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by Swami Rama

Book: Sadhana, The Path of Enlightenment(This is an excerpt from Sadhana, the Path of Enlightenment, Yoga the Sacred Science, Volume 2, by Swami Rama, Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust, 2011, pages 258 – 260.)

Kundalini is a word that is frequently used but seldom understood. It has a highly secret meaning according to the highest order of yoga and other branches of Indian philosophy and Tibetan and Chinese philosophies. You cannot understand the deeper spiritual aspects of hatha yoga if you do not understand kundalini.

Devatma Shakti is another term used for kundalini. Deva means bright being, and atma is the soul. Shakti means “power,” and is the power behind manifestation. There are various levels of powers, and not every power is kundalini. The individual soul or jivatman manifests and functions with the help of Devatma Shakti. Whereas the individual soul has individual Kundalini Shakti, the Cosmic Soul is Paramatman (the Absolute Self, Brahman). Qualitatively they are the same, but not quantitatively. As the power to burn cannot be separated from the fire, Shakti cannot be separated from the individual soul.

Kunda means “bowl of fire,” or the vessel that contains the fire. The vast reservoir of dormant energy within is called the primal force, or the kundalini. It is the finest form of energy that we have. Only a small part of that energy is needed for the functioning of daily life. If all the power of kundalini were at your disposal it would not be possible for you to live as a human being.

Kundalini can only be known through direct experience. The ancient yogic manuals contain detailed descriptions of the chakras, which are centers of pranic energy that are represented as lotuses. Each chakra is associated with a certain number of petals, a specific color, a presiding deity and a particular sound or mantra. In the lowest center, the muladhara chakra, is the serpent-like fire, kundalini, which contains all the latent potential in human beings. It is the aim of yoga to arouse the sleeping kundalini and lead it upward through sushumna, piercing the different chakras, to the sahasrara chakra, the thousand-petalled lotus at the top of the head. This represents the union of the cosmic potential, Shakti, with cosmic consciousness, Shiva. Through this final union the yoga achieves Self-realization and liberation from all bondage. He merges his individual soul, atman, with the Cosmic Soul, Brahman. In order to arouse the latent kundalini energy, one has to practice and perfect asana and pranayama. Some people want to awaken kundalini because they think they can use that energy for worldly gains and enjoyments. A yogi awakens the kundalini to know the mysteries of the universe.

Editor’s Note:

For all Swami Rama’s and Swami Veda Bharati’s published works, please visit www.yogapublications.org or email info@yogapublications.org.

Published works of Swami Rama and Swami Veda Bharati are also available at other venues.




The Himalayan Tradition of Yoga Meditation

Purification of Thoughts     Dhyana    Mindfulness
Japa     Dharana     Shavasana
Breath Awareness     Qualified Preceptor
Guru Disciple Relationship     Unbroken Lineage
Yoga Nidra     Silence Retreats     Full Moon Meditation

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