What is Kundalini Yoga?

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Wisdom For Seekers / Yoga


Sadhguru explains that the fundamental life force in the existence is referred as 'kundalini'. Kundalini Yoga in its essence is the most potent. If improperly handled it is also the most dangerous form of yoga.


Duration: 10 min


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What is Kundalini Yoga?

The following is an unedited transcript of Sadhguru's video. For better readability, breaks and highlights have been added by the editors.

So what is Kundalini? Right now, I’m speaking, this is Kundalini. You are alert and listening, if you are alert and listening, that is Kundalini. A flower is blossoming, that is Kundalini. A dog is barking, that is also Kundalini, or in other words, the fundamental life force in the existence, we call it Kundalini.

Now, within the system, within the human system, if you look at this as a kind of a life package, it’s a piece of life. This piece of life is packed in a certain way, with layers of this energy. One dimension of energy comes alive immediately, because that is necessary for your survival process. The other dimensions of energy will not come alive, unless you do something about it. Unless you’re aware of it and activate it in a certain way, they do not come into existence. They remain dormant. The dormant energy is way bigger than the energy that is in use right now.

To take care of your survival process, to live a physical life completely, to live a complete physical and intellectual life, you need to activate only about twenty-one of your chakras. Out of this one hundred and fourteen, if about twenty-one of them are on, you will live a complete life, you will not feel any inadequacy. You will live a complete physical life. There’ll be no problem with your life, you will think you’re a great success, but you’re only twenty-one, that is less than twenty-one percent out of one hundred and fourteen, less than twenty percent. At less than twenty percent, you will feel like a complete life without any inadequacies.

The remaining percentage of life, what is it about? It is not even needed if your intention is just to live well. If you activate this dimension of energy, other dimensions of life will open up. One thing is, “Are you ready for those dimensions?” The question is not about whether it’s good or bad. The question is just about, “Are you ready for it?” Because even if the best things in life come to your life, when you are not ready for it, it will not be a good thing for you. In your experience it will not be a good thing, if something came to you when you’re not ready for it, isn’t it so? Even if it’s a greatest thing, it may be the greatest thing, but it came to you when you are not ready for it, then it is not a good thing, isn’t it? So are you ready for it, is the first question. If you’re ready for it, what can we do for it? What can we do to activate it?

The various ways of doing this, many, many ways, but the Kundalini Yoga – are people familiar with Kundalini Yoga, practicing or… Okay. Kundalini Yoga – I’m not making a comment about anybody, okay? Kundalini Yoga, in its essence is the most dangerous form of yoga. I’m saying dangerous, because it’s the most potent also. What is most potent is always the most dangerous, if improperly handled.

There are various kinds of energy in the world right now, even the electricity is being produced in so many different ways. One of the ways that we do it is through nuclear reactions, nuclear reactors rather. It is the most efficient way of producing energy that we know right now, but it is also the most dangerous way, isn’t it? When things go wrong, they go seriously wrong. When they’re going right, it is the easiest and the best way to produce energy on the planet, is nuclear energy actually. But when it goes bad, it goes bad, really bad, like in ways that you can’t fix it.

So, similarly with Kundalini Yoga, it is the most potent and it is the most dangerous. Without the necessary preparation and guidance, without expert guidance, constant guidance and observation, nobody should ever attempt it. But the problem is, books have been written about it and everybody wants to do the highest yoga. Nobody wants to start with A, everybody wants to start the alphabet with Z. This attitude itself is dangerous. What can be a life-transforming force can become a life-destructive force, simply because without the necessary commitment and dedication and focus and understanding, it is being handled.

Anyway, about raising the Kundalini, if the Kundalini rises, the dimensions of your life will change so rapidly that you must be willing to make the outside adjustments equally, quick. Otherwise, things will fall apart in a big way. In the classical yogic traditions, there is a certain type of yoga we teach for people who live in family situations. There is a certain other type of yoga we teach for ascetics.

In Isha, we have both the forms, we have ascetic yoga and we have the general yoga. We will never teach you the ascetic form. That is the most potent way to do it. But it will demand a certain dimension of discipline and focus, which your regular lives will not allow. If you do that kind of yoga, it will dismantle your outside life instantly. Now this Yoga is not designed to dismantle your life, this Yoga is designed to make your life happen better.

When life happens better, when things happen better, you make more money, your business is going better, your profession is happening better – your, generally unfortunately, your longing to seek the higher becomes slower. Yes. So in the real sense, it is not the good way to do it. But it’s the only way it works in today’s world. And it’s the only way it works for majority of the people. For a small number of people, we can do it other ways. We can bypass all these things and just do very powerful ways of doing things. But it will dismantle all social structures around them, which is not good for everybody to do. So these are different dimensions.

Kundalini Yoga, if it has to be practiced, you must be in a certain kind of atmosphere. You cannot live in social situations and do Kundalini Yoga. Otherwise, in the name of Kundalini Yoga, you’re doing something simplistic. Otherwise, Kundalini yoga can transform the way you are within days. Suddenly you find you’re a stranger in your own home within two days of practice, because it will change everything about you.

So, can we raise the Kundalini? Yes, we can. One way is to create a conducive atmosphere so that slowly it rises. The other way is to provoke it in such a way that it rises quickly. If it rises quickly, then everything changes dramatically. If it rises slowly over a period of time, changes will happen slowly, you will be capable of handling these changes over a period of time. But if it happens very quick, then you will not be able to handle the changes, things will look like things are falling apart.

So there are different ways of doing this. How many ways? There are too many ways, I will not go into how many ways. There are so many ways of doing it. Essentially, there are one hundred and twelve ways of doing it. There are hundred and twelve ways in which you can take this up, from the base to… Oh! for this you have to know the structure, otherwise it will become very elaborate…

Out of this one hundred and fourteen chakras, there are seven which we recognize as seven dimensions. Out of this, six are within the body, one just outside the physical body. So, if you employ this one hundred and twelve methods, you will handle the six chakras, the seventh one you cannot handle. There are hundred and twelve ways in which you can attain to a chakra which we refer to as Agna. But from Agna to Sahasrara, there is no way. There is no way to do it, you just have to jump into an abyss. If you have to jump into an abyss, you should be insane or you should have enormous trust in somebody. Somebody says jump, and you are jumping because you have such a deep trust in somebody that when he says jump, it has to be good for you. You simply jump into a bottomless pit.

So, the journey from the Mooladhara to Agna, there are one hundred and twelve ways to get there. But from there [Agna] to there [Sahasrara], there is no way. It is just one jump, that can happen in trust, in devotion or in madness. Choice is yours.

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