Friday, October 20, 2006

The Five Tibetans - Why 21 Repetitions?

It is unlikely we will ever find the original developers of The Five Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation. When China invaded Tibet, in the 1950's, they destroyed numerous monasteries, ancient spiritual texts and sacred images, and with it the chance of discovering the true source of the Rites. Out of 6,259 monasteries and nunneries in the whole of Tibet, only eight remain undestroyed. (Source: Dept of Culture & Religion, Tibetan Government-In-Exile).

No doubt the number 21 had some spiritual significance which may be universal to Tibet and not just this one monastery. Hopefully someone will write in and provide some information on this.

Perhaps the 21 is a combination of 3 x 7 or 7 x 3 (= 21)?

Seven is of course a very spiritual number and the number three symbolises the power of the trinity in many cultures: The Hindu's trinity was Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and the Egyptian Holy Family was divided into 3 parts; Osiris, Isis and Horus.

In the "Rámáyana" seven yards are mentioned in the residences of the Indian kings; and seven gates generally led to the famous temples and cities of old.

In the old Aryas in India there were the seven sages (Sapta Rishis), seven worlds (Sapta Loka), seven cities (Sapta Pura) and so on.

In the Latin and Greek tongues "three" was also mystical, owing to "its supposed perfection, because, containing a beginning, middle and end, it seemed to signify all things in the world (Thomas Wemyss).

I have received this information from Beatrex Quntanna (thank you Beatrex), who does Tibetan Astrology and Tibetan Numerology. Beatrex is also an Author, Spiritual Psychic and Metaphysical Teacher. Here is what she says about the significance of the number 21.

21 is a sacred number because it holds the 21 Arcane Laws. These Laws are the 21 steps to Enlightenment. 21 is 3 sets of seven. Seven is a sacred number which indicates a complete cycle of learning.

The first set is the physical level of learning, the second set is the mental level of learning, and the third set is the spiritual level of learning. These are the 3 cycles we, as humans, must integrate while living in the energy of the school called Earth.

Often we concentrate on one level of learning and miss the other 2 levels. When we set the stage to do things in sets of 21 we then incorporate all levels of awareness. This sets up an intention to integrate and then true healing can occur.

I hope this helps you and if you would like to know the meaning of the 21 steps to further your knowledge and your teachings, I would be glad to share them with you.

Sincerely Yours, Beatrex Quntanna
www.beatrex.com
www.spiritualityonastring.com

If you have any knowledge about this, please consider sharing it with us. We would all be most grateful.

If you wish to publish this article for your website - you may do so, provided you assign the correct copyright and accreditation exactly as shown below:

Copyright (c) 2006 Carolinda Witt - author T5T - The Five Tibetan Exercise Rites (Penguin) and The 10-Minute Rejuvenation Plan (Random House)

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

thanks, but there are still several blanks. whats the next magical number, or what are the other magical numbers?

Carolinda Witt said...

Boy! This is a big subject and one on which I have extremely limited knowledge! Numerology is interesting, have you ever had your chart done?

Anonymous said...

3 is a magical number and maybe 21 is magical because it equals 3 and is sufficient to optimise the body's potencies. thats my guess.

Carolinda Witt said...

Good one! What we really need is a Tibetan source to explain the significance of 21 in their culture. I have seen there are a couple of books on www.amazon.com on Tibetan numerology. I'll try and write to the author when I get a chance.

Anonymous said...

please do that. it is very important. 21 reps is the fulcrum of the 5 rites, and we need to know why??

Anonymous said...

strangely, if one experiments a bit 21 reps seems to be about right. 10 and 15 reps have no effect, and 30 and more can be tiring. somehow 21 is optimim. i have done the reps 40 and 50 times and then it just gets too tiring. at 21 one feels rejuvenated. but we need to find out why 21 and not 25 for example!!

Carolinda Witt said...

I've written to several people who might know, so let's hope for a reply.

Carolinda Witt said...

That has been my experience too. I find 21 just 'rite'! I have tried doing them twice a day to see what the impact would be and I have noticed no difference. In the Eye of Revelation Colonel Bradford says he does them in the morning and the evening, but then goes on to refer to 21 as being the required number of repetitions. I think it is up to the individual. There are a few people I know who halve the routine. Half in the morning to loosen out a stiff body and half in the evening to wind down for the day. They are doing 10 and 11 respectively, not 21 & 21. My view is to keep it simple - just do your 21 reps in around 10 mins per day, and keep it up longterm. If you start extending the time, there is more chance of people stopping. It works well as is!

Anonymous said...

yes, right. once a day a good 21 reps followed by corpse pose is just perfect!!

Carolinda Witt said...

AGREED!

Anonymous said...

waiting for your book to hit india. am buying a copy for sure. cheers!!

