The Full Wiki

Kundalini: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Part of a series on
Hindu philosophy


Samkhya · Yoga · Nyaya · Vaisheshika · Purva Mimamsa · Vedanta (Advaita · Vishishtadvaita · Dvaita · Achintya Bheda Abheda)



Gautama · Jaimini · Kanada · Kapila · Markandeya · Patañjali · Valmiki · Vyasa

Adi Shankara · Basava · Dnyaneshwar · Chaitanya · Gangesha Upadhyaya · Gaudapada · Jayanta Bhatta · Kabir · Kumarila Bhatta · Madhusudana · Madhva · Namdeva · Nimbarka · Prabhakara · Raghunatha Siromani · Ramanuja · Vedanta Desika · Tukaram · Tulsidas · Vachaspati Mishra · Vallabha

Aurobindo · Coomaraswamy · Dayananda Saraswati · Gandhi · Krishnananda · Narayana Guru · Prabhupada · Ramakrishna · Ramana Maharshi · Radhakrishnan · Sivananda · Vivekananda · Yogananda

Kundalini (kuṇḍalinī, Sanskrit: कुण्डलिनी) literally means coiled. In Indian yoga, a "corporeal energy"[1] - an unconscious, instinctive or libidinal force or Shakti, lies coiled at the base of the spine.[2][3][4] It is envisioned either as a goddess or else as a sleeping serpent hence a number of English renderings of the term such as 'serpent power'. The Kundalini resides in the sacrum bone in three and a half coils and has been described as a residual power of pure desire.[5]

The Yogatattva Upanishad mentions four kinds of yoga, of which laya-yoga involves Kundalini.[6]

Sri Ramana Maharshi maintained that the Kundalini energy is nothing but the natural energy of the Self, where Self is the universal consciousness (Paramatma) present in every being, and that the individual mind of thoughts cloaks this natural energy from unadulterated expression. Advaita teaches that Self-realization, enlightenment, God-consciousness, nirvana and Kundalini awakening are all the same thing, and self-inquiry meditation is considered a very natural and simple means of reaching this goal.[7]

Yoga and Tantra propose that this energy can be "awakened" by Guru, but body and spirit must be prepared by yogic austerities such as pranayama, or breath control, physical exercises, visualization, and chanting.


Awakening of the Kundalini

Kundalini can be awakened through the grace of a Siddha-Guru who awakens the kundalini shakti of his discipline through shaktipat, or blessing. A Siddha Guru is a spiritual teacher, a master, whose identification with the supreme Self is uninterrupted.[8] Like every form of energy one must also learn to understand spiritual energy. In order to be able to integrate this spiritual energy, careful purification and strengthening of the body and nervous system are required beforehand. [9]

The Kundalini rises from muladhara chakra up a subtle channel at the base of the spine (called Sushumna), and from there to top of the head merging with the sahasrara, or crown chakra. When Kundalini Shakti is conceived as a goddess, then, when it rises to the head, it unites itself with the Supreme Being (Lord Shiva). Then the aspirant becomes engrossed in deep meditation and infinite bliss.[10][11]

The awakening is not a physical occurrence but consists exclusively of a development in consciousness. Kundalini awakening brings increased perception of cosmic vibrations and radiant energy. Understanding of the connections and laws within the universe deepens. [9] A cool breeze is felt on the fingertips as well as on the fontanelle bone area.[5]

The arousing of kundalini is said to be the one and only way of attaining Divine Wisdom. Self-Realization is said to be equivalent to Divine Wisdom or Gnosis or what amounts to the same thing: Self-Knowledge.[12] The awakening of the Kundalini shows itself as "awakening of inner knowledge" and brings with itself pure joy, pure knowledge and pure love.[9]


The term "Kundalini" is based on several words and has several meanings. The word ending with "i" indicates that it relates to the feminine principle and deals with a form of Shakti (energy) and Prakriti (nature). [9]

KUNDA is a hole or well into which all debris and rubbish is thrown. In time the rubbish loses its original form and disintegrates into a formless mesh in which the individual components are no longer recognizable. In the similar way, our impression from earlier lives lie like an amorphous substance deep in the unconscious (Muladhara Chakra) [9].

KUNDALA means the ring and is generally used to refer to an earring in Sanskrit.

The other roots of "KUNDALINI" are KUNDALIN the serpent, and KALA the time or death. In Indian mythology Lord Vishnu rests on a thousand-headed snake and sends out the first vibration (Sphurna), from which the entire Universe evolves [9].

