Satsang on Kundalini
Bursting the Bud of Creativity
Swami Satyananda Saraswati
Given at Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre
in Antwerp, Belgium
Should awakening of kundalini always begin from mooladhara chakra?
It is not at all necessary to start the awakening from mooladhara; you can have it at any chakra. You can concentrate on anahata chakra and if you are able to handle the awakening there, then the relevant portion in the brain will be illumined. By virtue of evolution every individual has certain chakras which are more sensitive than others. For example, you may be able to awaken your manipura chakra more easily than your ajna chakra. There are some people who have difficulty concentrating on ajna chakra because they feel pain. It does not mean they are unqualified, but the sensitivity is not there.
The system where you first practise awakening of mooladhara and then gradually move up the chakras exists because the experiences related to the higher centres are sometimes very difficult to face. The experiences of the lower centres, like mooladhara, are not so intense. If you awaken the psychic centres from the lower ones to the higher ones you can more easily adapt to the psychic experiences.
Is it possible to activate some of the chakras without kundalini awakening?
Yes, the chakras can awaken through practice of yogic techniques. Sudden awakening and opening of the chakras can also take place on account of unexpected emotional uprisings, during moments of intense fear, anxiety, passion, etc.
The awakening of swadhisthana chakra is very common. In almost every case it has been found that before the awakening of mooladhara, awakening of swadhisthana takes place. Manipura chakra may awaken with the sensations of burning heat. Awakening of anahata and vishuddhi chakras is very rare. It is usually swadhisthana and manipura that are awakened, because manipura is the centre of all fears and anxieties, and swadhisthana is the centre of all the passion. When these chakras are activated without the awakening of kundalini it doesn't really matter. You may have dreams related to them or peculiar experiences which you don't understand the cause of, but this doesn't really affect the mental condition.
Is it possible to have a kundalini awakening and not know it?
There are many people who awaken their kundalini and know nothing about it. Some of them may even behave like madmen, and it is only a guru who can understand what has happened. I once met a boy of twelve or thirteen whose family considered him completely mad. They threw him out of the home and he was just wandering about. One evening when I was touring as a mendicant, I made my camp underneath a mango tree.
While I was there he came and sat down right beside me without knowing that I was there. He was completely unaware, shabbily dressed and behaving like a mad boy. After a while I began to feel very strong vibrations from the boy and realised that he had opened some of his higher centres which he was unable to control. He had no command over his experiences at all.
I took him to the river for a bath, and then gradually put him into a kind of hypnotic trance which brought him down to a normal level. Then I sent him off to find his own guru who could teach him sadhana right from the beginning and help him gain control over his awakening. Now he is a normal boy.
Can kundalini arise after vasectomy?
Vasectomy does not prevent the rising of kundalini. In fact, in the science of hatha yoga, there is an asana known as siddhasana, which aims at controlling the sensations in the perineum and also in the lower viscera, so that the stimuli generated within these two centres do not excite the testicles.
Once you achieve an opening of the chakras, do the associated faculties remain with you?
Once a particular chakra has awakened, it can become dormant again, although sometimes the awakening continues for a very long time. For example, the centre of telepathy may open up. It may be with you for a few weeks only, or it may remain permanently.
Do the chakras emanate any positive or negative attributes?
Awakening of kundalini through the chakras does manifest positive and negative aspects, but these are not inherent in the centres. They are inherent in the personality or the samskaras of the person. In the event of the awakening of kundalini, at the time of explosion, subconscious and unconscious matter is released. The experience that you have, whether of heaven or hell, positive or negative, has nothing to do with kundalini. It is related to the intrinsic human personality with its background, samskaras and karma. If a man's karmas are sattvic and divine, then his experiences will always be positive. If the karmas are full of confusion, psychological cobwebs and inhibitions, then his experience may be negative.
Therefore, before awakening kundalini, one has to develop the sattvic or serene life and try to free oneself from psychological problems through the practice of bhakti yoga, raja yoga, karma yoga and gyana yoga.
