Study notes

A Treatise on Kundalinī (कुंडलिनी)

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This article is a work in progress.

Coiled, divine, female - her way is universal

कुंडलिनी क्या है? What is Kundalini?

I bow to the sacred Kula Kuṇḍalinī, who is the beloved of the Self-born One due to her perfect form and her three folds. She has entered the sky-path of the central channel and yet She vibrates in the mind. She appears in the form of a fragile young woman, and yet she is formless.

This Goddess shines, speaking knowledge [/singing the Vedas]; She is both creator and destroyer. I worship her - the consort of the Self-born One - as the Power of Action at the start of all rites and undertakings. – Translation © 2010, revised 2019 by Christopher Wallis

Etymolocial preface - the neologism of Kula Kundalini

  • the meaning of kul is a paramparaa (tradition)
  • when we refer to Kundalini we may refer to a Shakti[1] that remains present as kundal (round or coiled)
  • sarpini may refer to a female serpent or a serpentine Shakti
  • कुंडलिनी - “a serpent-like coiled vein”

There is a deep reason why the neologism Kundalini was introduced: the serpent (sarpini) forms a coil (kundal) by placing its tail into its own mouth.

The symbol of the Ouroborus

An Ouroboros may symbolize the hidden or innate abilities of a person. A common western phrase is: “We are our own worst enemy”, and we often mean that we block us from archiving our goals.

Related to Kula Kundalini Vidya we are not giving us the freedom from bondage so that we can become liberated. A person may form negative Tattvas[2] and create personal obstacles on the Path. – This way it’s not possible to obtain anything.

Of all possible emanations of consciousness it chose you. You are perfect.

In order to materialize our dreams of Actions that sarpini will have to break free

The image shows Prometheus (who brought mankind the fire), free from the chains which may also symbolize ties to negative Tattvas. Tibetan Tantra knows Tummo (Six Yogas of Naropa) as a meditation on Inner Fire; a correspondence to Greek mythology and Kundalini (often cited as a gnostic fire).

The Kulas of Kundalini are many, and some may date back over 1000 years[3].

Castaneda described witchcraft and sorcery as pre-Tantric. For a Westerner is may be of pragmatic value to integrate familiar aspects of one’s own culture. A small Western “Kula” is not necessarily neo-Tantric. For example the North European tradition known as Seiðr may be translated with meanings related to “weaving”; same for Tantra.
– Kundalini is not one thing in particular and it does not belong to one particular Dharma.

Kula Kundalini Vidya

Closely connected with free sarpini is gatisheeltaa; the movement of a female serpent. This Yantra (in the sense movement) can get absorbed as prakriti (nature) within in order to free latent creativity.

Kula Kundalini can be understood as a Vidya[4] that moves (gatisheeltaa) as a permeating force and takes Tattvas in Yoga, Tantra, Ayurveda, Rasaayan (alchemy) in order to bring forth the Siddhis (spiritual attainments) and the Shaktis within the person.

These Siddhis and Shaktis can vary based on the particular individual. – Ontologically to emerge and incarnate devta (divine) qualities. Such imagination materializes with Actions; from innate capabilities.
For example, one meta-philosophical understanding of Kalachakra may lead to activities minding the natural impermanence of the cosmos (brahmaand). In many traditions, it is necessary to have such an eligibility in order to grasp the essence of Siddhis.

The movement pulsates[5] upwards “like a vortex” and pre-cognitively liberates[6] transpersonal processes starting on a oneiromantic, manasic and emotional level. – A descent of reality from a gross to subtle pulsations.

The egoic Self dissolves in the inner self. This multi-level supervision (from Bhūpura to Bindu) naturally transforms into Action[7], and it’s possible that “deity” aspects dissolve into innate awareness. – For example via the 64 Yoginis, which act differently depending on the state of awakening.

Characteristic overlaying turning points in this movement can be named Chakras (wheels), in the sense that in order to see to the ground of a flowing river one needs to still the stream at certain vectors (Jal Tattva). Thus there are not six or seven Chakras, as many Western systems claim (C. G. Jung, John Woodroffe).
There are countless many. – With the Kundalini moving towards the subtler.
On a Tantrik level especially main Chakras can be experienced through Mantra by their resonance within; of course via “brain functions” and innate awareness.

Ātma śakti - Dance in the Hall of Mirrors

Melong (the Mirror) is a multi-level symbol of the enlightened mindstream. It is present in Indian Tantra and Tibetan traditions.

In the old tales in the West Charisma is important, the Gift of Grace or the Ātma śakti.

How “Charisma” manifests is unique and it shapes the Current of Time from within. Tattvas are the essence’s mechanisms across all teachings, and nothing works without them. The Path connects the practitioner with the Tattvas. This is an aspect of cosmic sexuality because it relates to the union of Shiva (Prakasa) and Shakti (Vimarsa). Shiva looks into the Mirror and sees Shakti. There has to be a subject and object and a witness (Sakshin). Realizing the one who witnesses may denote a state of awakening on many paths, that aim to integrate enlightenment into modern life.

Gifts on the Path can be the shattered pieces of layers around the Purusha (divine body), that have fallen onto the fertile ground of Prima Materia. They can be the fragments of descent or ascend because the snake sheds its skin. They act differently depending on the state of awakening and liberation.

sahasrāra or thousand-petalled lotus on the crown of the head (which technically is not a chakra, since chakras by definition are pierced by Kuṇḍalinī in her ascent or descent, whereas the sahasrāra is her final destination and home). Therefore, Bhairava (the most esoteric form of Shiva) is only included in the list of Cause-deities when he is transcended by the Goddess, the latter being the ultimate deity in many of these systems

Source: Christopher Wallis

A beginner’s will often is to use the freed energies to become something else. – More beautiful, smarter or stronger. Trying to shape the subject in the mirror rather than the object itself.

Egoic needs are not necessarily wrong but obscured self-reflections, like from an Ego’s Dance in the Hall of Mirrors: a caterpillar has to struggle to become a butterfly and a dragon has to hatch before it can spread its wings. Especially when we try to integrate the lessons from the Path into our daily life:
obstacles belong to the Path; the Path is not empty. Transcending usually is not the first objective during Kali Yuga. And transcending is easier as an ascetic hermit on a mountain.

  1. the female principle of divine energy, especially when personified as the supreme deity ↩︎

  2. qualities, essence, thatness ↩︎

  3. Chapter on Candali Yoga with a remark on contemporary Western literature ↩︎

  4. vidya means "Body of knowledge* (in the sense of gyaan). ↩︎

  5. intended rhetorical connection Spanda-Karika, verse 3 ↩︎

  6. by “uprooting” the causes of the Malas ↩︎

  7. Kriya may be literally translated as Action ↩︎