Kundalini yoga by Swami Ramananda-Holistic approach (part-C)
Since Kundalini Yoga is based on chapters that have been deliberately super imposed the power of suggestion is crucial for its effectiveness.Skillful meditators intentionally wield this power in their practice for those meditators who believe that chakras truly exists inside their bodies .The power of suggestion works unconsciously and it’s actually strengthened by their beliefs making their practice more effective than for someone like me who doesn’t share their beliefs.Such is the nature of the power of suggestion.
Each day I practice the sense of warm that the base of my spine seems to grow more intense so today I shifted the point of my concentration upwards,away from the mooladhara chakra and towards the swadishtana chakra above it,not surprisingly the sense of warms at the base of my spine also moved upwards.Could this modest experience with the initial ascent of Kundalini Shakti shouldn’t it be something more dramatic.Some practitioners report having intense and even tumultuous experiences when Kundalini begins its ascent but every practitioner is different besides what rises from chakra to chakra is energy like heat not a snake.
The snake is a deliberate super position of the riches who prescribed that meditators should shift their point of concentration upwards from one chakra to the next.Yet for many practitioners Kundalini seems to begin its ascent spontaneously andcontinued to rise without any deliberate effort. Whatsoever all such experiences could certainly be brought about by the minds power of suggestion.
Today I began to meditate on the swadhishthana chakra since my Kundalini has apparently begun its ascent.There’s no need to Kindle the fire in the mooladhara chakra anymore so stopped practicing mula bandha and busted like pranayama instead visualized the swadishtana chakra also known as the sacred chakra.Swadishtana means the seat of existence and this chakra is fittingly located at your seat,the sacrum it has six petals and is associated with the element water,which is represented by a white crescent moon. Om is the mantra for the element water.The deity abiding in this chakra is Vishnu God.In its aspect a sustainer of the universe just as the element water sustains life,Vishnu sustains the world.
Vishnu is generally depicted with blue skin and fore arms I visualized the swadishtana chakra while reciting the water mantra bump and reflecting on how water sustains my life.Then I imagined Vishnu residing in the chakra and once again I settled into a deeply prayerful mood today after visualizing the swadishtana chakra as I did yesterday I became aware of the sense of warmth at my sacrum.The sensation grew stronger when I focused on it more intensely and when I shifted my attention upwards towards the money pure chakra the sense of warmth also climbed upwards I’m a bit surprised to progress from chakra to chakra so quickly but it’s likely that all my prior meditation practice has helped me lot.
For the past two days I’ve been meditating on the money putas chakra.Money puta means abode of gems. It’s also called nabhi chakra because it’s located behind the nabhi or navel.It’s not accurate to call it solar plexus chakra because that plexus is located well above the navel. The money poota chakra has ten petals and is associated withthe element fire which is represented by a red triangle. Aum is the mantra for theelement fire the deity abiding in this chakra is Rudra a fierce aspect of shiva usually depicted as a warrior or hunter in meditation. I visualized the moneypure chakra and recited the fire mantra aum when I reflected on the element fire.It became obvious how the expression fire in the gut made its way into the English language.
This region seems to be associated with power will and assertiveness.I could sense these qualities with my attention focused there.It’s no surprise that a powerful deity like Rudra abides in the moneyputas chakra.For me meditating on Rudra is like watching a violent thunder storm that evokes great awe and respect mixed with a little bit of fear in today’s meditation.After visualizing the moneypara chakra I focused on the sense of warmth behind my navel as before. The more I observed it,the stronger it grew.
Then I shifted my attention upwards to the center of my chest,where the inaho chakra is located.The sense of warmth rose from the navel and gradually expanded filling my chest.For three days now I’ve been meditating on the inaho chakra.The so called heart chakra located along the spine at chest level.Anahata means that which cannot be struck injured or killed referring to one soul.This chakra has 12 petals and is associated with the element air,so being near the lungs the element air is represented by a smoky six pointed figure. Aum is the mantra for the element air.The deity abiding in the anahata chakra is a beneficent form of Shiva depicted as looking in all directions simultaneously to bless everyone.
Shivais often called God of destruction but it might be more accurate to call him God of transformation,purification and growth since all these depend on the destruction of a prior condition so a new and better state can arise.When I visualize the anahata chakra my attention was drawn to the air passing into and out of my lungs.Air is constantly in motion and it’s this movement of air that fills us with life.When I meditated on Shiva I felt deeply grateful for the gift of life we receive with each and every breath in today’s meditation I focused on a sense of warmth that filled my chest once again.It grew stronger and rolls when I shifted my attention upwards to my throat where the vishuddhi chakra is located.
I’ve completed two more meditations focusing on the vishuddhi chakra located at the throat .This chakra has sixteen petals and is associated with the element space which is represented by a transparent circle. Aum is the mantra for this element.The deity abiding in the vishuddhi chakra is the by gendered form of Shiva whose right side is male and left side is female.This form of Shiva reminds us that none of us are exclusively male or female.Nature is exuberant in its diversity and avoid such absolute divisions.Meditating on this form helped me accept feminine qualities which are as much a part of me as the masculine ones.
In today’s meditation I observed the sense of warmth in my throat and as before it moved upwards when I shifted my attention to the agnya chakra between my eyebrows.Agnya means a command or order which shows this chakras association with the mine. Our so called command center even though the agnya chakra is located between the eye brows. To call it third eye chakra is problematic since the yoga punish us make no references to a third eye.The agnya chakra is completely different from the others.It’s not associated with a particular deity or any of the five elements and since it’s not associated with an element it has no mantra.
