Patanjali Kundalini Yoga Care (PKYC) is a spiritual direction service that offers individual guidance for qualified spiritual seekers of all spiritual traditions. PKYC seeks to support serious, qualified spiritual aspirants to live a healthy, spiritual lifestyle and to carefully accelerate spiritual progress by properly cooperating with Kundalini Shakti’s efforts to complete her rising. PKYC seeks to educate and guide serious spiritual aspirants to care effectively for their subtle body, properly train their subtle energies, focus their mind, and eliminate impediments so that Kundalini Shakti can safely advance and yield spiritual enlightenment.
PKYC provides personalized guidance for seekers who have had a Kundalini rising and/or are genuinely dedicated to advancing their spiritual development to the higher levels of spiritual experience. PKYC offers a custom designed set of practices (including specifically chosen postures, breathing patterns, meditation/contemplation techniques, and Ayurvedic recommendations) to support and facilitate each person’s Kundalini (i.e. spiritual) process and spiritual development.
Based on an assessment of the individual’s Kundalini process, this special set of spiritual practices is given in the context of a small two-week retreat. After the initial retreat, seekers are offered regular spiritual guidance consultations and the possibility of follow up retreats.
PKYC provides spiritual guidance to qualified seekers to help them effectively support their Kundalini process. Kundalini Shakti herself can then enhance spiritual growth in each individual in her own way. The consultee’s practice of the PKYC recommendations affects their subtle body in such a way that Kundalini Shakti’s efforts to improve her functioning in them are properly supported and enhanced. The purpose of PKYC is to help earnest, capable seekers support their spiritual process in a way that will allow for its efficient, optimum improvement. PKYC serves as an adjunct to the seeker’s own spiritual tradition or perspective. This service is designed to help increase the spiritual population one person at a time.
The name Patanjali Kundalini Yoga Care first gives homage to the sage Patanjali, who was an adept master in the sciences of mind, brain, and spiritual health and who codified the Yoga Sutras. “Kundalini” is the name of the Divine power within. More subtle and profound than its agent energy, it is Shakti, the inner Divine presence contained in the subtle body. It can be released and can manifest in a variety of ways, and its ultimate purpose is the spiritual liberation of the individual. “Yoga” means spiritual method and also refers to the union of the individual self and universal Self. It also refers to Raja Yoga, the eight-step approach described by Patanjali. “Care” refers to the compassionate, skillful service that is the aim of PKYC.
Patanjali Kundalini Yoga Care was developed through the 1990s and was refined using the traditional Vedic fourfold method of verification: scriptural reference, reconciliation of inconsistencies in various texts, spiritual practice, and results of practice. The format was formally established by the time of the first standard PKYC Spiritual Guidance Retreat, which was offered in the fall of 1997. Bri. Shivarpita Chaitanya (Joan S. Harrigan, Ph.D.) is the director of PKYC-USA, and Swami Chandrasekharanand Saraswati of Rishikesh, India, mentored her for thirty years. Swamiji is the former director of PKYC-India. He left his body on March 30, 2016.
PKYC does not provide medical, psychological, or emergency services and is not designed to address emotional or health crises or instabilities. It is not a clinic or a yoga center. Each consultee accepts responsibility for their own progress through study, discernment, supportive lifestyle, stable life situation, and regular spiritual practice.
In summary: we are a small service; we work with people individually. PKYC offers four progressive phases of spiritual guidance. First is the Introductory Phase, which includes education by means of a Kundalini seminar or reading Kundalini Vidya, an optional introductory chat, and a Kundalini Assessment, based on data provided by the applicant, to verify a Kundalini rising and determine the type of rising the person is experiencing. To participate in subsequent phases of PKYC, the individual must meet certain criteria, including adequate health, emotional maturity, spiritual motivation, supportive lifestyle and life situation, and the ability to comply with the program. Upon mutual agreement, applicants can embark upon the Intervention Phase, during which a custom designed individualized set of spiritual practices is provided for each consultee in the context of a small two-week initial Spiritual Guidance Retreat intended to safely improve and stabilize their spiritual progress. Next is the Support Phase, which involves regular practice of the recommendations, participation in the Ongoing Consultation Service, and possible return retreats. The Advanced Phase includes Consultations upon request, continued practice of the consultee’s recommendations, and possible return retreats and study in India. These services are described in more detail in the PKYC Services section.
