‘As of all’ with hills, woods and lands the support is the Lord of Serpents, so of all the treatises of Yoga the support verily is kundali. (Kundalini).
THE RESIDUAL POWER, UCHHISHTA
The Adhyatma Bhava is Complete infinite whole, and Creation, the Visarga-Bhava is also complete infinite whole. Bhuta-Bhava, world, emanates from the Adhyatma-Bhava, the whole from the whole not affecting the wholeness of the parental whole. During the creative involution, Creation is a complete infinite whole and thus the involutionary form of Bhoota-Bhava is also a complete whole, of whole the whole having taken off, the whole even then is left over. Therefore the Residual is also a complete infinite whole. Ordinarily potential energy takes the dynamic form during its course of doing some work and is exhausted, but similar would not be the case when the source and emanating energy is infinite. Infinite potential energy should be capable of executing an infinite expanse of work when dynamic and unlike a spent up force, should remain in its infinite entirety as Residual. In Atharva Veda (chapter 11) the residual whole is named Uchhishtha Brahman (ut plus shishtha meaning left over). The ancient sages of India were lovers of fine arts. They talked in allegories and liked to put before the masses the subtle high ideas of philosophies not otherwise comprehensible to man in the street, in the garb of pictures, poetry, metaphors, similes and allegories. The residual cosmic power represented as serpent is one of such expressions. The Residual Cosmic Power represented as serpent is one of such expressions. The Uchhishtha Brahman of Atharva Veda assumes the mythological form of the Sesha Serpent, the Lord of all serpents and the support of the Universe and is called Sesha because of its residual aspect. He is also called the Ananta, the Infinite. This is an allegorical description of the Infinite Residual Power of Visarga-Bhava left over after the Creation is complete, which then rests coiled up as a support of the Universe. The corresponding Adhyatma-Bhava is also present there as Narayana sleeping over the soft, but cold couch prepared by the Serpent King with its infinite coils. Again we have Shiva as an oval-shaped Linga with snakes coiled round it. This is a beautiful representation of God in His aspect of Adhyatma-Bhava at the centre, wrapped with the involutionary coils of His emanation all around Him.
It is the human body, wherein the dynamic life-principle after the involutionary process has been worked out, rests asleep as residual power known to the yogins as Kundalini and possesses full potentiality of evolving or uncoiling the folds of involution step by step and finally merging into the Absolute. When this evolutionary turn is taken, the coiled serpent power is said to have awakened and uncoiling of the folds of involution commences. Then before long even within the span of this very life complete emancipation is possible. This is the upward course of spiritual evolution, which entrains powers usually known as occult powers, higher visions, intuitions and divine enlightenment. Soon tamoguna gives way and peace disturbing rajasic influences of lust, anger, avarice, etc., are overcome, and sattvik tranquillity, unbroken peace and beatitude of divine bliss dawn. Ultimately complete unfolding of maya is effected and Self shines forth in His own illumination and self effulgence.
In the case of all living beings, the residual power takes the individualized form of Kundalini Shakti, also a serpent-like power represented as coiled round Shiva Linga three and a half times, with tail in her mouth placed at the top. The seat of Kundalini in the sleeping or potential state is at Mulandhara, the base of the spinal column. Representation as serpents indicates involutionary coils of the dynamic Visarga-Bhava. As Residual the power represented as Sesha or Kundalini is in the potential state and not spent up force after the creative cycle is complete. A force that has been exhausted in effecting its purpose cannot without a potential residual state, serve as a support for its product, and as such the Uchhishta aspect of Brahman in its potential state supports the Universe. But also it posseses an infinite potentiality for imparting a push to the static power for the upward evolutionary turn to revert back to its source when aroused. Mythological representation of the Boota-Bhava before creation is in the form of female human forms of mother Goddess but as residual the representation is in the form of serpents.
