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Kundalini Yoga Seminar

11 October 1930, Kundalini Yoga Seminar, Appendix I, Indian Parallels

On this last seminar day a concept will be given of what the seen means, of how it is to be understood.

This series of pictures has not been shown as a model.

We must not bypass the European world and our own preconditions in order to create a therapeutic method out of such a process.

The revival of inner images must develop organically.

Here one could field the objection whether this case would also have developed in this way if Dr. Jung, who himself knew about these things, had not been present.

In other words: whether some kind of thought transmission or influence of the most subtle kind did not take place.

To this one may only respond that, as is known, one cannot experiment with fate.

It is impossible to determine how an event would have played itself out had this or that moment been different.

In the case of spiritual development it is possible to exclude the subjective factor only through finding out whether things have taken place in the same way at other times and at different places.

Dr. Jung tried to seek out such parallels.

They can be demonstrated in the literature of all periods.

Besides, Dr. Jung has in his possession various series of corresponding imaginal developments that originate from human beings of other parts of the world.

This would constitute proof.

But there is still another much more striking proof: a great culture has held these matters and symbols as its religious and philosophical teachings for more than two thousand years—namely India.

Here we find the historical parallels to the series of images which arose spontaneously in the circle of Jungian patients.

Thereby proof is also given that these inner processes are not influenced by Dr. Jung’s point of view but rather correspond to a primordial structure of the psyche.

The parallels are above all found in Indian tantrism (tantra means book).

Tantrism is a movement which sprang up at a time when medieval Buddhism was deeply mixed with Hindu elements; that is to say, when Hinayana-Buddhism (the small vehicle) foundered in India and developed into Mahayana-Buddhism (the great vehicle) in Mongolia.

That period of Buddhism when the Mahayana branch split off is one of peculiar syncretism: Hinduism redressed Buddhism through the practice of meditation in such a way that several intermediary forms were hardly recognizable as Buddhism any longer.

The religious form of Shivaism contained mainly tantric ideas.

The middle-Buddhist yoga practice divides into two trends: sadhana and vajrayana.

In the magic rituals of sadhana practice mantras (power words) play a role.

By way of the mantra it is possible to call forth the god.

The emergence of the vision of the god is supported by a yantra (mandala).

A yantra is a cult image, in the center of which the god is depicted.

Through intensive contemplation of the god, it comes alive.

The viewer enters into the god, and the god is in the viewer (identification with the god, deification of the viewer).

This method may be used to attain unity with the All, but also for sheer magic with worldly aims (fakir trickery).

Contrary to this is the Vajrayana branch.

Yana means vehicle, or way.

Vajra is ambivalent and has both a divine and a phallic meaning.

It can signify: lightening, power, libido, divine energy, intelligence, power of consciousness.

Or else it is the thunderbolt and stands mystically for the linga.

Its female counterpart is padma-lotus, which stands mystically for the yoni.

In worship one frequently finds symbols of the unification of vajra and lotus.

As a consequence of the ambivalent meaning of vajra, a school of the right hand and a school of the left hand have developed.

The former sees in vajra the divine energy.

It represents the philosophical direction and loses its way from time to time in excessive spirituality.

The school of the left hand, which is rather frowned upon, is the advocate of the sexual point of view.

For it, vajra is the expression of the fulfillment of personal sexuality.

(In the battle between these two viewpoints, one easily recognizes the parallels with the science of psychology today.)

Mahayana teaches that all things are embryos of the Buddha; they are embryos of the Tathâgata, the complete.

All things are formed out of the same energy; vajra is immanent in everything.

Thus also the fourth body (subtle body) of the Buddha is a manifestation of the lightening power in the form of bliss; it is vajra sattva or ananda—bliss.

(Nietzsche: “Since all pleasure wants eternity, wants deep, deep eternity.”)

In this state of bliss and in the form of vajra the tathagata embraces its Shakti.

This is the eternal cohabitation of the god with its female form, its offspring, its emanation, its matter.

This belief occurs above all in Shivaism.

The worshiped god is Siva, the many-armed.

He is the hunter on the mountains, the lightening, the hidden power of creation.

He is purely contemplative.

His spouse is Shakti, the emanation of power, the active creative power.

This idea corresponds to an old Upanishad concept of purusha and prakriti.

(Siva and Shakti = purusha; and prakriti = linga and yoni.)

