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Dharmas or Yogas of Naropa


for those who cannot recognize and abide in the natural

 state because of their age-old habitual tendencies and inability

to fully relax their minds, the root dharmas or yogas of naropa are

taught. these dharmas facilitate the natural or mahamudra state

as they purify the subtle body that sustains the mahamudra state. 

they can be classified as the yogas of inner fire or tummo,

luminosity or radiant light, and illusory body.

the yoga of inner fire or tummo is a form of inner

alchemy or kundalini yoga that works by sublimating and circulating

the sexual liquid fire and other fluids in one's body.  this purifies

and fortifies the channels, winds, and drops in the subtle body,

thus promoting a pervading state of bliss and wellbeing and

 creating the energetic basis or "immortal" subtle body that will

sustain the mind of luminosity. there is a set of complex yoga

movements and breathing techniques to facilitate the awakening

and circulation of kundalini; once sexual energy has been fully

sublimated, these exercises are not needed any longer, only

concentration and relaxation may suffice to activate the fire of

tummo and cultivate bliss, and one can also enhance the

experience by practicing "self-intercourse" and
intercourse with other bodies, subtle or gross.

the yoga of luminosity is a set of practices that lead to

the experience of luminosity itself, which is a deep state of samadhi.

luminosity or radiant light is a sublime experience of mahamudra

 fuelled by the bliss and emptiness that occur when the winds

fully absorb in the central channel. during this samadhi one goes

through the blissful experience of death or complete surrender

to the guru. this can only happen when there is true devotion

 or bhakti and one can finally drop the ego.

the illusory body yogas work at stabilizing the

state of luminosity / mahamudra through additional purification

and building up of the subtle body that holds the mind of

luminosity. this body can manifest in lucid dreaming and other

"out-of-body experiences" (which are nothing but illusions, as

the mind is neither only inside nor only outside the physical body;

rather than astral "travel" it is more like becoming aware of

the mind's dimensions...). lucid dreaming can also contribute to the

realization of mahamudra as the subtle vision perceives more

clearly than the waking state eye the flowing, wave-like, and

ever changing nature of reality (which is mind itself: the

concept of "vision" is also an illusion; more than an "eye in here"

that can see an "object out there" it is rather the

realization that mind is everywhere...)

please note that there are other ways to classify the dharmas

or yogas of naropa as well as other, subsidiary or branch practices.

on kechari mudra

kechari mudra, in which the tongue points upward behind

the soft palate, is a very effective technique to increase bliss

because the frenulum linguae, a membrane below the tongue,

is elongated. similar bliss-inducing states can be attained by

stretching tissues of legs and other parts of the body through

asanas. however, kechari mudra seems to be particularly

intense, as it also can enhance the energetic "switch" between

head channels and the rest of the body, as in the microcosmic

orbit of taoism or the arohan avarohan circulation. most

importantly, it can also aid as a "bliss switch" when the melted

bliss fluids--gross and subtle--descend through the central channel

and other channels between the head and the rest of the body.

however, one must be extremely careful about the advice of

gradually cutting the sublingual frenum in order to liberate the

tongue for further reach back and up the throat. this extra care

especially applies to practitioners who have already created the

energetic switch head-body with their tongue and who are

currently practicing.  in such individuals, even the tiniest cut in

the membrane below the tongue might create a tremendous leak

of vitality and subtle energies which might result in premature

ageing, among other things. so, really, the cut of the frenulum

linguae is only adviced to those who have not yet created the

lingual energetic switch, and perhaps also to practitioners who

for some reason have completely brought their practice to a halt

and for whom spontaneous circulation of energies and fluids through

the tongue switch has been interrupted. much safer, and certainly 

much more blissful, is to bring the tongue back by gradual

elongation of the membrane--a sort of asana for the tongue.

tibetan yoga on youtube

a number of videos depicting, with varying degrees of

authenticity, tibetan yoga--tsa lung, trulkhor, tummo 

exercises--are now available on youtube. please be aware

that there is much more to these exercises than what can

be perceived on screen and that without receiving proper

guidance one can easily injure body and mind.

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