Yoga-kundalini Upanishad of Krishna-Yajurveda

by K. Narayanasvami Aiyar | 1914 | 4,927 words

This is the English translation of the Yoga-kundalini Upanishad (belonging to the Krishna-Yajurveda): a minor Sanskrit treatise selected amongst a collection 108 extant upanishads, dating to at least the 1st millennium BC. The Yoga-kundalini-upanishad expounds the theory of Kundalini Yoga and describes the systems of Hatha and Lambika yoga. Kundal...

I shall hereafter describe the science called khecarī which is such that one who knows it is freed from old age and death in this world. One who is subject to the pains of death, disease and old age should, O sage, on knowing this science make his mind firm and practise khecarī. One should regard that person as his guru on earth who knows khecarī, the destroyer of old age and death, both from knowing the meaning of books and practice, and should perform it with all his heart. The science of khecarī is not easily attainable, as also its practice. Its practice and melana[1] are not accomplished simultaneously. Those that are bent upon practice alone do not get melana. Only some get the practice, O Brahman, after several births, but melana is not obtained even after a hundred births. Having undergone the practice after several births, some (solitary) yogin gets the melana in some future birth as the result of his practice. When a yogin gets this melana from the mouth of his guru, then he obtains the siddhis mentioned in the several books. When a man gets this melana through books and the significance, then he attains the state of Śiva freed from all rebirth. Even gurus may not be able to know this without books. Therefore this science is very difficult to master. An ascetic should wander over the earth so long as he fails to get this science, and when this science is obtained, then he has got the siddhi in his hand (viz., mastered the psychical powers). Therefore one should regard as Achyuta (Viṣṇu) the person who imparts the melana, as also him who gives out the science. He should regard as Śiva him who teaches the practice. Having got this science from me, you should not reveal it to others. Therefore one who knows this should protect it with all his efforts (viz., should never give it out except to persons who deserve it). O Brahman, one should go to the place where lives the guru, who is able to teach the divine yoga and there learn from him the science khecarī, and being then taught well by him, should at first practise it carefully. By means of this science, a person will attain the siddhi of khecarī. Joining with khecarī śakti (viz., kundalinī śakti) by means of the (science) of khecarī which contains the bīja (seed of letter) of khecarī, one becomes the lord of khecharas (Devas) and lives always amongst them. Khecarī bīja (seed-letter) is spoken of as agni encircled with water and as the abode of khecharas (Devas). Through this yoga, siddhi is mastered. The ninth (bīja) letter of somāmśa (soma or moon part) should also be pronounced in the reverse order. Then a letter composed of three amśas of the form of moon has been described; and after that, the eighth letter should be pronounced in the reverse order; then consider it as the supreme and its beginning as the fifth, and this is said to the kūta (horns) of the several bhinnas (or parts) of the moon.[1] This which tends to the accomplishment of all yogas, should be learnt through the initiation of a guru. He who recites this twelve times every day, will not get even in sleep that māyā (illusion) which is born in his body and which is the source of all vicious deeds. He who recites this five lakhs of times with very great care—to him the science of khecarī will reveal itself. All obstacles vanish and the devas are pleased. The destruction of valīpalita (viz., wrinkle and greyness of hair) will take place without doubt. Having acquired this great science, one should practise it afterwards. If not, O Brahman, he will suffer without getting any siddhi in the path of khecarī. If one does not get this nectarlike science in this practice, he should get it in the beginning of melana and recite it always; (else) one who is without it never gets siddhi. As soon as he gets this science, he should practise it; and then the sage will soon get the siddhi. Having drawn out the tongue from the root of the palate, a knower of Ātmā should clear the impurity (of the tongue) for seven days according to the advice of his guru. He should take a sharp knife which is oiled and cleaned and which resembles the leaf of the plant snuhī ("Euphorbia antiquorum") and should cut for the space of a hair (the frænum Lingui). Having powdered saindhava (rock-salt) and pathya (sea-salt), he should apply it to the place. On the seventh day, he should again cut for the space of a hair. Thus for the space of six months, he should continue it always gradually with great care. In six months, Śiro-bandha (bandha at the head),[2] which is at the root of the tongue is destroyed. Then the yogin who knows timely action should encircle with Śiro-vastra (lit., the cloth of the head) the Vāk-Īśvarī (the deity presiding over speech) and should draw (it) up. Again by daily drawing it up for six months, it comes, O sage, as far as the middle of the eyebrows and obliquely up to the opening of the ears; having gradually practised, it goes to the root of the chin. Then in three years, it goes up easily to the end of the hair (of the head) It goes up obliquely to Śākha[3] and downwards to the well of the throat. In another three years, it occupies brahmarandhra and stops there without doubt. Crosswise it goes up to the top of the head and downwards to the well of the throat. Gradually it opens the great adamantine door in the head. The rare science (of khecarī) bīja has been explained before. One should perform the six aṅgas (parts) of this mantra by pronouncing it in six different intonations. One should do this in order to attain all the siddhis; and this karanyāsam[4] should be done gradually and not all at a time, since the body of one who does it all at once will soon decay. Therefore it should be practised, O best of sages, little by little. When the tongue goes to the brahmarandhra through the outer path, then one should place the tongue after moving the bolt of Brahma which cannot be mastered by the devas. On doing this for three years with the point of the finger, he should make the tongue enter within: then it enters brahmadvāra (or hole). On entering the brahmadvāra, one should practise mathana (churning) well. Some intelligent men attain siddhi even without mathana. One who is versed in khecarī mantra accomplishes it without mathana. By doing the japa and mathana, one reaps the fruits soon. By connecting a wire made of gold, silver or iron with the nostrils by means of a thread soaked in milk, one should restrain his breath in his heart and seated in a convenient posture with his eyes concentrated between his eyebrows, he should perform mathana slowly. In six months, the state of mathana becomes natural like sleep in children. And it is not advisable to do mathana always. It should be done (once) only in every month. A yogin should not revolve his tongue in the path. After doing this for twelve years, siddhi is surely obtained. Then he sees the whole universe in his body as not being different from Ātmā. This path of the ūrdhvakuṇḍalinī (higher kundalinī), O chief of kings, conquers the macrocosm.

Thus ends the second chapter.

Footnotes and references:


Melana is lit., joining. This is the key to this science which seems to be kept profoundly secret and revealed by adepts only at initiation, as will appear from the subsequent passages in this Upaniṣad.


All these are very mystic.


Probably it here means some part below the skull.


Certain motions of the fingers and hands in the pronunciation of mantras.

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