Siva is also conceived and portrayed in images of worship as Siva-Bindu (Bindu = point), that is, as the latent point-shaped power of creation.

Surrounding Siva-Bindu, around the center, rests the Shakti in the shape of a wheel or cakra.

This is the primal form of the mandala. Such a cakra is also called a padma-lotus.

To this relate the mystical syllables Om mani padme hum, which are best translated as something like: “Oh, by the gem in the lotus.”

They mean the highest perfection and the first beginning at the same time.

Contained therein is everything that can be said.

For us such speculations are the ultimate point at which one may arrive, whereas for the Indian they are simply the starting point, or point of departure.

He begins with the internal, whereas we constantly live in the external.

The visible world is for him Maya, appearance, illusion, Maya-Shakti, that is, the product of Shakti.

Consciousness is Maya, a veil which consists of the projection of earlier experience (samskaras).

The tabula rasa of childlike consciousness is predetermined through the experience of foresight—through the collective unconscious, we would say.

But the Indian says: Shakti has consciousness in itself.  (Herein lies a key to the inconceivable.)

The first childhood dreams contain the samskaras, the archetypes.

It is thus in no way surprising that we find obvious cakras or mandalas in children’s drawings.

Small children are very old; later on we soon grow younger.

In our middle age we are youngest, precisely at the time when we have completely or almost completely lost contact with the collective unconscious, the samskaras.

We grow older again only as with the mounting years we remember the samskaras anew.

Within the Vajrayana branch a peculiar form of yoga practice has developed, the Shakti or Kundalini yoga.

(Kundela = coiled up; SAK = having power, being able).

Shakti-Kundalini or Devi-Kundalini is a goddess.

She is the female principle, the self-manifesting power which surrounds the gem at the center.

She is the Abdulrahman, the word of creation.

Like a snake she coils around the center, the gold seed, the jewel, the pearl, the egg.

The Kundalini serpent is, however, also a Dez-Kundalini, a chain of glittering lights, the “world bewilderer.”

By creating confusion she produces the world of consciousness, the veil of Maya.

It is the anima, the Devi-Shakti, which has conceived the world.

(This is, of course, a view which corresponds to male psychology.

Seen from the woman’s point of view the animus devises the world.)

Siva emanates Shakti. Shakti begets Maya.

Maya is desire and thereby error: she is the fire of error.

The desiring consciousness confronts the purely contemplative consciousness.

The visual portrayal of this emanation can take place horizontally as well as vertically. In the first case the earlier-mentioned mandalas appear.

Maya is there depicted as a glowing circle of fire (honeycomb blaze).

In the second case one finds portrayals in which are indicated the darkness and confusion below and the pure power and light above.

This vertical arrangement of levels of consciousness in the image of worship corresponds to the teaching of the different cakras in the human body.

In the oldest Upanishads the heart (four ventricles!) is the seat of the soul or of knowledge, of waking consciousness.

It is the root of all limbs and the seat of parva, the breath of life. Prana is vaju.

Vaju comes from Muladhara, the root support.

The Hangsa Upanishads teach: in the heart region there is an eight-leafed lotus.

The eight leaves correspond to the compass and portray both moral and psychic states.

At the center lives Vairagya, passionlessness, disinterest, and detachment (cf. Meister Eckhart).

According to another teaching brahman can be attained from four cardinal points: these appear separately in the head, neck, heart, and navel.

In the Dhyana Bindu Upanishads it is said, “The great and powerful with the four arms, that is, Vishnu, should be worshiped in the navel.”

In the cakras the elements are cleansed with the help of Kundalini. In Kundalini yoga six cakras, or centers, are distinguished.

The first cakra lies near the perineum and is called Muladhara.

The second is named svadhisthana and is located in the small pelvis.

The third has its seat in the naval region: it is called manipura.

Anahita is located near the heart diaphragm. In the neck lies visuddha.

The uppermost center, vajra, lies in the head between the eyebrows.

Still higher than these corporeal cakras lie some metaphysical cakras: hence the mana center and above that the soma cakra.

This teaching of the cakras should not be misunderstood as concrete and corporeal like the theosophers tend to do today.

These centers are not corporeal entities.

When one speaks of them, it is understood “as if” they were situated somewhere in the navel, and so on.

Two serpent lines lead from Muladhara to the vajra cakra.

And  indeed, one begins in the left testicle and runs around the cakras to the right nostril.

