Monday, January 30, 2006

The Five Tibetans - Any history Found On Their Origins?
I received this email recently, 'I've been doing 5T for about 2 and a half years now. It's great.I wish I could find more literature about the history and traditional practice of them in old times....Best wishes Natasha.'

I couldn't agree more with her. It is such a shame that the original sources of the Rites can no longer be found. Apart from the original book written by Peter Kelder 'The Eye of Revelation' which introduced the Rites to the West in the late 1930's - I have not found any other source of information. Has anyone else?


Anonymous said...

since not much is known of the origins, could it be fiction, and placed strategically by a yoga teacher??

Carolinda Witt said...

It is a valid question and one often asked. I have read the original text (The Eye of Revelation published in 1939), which tells the story of Colonel Bradford's discovery of the monks.

Although the story is interesting, it is written in a what I would call a charming, rather naive and simplistic way, as if the author (relating the travels of Colonel Bradford) finds it all rather 'magical'.

Because it is so simplistic, I don't believe the author would have been a yoga teacher. Exoteric practices in the 1930's were limited to a very small percentage of the population. The teachers who were active in the United States during that time, were much more vocal in their explanations than can be seen in the limited explanations contained in the slim volume 'The Eye of Revelation'.

I believe a genuine yoga teacher would have felt compelled to provide more in-depth information. In fact, I don't believe that anyone with any real in-depth knowledge would have written the book in such a simplistic manner.

It is clear however, that there must have been a real teacher or teachers of some sort. The Rites are familiar (with some variations) to traditional yoga asanas that have been around for hundreds of years. The 1st Rite the Spin is not a standard yoga asana, so where did that come from? Some say the Whirling Dervishes, but the differences between the Dervishes sema and the 1st Rite are considerable. You can read about this in an article on my website

What is remarkable about The Five Rites of Rejuvenation is that so many people have practiced them and continue to do so. Whatever the history - they work!