From the Back of the Book:
Kundalini Tantra is Swami Satyananda Saraswati's seminal work of kundalini, chakras and kriya yoga. Defining and explaining kundalini, this book provides a detailed account of kundalini awakening, including the signs and effects of such experiences and ways to both elicit and manage them.
The book contains a comprehensive description of each chakra and significance of the chakras in tantric and yogic practice. Techniques are given to balance each centre for greater harmony in mind, body and spirit, and in preparation for the rising of kundalini Shakti. The 20 kriyas and their preparatory practices are fully elucidated.
Includes colour plates, diagrams and charts.
I have been traveling the world for the last three decades in order to pass on the message of yoga, and I find that yoga has influenced the course of human thinking tremendously. Initially of course, there was some doubt about it as many people thought that yoga was a type of religion, witchcraft or mysticism. This particularly happened because man believed matter was the ultimate point in the evolution of nature. The materialistic world did not understand yoga for some time, but as scientists dived deep into the mysteries of matter, they came to understand and realize that matter was not the ultimate in the evolution of nature.
If that is so for one form of matter, it applies to every form of matter. This external experience, the perception you have through your senses, is a product of matter. Even your thoughts, feelings, emotions and cognitions are products of matter. Therefore, they cannot be absolute and final. This means there must be another realm of experience, and if there is another realm of experience, it must be possible to transcend the present limitations of the mind.
The mind is also matter; it is definitely not spirit. Therefore, the mind can also be transformed and made to evolves. Many people have begun to realize and experience this fact in the last in the last few decades. In my opinion, this marks the end of one era and the beginning of another. For those who have some knowledge of science and the nature of matter, it is not difficult to understand exactly what inner experience is.
An inner experience is the manifestation of a deeper level of oneself. Dream, of course, is an experience. Your dreams may be schizophrenic, but that is an expression of your own self. Thought is also a concept or expression of your own self. A piece of music is an expression of your self, whether you compose it or just admire it. A painting or sculpture is a concept of your self whether you create it or just admire it. That means the external world is a manifestation of your inner experience, and you can improve this experience to nay extent. You can also bring about deterioration of this experience. When everything is hopeless outside, that is you experience of yourself, and if everything is beautiful outside, that is also your experience of yourself.
In the last few decades, yoga has helped millions of people to improve their self-concept. Yoga realizes that man is not only the mind, but the body as well. Therefore, one does not experience happiness only through the mind. The body is also real and it is a part of one's personality. Just improving the condition of the body, however, will not necessarily enable the mind to experience happiness either. This is because man is not only the body and mind, but emotion and desire as well. He is something beyond the mind or psyche. Therefore, yoga has been designed in such a way that it can complete the process of evolution of the personality in every possible direction. That is why yoga has so many branches hatha yoga, bhakti yoga, raja yoga, jnana yoga, and so on.
A combined, integrated practice of yoga in one's life will definitely ensure a better quality of experience within you and without. Every seeker and practitioner on the path of yoga must remember that the various paths of yoga are to improve the quality of head, heart and hands. However, yoga does not end with the development of the personality. One level of the personality is dependent on this mind, this body and these emotions, but there is another deeper part of the personality which you have to develop with another kind of mind and emotion. This requires a special process, and that process is known as kundalini yoga
Objective experience is not the ultimate
Kundalini yoga is a part of the tantric tradition. Although you may have already been introduced to yoga, it is also necessary for you to know something about tantra. Since ancient times, the wise have realized that the mind can be expanded and that experiences do not necessarily depend on an object. This means that if somebody is playing music, I can hear it, and if somebody has painted a picture, I can see it, but I can also see if there is no picture, and I can hear if there is no music. This is also a quality of the personality which has been ignored in the last one hundred and fifty to two hundred years.
Tantra says that the range of mental experience can be broadened. With the help of the senses, your mind can have an experience based on an object. There can be an experience within the framework of time, space and object, but there can also be an experience beyond the framework of time space and object. The second form of experience can happen when the present mind expands beyond its given definitions and borders, and when this experience occurs, energy is released from yourself.
For hundreds of years, people have been talking about an experience called nirvana, moksha, emancipation, self-realization, salvation or liberation, without understanding it properly. Yogic call this experience Samadhi. Although many people think that in Samadhi or nirvana everything is completely finished, it is definitely not a process of quitting the world. Nothing finishes, only one level of experience ends, but then another begins.
