation or meditation) and Samadhi (complete absorption) are meant to bring about control of consciousness. Certainly in the West, the second and third stages have received the most attention. However we will see the importance of the first stage in relation to our present discussion.

In accordance with Book III of the Yoga Sutras once the practitioner has reached the third stage—samyama— certain ‘miraculous powers’ or siddhis are acquired. These powers or perfections are described in many ways and include what are currently considered to be occult or psychic powers. From this perspective the attainment of siddhis is an indication of the seeker’s ‘spiritual’ progress.

The lives of saints and mystics contain a wealth of miraculous episodes. “In India an accomplished yogi has always been considered to be a mahasiddha, a possessor of occult powers. . .” [5]. Miraculous powers are ascribed to those mystics and saints, such as Mohammed and Buddha, who have strongly denounced their use. Gopi Krishna says Kundalini is the basic lever in all forms of Yoga and siddhis are the harvest of an awakened Kundalini and its ascent into the brain.[6][2]

Lee Sannella believes that the Kundalini process is not necessarily connected with the appearance of psychic phenomena, i.e. there are psychics who have not undergone the psychophysiological transformation he associates with Kundalini and there are those in whom Kundalini is active but who show no apparent psychic talents. However, he does tend to agree with Gopi Krishna’s appraisal that “Kundalini is the real cause of all so-called spiritual and psychic phenomena.”[7]

Warnings from Religious & Spiritual Traditions

Warnings of the dangers of the use of psychic powers or siddhis come from a variety of sources, from biblical time to the present. These warnings run the gamut from caution to outright damnation. Both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible contain warnings of varying degrees. For example:

From Leviticus., Chapter 19, Verse 31

. . .and the Lord spoke unto Moses “Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them. I am the LORD, your God.

From Deuteronomy, Chapter 18, Verses 10, 11, 12.

. . .There shall not be found among you anyone who maketh his son or daughter to pass through the fire or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.
. . .Or a charmer or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard or a necromancer.
. . .for all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord. . . .

From St. Paul—Corinthians, Chapter 13, Verse 2

….And though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. . .

It is interesting to note that Jesus never used his powers to exalt himself, i.e. when goaded by the priests or his temptation in the desert. It appears he only used them to heal or save others.

Buddha, not unlike St. Paul, was concerned that the possession of psychic powers might tempt the seeker away from his original goal—mystical experience. Yet, Buddha (as well as Patanjali) took the acquisition of siddhis to be an indication of the seeker’s spiritual progress. The possession of siddhis is not harmful in itself but the seeker must not succumb to their temptation and must not exhibit these ‘powers’ in front of others. Buddha forbade the use and display of siddhis since he considered them doubly dangerous. They tempt the practitioner with a ‘vain magical mastery of the world’ and confuse the minds of the public at large.[5]

According to Patanjali, Book III—37,3 “these powers stand in contradistinction to the highest spiritual vision. In manifestation they are called magical powers”. Thus these powers in the waking state represent obstacles in the mystical state.

Evelyn Underhill[8] has given a splendid explanation of the difference between the pursuit of self-knowledge and the pursuit of occult knowledge. She relates mankind’s attitude toward the unseen in terms of two paths—the ‘way of mysticism’ and the ‘way of magic’. Accordingly, she says “the fundamental difference between the two is this: magic wants to get, mysticism wants to give. . .” Underhill goes on to say that “the great mystics themselves. . .are unanimous in warning their disciples against the danger of attributing too much importance to ‘visions’ and ‘voices’.”