The other has its beginning in the right testicle and ends in the left nasal opening.

This pair of paths are called Ida and Pingala (Ida =moon, female; Pingala = sun, masculine).

The one lying to the left is the moon or water stream, the one to the right is the sun or fire stream.

Besides these, there is also a middle stream, Susumu (cf. the last picture of the patient).

The liberation through knowledge and insight takes place along these paths.

The knower becomes brahman.

Muladhara is the lowest, the center of the earth.  It has its seat in the perineum.

What is in Muladhara is unconscious, latent, dormant.

Siva-Bindu lies at the middle point; around it Kundali-Sakti is coiled up as a snake.

Bindu corresponds to the self-generated lingam around which the serpent lies.

A shell surrounds both; this shell is Viv.

When Kundalini awakens, consciousness of the world arises.

In herself, Shakti is of course also conscious beforehand; she creates the world through imagination corresponding to the copies of samskaras.

Kundalini, however, awakens only when hunger drives her.

This hunger arises as a consequence of spiritual discipline, through the appeasement of pairs of opposites.

When the external process has finally come to rest, the internal begins.

Kundali-Sakti springs up, whereby her head becomes light.

This is the process of becoming conscious.

The symbolic animal of the Muladhara cakra is the elephant, the image of firmness and strength, the earth.

The yoni is in the Muladhara mandala represented as Tripura, a female triangle united with the lingam, which is also termed the leaf.

The second center is svadhisthana, the seat of error and desire.

It is located in the small pelvis corresponding to the genital region.

Svadhisthana corresponds to the water sphere and rules the bladder.

Its animal is a water monster.

The mandala portrays a red six-leaved lotus and the moon.

The manipura cakra has its seat in the navel region.

This is the place of fire and of pairs of opposites.

These generate emotions and passions.

Through concentrating on the navel, anger is suppressed.

Manipura “is lustrous as a gem.”

Manipura is at the same time the center of the region of the flesh, the corporeal human being, the meat eater.

(Sakti Laktini with breasts red from blood and running with animal fat.)

The ram, vehicle of Agni, is its animal.

Anahata is the fourth center. It pertains to the heart, or rather to the midriff.

Here, in the air, vaju Pranasakti (parva = pneuma) has his seat.

Here lives purusha, the conscious human being.

From there one sees the âtman, and the yogi now knows, “I am it.”

In anahata the prospective spirit is born; it starts becoming conscious.

The accompanying symbol is the Kalantari tree, which fulfills all wishes.

Below it is the manipitha altar.

The fifth cakra is visuddha: it lies in the neck, particularly in the larynx.

Here lies the seat of speech, and thereby the spiritual center.

It is “the purple center of the white ether [akasha] which sits on the white elephant.”

Sakti-Sakini is now white, and Siva appears in androgynous form, half white, half golden.

Together they celebrate the mystical union.

Visuddha is the lunar region and at the same time the “gateway of the great liberation” through which man leaves the world of error and the pairs of opposites.

Akasha means the fullness of the archetypes; it concerns a renunciation of the world of images, a becoming-conscious of eternal things.

Ajna is the sixth and highest corporeal center. (Ajna = knowledge, understanding, command). It is located between the eyebrows.

He re the command of the leader, the guru, is received from above.

In the Ajna mantra the lotus is portrayed with two white leaves.

The yoni triangle is reversed: it is white, and in the middle of it, itana-linga sparkles like lightening.

Atman here shines like a flame.

It is the pure, universal power in the form of a phallus.

The mantra attached to the Ajna cakra is Om.

In the sixth cakra lies the seat of mahat (mind22) and prakriti.

Here the “subtle body,”23 the diamond body, develops (cf. The Secret of the Golden Flower)—that being which Goethe termed “Faust’s Immortal.”

It is portrayed individually as taijasa and collectively as hiranyagarbha, the golden seed (Orphic: the world egg), the “great self.”

At the hour of death, parva is removed from the yoni into the ajna cakra, from which it passes over into the godhead, into timelessness, into nirvana—into those cakras situated above the corporeal, in the “house without foundation,” on the “island in the ocean of nectar.”

Now followed the display of a series of unconscious images which were painted by different patients and which illustrate the Western parallels to the preceding observations concerning Indian psychology. ~Carl Jung, Kundalini Yoga Seminar, Appendix I, Page 71-78