KUṆḌALINĪ:[ಕುಂಡಲಿನಿ]

According to the śāktas, the highest principle is consciousness (GOD), which is neither masculine not feminine nor neuter. It is beyond description. However, the śāktas prefer to call it Shakti or Mother Goddess when it expresses its creative and other forms. The world including man is a self-manifestation of Shakti with GOD in it unmanifest. Or, all that is Shakti pervaded entirely by the supreme consciousness. Though man is a seat of consciousness he can realise it only if he subjects his body, mind, senses, etc. to a form of spiritual discipline called kuṇḍalinī yōga.

Kuṇḍalinī-yōga presupposes that human spinal column has places, technically called chakras (cycles or what in physiology are called plexus) or padmas (lotuses) [ಚಕ್ರ ಅಥವಾ ಪದ್ಮ], namely, mūlādhāra, svādhisthāna, maṇipūraka, anāhata and viśuddhi. [ಮೂಲಾಧಾರ, ಸ್ವಾಧಿಷ್ಠಾನ, ಮಣಿಪೂರಕ, ಅನಾಹತ ಮತ್ತು ವಿಶುದ್ಧಿ] The mūlādhāra is located near anus, svādhisthāna near the generative organ, maṇipūraka near the naval, anāhata near the heart and viśuddhi near the throat. It is further believed that the sixth, called ājñā, [ಅಜ್ಞಾ] is in the head (behind the region between the eyebrows) and the seventh called sahasrāra [ಸಹಸ್ರಾರ] at the top of the brain. It is believed that the kuṇḍalinī-Shakti (the soul) lies in the mūlādhāra like a coiled serpent with its head downwards and the aspirant by means of kuṇḍalinī yōga is able to arouse it and make it move up the spinal column. First it pierces the mūlādhāra, and then, moving upwards goes on piercing the remaining five gradually. Ultimately it settles in the sahasrāra and unites with GOD (the supreme consciousness) there. The ultimate aim of kuṇḍalinī-yōga is to provide a technique of uniting kuṇḍalinī with GOD in the sahasrāra. This union is called mōkṣa [ಮೋಕ್ಷ] (final liberation). It is noteworthy that kuṇḍalinī-yōga takes into consideration the importance of human body as an inevitable medium of attaining God-realisation. The influence of kuṇḍalinī-yōga on the Vachana-writers cannot escape our attention (see CAKRAS or PADMAS).

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