The approach used by Patanjali Kundalini Yoga Care is based on the traditional teachings of a five hundred year old lineage of Kundalini specialists in India that is preserved through scripture, oral lineage, and inner experience. The English name given to these teachings, which are described in the book Kundalini Vidya, is Traditional Kundalini Science (TKS).
What is Traditional Kundalini Science?
The approach of PKYC is based on the theoretical frame of Traditional Kundalini Science, also called Kundalini Vidya. Traditional Kundalini Science (TKS) is a comprehensive, universal system for understanding, guiding, and improving spiritual life. TKS is the investigation of ways to describe and facilitate the phases and facets of spiritual development and to deal with their various phenomena and relevant obstacles with effective methods aimed at attaining the spiritual goal. TKS includes a system for assessing a person’s spiritual process and for determining specific appropriate recommendations to support a person’s spiritual progress. These teachings are implemented through PKYC.
Because Kundalini Shakti, the Divine within by whatever name, is the essential common factor operant in all spiritual experiences, the study of Kundalini is the study of spirituality itself. The sacred interspiritual science of understanding this divine presence within is found in all spiritual traditions, which display a glorious array of distinctions using unique terms and symbols. This treasured timeless universal science holds the knowledge of how to properly support and manage our spiritual potential in order to safely accelerate our spiritual advancement and more efficiently develop, purify, and improve our inner life and reach the spiritual goal, which is to be one with the One, by whatever name.
Spiritual science is a sacred, complex, and not generally understood topic that has been systematically studied, refined, and preserved in the mystical teachings of the sacred traditions of the world. Teachings on the topic of the sacred science have been cherished for millennia in all the world’s spiritual traditions, each having their own special approach and format. Protected in metaphor and symbol so it will endure and not be misused, elements of this universal system of spiritual development are subtly conveyed in the sacred scriptures, art, and oral lineages of every spiritual tradition. No particular tradition is the sole steward of this universal wisdom that is the birthright of every human soul. All the great spiritual traditions are custodians of this spiritual science, and each has adepts who are capable of imparting the essential teachings according to their particular way. The scriptures, spiritual adepts, and holy places of the world are the repositories of this sacred treasure.
This ageless spiritual science is the understanding of how to properly support and manage our spiritual capacity in order to safely accelerate our spiritual advancement and reach the spiritual goal. All the world’s great spiritual traditions provide practices that are designed to release the spiritual power within (here called Kundalini Shakti) and safely support its fulfillment to complete spiritual realization. They provide many different ways of describing this most blessed of human abilities. Centuries of saints in the world’s spiritual traditions have experienced and recorded transformational stages of spiritual advancement and described means to attain it. These mystical treatises and revealed scriptures are the “Kundalini” literature of that particular spiritual lineage, although each system has its own vocabulary.
Impressive among the available models of spiritual science in its overt technical explanation, precise vocabulary, breadth of topics, variety of methods, and inclusivity, is the Vedic model. The Vedic outlook is remarkably universal and open. It is called the Wisdom of the Ancient Ones, Sanatana Dharma. It is not a religion but a spiritual system. It is not eclectic, but it is inclusive. For this reason, it is especially useful for conveying the underlying matrix shared by all spiritual traditions. The Vedic term for this sacred knowledge is Kundalini Vidya, the science or way of understanding the spiritual power within the human being.
