Kundalini Research Project

George Tompkins (Kundalini Research Association International, Indian Chapter), Talk to the Caribbean-Hindu Society, London, 22.10.94

I am here to discuss an enormous research project into the phenomenon of kundalini. I became involved in this work as a friend of Pandit Gopi Krishna, who died in 1984. I met him in 1971 and over the years we became good friends. Everything that I am going to speak about today has been inspired by his work. He was not a guru, he did not have disciples or students, just a few 'co-workers'.

Today humanity is at several major crossroads. I will only attempt to discuss those that are pertinent to this research. Man is a transitional being; he is evolving from one state of consciousness to another. We are at a crossroad in our development and we believe it is possible to demonstrate this fact and scientifically validate it. We are at a point in time when consciousness is focusing attention upon itself to unravel its own mystery.

In other words, Divinity is asserting itself in this particular phase of human development. Basically, it creates urges within people. The reason that you are here today to listen to a man of wisdom from the East like Swami Niranjanananda is because you have an inner urge to do so. You have an inner urge to discipline yourself, to practise yoga. That is an example of consciousness focusing attention upon itself, and it is happening globally.

Spirituality and science

We are at another crossroad where science is concerned. Science has probed matter to its fullest. In fact there is a consensus among the top scientists in the world that when they reach a place that enters into the causal or subjective side of life, there is a realisation that there is an incredible intelligence surrounding everything within matter and beyond. So, we are at a point where consciousness is making us aware of this divine urge within us, and also where science has matured to a point where it is willing to probe into the causal side of life to satisfy the blending of these elements. The Kundalini Research Project offers such a working hypothesis.

Science is involved in an enormous paradigm shift. Paradigms are enormous contexts in which we view the world. This paradigm shift has to do with the eventual merger of religion, spirituality and science. Now, sometimes when I talk to a group that is not involved in self-investigation, that statement is not well-received, because people cannot fathom or picture how this merging of religion, spirituality and science will take place. But our work is designed to prove that spirituality is the future science; in other words, that the science of yoga, the science of life and the science of the soul is the future science for mankind. We are discussing a science based on the awakening of kundalini.

Infinite potential of kundalini

I know from my own experiences in the USA that there is a very limited understanding of kundalini. People speak of it as a force in the body not to be disturbed or messed about with, because it could be very dangerous. However, there is very little comprehension about the sovereignty of kundalini. In the Tantras and other books of Hindu philosophy, it is said that kundalini in her cosmic form is the architect of life. She is the creative power of the absolute. She is the substratum of everything that exists. She has created all this with just a fraction of herself. It is hard to even contemplate the potential in terms of infinite creation.

She has two forms, a cosmic form and an individual form. In the individual form she resides in the many subtle bodies that we possess, and yet has her roots deep in our biological structure. When she awakens, either through yogic practices or through the grace of guru or just through appropriate heredity, then the process of transformation begins in the body, running through the deepest levels of the body. In that process the body is not only transformed, but the mental and psychic states are also transformed, and one's personality is uprooted right to its foundations.

The ultimate purpose of an awakened kundalini is to awaken dormant centres in the brain. When she awakens, every major organ in the body starts to operate at a different level, the blood chemistry is changed, an incredible range of biological transmutation takes place in the body that science is not prepared to look at, at this time, and nor does it have the appropriate instrumentation at this time. The sexual compounds in both men and women reverse themselves and integrate through the spinal cord into the brain, feeding the neurons at a whole new level of activity, because kundalini is a higher form of the life energy that we call prana. It is an energy of a much higher voltage than the normal prana that feeds the brain, and to date this prana has only activated somewhere between 7 to 10% of the brain.

When kundalini fully awakens, humanity can develop new modes of cognition far superior to the intellect, modes of cognition that allow one to apprehend consciousness itself beyond time and space. It is in this direction that the whole race is being irresistibly drawn. It is not an overnight process. We are on the precipice of a mass change where, with the accelerated evolution that has taken place in the brain, a certain small segment of the race is ripe to demonstrate what happens when kundalini fully awakens. This process of transformation and metamorphosis of the brain is basically the target of our kundalini research project.

