Profound complexities are involved in the awakening of Kundalini energy. Crucial to this process is the interaction between the Chakras, Nadis, and Prana. ‘Chakra’ means ‘wheel’ in Sanskrit. The Nadis (nerves, veins) form a network of subtle nerve channels through which Prana (cosmic breath) circulates. The Chakras are not visible to the uninitiated eye, as they reside in the subtle or astral body, not in the gross, physical body. They circulate pranic energy, the essential life force. According to the Upanishads the Chakras are psychic centers of consciousness and are therefore sites of intense spiritual energy.
The way Kundalini responds is not predictable. It is a very mystical, complex process. In addition, one’s Kundalini awakening is not to be confused with enlightenment. They are not the same thing. In India, Kundalini is passed down from father to child, often when the child is still young. According to the Tantric-Laya-Yoga tradition, Kundalini is a form of Shakti, or dynamic energy, and it is often conceptualized as a serpent, or a Goddess. When aroused, Kundalini unfurls and extends upwards through the body, activating the Chakras along its astral path. Finally, it reaches the crown of the head where the last chakra, ‘Sahasrara’, is located. The Sanskrit texts tell us, it is here where the energy forces of Shakti and Shiva unite to powerful effect.
Once my teacher made a comment about Kundalini through a beautiful and apt metaphor: “It is like a dark bird is taking you to a very, very far away ocean. You have no idea what you are getting into, and you have no idea who you will become, once you get there.” People often think that once you experience the real power of divinity, it makes you good, charitable, godlike. In fact, what Kundalini does is to manifests WHO YOU REALLY ARE. It is important to understand that just because someone’s Kundalini is awakened, it does not necessarily mean he or she will make a positive contribution to the wellbeing of others.
Kundalini gives you the ability to make things work. In other words, Kundalini puts you in tune with the dynamics of nature, which are bigger and more powerful than any one of us. I personally believe this is not something you can achieve by yourself. Kundalini, once awakened, is never lost; once you’re there, you’re there. You actually are connecting with the Snake energy. The snake is the symbol of Kundalini. People who possess Kundalini have a strong affinity to snakes and their symbolism, whether in the South American, Mexican Shamanistic tradition, or in the Indian one.
In all religions, the prophets, and the so-called holy people, at some point in their journey, were absolutely uncertain about what to do. In these times of severe doubt they often went to the desert to pray and meditate. Then there was a moment of intense change – an epiphany – and suddenly they knew exactly what to do, and they had the power to do it. ‘Now, I am ready to do what I must, it does not matter if I die! I have to do it, there is no way back.’ This is Kundalini, expressing itself through one individual. You might think the person is the one putting something in motion, but in reality, it is nature working through them.
Kundalini is sometimes very challenging because it works through all your impurities. Kundalini doesn’t make you noble and righteous. Anyone can be holy and live a moral life. What it gives you, is a higher intelligence. Once you have Kundalini, you stop trying and you don’t give a damn anymore because, it’s over, and you’ve got it. This is also its pitfall.