The universal life-principle in the dynamic form Bhoota-Bhava, involutes and gets transmuted into the different strata of creation, and is also left over as a residual charge after the whole creation is complete. This is the downward creative half of the cycle. When the residual charge takes the upward turn, it begins evolving out the life-principle completing the other evolutionary half of the cycle and reverts to its source. According to the western doctrine of evolution as ordinarily understood, higher forms of life gradually arise out of the lower. In the lowermost plane life manifests in the vegetative form and then from it the higher animal life is evolved till the intelligent human being is formed. According to this doctrine, human life is not the end of evolution but is also an intermediate step to a still higher form of perfect human life in ages to come to be evolved. This is the western idea.
The orientalist gives a different interpretation. According to him individualized soul transmigrate from one body to another after death in its passage of evolution from vegetative kingdom to animal kingdom and finally to the human plane, human kind being the perfect body. Vegetable, animal and human bodies serve the souls as vehicles in their upward journey. But, human being the highest evolved form, is the best instrument for God realization. A soul defined as that part of man which thinks feels and desires is a combined effect of life-principle and mind and as such is governed by the laws of what is called ” Psycho-genesis “, i.e, development of soul. Pure life-principle never undergoes any change, modification or development and deterioration. It is the mind and everything pertaining to mind that changes and is capable of development. Everything that changes is dissoluble and not eternal, life is both eternal and unchanging.
Mind is therefore classified by the Indian thinkers as a product and one of the created principles. (The terms Evolution and Involution are used here in respect of the life-principle. During the course of involution the life principle gets involved within the folds of physical creation and during the other it begins to be evolved out at different phases of evolution both psychic and spiritual. In the process of unfolding a seed, it becoming a tree, life descends through the causal and subtle stages to the gross forms of crude nature, it Is Involution. In the process of its unfolding the life ascends from the crude material and livings forms through subconscious, conscious and self-conscious stages to the Original pure state, this is Evolution. These are the senses in which these two terms have been used in this book. (Devatma Shakti)
According to the original Hindu thought, after the involutionary course is complete, the cosmic body lives for a period called Kaipa – the Creator’s one day – and at its end comes to dissolution resembling death of the cosmic body, and the Creator’s night of equal length follows. Then the Cosmos reverts to Avyakta, the unmanifested Visarga- Bhava, wherein souls in bondage go to sleep called maha-supti, the long sleep. Evolution of life to God Realization is the work of every one’s individual effort and is in fact the real Evolution. Every child when born and even animal offspring’s cry ‘Ma’. The sound commences with M and ends with A. The sound Ma means mother. In Sanskrit the letter M means Shiva or the Adhyatma-Bhava, the alphabet letter ‘A’ means Brahma, the Creator. The sound therefore denotes creation. The same sound reversed sounds Om, a syllable repetition of which leads to realization of God, or awakens evolution.
Hindus further believe that there exist simultaneously in all ages spheres or lokas, inhabited by beings from the lowest to the highest planes of evolution. Higher than ours are the spheres of gods, prajdpati, and Brahma known as swarloka, maharloka, janaloka, tapoloka, and satyaloka. Such individual souls as rise in spirituality go after death to higher spheres befitting their progress. It is claimed that through human body only, moksha or emancipation from the wheels of involutionary Maya is possible, and not through the bodies of even gods residing in higher spheres. They too have to come down and take up the bodies of men, which only hold key to the door of evolution to God Realization.
Intuitive knowledge is supplied by the sub-conscious mind, which it receives from the inner self. When the active consciousness is for some time silenced, activity of the sub-conscious mind increases and it works automatically in a mysterious way. When mind is compressed to concentration, on relaxation it tends to abstractedness, but the initial attent governs its motive power and the resultant line of motion. Mind is a product of prana, the first manifestation of life, therefore when mind is concentrated on the subjective side of one’s own self, i.e., the spiritual side, by fixing it on one’s own abstract consciousness freed from all thoughts, memories of the past, ideas and emotions, or on God as an all-knowing, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent Super Conscious Soul of the universe, it acquires an intrinsic impulse, which on relaxation gives it an impetus to revert to its cause. As a coiled up spring on relaxation shoots up with a force in the opposite direction, so a mind when relaxed after concentration springs up with a force in the direction of its initial attention. Therefore when mind is directed inward subjectively, it shoots up with the impetus gained through concentration to revert to its cause. Such a mind first becomes abstracted and then gradually begins to go back into prana and tends to merge and become lost into the Static Real producing a trance of Samadhi, sub-conscious mind then does not act as a drag, because the initial attent of the active consciousness was directed in the reversed direction free from all objectivity. Such mind on resigning active consciousness comes out charged with Spiritual illumination.
