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What Is the Physiology of Kundalini and Chakras and How Kundalini Became Synonyms With Supreme Consciousness?

Updated on April 14, 2020
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Prachi is practicing yoga since the age of 11. Her yoga retreats in India have helped her gain deep insights into self-awareness.

Location and Names of Chakras and Nadis
Location and Names of Chakras and Nadis

Though Kundalini originates from your physical body, it’s not limited to it. In fact, its concept is beyond the time, spaces and object. You can’t discover it in your mental or astral form as well, it lives in casual form and is limitless.

The serpent power rises from the Mooladhara chakra, where it lies in an unconscious state. This unconscious energy, that activates through Kundalini yoga, passes through different levels to reach cosmic awareness. This is the highest realm of existence. The supreme awareness is located in Sahasrara, the crown of the head. In Vedas and Tantras, this location is known as Hiranyagarbha. Hiranyagarbha is the source of supreme consciousness. It correlates with the pituitary gland.

Below this highest level, the pineal gland connects with another psychic center called Ajna chakra or the third eye. This represents intuitive knowledge. It lies at Bhrumadhya, the eyebrow center. This chakra is very important as it connects with the highest center, Sahasrara as well as with Mooladhara, the lowest center through Sushumna Nadi. Sushumna is a central passage in the spinal cord.

Kundalini yoga is not just theoretical. Your physical body is the basis of this yoga. As you become a master in this practice, you achieve the highest possible manifestation of physical matter present in your body. The matter transforms into certain forces such as thinking, feeling, remembering, reasoning, and so on in the journey of evolution. This transcendental power in you is the final point of human evolution.

Seven Chakras and their significance
Seven Chakras and their significance

Chakras and Chakra Energy

The basic meaning of chakra is a wheel or circle. In yogic language, this Sanskrit word means a vortex. This means chakras are the vortices of powerful psychic energy.

  • They are shown as spiral movements of energy that function at certain rates of vibration.
  • In each of us, there is a multitude of chakras, but in yogic and tantric practices only a few are considered.
  • These chakras cover the full growth of man’s being from an egoist to a modest.
  • The chakras are the real functioning body parts and also the psychic centers.
  • These centers are not exactly found within the spinal cord but placed as junctions on the walls of the spinal cord. If you ever see a spinal cord, you’ll find grey matter in the cross-section in the shape of lotus and tracts of nerve fibers.
  • These fibers relate to the Nadis and handle the physiological functions of that part of the body.
  • A chakra is like an electricity pole through which electrical wires are connected to nearby houses and streets. This organization is similar to chakras as well.
  • The Nadis that emerge from these chakras bring prana in both the directions, backward and forward.

The six chakras that connect with the highest center of the brain start from the pelvic floor and correlates with the coccygeal plexus of nerves. This starting stage is the Mooladhara chakra. In males, it exists between urinary and excretory openings. In females, it is located on the posterior surface of the cervix.

Here is a quick description of the seven most prominent chakras:

The first chakra is the Mooladhara. This indicates the rise of awareness that goes beyond animal consciousness. This is also the final chakra in the evolution of animals. This chakra controls your excretory and sexual functions.

Below this chakra, there are other lower chakras as well that controls the qualities of instinct and intellect in animals as well as human beings. From this chakra and upwards, chakras deal with the evolution of your higher consciousness.

The second chakra is Swadhisthana. This chakra is located at the lowest center of the spinal cord. It correlates with the sacral plexus of nerves and handles your unconsciousness.

The third chakra is Manipura. It is located within the spinal cord leveled with the navel. It handles your digestion process and temperature regulation. It correlates with the solar plexus.

The fourth chakra is the Anahata. It is located in the vertebral column just behind the heart. It handles your body functions related to the heart, lungs, diaphragm and other organs that exist in that area. It correlates with the cardiac plexus of nerves.

The fifth chakra is Vishuddhi. It is located in the vertebral column leveled with the throat pit. It handles your thyroid complex and functions related to the upper palate, articulation, and the epiglottis. It correlates with the cervical plexus of nerves.

The sixth chakra is Ajna. It is the most important chakra and located in the middle of your brain right above the spinal cord. It regulates your muscles and sexual activity. With tantra and yoga, Ajna chakra activates and controls the entire functioning of your life.

Activation of these chakras turns on the different silent parts of your brain. This awakening reaches the higher centers in your brain through Nadis.

Your brain has two higher centers, also mentioned in Kundalini yoga, i.e. Bindu and Sahasrara. Bindu is situated at the back of the forehead, where some Hindu Brahmins keep a tuft of hair. At this point, oneness divides into many and then feeds the entire optic system. It is also the seat of Amrit (nectar).

The seventh and supreme chakra is Sahasrara. It is the highest pinnacle of the Kundalini power. It is the location of the highest self-awareness and lies at the crown of the head. It corresponds with the pituitary gland and controls every gland and system of your body.

Location of three most crucial Nadis
Location of three most crucial Nadis

Nadis

Nadis are the channels of the flow of consciousness. The word Nadi literally means flow. Similar to the way electricity flows (both positive and negative) through complex circuits, vital and mental forces (prana shakti and manas shakti respectively) flow through each part of your body via the 72,000 Nadis.

