Monday, July 19, 2010

The Five Rites - Why We Don't Teach The 6th Rite

There are 3 reasons we at T5T: The Five Tibetans & Energy Breathing Program don't teach the 6th Rite

1. Celibacy

In the "The Eye of Revelation" published in 1939 (download free here) Colonel Bradford informs a group of men that he is teaching that there is one more Rite they can do if they really want to become 'supermen'.

..."These five Rites also make one appear more youthful; but if you really want to look and be young in every respect there is a Sixth Rite that you must practice. I have said nothing about it until now because it would have been useless to you without first having obtained good results from the other five.”

The Colonel then informed them that in order to go further with the aid of this Sixth Rite it would be necessary for them to lead a more or less continent (Abstaining from sexual intercourse; exercising restraint upon the sexual appetite; esp., abstaining from illicit sexual intercourse; chaste. [1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary] ) life.

He suggested that they take a week to think the matter over and decide whether or not they desired to do so for the rest of their lives. Then those who wished to go on would be given Rite Number Six. There were but five who came back the next week, although according to the Colonel this was a better showing than he had experienced with any of his classes in India."...

It is important to remember that the monks who developed The Five Tibetan Rites were all male and in common with those pursuing a spiritual path; they practiced celibacy. Being celibate is not a choice many men would choose to make as Colonel Bradford himself acknowledged when he began to teach The Rites.

We have found in teaching the many thousands of people we have, that the Five Rites themselves are sufficient to obtain the great benefits mentioned by Colonel Bradford. Refer to our Testimonials to read some of them.

It is not that we don't think the 6th Rite is worthy - simply that there is insufficient demand for it.

2. 6th Rite and Tantra

From my experience, people attracted to the 6th Rite will either try it and see what happens - or carry out further research. They may seek out teachers or study traditional texts on Tantric practices to which the 6th Rite belongs.

..."The Tantric practitioner seeks to use the prana (divine power) that flows through the universe (including one's own body) to attain purposeful goals. These goals may be spiritual, material or both. Most practitioners of tantra consider mystical experience imperative. Some versions of Tantra require the guidance of a guru."...Wikipedia

The information about the 6th Rite in the "Eye of Revelation" - is very basic yet enticing. I believe those interested in the 6th Rite should undertake further research. Those choosing to study and follow a Tantric path require far greater information than that which is provided in this limited text.

In the process of working with energy, the tantric practitioner has various tools at hand: Yoga, visualizations, yantras, mantras, mudras, meditation, mind training, identification & internalization of deities, mandalas, feasts, purification achievements, initiations and more.

There is a persistent viewpoint that many of these practices should only be made available to advanced students - for concern that inexperienced practitioners may misuse or misunderstand them, adversely affecting their health or sanity.

..."Secrecy is a cornerstone of tantric Buddhism, simply to avoid harming oneself and others by practicing without proper guidance. It is not even allowed to explain the full symbolism and psychology of the practice to the uninitiated, which can easily lead to misunderstanding and dismissal by the uninitiated."...

..."H. H. XIV Dalai Lama (1999). The Heart of the Buddha's Path. Thorsons. pp. 100–101. ISBN 0-7225-3932-0. ..."What is required for a Tantric practitioner is to develop the capacity to utilize one's faculties of bliss and the blissful experiences which are specifically generated due to the flow of regenerative fluids within one's own energy channels. It is crucial to have the ability to protect oneself from the fault of emission."...Wikipedia

Colonel Bradford himself cautions "In The Eye of Revelation"

..."Please understand that in order to perform Rite Number Six it is absolutely necessary that a man have full masculine virility. He couldn’t possibly raise up and transmute procre­ative energy if there were little or none to transmute. It is absolutely impossible for an impotent man or the one with little virility to perform this Rite. He shouldn’t even attempt it, because it would only lead to discouragement, which might do him great harm. Instead he should first practice the other five Rites until he has full masculine power, and this regardless of how young or how old he may be. Then when the first “full bloom of youth” is experienced within him, he may then go on to the business of being a SUPER­MAN."...

...“Again I say, let no man concern himself with the up­turning of the sex currents until he is thoroughly satisfied in his own mind and heart that he truly desires to lead the life of the MYSTIC; then let him make the step forward, and success will crown his every effort."...

3. The 6th Rite Is One Of The Three Bandhas Known As "Uddiyana Bandha"

The bottom line is: I don't teach the 6th Rite because I feel it is important to let my students know more about 'spiritual energy' before they make the decision to practice this Rite or not.

There are actually three bandhas; mula, uddiayana (the 6th Rite) & jalandhara bandha. When practiced together they form the maha bandha. Bandhas are energy (prana) valves. They are practiced
together or individually at specific times during yoga postures; breathing; visualisation; meditation and other yogic practices.
  • They direct the flow of prana throughout the body so that blockages are released and the corresponding areas nourished
  • Bind or 'lock' the prana to prevent dissipation from the body
  • Redirect prana in a healing and energising direction
  • Activate the 'energy body' of a person, bringing awareness to the mental, neurophysiological & energetic patterns behind the physical body
Uddiyana means flying upward energy lock. It moves energy upward, releasing stuck energy which flows into the heart centre opening the Vishnu Granthi (the knot of the heart). One of three knots (locks or obstacles) which when released allow the flow of kundalini up the central energy canal in the subtle body called the sushumna nadi. The sushumna nadi runs up the spinal column & connects the base chakra to the crown chakra.