The Hindu scriptures abound in references to cycles of fourfold ages of Satyayuga, Treta, Dwapar, and Kali yugas. These four ages run successively and recur over again covering periods of time in the ratio of 4:3: 2:1. Kali the smallest of the four, covers a period of 4,32,000 years of our globe. Collective Spiritual Illumination rises to its maximum in the Satya yuga and ebbs to its minimum in the Kali yuga. Thus time rolls on for 43,20,000,000 years of the Earth covering full one thousand waves forming the creator’s one day, at the end of which the cosmic body dissolves and the creator’s night of equal length follows. Of the 1000 waves forming His one day each comprising a period of the aforesaid four ages, the 501st wave is running and is nearing completion with the end of the present Kali yuga. Of the Kali yuga 5049th year has commenced from the 22nd April, 1948. Each wave begins with Satya yuga and ends with Kali yuga. According to the Hindu chronologists first half of the Creator’s day is over.
ΤHE VEDIC UCHCHISHTHA BRAHMAN
Τhe Vedic Uchchishtha Brahman figures in the
Pauranic mythology as Sesha Serpent and is the Residual Serpent power left over after the creation is complete and the corresponding static adhyatma; is pictured as Narayana resting on the Serpent. There sesha is described as supporting the Cosmos. In individual living beings the individualized Sesha left over, after the physical body is built up, is described as Kundalini Serpent which supports the individual body having Her Seat at Muladdhara (Mul:root/Adhar:support) the root or basic support of the spinal cord known to the anatomist as coccygeal bone or coccyx. The corresponding static adhyatma-Bhava is swayambhoolinga, self-born thallic-formed Shiva with the Kundalini coiling around three and half times, asleep with tail in her mouth placed at the top. What aroused the Power uncoils and takes its march back to the evolutionary side loosening the bondage. She ascends along the central axis of the body (the spinal column) and displays higher visions during the march of ascent. In cerebrum she comes into communion with Her Lord and merges into the Static Real. At other times when She is not in communion, She resides in the Vishuddha Chakra of the Cervical region resplendent in Her purity. When awakened She is experienced by Yogins as a spiritual guide who directs, controls, governs and leads the aspirants on the spiritual path to moksha like a living conscious divine help-mate, with Her vigilant hand helping Her favorite all the twenty-four hours in sleep, dreams and waking state, and at times takes him up for the Saniddhic communion with Her Lord. She then works character of a man and develop into instinct. The particular actions and environments are soon lost behind the vistas of past time and memory lets them slip off its hold, but their influence on the mind lasts tenaciously throughout the life and even transmigrates to future births. Certain children are by nature shy, polite, modest, truthful, peace-loving, merciful and possessed of fine character whereas others are mischievous, cruel and naughty. Certain part of their character might be due to their training but mostly it would appear on explanation that they got those characteristics from birth, family consequences having had little effect on them. Different children of the same parents, brought up within the same surroundings under similar influences show quite opposite tendencies and inclinations. Character includes both good and bad habits a person has imbibed.
When once a habit is formed it requires a hard struggle to quit it; one has to undo the whole lot of mischief that has been done on the mind by the long process of repetition. Therefore we ought to be ever watchful as to how a particular incident impresses us. If our minds are proof against outer influences we have no fear of contracting any habits. Particular incidents and individual actions do not much count but it is the animus and the motive that is to be taken care of, as they are responsible for the formation of a man’s nature. A person’s social, moral, intellectual and spiritual culture is thus built by a gradual discipline of mind and by acting up to the ideal in his mode of living.
