The Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad is the eighty-sixth among the 108 Upanishads. It forms part of the Krishna Yajurveda. It deals with an exposition of Hatha and Lambika Yogas. It concludes with an account of the non-qualified Brahman. The Non-dual Brahman is the quest of all seekers.
Though grouped among the minor Upanishads, the Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad is a very important work on Kundalini Yoga. It begins with an analysis of the nature of Chitta. It maintains that Samskaras and Vasanas on the one hand, and Prana, on the other, constitute the causes for the existence of Chitta. If Vasanas are controlled, Prana is automatically controlled. If Prana is controlled, the Vasanas are automatically controlled.
The Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad presents methods for the control of Prana. The Yogic student does not deal with Vasanas. He concerns himself with the techniques of controlling the Prana.
The three methods given in the Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad for the control of Prana are: Mitahara, Asana and Shakti-Chalana. These three methods are fully explained in the first chapter. Light, sweet and nutritious food forms the discipline of Mitahara. The Padmasana and the Vajrasana are two important Asanas used by the Yogic student. Shakti-Chalana is arousing the Kundalini and sending it to the crown of the head.
Kundalini can be aroused by a twofold practice. Saraswati Chalana and the restraint of Prana are the two practices. The rousing of the Saraswati Nadi is Saraswati Chalana.
The process, as described in the Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad, for arousing Kundalini is simple. When a person exhales, the Prana goes out 16 digits. In inhalation it goes in only 12 digits, thus losing 4. The Kundalini is aroused if one can inhale Prana for 16 digits. This is done by sitting in Padmasana and when the Prana is flowing through the left nostril, and lengthening inwards 4 digits more.
By means of this lengthened breath the Yogic student should manipulate the Saraswati Nadi and stir up the Kundalini Shakti with all his strength, from right to left, repeatedly. This process may extend to three quarters of an hour. All this has been briefly and yet comprehensively described in the Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad.
The most important result of shaking the Saraswati Nadi is that it cures the several diseases arising within the belly, and cleanses and purifies the system. After the practice of the Sahita Kumbhaka the Yogic student is initiated into the Kevala Kumbhaka. These two types of Kumbhaka bring about the complete restraint of the Prana.
Suryabheda Kumbhaka, Ujjayi Kumbhaka, Sitali and Bhastrika are the four divisions of the Sahita Kumbhaka. Suryabheda Kumbhaka destroys the intestinal worms and the four kinds of evils caused by Vayu. Ujjayi purifies the body, removes diseases and increases the gastric fire. It also removes the heat caused in the head and the phlegm in the throat. Sitali cools the body. It destroys gulma, dyspepsia, pliha, consumption, bile, fever, thirst and poison. These forms of Sahita Kumbhaka purify and prepare the entire physiological organism for the arousal of the Kundalini Sakti and for the experience of the non-dual Brahman.
Apart from bringing a number of wholesome physiological changes, Bhastrika Kumbhaka pierces the three knots or the Granthis. The Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad then proceeds to prescribe the practice of the three Bandhas, for the Yogic student. The process by which the downward tendency of the Apana (breath) is forced up by the spincter muscles of the anus, is called the Mulabandha. By this Bandha the Apana is raised up. It reaches the sphere of Agni or fire. Then the flame of the Agni grows long, being blown about by Vayu. In a heated state, Agni and Apana commingle with the Prana. This Agni is very fierce.
Through this fiery Agni, there arises in the body the fire that awakens and arouses the Kundalini, through its radiant heat. The aroused Kundalini makes a hissing noise, becomes erect and enters the hole of Brahmanadi. The Yogins practise this Mulabandha daily.
In this aim of arousing the Sarasvati Nadi and the Kundalini Shakti, the other two Bandhas, viz., Uddiyana Bandha and the Jalandhara Bandha, also play the most significant part.
After giving detailed knowledge of the techniques of the Bandhas, the Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad explains the number of obstacles the Yogic students encounter. It also gives the methods of overcoming these obstacles.
The causes of the diseases in the body are seven. 1. Sleeping during the daytime. 2. Late vigils overnight. 3. Excess of sexual intercourse. 4. Moving amidst crowds. 5. The effect of unwholesome food. 6. Checking of the discharge of urine and faeces. 7. Laborious mental operations with the Prana.
The mistake that the Yogic student commits is that when diseases attack him, he erroneously attributes the diseases to his practice of Yoga. This is the first obstacle in Yoga.
The Yogic student begins to doubt as to the efficacy of the Yoga Sadhana. This is the second obstacle. Carelessness or a state of confusion is the third obstacle. Indifference or laziness is the fourth obstacle. Sleep is the fifth obstacle and the sixth is the attachment to sense-objects. The seventh obstacle is erroneous perception or delusion. The eighth is concern with worldly affairs. The ninth is want of faith. The tenth obstacle to Yoga practice is want of the necessary aptitude for grasping the Yoga truths.
Earnest spiritual aspirants should avoid all these obstacles by means of a close investigation and great deliberation. Further on, the Upanishads describe the process and the manner by which the Kundalini is roused and taken to the Sahasrara by piercing through the Granthis.
When the awakened Kundalini moves upwards, the shower of nectar flows copiously. The Yogi enjoys this which keeps him away from all sensual pleasures. The Yogi takes his stand upon the Inner Reality, the Atman. He enjoys the highest state of spiritual experience. He attains peace and is devoted only to the Atman.
By the whole process of the Kundalini Yoga Sadhana, the body of the Yogi attains very subtle state of the spiritual Consciousness. The Yogi who has attained to Samadhi experiences everything as Consciousness. The Yogi realises the oneness of the macrocosm and the microcosm. Because, the Kundalini Shakti has reached the Sahasrara Kamala or the thousand-petalled lotus and has become united with Siva, the Yogi enjoys the highest Avastha. This is the final beatitude.
The Chakras are centres of Shakti as vital force. These are the centres of Prana Shakti manifested by Pranavayu in the living body.
Those aspirants who aspire to arouse the Kundalini Shakti to enjoy the Bliss of Union of Siva and Shakti, through awakened Kundalini, and to gain the accompanying Powers or Siddhis, should practise Kundalini Yoga. To them, this Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad is of great importance. It equips them with a comprehensive knowledge of the methods and processes of the Kundalini Yoga in which the Khechari Mudra stands prominent.
