Raja Yoga taps on the huge reserve of spiritual energy that is situated at the base of the spine known as the kundalini shakti. Thus the Muladhara Chakra near the anus is dormant with cosmic power. When this reserve energy is arounsed, it is said to ravel up the spine through six centers of consciousness to reach the seventh, the center of the brain. As it reaches the higher centers, it produces various degrees of enlightenment.
All living beings have this life force pr kundalini shakti. Also known as Prana Shakti, it is the cultivation, expansion, harnessing and use of this force or kundalini is important. In yoga this done by the activating the subtle system of channels called nadis and centers of energy called chakras which look after our physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual being . Yogis awaken this power by Kundalini yoga and take it to the crown of the head by piercing the chakras of the sushumna, one of the important nadis.
The seven chakras present in every human being are: Mooladhara Chakra, about an inch above the anus; Swadhishthan Chakra, root organ of generation; Manipur Chakra, located at the Navel; Anahat Chakta, located at the heart; Vishuddhi Chakra, located at the throat; The Ahnya Chakra, located between the eyebrows and Sahasrara Chakra, Crown of the head
One can raise his or her kundalini or prana shakti by various practices. Various explanations are given about the raising of the kundalini shakti. In the words if Sri Ramakrishna Paramahmsa:
“The scriptures speak of seven centers of consciousness. The mind may dwell in one or the other of the centers. When the mind is attached to worldliness, it dwells in the three lower centers. The mind has no hinger spiritual ambitions or visions. It is immersed in the craving of lust and greed.
The fourth center is at the heart. When the mind learns to dwell there, man experience his first spiritual awakening. Then he has vision of light all around. Seeing this divine light, he becomes filled with wonders and say: “Ah, how blissful!” His mind does not then run to the lower centers. The fifth center is at the throat. He whose mind has reached this center is freed from ignorance and delusion. He does not enjoy hearing or talking of anything but God. The sixth center is at the forehead. When the mind reaches this center, there is the direct vision of God, day and night. Even then, there is a little trace of ego left in the aspirant... It is like a light in a lantern; one feels as if one could touch the light but cannot, because of the obstructing pane of glass. The seventh center is at the top of the head. When the mind reaches it, samadhi is attained. One becomes a knower of Brahman, united with Brahman.”
Hara Hara Mahadeva.
Yogi Ananda Saraswathi