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The Order of the Nazirim

Student Vow

The initial vow in the Order of the Nazirim is the vow of Talmid/ah, the Student's Vow. The Student vows to be celibate for thirty weeks. This marks a period roughly equaling seven months. During this time, the Student will begin to incorporate the various techniques and practices of the Nazir Order.

During this probationary period, the Student must refrain from cutting the hair from the head and drinking intoxicating beverages for anything but medicinal purposes.

Upon awakening, the Nazir must anoint the head with olive oil through the following technique:

Tohu va'Vohu

The first words of Genesis are: "In the beginning, created Elohim the heavens (skies) and the earth (land), and the land was formless and void (chaos)." The words for formless and void are tohu va'vohu. These words are alternatively translated as chaos. That is, creation was originally in a state of chaos as the primordial atoms and particles began to form themselves into complex elements and later into planets and atmosphere. These words hold a secret, however, for they come from the verbs tohe and bohe, meaning to gaze and stare in awe. The resulting technique embodies a method to bring the mind to a state of stillness in order to allow the heart to soar in wonder.

In Hebrew, the word for holy, kadosh, carries the same root as the verb to dedicate oneself, l'hakdeesh. In Sanskrit, the word for dedication, which is used to imply initiation, is diksha. Diksha and kadosh carry the same three root letters of K-D-S. In the following technique, the Hebrew mantra Kadosh is repeated three times as the hair is anointed. This ritual represents the daily initiation, diksha, into the Order of the Nazirim. It is repeated every morning in order to impress upon the consciousness the gravity of the ideal to attain self-mastery in one lifetime. It can be repeated more often, in fact, if one feels that one's resolve is weakening.

The practice of anointing the hair is ancient. Literally, those who enter the Nazir Order are Christs, anointed ones, in training. The Hebrew word moshiach, messiah, means anointed one for the kings and nazirim of ancient Israel were anointed with oil in recognition of their holy station.

From the purely technical standpoint of yoga science, the hair acts like roots that absorb stray prana from the surrounding environment. Areas high in negative ions, for example, are places where the hair will absorb more energy. Oil is a natural conductor of prana. Therefore, applying oil to the hair improves the ability of the hair to absorb energy.

Place a few to several drops of olive oil on the hands, depending on how much hair you have and how much oil you wish to apply. Rub the oil into the palms of the hands. Sit in a level armless chair in the upright meditative position with spine erect, chin and thighs parallel to the floor, hands resting on the thighs, chest out, shoulders relaxed but back, and eyes closed and focused at the point between the eyebrows.

Fold the palms at the heart in Anjali Mudra (this is the mudra used during the Hindu pronam greeting), bring the head back and open the mouth, allowing the head to fall back completely. Open the eyes and look up in wonder at the grandeur of the heavens. Imagine the infinite amounts of prana that surround you.

Rub the palms together vigorously until you feel heat between the palms. Place the hands on the head and rub back on the hair, applying oil to the hair. With this motion, say the Hebrew mantra "kadosh," sanctifying the head. Affirm your commitment to the attainment of self-mastery. When the hands reach the back of the head, roll the fingers down, bending the wrists, and place the hands on the top of the head again. Again, rub down and repeat the mantra. Repeat this act a third time. Do this as many times as you like, in groups of three.

If your hair is long, add a touch of olive oil to the roots before moving on to the next step in the technique. Return to the position with your head back, mouth open, shoulders back, and palms folded at the heart. Close the eyes. Place the attention at the cervical plexus, the bony protrusion at the base of the neck, and tense at that spot for 6 to 12 seconds. Feel as if you are pulling in prana through the hair as you soak in the prana directly into the spine. Repeat twelve times, or more if time permits. Feel as if the prana is coursing in through the hair to the upper spine and head.


Once you have completed the method of initiation, begin the series of Tension/Relaxation exercises. The theory behind tension/relaxation exercises is as old as the science of Yoga itself. Indeed, they are one and the same. The whole premise of Yoga is that where there is energy there is consciousness, further that energy can be directed through tension, and so consciousness can be made to retire from the body and senses through super-relaxation. The following exercises can therefore be considered one of the best systems of meditative physical culture, for not only is the body developed through tension, but the mind is trained to direct the consciousness through tension and withdraw the consciousness through relaxation.

The following twenty-two exercises are to be practiced twice daily in the sitting position prior to the practice of Pranayama. The various body parts and motions listed are a system embedded in the Hebrew Alephbet. Each of the twenty-two letters of Hebrew is a code for a part of the body that can be focused on in a sequential order. When the body is made to run through the rite of the Hebrew code, the practitioner learns greater control of the body and understands the secret of the seeming body/mind dichotomy. With diligent practice the practitioner will realize that there is no real difference between the body and mind but rather they are made of the same prana (energy) at differing rates of vibration, at different levels of subtlety. Transcendence over both the body and mind is achieved when the realization comes that the consciousness in the body is neither the body nor the mind but the energy coursing through them and employing them. This can be attained through daily practice of Pranayama and Tension/Relaxation.

