How is Kundalini Yoga different?

What makes kundalini yoga different is that the yoga that is best suited to your temperament begins to unfold spontaneously. After having the kundalini awakening as a result of shaktipat, meditation happens to you naturally without any effort on your part. In other words, meditation goes after you!

In Sanskrit, shakti refers to energy or power, and pat means to descend. Shaktipat is, therefore, the descent of shakti, which leads one back to one’s divine source.

When shaktipat happens, the infinite energy of God descends through the medium of the outer guru to awaken the sleeping spiritual energy (kundalini) within an individual. This awakened spiritual energy rises up the central channel (sushumna) of the spine. It travels all the way to the topmost energy center at the crown of the head known as the sahasrara (crown chakra). A mere awakening of the kundalini is not enough; it must rise to the sahasrara. Only then can the union, called a full kundalini awakening, take place. When this happens, a person enters a state called samadhi and experiences the ultimate state of union with the Absolute. After this samadhi experience, the kundalini never becomes dormant again.

It is said, “shaktipat ev diksha” (shaktipat alone is initiation), which is akin to a lit candle lighting an unlit candle. Just as a candle cannot light itself and must be lit by an outside source, so too the kundalini cannot fully awaken by itself. It can only be fully awakened by the descent of grace through an outer guru.

Shaktipat initiation is like sowing a seed. Just as a seed contains a tree in a tiny form and ultimately grows into a tree, the same can be said of what happens with shaktipat initiation.

Kshemaraja’s Pratyabhijnahridayam, verse 17, states, “Madhya vikāsāchidānanda lābhah,” which means that only by receiving shaktipat is the central nerve (sushumna) unfolded, causing one to experience the bliss of absolute consciousness. In other words, if the central channel (nadi in Sanskrit) is not unfolded, a person cannot evolve.

The insights described above are based on my book, Building a Noble World. In Chapter 4, you will find my shaktipat experience, which describes transcending the physical body and mind and experiencing absolute reality. Actually, it is my shaktipat experience that led me to write this book.

The inner Guru lives in everyone’s sahasrara (top of the head) at all times. Have full faith in your inner Guru. Explaining what a firm faith can do, Swami Muktananda (1908-1982) said, “I receive so many letters from people who were reading Play of Consciousness and received shaktipat from the book. They put the book against their hearts and began to meditate.”

May you be blessed with kundalini awakening!

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