Warnings of the abuse of siddhis come from all ages and from varied belief systems.
Lal Ded, a famous Hindu mystic of the 14th century is described by Jayalal Kaul: “She cleansed the mirror of her heart for the Truth to shine unmistakable and clear. She took the middle path, of moderation in food and drink, neither pandering to her appetites nor undergoing extreme penance. Nor did she hanker after the siddhis, the miraculous powers which she condemned as fraud and jugglery.”[9]

Kirpal Singh, 20th century spiritual master in Man! Know Thyself writes: “Master-Saints never show any miracles, except in very rare cases, to a disciple due to special circumstances. Miracles are in accordance with the laws of Nature but are nevertheless, terrible entangling webs detrimental to the higher ideals of man to approach the Almighty God. . .The miraculous powers achieved after lengthy periods are instrumental in doing both good and harm, and as they are utilized more to harm than anything else, are looked down upon by all truly spiritual persons. The Masters are in possession of Supreme Power but their mission is sacred. . .Those who are anxious to see miracles are not true seekers.”[10]

Vera Stanley Alder in Finding of the Third Eye also points out the pitfalls of the seeker after Truth. She says one of the distractions is sensationalism and warns “It must always be remembered that sensationalism (or emotional excitement) is to the mentality what sexual overindulgence is to the body. Even religious emotion can be a type of mental sensuality and therefore unbalancing.”[11]

If we can accept the basic teaching of Emanuel Swedenborg that there are good spirits and evil spirits associated with man and it is possible to contact them, his warnings have significant meaning. His teachings indicate that we are more likely to contact evil spirits because these spirits are fulfilled and satisfied by being associated with people in the world who are doing the things they love. Terry Schnarr, Director of Information Swedenborg in Canada gives us his interpretation of Swedenborg’s teachings: “Basically his warning is not to seek contact with the other world, as is the warning of the Bible. This does not mean that contact can not be made, only that it should not be sought after. If and when it happens naturally, the chances are very good the Lord arranged it to happen for good use.”[12]

Wilson Van Dusen in The Presence of Other Worlds talks of Swedenborg’s reluctance to display his miraculous powers and says “In several places he said that miracles have a coercive effect on belief and destroy the free will in spiritual matters.”[13]
In his book The Mystics of Islam, Reynold Nicholson says “In early Mohammedan Vitae Sanctorum it is not uncommon to meet with sayings to the effect that miraculous powers are comparatively of small account.” The Persian saint Bayazid said “God used to bring me wonders and miracles, but I paid no heed to them; and when He saw that I did so, he gave me the means of attaining to knowledge of Himself.”[14]

We have quoted from a variety of spiritual teachers and religious traditions to show that the appearance of siddhis is universally accepted as an occurrence on the path to self knowledge. Further, each suggests that too much attention to the display of these powers will prevent the seeker from attaining the ultimate goal—mystical experience.

Caution from Psychics / Examples of Problems Related to Psychic Activity

In addition to the warnings from established religious traditions; occultists and practicing psychics have issued their own concerns.

Underhill[8] quotes from Eliphas Levi, a 19th century occult philosopher: “Too deep a study of the mysteries of nature may estrange from God the careless investigator, in whom mental fatigue paralyses the ardor of the heart.”

Edgar Cayce, the 20th century medium, had some very specific views concerning the development and use of psychic abilities. He felt that psychic talents should not be sought in themselves. Cayce, like Gopi Krishna, felt that psychic talents were the direct result of the activity of Kundalini and that the practice of spiritual discipline was a prerequisite for a healthy awakening.[15]

Following are a few examples from his readings:[16]

“Development in the spiritual sense by meditation and prayer is dependent upon the Creative, the soul or spiritual energy trapped in the body, rather than upon that which is wholly of the material. This brings about what may be termed psychic development of individuals.”
“The activities of the glands used aright may bring serenity, hope, peace, faith, understanding. . . .Misdirected, the energies may bring doubts, fears, apprehensions, contentions, disorders, disruptions. . . .raised in power and then misdirected may bring death itself.”

