Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad

Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad of Krishna-Yajurveda

by K. Narayanasvami Aiyar, 1914 


This is the English translation of the Yoga-kundalini Upanishad (belonging to the Krishna-Yajurveda): a minor Sanskrit treatise selected amongst a collection 108 extant upanishads, dating to at least the 1st millennium BC. The Yoga-kundalini-upanishad expounds the theory of Kundalini Yoga and describes the systems of Hatha and Lambika yoga.


K. Narayanaswamy Aiyer, son of Krishnaswami Aiyer, was born at Kazhukanimattam Village, Tanjavur District, South India, in the year 1854. He was the second of four brothers, three of whom occupied fairly comfortable positions in life. One of them was the late K. Veeraswami Aiyer, a prominent Vakil of Tiruvarur in the early twenties of this century, and another, an engineer of the Public Works Department of the Government.

Educated at his village school at Kazhukanimattam and, later, at the Kumbakonam Town High School and at the Kumbakonam Government Arts College, he was a first grade pleader at Kumbakonam and made a reasonably prosperous living there. He had a son and two daughters.

He joined The Theosophical Society during the presidentship of Col. H. S. Olcott and travelled very widely all over India including far places like Kabul and Srinagar at a time when communications were poorly developed (1905-18), spreading the message of The Theosophical Society.



1. Melana-Mantra: Hrim, Bham, Sam, Pam, Pham, Sam, Ksham. The lotus-bom (Brahma) said: “O Shankara, (among) new moon (the first day of the lunar fortnight) and full moon, which is spoken of as its (mantra’s) sign ?

2. In the first day of lunar fortnight and during new moon and full moon (days), it should be made firm and there is no other way (or time).

3. A man longs for an object through passion and is infatuated with passion for objects. One should always leave these two and seek the Niranjana (stainless).

4-5. He should abandon everything else which he thinks is favourable to himself. Keeping the Manas in the midst of Sakti and Sakti in the midst of Manas, one should look into Manas by means of Manas. Then he leaves even the highest stage. Manas alone is the Bindu, the cause of creation and preservation.

6. It is only through Manas that Bindu is produced, like the curd from milk. The organs of Manas is not that which is situated in the middle of Bandhana.

7-8(a). Bandhana is there where Sakti is between the sun and moon. Having known Susumna and its Bheda (piercing) and making the Vayu go in the middle, one should stand in the seat of Bindu and close the nostrils.

(b)-9(a). Having known Vayu, the above-mentioned Bindu and the Sattva-Prakriti as well as the six Chakras, one should enter the Sukha-Mandala (viz., the Sahasrara or pineal gland, the sphere of happiness).  

9(b)- 11 . There are six Chakras.

Muladhara is in the anus;
Svadhisthana is near the genital organ; Manipuraka is in the navel;
Anahata is in the heart;
Visuddhi is at the root of the neck and
Ajna is in the head (between the two eyebrows).

12. Having known these six Mandalas (spheres), one should enter the Sukha-Mandala (pineal gland), drawing up the Vayu and should send it (Vayu) upwards.

13. He who practises thus (the control of) Vayu becomes one with Brahmanda (the macrocosm). He should practise (or master) Vayu, Bindu, Chitta and Chakra.

14-15. Yogins attain the nectar of equality through Samadhi alone. Just as the fire latent in (Sacrificial) wood does not appear without churning, so the lamp of wisdom does not arise without the Abhyasa Yoga (or practice of Yoga). The fire placed in a vessel does not give light outside.

16. When the vessel is broken, its light appears without. One’s body is spoken of as the vessel and the seat of ‘That’ is the fire (or light) within;

17- 18(a). And when it (the body) is broken through the words of a Guru, the light of Brahma Jnana becomes resplendent. With the Gum as the helmsman, one crosses the subtle body and the ocean of Samsara through the affinities of practice.


19. That Vak (power of speech) which sprouts in Para, gives forth two leaves in Pashyanti; buds forth in Madhyama and blossoms in Vaikhari – that Vak which has before been described, reaches the stage of the absorption of sound, reversing the above order (viz., beginning with Vaikhari, etc.,).

20-2 1(a). Whoever thinks that He who is the great lord of that Vak, who is the undifferentiated and who is the illuminator of that Vak is Self; whoever thinks over thus, is never affected by words, high or low (or good or bad).

21(b)-23(a). The three (aspects of consciousness), Vishva, Taijasa and Prajna (in man), the three Virat, Hiranyagarbha and Ishvara in the universe, the egg of the universe, the egg of man and the seven worlds – all these in turn are absorbed in Pratyagatman through the absorption of their respective Upadhis (vehicles).

23(b)-24(a). The egg being heated by the fire of Jnana is absorbed with its Karana (cause) into Paramatman (Universal Self). Then it becomes one with Para-Brahman. 24(b)-

25. It is then neither steadiness nor depth, neither light nor darkness, neither describable nor distinguishable. Sat (Be-ness) alone remains. One should think of Atman as being within the body like a light in a vessel.

26. Atman is of the dimensions of a thumb, is a light without smoke and without form, is shining within (the body) and is undifferentiated and immutable.

27-28(a). The Vijnana Atman that dwells in this body is deluded by Maya during the states of waking, dreaming and dreamless sleep; but after many births, owing to the effect of good Karma, it wishes to attain its own state. 28(b)-29(a). Who am I ? How has this stain of mundane existence accrued to me ? What becomes in the dreamless sleep of me who am engaged in business in the waking and dreaming states ?

29(b)-30. Just as a bale of cotton is burnt by fire, so the Chidabhasa which is the result of non- wisdom, is burnt by the (wise) thoughts like the above and by its own supreme illumination. The outer burning (of body as done in the world) is no burning at all.

31-32. When the worldly wisdom is destroyed, Pratyagatman that is in the Dahara (Akasa or ether of the heart) obtains Vijnana, diffusing itself everywhere and bums in an instant Jnanamaya and Manomaya (sheaths). After this, He himself shines always within, like a light within a vessel.

33. That Muni who contemplates thus till sleep and till death is to be known as a Jivanmukta. Having done what ought to be done, he is a fortunate person.

34. And having given up (even) the state of a Jivanmukta, he attains Videhamukta (emancipation in a disembodied state), after his body wears off. He attains the state, as if of moving in the air.

35. Then That alone remains which is soundless, touchless, formless and deathless, which is the Rasa (essence), eternal, and odourless, which has neither beginning nor end, which is greater than the great and which is permanent, stainless and decayless.

Thus ends the third chapter. Hari Om Tat Sat ! Om !

May He protect us both together; may He nourish us both together; May we work conjointly with great energy, May our study be vigorous and effective; May we not mutually dispute (or may we not hate any).

Om ! Let there be Peace in me !

Let there be Peace in my environment !

Let there be Peace in the forces that act on me !

Here ends the Yogakundalini Upanishad belonging to the Krishna-Yajur-Veda.