There are 72,000 nadis or more in the body through which prana (the flow of consciousness) travels.

Kundalini relates to a reservoir of psychic energy coiled up like a snake at the base of the spine. When the Kundulini awakes we experience an expansion of consciousness & become aware of the Divine Truth. It brings with itself pure joy, knowledge and love.

A spiritual teacher is recommended to guide the aspirant in his/her understanding of spiritual energy as well as instructing them in careful strengthening & purification of the body & nervous systems beforehand. Negative experiences such as psychic disturbances, mental stability or even permanent mental damage can occur if proper guidance and advice is followed.

Colonel Bradford explains that the 6th Rite

”should only be practiced when one has an ‘excess of procreative energy; when there is a definite desire for expression. It can be done so easily that it can be performed anywhere at any time. When one feels the powerful reproductive urge, here is all that is necessary.’…

He says that repeating the complete sequence (breathing exercise) around three times is …“required to subdue a most powerful urge and to turn the powerful procreative or reproductive forces upward.’…

…“In the average virile man,” said the Colonel, “the life forces course downward, but in order to become a Super­man they must be turned upward. This we call ‘The Newer Use of the Reproductive Energy’. Turning these powerful forces upward is a very simple matter, yet man has attempted it in many ways for centuries and in almost every instance has failed. Whole religious orders in the Occidental World have tried this very thing, but they, too, have failed because they have tried to master the procreative energy by suppressing it. There is only one way to master this powerful urge, and that is not by dissipating or suppressing it, but by TRANSMUTING it -- transmuting it and at the same time lifting it upward. In this way you really and truly have discovered not only the ‘Elixir of Life’, as the ancients called, it, but you have put it to use as well, which is something the ancients were seldom able to do.”…

As you can see this topic is quite vast and not one that we feel we can adequately address in a short amount of time! That's why we don't teach it. It is of course up to you whether you practice it or not, and there are those who do.

Why don't you write a
post on this Blog and ask people to contribute comments, knowledge or actual experience?

To Download "The Eye of Revelation" Free - Click Here

To Learn T5T - and get your chakras spinning more rapidly - Click Here

If you wish to publish this article on your website you may do so, provided that you assign copyright to the author exactly as written below: A pdf version is available on request.

Copyright (c) 2005 Carolinda Witt - author T5T - The Five Tibetan Exercise Rites (Penguin/Lantern 2005) and The 10-Minute Rejuvenation Plan (Random House/Three Rivers Press 2007)


Anonymous said...

Hi Carolinda,

One question comes to mind, and that is: 'Why just 21 repetitions (per rite)? What would happen if we tripled that number? Or even worked up to 100 reps per rite? Just wondering! Thanks for your assistance.


Carolinda Witt said...

Hi, its a popular question this one!

As a teacher, I'm often doing 50+ repetitions of the postures. I must admit I haven't noticed any difference in benefits though. To me 21 repetitions seems just ‘rite’!

The only mention of doing more than 50 repetitions in the original 1939 book is the following (and refers to the Spin):

…"However," continued the Colonel, “we do not carry the whirling exercise to excess. While the Whirling Dervishes may spin around many hundreds of times, we find that greater benefit is obtained by restricting it to about a dozen or so times, or enough so that Rite Number One can stimulate all the Vortexes to action. After several months it can be increased to 20 revolutions. Later to 30, 40, and eventually, after many months, to 50.

So the answer is: Like all forms of yoga – be conscious of the effects of the Rites & the number of repetitions on your body. Pause and allow yourself to feel the changes physically and energetically. Your needs will vary day-to-day, effected by emotions, activity and even the weather. You’ll soon be aware enough to know what works best for you.

You may find it helpful to join our Facebook Group as Pascal Jalabert one of the members does the Rites 300 times a day. He might be able to give you more info. Here's the link

Fanny said...

What happen if women practice the 6th rite ?

Fanny said...

If a man who wants to practice the 6th rite should celibate, what happen if a woman does it ?

Carolinda Witt said...

I don't think I can add any more to what was explained in the article. Women do perform tantric exercises to raise their kundalini but they do mostly do so under the direction of a teacher who knows how to measure the intensity to suit the student. The 6th Rite is an energetic valve called a Bandha as explained in the article. Women and men do practice this as part of their yoga/pranayama practice.

Eddy said...

safe to practice the 6th rite if you practice seminal retention?

Carolinda Witt said...

Hi Eddy,

There is nothing in the book Eddy that mentions seminal retention!

If you practice it, you know more about this topic than me. Do you practice yoga in any form already?

Nino said...

Hi friends,

I wish to add that the 6th rite is Tantra Yoga which requires you to have a qualified teacher (guru) to guide you.

If you chance to research the Tantric Buddhism, you may find that you need to accomplish the premilinaries (Ngondro) before starting the 6th rites.

I've seen many yoga instructors and workshops taught the kundalini stuff without recognising the dangers within.

Slowing down our aging process is only a by-product of the 6th rites, but actually the benefits and purposes are to help you advancing in the path of Buddhahood.

Rites 1-5 are of course indispensable for our daily fitness. It's very helpful to help you gain good posture thus helping you to ease your meditation practice.

Cheers all :)