A group Conversation : Causes of Kundalini Raising

I saw in Kuncalini Care. com the following section, describing the causes of kundalini raising. If someone can clarify whether emotional intensity can influenze Kundalini raising and if so how, it'd be very helpful.

Mary Ann
I am reading a book called Yoga and Psychology by Swami Rama, Swami Ajaya and Dr. Rudolph Ballantine that was published in 1976 that I found in a used bookstore a few weeks ago. Here's a passage on kundalini energy from the book that you might find interesting:

"A great deal of energy is tied up in keeping repressed material outside awareness. Work is involved in holding a memory or impulse away from the conscious mind. This energy can be released and made more accessible when the unconscious material is brought into consciousness. The patient in psychotherapy who is able to bring repressed material into consciousness is usually found to have more energy available. This reduces chronic fatigue and makes work more effective and dynamic. This is usually a gradual process.

"Similarly, the person who successfully through the discipline of meditation enters the unknown world and explores the unconscious, bringing it gradually into awareness, experiences an increasing amount of energy that "rises up" and becomes available to him. In yoga psychology, this "raising of energy" is symbolized by a rising serpent which is called "kundalini." Kunda means a bowl or basin and the kundalini serpent is said to be coiled up in the basin formed by the pelvis. Here it is traditionally and metaphorically said to be "sleeping," intoxicated on the energy it is sapping from one's potential supply. As the process of meditation continues and the unconscious is gradually made conscious, the kundalini "rises" : the energy it was absorbing is released, and one feels an upsurge of vitality."

Of course, there are multitudinous cultural scripts and rules that make the emotions wrong or bad or to be distrusted. Such an authoritarian approach causes people to repress (and comes from repression, no doubt). It's a matter of cultivating acceptance and allowance in order to experience the awakening and enlightening that emotion can facilitate. Also, art and music, the making of these and the enjoyment of them, can do wonders to free emotion, intellect, and spirit. I hope this was helpful!

OM Prem
You asked whether emotional intensity as exemplified by intense excitement, shock, deep loss, grief, terror, hitting bottom, dramatic psychological breakthrough, awesome beauty, and intense romantic communion or yearning, can contribute to Kundalini rising.

Kundalini rises when the mind is concentrated and relatively desireless and when the person is concerned with Truth, Love, Absolute Good, God, Brahman, etc. That is, when the person has let go of their ego and is mainly concerned with someone or something else and has a mind that is relatively concentrated and desireless.

All of the situations of your example share the idea of overwhelming the ego; selflessness or at least temporarily being more concerned with the well-being of someone else that with oneself; appealling to or discovering the Higher Self; and having a mind that is concentrated because of emergency, peril or grandeur.

The real problem and test is whether the mind and psychic apparatus, i.e. the chakras and nadis, have been purified through sadhana so that Kundalini can rise unopposed up the sushumna and through the seven main chakras. If this apparatus has been purified, the result will be that Kundalini rises easily and the person receives progressively higher spiritual insights as Kundalini pierces the seven main chakras. If, however, the person's psychic apparatus has not been purified, the result may be disasterous as the irrestible force meets the immovable object., and physical, mental, emotional and psychic dislocation arise.

Western psychiatry has finally recognized this phenomenon of unprepared people raising Kundalini unexpectedly. They have labelled it 'spiritual emergence syndrome', The problem is that most psychiatrysts do not know how to diagnose this situation and usually misindentify it as depression, psychosis, sociopathy, manic depression and even alzheimer's syndrome. They then prescribe drugs that dull the perception, make the person feel safer, and destroy the blessed opportunity of kundalini rising.

I, along with a few others, form an informal network of people who counsel people who are fortunate enough to have experienced Kundalini rising but whom do not understand it and are afraid of it.

Thanks for a beautiful explanation. What are the things that should happen physically in the body (along with such mental influenzes), that results in the release of Kundalini from Muladharainto Sushumna ? Are there any specific conditions that the body should be in, so that it helps this process of release ?

Aum Prasad Balasubramanian

You asked about the things that should happen in the body and mind in order for Kundalini rise.

As I mentioned in my last post, Kundalini arises when the mind is focused internally, is desireless and the aspirant is selflessly absorbed in Truth, Brahman, Cosmic Consciousness. For Kundalini to arise and flow effortlessly, the aspirant needs to be egoless and desireless and have a pure heart, a pure mind, and pure intent. This can be summed up as Sadhana Chatushtaya, namely:

Viveka Discrimination between Nitya and Anitya (eternal and non-eternal), Sat and Asat (real and unreal), Tattwa and Atattwa (element and non-element).