Carolinda Witt said...

Hopefully! There is quite a bit of interest from India actually, so you never know! Cheers!

Carolinda Witt said...

Could you send me the email address you wrote to at Yoga Journal, so I can follow it up? Thanks.

OK, I've very generously heard back from Beatrex Quntanna (thank you Beatrex), who does Tibetan Astrology and Tibetan Numerology. She is also an Author,Spiritual Psychic and Metaphysical Teacher.

Here is what she says about the significance of the number 21.

21 is a sacred number because it holds the 21 Arcane Laws. These Laws are the 21 steps to Enlightenment. 21 is 3 sets of seven. Seven is a sacred number which indicates a complete cycle of learning. The first set is the physical level of learning, the second set is the mental level of learning, and the third set is the spiritual level of learning. These are the 3 cycles we, as humans, must integrate while living in the energy of the school called Earth. Often we concentrate on one level of learning and miss the other 2 levels. When we set the stage to do things in sets of 21 we then incorporate all levels of awareness. This sets up an intention to integrate and then true healing can occur.

I hope this helps you and if you would like to know the meaning of the 21 steps to further your knowledge and your teachings, I would be glad to share them with you.
Sincerely Yours,
Beatrex Quntanna
www.beatrex.com
www.spiritualityonastring.com

Anonymous said...

thanks. valuable information. i just logged on to the yoga journal site and sent an email.

Anonymous said...

it is vital to know why 21 is the number of reps and not 40, for example. in my years of experimenting and doing the rites, i feel that 21 is just exact. if done carefully with the right breathing and technique and supplemented by the right diet, it is just perfect for the human mind, body and soul. doing more reps is simply not necessary. leads to imbalance. doing less doesnt optimise the rites. so 21 is magically perfect. would like feedback on this from others too. i have even done all the rites up to 50 times and realised that its a physical workout but can leave the body depleted and not energised. the chakras need to be optimised, thats all, and not over or underworked.

Anonymous said...

another point: is the right direction necessary? currently, i face east and do the rites. the vibrations are better than facing west. i feel the direction is important. choosing the right direction depends on several factors like space availability. but, i feel, ones instinct will guide you. its like working on the computer with an open window behind. doesnt feel right. we are dealing with vibrations and harmony here. vital in optimising chakra power. your take please.

Carolinda Witt said...

Thanks! Let me know if you hear back from them! Cheers!

Carolinda Witt said...

Regarding more than 21 times: The only comment I can find in the original manuscript about excess in doing the Rites is with regard to the Spin. In The Eye of Revelation Colonel Bradford says, "When I spoke to one of the Lamas about this (Whirling Dervishes spinning unceasingly) he informed me that while this whirling movment of the Dervishes did have a very beneficial effect, it also had a devastating one. It seems that a long siege of whirling stimulates into great activity Vortexes A (forehead), B (posterior part of the brain) and E (reproductive anatomy). These three have a stimulating effect on the other two C (in the throat) and D (doesn't explain where located - could be heart or solar plexus). But due to excessive leg action the Vortexes in the knees(F and G - one in each knee) are over-stimulated and finally so exhausted that the building up of the Vital Forces along with this tearing down, causes the participants to experience a kind of 'psychic jag' which they mistake for somethng spiritual or at least religious.

"However," continued the Colonel, "we do not carry the whirling exercise to excess. While the Whirling Dervishes may spin around hundreds of times, we find that great benefit is obtained by restricting it to about a dozen or so times, enough so that the Rite Number One can stimulate all the Vortexes to action."

Carolinda Witt said...

Yes I agree vibrations are important. When you do the Rites, you do become more aware - not only of your body/mind but all around you.

Regarding which direction to face, I thought you might find this interesting. I learnt it from one of the facilitators at The Art of Living Course which was created by His Holiness - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (http://www.artofliving.org)

Cosmic Forces and Vibrations

You bow with your whole body to each direction saying OM (for purification) in the followng order:

East = Attachment and Entanglement - OM
South = Lust and Obsession - OM
West = Greed and Jealousy - OM
North = Anger and Arrogance - OM
East = The Sun, Earth, Family and family lineage OM

Anonymous said...

theres a lot going for the east!!!!

Carolinda Witt said...

There's two sides to everything!!

Anonymous said...

can the 21 reps be done twice a day? or more times? is a gap required? will it result in over stimulation?

Carolinda Witt said...

They can be done twice a day, morning and night. I have tried doing it twice ie 42 repetitions am and pm and have noticed no additional benefits. When I am teaching them, I often do even more repetitions, and once again I find no added benefits.

21 seems just right to me, and to most of the practitioners I talk to. Some people actually find more than 21 has a depleting effect - so once again it is a highly individual thing.

