Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man” as Want to Read:
Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  419 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Coiled like a snake at the base of the spine, kundalini is the spiritual force that lies dormant in every human being. Once awakened, often through meditation and yoga practices, it rises up the spine and finds expression in the form of spiritual knowledge, mystical vision, psychic powers, and ultimately, enlightenment.

This is the classic first-person account of Gopi Kris
Paperback, 252 pages
Published February 4th 1997 by Shambhala (first published January 1st 1971)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  419 ratings  ·  47 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"Little did I realize that from that day onwards I was never to be my old normal self again, that I had unwittingly and without preparation or even adequate knowledge of it roused to activity the most wonderful and stern power in man, that I had stepped unknowingly upon the key to the most guarded secret of the ancients, and that thenceforth for a long time I had to live suspended by a thread, swinging between life on the one hand and death on the other, between sanity and insanity, between ligh ...more
Mar 20, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hmmmm... this book helped me a lot at a time I had opened a door, a pathway inside, that once opened I couldn't close. This book helped me realize I didn't have to fight it. For those not on that path this book will seem meaningless and very esoteric.
May 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Apparently, Kundalini energy can be present and active at birth. Those with this activated energy can live a life of hardship (pgs 58-59) from childhood until that time in life when by way of their many hardships they come to terms with life and embrace what they have been given. This included their gifts and talents. Yet they also recognize what they are given is not theirs, but to be used in the service of others. These two pages made the book worth while.
Oct 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the most astonishing tale of a spiritual journey written in the 20th century. Gopi Krishna relates his life story with honesty and humility, and is responsible for making the ancient Sanskrit and tantric system of Kundalini understandable to the modern world. Based on his own incredible experience, and the changes he went through both in body and mind, he is sure that the brain is still undergoing organic evolution and has untapped potentialities still waiting to be discovered. This make ...more
D.S. West
Gopi Krishna's story is captivating. The psychological commentary see-saws between providing valuable insight into Gopi's transformation and boring you crazy until the primary narrative resumes.

This text has been on my mind all week since I (finally) started it. I like the lack of adherence to spiritual tradition; it lends the story an authentic feel. The horrors that accompany spiritual progress, we can call it tapasia if we want to use a $64 word, are described beautifully here. It's not all t
David Chmelik
This was the standard late 1900s book on the topic.
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spiritual
This is the second book that I read on the subject of Kundalini Awakening, which is an account of the the personal experience of the author.
I found it to be very helpful which also seemed to be clear, non-delusive and an honest confession compared to a couple of books by other authors.
A passage from the book which I found to be true---
"It was only now that I really began to recognise myself, the being who about a year before had sat in meditation, bent on invoking the supersensible,little knowin
Oct 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
wonderful autobiography of Gopi Krishna's experiences with meditation, energy and evolution. gives accounts of the good and bad effects both emotionally and physically, insights to humanity's potential and explanations for physical practices of yoga beyond better abs.
Aug 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
intriguing and thought it!
Brandon Peele
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Mind blowing account of the physical phenomena corresponding to awakening.
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Experiences of a ordinary householder on having the kundalini suddenly awakened.
Very clearly written - does not dwell much on concepts.
Mostly covers his own experience as seen by him.
Nov 25, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was suggested as an aid for K awakenings, but for that specific purpose, it didn't serve it well.

'The Biology of Kundalini' is better at explaining the physiological process, and 'The Kundalini Guide' is better for help through the actual spiritual experience.

That being said, I understand that this book is dated, so maybe it was sufficient for it's time, and I appreciate it's overall contribution to an otherwise mysterious process, plagued with buzzwords and ignorance in the modern yog
Jan 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
The author renders a fascinating first-hand account of his kundalini awakening. I detect great sincerity in his writing--it is interesting that he found the experience to be quite terrifying, especially since he had no guru or guide, and that he considered it to be more organic than other-worldly. One of his views that I admire greatly is that attachment is a positive thing--that has been a sticky issue for me with some Eastern philosophy. Ramakrishna, for example, told people to distance themse ...more
Jan 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Really interesting/inspiring. Gets a bit heavy at times but if you trudge through it you'll be happy you did. If you read this book with an open mind it could certainly change the course of your life. Required reading for anyone practicing meditation or Kundalini yoga.
Dec 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This book was a God send. Saved me from insanity.
Kirtida Gautam
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chakra-6, yin-yang
This book is an extraordinary first-person account of an unparalleled phenomenon. Highly recommended to a person interested in the subject.
I give his book 3.5 stars. It was interesting but dragged on at times.

If you dabble in yoga on the weekends and are wondering about the deeper aspects, you'll want to give this a read.

Gopi Krishna was born in 1903 and his perspective on the changes and challenges to society are fascinating.

This sage questions himself and his experiences. He vividly describes the long-lasting physical, emotional and spiritual effects, showing both the benefits and potential negatives and personal costs to his l
Shashank Surya
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have picked up this book when I was strolling down a used book shop near my locality. I am grateful for this work and this book answered a lot of questions which I had in my mind; but was I never able to express or articulate them.

