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SANTHIP  KANHOLY

Graduate Research Assistant, Virginia Tech : Aerospace & Ocean Engineering

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Scientific research on the ancient yogic/spiritual idea of kundalini and study its effect on consciousness and physiology ..

Consciousness is the next frontier in science. Not really as far as some of the esoteric spiritual traditions all around the world is concerned .. Be it shamanic traditions, the tradition of the yogis in India, or the Qi traditions in China . These traditions have one single thing in common, other than the strong foundation of values required.. it is the mystic's path or the internal focus of one's awareness so that one's consciousness is turned upon oneself ..

The "mystic" then begins to experience shifts in consciousness, and experience physiological symptoms of subtle energy motion. The ancient yogis have called this process, as awakening of kundalini or simply kundalini. The chinese have referred to it as the heavenly spine ( or something like that ) The shamanic traditions have also acknowledged similar symptoms. And now, with the onset of commercial yoga, there are more and more kundalini awakenings happening all over the globe.

The idea I am proposing is to promote scientific research on Kundalini. There are many individuals who have completed their kundalini process, and are giving guidance to those with awakened kundalini in different spiritual traditions all over the world. They can be sought for co-operation. The scientific and physiological effects of the kundalini awakening need to be studied. The yogis have techniques known as kriyas. But with awakened kundalini, the initiate who have no knowledge of any of these "kriyas" begin to do complex and moving full body kriyas, which is truly amazing. This is like saying that a kindergarten student was solving a major equation of relativing in yoga, without learning anything about Einstein.

This idea is to study the phenomenon of Kundalini scientifically. I am definitely interested in this. If you feel this idea resonates with you, do no hesitate to contact me directly via email .

Thank you

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    Sep 29 2011: Well, being a scientist myself, I would certainly investigate ideas, evidence, research, etc... that do not support my theory. The scientific method of course is all about that. TKV Desikachar's father, Krishnamacharya taught Pattabhi Jois, Iyengar, Mohan, Indra Devi and many more people, including his son, TKV Desikachar. He was a sanskrit scholar, an Ayurvedic master and a very advanced yogi. Desikachar is also a pretty intelligent man. I don't think that saying "didn't know what he is talking about" is very much in the spirit of scientific discussion, if that is what you are intending to pursue. Surely this is a chance to do some interesting research into other ideas than your own?

    I'm not saying your hypothesis is right or wrong, just that there are others out there, and your research is not scientific or complete if you only acknowledge resources and cases that agree with your own ideas.
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      Sep 29 2011: I agree with the idea of scientific inaccuracy possible in what I have mentioned in my reply .. I agree with that ... The only evidence I cite in my argument is that my familiarity with people with awakened kundalini within a spiritual tradition where the main path involves kundalini .. And I have witnessed kundalini in action .. And simply can't deny the intelligent energy in play I have witnessed myself ... So I can never agree to an idea that kundalini is another obstacle in the spiritual path .. The only way it can be considered to be an obstacle is when one is obsessed with this idea, and not allowing the actual process to happen by sticking to one's own misconceptions which one will have to deal with ..

      I agree with what you said, that other ideas are out there .. But to be honest, I simply don't see any value in such an idea having witnessed it in action myself.. But thank you for letting me know about this .. And no .. I didn't intend any personality attack on TKV .. But simply mentioned that perhaps he hasn't seen real life kundalini in action ..
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      Sep 29 2011: Marie .. I wanted to clarify and possibly share with you what kind of kundalini action I have seen .. Do see the links below to really see kundalini in action .. I have been fortunate enough to see this and have a guru to put a good perspective on how to deal with kundalini by knowing about the process ..

