KUNDILINI

ਕੁੰਡਲਨੀ ਸੁਰਝੀ ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਪਰਮਾਨੰਦ ਗੁਰੂ ਮੁਖਿ ਮਚਾ ॥:
Kundilini surjhee satsangati parmaanand guroo mukhi machaa
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The Primordial Energy resides in all bodies as Kundilini. Although the term "Kundilini" is present in the Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS), however, its mention is very limited. The Gurbani says the Kundilini awakens in the Satsangat. This is different than what the Yogis say about awakening Kundidlini. Therefore this Gurbani Reflection will attempt to reflect on:
  • Yogis and Kundilini - Yogic Practices
  • The Gurbani on Kundilini - Kundilini according to the Gurbani
Yogis and Kundilini - Yogic Practices

In conjunction with Kindilini, Yogis also talk about terms such as the Chakras (rings, wheels or discs, which signify subtle energy centers), the Kosa (sheaths), the "three bodies", the three states of consciousness, and the five elements, as well as their interrelationship.

The Five Kosa:

  • Annamaya Kosa or food sheath
  • Pranamaya Kosa or vital-air sheath
  • Manomaya Kosa or mental sheath
  • Viganamaya Kosa or intellectual sheath
  • Anandamaya Kosa or bliss sheath
Three Bodies:
  • Sthula Sarira or Gross Body ( or Asthool)
  • Suksma Sarira or Subtle Body (or Sookham)
  • Karana Sarira or Causal Body.
Three States Of Consciousness:
  • The state of waking or Jagrat (pronounced Jaagrat)
  • The state of dream (Swapna)
  • The state of deep sleep (Sushupti).
Chakras:
  • Sahasrara
  • Ajna or the Bow >
  • Cervicial or Vishudha Ckara located in the spine, opposite to the throat.
  • Dorsal or Anahata Chakra located in the spine, opposite to the heart.
  • Lumber or Manipur Chakara located in the spine, opposite to the naval.
  • Sacral or Savdhirthan Chakra located in the spine, opposite to the generative organs.
  • Coccygeal or Mooldhar (pronounced Mooldhaar) Chakara located at the base of the spine.
Kundilini:

The lowest of the subtle centers is the coccygeal center, which is located at the bottom of the spine. As mentioned by the Yogis, all the subtle powers of consciousness and life force flowing downward from the higher centers into the coccygeal center come into physical manifestation through the channel of this lower center. As the life force flows outward from the coccygeal center, it creates and sustains the region of flesh, bones, blood, marrow, organs, nerves, veins, arteries, glands, muscles, skin, and so forth.

According to the Yogis, Kundilini is this coiled (entangled) creative life force at the base of astral spine (Mooldhar center). Due to its coiled form of a sleeping serpent, it is symbolized as a snake. When this life force is allowed to flow down due to mental delusion, its stinging venom causes the man to enjoy evil passions such as Kaam, Krodh, and so on.

Irhaa, Pingla, Sushumanaa, "sun" and "moon":

For better understanding and appreciation of the use of the names "sun" and "moon", a brief backdrop of Yogic beliefs and practices is as follows. There are thousands of nerve fibers or energy channels of the inner or subtle body of man known as Naarhees or "conduits". These interconnect the Chakras or subtle energy centers of the man's body. Of these, the three main Naarhees are Irhaa, Pingla and Sushumanaa.

Also known as Chandra, Chand or Sasee ("moon"), Irhaa is said to be positive life current and flows downward, ending on the left side of the body. Yogis believe this life current to be feminine in nature and is the channel of physical-emotional energy. Pingla — also known as Sooriya, Soor or Sooraj ("sun") — is said to be negative life current and flows upward, ending on the right side of the body. Yogis believe this current to be masculine in nature and is the channel of intellectual-mental energy. Both Irhaa and Pingla are auxiliary of the Sushumanaa.