Thus a mind free from attachment and hatred, always deeply engrossed in high pursuits, not minding the likes and dislikes of the objective world or ups and downs of life, steers through his mission with brave, fearless and undaunted heart, stands like a rock against the waves of the seething ocean of life. He works hard and lives a busy life working miracles all his life, but himself remaining unaffected like a lotus leaf in water. Such persons are called jivanmuktas and are free from the worldly bondages even in life, and after death shall be absorbed into the universal spirit no more to be reborn, no passively as when sleeping, but as divine mother on all the three planes of physical, astral and causal bodies. Her movements are then felt, Her voice heard, and presence experienced. She then becomes a Reality.
”She is the Grand Potential. As such she cannot, in my view, be identified with any of the products which she becomes. Kundalini is a gross form of Shakti.” (Here Kundalini means a sleeping Kundalini). She is not a nerve or any other physical substance or mental faculty but the ground substance of both, which, on being roused ascends and is merged in the higher tattwas ending in Shiva Shakti Tattwas, when she is said to be merged in Param Shiva. Kundalini is the Dynamic Real as the residual power, the power left over after the production of Prithivi Hindu goddess of Earth, a representation of feminine energy when she coils herself around the Swayabhoo Linga or Static Real and rests . ” – Sir John Woodroffe
It has already been pointed out that Prana-Shakti, the Dynamic life principle, left over after the involutionary process has worked out a human body or a body of the animal or vegetable kingdom is called Kundalini Shakti but she has the potentiality of being roused for spiritual evolution only in human beings. A person without his Kundalini Shakti awakened, can acquire the power of controlling, at his will, muscles and the autonomous working of pulse and heart, and on the contrary a person with his Kundalini well awakened may fail to do the same at will. It is true that the nervous system governs and controls physical, mental and intellectual faculties and as such also the spiritual powers to an extent, but the relation between the two is like that of a radio receiver and the electric power which works it both from in and out, internally through wires and externally without wires. Kundalini Shakti too works inside the body through the wires of the nervous system and from outside without their help.
In the different treatises of Hatha Yoga such as Hatha Yoga Pradipika and others, seat of the Kundalini Shakti is described to be located in the centre of an egg like kanda (root) in the pelvic region. Some regard it as a muscle at the lower part of the body between the genital organs and the rectum, known to the yogin as yonisthan; others consider it as those muscles which cover the bony coccygeal and sacral triangular portions of the vertebral column with the seat of kundalini at the base of the sacrum and at the top of coccyx, where the terminal part of the spinal cord rests. Again, others consider ganglion impar as her seat. Her description as sleeping there, as a coiled serpent, appears suggestive to the wrong idea that kundalini is a particular nerve and that idea is strengthened by the fact that for awakening the power all works on hatha yoga invariably prescribe a course of physical exercises. It is also thought that through regular practice of those exercises the nervous system with its various ganglia is stimulated to give rise to a sort of physical reactionary force resembling muscular impulse. But roused Kundalini is not a temporary result of the nervous stimuli, she is a permanent power working throughout, independent of the nervous system, divine by nature, and source of our life, intelligence and consciousness, though her activity comes to manifestation through nerves, heart and brain. The physical exercises of certain nerves help to rouse her dormant power just in the same way as by revolving a dynamo electricity is generated electric power by no means being identical with the metallic wires wrapped round a magnet.
Kundalini is also roused by Divine Love and devotion and utter self surrender to God, through ‘Japa’ or repetition of His holy names, His meditation and spiritual knowledge. She is also awakened by the favour of spiritual masters who by a mere touch or a kindly look do in a second, arouse the Kundalini Shakti of those whom they are pleased to favour. The last process is known as Initiation through Shaktipat, that is, transmission of Shakti. She can also be awakened by fixing the mind at Muladhara the seat of Kundalini and through strong concentration at mind at that point.
Therefore when kundalini lies in dormant condition spiritual consciousness remains clouded with the physical forces and Atman appears in bondage, but when she is aroused shining with the dawn of spiritual consciousness, she assumes the role of Guru. and self effulgence. -Swami Vishnu Tirth, Devatma Shakti