Breath of Ecstasy
Ancient Tantra for a Modern World
By Swami Ayyappa Giri, Tantracharya, Yogini Ashram, Norwalk Ca.
“In the copulatory yoga that is practiced
By the Hero and Heroine
Upward they drive the coach of breath
That has its wheels in regions right and left;
There they collect the waters of the heaven
And never the organs tiring know.”
Thirumantaram V 827
WHAT IS BHAIRAVI KRIYA AND WHERE DOES IT COME FROM ?
The words of the Siddha Thirumoolar above disguise this ancient powerful tantric technique of Bhairavi Kriya to all but the initiated. Bhairavi Kriya is an elegant and precise breathing practice in which the tantric practitioner uses breath and visualization to mentally direct the essence of sexual energy upwards toward the center above the crown of the head, wherein resides the divine presence. The technique conserves the light-energy so that it is not lost outside the body. Bhairavi is the core technique of Babaji’s Kaula Marg Tantra. The technique is practiced daily. It takes about eight minutes of dedicated time both morning and evening to complete. Thirumoolar’s reference to the hero and heroine is an acknowledgement of the courage that the vira sadhak displays in reprograming the consciousness to see sexuality as a divine event rather than the prevailing social viewpoint. The term vira sadhak is used frequently in tantric texts.
A sketch of how Babaji and Mataji attained mastery of Kaula Marg Tantra has been described on an earlier blog post. The specific technique of Bhairavi Kriya (Breath of Ecstasy) was named after Bhairavi Brahmani, the celebrated female Bengali tantric from the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition. She was a high soul indeed! She was none other than an incarnation of Kriya Mataji, and she taught the great Ramakrishna the entire range of 64 tantric kriyas including Bhairavi Breath of Ecstasy.
Sri Ramakrishna is considered one of the greatest holy men in modern India. In his time, however, due to the judgments of the locals, he was forced to sneak out each night for four years and meet with Bhairavi under a vilva tree in a corner of the temple gardens, where he became a student of the tantric teachings. That very tree survives today in the garden of Dakshineshwar, near Kolkata. As revealed by Mataji, the technique is an alchemical practice of breath control which utilizes the Kuhu nadi system to awaken kundalini and move the primordial light-energy through the central channel (sushumna chitrini nadi). The technique captures, balances, and recirculates the sexual essence throughout the nadi system, specifically the higher centers (chakras). The exact process must be learned from a qualified teacher (adihari-guru). The technique, as with all primary kriyas, cannot learned from a book but has always been passed down through a living oral tradition and lineage. The alchemy of transmission of the cosmic energy (para shakti) relies upon the energetic and heart connection between the sadhak and the Sathguru through the teacher to access the massive power of astral entities or Shaktis of the lineage, specifically Maha Kali and her forms. The heart must be opened. The initiation pledge requires the practitioner to accept Sathguru Kriya Babaji as their ideal, without detriment to earlier ideals. The training can be given to an individual, to couples, or to a group.
This amazing process leads to expansion of ones charisma by energizing the aura (pranamayakosham), the establishment of shakti-light within the body of the practitioner, the transformation from a karmic centric life to a dharmic centric life, and at its terminal end, the attainment of super conscious experience. One introduces the highest spiritual vibration into sexual intimacy. This precise meditative breathing practice opens subtle channels of energy that lead to higher consciousness while the heart space is purified and expanded. These channels are both within the astral body as well as outside. Incrementally, the descent of light-grace occurs from the akashic field. In the broad picture, the practices of Babaji’s Kriya Tantra Yoga are a scientific art which function to clear the debris of accumulated lifetimes stored in the sub conscious mind, establish divine vibrations, and transform fear into love.
The practices of tantra are the result of the culmination of many generations of developments of tantra and the archeological finds, such as prehistoric inscriptions, coins, yonis and lingams, which have emerged from the Indus Valley civilization beginning as early as Mehrgarh from 6000 B.C. or earlier.
My Experience with Tantra
Traditional tantra, as opposed to the “neo-tantra” popular in the west, is very rarely taught, even in its homeland of India. Therefore, it is helpful to explain how I was brought by Babaji into Kali’s sphere of Tantric Shakti knowledge. This is not being shared for ego purposes, but rather to inform tantric aspirants of the origins of Kriya Tantra Yoga, acknowledge the sources, and recognize the ultimate headwaters of all Tantra, Mahavatar Babaji and Mataji.