The Sushumanaa is mentioned by the Yogis to be the major nerve current which passes through the spinal column from the Mooldhar Chakra or coccygeal center at the base, to the Sahasraara at the crown of the head. Irhaa and Pingla are the two primary Naarhees of the astral sympathetic nervous system feeding into and out of the main current of Sushumanaa. Within the Sushumanaa is the second astral spine called Vajra, which extends upward from the Savdhirthan Chakra, or sacral center. The Vajra provides the power of expansion, contraction, and all activities of motion of the astral body. Within the Vajra is hidden the Chitra astral spine, which controls the spiritual activities related to the Consciousness. The astral brain or Sahasraara controls the activities of the Sushumanaa (including Vajra and Chitra).

As mentioned by the Yogis, Sushumanaa is the channel of Kundilini energy. When Kundilini energy flows downward into the body it enlivens the sense faculties. But, it bestows Spiritual Enlightenment when the flow is reversed and uplifted to the Sahasraara. Through Yoga practices, the Yogis believe the Kundilini energy lying dormant in the Mooldhar Chakra in a coiled form is awakened and made to rise up Sushumanaa channel through each Chakra to the Sahasraara Chakra. Upon awakening of the pure Kundilini force by the Yogi, it rises to the brain (Sahasraara) and is transformed into the Bliss of Spirit, Spiritual Enlightenment, Soul-vision or God-realization! This is the crux of the matter.

The Gurbani and the Kundilini

The Gurbani differs with Yogic practices and beliefs. The following all verses of the Gurbani address Yogis, specifically to remove their doubts.

The Gurbani indicates the Kundilini uncoils (disentangles, rises, awakens, enlightens, untied, etc.) in the Satsangat. Now, what's Satsangat? Essentially, when the mind has linked (Sangi) with Sat (Truth), that is Satsangat. Obviously the hint here is toward the twisted Budhi (intellect), deluded Budhi, corrupted Budhi, coiled or entangled Budhi, ਮਨਮੁਖਿ ਵਿਰਤੀ, ਸਾਕਤ ਵਿਰਤੀ, ਮਾਇਆਧਾਰੀ ਵਿਰਤੀ, the knot of egotism, the knot of ignorance, twisted or embroiled mind, doubt-ridden mind, and so on.

The Gurbani indicates that such twisted or coiled Budhi becomes uncoiled or disentangled in the Satsangat. In other words, "Kundilini" (ਮਨ ਦੇ ਵੱਟ-twists or crookedness of the mind) becomes untangled when it links or associate with Sat (or Truth, which is its Mool, Source, Origin - Joti-Svaroopa...), within.

