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Kundalini and Christian experience of Holy Spirit

"According to the yogic literature, it is at least that, and much more. Kundalini is none other than Shakti, the female consort of Shiva, who is one with Brahmin and Vishnu in the Hindu trinity. Hence, kundalini is considered a divine energy, and its awakening is interpreted as awakening to the divine. Small wonder Hindu writers see this energy as the counterpart to the Christian experience of the Holy Spirit! About this matter we shall have much more to say later in this work, but for now, let us examine more closely the ideas on Hindu divinity described above."

Bible Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita

Kundalini and Christian experience of Holy Spirit

"But what is kundalini? Is it the energy of the higher spiritual bodies breaking through into the lower levels?

According to the yogic literature, it is at least that, and much more. Kundalini is none other than Shakti, the female consort of Shiva, who is one with Brahmin and Vishnu in the Hindu trinity. Hence, kundalini is considered a divine energy, and its awakening is interpreted as awakening to the divine. Small wonder Hindu writers see this energy as the counterpart to the Christian experience of the Holy Spirit! About this matter we shall have much more to say later in this work, but for now, let us examine more closely the ideas on Hindu divinity described above.

In the Hindu trinity, Brahmin is usually considered the creator and source of all that is. Vishnu is given the attributes of preserver, as exemplified in his incarnations as Krishna, Rama, and Buddha. Shiva, on the other hand, is accorded many attributes, the most common of which are destroyer, yogic ascetic, and pure consciousness. What Shiva destroys, however, is not the really real, but all that is false, illusory, and subject to corruption and rebirth. The active energy by means of which Shiva accomplishes this work is to be found in his wife, Shakti. Like Shiva, she has two faces, one as destroyer, exemplified in her work as Kali, and the other in her role as divine mother and nurturer of the really real in all that is.

Kundalini, then, cannot be discussed apart from Shiva, for the two are inseparable. The problem in most individuals, however, is that they are separated. It is believed that in the individual, Shiva resides in the seventh chakra as pure consciousness itself. Shakti, on the other hand, lies dormant in the first chakra. The divine consciousness of Shiva is not known in the individual because it is alienated from its active power or energy, which is Shakti/kundalini. When the energy awakens and rises through the chakras, Shakti unites with Shiva, and the individual lives in the unitive embrace between the two. The nature and power of their divine consciousness is known by the individual, who realizes his or her Atman, or spiritual soul. Atman is not separate from Brahmin; indeed, it is none other than Brahmin itself, manifesting as the individual soul. All illusions of duality and separateness begin to fall away with this realization, and the Atmanic condition called advaita (non- duality) begins to grow.

The awakening of kundalini, then, is considered a very special grace in Hinduism. It represents the beginning of the realization of the life of the divine as the essence of the soul itself. Nevertheless, the aspects of Shakti and Shiva as destroyer also attest to the painful purifications which accompany this awakening. Everything in consciousness which is ignorant of the Atman will be burned away— especially the false notions of individuality. In the end, however, the realization of the Atman as being, knowledge, and bliss (sat chit ananda) will more than compensate for the pain. Such is the hope which sustains the Hindu.

Personal Reflections

I found all of the above most helpful in understanding the meaning of the transformation process which had been awakened in me. The account of the soul and its multiple, interpenetrating bodies, chakras, and energies gave me a new understanding of the manner in which spirit and matter come together. The advaitic consciousness of the atmanic state also validated my experience.

As reassuring as this validation was, it nonetheless left me with many questions which I have found impossible to set aside and irrelevant. What, for example, would be the Christian equivalent to the Hindu explanation? Here are a few related issues:

1. Does the Hindu experience of Shakti correspond to the Christian idea and experience of the Holy Spirit?

2. Does the Hindu trinity correspond to the Christian trinity?

3. How does Christian metaphysics or theology account for the advaitic or enlightenment experience? Is this the same kind of consciousness described by the Christian mystics? If not, then how is it different?

4. Finally, and on a practical level: should Christians be encouraged to pursue the kind of experience I had come upon?

It took centuries to integrate Christian theology and Greek philosophy, and so I have little hope that this present work will conclusively respond to the questions raised above. I believe these issues to be among the most important facing Christian spirituality today, for East and West are coming together, and there is no reversing the process of encounter."

Kundalini and Christian experience of the Holy Spirit
http://www.innerexplorations.com/ewtext/kun.htm




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