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qPoYgvizO4

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bL3pTRt2kM

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-mYdNYnP9Q&feature=related

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfC1voaMYFw

      You see all this evidence, and how can you say Kundalini is an obstacle when its actually playing out the process on its own, using the inherent intelligence it has ? TKV mustn't have seen this .. If he has, I would be curious to know what solutions he would have proposed ?
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    Sep 29 2011: Thank you for the information Santhip and for taking the time to post it here. I'll read through the material, for sure it is an interesting topic.
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    Sep 28 2011: Hi Santhip,

    what do you think about TKV Desikachar who follows his fathers teachings, Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, and who says that Kundalini is an obstacle?

    http://www.aypsite.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=804

    (See "heart of Yoga")
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      Sep 28 2011: Hi Marie,

      I don't agree with his interpretation .. Kundalini is acknowledged to be a process of internal purification which sometimes is associated with energetic movements intended to remove all the energetic, mental , emotional and intellectual blockages .. It is the hallmark of a spiritual path ..

      TKV Desikachar seems to think that prana is the only energy that matters .. The difference between Prana and Kundalini is that Kundalini is an intelligent energy , which removes all the blockages on its own, to the point where it can cause spontaneous yoga postures to happen even if the one with an awakened kundalini doesn't know yoga at all .. I have seen this .. TKV doesn't seem to have any kind of reasoning for this ... Instead he has twisted the definitions so as to associated all the impurities with kundalini, and all the other intelligence with just movement of prana , which is clearly not the case ... ( this link explains what kundalini force is in detail http://www.himalayanacademy.com/resources/books/mws/mws_ch-38.html , the one practice which I found to be very beneficial but haven't seen in this website is focusing on the Heart center or the seat of the atman )

      Another thing which comes along these line is that prana isn't the end of things .. There is manomaya kosha, anandamaya kosha, and jnanamaya kosha .. ( see kosha in wikipedia ) .. TKV doesn't seem to acknowledge that ... I am sure he didn't have seen a real kundalini awakening involving spontaneous asanas ... Perhaps the reason why he didn't talk about kundalini was how people would chase kundalini in order to gain spiritual powers rather than aim for spiritual progress .. Other than that, I would have to say that this TKV didn't know what he was talking about ..
  • Sep 23 2011: I am glad to know about your interest in Kundalini. In India it is believed that by chanting the Lalitha Sahasranamam while concentrating on different parts of the body, the Kundalini can be awakened. But today this knowledge about which body parts are to be concentrated on is lost. I will suggest to you to join the Kundalini group of Yahoo groups. You can interact with several people from all over the world, who had experienced Kundalini awakening.
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Kundalini-Awakening-Systems-1/
    Regards
    vg
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      Sep 23 2011: Thank you vg for the info .. I have been fortunate to have access to a kundalini satguru , and am currently her student here in the US .. Will look into the group regardless ..:-)

      Am familiar with lalitasahasranama .. Haven't chanted it .. Have heard my mom chant it .. Seems like my kundalini was awakened doing regular yoga .. Have come across others for whom it happened spontaneously .. Even without an background of yoga ...
      • Sep 24 2011: Very glad to know that you have an excellent guru and you have received grace from her. I would like to share a little more information with you about K. Late Swami Mukthananda had his Asram in Ganeshpuri near Mumbai. His system of meditation is meant for awakening K. I had visited this Asram few times. At any given time there were around 300 people from he US staying in this Ashram. Government of India gives 3 months Visa to the visitors. When one group returns another group visits. The belief is a K Guru can by his grace awaken K in a disciple. Swami Mukthananda was using the Shiva Sutras as his text book for his disciples.
        Regards
        vg
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    Sep 6 2011: "This idea is to study the phenomenon of Kundalini scientifically."
    I love your idea; i wish i could help but I don't know how I can contribute..So here's some praise and ill hope for you.
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      Sep 6 2011: Thanks a lot for your kind words Benny ! :-) Hopefully there will come a day when I can express my sincere support for having accomplished this idea to fruition :)
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    Sep 5 2011: Currently underway, I'm sure you will be hearing about it on TED.
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      Sep 5 2011: Could you give me additional links on what you were alluding to ? Can't seem to find anything on Kundalini on TED ..
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      Sep 28 2011: I suppose you are doing research on this .. Would be happy to hear more about this from yourself :)
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    Sep 5 2011: Awakening kundalini is not a simple task as far as my knowledge goes. Years of yogic practice leading a measure of life would only awaken the kundalini. In Chinese its referred as Chi's. There are 7 stages in reaching kundalini, for experimenting, ask an unadultrated child i.e. unexploited, untouched by the outer world, as young as possible. and ask him/ her to close their eyes and just point your finger as close to his forehead just above the nose between the eyes without touching the skin. They would feel something infront of them (adults don't) if the kundalini is at the top they would react at once. Awakening kundalini would give raise to a lot of stuffs that humans have not encountered yet. For Muslims they too tweek the kundalini by you know how. To attain that stage it might take half of the life but its worth it. If you ever want to learn yoga please learn it from a guru not from those in the morning TV shows.
    All the best
    Sidharth
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      Sep 5 2011: Hey Siddharth,