  • ਕੁੰਡਲਨੀ ਸੁਰਝੀ ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਪਰਮਾਨੰਦ ਗੁਰੂ ਮੁਖਿ ਮਚਾ ॥: Kundalanee surjhee satsangati parmaanand guroo mukhi machaa: Through the association with Sat (Truth) - Satsangat - the Kundilini unentangles; through the Word of the Guroo, they enjoy the Supreme Bliss. (sggs 1402).
  • ਖਟੁ ਮਟੁ ਦੇਹੀ ਮਨੁ ਬੈਰਾਗੀ ॥ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਸਬਦੁ ਧੁਨਿ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਜਾਗੀ ॥ ਵਾਜੈ ਅਨਹਦੁ ਮੇਰਾ ਮਨੁ ਲੀਣਾ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਬਚਨੀ ਸਚਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਪਤੀਣਾ ॥੧॥...: Khatu matu dehee manu bairaagee. Surti Sabadu dhuni antari jaagee. Vaajai anahadu meraa manu leenaa. Gur bachanee sachi naami pateenaa ||1||. (sggs 903).
The Gurbani time and again recommends Satsang or Saadhsangat to sweep our "filthy" minds clean and remove our ignorance, doubts and illusions. Our minds are closed (blind, ignorant...), but Bhagti (thorough Understanding of the Gurbani, Aatm-Giaan...) opens them up and bestows upon one self-control and mental purity necessary for awakening Kundilini. Without the mind being linked to its Mool within (Sat or Saadhoo within, Nij Ghar - Joti-Svaroopa), the "moss" of doubts and illusion cannot be removed.
  • ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਬਿਨਾ ਭਾਉ ਨਹੀ ਊਪਜੈ ਭਾਵ ਬਿਨੁ ਭਗਤਿ ਨਹੀ ਹੋਇ ਤੇਰੀ ॥: Saadhsangati binaa bhaaou nahiee oopjai bhaav binu bhagati nahee hoi teree (sggs 694).
  • ਪ੍ਰੇਮ ਭਗਤਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਸਾਧੂ ਸੰਗਿ ਸਮਾਈ ॥੪॥੧੨॥੫੧॥: Prem bhagati Nanak sukhu paaiaa saadhoo sangi samaaee ||4||12||51 (sggs 384).
  • ਭਈ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਦੇਹੁਰੀਆ ॥ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਮਿਲਣ ਕੀ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਬਰੀਆ ॥ ਅਵਰਿ ਕਾਜ ਤੇਰੈ ਕਿਤੈ ਨ ਕਾਮ ॥ ਮਿਲੁ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਭਜੁ ਕੇਵਲ ਨਾਮ ॥੧॥: Bhaee praapati maanukh dehureeaa. Gobind milan kee ih teree bareeaa. Avari kaaj terai kitai n kaam. Milu saadhsangati bhauj keval Naam ||1|| (sggs 12).
The state of awakened Kundilini is essentially synonymous to many terms such as Opening of Dasam Duar or the Tenth Gate, Self-realization, Realization of the Spirit, Enlightenment, inverted Heart-Lotus turning upright, hearing of Panch Shabad or Anhad Naad or Anaahat Naad, attainment of Eternal Bliss, Being established in the "True Home", liberation from the three modes of Maya, Jeevanmukti (to become liberated while living), Complete absorption in Bhakti, attainment of Fourth State (Chauthaa Pada,or Turiyaa Avasthaa), Divine Union or Yoga, and so on.

The Gurbani and Irhaa, Pingalaa and Shushumanaa:

The Gurbani also differs with the Yogis about Irhaa, Pingalaa and Shushumanaa arteries or Narhee (also spelt ida, ira, pinglaa, sushumana, shushmana, etc.). That is, contrary to the Yogis claim, the Gurbani says these three Narhee - Irhaa, Pingalaa and Shushumanaa - dwell in one place.

