|Kundalini is a Sanskrit word meaning "coiled up" like a snake or spring, charged with latent energy or power. It refers to the energy that rises along the spine in the process of spiritual awakening, working through the egoistic obstructions to our final Self-realisation.
Quoting from The Kundalini Experience by Lee Sannella:
"The evolutionary potential of the Kundalini process has nowhere been vocalised more than in the writings of Gopi Krishna (1973). On the basis of firsthand experience of his own awakened kundalini, he made this statement:
"A new centre - presently dormant in the average man and woman - has to be activated and a more powerful stream of psychic energy must rise into the head from the base of the spine to enable human consciousness to transcend the normal limits. This is the final phase of the present evolutionary impulse in man. The cerebrospinal system of man has to undergo a radical change, enabling consciousness to transcend the limits of the highest intellect. Here reason yields to intuition and Revelation appears to guide the steps of humankind."
Extracts from Energies of Transformation by Bonnie Greenwell:
"... After studying many cases of Kundalini awakening in the literature and conducting dozens of personal interviews I have concluded that this experience often occurs in stages. Most people report a preliminary experience of strong energy and spiritual awareness, bliss or samadhi experiences, years before a more intense and difficult encounter with Kundalini.
"... Kundalini is fundamentally associated with the spiritualizing of body and mind, expanding the capacity of the human to experience and hold the infinite. It is a slow development, as all evolutionary changes are slow. It is often painful both physically and psychologically as it involves both dissolution of blocks to expansion and the giving up of identity, beliefs and attachments.
"... The Kundalini experience works on all the impurities in the personality, forcing one to confront and release negative patterns and personality traits. It draws one more toward introversion and introspection, stimulates the attraction to spiritual practices, and causes one to see the unity more than the divisiveness of life."
Extracts from: Kundalini in the Physical World by Mary Scott:
"The awakening of the Kundalini power is felt as a descending and an ascending current. There are two main nerve-channels each side of the central channel in the spine. The descending current is the energy from above coming down to touch the sleeping power in the lowest nerve-centre at the bottom of the spine; the ascending current is the release of the energy going up from the awakened Kundalini. As higher energies are released into the body from above during development, the chakras brighten, rotate more rapidly and begin to enlarge. There should be an interplay between ascending and descending forces in the central nadis for a considerable time before the most deeply embodied aspect of Kundalini is ready for the final ascent into the Sahasrara crown chakra."
Extract from Serpent of Fire by Darrel Irving:-
"...The kundalini process occurs in what is sometimes called the etheric, or subtle (nonphysical) body...This subtle body is comprised of nerve fibres not visible to the naked eye.
"...These nerve fibres are actually conduits. They are called Nadis; some are major, some are minor, and their function is to conduct currents of energy called prana, or vital force, throughout the body.
"...At the centre of this vast network of Nadi conduits lies the kundalini plexus, running from the spine to the head. This is a network comprising the channels through which the kundalini energy flows. It can be compared to caduceus carried by the winged Hermes, messenger of the Gods in Greek mythology (Mercury in Roman Mythology) and adopted by the medical profession as its insignia ... The caduceus, in fact, is the ideal symbol with which to accurately visualize the kundalini plexus. At the center of the emblem is a staff representing the Sushumna channel, which is a major energy Nadi running from the coccyx to the cerebrum.
Around the staff, or Sushumna channel, are intertwined two serpents, symbolizing two other major Nadis: 1) Ida, sometimes called the lunar channel, which begins its upward spiral from the bottom left side of the spine to the right nostril; and 2) Pingala, also called the solar channel, which begins its upward journey from the bottom right side of the spine to the left nostril. ... The wings at the top of the caduceus ... may represent the flight of kundalini-Shakti to Shiva and ultimately to Brahman, or they may represent the mystic third eye, since they are reminiscent of the 6th psychic center, the Ajna chakra, which is situated between the eyebrows at the site of the third eye. At the apex of the staff sits a small ball ... This may designate the Sahasrara chakra, ... where the Shiva-Shakti Tatva is reinstated to become once again the one Brahman."