What is Kundalini or Divine Shakti?
Kundalini is a Divine Energy coiled at the base of the spine. This energy is, so to speak, asleep. It is represented symbolically as by a serpent wound on itself three and a half times. There is a central canal called Sushumna that is traditionally located in the spine, it starts from the coccyx and goes to the fontanelle. The ascent of the Kundalini through this canal will lead to the animation of Chakras (Sanskrit meaning “wheel”) that are along its route and the purification of the nadis (subtle channels). In the majority of people, these chakras let little pass energy of the Kundalini. There are nodes that limit the progression of the Kundalini.
What is Shaktipat?
Shaktipat is the descent of spiritual energy. Since energy is all pervading and is present in every particle of nature, the question arises, “Where does this energy come from and where does it go?” Shaktipat, thus, means the descent of Chit-Shakti (the power of mind-stuff) of the Guru on the Chit-Shakti of the disciple. The Guru is regarded to be spiritually more advanced than the disciple. When the higher spiritual power of Guru is transferred to the lower one of the disciple, it arises and activates the disciple’s Chit-Shakti and makes it introspective. This awakening and activation is easily possible through Shaktipat.
What is meant by the awakening of Kundalini?
The awakened Shakti destroys the veil of Maya (illusion). Shakti, which has its origin in the soul, by which Chitta appears to be conscious and which is responsible for the creation of the veil of Maya, returns and reunites with the soul. Thus, the identification of Chitta with the soul is broken, and with the activity of Chitta having been so destroyed, the state of self-realization is attained. It is in this way that the individual soul attains the state of superconsciousness.
Why awakening the kundalini?
Awakening of Kundalini releases this energy coiled at the base of the spine, leading to the opening of the chakras and purification of the nadis and ultimately to access what is called the “realization of the Self”, this alliance of the Divine and the human, which constitutes our true nature. There are many methods to awaken the Kundalini, which usually require a long and diligent practice. The safest and easiest way to awaken the Kundalini is through the transmission of Shaktipat by an authorized Master, heir to a lineage belonging to the Siddha Maha Yoga tradition.
How long should an aspirant stay in the company of his Guru before and after initiation?
The disciple may have to stay with his Guru for a total period of one week. After initiation he is usually required to stay for three nights, however this period may be prolonged by one or two days depending on the development of kriyas (automatic movements). Even before the date of initiation, the Guru may want the disciple to prepare himself by purifying his Chitta to an adequate extent.
What is the disciple required to do during initiation?
Usually the initiation takes place before sunrise. On the appointed day the aspirant must get up two hours before sunrise, take a bath, dress in clean clothes and taking a worship offering, present himself to the Guru for initiation. After the Diksha ceremony, it is no longer necessary to take a bath before sitting in Sadhan (spiritual practices) because the energy acts within the body and not externally. The aspirant must have an Asan (a woolen rug) to sit on. Wool, being a poor conductor of electricity, prevents the energy activated by the Guru during initiation from passing into the earth below. This Asan also gets charged during the process and therefore must not be used by anyone other than the disciple himself.
A question arises regarding movements like laughing, singing, crying, trembling or rotation round; do they keep one involved? What are the results of these and where do they ultimately lead us?
The end result of these movements is the purification of Chitta. The accumulated effect of past deeds gives origin to attachment in one’s Chitta. Attachments give birth to certain tendencies and these tendencies seek their expression through the determination and choices of the mind. Prana then expresses itself outwardly through the senses. When Shakti is awakened, it cuts short the entire process by converting seeds into movements; otherwise these seeds become attachments and cause bondage. Weeping, singing, crying, jumping, dancing, trembling, etc. are the movements which have this purifying effect on Chitta. The determination or choices of the mind obviously have no bearing on these movements.
As the automatic movements become progressively more subtle, the aspirant experiences greater joy out of such movements though there are no outward signs of them. The aspirant is inwardly absorbed in bliss and the movements finally disappear after completing the process of purification of the disciple’s mind.
Can an aspirant simultaneously follow and practice other systems like Japa, Tapa, worship, or Yoga exercises along with this system of Shaktipat?
As the awakened Shakti takes over the responsibility of performing all necessary functions, the aspirant is not required to adopt any spiritual disciplines, however he may continue to do his earlier practices of self-purification as long as they do not get dropped and replaced by the automatic movements of Shakti. We neither recommend any methods other than that of Shakti nor do we stop one from doing something of his past choice. The only advice in this respect is that other systems should be practiced by themselves outside of Sadhan.
What should an aspirant do with thoughts appearing during his Sadhan?
Shakti causes various Kriyas to be performed which are suited for each individual’s own body while taking due consideration of one’s spiritual requirements. The aspirant needs only, therefore, to perceive and even remain an observer of these movements. Shakti converts accumulated seeds into thoughts so that they lose their binding effect on a man. Therefore, they should not be stopped in any case.
How do the Kriyas performed in Sadhan differ from the usual routine activities of life?
Every kind of movement is the result of Sanskaras (accumulated seeds of past actions) in a man. The movements caused by the awakening of Shakti do not accumulate further in the form of future seeds, however the routine activity of life may create a binding effect since it is performed with some desire.
The awakened energy, being always active, gradually takes over all other obligations of life from the conscious self, and thus reduces the binding effect of such actions. The automatic movements continue to become more and more subtle and ultimately disappear while leaving the aspirant in a state of permanent bliss.