  • ਇੜਾ ਪਿੰਗੁਲਾ ਅਉਰ ਸੁਖਮਨਾ ਤੀਨਿ ਬਸਹਿ ਇਕ ਠਾਈ ॥ ਬੇਣੀ ਸੰਗਮੁ ਤਹ ਪਿਰਾਗੁ ਮਨੁ ਮਜਨੁ ਕਰੇ ਤਿਥਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਸੰਤਹੁ ਤਹਾ ਨਿਰੰਜਨ ਰਾਮੁ ਹੈ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਗਮਿ ਚੀਨੈ ਬਿਰਲਾ ਕੋਇ ॥ ਤਹਾਂ ਨਿਰੰਜਨੁ ਰਮਈਆ ਹੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Irhaa Pingulaa aour sukhamanaa teeni basahi ik thaaee ||.. (sggs 974).
  • ਅਖੰਡ ਮੰਡਲ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਮਹਿ ਅਨਹਦ ਬੇਨੁ ਬਜਾਵਉਗੋ ॥੧॥ ਬੈਰਾਗੀ ਰਾਮਹਿ ਗਾਵਉਗੋ ॥ ਸਬਦਿ ਅਤੀਤ ਅਨਾਹਦਿ ਰਾਤਾ ਆਕੁਲ ਕੈ ਘਰਿ ਜਾਉਗੋ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਇੜਾ ਪਿੰਗੁਲਾ ਅਉਰੁ ਸੁਖਮਨਾ ਪਉਨੈ ਬੰਧਿ ਰਹਾਉਗੋ ॥ ਚੰਦੁ ਸੂਰਜੁ ਦੁਇ ਸਮ ਕਰਿ ਰਾਖਉ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਜੋਤਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਜਾਉਗੋ ॥੨॥: Akhand mandall nirankaar mahi anahd ben bajaavougo ... (sggs 973).
  • ਤ੍ਰੈ ਸਤ ਅੰਗੁਲ ਵਾਈ ਅਉਧੂ ਸੁੰਨ ਸਚੁ ਆਹਾਰੋ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬੋਲੈ ਤਤੁ ਬਿਰੋਲੈ ਚੀਨੈ ਅਲਖ ਅਪਾਰੋ ॥ ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਮੇਟੈ ਸਬਦੁ ਵਸਾਏ ਤਾ ਮਨਿ ਚੂਕੈ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੋ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਏਕੋ ਜਾਣੈ ਤਾ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮਿ ਲਗੈ ਪਿਆਰੋ ॥ ਸੁਖਮਨਾ ਇੜਾ ਪਿੰਗੁਲਾ ਬੂਝੈ ਜਾ ਆਪੇ ਅਲਖੁ ਲਖਾਏ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਹੁ ਤੇ ਊਪਰਿ ਸਾਚਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸਬਦਿ ਸਮਾਏ ॥੬੦॥: Trai Sat angul vaaee audhoo sunn sach aahaao ... (sggs 944).
  • ਐਸਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਕਥੈ ਬਨਵਾਰੀ ॥ ਮਨ ਰੇ ਪਵਨ ਦ੍ਰਿੜੁ ਸੁਖਮਨ ਨਾਰੀ ॥: Aisaa giaanu kathai banbaaree. Mann re pavan drirhu sukhman naaree (sggs 327).
The Gurbani and Chakras:

The following verses of the Gurbani address Yogis, specifically to remove their doubts (NOT to approve their practices and beliefs for the Gurbani differs with them).

The Gurbani indicates that when the perplexed mind is reversed or turned inward ("Ulatat Pavan") with the Divine Wisdom, the Chakras (that Yogis talk about) stand pierced; and the Awareness then becomes free of Maya - the mind's connections stands broken with Trikuti, defiled senses, etc. that trundle us in repeated suffering...

Bhagat Kabeer Sahib says:

  • ਉਲਟਤ ਪਵਨ ਚਕ੍ਰ ਖਟੁ ਭੇਦੇ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਸੁੰਨ ਅਨਰਾਗੀ ॥ ਆਵੈ ਨ ਜਾਇ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਜੀਵੈ ਤਾਸੁ ਖੋਜੁ ਬੈਰਾਗੀ ॥੧॥ ਮੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਮਨ ਹੀ ਉਲਟਿ ਸਮਾਨਾ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ ਅਕਲਿ ਭਈ ਅਵਰੈ ਨਾਤਰੁ ਥਾ ਬੇਗਾਨਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Ultat pawan chakra khatu bhede surti sunn anuraagee ||1||. Aavai n jaai marai n jeevai taasu khoju bairaagee. Mere man man hee ulati samaanaa ||1|| Rahaaou ||. Gur parsaadi akali bhaee avarai naataru thaa begaana (sggs 333).
ਉਲਟਤ ਪਵਨ (Ultat pawan) => turning the mind inward...
ਸੁਰਤਿ ਸੁੰਨ (surti sunn) => consciousness becoming free of Maya, ਮਾਇਆ ਤੋਂ ਸੁਰਤ ਦਾ ਸੁੰਨ ਹੋ ਜਾਣਾ...
ਆਵੈ ਨ ਜਾਇ ਮਰੈ ਨ ਜੀਵੈ (Aavai n jaai marai n jeevai) => who does not come and go and who neiher dies and nor is born...
ਤਾਸੁ ਖੋਜੁ (taasu khoju) => Search Him (within)...
ਬੈਰਾਗੀ (bairaagee) => (Search Him within) who is detached, beyond Maya, has no hunger for Maya, ਜਿਸ ਨੂੰ ਮਾਇਆ ਦੀ ਭੁਖ ਨਹੀ...
ਗੁਰ ਪਰਸਾਦਿ (Gur parsaadi) => Grace of the Gur-Giaan, Grace of the Divine Wisdom of the Gurbani, ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਦੇ ਗਿਆਨ ਦੀ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਨਾਲ...

