The Origin of Kundalini Yoga

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The Origin of Kundalini Yoga

yoga teacher certification coursesBy Faye Martins

The true origin of Kundalini Yoga is shrouded in the mysticism of ancient India. With research, the connection between the practice of Kundalini Yogic methodology and the philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism becomes more apparent. Shiva himself is reputed to be the first Guru in the Kundalini Yoga tradition as based on Kashmir Shaivism. Most historians agree that the practice of Kundalini, which is designed to raise the Shakti energy, is based on the philosophical treatise of Patanjali called the Yoga Sutras.

These sutras are believed to date back to the second century BCE. Patanjali provides us with a very scientific and systematic way of awakening and nourishing the Kundalini energy. He developed an eight-limbed system of Yoga training practices that provide the adherent with ethical, moral, and physical guidelines for obtaining and maintaining a state of oneness with the Divine.

The ancient tantric philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism arose in the seventh and eighth centuries BCE in Kashmir. According to this tradition, Shiva appeared in the form of Srikanthanath to elucidate the sacred knowledge that was lost during the Kali Yuga or time of darkness.

Shiva’s three-pronged trident is representative of the three aspects of mystical knowledge that he illuminated: abheda, which means existence without differentiation, bhedabheda, existence with and without differentiation, and bheda or the experience of existence as a differentiated being. These three states of the experience of existence are described in the scriptural texts, the Tantras Bhairava, Rudra Tantras, and the Shiva Tantras.

The Kundalini style was introduced to the West in 1969 by Yogi Bhajan. Yogi Bhajan was a well-known master of Kundalini in India. When he traveled to the West, he introduced the practice of Kundalini Yoga to the American mainstream as an integrated system of spiritual growth. He offered the mystical practice of Kundalini Yogic techniques, in part, as an antidote to the maelstrom of drug abuse in the late sixties.

It is a great gift that the esoteric knowledge of Kundalini practices has become accessible to the West. A regular practice of Kundalini Yoga is said to directly affect human consciousness by the power of the awakened Kundalini Shakti. Kundalini Yoga practices focus in particular on the role of the balance of the endocrine system on a human being’s vitality and well-being. The ultimate goal of Kundalini Yoga is to prepare the energy system of a human being to hold the power of the awakened Kundalini Shakti. She, in time, will merge the consciousness of the Yogi or Yogini directly into the consciousness of God.

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