August 2005 Newsletter
The following articles are reproduced from the August 2005 Newsletter to members. Non-members may or may not be able to relate to the contents.
Certain parts of the text are emboldened by present editor for emphasis.
THE student is referred to The Etheric Double (by A. E. Powell, a TPH publication) for a description of Kundalini with special reference to the etheric body and its Chakrams. Here we are concerned with it in connection with the astral body.
The three known forces which emanate from the Logos are: -
1. Fohat: which shows itself as electricity, heat, light motion, etc.
2. Prâna: which shows itself as vitality.
3. Kundalini: also known as the Serpent Fire.
Each of these three forces exists on all planes of which we know anything. So far as is known, no one of the three is convertible into any of the others: they each remain separate and distinct.
Kundalini is called in The Voice of the Silence “the Fiery Power”, and “the World’s Mother”. The first, because it appears like liquid fire as it rushes through the body; and the course it should follow is a spiral one, like the coils of a serpent. It is called the World’s Mother because through it our various vehicles may be vivified, so that the higher worlds may open before us in succession.
Its home in man’s body is the Chakram at the base of the spine, and for the ordinary man it lies there unawakened and unsuspected during the whole of his life. It is far better for it to remain dormant until the man has made definite moral development, until his will is strong enough to control it and his thoughts pure enough to enable him to face its awakening without injury. No one should experiment with it without definite instruction from a teacher who thoroughly understands the subject, for the dangers connected with it are very real and terribly serious. Some of them are purely physical. Its uncontrolled movement often produces intense physical pain, and it may readily tear tissues, and even destroy physical life. It may also do permanent injury to vehicles higher than the physical.
One very common effect of rousing it prematurely is that it rushes downwards in the body instead of upwards, and thus excites the most undesirable passions — excites them and intensifies their effects to such a degree that it becomes quite impossible for the man to resist them, because a force has been brought into play in whose presence he is quite helpless. Such men becomes satyrs, monsters of depravity, the force being beyond the normal human power of resistance. They may probably gain certain supernormal powers, but these will be such as will bring them into touch with a lower order of evolution, with which humanity is intended to hold no commerce, and to escape from its thralldom may take more than one incarnation.
There is a school of black magic which purposely uses this power in this way, in order that through it may be vivified those lower Chakrams which are never used by followers of the Good Law.
The premature unfoldment of Kundalini has other unpleasant possibilities. It intensifies everything in the man’s nature, and it reaches the lower and evil qualities more readily than the good. In the mental body, ambition is very readily aroused, and soon swells to an incredibly inordinate degree. It would probably bring with it a great intensification of intellect, accompanied by abnormal and satanic pride, such as is quite inconceivable to the ordinary men.
An uninstructed man who finds that Kundalini has been aroused by accident should at once consult some one who fully understands these matters.
The arousing of Kundalini — the method of doing which is not publicly known — and the attempt to pass it through the Chakrams — the order of which is also deliberately concealed from the public — should never be attempted except at the express suggestion of a Master, who will watch over His pupil during the various stages of the experiment.
The most solemn warnings are given by experienced occultists against in any way attempting to arouse Kundalini, except under qualified tuition, because of the real and great dangers involved. As is said in the Hathayogapradipika; “It gives liberation to Yogis and bondage to fools”. (III, 107).
In some cases Kundalini wakes spontaneously, so that a dull glow is felt: it may even begin to move of itself, though this rare. In this latter case it would be likely to cause great pain, as, since the passages are not prepared for it, it would have to clear its way by actually burning up a great deal of etheric dross, which is necessarily a painful process. When it thus awakes of itself or is accidentally aroused, it usually tries to rush up the interior of the spine, instead of following the spiral course into which the occultist is trained to guide it. If it be possible, the will should be set in motion to arrest its onward rush, but if that proves to be impossible, as is most likely, no alarm need be felt. It will probably rush out through the head and escape into the surrounding atmosphere, and it is likely that no harm will result beyond a slight weakening. Nothing worse than a temporary loss of consciousness need be apprehended. The worst dangers are connected, not with its upward rush, but with its turning downwards and inwards.
Its principal function in connection with occult development is that by being sent through the Chakrams in the etheric body, it vivifies these Chakrams and makes them available as gates of connection between the physical and astral bodies. It is said in The Voice of the Silence that when Kundalini reaches the centre between the eyebrows and fully vivifies it, it confers the power of hearing the voice of the Master — which means, in this case, the voice of the ego or higher self. The reason is that when the pituitary body is brought into working order it forms a perfect link with the astral vehicle, so that through it all communications from within can be received.
In addition, all the higher Chakrams have to be awakened, in due course, and each must be made responsive to all kinds of astral influences from the various astral sub-planes. Most people cannot gain this during the present incarnation, if it is the first in which they have begun to take these matters seriously in hand. Some Indians might succeed in doing so, as their bodies are by heredity more adaptable than most others: but it is for the majority of men the work of a later Round altogether.
