It was a clear, wintry dawn in December, 1937, when Gopi Krishna, a 34-year old government official, sat in his customary meditating asana. The sun was just casting grey light over the horizon onto his hermitage on the outskirts of Jammu Kashmir. With the seasoned practice of 17 years of yoga, he was breathing deeply, visualizing a radiant full bloom lotus floating above the crown of his head shedding beams of light.
Unexpectedly, and for the first time ever in his dawn meditative vigils, a force at the base of his spine stirred. It threw his concentration, but within minutes he was composed, his meditation refocused on the lotus. Again the warm, electric force arose, gaining in intensity as he remained locked onto the lotus. Suddenly, like a laser flash, the force surged up his spine into the nerve tissue of his brain. He was enveloped in a white light and a sound like a rocket booster engine. His body rocked slightly as his consciousness broke loose of its biological encasement. He was now light-consciousness, expanding out into a boundless sphere.
It was Gopi Krishna's first kundalini experience, his first sojourn into the rarely seen realms of man and God's inner reality. Those hours radically transformed his life, propelling him on an odyssey that would traverse awesome visions of the inner cosmos, clairvoyant seeing of man's subtle nerve system and the interpenetrating energy of Satchidananda. But his odyssey would also plunge him into the physical and psychic nightmare of kundalini unleashed into the wrong nerve channel, and an unprepared nerve network.
On July 31st this year, Gopi Krishna, famed but unaffected explorer of kundalini consciousness, visionary prophet and architect of an evolutionary human consciousness theory, died of pneumonia in Srinigar, Kashmir. He was 81.
A friend of Krishna intimated that his contraction of pneumonia resulted from a recent state of samadhi in which his body had turned death cold, effectively lowering his resistance.
Gopi Krishna's life was the stuff of good fiction, an incredible tale of guideless sorties into the yoga mysteries and two encounters with death. It was an ecstatic/traumatic adventure that he didn't expect or ask for.
Some writers have called him a mountebank. Others call him a philosopher, a mystic, a sage. Science fiction writers would label him a new strain of the human race, an idea probably not too foreign or objectionable to Gopi Krishna, whose decades of powerful experiences resulted in the formulation of a theory that the organic whole of human consciousness is evolving, perfecting itself. Similar to Sri Aurobindo's "superman" theory, Gopi Krishna shaped his evolutionary consciousness model in a series of widely read books.
He saw himself as a fortuitous model of the new man, who through the controlled awakening of kundalini can open new vistas of consciousness, a dual identity of man and pervasive cosmic essence. He also felt that at this time humankind en masse is not able to realize the ultimate identity between God and man, that being reserved for very advanced souls. Religion, in all of its expression, was man's innate impulse towards a more perfect consciousness, and was best exemplified by the siddhars and yogis of ancient India and China who had perfected the technique of kundalini yoga.
His autobiography, Kundalini - The Evolutionary Energy in Man, written in the mid-60's, chronicles his experiences and is a fascinating study of the psychosomatic relationship of man's nerve system and his inner consciousness. When describing his inner vision or voyages, his prose transforms into surreal imagery that is among the most telling portrayals of man's interior worlds. He also tells how he had considered taking sannyas, choosing not to because of the difficulty in maintaining his special diet (to help control the kundalini). His later books turned to visionary prophecy, primarily warning humankind about the necessity to elevate consciousness to avoid nuclear apocalypse.
His most recent but unaccomplished endeavor was working with the Kundalini Research Foundation of New York to record the traces of kundalini/prana activity within the brain.
Article copyright Himalayan Academy.