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Signs of an Awakened Kundalini

How can you tell if your kundalini is active? A noted shaktipat guru lists 18 signs.
Photo of Jeen Mata Temple, Sikar, by Arti Shah

By Swami Vishnu Tirth

When kundalini awakens, one invariably feels some involuntary movements of the body, which begin with trembling and shaking with an intensity varying with different persons. Some experience violent shaking of different kinds, as does a car before starting when the dynamo begins to work. Such physical movements are accompanied with a heretofore not experienced feeling of pleasure of spiritual intoxication. These are the first symptoms of an awakened kundalini and are followed by various signs and experiences too many to be enumerated.

Some characteristic symptoms of the awakened kundalini are here given below from Mahayoga Vijnana, a treatise on the subject in Hindi by Sri Yoganandji Maharaja, the author’s revered guru. They are illustrative and by no means exhaustive:

This article is reprinted from the book Kundalini, Evolution and Enlightenment.

1. When throbbing of muladhar begins, the whole body shakes, involuntary kumbhak (filling in of the lungs with air) starts beyond control, breath is forcibly exhaled out, without volition deep inhaling and exhaling of breath starts and the body gets uncontrollable, know then that kundalini has awakened. You then should give up your assertion and sit witnessing what happens.

2. When your body begins trembling, hair stands on roots, you laugh or begin to weep without your wishing, your tongue begins to utter deformed sounds, you are filled with fear or see frightening visions, semen passes out, think that the kundalini shakti has become active.

3. When your posture becomes fixed, uddiyan, jalandhar, and mula bandhas come involuntarily, your tongue reverts back or rises up towards the soft palate and the whole body becomes so active that you are unable to sit still, your hands and legs stretch out forcibly, you ought to know that the divine power of the goddess kundalini has come into action.

4. When your posture becomes fixed and sight is attracted towards the middle point of eyebrows, the eye balls begin to revolve, you get automatic kewal-kumbhak, cessation of breath comes with no effort for inhaling or exhaling and the mind becomes vacant, void of all outward knowledge, understand that ... the goddess kundalini has come into action.

5. When you feel currents of prana rising up your cerebrum within you, automatic repetition of Aum starts and the mind experiences waves after waves of blissful beatitude, think the universal mother kundalini has come into action.

6. When different kinds of nad [subtle sound] become audible, in your spinal column you experience vibrations, feeling of bodily existence for the time being is lost, in other words you feel as if there is no body, everything looks vacant, your eyelids become closed and open not in spite of your efforts, electric-like currents seem flowing up and down the nerves and you have convulsions, know that mahamaya kundalini has come into action.

Swami Vishnu Tirth

7. When with the closing of eyelids your body falls to the ground, or begins to rotate like a grinding stone and breath comes not out, the body squatted on floor crosslegged begins to jump from place to place like a frog, or moves from place to place, or lies down like one dead, hands may not be lifted even if so desired, you feel contraction of nerves, you feel as if your life is passing away, the body undergoes convulsions like a dying fish, know that yogamaya kundalini has come into action.

8. When your mind gets influenced spiritually as if some spirit has taken possession of your body and under that influence different postures of yoga are involuntarily performed without the least pain or fatigue and you feel increasingly buoyant, and simultaneously strange sorts of breathing exercises start, think that the divine power of kundalini has come into action.

9. When no sooner you have sat with eyes closed than in an instant the body begins to show activity of throwing out limbs forcibly, deformed sounds are loudly uttered, your speech begins to utter sounds like those of animals, birds and frogs or of a lion or like those of jackals, dogs, tigers, fear-inspiring and not pleasing to hear, understand that the great goddess kundalini has come into action.

10. When you feel vibrations of prana at different stations inside your body and feel its flow wherever you fix your attention and your nerves begin to show easy jerks like jerks of electricity as if passing through them, know that the goddess kundalini has come into action.

11. When all day and night you feel within your body some activity of prana and whenever you concentrate your mind, your body at once begins to shake or begins tossing and your mind remains filled with joy and bliss at all times, even when at call of nature, even during sleep you feel currents of prana rising up in your sahasrar and even in dreams you experience her presence, know that the joy-inspiring kundalini has come into action.

12. As soon as you sit for prayers your body begins to shake and in ecstasy of joy you begin to sing hymns in tones of music charming to hear and whose composition and poetry come out involuntarily, your hands giving a rhythmical clapping, and you pronounce languages you know not, but the sound ecstasizes your mind, know that the goddess of speech, Saraswati, has awakened into action.

13. When you feel intoxicated without taking any drug, while walking your steps fall majestically or like one drunk and you are unable to do any other work and you like to remain mute and dislike speaking to or hearing others and you feel like one drunk of divinity, know that your atma shakti kundalini, the power of Self, has come into action.

14. While walking, when your mind is filled with an im-pulse to walk faster and your feet begin to run, you feel your body light like air and do not feel fatigued even having walked long enough, you feel buoyant and joyful, you are not unhappy even in dreams, you can keep the balance of your mind undisturbed in all ups and downs, and you acquire an inexhaustible energy for work, know that brahma shakti kundalini has come into action.

15. When in meditation you see visions divine and fall in a dreamy state of mind, have divine smells, see divine figures, feel divine tastes, hear divine sounds and experience divine touch and receive instructions from gods, then understand that the divine power of kundalini has come into action.

16. When you are in meditation and the future unfolds its secrets to you or the hidden meaning of scriptures, Vedas and Vedanta shine on your understanding, all doubts vanish, you acquire an insight into the abstruse meaning of the works on spiritual science even at their first glance, you acquire strange powers of oratory and feel not the need of approaching even Brahma, the creator himself, for knowledge and you acquire self-confidence, understand then that kundalini the bestower of siddhis (occult powers) has come into action.

17. When you are seated for meditation and your sight becomes fixed on the mid of eyebrows, your tongue rises up for khechari, breath stops altogether and mind plunges into the ocean of bliss, shambhavi mudra operates and you experience the pleasure of savikalpa samadhi, know that subtle power of kundalini is in action.

18. When at morning and evening hours punctually and automatically your body becomes charged with such of the divine influences, and body, mind, and prana become overpowered by her, know that the goddess kundalini is rightly functioning…

This article is reprinted from the book Kundalini, Evolution and Enlightenment. Copyright © 1979, 1990 John White.

Photo of deity in Jeen Mata Temple, Sikar District, Rajasthan copyright © Arti Shah at My Yatra Diary.

Swami Vishnu Tirth (1888 ‒ 1969), also known as Swami Vishnu Tirtha and Swami Vishnu Tirtha Maharaj, was a noted guru of the Tirth lineage of Siddha Yoga. He founded the Shri Narayan Kuti Sanyas Ashram in Dewas, India.


Recommended books

Kundalini, Evolution and Enlightenment

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The author, Swami Shivom Tirth, heads several ashrams in India and one in rural New York State. The first volume of this three-volume set describes Shivom’s experiences as a young student of his guru, Swami Vishnu Tirth. During this period Shivom acted as Vishnu Tirth’s personal assistant, accompanying him on daily walks each morning. This book records the content of their conversations. The format is in large part question and answer, as two great minds, young and old, disciple and teacher, explore the universal lessons of Hindu wisdom. Common experiences such as social conflicts and simple everyday decisions become the source of profound insights about the nature of reality. Shivom brings to the work a humble but determined curiosity, which lends to the discussions a simplicity and clarity that make them accessible to readers outside the Hindu tradition. Churning of the Heart is of particular interest to readers seeking authoritative information about the yogic tradition known as shaktipat.

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This page was published on September 3, 2016.


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