Practice the following slowly with eyes closed, focused upward, and straight back. If an exercise calls for motion, always return to the upright calm position before moving on to the next exercise. You may practice the rite up to three times in a row or focus on one particular exercise more deeply before moving on to the next. Memorize the entire technique so that the practice becomes second-nature. Each technique is to be practiced a minimum of three times. Relaxation and tension should both be done slowly with concentration. The practice is best done in open air with all the body exposed to the sun. However, that may be just enough (or more than enough, in some parts of the world) sunshine to absorb for a single day.

  1. Aleph (The Brain)--Tense the head and medulla oblongata (back of the neck) with a slight vibration. Aleph means "one thousand" and refers to the thousand and one functions of the brain, the "thousand petaled lotus," and the myriad thoughts indulged in during one lifetime.
  2. Bet (The Body)--Tense the entire body from head to toe, including clenching the fists, curling the toes, tightening the buttocks, squeezing the entire face to the tip of the nose, etc. Bet means "house" and is a reference to the house of the body which houses the consciousness.
  3. Gimel (The Throat)--Tense the entire throat and medulla oblongata at the base of the skull. Gamel means "camel" and refers to the throat.
  4. Dalet (The Ears)--Tense the ears by making a sharp grimace with the face and eyes. Hold the intense smile for as long as is comfortable. Dalet means "door" and refers to the door of the ears through which the sounds of the world enter the mind.
  5. Heh (The Hands)--Clench the fists tightly. Heh refers to the five fingers of the hand with which we give and receive.
  6. Vav (The Neck)--Tense all parts of the neck. In this exercise relaxation can be performed quickly with the chin dropping to the chest with a bounce a for complete withdrawal of the energy. Vav means "and" which refers to a bridge. The neck serves as a bridge between the head and the body.
  7. Zion (The Spine)--Tense the entire spine and head, from the base of the spine at the coccyx to the cerebrum. Pull the shoulders back and tense the abdomen with this spinal tension. Zion is like a lightning bolt and refers to the lightning-like power in the seven plexuses which are the source of spiritual power.
  8. Chet (The Legs)--Tense the legs, feet, and buttocks. Chet is a symbol of infinity with the legs the pillars which support the finite-infinite paradox.
  9. Tet (The Perineum)--Tighten the perineum by squeezing the anal sphincter muscles. Tet is the snake or the elevating power locked in the coccygeal plexus.
  10. Yud (The Forehead)--Knit the brow at the point between the eyebrows and gently squeeze the eyes. Yud is literally the arms but in mystical terminology yud refers to spiritual vision which originates at the point between the eyebrows. This vision requires much spiritual labor (arms) to attain, however.
  11. Caph (The Arms)--Tense the arms from the fists to the shoulders. Caph means "hands."
  12. Lamed (The Heart)-- Puff out the chest like a proud conqueror. Fold the palms at the chest as in prayer. Tension should be in the shoulders, chest, and upper spine. Lamed means "learn" and the heart is where all learning takes place. Lamed is also the spiritual devotion which we fly on like a rocket.
  13. Mem (The Abdomen)--Tense the abdomen, both the lower parts and upper part and stomach. Tension should also be felt in the spine opposite the belly. Mem (or mayim) means "water" and refers to the digestive juices in the stomach.
  14. Nun (The Seat)--Tense the buttocks and lower spine or those parts which comprise our seat. Nun has the shape of one sitting.
  15. Samech (The Face)--Scrunch the face with tension as if you are bringing the entire face to the tip of the nose. Samech is a circle and refers to the face.
  16. Ayin (The Eyes)--Gently tense the eyes and move the eyeballs in circular motions. Ayin means "eye."
  17. Peyh (The Mouth)--With the mouth closed pull the tongue back to touch the uvula which is the nipple-like organ that hangs at the back of the mouth. If you cannot reach that far pull it back to where it is comfortable and maintain its position for as long as it is comfortable. Peyh means "mouth."
  18. Tzadik (Humility)--Exhale and place the chin on the chest and bend over so the head is between the knees. Keep the head there with the breath out for as long as it is comfortable. Tzadik means "righteous" and has the shape of one bent in humility.
  19. Kuf (Divinity)--Drop the head to the chest, tense the neck and with that tension held pull the head back until the forehead faces the ceiling. Relax the neck and drop the chin to the chest with a bounce. The letter Kuf is short for kadosh or "holiness."
  20. Reish (The Head)--Lock the chin to the chest and keep it there, continuously exerting a pull on the back of the neck. Press firmly on the chest with the chin and further push up on the chin with the chest for several seconds. "Rosh" is literally the head.
  21. Shin (The Teeth)--Open the mouth fully then close the mouth with slight tension, clenching the teeth. Shin means "tooth."
  22. Tuf (Expiration)--Make a double, triple, or quadruple exhalation through the mouth with the audible sound of "huh, huh, huh, huuuuuuuh." Allow the body to inhale of its own accord with closed mouth and sit in utter stillness. Perform this multiple exhalation several times, resting in silence in between.


