May 10, 2013

The Kundalini Chronicles: Shiva, Shakti & Shavuot.

“Pentecost: Shiva/Shakti,” by Scott Robinson

An interspiritual Christian dude comes to grips with the teachings and practice of Kundalini Yoga—right in front of you!

OM Brahmaparnam, Brahmahavir, Brahmagnau. (God is the Offering, the One Who offers, and the Fire that consumes.)  ~ Bhagavad Gita 4:24

Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, is a Jewish holiday commemorating the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai. The disciples of Jesus were in Jerusalem for this festival—called “Pentecost” in Greek—when one of the most extraordinary occurrences recorded in the New Testament took place:

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans?  Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you…[T]his is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

“‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.’”[1]

I believe this manifestation, celebrated by the Church as the Feast of Pentecost, was a Kundalini event.

According to the teachings of Kundalini Tantra, the rising of the Kundalini—the Shakti energy of the Divine Feminine that lies dormant in all of us, and is depicted as a coiled serpent at the base of the spine, awaiting awakening—is consummated in the union of the male Shiva, or Absolute Consciousness, with the female Shakti, or Primal Energy, in the Sahasrara, or Crown, chakra at the top of the head. This, I believe, is what the disciples experienced as “tongues of fire” on the heads of the apostles, as Kundalini is also spoken of as Divine Fire.

What happened at Pentecost, I believe, is that the Shiva consciousness in the apostles—who had been awakened by their guru, the avatara Jesus of Nazareth—united with Kundalini Shakti—known to the Church as the Holy Spirit—endowing them with Jesus’ promised “power from on high.”

Now, I am aware that the most conservative elements within both traditions I am referencing here will object to what they will see as syncretism—the spurious blending of different religious traditions—on my part.  And I am further aware that the “many paths, one mountain” approach to interfaith dialogue can become specious and superficial without constant vigilance on the part of us who espouse it. Nevertheless, I want to suggest that festivals such as Pentecost, Diwali, Shavuot and Bodhi Day can be portals into, not only the traditions from which they come, but to other traditions as well.

When I had babies, I noticed how easy it was to fall into conversation with people with whom I might have little in common other than parenthood, and to whom I might otherwise have nothing to say. It began to amaze me that we don’t all get along, since all sorts and conditions of people have babies; if nothing else, we have that one huge thing in common. Likewise, all people who strive for self-transcendence, who seek the Love at the heart of the universe, who thirst for the Living Water promised by Jesus, who aspire that all beings may awaken and be free, have more in common than not.

Image from Wikimedia Commons

The Feast of Pentecost falls on May 19 this year.

Visit Scott at Open to the Divine!


[1] Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 2, passim


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Ed: Kate Bartolotta






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