According to tantric texts, these 72,000 Nadis cover the entire body and conduct the various activities in different organs of the body. There are ten main channels within the network of Nadis, out of which three are the most crucial ones. These three Nadis govern the flow of energy within the rest of the Nadis. These three are known as Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna.

  1. Ida Nadi is responsible for mental energy and handles all the mental processes.
  2. Pingala Nadi is responsible for vital energy and handles all the vital processes.
  3. Sushumna Nadi is responsible for spiritual energy and handles the awakening of spiritual consciousness.

As Sushumna runs within the spinal cord, Ida and Pingala concurrently flow on the outside of the spinal cord, yet within the vertebral column. These three Nadis are rooted in Mooladhara on the pelvic floor. From here, Sushumna flows upwards through the central passage, Ida through left, and Pingala through right.

At sacral plexus chakra (Swadhisthana), the three Nadis cross over each other. Ida passes through right, Pingala through left, and Sushumna flows upwards directly within the central passage. The same thing happens as we proceed to higher chakras. Finally, all three Nadis meet at the pineal gland, where the Ajna chakra is located.

Ida and Pingala functions alternatively,

  • If you’ve noticed, only one of your nostrils work at a time and another one is blocked.
  • If your left nostril is breathing, then it’s Ida Nadi means lunar energy is flowing and if it’s your right nostril, then it is Pingala Nadi means solar energy is flowing.
  • Many studies have proved that if your left nostril is active, your right brain is in action and if your right nostril is active, then your left brain is in action.
  • That’s how energy channels (Nadis) control the brain functions as well as the incidents of life and consciousness.

Now think about this, if both these Nadis or energy channels are made to work together at the same time, then the double energy will flow within you simultaneously. This means both sides of your brain will function together and will equally participate in your living, thinking, and intuitive processes.

Generally, this doesn’t seem to happen. But if your Sushumna Nadi, the central passage connects with the Kundalini, the ultimate source of the energy, then the simultaneous functioning and awakening of life forces take place. Your brain cells reactivate and can help you to bring a new physical structure into existence.

Significance of Sushumna Awakening
Significance of Sushumna Awakening

Significance of Sushumna Awakening

Sushumna Nadi is said to be a hollow passage having three concentric tubes that are progressively finer than the last one. These tubes are:

  • Sushumna - relates to tamas
  • Vajrini - relates to rajas
  • Chitrini - relates to sattva, and
  • Brahma - relates to consciousness.

The Kundalini consciousness goes through the Brahma Nadi.

The lowest chakra, Mooladhara, is a very powerful source. To initiate this source, you need to generate pranic energy. This energy is released through pranayama. Practicing pranayama helps you generate this energy which initiates the source in Mooladhara. Then this energy is pushed upward till it reaches the Ajna chakra. All this happens through the Sushumna Nadi. That’s why the awakening of Sushumna is equally significant as the awakening of Kundalini.

Now, you’ve started the energy generation, but haven’t yet plugged the cable. What’ll happen? The energy won’t distribute. You need to plug the cable to distribute the energy across all the areas of your house.

When you have active Ida and Pingala, but not Sushumna, then only positive and negative lines work in your cable without the earth. This is a drastic situation. The moment your mind receives all the three powerful currents of energy, all the lights activate, but the removal of earth wire can turn down every light.

Without Sushumna, the radiance of Ida and Pingala energy is very low and with Sushumna, the possibility of enlightenment takes place. That’s how you need to intake the Kundalini and Sushumna awakenings as well as the union of the three Nadis in the Ajna chakra.

The main concept of Kundalini yoga is to awake the Sushumna. This is a medium of communication between the lower and higher levels of consciousness. When this happens, your Kundalini finally awakens and the power (shakti) ultimately reaches the Sahasrara.

Many scientists have invented machines that can actually record the waves and currents of energy that occur during the Kundalini awakening. This is quite similar to watering of the roots of the plant so that it grows into a tree and beautiful flowers bloom on it. Your every stage of life is awakened and your higher energy unleashes within you.

Mystical Banyan Tree of Bhagavad Gita, At the top of the roots, Lord Krishna is illustrated. Below him, there's a human being. His many faces and hands refer to the different phases of life.
Mystical Banyan Tree of Bhagavad Gita, At the top of the roots, Lord Krishna is illustrated. Below him, there's a human being. His many faces and hands refer to the different phases of life.

Mystical Banyan Tree of Bhagavad Gita

In the 15th chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, there’s an analogy to the Banyan Tree. The tree is described upside down. It has its roots at the top, while the branches at the bottom, growing downwards. According to this Hindu text, if you know this tree, then you know the truth. The tree symbolizes the structure of the nervous system and the human body. You need to climb this inverted tree to reach the truth and become part of the known.

This topsy-turvy tree is the essence of occult truth and hidden knowledge. It can’t be grasped logically but through continuous process of spiritual awakening.

This is because spiritual knowledge comes in a manner that is contradictory to the intellectual mind. This tree is also called the ‘Tree of Life’ and ‘Tree of Knowledge’ in Judaism and Christianity respectively. Though this concept is highly misunderstood for ages, this is the most important factor in our lives.

In conclusion, through Kundalini yoga you are working towards climbing the roots of the tree. Every time you make an effort to move to Sahasrara, you are trying to reach the top of the roots of the mystical tree.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Prachi Sharma

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    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      5 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Very informative. Interesting the ancient with the modern to explain.

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