Risks and Precautions in Kundalini Awakening

The awakening of kundalini is a very important, pleasant and historical experience in
the life of man irrespetive of the process one has undertaken , irrespective of if he is bothered about conscious effort to awaken kundalini.  If you can see and experience something more than what you can generally see and experience through your senses, you are indeed fortunate. But at the same time, if you have such experiences without adequate preparation, you may be startled, frightened and confused. Therefore, before the actual awakening of kundalini occurs, it is better to experience some mild awakenings in the chakras first.
Nowadays, if you travel by motor car at a very high speed, you do not really feel
anything unusual, but if a man did it a hundred years ago when there was no adaptation to
speed, he would have felt very giddy. Similarly, if a sudden awakening takes place and
you are not used to the experience, you may become disoriented. You will not be able to
cope with the radical changes in perception or with the contents of the unconscious mind
welling up into the consciousness. But if you have been practising hatha yoga and
meditation, and have experienced slight awakenings previously, you will be better able to
cope with it.


When the body in totality is purified by the practices of shatkarmas and hatha yoga,
when the mind is purified by mantra, when the pranas are brought under control through the practices of pranayama and the diet is pure and yogic, at that time, awakening of kundalini takes place without any danger or accident. But with those who are in a hurry to awaken kundalini and who take to any practice in a haphazard manner without going through the preliminaries, and who do not take care of their diet, there will be some problems because they do not know how to control and utilize the fantastic energy they are unleashing.


The science of kundalini yoga has its own inbuilt safety mechanisms. If you perform
asanas or pranayama incorrectly, nature will immediately send a warning and compel you
to stop practising. In the same way, when kundalini awakening takes place and you are
not prepared to face it, nature puts obstacles in your way. If ever you become scared and
want to stop the process of kundalini awakening, all you have to do is revert to a gross
lifestyle. Just revise all your passions, dreams and worldly ambitions.
Unless you are an extremely introverted person, you can proceed along the path of
kundalini yoga without fear. If you are hypersensitive, have difficulty communicating
with others and live within a sort of fantasy world, you will find kundalini yoga upsetting
and even dangerous. Such people should not practise kundalini yoga or any techniques
for exploring the inner world until they have developed the ability to strike fearlessly and
confidently through the outer world. This also applies to timid and dependent people. For
all these individuals, karma yoga is the way. They should lead a life of unselfish service
in the world and develop non-attachment and maximum awareness.


Fear of mistakes:
Some people worry about kundalini ascending through the wrong nadi, but there is no
danger here, because if kundalini enters through any other nadi, the whole circuit will
fuse. If kundalini has awakened but a chakra is blocked, say swadhisthana, then kundalini
will only roam about in mooladhara and all the instincts of that chakra will develop. You
will become a high class animal for a while and may develop some siddhis. If there is any
obstruction in the chakras beyond that, the energy will be blocked for a long time,
affecting the psychological constitution. And if kundalini enters into the pranic nadi,
pingala, it could set the whole brain into turmoil. However, this doesn’t usually happen.
Nature intervenes, and unless sushumna is clear, the chakra will not open and the energy
will not be able to move further.

Mistakes do occur, but not in average individuals, because they are scared of
something wrong happening somewhere. If they are practising and suddenly they feel
they’re going crazy, they will discontinue their practices immediately. So, every
individual possesses a sort of fear. Before anything wrong can happen totally, man takes
care of himself. However, there are some blockheads and very stuffy people who plod on
no matter what happens. They don’t care about the consequences and these are the people
who generally get themselves into trouble.


Kundalini awakening and illness
If you take care of all the requirements, then no illness will come to you. However,
many people are very hasty and impatient. When they want to make money, they want to
make it overnight, quickly, and the same psychology is transferred into spiritual life;
quick money and quick realization. With this impatience, sometimes we overstep the
necessary prerequisites.
Some people develop weakness of the lower limbs because they have not trained their
body through hatha yoga. Some people develop digestive disorders because they have not
understood the relationship between food and the temperature of the body. Therefore, the
prerequisites have to be observed. Those who suffer do so not because of the kundalini
awakening, but because they have not harmonized the nervous system.
Through hatha yoga you must create a balance between the two forces in the physical
body, the pranic and the mental. Even in modern times we say that a balance between the
sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems is absolutely essential to develop the
higher faculties of the brain. When there is an imbalance between these two forces, that
is, if one is predominant, the other is subservient, then you are supplying one energy in
excess and the other energy is deficient. This inevitably leads to sickness.


Airing the unconscious
In the course of your practices there may be isolated awakenings in ajna chakra, in
which the awareness enters the realms of the unconscious mind and you see figures,
symbols and even monsters or benevolent beings. You may hear or experience many
inexplicable things, but they are all simply products of your own unconscious mind and
should be regarded as nothing more. With the awakening of psychic consciousness, the
symbols belonging to your own personality come out. When this happens you may have a
problem understanding, but just remember, these kinds of expressions are simply parts of
your being which have been lying in reserve and they have to ‘come out for airing’.


