Kundalini Truth & Consequence – Part Two

I won’t tell you it is a good idea to awaken Kundalini. Nor would I say it’s a bad idea. It isn’t about good or bad, right or wrong, better or worse. It is a personal matter of choice and knowing what you want.

Being forewarned is being forearmed.

woman wearing grey long sleeved top photography
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

If you read part one of this post and listened to Durga Ma’s talk on kundalini, you might be intrigued to find out there’s a lot more to consider and to understand if we are tempting to awaken her (kundalini).

With all of the front page hype about “expanding your field of loving-awareness” as the motivation for moving forward, it feels prudent to  to include some more information.

Durga Ma was passionate about empowering people to make conscious decisions based on knowledge, and I am passionate about continuing this aspect of her legacy. She was (in my humble opinion) unrivaled in her experience and understanding about the process of spiritual development, and ability to articulate and guide one on the path. That is not to say she is alone in this category, but she is absolutely trustworthy according to my personal experience which continues today.

At the end of the day, Kundalini has one job – to evolve you. All of you, literally. She is not interested in if you feel good, are looking for a soul-mate, or seeking personal development so you can fulfill your worldly desires. She is for the one who seeks Liberation, or for the fettering of fools. This is a common warning Durga Ma freely distributed to any seeker who uttered the “k” word.

You may not agree or even like what I have to say, and I welcome it. I’m not sharing Durga Ma’s work with the intention of discouraging anyone, but sharing what she shared with me… knowledge is power, and power can be advantageous or destructive.

There were many times over the years that I initially felt diametrically opposed to something Durga Ma would share or say… but I accepted it (not to say I liked it, or agreed with it). What happened as a result of being willing to accept her unconditionally, was that it allowed her wisdom to begin to work on me from the inside out.

Our journey to traverse the infinite landscape of spiritual awakening is most likely not going to happen over a 3 day weekend retreat. I also regret to inform you that it isn’t all going to be “cherry berry Ben.” While there may be no real control over the outcome, we must first begin with taking responsibility for the outcome, which is where it seems appropriate to get some real grounded knowledge on what it is we are seeking.

Durga Ma told me once that if anyone said they understood kundalini, that I should run. I have only my personal experience that is validated by her teachings and scripture, so I will leave with you the second part of her discussion on kundalini here. If you are considering or pursuing kundalini awakening, or even in the midst of it already,  I invite you to this engaging discussion. There is nothing but wisdom to be gained by taking the time to listen and enjoy the simplicity and directness of her teachings.

May your journey be blessed in every direction and may you receive the knowledge you need to make conscious choices that support what it is you truly want.

Listen to Durga Ma’s talk on Kundalini – Part Two here.

With Love,


P.S. There is an addendum I would like to add since this recording was nearly 30 years ago. At one point she mentions that her kundalini was not stationed in the head at the time she was taping this talk.

It was however, by all accounts firmly stationed and had transformed into maruti prior to her mahasamadhi in June, 2019. In the future I plan to share some of the information about this process from her account. However, I mention it at this time as a reminder to her students and initiates because a Guru can only take one as far as one has gone themselves, and I think it might bring great joy to us to be reminded of her completion of this sadhana when we feel or perceive any obstacle in our path.

Jaya Bhagavan (Victory to God)!


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III:6-8 The Dharma of Action

The role of ‘action’ in spiritual evolution. 

My own orientation, Surrender Meditation, is strongly reflected in my commentary on these verses, but it is certainly not the only valid perspective. So if your orientation is other than this, you can draw your own conclusions accordingly, with my blessings.

He who sits, trying to maintain restraint of his powers of action, even though remembered things stir his mind, is deluded. He is said to be self-deceived.

Previously, we learned that it is not possible to maintain inaction with our will, that nature will outwit us at every turn. Now Lord Krishna goes on to say that if we believe we can overcome this, we are fooling ourselves.

But one who, indifferent to outcomes, his inner power unrestrained, Arjuna, undertakes Karma Yoga with his powers of action, is superior.

Alternate translation:
But one who, without attachment, using the mind to control the senses, Arjuna, engages his powers of action in the Yoga of Action, is superior.

There is quite a difference between these two translations. My own, the first, is not consistent with any other translations I have found. This does not surprise me, as my own orientation of surrender sadhana is a radical approach to meditation and yoga sadhana in general. The second translation is consistent with traditional yoga.

I wanted you to see the difference, and how Sanskrit can be translated and applied to one’s own orientation. This is the beauty of Sanskrit: It expresses Truth so well that it can be relevant to several perspectives at once. This is not a fault, but a gift of the shastras (spiritual texts). 

Manasa ( मनसा ), the ‘internal instrument’ ( अन्तःकरण )

The word for ‘mind’ in this verse refers to antakarana*, the ‘internal instrument’ of perception and cognition—the faculty (the ability, power or inner-cause), not the physical sense organs.

*Antakarana - the 'internal instrument', the power to think, feel, and know; the emotions, conscience, and soul: anta - inner, karana - cause.

We are being reminded that we have the inherent ability to know, think and feel, and that these powers are not going anywhere. It is in this sense that the word manasa, mind, is used in this verse.

The ability to know, think and feel are powers of our Real Selves and cannot be put down by our will, as they are characteristics of our true selves. And, considering what they are, why would we want to do this anyway? Understanding this, we should not be despairing of these activities of the ‘mind’, even in meditation. This ‘internal instrument’ is what is behind the efficacy of Karma Yoga (Action Yoga). In fact, these powers are set free in Surrender Meditation, allowing for experiences beyond normal cognition.

