Brahm Gyan vs Kundalini Jagran
Of late, the subject of yoga is being discussed extensively. Although the discussion about yoga has been included in Patanjali Yogsutra, Gheranda Samhita, Shiv Samhita, Gita, etc. But people, in general, believe that Bhaktiyoga, Karmayoga, Gyanayoga, Hathayoga, Layayoga, Dhyanayoga, etc. are different and in no way related to each other.
A Hatha yogi wishes to establish control over his body through asanas, and on prana with the help of pranayams. A Gyana yogi wishes to implant noble samskaras on the mind by gaining knowledge. A Karma yogi makes efforts through karmendriyas (physical senses). The practitioner of Bhaktiyoga is ever engaged in reciting bhajans etc. Of these, one takes recourse by surrendering to the abilities of the body, the other relies on prana, the third one uses the capabilities of the mind, the fourth one takes the help of karmendriyas, and the fifth one draws from the capacity of thoughtfulness or emotions. The meaning is quite clear. None of these paths makes use of one’s total faculties with the integrated approach through the medium of yoga. Therefore, through this piece-meal approach of activities and actions related to yoga, the total development of individual’s personality is not at all possible.
In reality, all these approaches represent the different branches of the comprehensive science of yoga. When one experiences yoga in totality, such a spiritual aspirant is blessed with True Knowledge (Brahm Gyan) which results in the refinement of his actions, the revelation of the secret and dormant energies present in the body, dawn of feelings of devotion and detachment, etc. All these begin to take place through the regular, disciplined practice of ‘supreme’ yoga. On reaching the pinnacle of perfection through practice, the human soul (which is part and parcel of the Total Consciousness) stands merged in that Eternal Ocean of Bliss. It becomes one with the Supreme, Brahm.
These days, Kundalini Awakening is in vogue. According to Yogashastra and Patanjali Yogasutra, Kundalini Awakening comes under Hathayoga. Let us understand the concept in somewhat more detail.
KUNDALINI AND ITS AWAKENING
Yoga Sadhana and Kundalini Awakening are intricately connected. In the normal course of the life of a human being, one’s Kundalini remains dormant. It is a powerful, fiery, secret store of energy. The Yogis aver that through special procedures, kundalini can be awakened and one can attain Yogic powers. Accordingly, about this kundalini it has been recorded in texts thus– “Dhyaayet kundalini sookshamam mooladharalivasinis.” Meaning thereby, the founding place of dormant kundalini is Mooladhara chakra. In the subtle body of a human being, there are six chakras related to the important parts, which are the energy centres. Mooladhara is one of those six chakras. Mooladhara chakra is located at the lowermost part of the backbone. Within this chakra, kundalini remains dormant coiled in three and a half circles.
The awakening of kundalini means, this power travels through the backbone or Sushumna Nadi that lies in the middle and moves further to Ida and Pingala Nadi (These are also known as Surya nadi and Chandra nadi.) With the aid of these three nadis, kundalini makes its onward journey and awakens in the process Swadhisthan, Manipur, Anahat, Vishuddhi, and Ajnachakra and empowers them one by one; and, in the end, in the language of Tantra, it reaches Sahasrar to realise Sadashiv, meaning the All-pervading Reality, and merges into it to become one with it.
BRAHM GYAN – THE COMPLETE YOGA
According to the sacred texts, the meaning of Brahm Gyan is, ‘the knowledge of Brahm’. The word ‘Brahm’ is derived from the root ‘Briha’ which means, all-pervading, i.e., which envelopes the entire cosmos. To experience that All-pervading Reality within the portals of one’s inner being is Brahm Gyan. In the Bhagavad Gita it is designated as Rajayoga or Rajavidya, which means, the king of all knowledge, the Supreme Knowledge. In the Vedas it is hailed as, “Brahmvidyam sarvavidyatistha” meaning, Brahm Vidya is the foundation stone for all types of knowledge. Brahm Gyan is the spring from which all other branches of knowledge issue forth and they are further nurtured, just like the roots of a giant tree which is the life-support of all other parts of the tree.
