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Advanced Yoga Study ( By Swami Dharmananda
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Kundalini Yoga 

Introduction 

The word ‘Kundalini' comes from the Sanskrit word ‘kundal' means coiled. It is compared with a serpent, which while resting or sleeping, lies coiled. Also this comparison comes because of the nature of the movement of this energy which is spiraling and serpent like. In yoga, the Soul is considered as an individualized unit of God's cosmic consciousness. The Soul has within it pure consciousness and pure energy in an integral state. From this integral state pure energy splits and makes the Soul a bi-polar unit. One pole being pure consciousness and is located at the top of the head and the other pole being pure energy located at the base of the spine. In this bi-polar state the Soul experiences relative existence and comes under the finite laws of duality or relativity. 

This split energy is the primal energy, energy in its unmanifested state and is known as Shakti, the great Mother Goddess in a individual being. She resides at the base of the spine in a coiled structure, in a dormant or potential state. It is through the power of this energy that all creatures live and act. This energy manifests in both static and kinetic forms. In the kinetic aspect this energy first manifests as mind and then prana and is used by all living beings for its survival. The static aspect remains dormant and is referred to as kundalini energy. Whenever, one becomes aware that there is a higher purpose in life and one experiences a state of detachment from the regular activities of the mundane world. This detachment opens up the doors to the inner world. At this time the static energy becomes kinetic and adopts a course that is opposite to that of Nature and moves up to merge with pure consciousness at the top of the head. In that state the Soul once again experiences its own reality and its unity with God

Mind and Prana are two different energies which are grosser manifestations of pure energy Shakti, like heat and light which are grosser manifestations of the energy from the sun. Pure consciousness is an attribute of the Soul. The Soul is located at the Sahasrara chakra and is known as the male principle Shiva in all beings. At the Sahasrara chakra, pure consciousness is in its pure state i.e. in its unmanifested state. Here it exists as a vibrationless, motionless, unchanging, eternal, blissful principle. A part of this pure consciousness descends to the Agnya chakra. Here, pure consciousness gets differentiated into Mind and Prana. It is here at Agnya chakra, that mind and prana two grosser manifestations of Shakti are getting continually created and maintained. 

From Agnya chakra, Shakti and her manifestations mind and prana descend through the Sushumna. At each successive chakra, mind creates the astral senses and prana creates the five great elements. The senses and the elements that are created at each chakra are given below: 

 

   
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