Friday, February 01, 2008
(image from source)
Often people who know little about kundalini ask, "What is kundalini?" As many are aware, there is no easy answer to this question, for kundalini arrives in various kinds of packaging, and affects each person in a very individual way. Further, descriptions about snakes and wheels and references to various sanskrit terms often serve to confuse the seeker even more.
Here is a reply I am currently mulling over. It seems to me to make sense and keeps the explanation fairly simple:
In its most basic form, kundalini is the bioelectrical energy of the physical body . Usually this energy operates by itself, below the threshold of consciousness. This is the elemental life force, what keeps us going as long as we are alive.
Once the kundalini "awakens," bodily sensations and impulses come into consciousness in a way not experienced before. One becomes incredibly sensitive to both pleasure and pain, as if the cells themselves were firing in awareness as small (or large) explosions of joy or discomfort. Generally, it is believed that pain results when there are "blockages," that is, hang ups in mind, body, emotions, or psyche. Persons with major unresolved psychological issues, as well as those with serious physical challenges, may be especially at risk. As the kundalini works through the system, it flushes out these hidden blockages, and presses until they are cleared. This process can be difficult and troublesome, even for the most seemingly balanced and normal person. There may be periods of intense bliss, or periods of severe pain. It all depends on the subject herself. It is almost as if the kundalini has an intelligence of its own--it may be strong or weak at various times, but it generally continues until the task is completed.
Kundalini is connection with the divine. Often, especially during the bliss states, one feels as though these visitations come from a heavenly source. One may experience unconditional love in a most dramatic way, as if (as one person put it) "God is moving through your body." During this time, the subject may feel as though the Beloved Within is a real lover, who awakens each part of the self to sensuous, tender rapture or even ecstasy. One may feel blessed to the extreme, even though no one can say for certain what is actually going on within or where the process will go.
In its highest manifestation, kundalini may lead to enlightenment, as the crown opens to receive divine blessings and the inflow of ecstatic energy awakens even the brain itself to love. At this point, the devotee discovers that he or she does not in fact exist at all other than as a miniscule particle in the greater Reality. Some actually beocme upset at this revelation, clinging to the notion of separate identity. Very few on earth enter such bliss and maintain it permanently (at least, not any that I know of, though some are reputed to have arrived at this exalted level.) What we are offered instead (I believe) are temporary tastes and glimpses of this sublime awareness, so that we can know that it is real, but not a place where we can dwell permanently while we are on this earth. In fact, the boddhisatva is one who rejects personal salvation so that he/she may serve others and help them progress on their way.