Gopi Krishna looks at the evolution of the dormant force "Kundalini" present in every human being in a scientific way and records his own personal experience. Also, this book had the perfect ending lines I have ever read in any book(at the time of writing this revie
Elizabeth Andrew
On the one hand, I'm grateful for Krishna's careful depiction of awakening kundalini because it confirms my own. On the other, I found his tale irritatingly isolated. Other than some Tantric texts, he offers no scriptural sources and no external authorities to corroborate his experience or contextualize kundalini's arousal in more general spiritual development. And this book is flabby with unnecessary rants. Nonetheless I'll keep this one on my shelves; it's an example of spiritual memoir as tes ...more
Lisa Heyman
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Found the book years ago. I got attracted by the cover and took it. For a while now I've been interested in chakra's, mostly reading about them and not necessarily trying to awaken the kundalini. However, this book I've read in awe. He is one of the first to experience this and he cannot come out and ask for help - he cannot find predecessors. Instead of solely hearing about the enlightenment of others and how seemingly easy it comes, this book covers the agony one can experience when the kundal ...more
May 24, 2020 rated it liked it
The book is long and boring at times filled with un necessary details of the author if you just to want to read about kundalini.
Still I found his autobiographical details worth knowing as it helps us understands what he had to sacrifice to meditate and a have a higher consciousness.
Assuming kundalini exists,Body needs to be strong to handle rise of the spiritual energy i.e serpent power.
This author had well built body hence he could handle rise of serpent power.
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Honestly, I don't understand all the favorable reviews. Very verbose, repetitive, and self-interested prose written like books in the early 1800s. It's incredible that it was written in the 1960s or 70s. Good to read the beginning but highly skimmable.
Gudrun Mouw
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
The subject is important; the style, however seems ponderous. Also, I. don't believe that the radiance one sees everywhere as a result of Kundalini opening comes from me. I believe this radiance is the essence of everything. Still, there hasn't been enough written about this subject.
Stephen Coates
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Krishna's account of his own experience with the Kundalini, [after which he went on to write a number of excellent non-autobiographical books] which is arguably the same as the Christian Holy Spirit, is largely consistent with the description of higher or cosmic consciousness described by Bucke.
Prakash Murthy
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating first-person account of Kundalini awakening and unfolding over a dozen years. The detailed treatment of the intricacies of this esoteric experience makes for a very good read. Also, a very interesting framing of the whole experience as a next step in the evolution of humankind.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 stars. Interesting but wordy and frequently veers away from telling his story to dwelling on his thoughts about what things might mean or what the government or scientists should do.
Shelby Aranyi
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Concept is fascinating but the writing is quite dense. Ended up skimming most of the text.
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Would that Kundalini empowered editing much as writing.
Mar 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
I didn't like it as compared to the knowledge in kundalini aghora by Robert svoboda
Subramaniam Thirumeni
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A detailed first person account of the physical and spiritual transformation experienced when the kundalini is awakened.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Kundalini Exposed: Disclosing the Cosmic Mystery of Kundalini. The Ultimate Guide to Kundalini Yoga, Kundalini Awakening, Rising, and Reposing on its Hidden Throne (Real Yoga Book 3)
  • Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
  • Raja-Yoga
  • Man and His Symbols
  • Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives
  • Be Here Now
  • Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master: A Yogi's Autobiography
  • Autobiography of a Yogi
  • A Warning
  • Be As You Are
  • Kriya Yoga Exposed: The Truth About Current Kriya Yoga Gurus, Organizations & Going Beyond Kriya, Contains the Explanation of a Special Technique Never Revealed Before (Real Yoga Book 1)
  • Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy
  • Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives
  • The Supreme Art and Science of Raja and Kriya Yoga: The Ultimate Path to Self-Realisation
  • Life Is Tremendous
  • Rajyoga
  • King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine
  • Turiya - The God State: Beyond Kundalini, Kriya Yoga & all Spirituality (Real Yoga Book 5)
See similar books…
Gopi Krishna (30 May 1903 – 31 July 1984) was a yogi; mystic; teacher; social reformer; and writer. He was born in a small village outside Srinagar, in the Jammu and Kashmir State in northern India. He spent his early years there, and later lived in Lahore, in the Punjab of British India.

He was one of the first to popularise the concept of Kundalini among Western readers. His autobiography Kundal

News & Interviews

You might know comedian Colin Jost from his work as the co-anchor of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, or perhaps you know him as Scarlett Joha...
30 likes · 2 comments
“Little did I realize that from that day onwards I was never to be my old normal self again, that I had unwittingly and without preparation or even adequate knowledge of it roused to activity the most wonderful and stern power in man, that I had stepped unknowingly upon the key to the most guarded secret of the ancients, and that thenceforth for a long time I had to live suspended by a thread, swinging between life on the one hand and death on the other, between sanity and insanity, between light and darkness, between heaven and earth.” 8 likes
“I suffered unbearable torture in silence, weeping internallyat the sad turn of events, blaming myself bitterly again and again for having delved into the supernatural without first acquiring a fuller knowledge of the subject and providing against the dangers and risks of the path.” 7 likes
More quotes…