The Kundalini, the serpent power or mystic fire, is the primordial energy or Shakti that lies dormant or sleeping in the Muladhara Chakra, that is located at the base of the spinal cord. It is also known as the serpentine/annular power on account of its serpentine form. It is an electric fiery occult power, with great pristine force which underlies all organic and inorganic matter. Basically, it is the inherent spiritual energy system in the body. It consists of seven main centers or chakras and three main channels namely – the Sun (Right channel or Pingalaa naadi), Moon (Left channel or Idaa naadi), Central Channel (Sushumnaa naadi) and innumerable ducts and ductiles.
Kundalini is the cosmic force in the individual body. In reality it has no form, hence it is of a highly subtle nature unlike physical forces like electricity, magnetism, centripetal/centrifugal forces. It is the coiled-up, sleeping Divine Energy (Shakti) that lies dormant in all beings. All of us have great potential as the vibrancy of this energy is such, though lying dormant. The Sthula Buddhi and mind have to follow a particular form in the beginning stage. From this gross form, one can easily, understand the subtle formless Kundalini. Prana, Ahamkara, Buddhi, Indriyas, mind, five gross elements, and nerves are all the products of Kundalini.
There is a Svayambhu Linga in the Muladhara Chakra. The head of the “linga” is the space where Sushumna Nadi is attached to the Kanda. This mysterious Kundalini lies face downwards at the mouth of Sushumna Nadi on the head of Svayambhu Linga. It has three and a half coils like a serpent. When it is awakened, it makes a hissing sound like that of a serpent beaten with a stick, and proceeds to the other Chakra through the Brahma Nadi, which is also called Chitra Nadi, which lies within Sushumna.
Kundalini is widely praised by many as the “Goddess of Speech”. She Herself, when awakened by the Yogin, achieves for him the illumination. It is She who gives Mukti and Jnana for She Herself is that. She is Known as “Sarasvati”, as She is the form of Sabda Brahman. She is the source of all Knowledge and Bliss. She is pure consciousness itself. She is Brahman. She is Prana Shakti, the supreme force, the Mother of Prana, Agni, Bindu, and Nada. It is by this Sakti that the world exists. Creation, preservation and dissolution are in Her. Only by her Shakti the world is kept up. It is through Her Shakti on subtle Prana, Nada is produced. While you utter a continuous sound or chant Dirgha Pranava ! (OM), you will distinctly feel that the real vibration starts from the Muladhara Chakra. Through the vibration of this Nada, all the parts of the body function. She maintains the individual soul through the subtle Prana. In every kind of Sadhana the Goddess Kundalini is the object of worship in some form or the other.
Hence Kundalini is also called Bhujangini, the serpent power. The three coils represent the three Gunas of Prakriti (universal force): Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, and the half represent the Vikritis, the modification of Prakriti (universal force).
The vicious circle of life flows like this. Kundalini has connection with subtle prana. Subtle prana has connection with the subtle nadis and chakras. Subtle nadis have connection with the mind. Mind has connection all through the body. There is a mind in every cell of this body. Prana is the working force of the body. It is dynamic. This static Shakti is affected by pranayama and other yogic practices and becomes dynamic. These two functions, static and dynamic, are termed as ‘sleeping’ and ‘awakening’ states of the kundalini.
Kundalini Energy System in a Human Being
The energy for the physical body and mental functions flows through the Sun and Moon channels and the energy flowing through the Central (Sushumnaa) Channel is related to spiritual growth.
In the Sun channel (Pingalaa naadi) raja is predominant, whereas the Moon channel (Idaa) is predominant with satva. The energy flows alternately through the Idaa and Pingalaa. This shift happens every 3-4 minutes. Even though the energy flow changes so often, as the Idaa and Pingalaa cross sides across the body both parts of the body receive adequate energy of each type. This maintains a balance between the two types of energy flows. During the changeover from the Sun to the Moon channel the Central channel gets activated very briefly for one to two seconds in people with lower spiritual growth. This is negligible from the perspective of any benefit from the activated Central channel. The duration of activation of the Central channel increases with the growth of spiritual level. When the spiritual level crosses 55%, the duration of activation lasts for more than 1-2 minutes. Only when it lasts this long, there is some benefit in terms of spiritual growth.
The activation of the Sun or Moon channel can also be as per the requirement of the body. For example after our meals the Sun channel is predominantly activated to facilitate digestion of food.
When there is a surge of emotions the Sun channel is activated. When the emotions subside the Moon channel gets activated. However when there are rapid and frequent vacillations in the emotional state there is a rapid and irregular shift in activation of the two channels as the Sun channel remains predominantly activated. As a result there is an imbalance in the 2 types of energy flow (raja and sattva). In an emotional person, this roller coaster of emotions continues even in sleep in the sub-conscious mind as the impressions in the sub-conscious mind are active even in sleep.
For those people who are established at above 55% of spiritual level, the activation of the channels depends on the sleep posture as well. The channel opposite to the side we are sleeping on gets activated predominantly. When one sleeps on the back, the Central channel (Sushumnaa) gets activated. For others, no channel is activated. So to reap the benefits even through sleep, getting established in a higher level of spirituality is important.
Every Chakra requires special acts to be performed for stabilizing the energy which would have been released to the sadhak (Spiritual Seeker) on reaching every chakra by kundalini. These acts are of two types–
Following these acts are easier for sadhak (Spiritual Seeker), because all the endeavors that has been made till then to rise kundalini will give him/her enough wisdom. There is only one major requirement of the practice of necessary restraints to maintain the will power to cling on to the wisdom by not getting lost into other mesmerizing illusions or falling into the clutches of Arishadvargas i.e., Maya of Pancha Bhuthas.