The Kundalini Yogi seeks to obtain both Bhukti and Mukti. He attains liberation in and through the world. Jnana Yoga is the path of asceticism and liberation. Kundalini Yoga is the path of enjoyment and liberation.
The Hatha Yogi seeks a body which shall be as strong as steel, healthy, free from suffering and therefore, long-lived. Master of the body, the Yogi is the Master of life and death. His shining form enjoys the vitality of youth. He lives as long as he has the will to live and enjoys in the world of forms. His death is the death at will (Ichha-Mrityu). The Yogi should seek the guidance of an expert and skilled Guru.
The Serpent Power is the power which is the static support or Adhara of the whole body and all its moving Pranic forces. The polarity as it exists in, and as, the body is destroyed by Yoga which disturbs the equilibrium of bodily consciousness, which consciousness is the result of the maintenance of these two poles.
In the human body the potential pole of Energy which is the Supreme Power is stirred to action. The Shakti is moved upward to unite with the Siva, the quiescent Consciousness in the Sahasrara.
By Pranayama and other Yogic processes the static Shakti is affected and becomes dynamic. When completely dynamic, when Kundalini unites with Siva in the Sahasrara, the polarisation of the body gives way. The two poles are united in one and there is the state of consciousness called Samadhi. The polarisation takes place in the Consciousness. The body actually continues to exist as an object of observation to others.
When the Kundalini ascends, the body of the Yogi is maintained by the nectar which flow, from the union of Siva and Shakti in Sahasrara. Glory to Mother Kundalini who, through Her Infinite Grace and Power, kindly leads the Sadhaka from Chakra to Chakra and illumines him and makes him realise his identity with the Supreme Brahman! The Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad attaches great importance to the search for and finding of right Guru. It insists upon revering the illumined Guru, as God. Guru is one who has full Self-illumination. He removes the veil of ignorance in the deluded individuals.
The number of realised Gurus may be less in this Kali Yuga when compared with the Satya Yuga, but they are always present to help the aspirants. They are always searching for the proper Adhikarins.
The Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad gives a list of the obstacles to Yoga practice. Some take to the practice of Yoga, and later on, when they come across some obstacles in the way, they do not know how to proceed further. They do not know how to obviate them. Many are the obstacles, dangers, snares and pitfalls on the spiritual path. Sadhakas may commit many mistakes on the path. A Guru who has already trodden the path and reached the goal, is very necessary to guide them.
One more important thing which you would find in many places in the Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad is the Sushumna Nadi. You must have a complete knowledge of this Nadi.
Now, a word on Kundalini, the arousal of which is the immediate aim of the Kundalini Yoga. Kundalini, the serpent-power or mystic fire is the primordial energy or Shakti that lies dormant or sleeping in the Muladhara Chakra, the centre of the body. It is called the serpentine or annular power on account of serpentine form. It is an electric fiery occult power, the great pristine force which underlies all organic and inorganic matter.
Chitta And The Control Of Prana
1. Chitta is the Subconscious mind. It is the mind-stuff. It is the store-house of memory. Samskaras or impressions of actions are imbedded here. It is one of the four parts of Antahkarana or inner instruments, viz., mind, intellect, Chitta and Ahankara or ego.
2. Mind is formed out of wind. So, it is fleeting like the wind. Intellect is formed out of fire. Chitta is formed out of water. Ego is formed out of earth.
3. Chitta has two causes for its existence, viz., Vasanas or subtle desires and the vibration of Prana.
4. If one of them is controlled, the result is, both of them are controlled.
Varieties Of Pranayama
23. Briefly, I will now describe to you Pranayama. Prana is the Vayu that moves in the body. The restraint of Prana within is known as Kumbhaka.
24. Kumbhaka is of two kinds, namely, Sahita and Kevala.
25. Till he gets Kevala, the Yogic student should practise Sahita.
26. There are four divisions or Bhedas. These divisions are: Surya, Ujjayi, Sitali and Bhastrika. Sahita Kumbhaka is the Kumbhaka associated with these four.
27. Select a place which is pure, beautiful and free from pebbles, thorns, etc. It should be of the length of a bow free from cold, fire and water. To this place, take a pure and pleasant seat which is neither too high nor too low. Upon it, sit in Padmasana. Now, shake or throw into vibration Sarasvati. Slowly inhale the breath from outside, through the right nostril, as long as this is comfortable, and exhale it through the left nostril. Exhale after purifying the skull by forcing the breath up. This destroys the four kinds of evils caused by Vayu. It destroys also the intestinal worms. This should be repeated often. It is called Suryabheda.
28. Close the mouth. Draw up slowly the breath through both the nostrils. Retain it in the space between the heart and the neck. Then exhale through the left nostril.
29. This removes both the heat caused in the head and the phlegm in the throat. It removes all diseases. It purifies the body and increases the gastric fire. It removes all the evils arising in the Nadis, Jalodara or dropsy, that is water in the belly, and Dhatus. The name for this Kumbhaka is Ujjayi. It can be practised even when walking or standing.
30. Draw up the breath through the tongue with the hissing sound Sa. Retain it as before. Then slowly exhale through both the nostrils. This is called Sitali Kumbhaka.
31. Sitali Kumbhaka cools the body. It destroys gulma or the chronic dyspepsia, Pliha (a disease of the spleen), consumption, bile, fever, thirst and poison.
32. Sit in Padmasana with belly and neck erect. Close the mouth and exhale through the nostrils. Then inhale a little up to the neck so that the breath will fill the space, with noise, between the neck and skull. Then exhale in the same way and inhale often and often. Even as the bellows of a smith are moved stuffed within with air and then let out, so you should move the air within the body. When you get tired, inhale through the right nostril. If the belly is full of Vayu, press well the nostrils with all your fingers except the forefinger. Perform Kumbhaka and exhale through the left nostril.
33. This removes the inflammation of the throat. It increases the digestive gastric fire within. It enables one to know the Kundalini. It produces purity, removes sins, gives pleasure and happiness and destroys phlegm which is the bolt or obstacle to the door at the mouth of Brahmanadi or the Sushumna.
