The following excerpt is from Kundalini Yoga: The Mother Power,
by Sri Chinmoy.
These centres can be opened in various ways. The usual method for those who practise Kundalini Yoga is to concentrate firmly on each centre, invoking the Mother-Power or the presiding deity most soulfully. However, all real spiritual Masters, from the very depth of their experience, say that it is better to open the heart centre first and then try to open the other centres. If one opens the heart centre first, there is practically no risk. But if one starts with the muladhara or svadhisthana or ajna chakra, it is very dangerous. Again, there are some seekers who do not follow this method at all. They do not care for occult power; they care only for God’s Love, Light and Truth. They learn how to meditate most soulfully; and when they make considerable progress in their meditation, these centres open automatically. And through the Grace of the Absolute Supreme, these centres may open even without meditation.
If these centres are opened without proper purification, the seeker will encounter great pain. It will be like playing with fire or a sharp knife. He may destroy others or he may himself be destroyed. We have to know that the miraculous powers that one gets when his centres are opened are not actually miraculous or unusual at all in the inner world. The powers that the centres hold are absolutely normal. In the inner world these powers are constantly used by spiritual Masters. There in the inner world they are normal and natural. Only when they are used on the physical plane do they seem unusual or miraculous.
Any real spiritual Master will have these powers. But again, one need not be a spiritual Master of the highest order in order to have them. One need not be even a great seeker. Even someone who leads a normal, ordinary, undivine life can develop these powers.
In India I came across a few seekers – I cannot call them sincere seekers – who had some occult or kundalini power. But most of the time they misused it. They opened their third eye in order to know what their girlfriends were thinking of them. Now this is ridiculous. The same third eye they could have used to destroy their dark, obscure, impure thoughts. They had the capacity, but they didn’t use it. I also know someone who used his occult power to threaten his enemies at night and compel them to do whatever he wanted them to do the following morning. By using his occult power, his third eye, he made his enemies his slaves. But he could have used his third eye to know God’s Will in his own life and in others’ lives. If it had been God’s Will to expedite somebody’s spiritual progress, then he could have used his third eye to help. Each centre has something special to offer when it is properly used. It becomes a veritable boon to the Inner Pilot and to all mankind.
I want to make it very clear that the opening of the centres does not mean that one is realising God or that he is about to realise God. The opening of the centres is not necessarily the precursor of God-realisation. No, not at all! God-realisation has nothing to do with the opening of the centres. No matter how many centres one has opened, even if one has opened all the seven centres, it does not indicate that one is on the verge of realisation or that one is realised. From the highest spiritual point of view, the opening of the chakras is like the games a mother plays with her children in the playground. Children are fond of games and the mother is showing her capacity. It is not her pride, her vanity. No. It is just that the mother knows this will amuse the children. She can give some joy, some pleasure to the children, so she plays these games. It is usually Lord Shiva on the sahasrara plane and his consort, Shivani from the muladhara plane, where the kundalini is fast asleep, who play. When they play with their children in the inner world, the occult powers start functioning.
– Sri Chinmoy