Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Is there a place for Kundalini and "Kindalini awakenings" in the nondual teachings?

Q: Is there a place for Kundalini and "kundalini awakenings" in the nondual teachings?

A: No, not really.

The question of "kundalini" and "kundalini awakenings" often comes up with newcomers entering the nondual teachings, and especially those who may have encountered Hatha yoga, New Age teachings, and spiritual schools that arose in the 20th Century (e.g. Theosophy, Spiritualism, Western Occultism etc.)

There are scores of modern spiritual teachers who are still espousing much nonsense about kundalini, "raising consciousness", and the role of kundalini as a necessity in one's "spiritual progress".

Unfortunately, most of this is rubbish, and often dangerous, based on superficial readings of Patanjali, or misinformed teachings and bad translations of texts that entered the mainstream in the early 20th Century.

Unless one is studying traditional Hatha Yoga, under a qualified and experienced teacher one-to-one, it would be well advised to leave aside completely the practices of pranayama, forced breathing, chakra work, and anything related to 'awakening the kundalini'. Sadly, there have been many who have not heeded such advice, or have been misled by 'well-intentioned teachers paving the road to hell', and who have ended up with permanent damage to their body-mind.

Back to the question.

The reason that there is no place for 'kundalini' or 'kundalini work' in the nondual teachings is that kundalini work and its related energy activities are nothing more than an arising, a temporary happening, that occurs in the body-mind as a result of the interplay of the 5 elements and 3 gunas. Consciousness as the mind-body identified individual has an experience, which it thinks is important, and thus builds up new experiences based on the belief that it has somehow progressed or changed into a better version of itself. This energy, of which, the individual believes it can manipulate, does give rise to temporary psycho-physical changes in the body-mind. Further, the ego-initiated effort of manipulating such energies in the body-mind strengthens the ego's belief in its own autonomy-- which is not helpful in bringing about its apparent end. 

Since the individual and the body-mind are ultimately an appearance in the nondual field of awareness, their import is the same as per the results attained from activities such as jogging, climbing a mountain, swimming underwater, fasting, and other such actions that the individual thinks it can perform to change its apparent reality-- all of which have zero effect on the nondual situation as it is appearing here and now-- which is actually perfect, not in need of change, and whole.

Some sages, such as Sri Nisargadatta, have said that the jnani has no interest at all in Kundalini, since the jnani is completely beyond and prior to such activity. Knowing this directly, where is the need for any particular experience? Others, such as Sri Ramana Maharshi, have commented that the activity of self-inquiry would actually achieve the same result as any 'kundalini' experience, with the difference that any result would happen of its own accord, without the involvement of the ego, and in a naturally unfolding (and smoother fashion). "My own experience" here, has verified both of these comments. It was reported by some that Gurdjieff equated the experiences of kundalini with his literary invention of the 'Kundabuffer' and its maleficent effects on people (due to wrong use).

In summary, if a teacher starts talking about kundalini, and kundalini awakenings, then one should run in the other direction.

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