Without a guru you can practise any form of yoga, but not kundalini. This is an extremely powerful system. Kundalini yoga does not start suddenly or with fits. You don't have to make any substantial changes in your way of life, but you must begin to practise. Do not start with advanced practices; for some time you should train and prepare the physical body, then go to the mind and gradually explore the deeper levels. Before commencing the practices which bring about the actual awakening of kundalini, you must prepare yourself step by step on the physical, mental and emotional planes. If you are patient and prepare correctly, awakening of kundalini will definitely take place.
Adequate preparation is necessary to ensure that one has the strength to bear the impact of full awakening of the mighty potential force within. Most of us do not even have control over our physical manifestations and behaviors. Supposing you were given a sleep inducing injection, you would become drowsy whether you wanted to or not. This is because you have no control over the processes and actions of your brain and you do not know how to control sleep. Similarly, if you have a headache, you are unable to exert control over it. When physical manifestations such as sleep and pain are not under your control, what would happen if other manifestations began to occur in your brain? You wouldn't be able to control them. Therefore, before kundalini awakens, it is important that you are able to manage the mind.
If you can maintain a balanced mind in the face of mental and emotional conflicts and you can endure anger, worry, love and passion, disappointment, jealousy, hatred, memories of the past, sufferings and sorrows, you are ready for the awakening. If you can still feel joy when the scales are heavily loaded against you, you are an aspirant for kundalini yoga. Before you bring into use a generator of five megawatts, you must have a factory ready to utilize the energy. In the same way, before you awaken kundalini shakti, you must be able to merge yourself with the higher spirit and you must know how to utilize the creative energy of kundalini.
Therefore, if you want to follow the path of kundalini yoga, it is absolutely essential to have a guru with whom you feel intimate. Many people say the guru is within, but are they able to communicate with him, understand him and follow his intricate instructions? If so, it is possible to proceed with this internal
guidance, but few people have such a relationship with the inner guru. They need an external guru first. He will connect them with the inner guru. If you have a guru he will help you to prepare for kundalini awakening, he will be there if you need any advice and he will guide you through the crisis of awakening.
Usually, because we are religious minded people, our relationship with guru is based on a sort of formality. To us he is worshipful, respectable, superior and supreme, but at the time of awakening, all these attitudes to guru must be set aside. At this time you must evolve a more intimate attitude, as if your relationship was based on love, not merely devotion and worship. When you serve your mother you do so with an attitude of love, not respect and veneration. With this same attitude you should serve the guru, then his direct influence is upon you. Then, if there is excitement in any chakra, the relationship with guru will balance it.
The relationship between guru and disciple is the most intimate of relationships; it is neither a religious nor a legal relationship. Guru and disciple live like an object and its shadow. The guru is the best thing in spiritual life, and if you have a guru you are very fortunate. However, it is sometimes difficult to find a guru. If you haven't a guru, you can cultivate a mental picture of him, try to feel his guidance and continue practising faithfully. You will surely succeed.
The time factor
Preparation is not the job of one lifetime. Man strives spiritually life after life. In fact, this body is given to you only for that purpose. For eating, sleeping and sexual interaction a human body is not necessary, so in our lower stages of evolution we had an animal body. However, even with this human body, we still have animal in us, so these natural urges follow us. Let them, but remember, this body is not for their fulfillment alone. In this human body the consciousness is the most important point. Man is aware of his awareness and he does not only think, he knows that he thinks. The evolution of his awareness has been going on life after life. And what you have been practising for your spiritual life in the last five to ten years is in addition to what you
have already done.
Supposing your children are studying in primary school and you are transferred to another city. Where will your children begin their education in the new city? Right from the beginning? No, from the point where they left their studies. The same thing happens in reincarnation. That is why, even though you may have brothers and sisters born of the same mother and father, they will be different from you. In your previous incarnation your preferences were different from theirs. May be after a few incarnations they may come to the point where you are now. So we can't say how long preparation takes, because this life is one of those milestones and you have left behind many, many milestones.
However, if you are eager to awaken kundalini and the chakras, you should not be in a hurry. Set apart twelve years of your life for this purpose. This is not to say that the awakening cannot be brought about within one, two or three years - it can be. Total awakening can even take place in a month, or the guru can give you awakening in one day, but you will be unable to hold and sustain the awakening. When one is in possession of a weak mind which cannot sustain even a little bit of cheerfulness or excitement, or bear the death of a spouse or separation from a loved one, how can he sustain the tremendous force of an awakened kundalini? Therefore, the twelve years are not for the actual awakening, but for preparation so you can hold and sustain the awakening.
By: Swami Shankardevananda Saraswati
Posted by : Jaideep Ojha