In my earlier messages I had equated Mental Japa to meditation. I saw recently that some one had called this Dhyana Yoga. The Art and science of Meditation. I was talking about how in India we generally proceeded from rituals to meditation. In Tantra this process is emphasized. The initiates are classified according to their levels. You proceed gradually from one process to the other. Some of the more esoteric Sadhanas are meant for only advanced initiates. You proceed from the form to the formless. Tantras are basically instruction manuals. They tell you how to proceed. Again in Tantra we specifically forbid anyone to act without a Guru.
We are not discussing Tantra now. I am only drawing a parallel. There is a lot of interest in Yahoo groups and the different forums to know about advanced Tantrik Sadhana like Smasana Sadhana, Sava Sadhana, and five Ms. But after trying to answer some of the curious people I realized that without explaining the basic philosophy of Tantra and the pre-requisite qualifications, talking about these Sadhanas will be only vetting the appetite of the curious and......
Talking about the pre -requisites, there is a Sadhana, which you might be familiar with, called Jala Sadhana. You stand in water (preferably in a holy river) up to your neck in water and meditate or do mantra Japa for hours. But do you know what happens to your body? Cramps ! I was discussing this with a Tantrik friend. He said he had to be almost hospitalized as the body had become so stiff. We talk about Smasana Sadhana or worship in the graveyard/cremation ground. Leave alone Sadhana, do you have the courage to spent hours in the middle of the night in a Graveyard? And how do you ensure that the police do not arrest you? Even in India you will be.
Meditation being the highest form of Sadhana also gives very quick results. Scientific studies have clearly proved the effects of Meditation on the body. So it is but natural that everyone is attracted to meditation. Again this does not have the dogma of ritualistic or idol worship.
Now the entire spiritualistic practices of Hinduism are a synthesis of many aspects. You want to do meditation or even Japa for 1 hour. How do sit still for one hour. Your legs start feeling numb after 20 minutes. How do you concentrate for 3 to 4 hours or more than that, if your body does not cooperate? That is why Hatha yoga was considered an essential part of Hinduism. Again if you have training in Pranayama it is much easier to meditate.
Maa Kundalini or Kundalini Sakthi resides in everyone. We all have the Chakras. All spiritual practices right from Pooja, Japa, Meditation has an effect on Kundalini. In Tantra we call SriVidya, pure Kundalini Yoga. All Tantrik practices have their basis in Kundalini Yoga. I had asked my Guru before my initiation about Kundalini. He said with Mantra Japa your Kundalini will automatically be raised. With meditation the Kundalini raises much faster. The raising of the Kundalini again depends on the Mantra. Even with a Nirguna mantra you cannot prevent or control your Kundalini from rising.
Since with meditation it raises much faster the effects may not be what you had anticipated. For most of us Kundalini Sakthi is at different levels. So the effect of meditation will be different. Though the road is smoother at 80 mph than at twenty mph because the car feels the bumps less, if you hit a wall the effects are much more serious than at 20 mph. You may find an explanation in Kundalini Yoga about what is happening to you.