Must Kundalini Rise in Order for Me to Grow Spiritually?


Guruji, Are samadhi and Kundalini linked? means does kundalini awaken alone lead to nirvikalpa samadhi? I heard that kundalini only deals with mystical powers, is it correct? can nirvikalpa samadhi be achieved without kundalini?

—arundeep, india


Dear Arundeep,

Rising consciousness and rising Kundalini go hand in hand: The higher states of consciousness — above all, nirbikalpa samadhi, which is the highest state — cannot be attained unless the Kundalini energy rises. As Swami Kriyananda noted in The Art and Science of Raja Yoga: “Kundalini represents the entrenched vitality of our mortal delusion. But Kundalini is also man’s greatest single key to enlightenment. Only by arousing this force from its ancient resistance to divine truth [i.e., only by raising Kundalini] can the soul hope to reunite itself with the Spirit.”

So rising Kundalini is not something to avoid. In fact, as Swami Kriyananda has said, when the Kundalini rises in earnest, you experience so much joy that you can hardly stand it. Danger arises only if you try to force Kundalini to rise through areas of the energy body that are not ready to handle it. Such unreadiness corresponds to relatively strong ego-consciousness. If Kundalini were to rise through such areas, then just as too much electricity passing through an electrical circuit causes the circuit to “blow,” your subtle-energy circuitry could be damaged, resulting in physical pain or illness, or severe psychological imbalance.

That’s why efforts to raise Kundalini should be coupled with efforts to lessen ego-consciousness, as emphasized by Raja Yoga. Hatha Yoga can aid Raja Yoga in raising Kundalini, but it’s dangerous to practice Hatha Yoga alone for the purpose of forcing Kundalini to rise. Thus, for example, although certain strenuous pranayama breathing techniques can raise Kundalini, they should be practiced only under the guidance of a guru who can discern whether the disciple is ready for such practices.

It’s true that one gains certain mystical powers as Kundalini rises. They are signs of spiritual progress, and not dangerous in themselves. However, those powers are also potential traps if one becomes attracted to them, as such attraction could cause Kundalini to fall once again — and potentially create considerable unpleasant karma along the way. Far better to follow Paramhansa Yogananda’s advice: “What comes of itself, let it come.”

Blessings on your path,
Nayaswami Gyandev