34. It pierces also the three Granthis or knots differentiated through the three modes of Nature or Gunas. The three Granthis or knots are Vishnu Granthi, Brahma Granthi and Rudra Granthi. This Kumbhaka is called Bhastrika. This should be especially practised by the Hatha Yogic students.
The Three Bandhas
35. The Yogic student should now practise the three Bandhas. The three Bandhas are: the Mula Bandha, the Uddiyana Bandha and the Jalandhara Bandha.
36. Mula Bandha: Apana (breath) which has a downward tendency is forced up by the sphincter muscles of the anus. Mula Bandha is the name of this process.
37. When Apana is raised up and reaches the sphere of Agni (fire) then the flame of Agni grows long, being blown about by Vayu.
38. Then, in a heated state, Agni and Apana commingle with the Prana. This Agni is very fiery. Through this there arises in the body the fire that rouses the sleeping Kundalini through its heat.
39. Then this Kundalini makes a hissing noise. It becomes erect like a serpent beaten with a stick and enters the hole of Brahmanadi or the Sushumna. Therefore, the Yogins should practise daily Mulabandha often.
40. The Uddiyana Bandha: At the end of the Kumbhaka and at the beginning of expiration, Uddiyana Bandha should be performed. Because Prana Uddiyate, or the Prana goes up the Sushumna in this Bandha, the Yogins call it Uddiyana.
41. Sit in the Vajrasana. Hold firmly the two toes by the two hands. Then press at the Kanda and at the places near the two ankles. Then gradually upbear the Tana or the thread or the Nadi which is on the western side first to Udara or the upper part of the abdomen above the navel, then to the heart and then to the neck. When the Prana reaches the Sandhi or the junction of the navel, slowly it removes the impurities and diseases in the navel. For this reason, this should be practised frequently.
42. The Jalandhara Bandha: This should be practised at the end of Puraka (after inhalation). This is of the form of contraction of the neck and is an impediment to the passage of Vayu (upwards).
43. The Prana goes through Brahmanadi on the western Tana in the middle, when the neck is contracted at once by bending downwards so that the chin may touch the breast. Assuming the posture as mentioned before, the Yogi should stir up Sarasvati and control Prana.
How Many Times Kumbhaka Should Be Practised
44. On the first day, Kumbhaka should be practised four times.
45. It should be done ten times, on the second day, and then five times separately.
46. On the third day, twenty times will be enough. Afterwards Kumbhaka should be practised with the three Bandhas and with an increase of five times each day.
The Obstacles To The Practice Of Yoga And How To Overcome Them
47. Seven are the causes of the diseases in the body. Sleeping during the daytime is the first, late vigils overnight is the second, excess of sexual intercourse the third, moving amidst crowds the fourth. The fifth cause is the effect of unwholesome food. The sixth is the checking of the discharge of urine and faeces. The seventh is the laborious mental operation with Prana.
48. When attacked by such diseases, the Yogi who is afraid of them says, “My diseases have arisen from my practices of Yoga.” Then he will discontinue this practice. This is the first obstacle to Yoga.
49. The second obstacle to Yoga is the doubt as to the efficacy of Yoga practice.
50. Third obstacle is carelessness or a state of confusion.
51. The fourth is indifference or laziness.
52. Sleep constitutes the fifth obstacle to Yoga practice.
53. The sixth is not leaving the objects of senses; the seventh is the erroneous perception or delusion.
54. The eighth is sensual objects or concern with worldly affairs. The ninth is want of faith. The tenth is non-aptitude for understanding of the truths of Yoga.
The Rousing Of The Kundalini
55. The intelligent practitioner of Yoga should, by means of close investigation and great deliberation, avoid these ten obstacles.
56. With the mind firmly fixed on the Truth, the practice of Pranayama should be performed daily. Then the mind takes its repose in the Sushumna. The Prana therefore never moves.
57. When the impurities of the mind are thus removed and Prana is absorbed in the Sushumna, one becomes a true Yogin.
58. When the accumulated impurity, clogging the Sushumna Nadi, is completely removed and the passage of vital air through the Sushumna is effected by performing Kevala Kumbhaka, the Yogin forcibly causes the Apana with the downward course to rise upwards by the contraction of the anus (Mula Bandha).
59. Thus raised up, the Apana mixes with Agni. Then they go up quickly to the seat of Prana. Then, Prana and Apana uniting with one another, go to Kundalini which is coiled up and asleep.
60. Heated by Agni and stirred up by Vayu, Kundalini stretches its body in the interior of the mouth of the Sushumna.
The Kundalini Reaches The Sahasrara By Piercing Through The Three Knots
61. The Kundalini pierces through the Brahmagranthi formed of Rajas. It flashes at once like lightning at the mouth of Sushumna.
62. Then Kundalini goes up at once through Vishnugranthi to the heart. Then it goes up through the Rudragranthi and above it to the middle of the eyebrows.
63. Having pierced this place, the Kundalini goes up to the Mandala (sphere) of the moon. It dries up the moisture produced by the moon in the Anahata Chakra which has sixteen petals.
64. Through the speed of Prana, when the blood is agitated, it becomes bile from its contact with the sun. Then it goes to the sphere of the moon. Here it becomes of the nature of pure phlegm.
65. When it flows there, how does the blood which is very cold become hot?
66. Since at the same time the intense white form of moon is rapidly heated. The agitated Kundalini moves upwards and the shower of nectar flows more copiously.
67. As a result of swallowing this, the Chitta of the Yogin is kept away from all sensual pleasures. The Yogin is exclusively absorbed in the Atma partaking of the sacrificial offering called nectar. He takes his stand in his own Self.
68. He enjoys this highest state. He becomes devoted to the Atman and attains peace.
The Dissolution Of Prana And Others
69. The Kundalini then goes to the seat of the Sahasrara. It gives up the eight forms of the Prakriti: earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intellect and egoism.
70. After clasping the eye, the mind, the Prana and the others in her embrace, the Kundalini goes to Siva and clasping Siva as well, dissolves herself in the Sahasrara.