Karma Yoga is most commonly applied to paths of service to guru and those in need, as a means of overcoming negative karma. Surrender sadhana is also Karma Yoga. In Surrender Meditation the mind is often active, and may even act as the ‘inner cause’ of kriyas, purifying actions that occur spontaneously in meditation.

Restrained or Unrestrained?

The word niyama is often translated as ‘observance’, in the sense of adherence to certain moral principles, and rites, rituals and ceremonies. But as a word, niyama can be understood as either ‘restrained’ or ‘unrestrained’, as its prefix (ni-) can either accentuate or negate the word attached to it (yama, to restrain). So, as with any verse, there is a traditional translation and an esoteric translation.

Whether the verse is translated as one’s “powerful internal instrument unrestrained” or “using the mind to restrain or control the senses,” along with indifference to outcomes it describes what is meant by Karma Yoga, the Action Yoga that Lord Krishna is urging Arjuna to take up. The only real difference is who or what is doing the restraining—you or God.

So you should take up this action, Arjuna. Action is certainly better than non-action, for even the maintenance of the body cannot be accomplished without action.

Lord Krishna has responded to Arjuna’s request in verses 1-3, where he asks Krishna to tell him specifically what to do. Krishna tells him to take the path of Action (Karma Yoga). Krishna further tells him that not acting will accomplish nothing, that it is not really possible to maintain inaction, so he may as well put action to good use and get on with his duty, his natural tendency, his own dharma: action.

Action Yoga
Karma Yoga

At this point it is important to remember the context: the clashing together of the opposing forces of sun-energy and moon-energy (ha-tha yoga, sun-moon union) that awakens Kundalini, the evolutionary force, in a very real way.* So we can assume that everything is leading up to this, and that once this has begun, we will expect more than growth: we will expect evolution.

* Kundalini awakens 'in a very real way'. Casual coffee house chats about kundalini's whereabouts, i.e., "My kundalini is in my sixth chakra now," will cease with this experience, and you may want to run. At this point, your good relationship with guru is as essential as Arjuna's.

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
Durga Ma
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The First Chakra, Continued

The first three chakras are in Brahma Loka, the world of Creativity, and Hatha Yoga sadhana (sun-moon union practice). The guna (natural characteristic) associated with this world is rajas (passionate, intense). This is the realm of Prana (Life Energy), the third, fourth and fifth steps of Ashtanga Yoga (Eight-Limbs Union), asana, pranayama, and pratyahara, the awakening of Kundalini, and spontaneous bandhas (locks).

This and the previous post, The First Chakra, Muladhara, and upcoming posts on individual chakras, should help you to identify chakras experienced during meditation.

Determining Individual Chakras

Considering the name of each chakra, and the features of each chakra, can help you to determine with which chakra a phenomenon may be associated, thus giving you the chakra‘s identity. Also, the significance of chakra events, or experiences, is suggested not only by the name, but by the characteristics of a chakra, such as its location, the element associated with it, and so forth.

Characteristics of the First Chakra

The first chakra is located in Brahma Loka at the perineum, has four petals, four vibrational frequencies of the specific sounds of Sanskrit syllables, and is associated with the elimination of things passing out of the physical body. Its mystical diagram is the square, the color is red, the sense organ is the nose, the sense faculty is smell, the element is earth, the elemental color is yellow. 

When contemplating these features, ask yourself questions about them. For instance, the first chakra is located in Brahma Loka, the world of Creation. Think what that implies. Muladhara, the name of the first chakra, means “root holder”, so ask yourself, what is “root”? and what is “holder”? What does this name imply?

Mula means ‘root’, and adhara means ‘holder, support or foundation’. Think about it. A foundation is the support of a house, your house — your body. This attests to the importance of this chakra and even tells you why it is important. A root is usually found in the earth, so the muladhara chakra is associated with the element earth. But what does this mean for you? 

Earth is the material plane and everything that goes with it. This includes not only the planet and material substance, but your own personal, physical world — your body, your family and your ancestors, the desire for physical safety, the urge to have control over the environment, and the obtaining of material possessions. Your body and its roots — genetics, inherited assets and liabilities — are all associated with this chakra.

When this chakra has been evolved, these things no longer determine the way you act or live, they no longer preoccupy your mind, or run your life. I don’t mean that these things disappear, but that you are not driven by them. I don’t mean that you are in control of them either, but that they are not in control of you.

At a Pizza Parlor

From Living the Mysteries, © 1999

Some time before I began my spiritual practices, I was in a pizza parlor with my children, sitting on a bench at a picnic table.  In this pizza parlor, there was a big pipe organ, its huge pipes lining the entire back wall all the way up to the high ceilings. While I was there, the organist came out to begin playing.  He made a big deal of his entrance. The first thing he did after he sat down was to play the lowest tone on the organ at full volume and sustain it. The rumble of the low vibration began to vibrate the base of my spine and my first chakra began whirling. I experienced a tremendous thrill. My mouth fell open and I’m sure my eyes were as big as saucers. I was amazed and completely taken by surprise.

Since that time, I have known with a certainty that the chakras, and consequently the entire body, are affected by musical tones and other sounds generated from outside the body.

Mastery of the First Chakra:  You get what is desired; you get the vision of the Divine; the life energy enters the sushumna; the mind, the breath and sexual energy become introverted and their movement stops spontaneously.

The Seat of Yoga

The first chakra is the root, seat, and foundation of yoga. It is the place where the sun and moon unite to form kundalini and trigger the bandhas (locks). It is not going to disappear anytime soon — it will continue to be present during the evolutionary process of other chakras, so its benefits and its challenges will continue to manifest from time to time, even as you notice changes in your life.

Jaya Bhagavan (Victory to God!),
Durga Ma

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