Prerequisite

You should not be afraid of kundalini awakening but you must be prepared for the
events that may occur. Otherwise, if you have a weak mind and are confronted by fear, it
could lead to mental derangement. So, before you attempt kundalini awakening you
should undergo a process of thought purification and develop understanding of your way
of thinking.
When the prerequisites for kundalini awakening are followed properly, psychological
and psycho-emotional symptoms do not occur. In fact, all these things happen before the
actual event of kundalini awakening. But of course, when the awakening takes place, if
the aspirant is not maintaining the proper discipline that is required, he is bound to get
into some psychological cobwebs.
The awakening of kundaiini should never be equated with obsessions or neurosis.
When an explosion takes place it brings out whatever was in you. If you have a
personality full of obsessions and mental blocks, that’s going to explode. Therefore,
before one attempts awakening of kundalini, he must have arrived at a point of purity of
consciousness or clarity of mind, chitta shuddhi by  practice of Mantra in Bhakti Yoga and Self surrender along with some Hatha yoga and Pranayam .


Siddhis and the ego factor

When one has been practising kundalini yoga for a couple of years and suddenly he
starts having beautiful experiences, he tends to think he is superior to everybody else and
may even consider himself as godly. To protect yourself from this, you must place
yourself in the caliber of chela or disciple. A disciple remains a disciple, there is no
promotion for him. Many people think that after twelve years of discipleship they will be
promoted to guruhood, but this is not so.

Kundalini yoga is the means for attaining supreme awareness and enlightenment which leads to liberation, but if you get lost in the beauty of kundalini, you may not reach enlightenment. When at a certain stage the mind becomes very efficient and siddhis such as telepathy, clairvoyance, hypnotism, spiritual healing, etc. manifest, some aspirants take that to be a divine accomplishment and begin to think ‘Now I am God.’ Then, in the name of good to everybody, they start doing all sorts of funny magic. This feeds the ego, and in the course of time, their ignorance becomes very great.
There is extreme danger here and many aspirants get caught. Their ego becomes
tremendously gross and they develop a strong feeling of grandeur. And that’s as far as
they get. Although there is nothing really wrong with psychic powers, those who seek
them must know that they can completely destroy their spiritual consciousness if they are
not disciplined. You can become lost in these powers just as some people get lost in
money, beauty, intellect and so on. These parapsychological attainments are momentary;
they live with you for only a short period of time and then you lose them. They are only
additional properties to be experienced and left behind in the wake of the dawning of
supreme awareness.

It is important to remember what Patanjali has said in the Yoga Sutras – “All these
psychic manifestations are obstacles which block the free flow of consciousness towards samadhi.”


Two opposing forces
In the realms of higher consciousness, there are both divine and demonical forces.
Both these forces can be brought down to earth by the same techniques. Without higher
awareness, when the awakening of the chakras begins, the knowledge and destructive
energy of the atom bomb might be unleashed rather than the wisdom and spiritual power
of the rishis. When kundalini awakens in a person with no dispassion and discrimination,
who does not seek liberation and does not know the reality of this world, the consequences can be disastrous. Ultimately, that person will destroy himself, and possibly many others in the process.


Aim to develop higher awareness and Liberation:

Therefore, a spiritual aspirant must constantly work towards the development of
higher awareness. To be conscious of the unconscious is very difficult. When your
awareness is heavy and burdened with tension and confusion, it cannot survive for long
in the unconscious state. But when your consciousness is light and clear, it can penetrate
into the unconscious like a sharp and speedy arrow, successfully navigating past all the
danger zones and emerging with higher knowledge.
Anyone who has the urge to expand his or her awareness is a pioneer. In this we are
emerging from the confines of a mental prison in which the human race has been
incarcerated for millennia. It is the privilege of each one of us to participate in this
historic adventure, and we must be prepared for any eventuality. Kundalini yoga, if
practised with dedication in safe paths with or without conscious effort , patience and appropriate guidance, is the safest and most pleasant way of awakening that can ever take place in our lives.
With the awakening of kundalini, life becomes smooth. Plans and projects become
clear, decisions become accurate, and the personality becomes dynamic and powerful.
Therefore, do not be afraid of any risk. Once the awakening takes place, all your
limitations will be overcome, because darkness can never exist in the face of light and
limitations can never exist in the face of kundalini.


Kundalini and Madness:
Many individuals who experience the awakening of kundalini behave in a peculiar
way; they think in a different style or pattern. They may see auras and visions, feel
peculiar in the body, hear strange sounds and talk all sorts of nonsense. In society our
brains are structured in a certain way; there is discipline and control which inhibit us
from expressing ourselves freely. When the awakening of kundalini takes place, this
conditioning is withdrawn and the lid is completely lifted from the mind. That is why the
actions and words of those people who are undergoing kundalini awakening appear so
nonsensical, deviant and oftentimes mad to the ordinary man.
During kundalini awakening and madness, people may manifest the same symptoms,
but on closer examination a difference can be detected. Similarly, if you film a man
laughing out of madness and a man laughing with his friends, they will look almost the
same, but they are different. Most of us have probably read stories about the avadhoots
and fakirs of India and the Sufi and Christian mystics. Externally, these God-intoxicated
ones looked crazy, but if you were with them, they would have appeared and proved to be
very clear. The inner consciousness of such people is absolutely lucid, organized and
disciplined. In Bhakti when one reaches the higher stage of Bhava and Prema he has such symptoms thus proving that his kundalini is awakened though he might have  given no separate effort in that lifetime .

 


By : Satyananda Saraswati

Note: Some minor editing have been done.

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