From the early 1970’s, my diksha guru, Yogiar S.A.A. Ramaiah would occasionally refer to the 64 tantric kriyas in his lectures. This always piqued my interest. While he did practice tantra, he did not teach tantra, except for one technique in his advanced training. Throughout that period I was celibate with no masturbation or loss of semen throughout the first decade of my Kriya Yoga practice. My reason for sharing this is to assure the reader that celibacy is not neccessary.
After that decade of celibacy, Babaji put me together with a very elevated Shakti. Our union was blessed by Yogiar. She was beautiful and her life was centered around Babaji, Kali and her sadhana. A few years after our union, Shivagami and myself were formerly initiated together into Tantra and practiced the kriyas with great success. Her special status was recognized by more than just myself. She is the only soul to whom Yogiar gave the sacred Maha Kali Chew Mantra. The story of this great mantra is known to Kriya Yoga Sadhaks within the sangam and is briefly discussed elsewhere in this blog. Shivagami and myself lived together for 20 years before she passed away from cancer. Through the grace of Kali, she initiated me into the Kali Chew mantra prior to her passing. Kali’s grace has enabled much progress for this sadhak since that time. Yogini Ashram and Babaji’s work continues to grow in strength. Recently, another high soul has come into my life and the work goes on. Jai Babaji!
Swami Rudranath Giri Maharaj
In the 1980’s, on a pilgrimage to the tantric temple of Tara Peeth, I met my tantric guru, Swami Rudranath Giri Maharaj. He initiated and oversaw my training of Bhairavi Breath of Ecstasy and other practices, primarily the 64 tantra kriyas. Shivagami and myself practiced Bhairavi Kriya and many of the 64 tantric kriyas. We had many experiences, which led to a much deeper understanding of the practices.
Around 1988, Babaji guided us to purchase a retreat property in the San Bernardino mountains. In that remote forest, a beautiful center was constructed. There, Shivagami and myself hosted many events and trainings in every aspect of Babaji’s Kriya Tantra Yoga. We shared rare practices including Chakra Pujas offering the Panchamakaras in the classical way. In fact, we were the first to perform Chakra pujas in America. Some readers of this blog attended those events. Dynamic energy descended. Minds and hearts were certainly opened. In the near future, I will describe them on this blog site, though the participants will always remain secret for obvious reasons.
Over the years, I have connected with a number of high energy, high consciousness Shaktis which have brought about great transformations in the subtle planes. This includes working with a mystical Shakti for three years who helped me draw down the sacred geometry energies of the 64 yoginis. The divine has sent me the right souls and I believe that they benefited powerfully as well. The 64 Yogini yantras, inscribed on large, thick copper plates, help to energize Yogini Ashram even now. Sincere tantrics, regardless of path, are welcome to visit and meditate in the Yogini Ashram Babaji temple or the Kali temple with these power instruments.
An important form of Bhairavi Kriya is Urdvamnaya. The classical text, Kulanarva Tantra, identifies the five amnayas, or “great traditions” associated with different forms of yoga, such as Hatha Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, etc. Kulanarva states that the greatest is “urdvam” or “upwards directed”. This upwards direction refers to the movement of kundalini energy and ones light essence upward through the Tantric nadis to the crown. This is the light essence (tejas) that is within the semen and vaginal fluids (ojas). This urdvamnaya Kriya is exalted as the highest of all kriyas and is performed either by itself or in conjunction with the appropriate mantra. The technique used with the mantra is an ajapa pranayam, a silent mantra. Its importance is underscored by an entire chapter of Kulanarva Tantra which is devoted to praise of these two conjoined techniques. Lord Shiva speaks to his beloved thus, “Oh deveshi! Know the urdvamnaya as the direct single means for emancipation yielding a greater fruit than all others and better than the best of them…Neither the vedas, agamas, sastras, puranas, austerities, pilgrimages, mantras, or herbs can understand or contain urdvamnaya. The Bhairavi technique makes significant use of bandhas, mudras, specialized pranayams, and other Kriyas and must be learned from a qualified teacher. When the siddhas referred to the technique in classical works, the technique was recorded in code as it can only be known through the mouth of the teacher in the ancient oral tradition.
“Lest the silvery liquid into the golden flow
The artful goldsmith covered it up with yogic breath
The sparks (of Kundalini) that flew traveled up by way of spinal tube
There above, he contained them with tongues tip.”
Thirumandiram V. 834
Learn and Practice Bhairavi Breath of Ecstasy
Om Tath Sath
Om Kriya Babaji Nama Aum!
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