      There have been some cases where there were spontaneous Kundalini awakenings happening even for people with no background on Yoga. And all of a sudden they begin to experience all this energy movement in their body even though they haven't learned anything about Kundalini . For some, who just wish to serve humanity, or a deep prayer or request /surrnder to the universe to learn the truth of one's being was enough to raise Kundalini .. So a multitude of things could lead to Kundalini awakening .. and its not always due to just yogic practices alone .. And No, chi isn't equivalent to Kundalini .. Chi is equivalent to Prana in the yogic tradition ..

      Also, focussing on the third eye isn't a recommended practice at all .. Simply because it leads to more phenomenon.. Most of the traditions tend to shift the focus towards the Heart Center .. Know this as I am under the guidance of a Guru myself :)

      The Sufi tradition, which is considered to be the mystic tradition within Islam also acknowledges Kundalini ..
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        Sep 6 2011: I have not heard of any body awakening kundalini without doing anything. I think you are confusing between enlightenment and kundalini. And people experiencing kundalini awakening i think you have googled it (and ended up here : http://www.elcollie.com/st/symptoms.html).. Please consult it with your guru. Kundalini is not some lab experiment or something to end up where or the other. For these I don't trust google. Lets wait and watch what other have to say. Neither you nor me are clear (I was but you made me feel uncertain). Lets observe others too. If you awake kundalini the feeling will be beyond words. In the due course of doing yoga its possible to move out of our body(our soul). According to me it takes immense practice even attain this stage. The third eye focus is not recommended without a guru until an age or 18. And if you do with full conscious its pretty good.
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          Sep 6 2011: Trust me Sidharth .. I know what I am talking about , and speak from experience .. My Guru have had students who began to experience Kundalini symptoms without any kind of spiritual background or enquiry or practice ... Out of the blue they began to experience spontaneous kriyas, breathing , full body movements etc .. So such a thing can happen ..and I have met .. And this isn't the result of googling .. :D

          I agree about Kundalini being no joke ... As I know the effects of Kundlaini can be dangerous if one isn't prepared for it ... But trust me, I am in good hands , for my guru is a kundalini satguru :)

          Also, another note is that , it is recommended not to do third eye meditaiton .. but to do more heart centered meditation, as it brings more balance into one's life , where as third eye brings in more phenomenon into one's life ...
        • Sep 24 2011: Spontaneous Kundalini awakening is very rare indeed but possible. I will invite you to visit the K group of Yahoo groups, where dozens of people, most from the US, describe their spontaneous awakening experiences. Guru chrism, who is the moderator of K group, Yahoo groups, is present in Facebook also.
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Kundalini-Awakening-Systems-1/
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          Sep 6 2011: Well said Ed.. thanks for sharing your thoughts .. It's much appreciated .. Didn't know that China was into consciousness studies ..