In a discussion back on Understanding Shakti in Awakening, a few points come up that I thought worth highlighting.
Firstly, as I’ve mentioned before, kundalini is not causal. It is an effect of the process. From the Kundalini Vidya perspective, the energetic process is run by the crown chakra. We tend to notice this less as sensorial effects in other areas are more obvious than subtle impulses of vayus (air or prana).
People describe the awakening process as driven by grace. More deeply we could say grace is Brahman. That expresses in part through the functions of the crown chakra.
Also, the chakra structure is fundamental and functions in several koshas.
How fundamental is illustrated by the detail that there is a single set of chakras for our universe. At the anandamaya kosha level where they exist, all beings share the same set. They simply express differently in different forms, apparently individualizing as they become more expressed.
This makes more sense if you recognize the devata body, an expression of the one cosmic body that is the body of all beings in all universes in this creation. The devata body is a body of points of light, light beings who manage the same specific function in all beings. Your right index finger contains thousands and they orchestrate everything that happens in all beings in that part of their body. (the devata body functions from outside the universe so is not a common experience until well into Unity) The chakras are a foundational expression of that.
While all expressed objects arise in and of consciousness and share the same energetic underpinnings (koshas), chakras are unique to living beings and are the foundation for the flow of life.
How we experience the chakras depends on what layers we’re open to and the perspective we’re viewing them from.
We may see them as a vortex or spinning wheel in multiple colours* – hence the name chakra, or as a flower with roots, as a little tornado-like vortex, as a geometry, or perhaps simply as a bright or intensified area in the body. You can see where some of the artwork of chakras might be derived from, although some of that art is derived from descriptions rather than direct experience.
*the chakras are not a tidy rainbow of single colours. As their expression varies in each being, so too their colours
While the crown originates as a vortex (chakra) like the others, in expression it is much more dominant in the flower form. Hence the oft-called 1,000 petalled lotus. All the other chakras also have a flower form but in the crown it dominates. (a notable detail – the lower 6 chakras have the same number of petals as the Sanskrit alphabet has letters)
The crown is often portrayed as pointing upwards but it actually points down. We open upwards rather than the crown. Most of the others point forward, except the root. All of them are functioning or we’d be dead. The “opening” that is described is essentially a bigger expression and smoother flow with more qualities. Rose Rosetree would describe the “chakra databanks” as free of Stuff and thus the gifts express smoothly that are unique to each persons expression.
Some describe the Bindu point in the head. Bindu is simply the point where the descending thread connects to this expression of the chakras. Where our subtle energetic connection to source lands. When the rising shakti meets bindu, Shakti connects with Shiva. The individual expression connects with the totality. There is an awakening.
The crown is not what causes awakening. It manages opening of the expression and preparation for awakening, but awakening, in my experience, happens at bindu. (the original article notes how it may arise at other points)
Of course, what we experience of this process may be completely unrelated. For example, in my own shift, there was a “visual” sense of going down a short transparent funnel to a point, then shifting. That point would seem to have been bindu. But that may be something else.
Bindu is not the only key point either. I’ve mentioned makara prior, for example. This creates what can for some seem like an awakening. And to a certain extent it is. But it is not The awakening of the Self to Itself as above.