Today, I am going to speak on a subject that is indeed quite fascinating. It is a magic word; it has been used in most occult books. Every now and then, you hear of people trying to practice something that would suddenly and immediately boost their spiritual awareness. And, that magic word is ‘Kundalini’.
In the occult books on the subject, it is called ‘Kula Kundalini’. Now, what is this Kundalini that is talked about so much in occult books and books on yoga and so on? So, let us look at this very carefully.
Kundalini, which is considered by the tantras as the manifestation of the infinite supreme energy called Parashakthi or Bhawani, is said to reside in a potent form but not kinetic, inactive but not active form, at the base of the spinal cord of all human beings–coiled like a spring or as a snake turned three and a half times around itself, as described in the tantric symbology, waiting to be awakened by the spiritual practitioner.
So, a snake has been the symbol of Kundalini for the longest time. It is so because it is also the symbol of wisdom. It is the symbol that you find on the headdress of Pharaohs of Egypt and in the legends of the Nagas, who are supposed to be snake gods, representing wisdom.
Shiva, the great lord of the yogis, wears the snake on his head–coiled around the knot of matted hair. Here, again, the snake is the symbol of wisdom. It is on the great snake called ‘Anantha‘–the five-hooded serpent–that Maha Vishnu, who incarnates as the ten avataras of the Hindu pantheon, sleeps and reigns.
Maharishi Patanjali, the founder of Ashtanga Yoga or Raja Yoga, is depicted as half snake and half human. So, the snake has been a symbol of wisdom from the earliest times. It is when Adam and Eve received the wisdom of the snake that they began to distinguish between good and evil. In the present context, this is what I think.
In ancient times, when there were no watch springs to be shown as an example, the snake was an ideal metaphoric representation of the coiled up Kundalini which remains inactive and sleeping in most human beings at the bottom of the spine.
When awakened by the practice of yoga which includes exercises, breathing techniques and chanting of special sounds known as mantras, then this sleeping snake hisses, raises its head up and begins to travel up through the central channel of the spine, which according to Yogic anatomy, is called the Sushumna Nadi or the channel of Sushumna.
When the sleeping energy–the great Kundalini–is awakened by resorting to the proper means, guided by a proper teacher, then it begins to move up the Sushumna channel, touching six centres as it ascends, until it reaches the topmost centre, which is known as the thousand-petaled lotus–the Sahasrara Chakra–located in the crown of the head. When the Kundalini energy reaches there, then it merges with the Supreme Reality called Shivam and upon this merger, the yogi enters Samadhi, a high super-conscious state, where he realises his own identity with the divine, all-pervading, blissful Supreme Being.