Symbols of Christmas

The Christmas festivity, so closely linked to the figure of Jesus, is full of spiritual symbols. Symbols are present in all religions, and their power lies in that they communicate profound spiritual truths directly, without passing through the intellect or the mind. But the profound Being in everybody recognizes the truth communicated by these symbols. That is why they have so much power of attraction.

The traditional image of Jesus' birth shows Mary and Joseph at opposite ends of the baby’s cradle, and sometimes it also shows an ox and a donkey. These represent the nadis Ida and Pingala, the first one being feminine and the second one, masculine. When the masculine and feminine energies from this nadis are balanced, they wake up and activate Kundalini, the divine energy. Kundalini starts to travel upwards through the nadi Sushumna, situated between Ida and Pingala. In its ascent, Kundalini provokes the birth of the divine consciousness, the divine child.

Jesus is born in a manger, a place where animals are kept, and not where humans live. Why is this? The Kundalini energy flows from the first chakra, located underneath the spine, near the genitalia, and associated with sexual energy. A place of primal energies, hence the symbolism of using the manger as the place of birth. It is there where Kundalini is born, and in its raise it will be transforming the consciousness and divinizing it.

That Kundalini energy goes up through the nadi Sushumna, looking for the chakra in the crown, on top of the head. Hermes’ caduceus, the symbol we can see in the pharmacies, represents this ascent of the snake like power travelling up the spine. When the Kundalini energy arrives to the crown chakra and merges with it, the yogi enters Samadhi, the trance of the union with the Absolute, the Father (or Shiva, the name the Siddhas gave the Absolute).

The star of Christmas, in the sky, represents the divine light, visible in the third eye chakra or in the crown chakra. It is the light that the three wise king followed when looking for the Divine. The three nadis, Ida, Pingala and Sushumna, meet in the sixth chakra, the third eye. Their energies travel towards it, looking for the Divine, so the yogi can ascend to meet God in the crown chakra. The divine light shows the way.

Is there a Christmas symbol for Kundalini, for this divine energy that springs from the first chakra and rises to meet Shiva, the Father, in the crown chakra? Yes, the Christmas tree, which represents the spine through which the nadi sushumna rises. On top of the tree there is the Christmas star, the goal for the yogi’s efforts, and the different color decorations hanging from it remind us of the various chakras.

Under the tree we deposit the presents that are customary for the festivities. The opening of the different chakras, as Kundalini passes through them, produces certain gifts or powers, which in Yoga are called “siddhis”: power of vision, of knowledge, of being omniscient, of materialization, etc. The presents represent the siddhis and blessings that the yogi acquires with his spiritual awakening.

In these festivities we also like putting lights and candles everywhere. In those places where the yogi has done a lot of spiritual practice there remains a type of prana (energy), subtle and spiritual, recognizable by an experienced yogi. This prana is perceived as tiny shiny dots of white or golden light, similar to the twinkling lights used at Christmas.
The Gospel says:

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests,” (Luke 2.8-14).

Each chakra is associated with a divinity, with a different divine aspect. The opening of the chakras caused by the rise of Kundalini is a great event that can include the vision and manifestation in the yogi of each of these divine energies, together with their gifts. These diverse manifestations look to, ultimately, rise the energy towards the crown, so the Divine can be born and the Kingdom of God, the complete divine consciousness, can be established in the yogi.

The Evangelist says that the shepherds went to worship baby Jesus, taking their sheep with them. The symbolism of this is that, as the chakras activate and the Kingdom of God grows on Earth, in the yogi's consciousness, the different personalities, represented by the shepherds and their sheep, are bowing to a superior consciousness, the divine consciousness that is being born.

According to Yoga, there is a relationship between the macrocosm, or the universe, and the microcosm, or man’s body and consciousness. The winter solstice was celebrated traditionally in December, when the light of day starts to dominate the darkness of night. So, this external event of the growing sunlight evokes in us the birth of the divine light, and consciously or unconsciously, we celebrate that one day the divine consciousness will be born inside us, with all its powers, and the Kingdom of God will grow on Earth. Our soul knows this, and awaits this birth with secret joy.

Love is also evoked during these days, and we celebrate the act of giving presents. Once a year, the external nature and our internal nature remind us that we are divine light and love. And, it does not matter if our superficial personality remembers or not the deep meaning of this celebration, the Being in us makes us rejoice in the contemplation of these symbols that remind us who we are.