by Swami Sivananda
Kundalini Sakti is the coiled-up, dormant, cosmic power that underlies all organic as well as inorganic matter. It is the primordial energy that lies at the basal Muladhara Chakra in a dormant, potential state. Kundalini Yoga is that Yoga which treats of Kundalini Sakti, the seven Chakras or centres of spiritual energy, the arousing of the sleeping Kundalini Sakti and its union with Lord Siva in Sahasrara Chakra at the crown of the head. The seven Chakras are pierced by the passing of Kundalini Sakti to the top of the head.
The seven Chakras are: Muladhara (at the anus), Svadhishthana (at the root of the organ of generation), Manipura (at the navel), Anahata (in the heart), Visuddha (in the neck), Ajna (in the space between the two eyebrows) and Sahasrara (at the crown of the head).
Nadis are the astral tubes that carry Pranic currents. They cannot be seen by naked eyes. They are not the ordinary nerves, arteries and veins. There are 72,000 Nadis. Among them three are important. They are Ida, Pingala and Sushumna. Sushumna is the most important one, because Kundalini passes through this Nadi only. The first step in Kundalini Yoga is the purification of Nadis. When Sushumna is pure then only Kundalini will pass through it. Purification of Nadis is done by the practice of Pranayama.
The Yogi opens the mouth of Sushumna Nadi through Pranayama, Bandhas and Mudras and awakens the sleeping Kundalini and takes Her to Sahasrara at the crown of the head through the lower six Chakras. Kundalini sleeps in the Muladhara in 3 ˝ coils. The three coils represent the three Gunas and half coil represents the Vikritis.
Kundalini is awakened through Pranayama, Asanas and Mudras by Hatha Yogins, through concentration by Raja Yogins, through devotion and perfect self-surrender by Bhaktas or devotees; through analytical will, by the Jnanis; by Japa of Mantra and by the grace of the Guru.
If you are pure and free from all desires, Kundalini will awaken by itself and you will be benefited. If you awaken Kundalini by violent methods, forcibly, when your heart is impure, when desires lurk in your mind, you will come across temptations of various sorts, when you move from plane to plane, you will have a downfall. You will have no strength of will to resist these temptations.
That aspirant who has firm faith in Yogic Sastras, who is courageous, devotional, humble, generous, merciful, pure and dispassionate, can easily awaken Kundalini and attain success in Samadhi. He should also be equipped with right conduct and self-restraint; he should constantly engage himself in the service of his Guru and be free from lust, anger, Moha, greed and vanity.
When Kundalini is taken to the Sahasrara, when She is united with Lord Siva, perfect Samadhi (super-conscious blissful state) ensues. The Yogi drinks the nectar of immortality.
May Mother Kundalini guide you all in your Yogic practices! May Her blessings be upon you all!