He who is able to retain the climax becomes master over death and the knower of yoga, because the discharge of bindu brings depression and its consequences, and retention brings vitality, vigour, power, strength and concentration. The body of the practitioner of vajroli has a nice odour. If the bindu is steady, then where is the fear of death? The bindu which is controlled by the power of the mind bestows life, therefore, the bindu should be carefully controlled.
Hatha Yoga Pradipika (3:88-91)
Kriya Yoga: Practice
Kriya 10: Naumukhi Mudra (Closing The Nine Gates)
The Sanskrit word nau means ‘nine’ and mukhi means ‘gates’. This kriya can be called ‘the mudra of the nine gates’. A more widely used name, however, is ‘the closing of the nine gates’.
The first nine kriyas can be classified as techniques of pratyahara (sense withdrawal). Naumukhi is the first in the group of dharana (concentration) techniques. From this stage onwards the mind becomes more and more one-pointed.
In the human body there are nine openings or gates through which one perceives all the sense experiences of the outside world. These are: the two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, the mouth, the anus and the sexual organ.
There is also a tenth gate, called the Brahma Dwara (the Door of Brahma), which leads to mystical or transcendental experience and realization. During mundane, everyday experience this gate is closed – all perception comes through the other nine gates. In naumukhi these nine gates are temporarily closed. This prevents external perception and helps to open up the tenth door.
Naumukhi is made up of the following subsidiary techniques:
- Ujjayi pranayama
- Khechari mudra
- Moola bandha
- Vajroli mudra
- Shanmukhi mudra