Saturday, July 5, 2008
Kechari mudra the highway to divinity
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
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 affect 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
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
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
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, all pertaining to the
location of the tip of the tongue:
Stage 1 – To 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 entertained.
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
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 you 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
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 ready.
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 kechari.
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
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
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
The guru is in you.