How Do I Know That My Kundalini Is Awakened?


How do I know that I am at optimum point of joy in meditation? How do I know that my kundalini is awakened? What do I do if unknowingly I awaken my kundalini during meditation? At some point of stillness when breath is almost motionless, I do not intend to end but due to ignorance of how to escape, I stop. Is this right? I sit about 45 minutes to get complete stillness but through the next day I feel strong emptiness in my nasal passages, heart and lungs. Should I take a break or practice daily?

—Ashok, India


Dear Ashok,

It’s inspiring to hear of your efforts and the results, and your sincerity in your quest. Patanjali says that one of the obstacles to success (moksha/samadhi) is “forgetting the point.” In the act of meditation, and amidst the science, culture, and history of yoga practice, we have so much information, so many examples and techniques, and so much shared guidance that we sometimes “can’t see the forest through the trees.”

Where I grew up in California snow was unheard of. Later when I lived at Ananda Village in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains, snow would happen several times during the winter. Being in awe of snow (at that time), I would watch the rain coming down and beginning to sleet (I didn’t even know the correct words for freezing rain, sleet, snow, etc.) and I would ask myself, “Is it snowing?”

After more experience, I realized that if I had to ask that question then the obvious answer was NO. You will know kundalini rising without a doubt. Well, I shouldn’t say that quite so glibly. Patanjali says that at first, we do indeed question and doubt whether this or that is happening (hearing the sound of a chakra, e.g.; seeing the inner light; and, the rise of kundalini). After a period of doubting comes a period of acceptance and recognition: Yes, it’s kundalini! Then comes the joy of the experience. After the joy comes inner self-awareness, stripped of any attributes. (These are but preliminary stages, not final stages.)

But my real point is this: “Prana is self-revealing.” The divine energy of prana, of Divine Mother, will reveal to her devotee her message, the message of her presence and the power of her gift(s).

Same thing with cessation of breath. It’s like climbing the Himalaya. It takes practice to get used to having so little oxygen. The natural, biological tendency (when the breath slows and approaches cessation) is to breathe again. This is designed to keep us alive and in the body! As you practice and cessation of breath approaches repeatedly over the years (weeks, months, etc.), your autonomic system will gradually become relaxed and comfortable with the experience (which, once you relax into it brings great joy and refreshment to body, mind, and spirit).

So it will take practice and grace for these anomalous symptoms (anomalous to your subconscious and present life experience) to subside into a natural rhythm. Yogis assure us that achieving breathlessness through the natural stages of meditation will NOT cause decay of the body’s cells, including those of the brain. But, like being at 29,000 feet on Mt. Everest, it takes getting used to.

But the real point I’d like to share is simply this: do not mistake the method for the goal. The method is meditation but the goal is moksha, liberation, union with the Infinite Power and Divine Mother. Let your meditation be infused, then, with love for God and Divine Mother. Let that love be your guide and your goal. Whatever form it takes, breathlessness or immersion into joy or love (or both), is in the hands of Divine Mother working through your karma. It is useful to pay attention to symptoms and to use guru-given techniques, but at the same time keep the goal of eternal Bliss as your polestar.

Blessings and joy to you,
Nayaswami Hriman
Seattle WA USA