Immediately following the Tension/Relaxation exercises, begin practicing the IAM technique. In the Hebrew Bible, Moses doubts his ability to convince the Hebrews that he was truly sent by God to free them from slavery in Egypt. In Hebrew, the root of the name Egypt, Meetzrayim, is tzar, meaning narrow, confined. Slavery in Egypt symbolizes the thralldom to the urges of the senses; it implies a narrowing of consciousness from cosmic consciousness to sense-bound ego consciousness. Moses represents the God-sent guru who frees the student from delusion.

Moses asks God for a name in case the Hebrews ask him the name of the God that sent him. As the Egyptians have gods with names, Moses knew that the Hebrews would expect their god to have a name. Of course, God, the Infinite, is nameless. Therefore, God replied that his name is I AM. In Biblical Hebrew, the single word for I AM is Eheeyeh. The word for THAT is Ashare.

Return to the meditative position with eyes closed and focused at the point between the eyebrows, hands resting on the thighs, chest out, chin and thighs parallel to the floor, etc. Add a variety of Khechari Mudra by bringing the tip of the tongue to the soft portion of the palate. Keeping the attention at the point between the eyebrows, watch the breath. When the body naturally inhales, mentally chant the word Eheeyeh. In the moment that the breath naturally stops between inhalation and exhalation mentally repeat Ashare. When the breath naturally exhales mentally repeat Eheeyeh again. Do not attempt to control the breathing in the slightest.

Ashare is spelled in the same way as the word Oshare, which means joy. Further, Ashare is a permutation of the word Rosh, meaning head. The moment after inhalation, the breath is considered to be in the head where bliss is felt.

To help keep the mind on the point between the eyebrows and the observation of the breath, the Student counts the breaths on the left hand using the thumb as the counter and each section of the fingers as a mark of one practice. There are twelve joints on the four fingers, making twelve sections over which the thumb glides to count out the breaths. One begins at the base section of the index finger as the first breath. The second breath is the middle section of the index while the third breath brings the thumb to the top section of the index finger. The fourth breath corresponds to the top section of the middle finger, the fifth to the top section of the annular (ring) finger, the sixth to the top section of the pinky, the seventh to the middle section of the pinky, the eighth to the lowest section of the pinky, the ninth to the lowest section of the annular finger, the tenth to the lowest section of the middle finger, the eleventh to the middle section of the middle finger, and the twelfth to the middle section of the annular finger. The same counting system is used on the right hand except that the right hand counts sets of twelve. Once the left thumb has counted twelve breaths, the right hand goes to the base section of the index finger and counts one set of twelve. The left thumb then begins to count out another twelve breaths. Four example, if the left hand is on the middle section of the middle finger and the right thumb is resting on the top section of the pinky, the meditator has performed eighty-three breaths. Practice this technique in groups of 144.


As the Hindus chant Aum, Nazirim chant Omain. Returning to the practices of the Nazirim and the Hebrew Prophets has nothing to do with being Jewish, of course. All the organized religions, including Judaism and Hinduism, are far removed from the practices of the ancient Hebrews and ancient yogis, respectively. In Hebrew, Amen, more properly pronounced Omain, comes from the root aman, meaning loyalty. Mentally chanting Omain has the same effect that chanting OM (Aum) has, namely to effect a union with the Infinite. Omain, like Aum, is the greatest prayer. It is the highest mantram, the supreme affirmation. Nazirim chant Omain giving more time to the first syllable, but add the second syllable to complete the M sound.

Sit in the meditative position with eyes closed and focused at the point between the eyebrows, tongue pulled back to where the palate becomes soft as in khechari mudra, chin parallel with the floor, etc. Begin by chanting Omain aloud in sets of three. Then chant Omain more quietly in sets of three. Then chant Omain in a whisper in sets of three. Continue by chanting Omain mentally in sets of three. Throughout the entire process, keep the attention squarely placed at the point between the eyebrows.

Once you have reached a rhythm with the chanting of Omain silently, the true technique begins. Slowly start to increase the length of time between chanting Omain. In those moments of silence, listen intently in the back of the head. The internal sounds of the spine may be louder on the right side, but simply listen at the medulla oblongata located at the base of the skull, top of the neck. While the chanting of Omain may fall in rhythm with your breathing, pay no attention to the breath. Instead, place all the attention on listening in between chanting Omain. Feel free to add a melody to your chant of Omain, but maintain the practice of chanting it in sets of three.

These are the basic techniques of the Order of the Nazirim. Please do not share them with anyone. They are given to you for your personal use, not so that you may disseminate them. If you progress in your loyalty to the Order and expand upon your vow, you may one day be able to initiate others in these techniques. In the mean time, make every effort to practice these methods daily. The meditation methods can be practiced twice daily, morning and evening before meals, while the initiatory practice must be practiced in the morning, but can optionally be practiced at any time during the day or night so long as no undo strain builds in the cervical plexus and medullary plexus, the fifth and sixth cakras.

If you have any questions or concerns, write directly to Sankara Saranam.