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Lesson 108 -
Kechari Mudra - A Giant Leap for Humankind (Audio)
Kechari Images can be
here, and in the first
AYP Easy Lessons book, the
Asanas, Mudras and Bandhas book, and
AYP Plus Lesson 108.
AYP Plus Additions:
- Kechari Stage 5 (Audio)
108.2 - Talabya versus
Snipping for Reducing the Frenum (Audio)
108.3 - Pushing the
Tongue Forward in Kechari Stage 2 (Audio)
108.4 - Must I do
Kechari before Moving on in the Lessons? (Audio)
108.5 - Seeking Kechari Help, Going from Stage 3 to 4 (Audio)
Date: Thu Feb 5, 2004 4:54pm
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the web archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Kechari mudra is a
subject of increasing discussion and debate these days. It is a good sign.
It means it is coming out of the shadows of esoteric yoga and into the early
morning sunshine of this rising new age of enlightenment.
What is kechari mudra?
Let's put it in terms that we can easily relate to. A centimeter or two
above the roof of our mouth is located one of the most ecstatically
sensitive organs in our whole body. It can be reached relatively easily with
our tongue. It is located on the back edge of our nasal septum, and when the
nervous system is purified enough through advanced yoga practices, our
tongue will roll back and go up into the cavity of our nasal pharynx to find
the sensitive edge of our septum. When this happens, it is like a master
switch is closed in our nervous system, and all of our advanced yoga
practices and experiences begin to function on a much higher level. When
kechari is entered naturally, we come on to the fast track of yoga. It is
the major league of yoga, if you will.
Ramakrishna said, "When
the divine goddess comes up, the tongue rolls back."
Many have experienced this natural phenomenon at
times in their yoga practices. When the nervous system is ready, it just
happens. The tongue wants to go back. But few are able to follow though, and
this is just a matter of education. If strong bhakti is there and the tongue
is rolling back, it is a short trip to make the connection in the pharynx to
a higher level of spiritual experience.
Not many people on earth
today have made this important transition in yoga. However, it is likely
that the number of people entering kechari will increase dramatically in the
coming years. As this happens, it will be a giant leap forward for
humankind, for it will mark humanity's shift to a predominantly spiritual
mode of functioning of the nervous system. This will bring with it the many
benefits of rising enlightenment spreading out through our modern society.
Kechari is that significant, that powerful, and that indicative of where the
human race is heading. Only a few yogis and yoginis in kechari can have a
huge effect on the spiritual energies in everyone. They radiate energy that
quickens the rise of the enlightenment process in all. So, while kechari is
an individual phenomenon on the road to human spiritual transformation, it
has global implications, as do all of our advanced yoga practices. As Jesus
said, "You are the light of the world."
But enough about the
spiritual destiny of the human race. What about each of us, and our
relationship with kechari?
Since kechari was first
mentioned in the lessons some time ago, several have written about having
the early symptoms of it, wondering what to do. "Should I stop the tongue
from rolling back?" "Should I proceed? And, if so, how?" These are the
questions that have been asked.
If the tongue is rolling
back and we feel we are getting ahead of ourselves, there is no rush. If we
have doubts or excessive kundalini experiences, it may be best to wait. It
is the application of self-pacing, you know. Only you can know when the time
is right. No one can tell you when it is time to go for kechari, or for any
other advanced yoga practice. Your experiences and your bhakti will be your
Even though we are talking about a journey of a
couple of centimeters, kechari is a big undertaking. Not so much physically,
though there is some physical challenge, but more so in the psyche and the
emotions. Kechari is a big deal. It goes to the core of our spiritual
identity. Are we ready to close a neurological switch that will transport us
to a higher plane of existence? It is not that we are changed instantly and
forever. It is not like that. The day after we enter kechari for the first
time, we are still the same person. We may even stop doing kechari if we
entered prematurely. No harm done. Kechari has its "clunky" stage, just as
all advanced yoga practices do. It takes some determination to get through
the awkward beginnings of kechari.
We are not instantly a
different person the minute we start kechari. Only in time with daily
practice are we changed, and this will be a substantial change. In a real
way, we have become a different person before we enter kechari. The decision
to do it is the crossover as much as the act is. In this sense, kechari is
more than a physical act. Deciding to do kechari is a recognition of the
nervous system being ready for the next level. The nervous system tells us
when it is ready. We have become kechari even before we enter it. Isn't this
true with all advanced yoga practices we undertake? We feel ready. We begin
the practice. If we are in tune with our nervous system, the practice will
stick. If we are premature, there will be roughness and we will have to back
off. This is okay. It is how we test and find our openings to move forward
in yoga. Kechari is like that too. Only with kechari, we are doing a bit
more to get into it, and the experience is pretty dramatic, so it requires
strong motivation to do it - strong bhakti.