Hugh Lynn Cayce, Edgar’s son, repeatedly mentions the destruction of personality, the suffering caused by oversensitivity and the complications that could result through ignorance and misuse of such energies.[16]
Shortly before her death, the Theosophist, H.P. Blavatsky wrote: “Psychic capacities held perfectly under control, checked and directed by the Manasic principle, are valuable aids in development. But these capacities running riot, controlling instead of controlled, using instead of being used, lead the student into the most dangerous delusions and the certainty of moral destruction. . .”[17]
All seem to agree on the danger inherent in the development of psychic powers as ends in themselves. Not only does the earnest seeker risk losing sight of his real goal but he may suffer both psychological and physical damage. The following cases are illustrative:

The Case of Eusapia Palladino

In the Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, Leslie Shepard[18] recounts the experiences of Eusapia Palladino, a medium whose psychic powers were observed by numerous academics, including Caesare Lombroso and Mme. Curie. Lombroso noted that although Palladino possessed a keen visual memory and remarkable intuition and subtlety for an uneducated person, she had many marked characteristics i.e. mood swings, hallucinations, strange phobias and was given to violent outbursts. It was also observed that she became ill immediately after a séance, sometimes for more than two days when she could not eat and would vomit. She began to use deception and fraud to avoid the physical discomfort of using her psychic powers.

The Case of Vanga Dimitrova

According to scientists who have worked with and noted her abilities, the blind Bulgarian psychic Vanga Dimitrova is unhappy with her psychic gift. “She’s often very sad about the things she foresees. . . . But, on the other hand, she can’t live without it. She can’t stop.”[19] This suggests that a person can become obsessed by psychic desires and abilities.

Vanga admits her own inabilities to control or access the images that give rise to her psychic abilities. She says “I can’t force them. They may be about the past, the present, or the future.”[19]

Nina Kulagina a Russian who has demonstrated psychokinesis (PK) has developed serious medical problems as a result. In addition “. . . she feels a strong energy like a prickling sensation begin to move up her spine to the base of the brain. She has also said that she knows when she is going to move an object because she feels pain and her blood pressure rises.”[20]

It is not difficult to imagine the effect that misuse of psychic powers could have on the ethical development of the seeker. If as has been expressed so often by the great teachers, the spiritual student should use his gifts for material gain or fame, he has virtually destroyed his moral progress and has surely traded the real thing for fool’s gold.

On another level, what might happen to the balance of power, world economies or social laws if someone with highly advanced powers chose to use them for personal gain? These and the other dangers cautioned against have lead us to believe that investigation into the paranormal should be approached carefully.

Conclusion

We have discussed the appearance of psychic gifts or siddhis as a mark of progress in spiritual development. Traditional warnings from a wide variety of spiritual disciplines and religious traditions have been cited to emphasize the inherent danger in the mishandling of these ‘talents’ by the seeker. Even the verse quoted from the first canto of Panchastavi emphasizes that the seeker must be of stable intellect and free from all obstruction.

The fact that definite demonstrative signs appear as proof of spiritual progress suggest that Yoga was indeed developed as a verifiable science. This proof was available to the seeker and could also serve as evidence to others that spiritual progress had been made. Thus both the student and teacher had a way to distinguish factual progress from wishful thinking.

It should be emphasized that the appearance of siddhis is not proof that mystical consciousness has been attained— only a sign that progress has been made. Many have made the mistake of equating psychic talent with mystical consciousness.

The unwary seeker may fall prey to the distraction provided by appearance of these ‘gifts’—resulting in the loss of the spiritual goal. In addition, physical and psychological damage may result. A few examples of this have also been cited.

Given these concerns, those in whom psychic gifts appear should be extremely cautious and diligent. Their lifestyle should follow the standards outlined in classical yoga theory. In addition to a moderate lifestyle with proper nutrition, particular attention should be paid to the first two steps of yoga—restraint and discipline. This is equally important for someone who may not be practicing a directed spiritual discipline.

Extreme caution must also be practiced by scientists using psychics in their research, lest they ‘push’ the student too far and cause damage. The student/teacher relationship of traditional yoga was there for good reason. The essence of spiritual discipline can only be truly understood by one who practices it on himself. Today’s scientists need to understand that in dealing with consciousness they are attempting to directly probe a super-intelligent life energy. This energy—prana— has its own agenda unlike the insentient energies accepted by present day science. This may mean that psi-experiments cannot be verified or repeated in the standard empirical way.

