Kriya 17: Utthan (Raising The Kundalini)

The word utthan means ‘ascent’, ‘rising’. In the context of this practice it refers to the raising of the kundalini. In English, this kriya can be called ‘raising the kundalini’. It is the seventeenth kriya and comes immediately after prana ahuti.

Sitting position

Remain in the same sitting position that was used for the previous kriya.


This kriya requires mental visualization of a snake and a shivalingam3. The practice becomes more powerful as the clarity of the image increases. At first you will probably find visualization difficult. Don’t worry – persevere with your regular practice and you will find that the image will show itself and increase in clarity.


Remain in a comfortable sitting pose with your eyes closed.

Let your breathing remain normal.

Fix your awareness at the mooladhara chakra.

Try to clearly visualize a shivalingam in that region; it is black and made of a smoky, gaseous substance.

Both the bottom and the top of the lingam are cut off as shown.

The lingam is encircled 3 1/2 times by a red baby snake.

Its head is curved over the top of the lingam.

The snake is trying to uncoil and release itself; it is trying to ascend.

Eventually it begins to ascend through the spinal passage, making an angry, hissing sound.

Try to intensify your visualization.

The tail of the snake remains fixed at the base of the lingam.

The head and body of the snake move upwards, but may slip downwards again.

Let the snake move up and down; do not interfere.

You may find that the lingam and snake move their positions in the body; they may move to one of the other chakras, or the sahasrara.

Visualize the lingam and snake at any place to which it moves.

The ascending snake has a very large head, the same width as your physical body; it is not a cobra.

Continue the practice.

After some time you may feel as though the body contracts.

You may feel bliss.

At this stage proceed to the next kriya swaroopa darshana.


Normal breathing throughout the practice.


Be aware of the lingam and the movement of the snake.


Practise until you feel intense bliss. If this does not arise, practise for about 5 minutes. Then immediately start the next practice.

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