71. Thus Rajas-Sukla or the seminal fluid which rises up, goes to Siva along with Marut or the Vayu. Prana and Apana which are always produced become equal.
72. Prana flows in all things, big and small, describable or indescribable, as fire in gold. The breath also dissolves itself.
73. Born together of the same quality, the Prana and the Apana also dissolve themselves in the presence of Siva in the Sahasrara. Having reached an equipoised condition, they no longer go up or down.
74. Then the Yogi thrives with the Prana spread outward in the form of attenuated elements or in the mere remembrance of it, the mind having been reduced to the form of faint impressions and the speech having remained only in the form of recollection.
75. All the vital airs then spread themselves outright in his body even as gold in a crucible placed on fire.
Experiencing Everything As Consciousness During Samadhi
76. The body of the Yogi attains very subtle state of the pure Brahman. By causing the body made of the elements to be absorbed in a subtle state in the form of the Paramatman or the supreme Deity, the body of the Yogi gives up its impure corporal state.
77. That alone is the Truth underlying all things, which is released from the state of non-sentience and is devoid of impurities.
78. That alone which is of the nature of the Absolute Consciousness, which is of the character of the attribute “I” of all beings, the Brahman, the subtlest form of That alone is the Truth underlying all things.
79. The release from the notion that the Brahman is qualified, the delusion about the existence or non-existence of anything apart from the Brahman (which should be annihilated) and experience such as these that remain, there the Yogi should know as the Brahman. Simultaneously with the drawing of such knowledge of the form of the Atman, the liberation is attained by him.
80. When such is not the case, only all kinds of absurd and impossible notions arise. The rope-serpent and such other absurd notions, brought about by delusion take their rise. Absurd notions like the notion which men and women have, of silver, in the shell of the pearl-oyster, arise.
81. The Yogi should realise the oneness of the Visvatman and others up to the Turiya. He should realise the oneness of the microcosm with the Virat Atman and others, upto the Turiya, of the macrocosm, also of the Linga with the Sutratman, of the Self with the unmanifested state, of the Atman manifested in one’s Self with the Atman of Consciousness.
The Samadhi Yoga
82. The Kundalini Sakti is like a thread in the Lotus. It is resplendent. It is biting with its mouth, the upper end of its body, at the root of the Lotus, the Mulakanda or the Muladhara.
83. It is in contact with the hole of Brahmanadi of Sushumna, taking hold of its tail with its mouth.
84. Seated in Padmasana, if a person who has accustomed himself to the contraction of his anus (Mula Bandha), makes the Vayu go upwards with the mind intent on Kumbhaka, the Agni comes to the Svadhishthana flaming, owing to the blowing of Vayu.
85. From the blowing of Vayu and Agni, Kundalini pierces open the Brahmagranthi. It then pierces open the Vishnugranthi.
86. Then the Kundalini pierces the Rudragranthi. After that, it pierces all the six lotuses or the plexus. Then the Kundalini Sakti is happy with Siva in Sahasradala Kamala, the thousand-petalled lotus. This should be known as the highest Avastha or the state. This alone is the giver of final beatitude. Thus ends the first chapter.
The Khechari Vidya
1. Now, then, a description of the science called Khechari.
2. He who has duly mastered this science, is freed from old age and death, in this world.
3. Knowing this science, O Sage, one who is subject to the pains of death, disease and old age, should make his mind firm and practise Khechari.
4. He who has gained a knowledge of the Khechari from books, from the exposition of the meaning of the same, and who has by recourse to its practice, gained a mastery of this science, becomes the destroyer of old age, death and disease, in this world.
5. Such a master, one should approach for shelter. From all points of view, one should look upon him as his Guru.
6. The science of Khechari is not easily accessible. Its practice is not easily attainable. Its practice and Melana are not accomplished simultaneously. Literally, Melana is joining.
7. The key to this science of Khechari is kept a profound secret. The secret is revealed by adepts only at initiation.
8. They do not get Melana, who are bent only upon practice. O Brahman, only some get the practice after several births. But, even after hundred births, Melana is not obtained.
9. As a result of having undergone the practice for several births, some Yogis get the Melana in some future birth.
10. The Yogi attains the Siddhi mentioned in several books, when he gets this Melana from the mouth of the Guru.
11. The state of Siva freed from all rebirth, is achieved when the practitioner gets this Melana from the grasp of the significance presented in the books.
12. This science is, therefore, very difficult to master. Until he gets this science, the ascetic should wander over earth.
13. The ascetic has physical powers or Siddhis in his hand, the moment he obtains this science.
14. One should therefore regard as Achyuta or Vishnu, any person who imparts this Melana. He too should be regarded as Achyuta, who gives this science. He who teaches the practice, should be regarded as Siva.
15. You have got the science from me. You should not reveal it to others. One who knows this science, should practise it with all his efforts. Except to those who deserve it, he should give it to none.
16. One who is able to teach the Divine Yoga, is the Guru. To the place where he lives, one should go. Then, learn from him the science of Khechari.
17. Taught well by him, one should at first practise it carefully. A person will then attain the Siddhi of Khechari, by means of this science.
18. One becomes the Lord of Khecharas or the Devas, by joining with Khechari Shakti (viz., Kundalini Shakti) by means of this science of Khechari. He lives amongst them, always.
The Khechari Mantra
19. Khechari contains the Bija or the seed-letter. Khechari Bija is spoken of as Agni encircled with water. It is the abode of the Devas or the Khecharas. The mastery of the Siddhi is obtained by this Yoga.
20. The ninth letter or Bija of Somamsa or the Moon face, should be pronounced in the reverse order. Then consider it as the Supreme and its beginning as fifth. This is said to be Kuta (horns) of the several Bhinnas (or parts) of the moon.
21. Through the initiation of a Guru, this which tends to the accomplishment of all Yogas, should be learnt.
22. One who recites this twelve times everyday will not get even in sleep that Maya or illusion which is born in his body and is the source of all vicious deeds.
23. To the one who recites this five lakhs of times with very great care, the science of Khechari will reveal itself. For him, all obstacles vanish. The Devas are pleased. Without doubt, the destruction of the greyness of hair and wrinkles, Valipalita, will take place.