Kundalini as described by Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda described briefly about kundalini in London during his lectures on Raj Yoga as follows:[13]

"According to the Yogis, there are two nerve currents in the spinal column, called Pingala and Ida, and a hollow canal called Sushumna running through the spinal cord. At the lower end of the hollow canal is what the Yogis call the "Lotus of the Kundalini". They describe it as triangular in form in which, in the symbolical language of the Yogis, there is a power called the Kundalini, coiled up. When that Kundalini awakes, it tries to force a passage through this hollow canal, and as it rises step by step, as it were, layer after layer of the mind becomes open and all the different visions and wonderful powers come to the Yogi. When it reaches the brain, the Yogi is perfectly detached from the body and mind; the soul finds itself free. We know that the spinal cord is composed in a peculiar manner. If we take the figure eight horizontally (∞) there are two parts which are connected in the middle. Suppose you add eight after eight, piled one on top of the other, that will represent the spinal cord. The left is the Ida, the right Pingala, and that hollow canal which runs through the centre of the spinal cord is the Sushumna. Where the spinal cord ends in some of the lumbar vertebrae, a fine fibre issues downwards, and the canal runs up even within that fibre, only much finer. The canal is closed at the lower end, which is situated near what is called the sacral plexus, which, according to modern physiology, is triangular in form. The different plexuses that have their centres in the spinal canal can very well stand for the different "lotuses" of the Yogi."

Western interpretation

Kundalini is considered an interaction of the subtle body along with chakra energy centers and nadis channels. Each chakra is said to contain special characteristics [14] and with proper training, moving Kundalini energy 'through' these chakras can help express or open these characteristics.

Sir John Woodroffe (pen name Arthur Avalon) was one of the first to bring the notion of Kundalini to the West. A High Court Judge in Calcutta, he became interested in Shaktism and Hindu Tantra. His translation of and commentary on two key texts was published as The Serpent Power. Woodroffe rendered Kundalini as "Serpent Power" for lack of a better term in the English language but "kundala" in Sanskrit means "coiled".[15]

Western awareness of the idea of Kundalini was strengthened by the Theosophical Society and the interest of the psychoanalyst Carl Jung (1875-1961)[1]. "Jung's seminar on Kundalini yoga, presented to the Psychological Club in Zurich in 1932, has been widely regarded as a milestone in the psychological understanding of Eastern thought. Kundalini yoga presented Jung with a model for the development of higher consciousness, and he interpreted its symbols in terms of the process of individuation".[16]

Another popularizer of the concept of Kundalini among Western readers was Gopi Krishna. His autobiography is entitled Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man.[17] According to one writer his writings influenced Western interest in kundalini yoga.[18]

In the early 1930s two Italian scholars, Tommaso Palamidessi and Julius Evola, published several books with the intent of re-interpreting alchemy with reference to yoga.[19] Those works had an impact on modern interpretations of Alchemy as a mystical science. In those works, Kundalini is called an Igneous Power or Serpentine Fire.

Other well-known spiritual teachers who have made use of the idea of kundalini include Yogi Bhajan, Osho, George Gurdjieff, Paramahansa Yogananda, Swami Sivananda Radha who produced an English language guide of Kundalini Yoga methods, Swami Muktananda, Bhagawan Nityananda, Nirmala Srivastava (Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi), Samael Aun Weor and Lord Sri Akshunna.


Kundabuffer is a word first coined by G. I. Gurdjieff in his Russian version of All and Everything: Beelzebub's Tales to his Grandson and rendered into the English language by his friend and disciple A. R. Orage. "Kunda" is short for the Sanskrit term "kundali" which means "coiled" so that "Kundalini" literally means "no longer coiled". Gurdjieff explained to P. D. Ouspensky that "...buffers are appliances by means of which a man can always be in the right." Kundabuffer is then an implant put into man in order to keep man asleep and unable to do anything but serve the dictates of his lower nature. However, for Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, there is no difference between "kundabuffer" and "kundalini". On this particular point, Samael Aun Weor considers that both Gurdjieff and Ouspensky are in error. This view is in direct opposition to Patanjali the Great Indian sage who is in agreement with Gurdjieff and also indicates that kundalini is an obstruction to consciousness and to life giving Prana and that it needs to be slowly and carefully burned away and definitely not stimulated. see Desikachar Religousness in Yoga. Unlike the Sages Patanjali, Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, Samael Aun Weor interprets kundabuffer to be Satan's tail and kundalini as what helps man achieve Self-Realization. The Hindus know kundabuffer simply as "kundali" and "kundalini" as "kundalini".[20]

