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Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is…

Sometimes students have written to or asked Swami Veda Bharati, Swami Ritavan Bharati, and other senior teachers in our tradition questions about practice.  This is one such “Question and Answer,” or Q&A.


I think, Kundalini yoga is all about tapping into your spiritual energy, raising awareness, and a whole lot of yogic breathing....Is it so ??


Swami Ritavan Bharati, Michael Smith, Stephen Parker (Stoma), and Wolfgang Bischoff have answered this question.

From Swami Ritavan Bharati:

Dear Yoga student of the Tradition,

As you know, Kundalini was a favored and endeared subject for both Swami Rama and Swami Veda. Swami Rama called the primary Prana force kundalini, referring in Saundarya-lahari that Shiva is not able to "stir" without the Shakti force, which is referring to Kundalini;
and Swami Veda has spoken in the most beautiful ways of the feminine divine force of shakti as the primal powers of creation and dissolution returning to the source as consciousness.

Thus, Spirit as Brahman is Transcendental unalloyed Consciousness, with Shiva-Shakti the primary spiritual "energies" of consciousness.

The "movement" associated with "raising" is to awaken the awareness of the chakras or centers of the primary prana or kundalini forces.

And to understand prana as a vehicle for "breath", awakens the twin guardians of the subtle body and regulate these internal forces through the breath. Much practice is needed to develop the appreciation and skill of regulating breath to transform unconscious breath into the awakening force for kundalini in the chakras.

Again Practice, begin with subtle body work through asanas, pranayama, and through pratyahara, leading to samyama you will slowly develop the awareness and skill of the subtle levels of consciousness known as "kundalini-rising."


Path of Fire and Light Vol.1 by Swami Rama
Kundalini: Stilled or Stirred by Swami Veda Bharati
and many more

From Michael Smith:

Swami Veda's book Kundalini Stilled or Stirred might be a good place to start.
Here are some other books that Swami Veda has recommended:

  • Sacred Journey by Swami Rama
  • Mantra and Meditation by Swami Veda Bharati
  • Life Here and Hereafter: Katha Upanishad by Swami Rama
  • Apocalypse Unsealed by James Morgan Pryse (Recommended by Stoma)

"Here are some references for further reading. They may not be the easiest books to find but they are currently in print and are very good in their categories. Note that by definition no reputable book on kundalini will tell you how to awaken your kundalini. Either by effort or by shaktipat initiation, practicing kundalini yoga requires the instruction of an experienced teacher. Some introductory practices for cleansing the channels can be learned from books." – Swami Veda Bharati

Good introductory survey:

  • White, John (Editor) (1990). Kundalini - Evolution and Enlightenment. New York: Paragon House.

Classical Works:

  • Svatmarama (1985). The Hatha Yoga Pradipika (Swami Muktibodhananda Saraswati, Trans.). (First ed.). Munger, Bihar: Bihar School of Yoga.
  • Silburn, L. (1988). Kundalini - Energy of the Depths (Jacques Gontier, Trans.). Albany, NY: State University of New York.

Where can I learn more?

On the web there is an interesting and, I think, important site which has very large bibliography on Kundalini collected by Kurt Keutzer from Berkeley: Kundalini Bibliography. Also Kundalini FAQ. There is a section in the Bibliography titled “Literature of the tradition of Swami Rama” which includes:

  • Rama, Swami. 1980. Living with the Himalayan Masters. First ed. Honesdale, PA: Himalayan Institute International,490 pages.
  • Rama, Swami. 1988. Path of Fire and Light -1. Third ed. 2 vols. Vol. 1. Honesdale, PA: Himalayan Institute International,180 pages.
  • Rama, Swami. 1988. Path of Fire and Light - 2. First ed. 2 vols. Vol. 2. Honesdale, PA: Himalayan Institute International,226 pages.
  • Rama, Swami, Rudolph Ballentine, and Alan Hymes. 1979. Science of Breath. Honesdale, PA: Himalayan Institute International,166 pages.
  • Tigunait, Rajmani. 1993. Sakti Sadhana. Translated by Rajmani Tigunait. Honesdale, PA: Himalayan Institute International,196 pages.
  • Tigunait, Rajmani. 1996. The Power of Mantra & The Mystery of Initiation. Honesdale, PA: Himalayan Institute International,248 pages.

Also there is “Kundalini Awakening” on the website of Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati.

From Stephen Parker (Stoma):

I would just repeat Wolfgang’s response to the last time this question arose. It really says it all.

From Wolfgang Bischoff (December 2017):

Swami Rama was 3 times in my house visiting my family and our Institut. During his second stay he called me early in the morning around 4am and asked for an important letter of a doctor. I told him that this letter was on my desk in my office 15 minutes from us away and I asked him whether I shall run over and get it. He said no, not necessary, kneel down and open your hands, look to the ceiling and out of the air came the letter flying like a butterfly. When I was holding the letter in my hands, the miracle was over and he asked me what I think.

So I answered that I was surprised and whether he can teach me that siddhi. He answered:

“Be patient and practice the simple method of breath awareness and meditation every day. If you are selfless in your actions and honest, full of love and dedication in your meditation, everything which is important for your special destiny will happen by itself. You have to do nothing. Realise the fact that you cannot breathe in and not breathe out. Every inhalation and exhalation you get every moment new as a present for which you have nothing to do, from a power which loves and respects you as you are, with all your weaknesses and strength. Realising that will show you the power of non acting while you true and honest practise meditation in life in the way of selfless service for humanity.“

So I asked Guruji why he has written the books Path of Fire and Light, 1 and 2. And he answered: “I regret that I have written and published Volume 1. It is a knowledge which should not be published but I was persuaded to do so.”

I said that all the described practises gave me an impression of a very complicated hard life and that I may need several lifetimes to achieve anything important. He answered:

“No, that is not true. You can achieve anything in this lifetime even in this moment when you learn to practice with an open heart, an open mind, doing nothing only experiencing yourself as a witness. Truth will come to you in its own ways, you only have to open yourself for it. Become a good receiver, the Himalayan Masters send their messages all the time, you only do not receive that messages.”

So he encouraged me, not to imitate anybody, not even Swami Veda, who was a great soul in himself, but cannot be copied by anybody. He said find your own destiny through selfless service and a simple way of meditation, doing nothing but enjoying to sit still, becoming silent and starting to wonder like a little child about everything, which happens then by itself.

From my point of view, that is the most simple way and at the same time the most complex practice he ever gave me, and it takes all my life to learn this simplicity. From that time on, I tried to live a life in the service of others and practise nearly every day at 3 am in the morning. I try to listen to people and stopped preachingly teaching them; instead I opened my heart and mind, learned to asked questions and to understand the human being sitting in front of me. I stopped pretending to be a teacher and started to become a friend who lovingly shares with others what the celestial world is presenting to me. Since then I started to enjoy life because it became easy and beautiful and lost the hardness of effort and greed for spiritual achievements. They come by themselves when you are honest, pure enough. So I slowly understood Guruji’s teaching : If you want to make one step ahead in meditation, first do 2 steps ahead in your ethical development of self realisation ( according to the Yamas and Niyamas ).

Editor’s Note:

If you have a question about spiritual practice, you can use the "Contact the Spiritual Committee" link on the Ahymsin website to ask it.

Previous columns can be read at “Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is…



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