Describing what a kundalini awakening is, Swami Vivekananda (1863–1902) writes in his masterpiece Raja Yoga: “When that Kundalini awakens, it tries to force a passage through this hollow canal [Sushumna], and as it rises step by step, as it were, layer after layer of the mind becomes open and all the different visions and wonderful powers come to the Yogi. When it reaches the brain, the Yogi is perfectly detached from the body and mind; the soul finds itself free.”
Kundalini is located in the subtle body, not in the physical body.
Kundalini has two aspects: outer and inner. Your Kundalini is already awake in its outer aspect, enabling you to experience the outer world. The safest way to awaken the inner aspect of Kundalini is through a guru.
Before understanding Kundalini awakening, it is important to understand what a guru really is.
First, we know that there are five functions of God:
1. God manifests (not creates) the universe
2. God maintains the universe
3. God dissolves (not destroys) the universe
4. God conceals the universe within His own being by reabsorbing it for future manifesting
5. God bestows grace so that worthy individuals can realize their oneness with God. (Guru)
The fifth and final function – the bestowal of grace – is central to the purpose of a guru. Kshemaraja’s Shiva Sutra Vimarshini, verse 2.6 states, “Guru paramesvari anugrahika shakti,” which means Guru is the grace-bestowing power (shakti) of God. Accordingly, Guru is the cosmic energy, not the physical body of an individual.
There are two aspects of the Guru: The inner Guru with a capital “G” refers to the cosmic energy present within all beings. The outer guru with a lowercase “g” refers to an individual, who is a medium through whom the cosmic energy flows. The outer guru is also referred to as a spiritual master. When one receives the grace of the outer guru (spiritual master), one is really receiving the grace of the inner Guru.
If an outer guru claims to be the original source, it is as if an electric light bulb is claiming: “I am the electric current.”
The bestowal of grace is called shaktipat, literally meaning “the descent (pat) of energy (shakti),” and is essential in a Kundalini awakening. This descent of grace can only come to a worthy seeker through the medium of an outer guru.
Shaktipat requires an individual to transmit this energy to awaken another. As a candle cannot light itself and must be lit by an outside source, so too the Kundalini cannot awaken itself but must be awoken by the descent of grace through a guru. This is the role of the guru: to be a conduit for the bestowal of grace on another.
Without a guru serving as a medium for this transfer, the direct energy of awakening would be too great for a disciple to bear. The guru gives the awakening and provides the medium through touch, word (mantra), look, and thought. After awakening the Kundalini in a disciple, the guru also controls its working to ensure the individual continues this spiritual evolution.
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.”
In short, a guru’s role is absolutely essential to transferring the bestowal of grace needed to awaken the Kundalini.
Once Kundalini awakens through the guru’s grace, it causes the right kind of yoga to happen inside you, the yoga that is best suited to your temperament. It guides you from within and will do everything that needs to be done. Further, your understanding of yourself completely changes. You become rejuvenated from within. You start functioning better in your outer life.
Kundalini awakening experiences
I would suggest a book I wrote myself, called Building a Noble World. Actually, it is my kundalini awakening experience that led me to write this book. In it, you will find my experience of Kundalini awakening: transcending the physical body and mind and experiencing absolute reality.
If Kundalini awakens through the guru’s grace, there is absolutely no danger because the grace itself guides the Kundalini to reach the top of the head. Remember, mere awakening is not enough; the awakened kundalini must be taken to the very top of the head, termed Crown Chakra (Sahasrara), the seventh chakra.
Without the guru’s grace, no one can ever go beyond the sixth center, called the ajna (command) chakra, which is situated between the two eyebrows.
Kundalini awakening is not at all dangerous. It is only your doubt that is dangerous!
May you be blessed by the inner Guru!