With the Grace of the Divine Wisdom of the Gurbani, the ignorance driven intellect (ਅਕਲ) gets changed or transformed (ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਦੇ ਵਿਚ ਦਰਜ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨ, ਜੀਵ ਦੀ ਬੁਧੀ ਨੂੰ ਬਦਲ ਦੇਂਦਾ ਹੈ ).

  • ਗਿਆਨ ਕਾ ਬਧਾ ਮਨੁ ਰਹੈ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਨ ਹੋਇ ॥੫॥ (sggs 469).
  • ਗਿਆਨ ਰਤਨਿ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਜੀਐ ਬਹੁੜਿ ਨ ਮੈਲਾ ਹੋਇ ॥ (sggs 992).
  • ਗਿਆਨ ਖੜਗੁ ਲੈ ਮਨ ਸਿਉ ਲੂਝੈ ਮਨਸਾ ਮਨਹਿ ਸਮਾਈ ਹੇ ॥੩॥ (sggs 1022).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਸੀਤਲੁ ਭਇਆ ਪਾਇਆ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੁ ॥ (sggs 1373).
  • ਅਖਰੀ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਗੀਤ ਗੁਣ ਗਾਹ ॥ (sggs 4).
  • ਐਸਾ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਬਿਚਾਰੁ ਮਨਾ ॥ (sggs 1161).
  • ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਕੈ ਮਨਿ ਹੋਇ ਪ੍ਰਗਾਸੁ ॥ (sggs 272).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਮਾਇਆ ਕਾ ਮਾਰਣੁ ਸਬਦੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਜਾਇ ॥੨॥ (sggs 853).
  • ਕਿਉ ਗੁਰ ਬਿਨੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਕੁਟੀ ਛੁਟਸੀ ਸਹਜਿ ਮਿਲਿਐ ਸੁਖੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ (sggs 18).
Once the twisted or coiled Budhi becomes uncoiled or disentangled (i.e., changed or transformed – ” ਬੁਧਿ ਬਦਲੀ”), then Kabee Sahib says “ਸਿਧਿ ਪਾਈ”.
  • ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਬੁਧਿ ਹਰਿ ਲਈ ਮੇਰੀ ਬੁਧਿ ਬਦਲੀ ਸਿਧਿ ਪਾਈ ॥੨॥੨੧॥੭੨॥: (sggs 339).
So the Gurbani asks its learners (students, Sikhs) to keep this Lamp of the Divine Wisdom burning in the mind!
  • ਗੁਰ ਦੀਪਕੁ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਸਦਾ ਮਨਿ ਬਲੀਆ ਜੀਉ ॥ (sggs 173).
The Gurbani and the "Sun" and the "Moon" Channels:

The Gurbani urges Yogis to make this body the harp, and the right and left nostrils (the "sun" and the "moon" channels) the strings of this body-harp; then vibrate the wondrous melody of the Shabad (Naam, Hukam, Aatam-Giaan...) within.

  • ਰਵਿ ਸਸਿ ਲਉਕੇ ਇਹੁ ਤਨੁ ਕਿੰਗੁਰੀ ਵਾਜੈ ਸਬਦੁ ਨਿਰਾਰੀ ॥: Ravi sasi louke ihu tanu kingaree vaajai sabad niraaree (sggs 907 ).
— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org