Kundalini, aka: Kuṇḍalinī, Kundalinī; 10 Definition(s)


Kundalini means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Yoga (school of philosophy)

Kundalini in Yoga glossary... « previous · [K] · next »

Kundalini literally means coiled. In yoga, a “corporeal energy”—an unconscious, instinctive or libidinal force or Shakti, lies coiled at the base of the spine. It is envisioned either as a goddess or else as a sleeping serpent, hence a number of English renderings of the term such as ‘serpent power’. The kundalini resides in the sacrum bone in three and a half coils and has been described as a residual power of pure desire.

Source: WikiPedia: Yoga

Kuṇḍalini (कुण्डलिनि).—Siddha Pāmbāṭṭi, one of the most celebrated Tamil siddha who largely deals with this Kuṇḍalini-yoga, refers the serpent to the Kuṇḍalini power, which passes one’s subtle body through six cakras. The serpent or Kuṇḍalini is also sometimes defined as ‘base fire’ (mūla kanal) in many of the Siddha’s songs.

Source: DSpace at Pondicherry: Siddha Cult in Tamilnadu (yoga)

Kuṇḍalinī (कुण्डलिनी).—How importance kuṇḍalinī is in the path or liberation is explained in Haṭhayoga Pradīpaka in the chapter samādhi. “When kuṇḍalinī is awakened through various means, one enters into the state of samādhi automatically. The one, who knows the path abandons all actions when his prāṇa enters into suṣumna (technically speaking it is through citriṇi-nāḍi, which is the inner most nāḍi in suṣumna. He is liberated when kuṇḍalinī enters into sahasrāra.”

Source: Manblunder: Theory And Practice of Kundalini Meditation
Yoga book cover
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Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

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Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Kuṇḍalinī (कुण्डलिनी):—In every human body, the female kuṇḍalinī serpent sleeps coiled in the place of the “fire of time” (kālāgni)? with her mouth closed over an internal liṅga in the lower abdomen. It is only in the body of a yogin that she is ever awakened, and her awakening corresponds precisely to the initiation of the yogin’s progressive withdrawal into total yogic integration (samādhi) or fluid equilibrium (samarasa). On a more concrete level, it is the rise of the kuṇḍalinī that brings about the transmutation of raw semen into nectar in the cranial vault, a locus associated with the ethereal goose (haṃsa).

The Kuṇḍalinī in the body of the yogin is an incarnation of the feminine in this tradition and thereby incarnates all the perils and joys that women can represent for men. She is divine energy (śakti) and female materiality (prakṛti), but she is also a tigress who can drain a man of all his energy and seed. She is twofold and also known by the name bhogavatī.

It is when her name is interpreted in terms of bhoga as pleasure that this female serpent’s twofold role is brought to the fore in the tantric context. The kuṇḍalinī as bhogavatī is a female who both takes pleasure and gives pleasure. In tantric metaphysics, it is the kuṇḍalinī’s coiled body itself that is the turning point between emanation and participation, emission and resorption.

Source: Google Books: The Alchemical Body
Rasashastra book cover
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Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Kundalini in Shaktism glossary... « previous · [K] · next »

Kuṇḍalini (कुण्डलिनि) is the energy in the form of a coiled serpent remaining latent in the mūlādhārā. As the source of all energy, kuṇḍalini reveals itself when roused by yogic exercise. This ancient belief is at the root of the concept of Kāyasādhanā, so much emphasised in the Śākta and the Buddhist Tantras.

The highest cerebral region is known as sahasrāra. Through yogic exercise this kuṇḍalini-śakti has to be pushed up through the two main nerves, iḍa and piṅgala, so that it may reach the sahasrara or the highest cerebral region where it should meet its source. Then the nectar which reached the sahasrāra is consumed by the yōgic practitioner forms the final stage of this kuṇḍalini-yoga.

Source: DSpace at Pondicherry: Siddha Cult in Tamilnadu (shaktism)

Kuṇḍalinī (कुण्डलिनी) is explained in terms of kuṇḍalinīyoga by Lakṣmaṇadeśika in his 11th-century Śaradātilaka 25.64-65.—“(64) One should think of this kuṇḍalī, the chief queen of the great serpent awake in the root [cakra], as moving in the suṣumṇā, as quickly piercing through the group of ādhāras like a blazing lightning [bolt], as worshipping [her] husband with streams of divine nectar flowing from the lunar disc located in the etheric lotus, [and] as returning to [her] house. (65) Śakti, the kuṇḍalinī, the mother of all, should be meditated upon as emerging from her own [i.e.mūla]-ādhāra, and as having taken in hand that haṃsaḥ, which is eternal, infinite [and] of imperishable qualities, [and then] going to Śaṃbhu’s [i.e.Śiva’s] residence, [and] after herself experiencing supreme bliss with him, returning to her own abode [i.e. the mūlādhāra]–she who has the lustre of ten million suns [and] who beguiles the world.”

Note: The kuṇḍalī or kuṇḍalinī (derived from the word kuṇḍala–“a ring, coil”) is energy in the form of a coiled serpent.

Source: academia.edu: The Śāradātilakatantra on Yoga
Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Kuṇḍalini (कुण्डलिनि).—In the Ādikeśava Perumal temple at Tiruvaṭṭāṛu in Kaṉṇiyākumari district of Tamiḻnādu, there are several interesting sculptures showing the Kuṇḍalini aspects. In one of the sculptures, a yogic practitioner is shown with a snake beside him as climbing up. It denotes that the yogi’s practice of kuṇḍalini-yoga is in a progressive stage.

Above his head a four petalled lotus is depicted which is denoting that he is in initial stage of practising kuṇḍalini from mūlādhāra (in the symbolic form of four petalled lotus).

Source: DSpace at Pondicherry: Siddha Cult in Tamilnadu (sculpture)
Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Kundalini in Ayurveda glossary... « previous · [K] · next »

Kuṇḍalinī (कुण्डलिनी) is another name for Guḍūcī, a medicinal plant identified with Tinospora cordifolia (heart-leaved moonseed) from the Menispermaceae or “moonseed family” of flowering plants, according to verse 3.13-16 of the 13th-century Raj Nighantu or Rājanighaṇṭu. The third chapter (guḍūcyādi-varga) of this book contains climbers and creepers (vīrudh). Together with the names Kuṇḍalinī and Guḍūcī, there are a total of thirty Sanskrit synonyms identified for this plant.

Source: WorldCat: Rāj nighaṇṭu
Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Kundalini in Hinduism glossary... « previous · [K] · next »

The Kuṇdalinī (कुण्डलिनी) which is fine like the thread in the lotus stalk, is inside this suṣumnā and is shining like millions of lightnings. By closing the ears and meditating on the sound within and the blue light between the eyes, and witnessing it, one gets infinite happiness. This is meditation from ‘inside.’

Source: Hindupedia: Advayataraka Upaniṣad

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Kundalini in Theravada glossary... « previous · [K] · next »

The name given to the offspring of the sarika(myna)-bird in the Tesakuna Jataka. She is identified with Uppalavanna. J.v.125.

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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