Kundalini is the Divine cosmic energy. The world is derived from ‘kundala’, meaning a ring or coil. The latent energy is symbolised as a sleeping serpent with three and a half coils; it has its tail in its mouth, which faces downwards. It lies at the hollow base of the susumna, two digits below the genital area and two above the anus. * The three coils represents the three states of mind (avastha), namely awake (jagrt), dreaming (svapna) and in deep sleep (susupti). There is a fourth state, turiaya, combining and transcending the others, which is represented by the last half-coil. It is attained in samadhi. * The hatha yoga pradipika (III,1) states that as Adi Sesa, the lord of serpents, supports the universe, so kundalini uploads all the disciplines of yoga. * The energy which passes through the ida, pingala and susumna is called bindu, literally a point having no parts or no magnitude. These three nadis represent respectively the nadis of the moon, the sun and fire. Before the word ‘kundalini’ came into vogue, ‘agni’ (fire) was used to present the divine power which purifies and rises upwards like fire. Through the discipline of yoga the direction of the mouth of the coiled serpentine energy is made to turn upwards. It rises like steam through the susumna via the chitra (emanating from the heart) till it reaches the sahasrara. When the creative energy (sakti) of kundalini is awakened, ida and pingala merge within the susuma. (siva samhita, V,13) * Metal is refined by burning of the dross. By the fire of yogic discipline, the sadhaka burns up within himself the impiurities of desire, anger, greed, infatuation, pride and envy. Then his intellect becomes refined. The cosmic energy latent within him is then awakened by the grace of God and the guru (hatha yoga pradipika,III,2). As this rises, the sadhaka gets more and more in tune with the Divine. He becomes free from attachment towards fruits of action (karma mukta) and unattached to life (jivana mukta). * According to tantric texts, the object of pranayama is to arouse the latent power (Shakti) called kundalini, the Divine cosmic energy in our bodies, layng at the base of the spinal column in muladhara chakra, the nervous plexus situated in the pelvis above the anus at the root of the spine. This energy has to be aroused and made to ascend through the susumna from the muladhara chakra to the thousand – palled lotus in the head, network of nerves in the brain. After piercing the intervening chakras, it finally unites with the Supreme Soul. This is an allegorical way of describing the tremendous seminal vitality which is obtained by the practice of uddiyana, mula bandhas and self – restraint. It is a symbolic way of describing the sublimation of sexual energy. * When the kundalini reaches the sahasrara, the sadhaka has no feeling of his own seperate identity and nothing exists for him. He has crossed the barriers of time and space, and becomes one with the Universe.