We must remember that in growing into higher states of consciousness, we are asking permission to enter a world that has certain traits of character as its natural inheritance, its natural base. We must develop these same noble traits of character before we can even consider the disciplines to stimulate this energy. Those traits of character have to do with forms of unconditional love, the development of compassion, the development of caring for our neighbours, always putting ourselves in someone else's shoes – at all times. The willingness to help people less fortunate than ourselves, to be patient, to be sincere, to surrender to the Divine Will, are all attributes that align one with the harmony of the state that we are attempting to enter into. Based on what I have been taught it is the most effective way to awaken the energy in a benign manner.

The research project

With that as a background, I will tell you a few things about the research project. We are attempting to scientifically validate the human and divine potential in man. We are attempting to scientifically validate that spiritual awareness is the goal of life. We will invite 150 aspirants to come to India, agreeing to spend 5 years there undergoing the disciplines to awaken kundalini. During the process they will be monitored by the latest scientific equipment, a wide variety of specialists in medicine with a heavy emphasis on the neurological side, certainly on the psychological and psychiatric side, because we are attempting to identify that kundalini is the as yet unrecognised psycho-physiological mechanism controlling the evolution of the brain and responsible for all states of extraordinary talent, all forms of psychic gifts, and certain forms of insanity.

So we have a broad scientific hypothesis. People naturally ask us how we are going to do this, what we can prove at this juncture of science. Our major thrust is to gather as much scientific information as we can about the biological, mental and psychological changes that take place upon awakening. Currently we do not have the instrumentation to probe and measure prana.

So, basically, what we are doing is creating an environment where kundalini herself can demonstrate the potentials within man. We are creating an environment where we would hope that out of 150 candidates there would be a handful who would reach states of transcendence, and in the process demonstrate that cultivating enhanced mental capacities is part and parcel of the transformation that takes place when the energy is fully awakened. This has been proven in India for centuries. Sometimes, at a certain point in their inner environment, a person with little education will speak languages that they have never studied and have intense knowledge of a wide variety of subjects. Why? Because when these new modes of cognition develop, then transformation comes in directly. In the process, the theory is that even the genes are transformed, which we can monitor.

The global implications of this research are enormous because it will help direct the purpose and meaning of life. Over that long, long haul we are pioneering something, we are digging the first spadeful of earth into this new science. If the results are as we hope, science will be shocked at certain levels of human development, which should change their entire concept of mind and matter. We are attempting to open the door of a new science. Materialistic science actually is to be the servant of the spirit and is responsible for bringing the goal of spiritual awareness as the purpose of life to the masses.

Bridging ancient knowledge with modern science

The problem we have observed in speaking with people globally on this subject is their lack of comprehension of the profundity and implications of this research for both India and the world. It is truly the unusual person who can grasp a visionary concept with no conceptual reference other than the priceless expressions of saints and sages who have referenced man's human and divine potential. This was the theme in recent years of Sri Aurobindo, Vivekananda, Gopi Krishna and Swami Satyananda, among many others. In this age of rationality and reason, man requires empirical evidence before he accepts what used to be the province of faith. Our attempt is to bridge ancient knowledge with modern science in a context even the average man will comprehend. This is a tall order, yet with the advancement of modern science, most doable.

I read something last night that really impressed me. It was a quote from Thomas Merton, the famous Trappist monk who died many years ago: “If you want to identify me as I am, do not ask me what I like to eat or what clothes I like to wear or how I comb my hair. But ask me in detail what it is I am living for and then ask me what is preventing me from fully living that which I am living for.” I think we all have our personal obstructions to living fully that which we believe we are living for, but based on my experience which is probably not different to anybody else's, I don't think we have been inspired to love completely or fully enough.