The Kundalini is the key to our spiritual evolution. The word “kundalini” actually comes from the Sanskrit “kundal” meaning “coiled up,” and we know in Sahaja Yoga that it is coiled up at the base of the spine in three and a half coils, in a dormant state, waiting to be awakened.
It is an energy which is present in every single human being, which also means that every human being has the potential for spiritual evolution.
It is situated at the base of the spine, in the sacrum bone. In Latin Os Sacrum refers to a sacred area of the body, and so there was an awareness of its significance a long time ago. The Greeks also knew that this was a special part of the body and called it Hieron Osteon. They were aware that the scarum bone is the last bone to be destroyed when burning a body.
The kundalini has been well known in India for many centuries and is described clearly in the Upanishads and other texts. Adi Shankaracharya, Guru Nanak and Gyaneshwara have written about it. In the bible it manifests as tongues of flames on the disciple’s heads. Lao Tse referred to the kundalini as the spirit of the valley.
In Sahaja Yoga we know the effect of kundalini awakening (which is also known as self-realisation) is a cool breeze on top of the head. In other words we can feel the kundalini on our finger tips.
When the kundalini rises for the first time there may be blockages in the chakras which interfere with its ascent. When this happens it pulsates at that point of the spine and can soemtimes be seen even with the eyes alone.
Here is an extract from a talk by the founder of Sahaja Yoga:
Today I told you about Kundalini, and that Kundalini is the Pure Desire within us, that manifests or is awakened to give us our self-realization. Means the desire is only fulfilled when you get your self-realization, otherwise it is not manifested – it is just dormant; it is still residual. It has created the whole universe, but until and unless you get self-realization, unless and until you become one with your spirit, you have not achieved the manifestation of this power, which will go on making you run and run and run, thinking that you have not yet achieved or you have not found out your meaning. It will be there, all the time, sleeping, but giving you a feeling of vacuum.
So this power must be made to manifest… Then, this power has got certain qualities. The first quality it has got, … means it goes against the gravity. It goes against the gravity. You see, a thing rises, it doesn’t go down, so a person who has to be aspiring by nature, if a person is not aspiring type the Kundalini doesn’t rise, because, like, you see that when food passes down our stomach it presses the sides of the intestines. By that these movements of going down takes place. You see my point?
So when the Kundalini starts, and starts pressing on the sides of the chakras, She creates a feeling of throwing it higher and higher so the chakra is bounced upward. All the heavy things, all go downward, but the Kundalini rises higher and higher and higher, because it is like fire. Fire never burns downward. It always burns upward. She looks also like fire, and She has the capacity of fire within Her. The fire has a capacity to purify, and to burn off whatever can be burnt off. It purifies the things which it cannot burn and burns all the things which are inflammable, which can be burnt out.
So, the quality of fire that exists in the Kundalini burns off whatever is useless, like in our house, we find all the useless things, and we take them in the garden and burn them, finished – once and for all they’re all finished. So when the Kundalini rises, She also burns off all useless things, all your useless desires, your useless ideas of action, all sorts of useless accumulation of feelings and egos, and every sort of a nonsensical thing that is in between. Everything is burnt off fast, because they can be burnt, they are not eternal, by nature. They are not eternal by nature. They are temporarily there. All that is temporary, She burns down, and that’s how She enlightens the Spirit, because Spirit cannot be burnt by anything.
But this burning is so beautiful that it burns off all that is bad, stagnating, all that is polluting, all that is a disease, and cools down the system.
It is very interesting to see how this power of fire becomes the cool breeze, but in the science also you find that electricity can give you hot breeze or cool breeze. You can transform from one to another, but there is no ultimate for these things, they are always reversible. Supposing something becomes a magnetism, you can always convert into electricity, electricity can always be converted into magnetism. But Kundalini’s such a thing that once she burns off everything that is there, that’s how you get heat, because she’s burning. But when she cools down and becomes cool then she’s not reversible. That’s why it is a living process. Living process is never reversible. All dead processes can be reversible, but anything that is reversible – now, supposing you are grown up – you can all become a little baby- whatever you may try- you may have any number of operations –you cannot become. Now you are grown up, now you are modern, over-developed. You may try anything to become a primitive person – you cannot. You just cannot, whatever you may try. That will be all very artificial. You may just feel that you have become primitive by wearing some sort of a dress, by feeling that, “oh now there’s no modernism in us, and now we have become very very subdued”, nothing of the kind. It is curable, but not reversible. But, it is a living process . So, Kundalini within us expedites the living process within us of our evolution.
So the power of Kundalini is to purify, she purifies us like fire. She doesn’t purify us like water, surprisingly, she doesn’t purify us like water. Now, water, what does the water do? Water never burns off anything, but it dissolves certain things. It can take in something within itself, see. It can contain some of the dirt within itself. Supposing you put a color in the water – it assumes the color. But Kundalini does not assume the color. She burns out. Do you follow my point? So, if you have anything wrong within you, she’ll burn it off , but she’ll not absorb – she’s pure. She cannot absorb those things into her that will pollute her. She cannot be polluted.
This quality of fire, say, for example, if you put gold in fire, silver in fire, you can purify it. The pure form comes in. That’s how you know. But if you put gold and fire in water, nothing will happen. At the most you can wash them from outside. But in and out you cannot do it. So outwardly you can do it with other things, but with Kundalini you do in and out. The face also looks beautiful, as if some glazing has taken place on the face, a new, bright face. It’s not sallow, neither it is horribly burning, nor is it pale and ugly-looking, but it becomes radiant. Radiance, that’s what Kundalini gives you. It looks also, as if a molten iron, you see, -have you seen molten iron? – pillar of – supposing you take a pillar of iron, and, and heat it, to a point where it starts showing, you see, copper, every color in it, copperish and all sorts of color you see, golden, copperish and all that, you see, like a furnace. But very silent, very silent, it works out.
Extract from talk by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, founder of Sahaja Yoga, 17 June 1981, London