Kundalini Yoga History

Prior to digging into the specifics around the History of Kundalini Yoga it is good to have a basic overview of the History of Yoga. The Yoga Journal provides good commentary on the history of yoga.

Kundalini Yoga was brought to the West by Yogi Bhajan.

“Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga and Mahan Tantric (Master of White Tantric Yoga), arrived in the U.S. in 1969 with one purpose, “I have come to create teachers, not to gather disciples.” For more than 30 years he traveled internationally teaching Kundalini Yoga, the Yoga of Awareness. In 1969, he founded 3HO, the Healthy Happy Holy Organization, based on his first principle, “Happiness is your birthright.”

Through the years he has trained thousands of KRI Certified Kundalini Yoga Instructors and Teachers. In 1994, IKYTA was formed to further spread these priceless teachings through the united efforts of Kundalini Yoga teachers worldwide. “

Source http://kriteachings.org/k/courses-l1immersion

One of his most well known and amazingly gifted teachers is Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, she has a great Kundalini Yoga DVD:

Kundalini Yoga With Gurmukh


2 Responses

  1. Rajesh Pandit Says:

    Kundalini is one of the branches of Yoga and associated with Hinduism. However, Kundalini as a spiritual experience is thought to have used by various religions of the world, without any objections from Hindu soceity, as far as that religion or guru teaches the Genuine Kundalini Yoga without distorting it or deceiving innocent people. Hindu scriptures says, Kundalini Yoga or Yoga used for commercials purpose or selfish reasons of making money or will not give benefits and will backfire.
    In recent times we have seen various self styled gurus or preachers are spreading the world over especially poor and under-developed countries propagating teaching of Kundalini Yoga, these gurus and preachers have no basic knowledge of Veda, Yoga Shastra and Yoga Scriptures. They simple take advantage of innocence of persons who are curious to know the secrets and mystics of ancient and centuries old Vedic science of gaining mind perfection and spirituality. These self acclaimed Gurus and Preachers have distorted the original and genuine scriptures of Vedas to their own advantages and popularizing their Godman and Gurudom. Whereas the Kundalini Yoga has great significance in Veda Yoga Culture. The basics tenants of “AUM” and asana have been distorted. The genuine teaching of Yoga especially known as Hatha Yoga or Kundalini Yoga – which is cosmetic name to genuine Hatha Yoga which is prevalent now in the west or some other countries are totally vague, as they fail to perform on the basic principals or Vedic and Genuine Yogic terms, these self proclaimed gurus follow there own thinking of selfish mottos of promoting their own belief and traditions to innocent and curious yoga students.
    In reality Yoga is a science to gain perfect balance of spiritual being, which according to Vedic cultures of yoga and Hinduism is only possible through chanting of “AUM”, these Godman have started using other names instead of “AUM” deceiving the learners of basic principals of Yoga, these Gurus have related Kundalini Yoga to one specific religion or tradition, this is another way of converting various Catholics, and other Christians to their religion in the veil of Kundalini Yoga. In reality Yoga is not a property of one religion but yoga is teaching to live a different way of life. On the other hands, these Gurus or Godman are using the Vedic gifts for their own blunderers reasons to just propagate their religion and promoting their culture, which is really very disturbing for all YOGA culture.
    Kundalini Yoga and Missing “AUM” – The loveliest and most important part of Kundalini Yoga is “AUM”, the explanation of “AUM” is found within the ancient Vedic Yoga Scripture and Sanskrit traditions. We can read about “AUM” in the marvelous Manduka Upanishad (Complete YOGA Bible), which explains the four elements of AUM as an allegory of the four planes of consciousness and gaining perfect spiritual being.

    “A” (pronounced “AH” as in “father”) resonates in the center of the mouth. It represents normal waking consciousness, in which subject and object exist as
    separate entities. This is the level of mechanics, science, logical reason, the lower three chakras. Matter exists on a gross level, is stable and slow to change.

    “U” Then the sound “U” (pronounced as in “who”) transfers the sense of vibration to the back of the mouth, and shifts the allegory to the level of dream consciousness. Here, object and subject become intertwined in awareness. Both are contained within us. Matter becomes subtle, more fluid, rapidly changing. This is the realm of dreams, divinities, imagination, the inner world.

