Regarding the Kundalini rising, it can be natural during a specific and certain well-regulated process of spiritual development which some Eastern esoteric Schools teach; but more often than not it comes about from Hatha Yoga or other methods and as such is warned about as it will often cause harm and imbalance.
This is the opposite of adeptship, which is complete control of one’s own nature, followed by an informed and compassionate control – or better to say guidance – of the dynamics of greater Nature, much loved but little understood in many parts of the New Age Movement.
Of the various schools of Yoga – there are several broad types, often more truly psychic than spiritual – many are not faithful to these age old principles, and this is especially true when money is involved. Material gain or advantage should not be part of that which is at all spiritual; this is a well-known and widely accepted teaching in all the genuine spiritual paths of whatever creed.
Now the simple exercising and stretching Yogas do not fall under this prohibition as they are purely physical and do not promise psychic or spiritual development. Those which teach breath restraint for purposes of pranic control, visualisation, or ‘guided’ meditations etc should be approached only with the greatest caution, and the teachers of these practices asked how they view the distinction between the psychic powers (clairvoyance, dowsing, mind-reading etc etc, which are not necessarily good nor divine) and the spiritual powers which cultivate an incorruptibility of soul, a tolerance of personal hardships for another’s sake, and a benevolence to and sacrifice for all living creatures. Such are the pure ideals of the original Theosophical teachings of the 1875 Movement.
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As many perceptive students rightly suspect, one has to learn to leave the Kundalini alone until a high degree of spiritual self-mastery has been achieved, by which point it will be activating itself naturally and in the right way and very much of its own accord.
Kundalini “is Buddhi considered as an active instead of a passive principle (which it is generally, when regarded only as the vehicle, or casket of the Supreme Spirit ATMA),” explains H. P. Blavatsky in “The Voice of the Silence.”
As our Buddhic nature becomes more and more active, developed, and energised – as characterised by such qualities as real divine wisdom, accurate spiritual intuition, higher perceptions, ever-increasing compassion, selflessness, and altruism, and more besides – so must the Kundalini fire within us rise towards the heart (its right and proper abode) and then beyond, without us needing at our present stage to know any of the detailed technicalities involved.
When HPB and her co-workers reintroduced the beneficent practices of the Ageless Wisdom into the West, then as now, these ideas find few takers among pleasure and thrill seekers. Part of her mission was to popularise them in these days of excess and overindulgence, so that at least some may develop a more refined taste for simplicity, discipline and humility, and thus find the bliss that comes from such… and that it is not so far off!
This is the stage written about so poetically in The Voice of the Silence (p 65), the great handbook of mystic development, when the seeker finds “a vale of refuge” from “the fierce rush of battling waves” from the world’s Ocean of Maya-illusion. Much more can be said about this, it is the crux of the Raja Yoga system and it includes the seven golden Paramitas of The Voice (p. 52-53). It is these perennial virtues which alone can preserve one’s health and well-being – mental, psychological and physical – and safely guide one to the ‘other shore,’ the point at which the choice between the Two Paths is made: the open and the secret, Nirvana of the Pratyeka (selfish) Buddha or the service of the Nirmanakaya, a Master of the right-hand path.
William Q. Judge in his article “The Closing Cycle” sums the matter up well:
We have to do as Buddha told his disciples: preach, promulgate, expound, illustrate, and make clear in detail all the great things we have learned. That is our work, and not the bringing out of surprising things about clairvoyance and other astral matters, nor the blinding of the eye of science by discoveries impossible for them but easy for the occultist. The Master’s plan has not altered. He gave it out long ago. It is to make the world at large better, to prepare a right soil for the growing out of the powers of the soul, which are dangerous if they spring up in our present selfish soil. It is not the Black Lodge that tries to keep back psychic development; it is the White Lodge. The Black would fain have all the psychic powers full flower now, because in our wicked, mean, hypocritical, and money-getting people they would soon wreck the race.
So let us be patient, content, and grateful, and attend to our true spiritual and ethical progress, for the good and upliftment of all.
The Key to Theosophy by H.P. Blavatsky is a good preparation for the study of The Secret Doctrine and perhaps the best for a complete view of the ethics, methods and theory of spiritual practice on the Path. The PDF is here
There are US and Indian editions available, which with all the other books listed, can be sent in a day or two.
Other helpful reading
Isis Unveiled by H.P. Blavatsky is more accessible than the Secret Doctrine, a forerunner to it and a wonderful book: the PDF is at http://www.theosophy-ult.org.uk/book-review/isis-unveiled
The US hardback edition is available at a reasonable price.
For a short overview of the essentials of the philosophy The Ocean of Theosophy is very accessible and recommended for those who are less familiar with the philosophy and would like a brief – but still deep and thorough – introduction to it. The Indian edition is an excellent gift for those with general questions on Theosophy; both editions have a good index.
The US hardback and Indian paperback editions are excellent value.