“Kundalini” in Jain-Yoga

Flowing for ever in the backbone, tranquil Sushumna!

Pleasant Jnana Kendra above, boundless energy below;

Near the Centre of Power is ‘Kundalini’ located,

Also called Teloleshya or Tejas-tan.

Two forms has Kundalini: dormant and awake;

Only connoisseurs of Yoga know its true nature!

The worship of kundalini can become a curse;

Without proper guidance one only comes to grief.

But he who masters it, attains deep samadhi!

Hair and nails cease growing, all pains melt away.

Resplendent Kundalini is of two kinds! abundant and abridged;

Dormant power is brief, but when roused it’s colossal!

Q.Whether one knows it or not, the field of yoga is a region of many secrets. Those who have gone into it, have sought and discovered many unknown secrets and through their sadhana have opened up new dimensions. Kundalini, too, is a mysterious element of yoga. Jain Agamas are silent over it. From the point of view of Jain Yoga, is kundahni a power or not? If yes, where is it to be found?

Ans. In Jain Agamic literature, the word “Kundalini” finds no mention. However, in subsequent literature influenced by Tantrism or Hatha-Yoga, this word has been used. Kundalini is certainly a mystery; nevertheless, in Jain Agamas is to be found a detailed description of its nature. The difference of name is there of course, but there is no question of denying its existence. Among the accomplishments of yoga, kundalini is recognised as a form of energy. In Jain yoga it is established as a special power under the name of Tejoleshya or Tejolabdhi.

In our body there are chiefly three kinds of vital currents. The central current flows through Sushumna in the backbone. Below Sushumna is Shakti Kendra, the Centre of Power. Above Sushumna is Jnana Kendra, the Centre of Knowledge. Both these centres are connected with Sushumna. Without power or energy there can be no development of knowledge and without knowledge, energy is not properly utilised. Therefore, both these centres and the medial region between them constitute an important part of the body. From the point of view of sadhana, all the systems of sadhana have recognised the importance of this region. Near Shakti Kendra, the Centre of Power, there is another storehouse of energy, which can be taken as the location of kundalini. In the system of preksha dhyana: Tejoleshya, Tejolabdhi and Tejas-body are three mysterious words. The secret of kundalini is to be found in these.

Tejolabdhi has two forms–dormant or inactive and awakened or active. When this energy is dormant or inactive, instincts remain sublimated. The sublimation of instincts too requires energy. A man without energy cannot perform even minor tasks. How can he then accomplish such a great task as that of sublimation of his nature. When the power of Tejas, bio-electricity, is awakened or activated, utmost care must be exercised in its utilization. As long as electricity is conducted through insulated wires, it provides coolness in summer, warmth in winter, light in darkness and it can run great engines. But when the insulation of wires is not adequate, it can cause unimaginable harm. Similarly, the power of bio-electricity when used in the right direction, proves to be a great boon, but wrongly used it can turn into a curse. In view of this it is necessary to awaken the Centre of Knowledge along with the Centre of Energy. Without the awakening of the upper centres, the activation of the lower centres can pose a great danger. Therefore, in this whole process, it is necessary to obtain guidance from a guru. In the absence of proper guidance, difficulties are bound to arise.

Q.From the point of view of sadhana, what kind of guru must one find? What is the criterion? The guru’s scholarship? His experience? Or his sadhana?

Ans. In this matter, the qualification of the guru cannot be measured on the basis of book-knowledge. Only an accomplished and experienced person can efficiently discharge the important functions of the guru. Just as treatment done under the supervision of an experienced doctor proves successful, similarly, sadhana practised tinder the care of an experienced guru produces the right results. A doctor prescribes some medicine, and in the case of it producing a reaction, a worsening of the disease, he also knows its antidote. The unfavorable reaction produced by one drug he can neutralise by administering another drug. Experienced gurus, too, keep assessing regularly a sadhak’s physical, mental and emotional condition. Their watchfulness is most valuable since it prevents a sadhak from coming to harm in the case of an experiment having gone wrong.

Q.In many yoga books, kundalini has been depicted as a coiled she-serpent. Is the Tejas power (bio-electrical energy) mentioned by you in this context similarly portrayed?

Ans. The she-serpent is a metaphor. Just as a serpent moves in a winding fashion, similarly, our sushumna artery is shaped deviously, not straight. When the she-serpent sits coiled, it is calm. Our bio-electricity energy too, while inactive or dormant, is in the same condition. If the she-serpent is provoked and infuriated, she becomes dangerous. Similarly, if energy starts moving, upwards and does not find the right channel, it becomes troublesome. If the flow of bio-electricity is miscarried to the right or the left, it produces fat at diseases, like inflammation or burning-fever. Thus, a sadhak has to put up with both physical and mental dangers. Sometimes it results in madness. Therefore, while mastering the kundalini, or moving the bio-electricity upwards, it is necessary to exercise utmost care.

Bio-electricity is a kind of energy. It evolves out of the food one takes. Tejas Kendra, the Centre of Bio-electricity is also a producer of vital energy. Radiations therefrom activate the life-force. The power of the body referred to in Hatha-Yoga as kundalini, is the same as Tejas-Shakti.

Q.The awakening of kundalini or tejas-shakti is fraught with many risks. On this there is complete unanimity. Why should one entertain so many dangers to develop this power?

Ans. Just because it involves certain risks, an important task is not left undone. Is there a task which involves no risk? Above, below, across–dangers surround us on all sides. A valiant man passes through them

for high achievement. He who surrenders in the face of dangers, can never make any progress. It may be the path of sadhana, or of business, of scientific inventions or cooking food, dangers abound everywhere. The process of awakening kundalini is also not free from danger, but without awakening this energy, the state of samadhi or even the condition of total concentration and certainty is not possible. The state of samadhi is attainable only through concentration of attention. Otherwise the indiscriminate traffic of thoughts cannot be stopped. With the awakening of tejas-shakti, life becomes rhythmical of itself. No thoughts intrude upon one’s consciousness then. Then, one may have to force oneself out of samadhi, in case of need, but to go into the state of samadhi requires little effort.

In ancient texts are mentioned some other results of the awakening of tejas-shakti or kundalini. Normally, everyone’s hair and nails grow. With the growth of tejas shakti, this outgrowth is withheld. Physical and mental diseases are cured. Such changes are not impossible, in view of the many chemical changes taking place in the body.

In the marvelous tales of the omniscients (Tirthankars) all these things are authenticated. The hair and nails of the omniscients cease growing This is a fact, no exaggeration. The omniscients are also free from all kinds of pains and diseases. Mental diseases do not touch them at all. Even physical diseases are temporary visitors. They cause no defilement. So much electricity is active in their body, that the atoms of disease are simply incinerated.

Bio-electrical energy is of two kinds–cool and hot. Cool energy is used for favor, and hot for subdual. This energy which can act both as a boon and a curse, is important from many points of view. That is why, despite the risks involved, the sadhak continually makes efforts to develop and awaken this power.