Kechari means, "To fly
through inner space."
This sounds poetic and
dramatic. Yet, kechari is much more that that. It is much more personal than
that. Regular practice of kechari takes us into a permanent lovemaking of
polarities within us. The effects of kechari exceed those of tantric sexual
relations as discussed in the tantra group. This is amazing because kechari
involves no external sexual activity at all. Kechari is one of the great
secrets of enlightened celibates. Not that celibacy and kechari have to go
together. Anyone can do kechari and continue in normal sexual relations. But
if one chooses a path of celibacy, then kechari, along with other advanced
yoga practices, will provide more than enough cultivation of sexual energy
upward in the nervous system. It is a
natural internal process that comes up in us.
With kechari do we "fly though inner space?" The
greatest part of the kechari experience is the rise of ecstatic bliss. The
senses are naturally drawn in and it is like we are flying inside. Our inner
dimensions are vast, and we soar through them in a constant reverie.
The connection we make near the top of the
sushumna, ida, and pingala in kechari is an ecstatic one that brings
ecstatic conductivity up in the nervous system more than any other practice.
Every other advanced yoga practice then becomes increasingly effective at
doing the same thing - raising ecstatic conductivity. So kechari is an
ecstatic connection that illuminates our entire nervous system. The
sensitive edge of the nasal septum is an altar of bliss. The more time we
spend there, the more bliss we experience. Kechari is the perfect companion
for sambhavi. The two practices complement each other. Together, sambhavi
and kechari draw divine ecstasy up, filling us with divine light.
Advanced yogis and yoginis use kechari
continuously throughout their sitting practices, and often during the day
when not engaged in conversation. In other words, kechari is home for the
advanced yogi and yogini. We do not even know that they are in kechari. Only
the subtle glow of divine light gives them away. Inside, they are in the
constant play of divine lovemaking.
We will cover four
stages of kechari here (see
sketches), all pertaining to the location of the tip of the tongue:
the point on the roof of the mouth where the hard and soft palates meet.
This is the line of demarcation that must be crossed before stage 2 can be
Stage 2 -
Behind the soft palate and up to the nasal septum. It is a short trip, but a
momentous one. Initially this is done with help from a finger pushing back
under the tongue, going to the left or right side of the soft palate where
entry is easiest. This may require "breaking the hymen" of the membrane
under the tongue. See below for more on this.
Stage 3 -
Gradually working to the top of the nasal pharynx and septum. This takes us
to the bony structure containing the pituitary gland.
Stage 4 -
Entering the nasal passages from inside and moving upward beyond the top of
the pharynx toward the point between the eyebrows. It is not as far for the
tongue to go as it seems. Put your
thumb on the hinge of your jaw and put your index finger at the tip of your
tongue extended straight out. Then pivot the fixed length to your index
finger up on your thumb to the point between your eyebrows. See? It is not
so far for the tongue to go straight up from its root.
Many years may pass
between stage 1 and stage 4. Kechari is a long-term evolution, not an
overnight event, though it certainly has its dramatic moments of transition,
especially between stages 1&2 and stages 3&4. Now let's look at the four
stages in more detail.
Stage 1 puts us in
contact with the bottom of the septum through the roof of our mouth. This
has already been suggested as a goal to work toward in the lesson on yoni
mudra kumbhaka. Some ecstatic response can be felt at the point where the
hard and soft palates meet if the nervous system is rising in purity. Stage
one is not easy, as it takes some effort for most people to keep the tongue
on the roof of the mouth and work it gradually back over time. A habit
gradually develops. Once the tip of the tongue passes the point where the
hard and soft palates meet, and the soft palate can be pushed up with the
tongue, then stage 2 is close at hand.
Stage 2 is very
dramatic. The tongue is pushed back with a finger to the left or right side
of the soft palate. These are the shortest pathways leading behind the soft
palate. One of these will be shorter than the other. At some point you will
experiment and see for yourself. The long way in is up the middle. The soft
palate has an elastic tendon running across the back edge. When the tip of
the tongue gets behind it for the first time, the elastic tendon can slip
quickly around the bottom of the tongue as though grabbing it. Then the
tongue is suddenly in the nasal pharynx and touching the edge of the nasal
septum for the first time.
The first reaction is
surprise, and the tongue will probably come out quickly. It is easy to pull
out. No finger help is needed. It is also easy to breathe through the nose
with the tongue in the nasal pharynx. On the first entry, the eyes and nose
may water, there could be sneezing, there could be sexual arousal, and
strong emotions. All of these things are temporary reactions to the event of
entering stage 2 kechari for the first time. Upon repeated entries, things
settle down. In time, the finger will no longer be needed to get behind the
soft palate. The elastic tendon across the edge of the soft palate stretches
out and stage 2 kechari becomes quite comfortable. In fact, it is easier to
stay in stage 2 kechari than to stay in stage 1 kechari. The tongue rests
very easily in the nasal pharynx with no effort at all, making it simple to
use during pranayama and meditation. The tongue is obviously designed to
rest blissfully in the nasal pharynx.
