One of the great mysteries of Yoga, Tantra and even Advaita, is the role of Aum/ Om, and its relationship to Kundalini and therefore to Enlightenment or Liberation.
Aum is considered to be the primordial embodiment, and continuous manifestation of the Divine as vibration - the vibration that permeates and creates the Universe.
Like Kundalini, it is both a cosmic and internal power.
"Sound is one of the aspects of kundalini in her manifest form. Unmanifested sounds are aspects of Supreme Being in kundalini and this sound arises out of kundalini's movement from the muladhara, the root chakra.
As kundalini moves through the chakras, the sounds transform and change vibration and frequency. Hearing these sounds in levels of samadhi, indicates a change in vibration level, as the kundalini pierces the various chakras."
- from the commentary by Prema Nandakumar of Verse 10 of Tirumular's Dhyanam-20 (in 'Yoga of the 18 Siddhas').
"One who has attained the body of Aum, i.e., pranava-deha, is a jivan-mukta - liberated while living."
- from the commentary by S.P. Sabharathnam of Verse 3 of Agastya's Jnana Cuttiram-8 (in 'Yoga of the 18 Siddhas').
Also, Agastya says in the Jnana Cuttiram that for those who practice and uncover the mysteries of sound, the glow of life, or vitality, spontaneously manifests.
The legendary Colonel Bradford who is said to have introduced the 5 Tibetan Rites, known as the Fountain of Youth or the '5 Tibetans', said The sound of "Om" is so powerful that repeating three or four times in succession is sufficient.
In the same way that premature awakening of the intense flow of the life.-force of the Kundalini is warned against in the unprepared psyche and body, Bradford warned against "overdoing a good thing", explaining that "When intoned correctly, it has a very powerful stimulating effect on the pineal gland, which is related to the seventh and highest vortex [chakra]".
But, says Bradford, the pineal gland should not receive so much stimulation unless the practitioner is prepared for truly expanding his or her consciousness.
In the Advaita tradition, and by Shankaracharya himself, both Kundalini and Om/ Aum are referred to as manifestations of the Absolute, or as 'Brahman', the Supreme.
- Peter Littlejohn Cook
Kundalini and the practice of Om, will be covered in the introductory weekend and will be covered in even greater depth in the 8-day retreat in January.