24. One who has acquired the great science, should practise it constantly. Otherwise, he will not get any Siddhi in the path of Khechari.
25. If in this practice, one does not get this nectar-like science, he should get it in the beginning of Melana and recite it always. Otherwise, one who is without it never gets Siddhi.
26. No sooner one gets this science, than one should practise it. It is then that one will soon get the Siddhi.
27. The seven syllables HRIM, BHAM, SAM, PAM, PHAM, SAM and KSHAM constitute the Khechari Mantra.
The Cutting Of Frenum Lingui
28. A knower of the Atman, having drawn out the tongue from the root of the palate, should in accordance with the advice of his Guru, clear the impurities of the tongue for seven days.
29. He should take a sharp, oiled and cleansed knife which resembles the leaf of the plant Snuhi, the milk-hedge plant, and should cut for the space of a hair, the frenum lingui. He should powder Saindhava or the rock-salt and Pathya or the sea-salt and apply it to that place.
30. On the seventh day, he should again cut for the space of a hair. Thus, with great care, he should continue it always, for the span of six months.
31. The root of the tongue, fixed with veins, ceases to be in six months. Then the Yogi who knows timely action should encircle with cloth the tip of the tongue, the abode of Vag-Ishvari or the deity presiding over speech, and should draw it up.
The Tongue Reaches The Brahmarandhra
32. O Sage, again by daily drawing it up for six months, it comes as far as the middle of the eyebrows and obliquely up to the opening of the ears. By gradual practice, it goes up to the root of the chin.
33. Then, with ease it goes up to the end of the hair (of the head) in three years. It goes up obliquely to Sakha (some part below the skull) and downwards to the well of the throat.
34. It occupies Brahmarandhra, in another three years. Without doubt, it stops there. Crosswise it goes up to the top of the head and downwards to the well of the throat. Gradually it opens the great adamantine door in the head.
35. One should perform the six Angas or parts of the Khechari Bija Mantra by pronouncing it in six different intonations. In order to attain all the Siddhis, one should do this.
36. Karanyasa or the motions of the fingers and hands in the pronunciation of the Mantras, should be done gradually. Karanyasa should never be done all at a time, because the body of one who does it all at once will soon decay. O best of the Sages, little by little it should be practised.
37. One should, when the tongue goes to the Brahmarandhra through the outer path, place the tongue after moving the bolt of Brahma. The bolt of Brahma cannot be mastered by the Devas.
38. On doing this with the point of the finger for three years, the Yogi should make the tongue enter within. It enters the Brahmadvara or hole. On entering the Brahmadvara, one should practise well Mathana or churning.
39. Even without Mathana, some wise Yogis attain Siddhi. He also accomplishes it without Mathana, who is versed in Khechari Mantra. One reaps the fruit soon by doing Japa and Mathana.
40. The Yogi should restrain his breath in his heart, by connecting a wire made of gold, silver or iron with the nostrils by means of a thread soaked in milk. Sitting in a convenient posture, with his eyes concentrated between his eyebrows, he should perform Mathana slowly.
41. The State of Mathana becomes natural like sleep in children, within six months. It is not advisable to do Mathana always. It should be done once only in every month.
The Urdhvakundalini Yoga
42. A Yogi should not revolve his tongue in the path. Twelve years of this practice, will surely give the Siddhi to the Yogi. Then the Yogi perceives the entire universe in his body as not being different from the Atman.
43. O Chief of Kings, this path of the Urdhva Kundalini or the higher Kundalini, conquers the macrocosm. Here ends the second chapter.
1. Melanamantra:—Hrim, Bham, Sam, Sham, Pham, Sam and Ksham.
2. The Lotus-born Brahma said: Among new moon, the first day of the lunar fortnight and full moon, O Shankara, which is spoken of as the Mantra’s sign? In the first day of lunar fortnight and during new moon and full moon days, it should be made firm. There is no other way or time.
Sense-Objects, Manas And Bandhana
3. Through passion, a person longs for an object. He is infatuated with passion for objects. These two one should leave. The Niranjana or the Stainless should be sought after. All that one thinks is favourable to oneself should be abandoned.
4. The Yogin should keep the Manas in the midst of Shakti, and the Shakti in the midst of Manas. He should look into Manas by means of Manas. It is then that he leaves even the highest stage.
5. Manas alone is the Bindu. It is the cause of creation and preservation.
6. Like curd from milk, it is only through Manas that Bindu is produced. The organ of Manas is not that which is situated in the middle of Bandhana. Bandhana is there where Shakti is between the Sun and the Moon.
The Entry Into The Sukha-Mandala
7. The Yogi should stand in the seat of Bindu and close the nostrils, having known Sushumna and its Bheda or piercing and making the Vayu go in the middle.
8. After knowing Vayu, the above-mentioned Bindu and the Sattva-Prakriti as well as the six Chakras, one should enter the sphere of happiness, Sahasrara or the Sukha-Mandala.
The Six Chakras
9. There are six chakras. Muladhara is in the anus. Svadhishthana is near the genital organ. Manipuraka is in the navel. Anahata is in the heart.
10. The Vishuddhi Chakra is at the root of the neck. The sixth Chakra, the Ajna is in the head (between the two eyebrows).
11. After gaining a knowledge of these six Mandalas or spheres, one should enter the Sukhamandala, drawing up the Vayu and sending it upwards.
12. He becomes one with Brahmanda, the macrocosm, who practises thus the control of Vayu. Vayu, Bindu, Chitta, and Chakra should be mastered by him.
Abhyasa And Brahma Jnana
13. Through Samadhi alone, the Yogis attain the nectar of equality.
14. Without the practice of Yoga, the lamp of wisdom does not arise, even as the fire latent in the sacrificial wood does not appear without churning.
15. The fire in a vessel does not shed light outside. But, when the vessel is broken, its light appears without.
16. One’s body is called the vessel. The seat of “That” is the light or the fire within. When, through the words of a Guru, the body is broken, the light of Brahmajnana becomes resplendent.
17. One crosses the subtle body and the ocean of Samsara, with the Guru as the helmsman, and through the affinities of Abhyasa.
