Is Yogabhyasa (starting from awakening of Kundalini) impossible in Kaliyug and does Krishna forbid it in Gita?
Shishir R Katote | Indology | Updated: March 26, 2021, 4:26 p.m.
A lot is being talked about Kundalini awakening these days. We have plethora of organizations claiming that they have within them to awaken your chakras. Is kundalini awakening possible in Kaliyuga? What do the shastras say?
I came across people who say that Yogabhyasa (or षट्चक्रभेदन) is not possible in kaliyuga who quote Arjun saying "चञ्चलं हि मनः कृष्ण" when Krishna recommends Yogabhyasa.
They say that if Arjun found it very tough in Dvapara, how can we do it in Kaliyuga.
But they conveniently avoid Krishna refuting this opinion of Arjun by saying,
असंशयं महाबाहो मनो दुर्निग्रहं चलं
अभ्यासेन तु कौन्तेय वैराग्येण च गृह्यते
The Blessed Lord said Undoubtedly, O mighty-armed Arjuna, the mind is difficult to control and restless; but by practice and by dispassion it may be restrained.
असंयतात्मना योगो दुष्प्राप इति मे मतिः
वश्यात्मना तु यतता शक्योऽवाप्तुमुपायतः
I think Yoga is hard to be attained by one of uncontrolled self, but the self-controlled and striving one can attain to it by the (proper) means.
Here Krishna is very clear that it must be practiced despite all difficulties. It means it is possible. (उपायतः अवाप्तुम् शक्यः).
Now, one may say that if one cannot complete whole abhyasa in one life, he has to restart in the next life, unlike bhakti.
But this again is not true. Because,
1. Bhakti is inherent part of Yogabhyasa. One cannot perform it without nishkama karma and bhakti (सर्वभूतस्थितं यो मां #भजति एकत्वम् आस्थितः).
2. If one fails in this life, he takes birth in the family of a bhakta to complete the whole thing (शुचीनां श्रीमतां गेहे योगभ्रष्टोऽभिजायते).
Now the question is, can one attain Krishna just by Yogabhyasa?
The answer is which type are you going for. Hathayoga or Rajayoga? Hathayoga is more about attaining siddhis to perform miracles and finally getting your ahankara smashed into pieces after meeting a boss like Sant Jnaneshwar.
We desire Rajayoga of Adi Shankaracharya and Sant Jnaneshwar who recommend Yogabhyasa for transcending mind, intelligence, body and senses to attain bhakti of Shri Krishna.
You can see the difference in the way prana move up in sushumnaa naadi in Rajayoga and Hathayoga.
So, drawbacks of Hathayoga cannot be printed on the manual for Rajayoga and at the same time, Hathayoga shouldn't be derided either, as it takes huge amount of tapas to even be a Hathayogi.
Now the question may arise, if one can attain Krishna without Yogabhyasa. Answer is yes. It is not compulsory. A brahmana constantly reciting vedas can also see his kundalini awakened without efforts. A person constantly chanting Harinam will not even realize when his kundalini awakened.
But we are weak people. We should perform Yogabhayasa for properly controling our mind, senses and body.
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