Kundalini is the coiled up, dormant, cosmic power that underlies all organic and inorganic matter within us and any thesis that deals with it can avoid becoming too abstract, only with great difficulty. But in this book, the theory that underlies this cosmic power has been analysed to its thinnest filaments, and practical methods have been suggested to awaken this great pristine force in individuals. It explains the theory and illustrates the practice of kundalini Yoga.
It would seem altogether superfluous to try introducing Sri Swami Sivanadaji to a reading public, thirsting for spiritual regeneration. From his lovely Ashram at Rishikesh he radiated spiritual knowledge and a peace born of spiritual perfection. His personality has made itself manifest nowhere else as completely as in his edifying and elevating books. And this little volume on Kundalini Yoga is perhaps the most vital of all his books, for obvious reasons.
We feel certain, that to the spiritual aspirant, this book will serve as a kindly light that leads him on through the dark alleys of an as yet unexplored branch of Yogic exercises, while to the layman it contains a wealth of new information which is bound to be a valuable addition to his knowledge of Yogic Culture.
Born on the 8th September, 1887, in the illustrious family of Saga Appayya Diskhita and several other renowned saints and savants, Sri Swami Sivananda had a natural flair for a life devoted to the study and practice of Vedanta. Added to this was an inborn eagerness to serve all and an innate feeling of unity with all mankind.
His passion for service drew him to the medical career; and soon he gravitated to where he thought that his service was most needed. Malaya claimed him. He had earlier been editing a Health Journal and wrote extensively on health problems. He discovered that people needed right knowledge most of all; dissemination of that knowledge he espoused as his own mission.
It was divine dispensation and the blessing of God upon mankind that the doctor of body and mind renounced his career and took to a life of renunciation to qualify himself for ministering to the soul of man. He settled down at Rishikesh in 1924, practiced intense austerities and shone as a great Yogi, Saint, Sage and Jivanmukta.
In 1932 he started the Sivanandashram. In 1936 was born The Divine Life Society. In 1948 the Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy was organized. Dissemination of spiritual knowledge and training of people in Yoga and Vedanta were their aim and object. In 1950 he undertook a lightning tour of India and Ceylon. In 1953 he convened a 'World Parliament Reliogions'. He is the author of over 300 volumes and has disciples all over the world, belonging to all nationalities, religions and creeds. To read his works is to drink at the fountain of Wisdom Supreme. On 14th July, 1963 he entered Mahasamadhi.
O Divine Mother Kundalini, the Divine Cosmic Energy that is hidden in men! Thou art Kaali, Durga, Adishakti, Rajarajeswari, Maha-Lakshmi, and Maha-Sarasvati! Thou hast put on all these names and forms. Thou hast manifested as Prana, electricity, force, magnetism, cohesion, and gravitation in this universe. This whole universe rests in Thy bosom. Crores of salutation unto thee. O Mother of this world! Lead me on to open the Saharasrara Chakra and to merge myself in Thee and Thy consort, Lord Siva.
Kundalini Yoga is that Yoga which treats of Kundalini Shakti, the six centres of spiritual energy (Shat Chakras), the arousing of the sleeping Kundalini Shakti and its union with Lord Siva in Sahasrara Chakra, at the crown of the head. This is an exact science. This is also known as Laya Yoga. The six centres are pierced (Chakra Bheda) by the passing of Kundalini Shakti to the top of the head. 'Kundala' means 'coiled'. Her form is like a coiled serpent. Hence the name Kundalini.
All agree that the one aim which man has in all his acts is to secure happiness for himself. The highest as well as the ultimate end of man must, therefore, be to attain eternal, infinite, unbroken supreme happiness. This happiness. This happiness can be had in one's own Self or Atman only. Therefore, search within to attain this eternal Bliss.
The thinking faculty is present only in human being. Man only can reason, reflect and exercise judgment. It is man only who can compare and contrast, who can think of pros and cons and who can draw inferences and conclusions. This is the reason why he alone is able to attain God-consciousness. That man who simply eats and drinks and who does not exercise his mental faculty in Self- realisation is only a brute.
O worldly-minded person! Wake up from the sleep of Ajnana. Open your eyes. Stand up to acquire knowledge of Atman. Do spiritual Sadhana, awaken the Kundalini Shakti and get that 'sleepless- sleep' (Samadhi). Drown yourself in Atman.
Chitta is the mental substance. It takes various forms. These forms constitute Vrittis. It gets transformed (Parinama). These transformations or modification are the thought-waves, whirlpools or Vrittis. If the Chitta thinks of a mango, the Vritti of a mango is formed in the lake of Chitta. This will subside and another Vritti will be formed when it thinks of milk. Countless Vrittis are rising and subsiding in the ocean of Chitta. These Vrittis cause restlessness of mind. Why do Vrittis arise from the Chitta? Because of Samskaras and Vasanas. If you annihilate all Vasanas, all Vrittis will subside by themselves.
