When I began learning about kundalini energy, my Mentor started by explaining the various kundalini awakening stages. He wanted me to understand that it's not going to happen overnight so that I was prepared for the long spiritual journey. If you are in the same spot right now, then I will do my best to impart all that I have learned from my Mentor and my experiences as well.
Before I begin, here’s a word of caution — various gurus classify kundalini awakening stages differently, but the differences are minor. I choose to classify the kundalini awakening process into three different stages — ‘Arambha’ or commencement of introspection, ‘Ghata’ or the cleansing stage, and the third-eye awakening stage.
Out of the three stages, the third-eye awakening stage requires the highest amount of practice and dedication. Once you are through with it, things begin to happen on their own, without you having to do much. If you are wondering what each of these kundalini awakening stages means, or what you go through when you experience them, then I completely understand your curiosity. So, I decided to share everything that I have figured out about kundalini awakening stages.
Before we elaborately discuss each of these three kundalini awakening stages, it is important to understand the difference between ‘Chakras’ or the energy wheels and ‘Granthis’ or the nodes. This is the key to understanding the three kundalini awakening stages.
What are Chakras and Chakra Blockages?
Chakras are the energy hubs within the body, and can be broadly classified into seven — root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown chakra. Each of these chakras is envisioned as a fast spinning wheel that emanates a particular color. So, you would have to meditate upon each of them and envisage them with the corresponding color.
The root chakra is denoted by red color, sacral by orange, solar plexus by yellow, heart chakra is represented by green, the throat chakra is denoted by blue, and finally, the crown chakra is symbolized by violet. Each of these chakras regulate a certain characteristic, and for its progress and development, it is essential to clear blockages from that particular chakra.
By clearing these blockages, you not only enable the free flow of energy but also solve many of your physiological and psychological problems. Every blocked chakra causes certain mental or physical problems, which are discussed below.
Root Chakra Blockage
Blockage of the root chakra can cause constipation, anemia, issues connected to legs and the skeletal system, eating disorders. So, if you are experiencing any of these health issues, then it’s quite obvious that you would have to work harder on your root chakra. As a matter of fact, this chakra is the root of all creation and fosters the Individual’s ability to survive.
Sacral Chakra Blockage
The sacral chakra is indicative of pleasure and the most common blockage is guilt. Unless you cleanse this chakra, you may experience difficulties in procreation, lack of sexual pleasure, addictions, and more.
Solar Plexus Chakra
The solar plexus chakra symbolizes an Individual’s willpower and its blockage may cause a lack of self-esteem. Also, it is possible that you experience conditions such as hypertension, digestive issues, and skin conditions due to a blocked solar plexus chakra.
As the name implies, the heart chakra represents love and compassion. When the heart chakra is blocked, the individual begins to feel despondent, hopeless and abandoned. Also, one may feel lonely and may find it hard to trust others. All of this has a direct impact on the individual’s personal relationship with others.
An individual’s righteousness and truthfulness are symbolized by the throat chakra, which could be marred due to habitual lies and bluffing. Blockage in this chakra could make the individual feel victimized and may also cause communication issues.
Third Eye Chakra
This chakra represents knowledge, which can be blocked due to worldly illusions. This may cause daydreaming, inability to concentrate, sleep irregularities, hearing problems, sinus, and migraines.
Finally, we come to the crown chakra, which helps establish a direct connection with the cosmic energy. Any blockage in this chakra may show up in the form of hypersensitivity to external elements, close-mindedness, learning problems, and the inability to forgive and let go.
What are Granthis or knots?
There are three ‘Granthis’, also referred to as ‘knots’ or ‘nodes’, which are present in the human body. Depending on their location, the practitioner would be required to untie them chronologically, in order to facilitate the free movement of energies. The untying process takes place throughout the different kundalini awakening stages.
The first ‘Granthi’ or knot is the Brahma knot, which is located between the root and the sacral chakras. You need to untie this one in order to transmit the kundalini energy from the root chakra to the sacral chakra. The second knot is the Vishnu knot, which lies between the Solar Plexus and the Heart Chakras, and finally, the Rudra Granthi or knot which is present between the heart and the third-eye chakras.
Now that you know about ‘Chakras’ and ‘Granthis’, let us move further and discuss each of the three kundalini awakening stages.
Kundali Awakening Stage 1 – Arambha or the Beginning
During this kundalini awakening stage, you lay the cornerstone for the awakening process, by releasing the energy that lies dormant at the base of your spine. In this stage, you cleanse the root chakra and untie the Brahma Granthi or the ‘root knot’, which is a node located between the root chakra and the sacral chakra.
The root knot must not be confused with the root chakra, as the two are entirely different. While ‘Chakras’ are energy wheels, ‘Granthis’ are knots or nodes that need to be fixed for the kundalini to flow freely. This is only possible by performing the corresponding ‘kriyas’ or exercises, meditation and chants for each of the chakras.