Vairagya Dispassion, detachment, indifference to sensual enjoyment. The opposite of Raga or attachment.

Shadsampat (six-fold virtues)

1. Shama
Serenity of mind through the constant eradication of Vasanas or desires. Don't fulfil desires, reject them through discrimination, right enquiry and dispassion. The mind thins out and is checked from wandering. The mind is detached from the sense-objects by continuously observing their defects and is fixed on Brahman. The five Jnana Indriyas, the sense organs or organs of knowledge-ear, skin, eye, tongue and nose-are controlled through Shama.

2. Dama
Restraint of the external or motor organs (the organs or action or the five Karma Indriyas-speech, hands, feet, genitals and the anus-the external instruments. Corresponds to the the Raja Yoga practice of pratyahara. Indriyas are withdrawn by calming or restraining the mind. Raja Yogis withdraw indriyas by restraining prana. Withdrawal most effective by withdrawing both the mind and the prana.

3. Uparati
Self-withdrawal, extreme abstention, the turning of the mind from objects of enjoyment.. The mind-function ceases to act by means of external objects. No agitation or attraction when one sees a beautiful object due to the strength of mind developed by the practice of viveka, vairagya, shama and dama. Cessation from wrong or unnecessary action.

4. Titiksha
Power of endurance. The ability to bear pain, insult, heat and cold and other extremes free from anxiety or distraction, without care to redress them and without lament. Patience and equanimity during suffering

. 5. Sraddha Unshakable faith in the existence of Brahman, in the teachings of the Guru and scriptures, and faith in own's own self

. 6. Samadhana One-pointedness or collectedness. Samadhi

Mumukshutwa Strong yearning for Liberation or Emancipation or Release

If the ego is present, if the aspirant identifies in any way with the phenomenal world, then Kundalini will meet obstacles as she rises up the Sushumna

. The whole intent behind Sadhana of any type is to purify, purify, purify. Purify to remove ego traces in one's actions, thoughts, words. Purify to burn off Karma because Karma is ego-based. Purify to bring one's consciousness closer to Brahman and make the Consciousness fit to present to Brahman and to receive awareness of Brahman.

The Gita tells us many ways to purify ourselves. Patanjali's Raja Yoga Sutras tell us many ways to purity ourselves. The main jobs of a Guru are crack our ego and bring us closer to Brahman. With an attitude of devotion seek out the Scriptures and a Guru. But remember always the answer lies within.

At all times, we must consciously align ourselves with the Inifinite and not align ourselves with the mundane.

Aum Namah Sivaya

Eric Otto
Omprem wrote : The whole intent behind Sadhana of any type is to purify, purify, purify. Purify to remove ego traces in one's actions, thoughts, words. Purify to burn off Karma because Karma is ego-based. Purify to bring one's consciousness closer to Brahman and make the Consciousness fit to present to Brahman and to receive awareness of Brahman.

Omprem Sir -
Would you please expand on this for me: how is karma ego based? Thank you.

OM Eric

You asked how karma is ego-based.

It is your own ego-based actions and responses that result in karmic consequences. If your actions, are selfless, without ego, if you are not attached in any way to the results of any action, thought, or word of yours, then there is no karma incurred. If you are not emotionally reactive to the words, thoughts, or actions of someone else, then you incur no karma.

If you have desires, emotionally judge situations or people, then you are attached to the phenomenal world and incur karma. The consciousness that forces you to see the world as phenomenal with separate objects in time and space, is the same consciousness that generates the actions that incur karma and keeps you reincarnating to follow your desires.

The solution is to develop a consciousness that is not rooted in space and time, is not rooted in the phenomenal world. Sadhana develops this consciousness by removing the obstacles, that is, your tendency to rely on the 'evidence of the senses and your tendency to allow the ego to dictate how you live. Sadhana reconnects you with your Divine Self. Sadhana allows you reclaim your true identity. Sadhana enables you to see others as manifestations of the Divine.

Think of those figure-ground puzzles. If you orient your mind in one way, you see one thing; if you change your orientation while looking at the same scene, you see something else.

The choice is always yours. The ability to make that choice is always yours.

The obstacles to spiritual awareness are ego, fear, doubt, depression, wasting time, lack of vigilance. These can all be overcome by developing the qualites mentioned in Sadhana Chatushtaya

Aum Namah Sivaya

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