Proceeding on the Kundalini path is fraught with difficulty, unless you have a guide to support you
In August 1995, I was introduced by a friend to a course in self-development conducted by late Justice M. L. Dudhat. The course comprised of lectures, scientific spiritual breathing exercises, and affirmations. My life, for the last decade, had passed through a series of crisis-filled events. This course seemed like a peaceful, healing exercise. Little did I know that I would be pushed into a maelstrom that would rip apart the very fabric of my existence, shatter every belief system, propel me into the most amazing experiences, and reshape me into a being I could not even have remotely imagined I could be.
As I started the course I was consumed with a strange inner compulsion to master it in the shortest possible time. The intensity with which I moved into the practice awakened the sleeping Kundalini with an earth-shattering explosion, akin to a cloudburst and blinding bright lightning.
But for the grace of the Guru, the shocking experience would have unnerved my psyche. Guruji had certain questions for me. He wanted to know whether I had young children or old people to take care of. When I said no, he gave me the choice of continuing and completing the process, or stopping right there. He made me understand that once I got into the practice seriously, it would not be advisable to stop because then it would be like telling a pilot to stop mid-air. I am very happy that I took the challenge.
I have been into the practice since August 1995 and I am still with it. The intensive course I went through lasted till April 2003, and gave me an in depth knowledge of the unfoldment and the intricate workings of the Kundalini. The intense experience culminated in the form of a diary which has been published in three parts under the title, The Kundalini Trilogy : A Visual Journey in Meditation.
Somewhere along the way, the subject of Kundalini has attracted more and more attention, particularly in the West. I even find weekend or weeklong workshops promising to awaken the Kundalini. The Kundalini path is not an easy one, nor is it the safest. It would be best to check with the teacher conducting the course whether there would be a follow-up, and in the event that the Kundalini gets activated, would he/she get further guidance? If the awakening happens and no further guidance is available, the result can be devastating – in terms of physical, mental and emotional health. There are no shortcuts to Kundalini. It is a process of transformation and this requires complete surrender, love, devotion and dedication to the Guru and the Kundalini. Once you can develop this feeling, then you are on the road to a new way of life.
These days I often encounter many who feel stranded on this road to self-discovery, and have come across The Kundalini Trilogy. Some of them are traumatised because a premature opening of a major chakra has happened while the lower chakras are still not clear. This leads to a great deal of frustration.
I have recently met two young men (Americans). One of them appeared to be a spiritually aware person, who had done the rounds of different teachers, ashrams and books. He had a highly developed Ajna chakra that gave him a profound insight into life and greatly enhanced his psychic ability. At the same time, he appeared very confused, seeking answers and peace. In the course of our three meetings, it unfolded that his sexual urge was greatly enhanced; he ate too much, and loved his sleep
These symptoms gave the clue to his problem area. We discussed this, and he realized that his problem area was not so much the Swadhisthana chakra, but the Manipura chakra. This is the area of personal prejudices, complexes, and biases. He understood that through a programme he attended, he had a premature expansion of the Ajna chakra whereas the lower chakras still had to be cleaned out. His relationship issues had to be worked out before the energy could move out of the lower chakras. I advised him to go back home and seek therapeutic help to sort out his relationships.
Kundalini is really an index of our spiritual growth, and when we have done the work we need to do, and this involves healing our relationships, overcoming insecurity, developing patience, love, selflessness – in other words, the ordinary business of living – it will unfold by itself.
In the other young man, the energy was active and fragmented, with the result that he went into jerks and spasms whenever he was in an energetic field. He also underwent physical problems and medical aid was not helpful. Last I heard was that he felt his nerve endings were on fire. First, the diagnosis was ‘shingles’, and then ‘herpes’. He is living through his experience hoping for some relief sooner or later. This reminds me of Pt. Gopi Krishnan, who went through great discomfort for nearly 12 years before the energy settled.
Another young lady came to me seeking answers. She had gone to a spa in Rishikesh where she attended a yoga course for a few days. She felt certain stirrings in her physical body, which was new to her. She decided to discuss it with the teacher conducting the course but could not get a satisfactory answer. Her experience was passed off as release of ‘stresses’. Another young German lady who had spent a week or so with a sadhu (holy man) in a cave in the Himalayas had her awakening but did not know what was transpiring. Similarly, a Moroccan girl who was going through jerks and involuntary yogic movements was confused as to what she was going through. All three were put at ease after they understood the process.
What will help all Kundalini practitioners is sustained meditation practice.
Swami Rama in his book, Path of Fire and Light, says: “When you rise to another dimension, you do so with the help of meditation. There is no other way to achieve spiritual awakening except through meditation. With the help of Kundalini you will experience various indications of awakening.”
It is through meditation that we first let clearing of old data happen; first there is gross level of data and interpretation. This takes the longest to clear out. As we become comfortable with meditation, in due course, more subtle levels of mental impressions with less interpretation and data processing will arise. Eventually, there are only subtle impressions that just flit across. We become observers of these impressions, and finally there is nothing to watch, and we enter into stillness.
Moving hand in hand with meditation, Kundalini does the work of clearing the blocks, which are in the form of mental and emotional impressions clogging the chakras. It will break, push, nudge where necessary so that you can become a body of light, while through meditation you gain clarity and balance, becoming a clear channel for the energy to flow. The process leads you from chaos to balance; from the old fragmented you to a transformed person – a body of light.
This is not a weekend or one-month job, but an ongoing process.
– Santosh Sachdeva