Gopi Krishna offers a possible explanation for the difficulty in establishing empirically verifiable data from psi-experiments.[21]

How can nature allow man to win this sovereign position unless he has also gained the capability to shoulder the highly increased responsibility in a befitting manner and not to abuse the almost superhuman powers gained. This is the reason why in every case of the awakening of Kundalini secret devices in the brain come into play to mold the individual towards a state of mind where the possibility of abuse of psychic power is eliminated. This is also the reason why almost all those who possess psychic talents are never able to control the power or to remain alert and conscious when the phenomena come to pass.

Kundalini Research

A general framework for the verification of paranormal experience must be developed and tested as part of any serious research into the Kundalini experience. According to classical yoga theory and other research,[4][22][23][24] one who has attained the transcendent state should display the following characteristics: new knowledge (genius), sense of inner light or sound, detachment, cosmic expansion, religious impulse, highly developed moral nature, psychic ability. From Vedic times, one in whom Kundalini is awakened was believed to be transformed from an average person into an intellectual prodigy, an eloquent speaker, even a poet.24 Even Whitman said that the future man will be a poet.

From ‘A Prayer to Columbus’.[25]

After the seas are all cross’d, (as they seem already cross’d)
After the great captains and engineers have accomplish’d their works,
After the noble inventors—after the scientists, the chemist, the geologist, ethnologist,
Finally shall come the Poet, worthy that name:
The true Son of God shall come, singing his songs.

As Gopi Krishna has pointed out[4] the development of increased intellectual powers and literary talents—i.e. genius as part of the Kundalini process has essentially been ignored by modern authors. In Cosmic Consciousness, Dr. Bucke also points out that intellectual illumination is a key feature of one who has attained what he calls the Cosmic Sense.[23] The association of intellectual development with spiritual perfection is constantly referred to in the traditional writings on Kundalini and should be used as a test point for anyone claiming a full Kundalini awakening.

To illustrate the ‘powers’ ascribed to one in whom Kundalini is awakened we reproduce portions of three verses from the Sanskrit Sat-Chakra-Nirupana (Description of the Six Centers) as presented by Arthur Avalon in The Serpent Power.[22]

from verse 10 and 11

. . . .Her (Kundalini) lustre is as that of a strong flash of young strong lightning. Her sweet murmur is like the indistinct hum of swarms of love-mad bees. She produces melodious poetry and Bandha (literary composition in which verse is arranged in the manner of a diagram or picture). . . .

Here we can clearly see the obvious reference to light, sound, and literary talents.

From verse 27

Foremost among Yogis, he even is dearer than the dearest to women, He is pre-eminently wise and full of noble deeds. His senses are completely under control. His mind in its intense concentration is engrossed in thoughts of the Brahman. His inspired speech flows like a stream of (clear) water. He is like the Devata. . . .and he is able at will to enter another body.

 

This paper was first presented in May 1989 at the annual Academy of Religion and Psychical Research Conference at Rosemont College, Philadelphia, PA.

