Q:I have the sense that the purpose of tantra is to awaken kundalini after reading your book and several other tantra books. That is also the purpose of kundalini yoga, therefore I'm not sure where the line between tantra yoga and kundalini yoga is drawn. True, tantra and kundalini yoga both attempt to awaken the kundalini shakti. They also have a few things in common. Both sects, for example, are founded on the same philosophical foundation: shaktism, which claims that the Divine Mother is the highest reality. Furthermore, both schools believe that the human body is a living shrine, containing an infinite amount of energy, the majority of which is dormant. Kundalini shakti is the name given to this dormant energy, while prana is the name given to the comparatively little amount of active energy. Yogis from both disciplines aim to awaken their dormant energy by using their active energy. Yogis of both schools have a positive outlook on life, seeing it as a manifestation of the divine. As a result, everything that exists is divine, beautiful, and joyful. Ignorance is the incapacity to feel the presence of the Divine within or without, and it is the basis of bondage. Liberation is the process of overcoming ignorance and experiencing the beautiful and blissful Divine in all aspects of life. The difference between the two routes is how they bring you to liberation.
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Those on the path of kundalini yoga rely largely on hatha yoga techniques, which in this case refers to the disciplines of asana, pranayama, bandhas, and mudras. Kundalini yoga practitioners believe that the body is the best tool for awakening the dormant energy of kundalini shakti. Kundalini is described as a sleeping serpent. Snakes are cold-blooded species, so as the temperature decreases, they stiffen and become immobile. Kundalini shakti has suffered as a result of this. The serpent is said to be hidden within us in the muladhara chakra, but the fire is almost outall that's left are layers of ash covering a still-glowing coal, according to those on the kundalini yoga path. They tell us that in order to awaken this serpent, we must blast away the layers of ash and allow the heat to radiate until the serpent warms up and begins to move. It becomes aware of itself and its surroundings as it awakens from slumber. And it's hungry since it's just awoken from a long rest. As a result, it consumes laziness, indifference, hopelessness, and all other forms of darkness and heaviness. As a result, spiritual enlightenment occurs.
In kundalini yoga, the layers of ash are blown away by performing intense pranayama, and mastering asanas, particularly the sitting poses, is a precondition for practicing pranayama. Bandhas and mudras, advanced practices established in the tradition of hatha yoga, are used to strengthen and purify the nerve system. This is a totally physical way of kundalini awakening that necessitates technical precision. If you're successful, you'll feel a burst of energy running down your spine. If your body (heart, lungs, kidneys, endocrine glands, and nervous system) are in good shape, you will find this energy movement to be delightful. If your neurological system is obstructed and your emotions are unstable, this energy movement can harm your nervous system or produce hallucinations. Even if you are physically and emotionally well and have no adverse effects from kundalini awakening, you still have a big task ahead of you because this awakening makes you energized. Your stamina and endurance will improve, and if you don't have a good grasp of life's greater dimensions, this energy will just make you productive on a physical level. As a result, the difficulty in kundalini yoga is to learn how to channel that energy so that it can serve as a spiritual awakening instrument.
Tantric yogis consider the body to be a living shrine as well. Tantra recognizes that individual bodies have their own limitations, despite the fact that the body's potential is boundless. Only a few people in the world are completely free of exhaustion, disease, and procrastination. The majority of us face challenges in some way or another. Tantrics seek to make the best use of all available tools and resourcesboth internal and externalto remove these barriers and restore health, strength, and happiness to the body and mind. Tantric yogis incorporate meditation, visualization, rituals, mantra recitation, and prayer into their practice in addition to hatha yoga practices.
There is a sense of victory in hatha-based kundalini yoga, and a sense of submission in tantra yoga.
Tantrics do not regard kundalini as merely energy; they regard it as the Divine Mother herself, and they nurture an attitude of love and devotion toward kundalini shakti from the start of their journey. They may engage in intensive practice, but it is always accompanied by a sense of surrender. Tantrics, unlike kundalini yoga practitioners, are gentle. They try to reawaken kundalini shakti in the same way as a hungry newborn tries to reawaken its mother. The difference between kundalini yoga and tantric yoga is that the former is more muscular, robust, gross, and technical, with no element of love and devotion, whereas the latter is more spiritual, gentle, and subtle, with love and devotion constantly present. There is a sense of victory in hatha-based kundalini yoga, and a sense of submission in tantra yoga.
Q:I've seen the chakras illustrated in a few books. They might be ornate, or they can be fairly basic. Colors differ as well. How do I know which of these representations is correct? Are the chakras two-dimensional or three-dimensional, as shown in books? Are they genuine? Only by understanding what the chakras are made of can we determine whether they are real, what color they are, and whether they are two- or three-dimensional. Chakras are not a part of the physical body; no surgeon has ever discovered even a trace of one. The physical body is overlaid atop a subtle body, and the chakras are placed in this subtle body, according to the scriptures. They are energy centers, the connecting hubs where the subtle body's major energy pathways meet. The word “chakra” means “wheel,” and each chakra is a life-force wheel. Both the physical body and the psyche are nourished by the energy focused at these chakras.
Because there is nothing in our physical world that depicts the features and activities of the chakras, yogis have to resort to some form of understandable picture to express their knowledge and experience. As a result, each chakra is represented in the scriptures as a concentrated field of energy that emerges as sound and light. Sound is considered sacred in all cultures, and the sacred word, or mantra, is derived from this concept. The sacred is also related with light. We identify light with color whenever we think of it, and the full spectrum of light that illuminates the physical environment may be split into seven color bands. Yoga practitioners may have had a different experience with the chakras, but in order to transmit that experience, they needed to give it shape and color, which is how the chakras came to be depicted in their current form. In actuality, though, nothing beats a predetermined shape or hue.
Because there is nothing in our physical world that depicts the features and activities of the chakras, yogis have to resort to some form of understandable picture to express their knowledge and experience.
The chakras, according to the scriptures, are radiant energy fields. This radiant energy is also clever. These energy fields are self-guided and self-illuminating, and they have the power of will, knowledge, and action built into them. The energies of healing and sustenance flow from these fields of energy to both body and mind, which is why the scriptures refer to the energy at these centers as deities or goddesses. As a result, the simple answer to your query is that none of these representations are completely correct. Because dimension corresponds to the physical world and our sense perception, the chakras are neither two-dimensional nor three-dimensional. They are real in one sense, because they are founded on the experiences of the sages who saw them through the eyes of intuition. In another sense, they are merely symbolic representations of a pure energy field, rather than being real.
What is the goal of tantric yoga?
When you hear the term Tantra yoga, what comes to mind? If you predicted something sexual, you're partially correct… but not quite.
True, Tantra yoga can help you improve your sex life, but only because of what it can do to help you connect with your own body and energy. Tantric activities, such as Tantra yoga, engage with the body's subtle energies to promote spiritual and physical well-being.
The meaning of life and our relationship to others can be understood in a new dimension through the examination of these energies and their link to the universe.
Is kundalini part of tantra?
Swami Nigamananda (d. 1935) taught a kind of laya yoga that he believed was not part of Hatha yoga, despite the fact that kundalini emerged as a part of tantra side-by-side with hatha yoga through a process of syncretism. With his book on the subject published in 1935, Swami Sivananda introduced many readers to “Kundalini Yoga.” This book contains extensive information on Kundalini Yoga and incorporates laya teachings from ancient sources such as the Hathapradipika and Sat Cakra Nirupana.
Kundalini Yoga became popular in western counterculture during the 1960s and 1980s, along with other currents of Hindu revivalism and Neo-Hinduism.