Vedic in origin and universal in perspective, it encompasses many different orientations and methodologies. Because Kundalini Vidya shares a basic understanding of spiritual life expressed by other spiritual traditions, a spiritually transformative process can be explained through this model regardless of a person’s religious orientation, theoretical philosophy, or method of approach. In addition, one can benefit from the wisdom of this model while maintaining the integrity of one’s chosen religious affiliation or spiritual path. It is ecumenical and does not seek to alter the individual’s spiritual orientation or lineage but rather to build on and deepen it. Its focus is entirely spiritual, and it does not seek to develop special abilities. Ultimately, the source for Kundalini science is the One. It is an inner lineage. Thus, it also incorporates understanding and interventions revealed in the sacred reservoirs of other spiritual traditions. Therefore, an aspirant from any lineage can benefit from consultation with PKYC while maintaining connection with their own valid tradition.
There is an extensive body of literature regarding this Kundalini Vidya scattered throughout the Vedic texts. In addition to specific sources, there are primary scriptures of the Vedic teachings upon which Kundalini science is generally based. These are the Upanisads, source for Vedanta, the Yoga Sutras, source for Raja Yoga, and the Bhagavad Gita, source for Sanatana Dharma. The Tantric and Puranic literature also convey teachings of Kundalini science.
Based in scripture, oral tradition, individual guidance, expert training, case study, and direct spiritual experience, TKS has a timeless inner lineage and is maintained by a small, intact five hundred year old external lineage of Kundalini specialists. The internal heritage, with its source in the One, owes its preservation through the ages to the spiritual adepts of India and the world. The external lineage flows through a teacher/disciple stream over five hundred years old, starting with our lineage founder Gomutigiri Maharaj, a Vedic monk in the Saraswati order founded by Adi Shankaracharya. It is currently carried by Swami Chandrasekharanand Saraswati of Rishikesh. The knowledge of the lineage is preserved and enriched by the current teacher’s protecting the integrity of the teachings, adding to them, and giving initiation and direct training to one qualified heir.
The name “Traditional Kundalini Science” distinguishes PKYC from other models that use the term “Kundalini.” We view Kundalini as Shakti, the divine power within, and not as mere energy. The word “traditional” acknowledges TKS’s source in the tradition of Vedic and other authentic spiritual scriptures and teachings. The term “science” is a translation of the Sanskrit “vidya,” and here indicates experiential wisdom, understanding, and knowledge rather than the Western empirical model of scientific research. The word “science” is used here in its broadest sense to indicate the extensive database and systematic investigation involved in this ancient discipline.
A comprehensive system for understanding and improving spiritual life, the outlook of TKS is universal and practical. The subtle body anatomy and physiology (energy dynamics) described in TKS provide a way to understand the many varieties of experience in people with Kundalini risings. TKS utilizes an exact technical vocabulary for accurately describing subtle phenomena and spiritual experience. It precisely identifies the functions of the subtle energies (vayus), subtle energy currents (nadis), and subtle energy centers (chakras) to explain the causes and dynamics of the various kinds of Kundalini risings and subtle body experiences. Kundalini science also explains the effectiveness of spiritual methods and the reasons for maintaining a spiritual lifestyle.
Utilizing various gentle, effective spiritual methods from the world’s spiritual traditions, Traditional Kundalini Science offers a wide range of techniques for beginning, correcting, and completing a spiritual process, selecting those that are relevant to the particular individual being guided. The focus and goal of this safe and holy knowledge are entirely spiritual.
After determining the kind of rising an individual has, appropriate practices are recommended from a repertoire of methods in order to rectify the limitations and difficulties in the individual’s Kundalini process. Relevant non-spiritual phenomena are also explained by the Kundalini model, because such experiences may need to be identified and addressed in order to correct an incomplete spiritual process.
Each seeker is dealt with as unique, and guidance is offered on a one-to-one basis, not in groups. Recommendations are practiced by the seeker to help the subtle body support and direct an improvement in their Kundalini rising. Progress is attained by the individual’s sincere correct effort and Divine grace and not by any healing intervention by the spiritual guide. Spiritual fulfillment is the ultimate goal of any rising, and this will eventually occur if the individual correctly cooperates with the spiritual purpose by following correct spiritual practices and living a healthy, ethical, spiritual lifestyle.