Since the dawn of creation, the tantrics and yogis have realized that in this physical body there is a potential force. It is not psychological, philosophical or transcendental; it is a dynamic potential force in he material body, and it is called kundalini. This kundalini is the greatest discovery of tantra and yoga. Scientists have begun to look into this, and a summary of some of the latest scientific experiments is included I this book. We can see from this research that science is not actually going to discover anything new in this field. It is only rediscovering and substantiating what yogis discovered many, many centuries ago.
A universal event
The seat of kundalini is a small gland at the base of the spinal cord. With the evolution of the natural forces in man, this gland has now come to a point where man can explode it. Those people who have awakened this supernatural force have been called rishis, prophets, yogis, siddhas and various other names according to the time, tradition and culture. In India the entire cultural set-up was once organized to facilitate this explosion, but today things are a little different because materialism is a very powerful force, and for the moment it has even stupefied the Indian mind.
For the awakening of kundalini, not only the practices of yoga are required. If this awakening is to become a universal event, then the entire social structure has to be reorganized and millions of people all over the world have to be told the purpose of their existence. The whole of life from the time of conception to the moment when you leave the body, each and everything has to be reoriented. You will see in this book how even the instinctive and emotional interaction between men and women must be revised and refined, so that it can lead us not away from, but towards this ultimate awakening. This reorientation has to be undertaken with the purpose of expanding the mind and opening new doors of experience.
Today we are living in a world where everyone is more or less satisfied. We have all the comforts and everything we need and do not need. There will come a time, however, when man will be prepared to throw off these comforts. Luxury and comfort weaken the will and keep one under constant hypnosis. Alcohol and dugs are not a dangerous as total slavery to luxury and comfort. Man cannot pull himself away from them. it is impossible unless he has become aware of something more than that which his parents and society could give him.
Formerly there were only a few seekers, but now millions and millions of people in the world are striving for a higher experience. This higher experience is known as knowledge. When, through yoga and tantra, the awakening of kundalini takes place, a process of metamorphosis occurs in the realm of nature and in the realm of spirit. The elements of both the physical and the mental body also change.
Proceed slowly, sensibly and systematically
Yet, you should not try to realize and experience these things abruptly. You will find here detailed instructions on the gradual preparation of your mind and body for the arousal of kundalini, and advice on elementary precautions to be observed in order to avoid unnecessary risks and obstacles. Do not try to influence your mind directly, because the mind is nothing but an extension of the body complex. Start systematically with the body, the prana, the nadis and charkas, according to the scheme outlined in this book. Then see how you evolve.
Many people, encouraged by a type of hurried philosophy, take to drugs chemicals and other things they consider to be speedy alternatives. They are very serious people I believe, but they are not practical and systematic because they think they can transcend the role of the body in the realm of evolution. In the final evolution of mind, matter and man, you cannot ignore either the body or the mind. You cannot even ignore the nose, the stomach or the digestive system. That is why this transcendental philosophy begins with the basic considerations of diet and yogic physiology that you find discussed here.
The discovery of the great energy began with matter. Did nuclear energy descend from heaven? No, it evolved from crude matter. Where does the experience generate from? From heaven? From the sanctum sanctorum? No, from this body and this nervous system. That is how you should be practical be practical and sensible.
The book presents a systematic and pragmatic approach to the awakening of kundalini. It begins with an expanded understanding of the true role and potential of the body and nervous system, moving through an exhaustive examination of the different methods of awakening suitable for different personalities and conditions. You will find clear and direct instructions on the actual yogic and tantric techniques to be practiced towards this goal, together with a map of possible experiences you may encounter as the practices mature, so that you can sustain this great awakening and integrate it into a more conscious and creative way of life.
We have included here a systematic schedule of practice, within the context of a philosophy that is both pragmatic and transcendental, to prepare you in every way for this great adventure in consciousness.
About the Author:
Swami Satyananda was born at Almora, Uttar Pradesh, in 1923. In 1943 he met Swami Sivananda in Rishikesh and adopted the Dashnami sannyasa way of line. In 1995 he left his guru's ashram to live as a wandering mendicant and later founded the international yoga fellowship in 1963 and the Bihar school of yoga in 1964. Over the next 20 years Swami Satyananda toured internationally and authored over 80 books. In 1987 he founded Sivananda Math, a charitable institution for aiding rural development, and the Yoga Research Foundation. In 1988 he renounced his mission, adopting kshetra sannyasa, and now lives as a paramahamsa sannyasin.
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