Without the benign grace of a true Sadguru, it is impossible to be blessed with Brahm Gyan. From our Brahmrandhra to the end of backbone, within, there are three important nadis. Out of these, Sushumna nadi remains inactive and dormant. At the time of initiation, Sadguru opens this inner spiritual path instantly. He kindles life into it. As a result, in between the eyebrows, all three nadis merge together. Brahm Gyani saints hail this point of union by the name of Triveni, Thakur Dwar, Dasham Dwar, Divya Chakshu, etc. In Yogashastra, this is identified as “Ajna Chakra”. With its opening, light equivalent to crores of suns shines forth at this point. Apart from this, many extraordinary, celestial scenes are visualised. This marks the beginning of real meditation. These experiences which one observes within are indeed perceived in the real sense, and their origination is clearly sanctified by the shastras. After this, in the holy refuge of the Sadguru, under his able-guidance, the disciple begins his pilgrimage from Ajna Chakra to Sahasrar Chakra. Continuing with his spiritual journey, seeking the benefit of the practical experience of the Divine, the disciple ultimately attains union with the Supreme Lord.
In the language of Yogashastra, with this practice, all the energy-centres of the body get awakened on their own. This along, our actions become pure, love sprouts from within, positive feelings take charge of the inner being and the individual turns noble. With such purity and nobility, one marches towards the final goal of total merger with the divinity.
Kundalini awakening is possible in two ways. One way is to progress from Muladhar (through Hatha Yoga) and the second way is through Supreme Yoga (Brahm Gyan). The first choice is difficult and is highly complicated. The possibility of reaching the final goal is remote. Kundalini is a power and it awakens with tremendous force. It is difficult for an individual of ordinary will-power to bear this swift flow and he finds it impossible to exercise his command over it. If this awakening is attained through the proper channel, under the guidance of the Perfect Master, then the power attains constructive dimensions; otherwise the same power can prove destructive.
When one opts for the path of ‘Brahm Gyan’, with the benign grace of Guru, his spiritual journey commences from Ajna Chakra towards Sahasrar Chakra. Guru opens the Ajna Chakra with his power and the awakening of Kundalini itself takes place. The name of this Chakra is Ajna Chakra because it is at this point where the initiated disciple receives the ‘Ajnas’ (commands) from Sahasrar Chakra, where Guru’s astounding and subtle spiritual kingdom remains established.
When through rigorous practice the aspirant moves from Mooladhar in the direction of other chakras, the power that is generated remains unregulated. Its outflow through the sense organs sometimes results in the (moral) downfall of the individual. That is why Hatha Yogis or the aspirants of Hatha Yoga are often found afflicted with negative qualities like lust, aggrandizement for wealth, anger, state of unsteadiness in actions, etc. Contrary to this, with the blessing of Brahm Gyan, and through subsequent sadhana, this being the eternal procedure, all the energy that is produced within the body travels upwards and moves to the Sahasrar Chakra. Thus, one continues to progress towards higher levels of consciousness.
Elucidating on the topic, Hudson, a western expert on Tantra Shastra, opines, “The generation of tremendous power through Kundalini Awakening needs to be done under the guidance of an expert Guru who is well-equipped with the secret spiritual science; otherwise, the power thus transmitted will move downwards, resulting in the encouragement of lustful tendencies, and the sexual instincts will increase tremendously. As per the opinion of several scholars, the slightest mistake in the procedure may result in mental imbalances, including the possibilities of death.”
As for Brahm Gyan, with the correct procedure of sadhana, the energy moves from Ajna Chakra to Sahasrar Chakra. Thus, by regular practice, the energy generated through all the chakras moves upward, with no possibility of downfall of the spiritual aspirant.
Pluck a bud from a plant and try to make it a flower by applying force on the petals. It will never turn into a flower! It will soon lose its naturalness and will dry. Similarly, with the rigorous procedures adopted by Hatha Yogis, the Chakras may be lost forever. So, one can get the benefit of the vast storehouse of energy within the body only through the knowledge of Brahm Gyan obtained by the benign grace of a Sadguru (Perfect Spiritual Master).