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There are many paths in sanathan dharma to get enlightenment.

Is it true that every path has kundalini awakening? Or is there any path, in which an aspirant gets enlightened without any kundalini awakening?

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    no enlightenment occurs without kundalini awakening. Mar 15 at 4:32
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    As far as I know, Shankara does not mention kundalini for enlightenment. In fact in the commentary of the Brihadaranyaka upanishad, he says that yoga is not the means of enlightenment. Shankara only emphasizes knowledge of Self for enlightenment. No doubt that some upanishads and yoga vasistha etc. mention kundalini but I do not see where it is mentioned that enlightenment will not occur without kundalini awakening.
    – GIRIBLR
    Mar 15 at 4:53
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    Isn't the concept of Chakras, Kundalini,and its subsequent awakening leading to Enlightenment, a concept, more closely related or maybe completely related with shakta and/or Shaiva based tantras and philosophy systems only?
    – peace
    Mar 15 at 7:50
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    @Vivikta That;s what I think. Though Ramana Maharshi and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa have mentioned Kundalini. In advaitic tradition, as far I know, only knowledge is essential for self-realisation/enlightenment.
    – GIRIBLR
    Mar 15 at 10:51
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    @GIRIBLR , it really becomes a mashup, Several Schools and cults, but some concepts of one cult might totally be alien to the other. Yes, advaitic is totally related with clearance of the factual material error of avidya and thus leading to jnan and thus liberation finally.
    – peace
    Mar 15 at 11:08
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Kundalini awakening is needed for enlightenment in every path.

A man's spiritual consciousness is not awakened unless his Kundalini is aroused.

The Kundalini dwells in the Muladhara. When it is aroused, it passes along the Sushumna nerve, goes through the centres of Svadhisthana, Manipura, and so on, and at last reaches the head. This is called the movement of the Mahavayu, the Spiritual Current. It culminates in Samadhi.

One's spiritual consciousness is not awakened by the mere reading of books. One should also pray to God. The Kundalini is aroused if the aspirant feels restless for God. To talk of knowledge from mere study and hearsay! What will that accomplish?

Just before my attaining this state of mind, it has been revealed to me how the Kundalini is aroused, how the lotuses of the different centres blossom forth, and how this culminates in Samadhi. This is a very secret experience. I saw a boy twenty-two or twenty-three years old, exactly resembling me, enter the Sushumna nerve and commune with the lotuses, touching them with his tongue. He began with the center at the anus and passed through the centres at the sexual organ, navel, and so on. The different lotuses of these centres - four petalled, six-petalled, ten-petalled, and so forth- had been drooping. At his touch they stood erect.

When he reached the heart - I distinctly remember it- and communed with the lotus there, touching it with his tongue, the twelve-petalled lotus, which was hanging head down, stood erect and opened its petals. Then he came to the sixteen-petalled lotus in the throat and the two petalled lotus in the forehead. And last of all, the thousand-petalled lotus in the head blossomed. Since then I have been in this state.

Sri Ramakrishna in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Chapter 44, The Master on Himself and His experiences.

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    Yes 👏👏👏👏👏👏 Aug 16 at 11:55
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As far as I know, Shankara does not mention kundalini for enlightenment. In fact in the commentary of the Brihadaranyaka upanishad, he says that yoga is not the means of enlightenment. Shankara only emphasizes knowledge of Self for enlightenment. No doubt that some upanishads and yoga vasistha etc. mention kundalini but I do not see where it is mentioned that enlightenment will not occur without kundalini awakening.

In fact, in Atma Bodha, Adi Shankara states

बोधोऽन्यसाधनेभ्यो हि साक्षान्मोक्षैकसाधनम् । पाकस्य वह्निवज्ज्ञानं विना मोक्षो न सिध्यति ॥ २॥

Though other articles such as rice, vegetables, water and pots are necessary, to cook a meal at is fire that actually cooks the meal. As fire is thus the direct cause of cooking, Knowledge of the Atma and not any other form of discipline i.e., practice of austerities and rituals, is the sole direct means to attain moksha or liberation. The purpose of [other] austerities is purification [of mind'] to aid one's spiritual growth and render it fit for pursuing the path of knowledge (jnana marga) to attain moksha.

The Nyaya Sutras were written by Gautama, the Vaisheshika Sutras by Kanada, the Sankhya Karika by Iswara Krishna, the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali, Mimamsa Sutras by Jaimini and Vedanta Sutras by Badarayana. I don't think any of these sutras explicitly mention Kundalini

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    The texts you have mentioned in the last para are all Darshana Shastras and they are never meant to be practical manuals for attaining Moksha. So it does not matter whether they mention Kundalini or not. These texts are there so that they can be used during debates and fights for establishing supremacy of one school over the other. Without Kundalini awakening Moksha isn't possible.
    – Rickross
    Aug 16 at 17:16
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I think of it this way:

Enlightenment, kundalini, etc are more than concepts. They are experiences. Like Love. Stuff happens in the brain - like the feel good hormones oxytocin, endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, etc. And beyond - stuff yet to be discovered. Its something that affects the very being of the person experiencing it.

btw Enlightenement is a permanent transformation - a state of being - not just when kundalini has "risen" to the sahasrara

Perhaps a crude analogy expresses my view better.

If thoroughly enjoying a certain food preparation is akin to enlightenment, kundalini is the energy that made the experience possible - the stuff behind the senses of taste, smell, looks, feel, etc.

How would a Yogi enjoy such a preparation ? a Jnaani ? Bhakta ? Karma yogi ? child ? btw, these are not exclusive classifications when one is "enlightened" ... meaning a Yogi is also a Jnaani is also a Bhakta and a Karma yogi and is child-"like"

A yogi's process and experience would be akin to a recipe and experiences of the cook. The tools and techniques of Ashtanga yoga are akin to the tools of a cook. A yogi[ni] is aware of the progression of the kundalini thru the chakras just as the cook is of how the juices behave in the preparation to the final product.

A bhakta's experience would be in a different domain. The oneness with the divine is sufficient. The bhakta may not even be paying attention to or be aware of the kundalini rising but the end result experience is the same.

Same for a Jnaani, karma yogi.

So, the kundalini is rising for all, no matter the path - some are aware, others are not. The ending physiological stuff [discovered or not] is the outward expression of the inner experience of Samadhi / Enlightenment / Realization / Bhagavat Anubhava / etc

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