Ancient Sanskrit Texts

In The Tales, Gurdjieff writes about Kundalini as follows:

“Saint Buddha among other things explained to the beings of Pearl-land how and to what part of the body of their ancestors the said famous organ Kundabuffer had been attached.

“He told them that the Archangel Looisos had by a special means made this organ grow in their ancestors at the extremity of that brain which in them, just as in you, Nature has placed along their back in what is called the ‘spinal column.’

“Saint Buddha, as I also made clear, then also said that though the properties of this organ had been entirely destroyed in their ancestors, yet the material formation of this organ had remained at the lower extremities of this brain; and this material formation, being transmitted from generation to generation, had also reached them.

“‘This material formation,’ he said, ‘now has no significance whatever in you, and it can be completely destroyed in the course of time, if your being-existence proceeds as is becoming to three-centered beings.’

“It was just when they began wiseacring and inventing various forms of that famous ‘suffering’ of theirs that they also played their usual ‘tricks’ with this word.

“Namely, first of all, as the root of the second half of this word chanced to coincide with a word in the language of that time which meant ‘Reflection,’ and as they had also invented a means for destroying this material formation rapidly and not merely in the course of time as Saint Buddha had told them, they also wiseacred about this word according to the following rumination of their bobtailed Reason. Of course, when this organ is in action, it ought to have in its name also the root of the word to ‘reflect’; now, since we are destroying even its material basis, the name must end with a word whose root means ‘former,’ and because ‘former’ in their current language was then pronounced ‘lina,’ they changed the second half of this word, and instead of ‘reflection,’ they stuck in the mentioned ‘lina,’ so that instead of the word Kundabuffer, they obtained the word ‘Kundalina.’

“Thus it was that a half of the word Kundabuffer survived and, being transmitted from generation to generation, finally reached your contemporary favorites also, accompanied, of course, by a thousand and one different explanations.

“Even the contemporary ‘learned beings’ also have a name made up of very abstruse Latin roots for that part of the spinal marrow.

“The whole of what is called ‘Indian-philosophy’ now existing there is based also on this famous Kundalina, and about the word itself there exist thousands of various occult, secret, and revealed ‘sciences’ which explain nothing.

The Tales p249

The unreliability of occult literature in respect of Kundalini does not appear surprising. Nevertheless, this passage, along with others in The Tales, seems to imply that the organ Kundabuffer was implanted in our ancestors and later removed. This seems to contradict a lecture Gurdjieff gave in Chicago in 1924 which began:

Kundabuffer at base of spine, prevents our seeing things as they are. If we saw ourselves as we really are, we would hang ourselves.

The apparent contradiction disappears if we adopt the idea that when, in The Tales, Gurdjieff speaks about our ancestors, he is referring to ourselves at an earlier age. If you read The Tales with attention to the detail of the words, this idea becomes very plausible.