References

  1. ^Krishna, G., Kundalini, The Evolutionary Energy in Man, Shambhala Publications, Boulder, CO, 1967
  2. ^Krishna, G., Secrets of Kundalini in Panchastavi, Kundalini Research & Publication Trust, New Delhi, 1976
  3. ^Johnston, C., The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Brotherhood of Life, Albuquerque, 1949
  4. ^Krishna, G., The Secret of Yoga, Harper and Row, New York, 1972
  5. ^Eliade, M., Yoga Immortality and Freedom, Princeton University Press, 1969
  6. ^Krishna, G., The Dawn of a New Science, Kundalini Research and Publication Trust, New Delhi, 1978
  7. ^Sannella, L., The Kundalini Experience, Integral Publishing, California, 1987
  8. ^Underhill, E., Mysticism, Meridian, New York, 1974
  9. ^Kaul, J., Lal Ded, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, 1973
  10. ^ Singh, Kirpal, Man Know Thyself, Ruhani Satsang Sawan Ashram, Gurmandi, Delhi-6, India, 1954
  11. ^ Adler, V., Finding of the Third Eye, Samuel Weiser, Inc., New York, 1968
  12. ^ Schnarr, T., director Information Swedenborg, private communication, 1989
  13. ^ Van Dusen, W., The Presence of Other Worlds, Swedenborg Foundation, New York, 1981
  14. ^ Nicholson, R., The Mystics of Islam, Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., London, 1963
  15. ^ Bro, H., Edgar Cayce on Religion & Psychic Experience, Coronet Communications, 1970, Private communication from Patrick Hayne.
  16. ^ Cayce, H.L., Venture Inward, Harrow Books, New York, 1964
  17. ^ de Purucker, G., Fountain Source of Occultism, Theosophical University Press, California, 1974
  18. ^ Shepard, L., Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, Second Edition, Gale Research, Detroit, 1984
  19. ^ Ostrander, S., Schroeder, L., Psychic Discoveries Behind The Iron Curtain, Bantam, New York, 1970
  20. ^ Ostrander, S., Schroeder, L., Handbook of Psychic Discoveries, Berkley Medallion, New York, 1975
  21. ^ Krishna, G., Autobiography part II, unpublished.
  22. ^ Avalon, A., The Serpent Power, Dover, New York, 1974
  23. ^ Bucke, R.M., Cosmic Consciousness, Dutton, New York, 1923
  24. ^ Pond, P., Kundalini: Biological Basis of Religion and Genius—The Case of Walt Whitman, 1988, to be published, ARPR Proceedings.
  25. ^Whitman, W., Leaves of Grass, The Lowell Press, New York.
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Shakti, Kunalini and the River of Tantra

Mp3 file


There is one energy (Shakti) that keeps
taking on new shapes and forms.
Each time the energy takes on a new form,
we give it a new name.

Podcast by Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati

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Shakti by SwamiJ

One energy with many names and forms: There is one energy that keeps taking on new shapes and forms. In Tantra the name of that energy is Shakti, which is the manifesting, or feminine force that is actually one and the same with its only apparent companion Shiva, the latent, or masculine. Each time the energy takes on a new form, we give it a new name. Shakti becomes Kundalini Shakti, or simply Kundalini. Kundalini becomes the energy of Prana, which flows in patterns or channels called Nadis, and concentrates itself by forming intersections known as Chakras. The subtle energies condense and become known as earth, water, fire, air, and space, forming our experience of the gross world. With Kundalini awakening, the primal energy of Shakti awakens in its true form. 

Seek to experience that one energy: To know, in direct experience, that unchanging truth, the one energy that is the substratum of all of the names and forms, is one of the ways of describing the universal goal of spiritual life. It is the experience of the union of Shakti and Shiva, creation and its ground, feminine and masculine, even though they were never actually divided in the first place. It is like wetness that is never separate from water, sweetness that is never separate from sugar, and warmth that is never separate from sunlight.

  

The River and Electricity 

We naturally use new names: To understand Shakti and the process of Kundalini awakening, it is very useful to have a good understanding of the process by which we naturally use language to give a new name to something whenever the form changes. 

A metaphor: One day, while sitting by the River Ganges in the Himalayas, the insight came that a river and electricity can be used as a metaphor of how this process of renaming happens:

  • Potential: Imagine a river that has a dam holding back the water. The river turns into a lake, which has potential energy that is held back from flowing. 

  • Kinetic: When the river flows through a channel towards a generating plant, it becomes an active energy of motion, which is called kinetic energy. 

  • Mechanical: When the flowing water moves through the blades of the generator, there is mechanical energy. 

  • Magnetic: In the generator the turning blades rotate a large mass of metal, creating magnetic energy. 

  • Electro-magnetic: There is a lot of wire wrapped around the turning metal cores, and this causes a transition into electro-magnetic energy. 

  • Electricity: As the energy leaves the generating plant, going down the wires, we call it electrical energy or simply electricity

  • Motion, light, sound, heat, cold: When the electricity comes into your house it transforms in many ways, and gets many new names, including motion, light, sound, heat, and cold. It forms music, television images, computer processes, and microwaves. 

