August 15, 2018
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kndlniThe Hindu deity correspondence for this 24th path of the qabalistic Tree of Life is Kundalini.[67] The word “Kundalini” (kuṇḍalinī, Sanskrit: कुण्डलिनी, Thai: กุณฺฑลินี)literally means coiled. In yoga, a “corporeal energy”[68] – an unconscious, instinctive or libidinal force or Shakti, lies at the base of the spine.[69] According to well-known teacher and translator Eknath Easwaran, kundalini litterally means “the coiled power,” a force which ordinarily rests at the base of the spine, described as being coiled there like a serpent.[70] 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.[71] Kundalini is the Hindu goddess representing the creative force (libido), coiled up as a serpent at the base of the spine, in the so-called lotus of the Muladhara chakra. Its magical formula is regeneration through putrefaction. The alchemists of old used this formula mainly. The first common matter of their operations was base, and had to pass through several stages of corruptions or putrefaction (or chemical change, as it would be styled today), when it was called the black dragon – but from this putrid stage, the pure gold was derived.[72] Another application of the same formula applies to that psychological state of which all mystics speak: the spiritual dryness or “the Dark Night of the Soul,” wherein all one’s powers are held temporarily in abeyance gathering, in reality, strength to shoot up and blossom forth in the light of the spiritual Sun.[73] Kundalini is described as a sleeping, dormant potential force in the human organism. It is one of the components of an esoteric description of the ‘subtle body’, which consists of nadis (energy channels), chakras (psychic centres), prana (subtle energy), and bindu (drops of essence). Kundalini is described as being coiled up at the base of the spine, usually within muladhara chakra. The image given is that of a serpent coiled three and a half times around a smokey grey lingam. Each coil is said to represent one of the three gunas, with the half coil signifying transcendence. Through meditation, and various esoteric practices, such as Kundalini Yoga, Sahaja Yoga, and Kriya Yoga, the kundalini is awakened, and can rise up through the central nadi, called sushumna, that rises up inside or alongside the spine. The progress of kundalini through the different chakras leads to different levels of awakening and mystical experience, until the kundalini finally reaches the top of the head, Sahasrara chakra, producing an extremely profound mystical experience that is siad to be indescribable. 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.The arousing of kundalini is said by some 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.”According to the 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 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. As 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”.[74]Western awareness of the idea of kundalini was strengthened by the Theosophical Society and the interest of the psychoanalyst Carl Jung (1875–1961).”[75] 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”.[76]Sri Aurobindo was the other great authority scholar on Kundalini parallel to Sir John Woodroffe, with a somewhat different viewpoint, according to Mary Scott (who is herself a later day scholar on Kundalini and its physical basis) and was a member of the Theosophical Society.[77]Another populariser of the concept of kundalini among Western readers was Gopi Krishna. His autobiography is entitled Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man.[78] According to one writer his writings influenced Western interest in kundalini yoga.[79]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.[80] 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”.

The God, Khepri, from the Tomb of Nefertari, New Kingdom (Wall Painting)


[67] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 81; Stephen Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage. Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot, p. 53.
[68] Flood (1996), p. 96.
[69] Harper et al. (2002), p. 94.
[70]Eknath Easwaran, A Glossary of Sanskrit from the Spiritual Tradition of India, Berkeley, Blue Mountain Center of Meditation, 1970, p. 5.
[71] Her Holiness Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi Srivastava: “Meta Modern Era”, pages 233-248. Vishwa Nirmala Dharma; first edition, 1995.
[72] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 81.
[73] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 81.
[74]Avalon, Arthur (1974). The Serpent Power. Dover Publications Inc.. p. 1.
[75]Flood (1996), p. 99.
[76]Princeton University Press, Book description to C. G Jung – “The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga”, 1999
[77]Author: Scott, Mary, 1906-; Title: Kundalini in the physical world; Imprint: London ; Boston:Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983. Description: 275 p. : ill. ; 22 cm. Bibliography: p. 259-263.
[78]Krishna, Gopi (1971) Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man. Boulder, Colorado: Shambhala.
[79]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.
[80]Palamidessi Tommaso, Alchimia come via allo Spirito, ed. EGO, 1948 Turin.


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