The conquest of Kundalini has to be repeated in each incarnation, since the vehicles are new each time, but after it has been once achieved these repetitions will be an easy matter. Its action will vary with different types of people. Some would see the higher self rather than hear its voice. Also this connection with the higher has many stages; for the personality it means the influence of the ego: but for the ego himself it means the power of the monad: and for the monad in turn it means to become a conscious expression of the Logos.
There does not appear to be any age limit with regard to the arousing of Kundalini: but physical health is a necessity owing to the strain involved.
An ancient symbol was the thyrsus — that is, a staff with a pine-cone on its top. In India the same symbol is found, but instead of the staff, a stick of bamboo with seven knots is used. In some modifications of the mysteries a hollow iron rod, said to contain fire, was used instead of the thyrsus. The staff, or stick, with seven knots represents the spinal cord, with its seven Chakrams. The hidden fire is, of course, Kundalini. The thyrsus was not only a symbol, but also an object of practical use. It was a very strong magnetic instrument, used by initiates to free the astral body from the physical when they passed in full consciousness to this higher life. The priest who had magnetised it laid it against the spinal cord of the candidate and gave him in that way some of his own magnetism, to help him in that difficult life and in the efforts which lay before him.
“The human race greatly needs a spiritual awakening. Man must turn from self to selflessness, from acquisition to service, from form to life. Then, and then alone, may power be entrusted to him, knowledge of his life within the form be gained”.
Sixty five of us, including members, families and friends, had an enjoyable time at the delightful Kent Ridge Park on Sunday, 17 July 2005. We were blessed with fine weather on that particular day, a minor miracle indeed to have a fine day between two days of torrential rainfall. The fun and joy of the day have inspired us to organize more frequent outings for members and their families. Look out for the next family outing.
With memories of the enjoyable theosophical retreats we had in the past fresh in our minds, we are organizing another retreat this year for the weekend of 26-27 November 2005. This year we will be returning to the idyllic nature reserve and marine sanctuary of Sebana Cove. The marina and golf resort lies deep in the Sungei Santi river in Johore and is situated amidst the wonders of nature. Imagine cruising some 10 km up an Amazon-like river with mangroves on both banks and the possibility of seeing some playful pink dolphins right in the river leading to the resort. We last had our theosophical retreat there in 1998.
The retreat as usual will incorporate an appropriate spiritual programme including 4 workshops cum lectures and 2 group meditation sessions. The central theme for the 2005 Theosophical Retreat at Sebana Cove Resort is “The Three Poisons and the Five Obscurities”.
The retreat is only open to members and their families. The nominal cost includes accommodation (chalet) at the Sebana Cove Resort, two lunches, one dinner, one breakfast, four tea breaks, and return ferry tickets from Tanah Merah to the resort. This, you would appreciate, is excellent value for money. Moreover, the workshops will be instrumental for the participant on a spiritual quest to examine and consequently subdue one’s lower nature.
A few words about the theme of the forthcoming retreat then. Letter No. 47 in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, written by the Master K. H. in February 1882 contains these words, “Look around you, my friend: see the “three poisons” raging within the heart of men — anger, greed, delusion, and the five obscurities envy, passion, vacillation, sloth, and unbelief — ever preventing them seeing truth. They will never get rid of the pollution of their vain, wicked hearts, nor perceive the spiritual portion of themselves.” Interestingly, Letter No. 47 is the first letter written by the Mahatma following his return from His “long journey after supreme knowledge”. The long journey was referred to elsewhere in the Mahatma Letters as His ‘retreat’ when He left His physical body for about three months. The four workshop modules are intended to allow us to recognise the 3 poisons and the 5 obscurities within each of us and to resolve to overcome them.
Bring your family along, so that they can be part of our theosophical activities, even if they do not join the workshop. We will have time for work and play. There are optional sea sports and town tour/shopping. The last time, over 40 of us went for the retreat at Turi Beach. We hope to see a larger group this year, the more the merrier. You need not pay for the retreat right away, but we do need to know as soon as possible how many will be going for the retreat so that we could make the necessary reservations with the resort. Please inform any of the committee members if you would like to join us for the theosophical retreat.
We are happy to announce that Dr. N. C. Ramanujachary will be visiting us again in September 2005. Members will remember that Dr. Ramanujachary first came to the Singapore Lodge in 1999 and again in 2000. On both occasions, he gave talks and lectures at our lodge for a month. This trip he is again expected to stay for a month or so. So as to benefit fully from his visit, our program for September will focus exclusively on lectures and talks to be given by our distinguished visiting lecturer. Look out for the September programme.
In addition to the weekly talks on Saturdays covering various subjects, he will also conduct a special study class on Vivekachudamani. This will be a series of nightly talks for a week in September. Vivekachudamani literally means ‘crest jewel of wisdom’. It is an important original work of Sri Sankaracharya, one of the greatest sages of Ancient India.