This is a subtle body experience. When the shakti moves through the subtle body meridians (nadis) the process of purification begins. This may involve the shattering of blocks, mental or emotional, that are blocking its path. Sometimes the force with which the energy moves and breaks the block can give a shock.
The hot, golden lava flowing is the release of the Kundalini energy. So wait and watch what is to unfold for you.
When I went through my experience, I felt as if a bolt of lightning had hit me and my whole body was blown into smithereens. The nervous system has to be very strong to bear this force. (Refer to the section on Kundalini for illustrations.)
Through our breath, we bring prana into our bodies. Prana flows into the body through subtle channels known as nadis. The three most important nadis are Ida on the left of the spine, Pingla on the right, and Sushumna in the centre. Ida and Pingla cross over each other at the chakras whereas Sushumna nadi passes up straight through the centre of each chakra. As we breathe through our nose, we bring prana into our bodies in two distinct currents; positive and negative.
Ida is the channel for mental energy or lunar energy. Pingla is the channel for prana shakti or solar energy. When the breath is flowing more through the right nostril, we say Pingla is active and then one is more energetic and dynamic. When breath is flowing more through the left nostril, we say Ida is active. Ida is the conductor of manas shakti, the mental or lunar energy. When this nadi is flowing, then there may be a feeling of tranquility or dreaminess since it is a more passive energy. Sushumna nadi is for spiritual energy. When both nostrils are flowing, we say that Sushumna is active.
Sushumna is the conductor of mahaprana, the spiritual energy of Kundalini. When Sushumna is flowing, it is the most favourable time for any type of sadhana. During this phase a feeling of equanimity and a meditative state can arise spontaneously.
Simply put, with every inhalation through the right nostril, a positive current flows through the Pingla located on the right side of the spine. This is solar energy and it creates heat in the body. When Pingla is flowing, the left side of the brain is active and the right side is quiet.
With every inhalation through the left nostril, a negative current flows through the Ida located on the left side of the spine. This is lunar energy and it cools the body. When Ida is flowing, then the right side of the brain is active and the left side is quiet.
When both Ida and Pingla flow together, i.e. when the right and left hemispheres of the brain function simultaneously, then Sushumna begins to flow. It is said that when Sushumna flows, one just has to close one’s eyes and meditation happens.
The heat rising up your spinal column, from the base to the top of your head, indicates that the energy is moving up through Pingla nadi or the solar channel. In other words, it is Pingla that is operative and the breath is flowing through the right nostril. You could balance your energy by consciously doing om-vilom pranayama.
When you feel that your energy is moving up and down from a certain chakra, it means that for that time-being, the particular chakra is acting as the base from which the energy is operating. Since you feel that it is moving up from the Anahata chakra (heart centre) through Vishuddhi and Ajna up to the Sahasrar, it is probably doing so for a very good reason, which only the energy knows or you in your experience would be able to understand as unfolding takes place.
In my experience, I have usually visualised the wings at the level of the Ajna chakra and the Anahata chakra. These are vibrations of the chakras, which take on the shape of wings.
C.W. Leadbeater in his book The Chakras tells us that, “the wings typify the power of conscious flight through higher planes.” The wing-like vibrations of the heart chakra would mean that an aspirant is moving towards compassion, and giving of unconditional love. One can understand why we usually see paintings of angels having wings.
the thousand-petalled lotus.
When the progressive ascension of Kundalini through the chakras culminates at the Sahasrar, then the vibrations of this centre act and take the shape of a radar or as symbolically expressed, a ‘thousand-petalled lotus’. All knowledge gained henceforth would be self-gained and not necessarily bookish knowledge.
This is a very serious and valid question. Meditation should improve the quality of one’s life and not impair it. Yet the experience is near universal – serious meditation makes things worse, before they get better. The simple answer is that meditation speeds up the process of evolution; issues and problems that may never have surfaced in an ordinary life spring to the surface and require to be dealt with attentively.
If one is following a form of meditation which is linked with Kundalini, then catharsis is bound to happen. When the Kundalini starts to move and meets with resistance, then the nearby chakra becomes active. The chakra begins to move at a certain speed and because of this movement, intense energy is created which breaks the block. With the breaking of the block, stored data (life experiences related to that chakra) is released which then surfaces during meditation.
Chakras are not just vibrating nodes of energy. They are mechanisms for collecting and processing karma. Meditation causes the chakras to become more active, and karma is shaken loose. In serious meditation, there will always be stages where karmic impediments arise. Unless they are dealt with, one cannot progress. Hence, these sudden surges of unpleasant incidents occur. Far from being disheartened, such episodes should be encouraging because they are proof that you are doing something right.
The goal of serious meditation is not to become more productive at work or dispel insomnia. It is to attain enlightenment and liberation. That is not possible without flushing out all the negative karma.
Chakras and Kundalini are both aspects of the subtle body and are independent of each other. The chakras automatically open as an individual goes through life’s ups and downs. It’s a slow process that goes on till such time when one starts to live consciously. Once they are open the Kundalini energy flows smoothly.
However, an individual can work towards a quicker process by following any system of Hatha yoga and
Kriya yoga to systematically purify, awaken and balance the chakras. Once the required balance and purification is attained, the Kundalini will have a clear pathway to move up
In the physical body of an aspirant, the activity of the Sahasrar would be that of a chakra until the other chakras get developed. Since it is the ‘control switch’ for the other chakras, it sees to it that they are properly developed and correctly aligned for the purpose for which they have been activated in an aspirant. Once that is taken care of, then the crown centre opens and develops contact with the Cosmic Consciousness and is open to receiving direct knowledge from It.
If you notice, in the beginning of book Conscious Flight into the Empryean the crown centre is not open. It is only after much spiritual practice and purification of the body, mind, and intellect has taken place at all levels that the Sahasrar or the crown centre opens up to become a ‘centre’ for receiving all knowledge (Kundalini Awakening, Chapter Two – 25 February 1997).
In short, purification of the chakras or purification of body, mind and intellect has to take place before Sahasrar works as a centre.
When an aspirant visualises the chakras, it means that he is seeing the process of purification going on.
The movement of Kundalini energy is quite marked during its passage through the chakras and an aspirant can experience it as electricity, air, or heat. When Manipura chakra is activated, movements of the abdomen occur. The movement of Anahata chakra makes one hear sounds. The Vishuddhi chakra can make the aspirant break out in tears or laughter. When the Ajna chakra is activated, the chitta gets one-pointedness or focus and then meditation happens.
The visualisation is not a hallucination; it is indicative of the progress an aspirant is making on the spiritual path that he is following.