When a Vritti subsides it leaves a definite impression in the subconscious mind. It is known as Samaskara or latent impression. The sum total of all Samskaras is known as "Karmasaya" or receptacle of works. This is called Sanchita Karma (accumulated works). When a men leaves the physical body, he carries with him his astral body of 17 Tattvas and the Kasrmasaya as well, to the mental plane. This Karmasaya is burnt by the highest knowledge obtained through Asamprajnata Samadhi.
During concentration you will have to collect carefully the dissipated says of the mind. Vrittis will be ever-rising from the ocean of Chitta.You will have to put down the waves as they arise. If all the waves subside, the mind becomes calm and serene. Then the Yogi enjoys peace and bliss. Therefore real happiness is within. You will have to get it through control of mind and not through money, women, children, name, fame, rank or power.
The word YOGA comes from the root Yuj which means to join, and in its spiritual sense, it is that process by which the human spirit is brought into near and conscious communion with, or is merged in, the Divine Spirit, according as the nature of the human spirit is held to be separate from (Davita, Visishtadvaita) or one with (Advaita) the Divine Spirit. As, according to Vedanta, the identity of the two (Jivatman and Paramatmam)- which ever exists, in fact- is realised by the Yogin or practitioner of Yoga. It is so realised because the Spirit has then pierced through the veil of Maya which as mind and matter obscures this knowledge from itself. The means by which this is achieved is the Yoga process which liberates the Jiva from Maya. So the Gheranda-Samhita says: "There is no bond equal in strength to Maya, and no power greater to destroy that bond than Yoga." From an Advaitic or Monistic standpoint, Yoga in the of a final union is inapplicable, for union implies a dualism of the Divine and human spirit. In such case, it denotes the process rather than the result. When the two are regarded as distinct, Yoga may apply to both. A person who practices Yoga is called a Yogin. All are not competent to attempt Yoga; only a very few are. One must, in this or in other lives, have gone through Karma or selfless service and ritualistic observances, without attachment to the actions or their fruits, and Upasana or devotional worship, and obtained the fruit thereof, viz., a pure mind (Chittasuddhi). This does not mean merely a mind free from sexual impurity. The attainment of this and other qualities is the ABC of Sadhana. A person may have a pure mind in this sense, and yet be wholly incapable of Yoga. Chittasuddhi consists not merely in moral purity of every kind, but in Knowledge, detachment, capacity for pure intellectual functioning, attention, meditation and so forth. When by Karma Yoga and Upasana, the mind is bought to this point and when, in the case of Jnana Yoga, there is dispassion and detachment from the world its desires, then the Yoga path is open for the realist ion of the ultimate Truth. Very few persons indeed are competent for Yoga in its higher from. The majority should seek their advancement along the path of Karma Yoga and devotion.
There are four main forms of Yoga, according to one school of thought, namely Mantra Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Laya Yoga and Raja Yoga; Kundalini Yoga is really Laya Yoga. There is another classification: Jnana Yoga, Raja Yoga, Laya Yoga, Hatha Yoga and Mantra Yoga. This is based on the idea that there are five aspects of spiritual life:- Dharma, Kriya, Bhava, Jnana and Yoga, Mantra Yoga being said to be of two kinds according as it is pursued along the path of Kriya or Bhava. There are seven Sadhanas of Yoga, namely Shat-Karma, Asana, Mudra, Pratyahara, Pranayama, Dhyana and Samadhi, which are cleansing of the body, postures for Yoga purposes, positions of the fingures practiced in religious worship, the abstraction of the sense from their objects, breath- control, meditation, and ecstasy which is of two kind-imperfect (Savikalpa) in which dualism is not wholly overcome, and perfect (Nirvikalpa) which is complete Monistic experience- the realisation of the Truth of the Mahavakya AHAM BRAHMASMI-a knowledge in the sense of realisation which, it is to be observed, does not produce Liberation (Moksha) but is Liberation itself. The Samadhi of Laya Yoga is said to be Savikalpa Samadhi and that of complete Raja Yoga is said to be Nirvikalpa Samadhi. The four processes are physical, last three mental and sacramental. By these seven processes respectively certain qualities are gained, namely, purity (Sodhana), firmness and strength (Dridhata), fortitude (Sthirata), Steadiness (Dhairya) lightness (Laghava), realisation (Pratyaksha) and detachment leading to Liberation (Nirliptatva).
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