The Four Kinds Of Vak
18. Sprouting in Para, Vak (power of speech) gives forth two leaves in Pasyanti, buds forth in Madhyama and blossoms in Vaikhari—that Vak, earlier described, reaches the stage of the absorption of sound, reversing the above order, viz., beginning with Vaikhari, etc.
19. Para, Pasyanti, Madhyama and Vaikhari, are the four kinds of Vak. Para is the highest of sounds. Vaikhari is the lowest of sounds.
20. Vak begins from the highest of sounds to the lowest, in evolution.
21. In involution it takes a reverse order in order to merge in Para or the highest subtle sound.
22. Anyone who thinks that the One who is the great Lord of that Vak, the undifferentiated, the Illuminator of that Vak is the Self—such a person who thinks over thus, is never effected by words, high or low, good or bad.
The Absorption In Paramatman
23. Through the absorption of their respective Upadhis or vehicles all these in turn are absorbed in the Pratyagatma—the three aspects of consciousness, Visva, Taijasa, and Prajna in man, the three, Virat, Hiranyagarbha, and Ishvara in the universe, the egg of the universe, the egg of man and the seven worlds.
24. Heated by the fire of Jnana, the egg is absorbed with its Karana or cause, into Paramatman or the universal Self. It becomes one with Parabrahman.
25. It is then neither steadiness nor depth, neither light nor darkness, neither describable nor distinguishable. That alone remains which is the Be-ness or the Sat.
The Essential Nature Of Man
26. Like a light in a vessel, the Atman is within the body—thus one should think.
27. Atman is of the dimensions of a thumb. It is a light without smoke. It is without form. It is shining within the body. It is undifferentiable and immortal.
28. The first three aspects of consciousness refer to the gross, subtle and Karana bodies of man. The second three aspects of consciousness refer to the three bodies of the universe.
29. In his formation, man is and appears as an egg, even as the universe is and appears as an egg.
30. During the states of waking, dreaming and dreamless sleep, the Vijnana Atma which dwells in this body is deluded by Maya.
31. But, after many births, owing to the effect of good Karma, it wishes to attain its own essential state.
32. The enquiry sets in. Who am I? How has this stain of mundane existence come to me? In the dreamless sleep what becomes of me who am engaged in business during both the states, waking and dreaming?
33. The Chidabhasa is the result of non-wisdom. It is burnt by the wise thoughts, even as a bale of cotton is burnt by fire, and also by its own supreme illumination.
34. The burning of the outer body is no burning at all.
35. Pratyagatma is in the Dahara (Akasa or the ether of the heart). It obtains, when the worldly wisdom is destroyed, Vijnana, and diffuses itself everywhere and in an instant burns the two sheaths, Vijnanamaya and Manomaya. Then, it is He Himself that shines always within. It shines like a light within a vessel.
36. Till sleep and till death, the Muni who contemplates thus should be known as a Jivanmukta.
37. He has done what ought to be done. Therefore, he is a fortunate person.
38. Such a person attains Videhamukti, having given up even the state of Jivanmukti.
39. No sooner the body wears off, than he obtains the emancipation in a disembodied state, Videhamukti. The state, as if of moving in the air, he gains.
40. After that, That alone remains. That is the soundless, the touchless, the formless and the deathless.
41. That is the Rasa or the Essence. It is eternal and odourless. It is greater than the great; it has neither beginning nor end. It is the permanent, the stainless and the decayless. Thus ends the Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad.
Yoga And Its Consummation
Yoga is the art of uniting the individual soul with the Supreme Soul, of uniting the Kundalini Sakti lying dormant in the Muladhara Chakra with Siva in the Sahasrara Chakra. By convention, all practices that help the attainment of this goal are also called Yoga.
Vedanta says that the individual soul is enveloped by five sheaths—Annamaya Kosha (the gross body), Pranamaya Kosha (vital sheath), Manomaya Kosha (the mind), Vijnanamaya Kosha (the intellect), and Anandamaya Kosha (the bliss-sheath or the ignorance that immediately veils the Self), and that the goal of life, viz., Self-realisation is attained by negating the five sheaths and piercing the veil of ignorance.
When do we regard a particular part or organ of the body as perfectly healthy? When we are not made aware of that organ. The ear is in perfect health when we are not aware that that organ exists; if there is pain we are conscious of its presence. In order to transcend the five sheaths, therefore, they must all be free from afflictions. Yoga helps you to do that.
The purificatory Kriyas of Hatha Yoga and Asanas ensure health of the body and free it from ailments. Pranayama revitalises the vital sheath. Pratyahara (withdrawal of the rays of the mind and restraining them from flowing outwards) and Dharana (concentration) strengthen the mind. Meditation brings about a happy blending of the intellect and intuition; and the Yogi’s intelligence becomes intuitive. Samadhi illumines the soul and reveals the Self, by piercing the veil of ignorance. This is Yoga, the perfect system of all-round self-culture.
But no one can embark on this noble enterprise without preparing the vessel. Yama-Niyama or the canons of right conduct, ensure this. One who has not controlled his senses, who is not truthful, kind, compassionate and pure, cannot make any progress in Sadhana. Energy leaks out through all the avenues of his body. His vital sheath is debilitated. His mind is completely extroverted. His intellect is dull. His soul is enveloped in dense darkness. Meditation for such a man is only a dream. Therefore I insist on all spiritual aspirants that they should:—
1. Engage themselves in Nishkama Karma Yoga, for self-purification and cultivation of virtues; and
2. Practise as much Japa as possible, in order to earn His Grace.
These two—Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga—cannot be overemphasised.
Once the senses are controlled, and the heart purified, control of mind, concentration of its rays, and meditation become very easy. The aspirant would do well to remember the two great watch-words of Sadhana—
(a) Abhyasa (unrelenting, intense, unbroken, regular and systematic practice),
(b) Vairagya (dispassion, aversion to all sensual enjoyments, non-attachment to objects of senses).
