The Story of Kaya Kalpa
"Just as fire burns as long as there is wood, as the lamp
burns as long as the oil and wick last, so also the life remains in
the body while it is nourished by the soma."
* Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Since the beginning of the written word, every spiritual faith has revealed accounts of individuals achieving miraculous experiences of exceptional longevity, immortality, and divinization. The common thread that weaves these traditions together is the acknowledgment, practice, and attainment of an extraordinary internal alchemical process that bestows complete regeneration and optimum health.
Within the sub-continent of India the ancient cultures of sages called Siddha and Natha yogis referred to this process as Kaya Kalpa, which is a Sanskrit term that means “extending the life of the body” or “rejuvenation of the body”. Its wisdom was first transferred from the god Shiva to his wife Parvati, and from her to the Siddhas, who practiced Kaya Kalpa as a sacred science to attain Siddhi (mystical powers).
Historically, this powerful rejuvenation process was reserved for elderly sages and yogis who sought uncommon longevity of the physical body in order to continue and accomplish their service to humanity. These holy people were invariably seeking to actualize the true potential of humanity by uniting themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually with God. This exalted state is referred to as the Divya Deha, or divine body. Through the use of Kaya Kalpa their physical bodies would continue to support their existence on the manifest plane for the pursuit of this life long endeavor. There are two forms of Kaya Kalpa indicated by the ancient scriptures of the Yogis: Vatatapika (Of the Air and the Light) and Kutipraveshika (Dwelling within the dark).
Traditionally, the Kutipraveshika (from "Kuti" or cottage and "Praveshika" or dwelling within) Kaya Kalpa was a ninety day process performed during an isolated retreat to elicit intense bodily purification and deeply nourishing rejuvenation. The sage enters an insulated chamber where no light or sound can reach, contained during the process as if being reentered into the womb. Over the duration of this three month process the Sage is given a highly specialized course of powerful medicinal herbs complimented by supportive therapies that elicit deep purification and rejuvenation that produce lasting regenerative effects for the entire physical body. However, Kutipraveshika Kaya Kalpa has rarely, successfully been used since its introduction due to the extreme nature of the process and the scarcity of suited, disciplined yogis able to achieve Samadhi, a rarely attained yogic state of complete absorption of mind, necessary to endure and thrive from such a practice.
At Hridaya Hermitage we are practicing a form of Vatatapika Kaya Kalpa called Vashi Kaya Kalpa, descending from the oldest, unbroken lineage of Yoga: Vashi Yoga. Vashi Kaya Kalpa, “ the controller of immortality”, focuses primarily on adopting the systems of this rare lineage of authentic Yogic lifestyle to achieve perfect health through mastering Yogic techniques of vitality and rejuvenation. Traditionally prescribed for royalty, public servants, and householders this method emphasizes the need of invoking a gradual process of physical purification, harmonization, and rejuvenation over a longer period of time, coupled with a gradual increase in intensity. The practices and techniques of this process require thorough understanding and guidance to accomplish and involve comprehensive instruction to achieve. The process of learning and applying these techniques lead the practitioner along a journey of abounding physical health, greater mental and emotional clarity, and an expanded awareness into the ultimate potential of this life.