    “M” is the third element, humming with lips gently closed. This sound resonates forward in the mouth and buzzes throughout the head. (Try it.) This sound
    represents the realm of deep, dreamless sleep. There is neither observing subject nor observed object. All are one, and nothing. Only pure consciousness exists, unseen, pristine, latent, covered with darkness. This is the cosmic night, the interval between cycles of creation, the womb of the divine Mother.
    Existence of “AUM” while doing Hath Yoga (Kundalini Yoga, as mentioned in various centuries old scriptures) – Chanting “AUM” creates entire cosmos vibrates with an energy that is audible to a mystic as a humming vibration, because AUM is only mantra in the universe which is closest to the spiritual and cosmic energy, Even Astronomers have accepted of hearing “AUM” Mantra and Voices in the universe. The closest experience of this sound in ordinary experience would be the humming sound of an electric transformer. Yet this humming is produced by the atoms of the universe vibrating at different frequencies. This in turn creates a cosmic and spiritual vibrations on minds which helps in finishing various vasnas (materialistic thinking from the mind), and when the mind meets spirits of ultimate being i.e God, then all your physical and materialistic problems is solved, as Mind is remote control of Body. Read More……….
    HATH YOGA (Kundalini Yoga, as few know) :-
    What is Kundalini Yoga – From the heart of Hatha-Yoga is the idea of Kundalini-Shakti (DURGA) occured, a coiled serpent in the form of a spiral, representing the reservoir of potential force or power which is, in principle, available to every one of us. Kundalini means `SHE who is Coiled` and SHAKTI means `Power`. Therefore, Kundalini-Shakti stands for the `Coiled` or `Spiral Power`, often also known as `Serpent Power`. Like the compressed spring of a jack-in-the-box, she lies dormant yet potent with energy, ready to expand upwards as soon as the lid is released and the pathway is clear.

    Kundalini is identical to the supreme feminine force Goddess (Devi Durga), who is the power, and hence the `Consort`, of Siva. Her nature incorporates three Guna (characteristics) in one, namely :

    · Emission, Production, or Emanation.
    · Existence or Preservation.
    · Absorption or Dissolution.

    Hence she stands for the three Gunas(characteristics) or Trimurti rolled into one.

    Synonyms of Kundalini listed in Hath Yoga Pradipika include: Kuta-Lungi (Crooked bodied), Bhujanga (She-Serpent), Shakti (Power), Isvari (owner, possessor, female Lord), and Kundali (coiled). In the same textual work it is stated that Hatha is the means and Kundalini the key with which the yogi may unlock the `Door to Liberation` (Moksa-Dvara).

    There is some controversy concerning the `Seat` of Kundalini in the human subtle body. The Gheranda-Samhita states that “The power of the Self (Atma-Shakti) resides in muladhara. Similar references can be found in other relevant sources. The Hath Yoga Pradipika and Goraksa-Sataka, however, are clear in their placement of Kundali/Kundalini as `above the Kanda, it being the region of the lower abdomen. It is instructive that one of the key techniques described in the Hath Yoga Pradipika involves applying physical pressure to the abdomen with the heels and sides of the feet, the heels pressing into the navel and the balls of the feet into the solar plexusand stimulating Kundalini by firmly contracting `the sun` (i.e. the solar plexus).

    Kundalini is a force so powerful as to be considered the source of all manifestation. There is more than one specific locus in the bodily matrix that harbors a strong potential for stimulating or accessing that force, and one or other of such loci may be the object of attention in particular hatha techniques. The presence of a range of `power access points` could be one reason for disagreements in hatha texts concerning Kundalini`s initial location.

    The aim of hatha-yoga is to first purify the nadis to facilitate the improved flow of prana, and then to induce the arousal and upward-movement of Kundalini. The activation of this otherwise latent but extremely powerful force is bound to create a profound transformation of the yogi. Not to mention his subtilisation and sublimation of his or her ordinary sense of identity.

    Main stages in this transformative process are regarded as coinciding with the `piercing` or `opening` by Kundalini of the various chakras and her dramatic arrival at the pericarp of sahasrara-padma (in the region of the cerebrum) marks the yogi`s `divinisation`, i.e. the realisation of his identity as Brahman.

    “When you feel currents of prana rising up to the Sahasrara, when you experience bliss, when you repeat 0m automatically, when there are no thoughts of the world in the mind… When in your meditation the eyes become fixed on trikuti, [between] the eye-brows, when the Sambhavi-mudra operates, know that Kundalini has become active… During meditation when you feel as if {here is no body, when your eye-lids 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.”

    Many accounts of experiences associated with the-Kundalini Phenomenon include sensations of intense heat, especially in the region of the spine.

    It can be the perception of light inside her skull` and `all the way down her spine as well.` The occurrence of such tangible symptoms implies a causal continuum between subtle and gross aspects of the human organism, as does the fact that, in hatha-yoga, mechanisms of the Sthula-sharira (gross body) such as breathing and muscular contractions-are utilized for the stimulation of Kundalini. On the yogic view, the activities of the various layers` of one`s being are intimately woven together into one psychophysical matrix. Only at the point of physical death is the outermost layer, the Sthula-Sharira, cast off.