I do have a group of people who work with their bodies and find that doing 10 in the morning gets rid of stiffness to begin the day - then doing 11 at night helps them unwind, and relax tension in their muscles.

If you feel you want a cardio workout or weight lifting practice, you could do a combination of the Rites, plus walking or running and lifting weights or heavy (& safe) things around the house. Unless you can afford the gym!

Cali said...

It's amazing how some numbers are both sacred and embedded in mythology across the world. For instance, both 3 and 7 are sacred numbers in Christianity, with 3 representing the Holy Trinity. 7 is supposed to represent the 7 levels of hell - which is originally a Babylonian concept. The famous dance of the seven veils represents Ishtar's descent through the seven levels of hell (there are also 7 demon-gods in this story). 3 was also sacred to the Babylonians and to the Celts as the first creation of the union between 1 and 2. However, the Celts did not find 7 sacred - 9 (3 x 3) was sacred to them (which is why Tolkien had 9 members of the Fellowship of the Ring).

Carolinda Witt said...

Fascinating isn't it? I didn't know that information about the Celts.
I've done some research on numerology and here are some excerpts followed by the links to the full articles.

Science of Numbers
Numerology is the Science of Numbers. The word Numerology comes from the Latin word “numerus,” which means number, and the Greek word “logos,” which means word, thought, and expression. Numerology influences every aspect of your life. It creates the blueprint of your future, and it can open the doors to unveiling your own deeper nature, and more.

Chaldean Numerology was originally developed in Ancient Babylon. The Chaldean number system uses a number formula based on calculating 1 – 8 vs. the Western number system of calculating 1 – 9. The “9” in Chaldean Numerology is considered to be a holy number and therefore is kept apart from other vibrations, except when it results as the sum of vibrations (e.g., from an individual’s complete name).

Chaldean Numerology is closely related to the Vedic system of India and to the Qaballic system of the Jewish Mystics. This system of numbers is based on the fact that letters representing sound (phonetics) have vibrational patterns, and that there are corresponding numbers which identify these vibrational patterns. The patterns are then translated into a language that can be understood and used by everyone. The language provides you with a unique "blueprint" of talents, abilities, and challenges that ask to be expressed in this lifetime.

The Kabbalah Number System (which means knowledge that comes from the mind and soul rather than through a human being or a teacher) originated in Hebrew mysticism, and interprets only the meaning of the name. The Kabbalah system was developed for the Hebrew alphabet, and therefore has only 22 vibrations ranging from 1 to 400. It was adapted for the Greek alphabet, then further adapted for the Roman alphabet.

The Pythagorean or Western number system was thought to have been discovered by Pythagoras, the famous Greek philosopher, mystic, mathematician, and astronomer in the period 600 B.C. However, from some earlier recordings, the origins of Numerology may even have predated Pythagoras.

Pythagoras taught that there was a definite relationship of numbers to one’s total life experience. He studied under the Jewish Mystics and the Gurus of India and had been initiated into many of the mysteries of the spiritual teachers of the East and had both used and taught their system of numbers. Later on in life, he founded a school to pass on the mystical sciences to Western students that was based on knowledge from his travels and learned studies. The school was run by a religious brotherhood on the basis of a belief system derived from mathematics, astronomy, physics and philosophy.
http://www.numbersru.com/history.html

I've looked up www.astrology-numerology.com and looked up the life path numbers for 7 and 3. 21 repetitions would be broken down as 2+1 = 3. Here's a few extracts:
Number 7
This is a very spiritual number and it often denotes a sort of spiritual wisdom that becomes apparent at a fairly early age. A built in inner guide providing a strong sense of intuition may set you up as being a law unto yourself. Whatever spiritual position you take, whether traditional or bizarre, you will cling to it with fervor
Number 3
The 3 loves connecting with people. The characteristics of the 3 are warmth and friendliness, a good conversationalist, social and open. A good talker both from the standpoint of being a delight to listen to, but even more importantly, one who has the ability to listen to others. Accordingly, the life path 3 produces individuals who are always a welcome addition to any social situation and know how to make others feel at home. The approach to life tends to be exceedingly positive. Your disposition is almost surely sunny and openhearted. A happy and often inspired person, you are constantly seeking and needing the stimuli of similar people.

Anonymous said...

aaaaaaaaaaHHHH, i am a 3!!!!! (your indian pal)

Carolinda Witt said...

Well, well, well!!!! Guess what..? I'm a 7!
We've got some +'s and some -'s, go check out the website for the full explanation. www.astrology-numerology.com
By the way, how do you know whenever I post a comment? Do you get a Google Alert or something?

Anonymous said...

i just check your site every other day..part of my learning process!!

Carolinda Witt said...

Ah hah! I thought Google were being very diligent! Glad to know you find it so useful and are such a great supporter. Thanks!
Cheers - C