Although later traditions associated with the mantra on the agnya chakra stands at the threshold between the five elemental chakras in the body below and a transcendent sahasrara chakra above.From the mooladhara upwards each chakra has an increasing number of petals but the agya has only two.Infact the Rishi’s provide surprisingly few details about any of the chakras.Many of the details and the elaborate symbolism that exists today was established by later generations of Yogi’s and compiled into sanskrit texts.Like the famous sixteenth century work exposition of the six chakras the Rishi’s seem to have deliberately left many details up to the imagination of practitioners and this suggests that the Rishi’s creative use of deliberate super imposition could legitimately be used by later practitioners as well based on this modern adaptations like rainbow huge chakras could certainly be considered acceptable.
So I have to reconsider my earlier condemnation of what I called distortions and misrepresentations of contemporary Western Yogi’s.If a particular adaptation is truly helpful for practitioners then it need not be criticized but we can’t be naïve. Not all adaptations are helpful.Some might even be detrimental like modifications introduced by unqualified teachers or by gurus with ulterior motives like those who charge a fee for shock teapot.
Okay let’s return to the agnya chakra even though the Rishi’s don’t specify a deity for this chakra,they do prescribe visualizing a Linga of light by which they mean a form of Shiva as pure consciousness within the agnya chakra.I’m back on familiar ground now because meditating on pure consciousness is central to a toy to Vedanta but there’s a misnomer here.You can’t actually meditate on consciousness because as the meditator you are that very consciousness.
You can only meditate on objects in your mind which are illumined by the light of consciousness so in vedanta to meditate on consciousness means to meditate on the meditator that is to reflect on your own essential nature as pure consciousness.Today while visualizing the agnya chakra between my eyebrows I reflected on how my mental image of a two paddled Lotus can be observed by me because it’s illumined by consciousness.The same pure consciousness which is my true nature.That consciousness is utterly independent of the mind,body and world.It transcends them all.
Having reached this lofty perspective I think I’m ready for the final stage of practice when Kundalini Shakti ascends to the sahasrara chakra.Sahasrara means 1000 which is the number of petals in the sahasrara chakra at the crown of the head.The Rishi’s give no further details about this chakra.In fact in many texts the sahasrara is not considered a chakra at all.It lies beyond the chakras outside the body.It’s usually depicted on the outer surface of the head not within it.In Hindu Scripture the number 1000 stands for infinity suggesting that the sahasrara chakra is infinite in height and breadth,infinite and brilliance, infinite in splendor.
When Kundalini Shakti finally reaches this limitless expanse it’s amazing journey is complete.According to the Rishi’s after ascending to the sahasrara chakra Kundalini Shakti merges into pure consciousness and loses its individuality all together but the Rishi’s a little about the meaning and symbolism of this climactic event because it’s significance is best understood through meditation itself not through words.
I began today’s meditation by visualizing the agnya chakra and focusing on a sense of warmth between my eyebrows.I allowed that sensation to grow stronger and then shifted my attention upwards towards the top of my head as before the sense of warmth moved upwards but while rising it changed into a brilliant light that seemed to fill my head and body and radiate beyond as well.Then almost immediately that light fadedand my mind became profoundly silent.I fell into a state of absorption.Samadhi just like I had many times before using other techniques.
Samadhi is somewhat like being blissfully immersed in deep sleep except that you remain fully awake. When you wake up from sleep you know you slept when you emerge from Samadhi you know you were absorbed.Anyone who experiences Samadhi for the first time will find it a great achievement and anyone who discovers their true nature to be pure consciousness utterly independent of the mind,body and world will find this recognition to be absolutely life-changing .Without doubt many practitioners of Kundalini Yoga haver eached these great heights and were blessed by their efforts but my prior practice has already blessed me in these ways.
So my experience of Kundalini is triumphant ascent seem to lack the tremendous intensity that other practitioners describe.Also I have a hunch that if I firmly believed in the actual existence of chakras my experiences might have been far more intense but then again the ultimate goal of this practice is not to produce rapturous experiences but to support the attainment of spiritual knowledge,enlightenment.I’ve learned a lot from this experiment. I’ve discovered how Advaita Vedanta and Kundalini Yoga are actually complementary to each other. I’ve learned to be less critical of modern adaptations like rainbow-colored chakras and I’ve made friends with this often misunderstood serpent.
Will I start teaching Kundalini Yoga to my students now, I don’t think. So this technique is rather complex so It needs lots of time to learn and practice more than that.Kundalini Yoga seems like a difficult way to gain a state of absorption that can more easily be reached through other techniques but then if there are easier paths to Samadhi why is Kundalini Yoga so widely taught .Its popularity is very likely in response to the problem of experience seeking ,the pursuit of worldly experiences can prevent people from seeking spiritual growth but if Kundalini Yoga promises them exciting new experiences they might consider practicing it.Then their practice could lead them to realize that something far more valuable than exciting experiences is within reach.
Such a recognition could wean them away from experience seeking and incline them to pursue enlightenment.Instead this so called bait-and-switch approach might have led many practitioners to find perfect peace and lasting contentment.If so the ability to transform those captivated by worldly experience into genuine spiritual seekers could be the most extraordinary feature of Kundalini Yoga.