To the extent to which the aspirant grows in these two, to that extent will his mind want to meditate. There will be joy in meditation. The mind will look forward to the period of meditation. When this condition becomes intense, then the mind will be in a constant state of meditation. As your hands are engaged in the work of the day, the mind will be blissfully detached from the world, peacefully witnessing—Sakshi-Bhava—the play of the senses and the sense-objects. When you are established in this state, you are a perfected Yogi. You have only to sit and close your eyes; you will instantly transcend the five sheaths and merge in the Supreme Soul. Your actions will be in tune with the Divine Will. You will have the superhuman powers of intellect, mind and body. You will never be tired, dull or depressed. Your words will have life-transforming power. Your heart will be full of compassion and love for humanity, and all humanity will be drawn towards you. You will become a spiritual magnet. You will shine as a Yogi, sage and Jivanmukta. You are liberated. This is the Goal.
The Gradational Ascent Of The Mind
The Chakras are centres of Shakti as vital force—in other words, these are centres of Pranashakti manifested by Pranavayu in the living body, the presiding Devatas of which are the names for the Universal Consciousness as it manifests in the form of these centres. The Chakras are not perceptible in the gross senses. Even if they were perceptible in the living body which they help to organise they disappear with the disintegration of organism at death.
Purity of mind leads to perfection in Yoga. Regulate your conduct when you deal with others. Have no feeling of jealousy towards others. Be compassionate. Do not hate sinners. Be kind to all. Success in Yoga will be rapid if you put your maximum energy in your Yoga practice. You must have a keen longing for liberation and intense Vairagya also. You must be sincere and earnest. Intense and constant meditation is necessary for entering into Samadhi.
The mind of a worldly man with base desires and passions moves in the Muladhara and Svadhishthana Chakras or centres situated near the anus and the reproductive organ respectively.
If one’s mind becomes purified the mind rises to the Manipura Chakra or the centre in the navel and experiences some power and joy.
If the mind becomes more purified, it rises to the Anahata Chakra or centre in the heart, experiences bliss and visualises the effulgent form of the Ishta Devata or the tutelary deity.
When the mind gets highly purified, the meditation and devotion become intense and profound, the mind rises to Vishuddha Chakra or the centre in the throat and experiences more and more powers and bliss. Even when the mind has reached this centre, there is possibility for it to come down to the lower centres.
When the Yogi reaches the Ajna Chakra or the centre between the two eyebrows he attains Samadhi and realises the supreme Self or Brahman. There is a slight sense of separateness between the devotee and Brahman.
If he reaches the spiritual centre in the brain, the Sahasrara Chakra, the thousand-petalled lotus the Yogi attains Nirvikalpa Samadhi or superconscious state—He becomes one with the non-dual Brahman. All sense of separateness dissolves. This is the highest plane of consciousness or Supreme Asamprajnata Samadhi. Kundalini unites with Siva.
The Yogi may come down to the centre in the throat to give instructions to the students and do good to others (Lokasamgraha).
Experiences On Awakening Of Kundalini
During meditation you behold divine visions, experience divine smell, divine taste, divine touch, hear divine Anahata Sounds. You receive instructions from God. These indicate that the Kundalini Shakti has been awakened. When there is throbbing in Muladhara, when hair stands on its root, when Uddiyana, Jalandhara and Mulabandha come involuntarily, know that Kundalini has awakened.
When the breath stops without any effort, when Kevala Kumbhaka comes by itself without any exertion, know that Kundalini Shakti has become active. When you feel currents of Prana rising up to the Sahasrara, when you experience bliss, when you repeat Om automatically, when there are no thoughts of the world in the mind, know that Kundalini Shakti has awakened.
When, in your meditation, the eyes become fixed on Trikuti, the middle of the eyebrows, when the Sambhavi Mudra operates, know that Kundalini Shakti has become active. When you feel vibrations of Prana in different parts inside your body, when you experience jerks like the shocks of electricity, know that Kundalini has become active. During meditation when you feel as if there is no body, when your eyelids become closed and do not open in spite of your exertion, when electric-like currents flow up and down the nerves, know that Kundalini has awakened.
When you meditate, when you get inspiration and insight, when the nature unfolds its secrets to you, all doubts disappear, you understand clearly the meaning of the Vedic texts, know that Kundalini has become active. When your body becomes light like air, when you possess inexhaustible energy for work, know that Kundalini has become active.
When you get divine intoxication, when you develop power of oration, know that Kundalini has awakened. When you involuntarily perform different Asanas or poses of Yoga without the least pain or fatigue, know that Kundalini has become active. When you compose beautiful sublime hymns and poetry involuntarily, know that Kundalini has become active.
The Quintessence Of Yoga
Yoga is union with the infinite through meditation and Samadhi.
A Yogi is freed from Karma or the law of cause and effect, from births and deaths and from the trammels of mind and flesh.
The Yogi has perfect control over his life-forces and mind. He can dematerialise at will.
The Yogi practises discipline of body and mind. He has control over his body and mind. He meditates on Om.
Yoga illumines, renovates and helps the Yogi to attain the highest point of perfection.
If one awakens his superconsciousness, there will be no problems at all. There will be only love, peace, harmony, unity and happiness in this world.
Practise Yoga To Prolong Life
The practice of Yoga lessens and prevents the decay of tissues, by increasing the life-force, and fills the system with abundant energy.
By the practice of Yoga the blood is charged with abundant oxygen. The brain and spinal centres are rejuvenated.
By the practice of Yoga, the accumulation of venous blood is stopped. The body is filled with abundant energy. The brain-centres and the spinal cord are strengthened and renovated. Memory is improved. Intellect is sharpened. Intuition is developed.
How can one who does not know his own body hope to achieve success in Yoga? First have a strong, firm and healthy body through the practice of Hatha Yoga and then take to Raja Yoga.
Breathing plays an important role in prolonging human life. Therefore, practise Pranayama regularly.
A rabbit that breathes very rapidly does not live very long. Practise rhythmic breathing and deep breathing.
There are detailed practices in Yoga for cleansing of the food-tube (Dhauti) and the stomach, as simple and effective as cleansing of the teeth.
There are methods in Yoga (Trataka) for strengthening the eyesight and cleansing the nose.
People who suffer from overweight, constipation or dyspepsia will specially find this Yoga-practice very useful.
Through the practice of Yoga, the evolution of man is quickened. What he can gain in hundreds of births, he can gain in one birth through the practice of Yoga, and attain final emancipation. He can attain longevity and attain perfect health. He can compress in one life the experiences of several hundreds of births.
