What is Kundalini Yoga, and how can it help the West? Why is your method for awakening kundalini chaotic, rather than like the traditional, controlled methods?
Kundalini means your total potential, your total possibility. But it is a seed; it is the potential. The ways to awaken kundalini are ways to make your potential actual.
So first of all, kundalini is not something unique. It is only human energy as such. But ordinarily only a part of it is functioning, a very minute part. Even that part is not functioning harmoniously; it is in conflict. That is the misery, the anguish. If your energy can function harmoniously then you feel bliss, but if it is in conflict – if it is antagonistic to itself – then you feel miserable. All misery means that your energy is in conflict, and all happiness, all bliss, means that your energy is in harmony.
There is a constant creating of energy and throwing out of energy. If one is intelligent enough, sensitive enough, then one will feel the absurdity of it, the whole meaninglessness of it. Then one will feel the purposelessness of life. Are you just an instrument to create energy and throw it out? What is the meaning of this? What is the need to exist at all? Just to be an instrument in which energy is created and thrown out? So the more sensitive a person is, the more he feels the meaninglessness of life as we know it.
Kundalini means to change this absurd situation into a meaningful one.
The science of kundalini is one of the most subtle sciences.
The physical sciences are also concerned with energy, but with material energy not psychic energy.
Yoga is concerned with psychic energy. It is a science of the metaphysical, of that which is transcendental.
Just like the material energy that science is concerned with, this psychic energy can be creative or destructive. If it is not used, it becomes destructive; if it is used, it becomes creative. But it can also be used non-creatively. The way to make it creative is first to understand that you should not realize only part of your potential. If one part is realized and the remaining, major portion of your potential is unrealized, it is not a situation that can be creative.
The whole must be realized; your whole potential must be actualized. There are methods to realize the potential, to make it actual, to make it awake. It is sleeping, just like a snake. That is why it has been named kundalini: serpent power, a sleeping serpent.
There are so many methods through which kundalini yoga tries to make the potential actual. For example, pranayama, breath control, is one of the methods to hammer the sleeping energy. It can also be tapped through asanas, yogic postures, because your body is connected at every point to the source of energy. So every posture has a corresponding effect on the energy source.
Asanas, pranayama – there are so many methods through which energies can be made to flow inward. When they flow inward they become one, because at the center there cannot be more than one. So the more energy goes inward, the more harmony there is. Conflicts drop. In the center there is no conflict. There is an organic unity of the whole. That is why bliss is felt.
Another thing: asanas and pranayama are bodily helps. They are important, but they are only physical helps. If your mind is in conflict then they will not be of much help, because body and mind are not two things really. One has to work from both polarities.
For the body there is hatha yoga: asanas, pranayama, etcetera; and for the mind there is raga yoga and other yogas that are basically concerned with your mental attitudes.
One has to work with both the body and the mind.
The body should be trained through yogic methodology, and the mind through awareness. You will require more awareness if you practice yoga because things will become subtler. If you are angry, you can ordinarily become aware of it because it is so gross. But if you practice pranayama, you will need more awareness, more acute sensitivity to be aware of anger, because now the anger will become subtler. The body is not cooperating with it so there will be no physical expression of it at all.
If people practice awareness techniques and simultaneously practice yogic methods, they will know deeper realms of awareness. Otherwise they will be aware only of the gross. If you change the gross but do not change the subtle, you will be in a dilemma. Now conflict will assert itself in a new way.
Yoga is helpful, but it is only one part.
The other part is what Buddha calls mindfulness. Practice yoga so that the body becomes rhythmic and cooperative with your inner movements, and simultaneously practice mindfulness.
Kundalini is only a word. You can use another word. But what is signified by the word "kundalini" is bound to be there in some way or other as an inward flow of energy.
This inward flow is the only revolution, the only freedom. Otherwise you will go on creating more hells, because the more you go outward the further off you are from yourself. And the further off you are from yourself, the more ill and diseased you are.
Kundalini is the original source of all life, but you are cut off from it in so many ways. Then you become an outsider to yourself and you do not know how to come back home. This coming back is the science of yoga. As far as human transformation is concerned, kundalini yoga is the subtlest science.
You have asked why traditional methods are systematic and my method is chaotic.
In a way, all traditional methods have become irrelevant.
For example, the body has changed so much. It is not as natural now as it was in the days when Patanjali developed his system of yoga. It is absolutely different. It is so drugged that no traditional method can be helpful.
In the past, medicine was not allowed to hatha yogis, absolutely not allowed, because chemical changes will not only make the methods difficult, but harmful. But the whole atmosphere is artificial now: the air, the water, society, living conditions. Nothing is natural. You are born in artificiality; you develop in it. So traditional methods will prove harmful today. They will have to be changed according to the modern situation.
Another thing: the quality of the mind has basically changed.
In Patanjali's days, the center of the human personality was not the brain; it was the heart. And before that, it was not even the heart. It was still lower, near the navel. Hatha yoga developed methods that were useful, meaningful, to the person whose center of personality was the navel. Then the center became the heart. Only then could bhakti yoga be used. Bhakti yoga developed in the middle ages because that is when the center of personality changed from the navel to the heart.
A method has to change according to the person to whom it is applied. Now, not even bhakti yoga is relevant. The center has gone even further from the navel. Now, the center is the brain.
I use chaotic methods rather than systematic ones because a chaotic method is very helpful in pushing the center down from the brain. The center cannot be pushed down through any systematic method because systemization is brain work. Through a systematic method, the brain will be strengthened; more energy will be added to it.
Through chaotic methods, the brain is nullified. It has nothing to do.
So firstly, a chaotic method is needed to push the center of consciousness from the brain toward the heart.
Then catharsis is needed to unburden the heart, to throw off suppressions, to make the heart open. If the heart becomes light and unburdened, then the center of consciousness is pushed still lower; it comes to the navel. The navel is the source of vitality, the seed source from which everything else comes: the body and the mind and everything.
I use this chaotic method very considerately. Systematic methodology will not help now, because the brain will use it as its own instrument. Nor can just the chanting of bhajans help now, because the heart is so burdened that it cannot flower into real chanting.
Consciousness must be pushed down to the source, to the roots. Only then is there the possibility of transformation.
Osho The Psychology of the Esoteric