Kundalini is a million times more potent than the body’s known energies, something like the assertion of modern sciences that talk of activating vast dormant areas of the brain which would release incalculable neurological capacities of man. Hence, once Kundalini is fully awakened the sadhaka’s consciousness and Cosmic Consciousness become one. Awakening of Kundalini is in the form of its ascent from the ‘Muladhara Chakra’ to ‘Sahasrara-Chakra’.
The Sanskrit term kundalini is derived from kundala, a word meaning “coil,” kundalini is imagined to sleep at the base of the spine in the lowest energy centre of the body, called the muladhara chakra. Through specialized techniques of meditation, physical postures, and breath control, Kundalini can be aroused and raised through the body to unite with the divine male principle (personified as Lord Shiva) residing at the top of the crown of the head (Sahasrara Chakra).
In Hatha Yoga literature, Kundalini is portrayed as a serpent coiled three and a half times around an internal lingam, with her hood or mouth covering its top.
The awakening of Kundalini is not, however, without certain dangers. Indeed, Kundalini is also described as a tigress who can drain a man of his vital energy and virya. If not properly controlled, Kundalini can cause all manner of physical and psychological disturbances. One of the more striking cases is the account of a modern Indian author, Gopi Krishna, who accidentally awakened the serpent power, which then proceeded to rise not through the central sushumna channel but through one of the side nadis. After a period of intense physical distress and near insanity, Krishna sought the advice of a guru who helped him return Kundalini to her seat in the muladhara cakra and then raise to raise her through the proper, central nadi.