    Some texts describe the internal perception of `a great light` in the region of ajna-cakra, as a `preliminary stage` in the arousal of Kundalini. During this stage, `The mind becomes calmer and the appetite reduced. The breath flows simultaneously through both nostrils for a number of days, indicating that the Ida and Pingala nadis are in equilibrium. Eventually comes the `explosive` animation of Kundalini, the experience of which is akin to `an electric shock from the base of the spinal column, travelling all the way up to the Sahasrara Padma.` musical sounds (nada) may be heard, and that suppressed feelings may be temporarily stirred up from the `subconscious mind`. The physical body will be paralysed for the duration of the initial awakening, and both breath and pulse may cease, giving the appearance of physical death; `but if one opens the eyelids, one will find that the eyes are glowing like diamonds with pranic energy`,” and the corresponding `inner`, or supra-physical, experience will be one of blissful illumination. The practical suggestion related with this powerful experience is that:

    “If [someone] in the [samadhi] state has not come back by the twenty-first day, one should gently try to bring the person back to physical consciousness. However, it is for them to decide whether to go or to come back. Beyond twenty one days it will not be possible to bring the person back to life.”

    The state of physiological suspension in samadhi need not signify the end of one`s psychological, and physical life, but should, on the contrary, furnish the highest possible enrichment of that life. The peak experience of Kundalini`s initial upsurge is held to open up a permanent pathway in the Sushumna, through which prana may now flow.

    As Sat Chakra Nirupama puts it, when `The beautiful Kundalini has drunk the excellent red nectar issuing from Para-Siva, she returns from there where shines eternal and Transcendent Bliss in all its glory along the path of Kula [ brahma-nadi], and again enters the Muladhara.`

    Repeated occurrences of Kundalini`s ascension will engender, perhaps over several lifetimes, a gradual transformation of the person`s mental and physical faculties. `Ultimately, even the physical cells become charged with divine incorruptibility` and the body radiates `a characteristic golden hue` (which is, he notes, too `subtle` to be captured on photographic film).

    Since Kundalini is said to `throw open the mouth to Sushumna, so that prana is able to move freely through if, it is clear that a distinction is made in hatha theory between Kundalini and prana. While both terms denote a primal `force` or `energy`, they are not thought of as identical.

    While prana is `the most basic unit of energy`, Kundalini provides the `static background`, which supports, or gives rise to, that energy. Kundalini, then, is not a `unit of energy`, but the source, or `mother`, of all energy, one of her many titles being Prana-devata (Goddess of prana), which suggests her priority over prana.”

    Kundalini may be regarded as both static and dynamic force. In her unmanifest` state as potential energy/matter she is passive. Whereas, in her various levels of manifestation, she appears as though active.

    In both states, she stands for the power of Siva; and, as Siva is all mighty, so is Kundalini. It takes only a relatively tiny fraction of that power to maintain the process of cosmic evolvement, a fathomless reservoir remains latent, and it is into this reservoir the yogin is considered to tap when he or she brings about the elevation of Kundalini.

  2. Krishan Says:

    Thank you so much for this rich information.
    I do intend to read the Kundalini Upanishads some day.
    I do not believe that as a whole Kundalini Yoga is being used for commercial purposes. I believe it is being taught as a service for humanity, in order for us all to help deal with the incoming Aquarian Age energies. As for commercial exchange, it’s simply an energetic exchange that makes it so that a vacuum is not created between a teacher and a student. Kundalini Yoga teachers are also strongly encouraged to provide 11% of their earnings made through teaching back to the source of the teachings. And in so doing so do not create karmic back fire.
    I believe knowledge of the scriptures is important to a certain extent. But who are we to say that in a past life these individuals did not have a wealth of scripture knowledge. And now they simply carry that as essence within their souls. We are seeing a grand growth of experiential knowledge and understanding of the technology which is Kundalini Yoga.
    Okay, I know this sounds kind of strange for the present, but I consider myself a Hindu, and a Christian and I practice a ton of Sikh traditions. I personally honor all of our world’s great religions and agree with you that yoga is not the property of one religion.
    Your AUM commentary is very interesting. Through the chanting of Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo we tune into the Golden Chain of teachings.
    I truly enjoyed your historical perspective.
    Are you sure that someone couldn’t be in Samadhi for more than 21 days and not be alive? What of the liberated souls? Do they not walk their days in Samadhi?

    I really enjoyed this information. I cannot provide comment as to it’s accuracy at this time, but it provides good insights for potential further research.

    Sat Nam,




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