There are two practical
matters to consider once in stage 2 kechari. First is lubrication in the
pharynx. Second is the accumulation of saliva in the mouth.
The pharynx can be a little fickle. Usually, it
is naturally moist and well lubricated for the tongue. Occasionally it is
dry and not so well lubricated. In the former situation, kechari can be
practiced practically indefinitely. In the latter situation, only sparingly.
When the pharynx is dry there can be a stinging sensation when the tongue is
in there. So, this is not the time to do kechari. We just go to stage 1 when
that happens. Interestingly, the pharynx will almost always be moist during
practices. But there is no telling for sure. We just go in when we are
welcome, which is most of the time. And when we are not welcome, we honor
the situation and refrain. Like that.
When we are up in stage
2 kechari, saliva will accumulate in the mouth down below. Since we can't
swallow what is in our mouth with our tongue going up into the nasal
pharynx, and we don't want to drool, then we come out of kechari as
necessary to swallow the saliva in our mouth. In the early adjustment period
to stage 2 kechari there can be a lot of saliva, so we will have to swallow
more often. In time, the saliva goes back to normal levels, and coming out
of kechari to swallow will become infrequent.
So, in stage 2 kechari,
we are just letting our tongue rest easily on the edge of the nasal pharynx,
and that sets spiritual processes in motion everywhere in our body.
In the beginning of stage 2 kechari we will be
curious. We are in a new place and want to find out what is in the pharynx.
There is the sensitive septum, the "altar of bliss." We have no problem
finding that, and realizing that the best way to do pranayama and meditation
is with our tongue resting on the septum. It is like having a powerful
siddhasana working simultaneously on the other end of the spinal nerve,
awakening our entire nervous system from the top end. When we are not
enjoying bliss at the septum, we will no doubt explore, finding the
prominent "trumpets" of the eustachian tubes on either side of the nasal
passages. We also can't miss the entrances to the nasal passages on either
side of the septum, and quickly find the extremely sensitive erectile
tissues inside them. Too much. Better stay away from those for a while. So,
we go up the septum on our journey to the top of the pharynx, to stage 3.
For some this is a short journey. For others, it can take a long time. In
going there we expose the full length of the edge of the septum to our
tongue, and prepare ourselves to eventually enter the nasal passages and go
A practice that can help as we go beyond stage 2
kechari is the so-called "milking of the tongue." It consists of gently
pulling on the tongue with the fingers of both hands, alternating hands, as
though milking a cow. A good time to do this is for a few minutes while
standing in the shower each day. That way you can get the benefit of it
without slobbering all over your clothes. Over time, the tongue can be
lengthened by this method. This is not a very useful practice for getting
into stage 2. Dealing with the frenum is most important for that, as
discussed below. Milking the tongue is helpful for going beyond stage 2
kechari, especially in stage 4.
Stage 4 is another
dramatic step. It could be years away from stage 2&3. Everyone will be
different in approaching it. There is a trick to it. The nasal passages are
tall and narrow and the tongue is narrow and wide, so the tongue can only go
into the nasal passages by turning on its side. But which side? One way
works better than the other. The tongue can naturally be turned with the top
to the center by following the channel on top of the trumpet of each
eustachian tube into its adjacent nasal passage. This naturally turns the
top of the tongue to the center and allows it to slide up the side of the
septum into the nasal passage. Turning the tongue inward to the center is
the way up into the passages. Entering stage 4 is as dramatic as entering
stage 2, because the tissues in the nasal passages are extremely sensitive,
and connecting with them in the way described takes the nervous system to
yet a higher level. Stage 4 provides extensive stimulation of the upper ends
of the sushumna, ida, and pingala, and this has huge effects throughout the
nervous system, especially when combined with our pranayama and its
associated bandhas and mudras.
Going to stage 4 is
natural once stages 2&3 have been mastered and become second nature. Before
then we are not much attracted due to the sensitivity in the nasal passages.
Our opening nervous system and rising bhakti take us to stage 4 when we are
Once the nasal passages have been entered, the
tongue can be used to do "alternate passage" breathing during pranayama and
yoni mudra kumbhaka. This provides alternating stimulation in the nasal
passages, which produces additional purifying effects in the sushumna, ida,
and pingala. Our pranayama and kumbhaka become supercharged in stage 4
The four stages of kechari foster major
neurological openings in the head, and throughout the entire nervous system.
Kechari is one of the most pleasurable and far-reaching of all the advanced
yoga practices. Kechari represents a major transition in our advanced yoga
practices to a much higher level.