Although some folks choose to use crystals and gems to help them through the process, those are optional. Your main focus should be on the yogic exercises and chants, which cause your body’s energy to vibrate at a certain frequency. Once you have managed to cross this kundalini awakening stage, then its time to move to the next stage, which requires a lot of your time and dedication.
Kundalini Awakening Stage 2 - Ghata or the Cleansing Stage
The word ‘Ghata’ literally means elimination and that’s exactly what you need to do in this kundalini awakening stage. You need to eliminate everything that’s hindering the free flow of the kundalini energy through the Sushumna Nadi. The word ‘Nadi’ refers to the channels within the body, through which the energy flows.
These channels or pathways must not be confused with nerves. In a human body, there are about 72,000 Nadis or channels, out of which three are fundamental — Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna. The Sushumna Nadi is the central channel, through which the kundalini energy passes. This Nadi extends from the base of the spine and goes straight up to the crown chakra. You can imagine these channels to be somewhat like pipes or tubes that carry energy to the various parts of the body.
From this central pathway, there are two others that extend on the left and the right side — these are the Ida and Pingala Nadis. Finally, the three Nadis or pathways entwine at the third-eye chakra, which happens during the final stage. This is a rare occurrence because, by this time, most people lose patience and give up kundalini yoga.
In this kundalini awakening stage, you cleanse the sacral and the solar plexus chakras. With this, you eliminate emotional weaknesses and instability, which may hinder your spiritual progress. During this phase, you regain your composure and unlock your inner creativity. Once you do that, you approach the second knot, which is the Vishnu Grantha or the Vishnu knot.
Untying the Vishnu Knot
In the ‘Ghata’ or the elimination stage, one needs to untie the Vishnu Grantha or the Vishnu knot, which is situated between the heart chakra and the throat chakra. This knot is indicative of ego and power, which you must let go for the sake of spiritual progress. So, you need to let go of the attachment you may have towards your wealth and social status.
None of your worldly achievements can have any influence on your mindset anymore because you are in the process of merging yourself into the universe’s energies. So, as the fire of your kundalini energy rises up and unties the Vishnu knot, you begin to let go of your ego and power. This kundalini awakening stage helps you inculcate noble traits such as humility and modesty. By embracing these qualities and holding on to them, you can accelerate your overall spiritual progress.
Kundalini Awakening Stage 3 - The Third-eye awakening
The third-eye kundalini awakening stage is of great significance and requires the practitioner’s absolute focus. At this point, the practitioner is just one step away from attaining full consciousness. In this phase, there are a couple of things that you must do. Firstly, you must untie the third and final knot, which is the Rudra knot. This can be done by raising the kundalini energy through kundalini yoga exercises, meditation, and chants.
Untying the Rudra knot
The Rudra knot lies between the heart chakra and the third-eye chakra and is the final knot that you must untie. This knot is responsible for the feeling of duality, which hinders spiritual progress. So, the challenge here is to feel and become one with the universe and its creations. Easy as it may sound, it is the most difficult kundalini awakening stage for any practitioner to cross. Once you do this, the cosmic energy flows to the third-eye chakra and you sense a tingling feeling between your eyebrows.
Once the Rudra knot is untied, the kundalini energy rises to the third-eye chakra from all the three fundamental Nadis or energy channels — Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna. The second most important task is to conquer the feeling of duality and to feel one with the universe and its creations. You must do this before moving the kundalini to the crown chakra because doing that connects you to the universe.
This is when you enter a deep meditative state and may also experience heightened Extra Sensory Powers. At this point, the brain functions somewhere between the Alpha and the low beta frequencies. As the kundalini energy moves up from there into the Crown chakra, the brain functions at higher frequencies.
Finally, when the kundalini energy radiates into the universe, the brain functions at the theta frequency. This gradual transition helps you manage your kundalini energy in a more efficient manner, which is not the case when there is a spontaneous kundalini awakening. As a result, spontaneous kundalini awakening causes the body to jerk and shake.
Most traditional kundalini yoga teachers would agree with the chronology of the above-mentioned kundalini awakening stages. Nevertheless, some yoga teachers help speed up the kundalini awakening process by using fast-track techniques. This could be through touch or gaze — while some magnetize their hand and then touch the disciple’s root chakra, there are others who manage to raise the disciple’s kundalini energy through the mere gaze. Although these techniques help speed up the process, I have my own reservations against them.
In my opinion, such fast-track methods could cause complications. You first need to prepare your body to regulate active kundalini energy and then activate it. This process does require some serious time and effort. So, I personally recommend that you go through the systematic and methodical process of practicing kundalini yoga. This method may be slow and time-consuming, but the gradual transition through the various kundalini awakening stages makes it a pleasurable.