If kundalini awakens suddenly, won't the person become confused if he does not understand what is happening?
Nowadays, if you travel by motor car at a very high speed you do not really feel anything, but if you were to travel by high speed motor car about a hundred years ago when there was no adaptation to speed, you would have felt giddy. You don't feel giddy now, because your system has adjusted to the speed principles. In the same manner, when sudden kundalini awakening takes place, you are not used to the experience, so you get confused. But if you have been practising hatha yoga, etc. and you experience slight awakenings now and then, you will be better able to cope with it.
Even though people should be careful about awakening kundalini, I believe that the awakening of kundalini is a very important, pleasant and historical experience in the life of man. If you can see and experience something more than what you can generally see and experience through your senses, you are a fortunate man. But at the same time, I also know that if you begin to have some such experiences, you will be startled and frightened and will wonder what is happening. Therefore, before the actual awakening of kundalini, it is better to experience a little awakening of the chakra centres.
Do LSD and other psychedelic drugs have any effect on the awakening of the chakras?
The use of these drugs results in certain experiences because it brings about a state of disconnection or detachment between the motor and sensory cortex. The karmendriyas and gyanendriyas which normally work in co-ordination are separated, resulting in the state of pratyahara or hypnosis rather than an awakening.
Awakening and hypnosis are two different states. In hypnosis there is a process of elimination of consciousness, whereas in awakening there is expansion of consciousness. If you take any drug - LSD, ganja or hashish, it actually induces a form of hypnosis. All faculties are withdrawn to a point of elimination.
Knowledge, shakti and freedom should be the outcome of awakening. If not, then we can definitely decide that these drugs are of no use. Personal experience of hangovers, dizziness, visions and all kinds of beautiful and horrible experiences are not proof. The proof of awakening must be in the resulting power whether it is telepathy, clairvoyance or clairaudience. Your mind should become more powerful, more concrete- if this is the case, then we can accept LSD, ganja or any other drug. But there has been no evidence of anyone who has used these drugs and become as powerful as a siddha. On the other hand, I know sadhus in India who have been continually using ganja for many years, and they have lost their brain. You cannot gain spiritual enlightenment from the use of drugs; you can only get a little rest.
Do you gain anything from trying to awaken kundalini if the body has not reached a proper state of purification?
If awakening takes place without proper purification of the body, every now and then you may feel dizzy, indolent, angry, high or low tempered, and so on. Digestive problems may occur. Some people also experience eruptions on the body.
One has to first purify the diet, then take to hatha yoga, sincere practice of japa with the help of mantra, experience a little bit of awakening through music, and then go on to the more intense practices for kundalini awakening.
How long does it take to purify the body starting with a vegetarian diet?
With vegetarianism, hatha yoga and pranayama it will take about six months to purify the bodily systems such as digestive, respiratory, circulatory, muscular and lower nervous systems.
Purification of the brain, however, depends on thinking. When you think, the glands secrete certain hormones which can be very poisonous. Agonies, afflictions, attachments, anger, infatuation, worries, hatred and jealousy, all produce harmful secretions in the brain, keeping it continually in a toxic state. These disturbances of the mind take a long time to calm.
What things does one experience in the actual awakening of kundalini?
Although different" people have different experiences, the most unique and common experience is the release of energy, like an electrical shock in the spinal cord, as though your spinal cord has been illuminated. You feel electrical currents in the bottom of your spine as if it were connected with an electrical point somewhere.
Prior to that you begin to hear a sound which goes on continuously without a break. You don't produce the sound, but it is there. When this sound is experienced, then one should understand that the auspicious moment is drawing near.
There are also related after - experiences. You may hear the sound of a flute or a peacock. You may have very momentary experiences, such as the feeling that you are sitting outside in the middle of a monsoon shower. There is also the experience of dark clouds in continual movement. You can see the movement of the clouds and hear the sound of thunder. These are some of the common experiences.