Now let's talk about the
membrane/tendon under the tongue called the "frenum."
For most of us, the
frenum will be the limiting factor in moving through the stages of kechari.
There is debate on whether the frenum should be trimmed or not. Some say
that we are deserving or not deserving of kechari according to what kind of
frenum we have under our tongue, and that the only way into kechari is by
stretching the frenum. If we can't stretch it far enough to get into
kechari, it is "God's will."
In these lessons, we
don't subscribe to that limited point of view. The view here is that, "God
helps those who help themselves."
In these lessons we view
the frenum as a tether to be trimmed back when the time is right. It keeps
us out of kechari until we are ready. When we are ready, and each of us
knows when that is, the frenum can be trimmed. It is like a "hymen." When a
woman is ready for sexual intercourse, the hymen goes. Until then it serves
to provide protection. This breaking of the hymen can be a stressful and
painful event if it is forced. Sooner or later the frenum will be forced
open too, because going into kechari is as natural as going into sexual
intercourse. It is biologically preordained. It happens when the nervous
system is mature enough. Advanced yoga practices bring us closer to the
transition with each day of daily practices.
Kechari results from a second puberty in us - our
spiritual puberty. As our nervous system becomes pure, our bhakti increases.
More than anything else it is bhakti that sends us into kechari. When every
fiber of our being wants God, then we will go there. The tongue will roll
back and go up. Like that.
Once our bhakti is
hurling our tongue back into kechari, breaking the hymen of the frenum does
not have to be stressful and painful. It can be very easy and gentle. Above
all, it can and should be gradual. It is done with very tiny snips. Tiny
snips, each as small as a hair or a very thin string. A sterilized, sharp
cuticle snipper (like a small wire cutter) can be used to do the job, bit by
bit. When we lift our tongue up, we can see right away where the point of
greatest stress on the frenum is. If we take a tiny snip there, not bigger
than a hair, it probably won't even bleed. Maybe one drop. If more than one
drop, we did too much. The tiny snip will heal in a day or two. The tissues
of the mouth heal very quickly. Then maybe in a week or a month, whatever we
are comfortable with, we will be ready to do it again. And then, in another
week or more, do it again. If we are sensitive, a little ice can be used to
numb the edge of the frenum, and we won't even feel a little pinch when we
snip. Don't use ice to take a big snip though. That is too much, and brings
in some risk of infection. We should not snip if we have any kind of
infection in the body. With tiny snips, the frenum will be allowing the
tongue to go further back in no time, and before we know it we will be using
our finger to push our tongue behind our soft palate.
We can continue with the tiny snips once we are
in stage 2 kechari, and this will help us move on to stage 3. Then we can
continue with the tiny snips once we have gotten to the top of the nasal
pharynx, and this will help us move on through stage 4. It will take years.
There is no rush. We may go for many months, or even years, with no snipping
at all, content to enjoy the level of kechari we have attained so far, and
the steady spiritual growth that comes with it. Then we may become inspired
to continue going up with the tongue, and do some more snipping.
As the snipping progresses past stage 2 kechari,
it becomes very easy to do it. As the frenum gives way slowly, the edge it
presents when stretched becomes like a callus. There is no pain snipping it,
and no blood. It is not difficult to trim it back so the tongue can go
further up into more advanced stages of kechari. It is a long journey in
time, and a fulfilling one. It can take decades to complete stages 1 through
4. There is no rush. The nervous system knows what must happen. When it
knows, we know through our bhakti.
Everyone's frenum is
different. A few will enter kechari with no snipping necessary. Others will
need a lot of snipping. The rest of us will fall somewhere in-between.
Whatever the case many be, we will know what to do when our bhakti comes up.
No one else can tell us what to do when. Everything in this lesson is
offered as information so you will have a better idea on what your options
are as your bhakti comes up.
Some will have medical
concerns about snipping the frenum. Most doctors will not be for it. Is
there risk? There is always some risk when we undertake new things. That is
life. The practice of trimming the frenum for kechari has been around for
thousands of years - at least as long as circumcision, body piercing and
tattooing. Not that any of these other types of body alterations are in the
same class as kechari. They are not. Kechari is one of the most advanced
yoga practices on the planet. When we know we are ready for it, we will be
willing to accept whatever risk may be associated with entering it. We each
choose our own path according to the feelings rising in our heart.
This lesson is not to
promote stage 2 kechari and beyond for everyone. It is to provide useful
information for those who are experiencing kechari symptoms and finding
themselves stretching naturally past stage 1. What you do with the
information here is your choice. Remember to always pace yourself according
to your capacity and experiences.
Click here for additional
lesson content on Kechari, including illustrations, instructions for Kechari
Stage 5, Talabya Kriya and more.
The guru is in you.
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