It’s all one energy: In all of these changes in name and form of energy, there remains the central energy that is in support of all of those many forms. It is the very energy that is in potential form in the river. You may be sitting quietly, watching the river, while under the breeze of a fan, listening to recorded music, under the light of a lamp. The energy behind the fan, the music, and the light is none other than the energy in the river, which is right in front of you. This is not a mere symbolism. The electricity flowing into these instruments is literally one and the same with the energy in the river in front of you.

  

The Kundalini Shakti 

We also rename the energy of consciousness: In a similar way, there is one energy (Shakti) in the universe that also keeps changing its form. Each time that that energy changes form, we give it a new name. Following is a description of how this works. In reflecting on this, it is important to keep in mind that some schools, teachers, or lineages use the various terminologies somewhat differently from one another, though the principles might be essentially the same. It is the process that we want to clearly understand, so that we may journey through these levels to their source.

  • Shakti: The universal energy of consciousness is called Shakti

  • Kundalini-Shakti: The word kunda means a bowl in which fire is burned. Thus, when Shakti resides in a bowl called kunda at the base of the spine, it is called Kundalini-Shakti. Going back to the river metaphor, imagine that you are holding a bowl called kunda in your hand. When you plunge the bowl into the river, you say, “I have put the bowl into the river.” However, the moment you pull your hand and the bowl out of the river, you say, “I have water in the bowl.” In that moment, the river was given a new name, changing it from river to water.

  • Kundalini: Then, in our common language, the word Shakti is dropped away, and the energy in the bowl is simply called Kundalini. In effect, Kundalini-Shakti has been given a new name, simply Kundalini. Even though it is now called simply Kundalini, it remains none other than pure Shakti. The only difference, if you can call it a difference, is that the Shakti is now in the bowl. 

  • Prana: A tiny amount of the energy called Kundalini radiates off of its subtle mass, like steam rising from a bowl of boiling water. That radiating energy is called Prana. Again, once it changes form slightly, it gets a new name. Just like the water turning to steam, while still remaining water, the Kundalini, which is still Shakti, “becomes” Prana

  • Nadis: That Prana tends to flow in certain patterns, or lines, like the steam rising in more or less predictable channels. These lines, patterns, or channels are called Nadis. Once again, a new name is introduced. 

  • Chakras, marmas: The thousands of Nadis, with their Prana (that is really both a small amount of Kundalini, and still Shakti), crisscross here and there like minor or major highway intersections. Those major highway intersections are called Chakras (minor intersections are Marmas or Marmashtanas). It is because of this crossing pattern, like highway intersections, or spokes on a wheel, that the word chakra is used, which literally translates as wheel

  • Vayus: From there the Chakras, with their different shapes and styles of intersection, cause five flows of energy called Vayus.

  • Bhutas, tattvas: These take on the qualities of earth, water, fire, air, and space, which are called Tanmatras and Bhutas at their subtle and gross levels

  • Indriyas: Also from the subtle energy emerge the five Jnanendriyas  or cognitive senses of smelling, tasting, seeing, touching, and hearing, as well as the Karmendriyas or instruments of action of eliminating, replicating, moving, holding, and communicating.

  • Brain, body, breath: Collectively these manifest as the various aspects of our physical brain, body, and breath. Still, they are none other than the Shakti, Kundalini-Shakti, Kundalini, and Prana flowing in Nadis, which they were all along.

There is only one energy: One of the major insights of Tantra and Yoga meditation, possibly the key to the whole science of Tantra, is that there is only one energy in the whole of the universe, and our task is to know that, in direct experience. 

Experiencing that one energy: With Kundalini awakening, the full force of the dormant Kundalini comes forth from its dormant state. To awaken the Kundalini and allow it to rise through the levels of manifestation, returning to its source, is the ultimate Realization of the Absolute, which is both mother and father aspects of reality, Shakti and Shiva. Through self effort in Tantra and Yoga meditation, and the bestowing of grace, or Shaktipat, the sincere aspirant experiences this Truth.


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