New Age

Kundalini references may commonly be found in a wide variety of derivative "New Age" presentations, such as Shirley MacLaine's, and is a catchword that has been adopted by many new religious movements. However, some commentators, such as transpersonal psychologist Stuart Sovatsky,[21] thinks that the association of Yogic Sanskrit terminology (chakras, kundalini, mantras, etc.) with the superficiality of new-age rhetoric, has been unfortunate.[22]

Psychiatry (Brain waves)

Recently, there has been a growing interest within the medical community to study the physiological effects of meditation, and some of these studies have applied the discipline of Kundalini Yoga to their clinical settings.[23][24] Their findings are not all positive. Some modern experimental research[25] seeks to establish links between Kundalini practice and the ideas of Wilhelm Reich and his followers.

However, the intensive spiritual practices associated with some Asian traditions are not without their problems. Psychiatric literature[26] notes that "since the influx of eastern spiritual practices and the rising popularity of meditation starting in the 1960s, many people have experienced a variety of psychological difficulties, either while engaged in intensive spiritual practice or spontaneously". Among the psychological difficulties associated with intensive spiritual practice we find "kundalini awakening","a complex physio-psychospiritual transformative process described in the yogic tradition".[26] Also, researchers in the fields of Transpersonal psychology,[27] and Near-death studies[28][29] describe a complex pattern of sensory, motor, mental and affective symptoms associated with the concept of Kundalini, sometimes called the Kundalini Syndrome.

According to the psychiatrist Carl Jung, "...the concept of Kundalini has for us only one use, that is, to describe our own experiences with the unconscious..."[30]


  1. ^ For kundalini as "corporeal energy" see: Flood (1996), p. 96.
  2. ^ Flood (1996), p. 99.
  3. ^ Harper et al. (2002), p. 94
  4. ^ McDaniel (2004), p. 103
  5. ^ a b Her Holiness Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi Srivastava: "Meta Modern Era", pages 233-248. Vishwa Nirmala Dharma; first edition, 1995. ISBN 978-8186650059
  6. ^ Flood (1996), p. 96.
  7. ^ "From The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, Edited by David Godman". 
  8. ^ "The Guru". Retrieved 2008-10-05. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda, The hidden power in humans, Ibera Verlag, pages 47, 48. ISBN 3-85052-197-4
  10. ^ Kundalini Yoga:
  11. ^ Kundalini Yoga from Swami Sivanandha:
  12. ^ Vivekananda, Swami (1915). The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda. p. 185. "...kundalini is the one and only way..." 
  13. ^ [Complete works of swami vivekananda,]
  14. ^ Scotton (1996), p. 261-262.
  15. ^ Avalon, Arthur (1974). The Serpent Power. Dover Publications Inc.. p. 1. ISBN 0486230589. "Kundala means coiled." 
  16. ^ Princeton University Press, Book description to C. G Jung - "The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga", 1999
  17. ^ Krishna, Gopi (1971) Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man. Boulder, Colorado: Shambhala
  18. ^ For quotation "Western interest at the popular level in kundalini yoga was probably most influenced by the writings of Gopi Krishna, in which kundalini was redefined as a chaotic and spontaneous religious experience." see: McDaniel, p. 280.
  19. ^ Palamidessi Tommaso, Alchimia come via allo Spirito, ed. EGO, 1948 Turin
  20. ^ P. D. Ouspensky In Search of the Miraculous, p. 220, Harcourt Brace & Co., 1977 ISBN 0-15-644508-5
  21. ^ Yoga Journal. Jul-Aug 1985. p. 42. "I just wanted to talk to someone who would understand about kundalini and wouldn't think I was crazy..." 
  22. ^ Sovatsky, pg. 160
  23. ^ Lazar et al. (2000).
  24. ^ Cromie (2002)
  25. ^ Rudra, Kundalini (1993 in German)
  26. ^ a b Turner et al.,pg. 440
  27. ^ Scotton (1996)
  28. ^ Kason (2000)
  29. ^ Greyson (2000)
  30. ^ Hayman, Ronald (2002). A Life of Jung. W. W. Norton & Co.. p. 304. ISBN 0393323221. "...the concept of Kundalini has for us only one use..." 

External links

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address