He who practises Basti or Yoga-enema never suffers from constipation and other abdominal disorders.
Perfection In Yoga
A Yogi can switch his life-currents, to and from the senses. He takes the Prana and the mind to the Sahasrara or the thousand-petalled lotus at the crown of the head. He enters into Samadhi. He is dead to the world. He experiences superconsciousness or Nirvikalpa Samadhi. He is in blissful union with the Lord.
Savikalpa Samadhi is subject to time and change. There is Triputi, the seer, sight and seen; or knower, knowledge and knowable. There is some link with Prakriti or matter. Savikalpa Samadhi cannot give the final emancipation. This is also an obstacle to Nirvikalpa Samadhi. The aspirant gets false contentment and stops his meditation or Sadhana. Hence this is an obstacle to the final or higher realisation. Nirvikalpa Samadhi alone can burn all Samskaras and Vasanas in toto. Savikalpa Samadhi cannot destroy all Samskaras and Vasanas. In Savikalpa Samadhi the life-force or Prana of the Yogi is withdrawn from the body. The body appears to be dead, motionless and rigid. Breathing is suspended. He is aware of his bodily condition or suspended breath.
Nirvikalpa or Nirbija Samadhi is timeless, changeless. This is the highest state of Samadhi.
In Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the Yogi’s consciousness merges with the absolute consciousness. There is no bodily fixation. In his ordinary waking consciousness, even in the midst of worldly duties, he is in communion with the supreme consciousness. He has double-consciousness.
The crow has one eye-ball, but two sockets. It turns the eye-balls, now to one socket and afterwards to the other socket. Even so, the Yogi has double-consciousness.
Wise Guidance For Sure Success
The practice of Yoga should be gradual and step by step. Extremes are to be avoided. No sudden and violent methods should be employed. Common-sense is an essential part of Yoga. Boldness is also equally essential.
Fickle-mindedness will not do on the path of Yoga. Vacillation and oscillation will retard progress and result in stagnation.
Reflect gradually and choose a method; choose a method and stick to it and persevere in it continuously. This Nishtha is necessary.
A man who digs a well should not dig a foot here, a foot there, a few feet in another place and then a fourth. If he does this, he will not find water even after digging in fifty places. Once a spot is chosen, he must dig on and on in the same place and lo, he will reach the water. Even so in Yoga, one teacher, one path, one method, one master, one idea and one-pointed faith and devotion—all the above make up the secret of success in spiritual life.
Adhara—Foundation; base which supports.
Adhyatmic—Pertaining to Atman.
Ajna Chakra—Spiritual centre at the eyebrows.
Anahata Chakra—Cardiac plexus.
Ananda—Bliss; happiness; comfort.
Antahkarana—Fourfold internal organs, viz., Manas, Chitta, Buddhi and Ahankara.
Basti—The purificatory exercise for congested bowels. Bhakta—Devotee.
Bhrumadhya—The space between the eyebrows.
Bhuta Siddhi—Control over elements.
Brahmamuhurta—The period from 3 to 6 a.m. intended for Yoga—Abhyasa.
Brahmarandhra—An aperture in the crown of the head.
Chakras—Spiritual centres in Sushumna Nadi.
Chandra-Nadi—Moon-flow; another name for Ida.
Dhauti—The exercise for cleaning the stomach.
Duhkha— Misery; pain.
Ida—The Nadi that runs on the left side of Sushumna.
Jada Kriya—Physical exercise.
Japa—Repetition of a Mantra.
Jnana-Indriyas—Five organs or senses of Knowledge. viz., ear, skin, eye, tongue and nose.
Kanda—The source of all Nadis.
Karma-Indriyas—Five organs of action, viz., speech, hands, legs, genitals and anus.
Kaya-Sampat—Perfection of body.
Kriya—Physical action or exercises.
Kumbhaka—Retention of breath.
Kundalini—The mysterious power in the body.
LAKSHYA—Object of concentration.
Manana—Reflection or concentration.
Manipura—Solar plexus situated at the navel.
Maya—Illusive power; veiling Shakti.
Mitahara—Moderation of diet.
Moha—Attachment; infatuated love.
Mouna—Vow of silence.
Mrityunjaya—Conqueror of death.
Mula—Origin; root; base.
Muladhara Chakra—The spiritual centre at the base of the spinal column.
Nadi—Astral tube that carries Prana.
Nasikagra Drishti—Vision at the tip of the nose.
Nauli—Purificatory exercise of abdominal region.
Neti—The exercise for cleaning the nostrils.
Nirguna—Formless; without attributes.
Nishkama Karma—Disinterested work.
Nivritti Marga—Path of renunciation.
Niyama—Religious rules; second step in Yoga.
Oordhvareto-Yogi—The Yogi in whom the seminal energy flows upwards.
PADMA—Lotus; Chakra; a name for the plexus.
Pingala—The Nadi that runs on the right side of Sushumna Nadi.
Prakriti—Nature; undifferentiated matter.
Pranayama—Regulation of breath.
Pratyahara—Withdrawing the senses from objects.
Sahasrara—The spiritual centre at the head.
Sama—Equal; balanced state of mind.
Samsara Chakra—Wheel of death and birth.
Sankalpa—Formative will; determination.
Shat-Karmas—Six purificatory exercises of Hatha Yoga, viz., Dhauti, Basti, Neti, Nauli, Trataka and Kapalabhati.
Siddhi—Perfection; psychic power.
Sravana—Hearing of Srutis.
Surya Nadi—Another name for Pingala.
Svara Sadhana—Regulation of breath.
Trataka—Gazing at a particular spot.
Trikala-Jnani—One who knows the past, present and future.
Triveni—The place where three holy rivers meet.
UNMANI AVASTHA—Mindless state of Yogins.
Vasana—Impression of action that remains in the mind.
Virya—Seminal power; energy.
Vishuddha—Laryngeal plexus at the base of the throat.
YAMA—The first step in Yoga.
Yoga—Superconscious state; union with Paramatma.
Yogic—Pertaining to Yoga.
Yogin—One who is devoted to Yoga.