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I somewhere read:

A jyoti mudra technique that is taught to Kriya Yogis has for its purpose the making manifest the light (jyoti) of the spiritual eye by "closing of the nine gates of the body," which Lord Krishna here advocates as a means for man's illumination.

Also

He who closes the nine gates of the body, who cloisters the mind in the heart center, who fixes the full life force in the cerebrum— he who thus engages in the steady practice of yoga, establishing himself in Aum, the Holy Word of Brahman, and remembering Me (Spirit) at the time of his final exit from the body, reaches the Highest Goal. —The Bhagavad Gita VIII:12-13

Which are the nine gates being referred here? Are these ears, nose, mouth, eyes etc?

  • 2 eyes + 2 ears + 2 nostrils + 1 mouth + 1 genital + 1 rectum = 9 – ram Mar 13 at 19:57
  • 2eyes+2ears+1nose+1mouth+1 naval+1genital+1rectum= 9 holes, 10th is at the top of head. – Manu Kumar Mar 13 at 20:13
  • 1
    @Nitin - navel ? that's not a hole – ram Mar 13 at 20:32
  • @ram Navel is a hole, during pregnancy baby is fed through it. – Just_Do_It Mar 13 at 20:44
  • @Just_Do_It, it's not a hole after birth. – ram Mar 13 at 23:36
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Which are the nine gates being referred here? Are these ears, nose, mouth, eyes etc?

Yes the Nine gates referred here ae our bodily organs like ear , nose , mouth etc. within Pancala kingdom (5 senses ).

It's said that a jiva accepts a material body by virtue of his own desires. Accepting two hands, two legs, and so on, the living entity fully enjoys the modes of material nature.

These physical gates are in very detail are described in this chapter. I am herewith quoting some of the verses. We can read about these Nine gates in details in this chapter- SB 4.29:Talks Between Nārada and King Prācīnabarhi of Shreemad Bhagvatam.

यदा जिघृक्षन्पुरुषः कार्त्स्न्येन प्रकृतेर्गुणान् ।
नवद्वारं द्विहस्ताङ्घ्रि तत्रामनुत साध्विति ॥SB 4.29.4॥

yadā jighṛkṣan puruṣaḥ kārtsnyena prakṛter guṇān
nava-dvāraḿ dvi-hastāńghri tatrāmanuta sādhv iti

When the living entity wants to enjoy the modes of material nature in their totality, he prefers, out of many bodily forms, to accept that body which has nine gates, two hands and two legs. Thus he prefers to become a human being or a demigod.SB 4.29.4


बृहद्बलं मनो विद्यादुभयेन्द्रियनायकम् ।
पञ्चालाः पञ्च विषया यन्मध्ये नवखं पुरम् ॥SB 4.29.7॥

bṛhad-balaḿ mano vidyād ubhayendriya-nāyakam
pañcālāḥ pañca viṣayā yan-madhye nava-khaḿ puram

The eleventh attendant, who is the commander of the others, is known as the mind. He is the leader of the senses both in the acquisition of knowledge and in the performance of work. The Pancala kingdom is that atmosphere in which the five sense objects are enjoyed. Within that Pancala kingdom is the city of the body, which has nine gates.SB 4.29.7

These nine gates are described in this verse by Sage Narada in the same chapter .

अक्षिणी नासिके कर्णौ मुखं शिश्नगुदाविति ।
द्वे द्वे द्वारौ बहिर्याति यस्तदिन्द्रियसंयुतः ॥8॥

akṣiṇī nāsike karṇau mukhaṁ śiśna-gudāv iti
dve dve dvārau bahir yāti yas tad-indriya-saṁyutaḥ

The eyes, nostrils and ears are pairs of gates situated in one place. The mouth, genitals and rectum are also different gates. Being placed into a body having these nine gates, the living entity acts externally in the material world and enjoys sense objects like form and taste.SB 4.29.8

Purport: : Not being aware of his spiritual position, the living entity, directed by the mind, goes out through the nine gates to enjoy material objects. Because of long association with material objects, he forgets his real, spiritual activities and is thus misled. The entire world is going on being misled by so-called leaders like scientists and philosophers, who have no knowledge of the spirit soul. Thus the conditioned soul becomes more and more entangled.


Shree Krisha is talking about these Nine gates in the chapter 5 - verse 13 of Shreemad Bhagvat Gita.

सर्वकर्माणि मनसा संन्यस्यास्ते सुखं वशी।
नवद्वारे पुरे देही नैव कुर्वन्न कारयन्।।5.13।।

sarva-karmāṇi manasā sannyasyāste sukhaṁ vaśī
nava-dvāre pure dehī naiva kurvan na kārayan

When the embodied living being controls his nature and mentally renounces all actions, he resides happily in the city of nine gates[the material body], neither working nor causing work to be done.

And here is English Translation of Shree Ramanuja's Sanskrit Commentary By Swami Adidevananda.

5.13 The embodied self who is self-controlled, renounces all actions to the city of nine gates, i.e., the body with its sensory and motor functions which are nine in number. He discriminates that all actions are due to conjunction of the self with the body which is rooted in previous Karmas, and is not by Its own nature. [It means that the self merely rests in the body, without any identification with bodily activities.] Sri Krsna now teaches the natural condition of the self as It is:

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The concept of a 9-gated human body is found in the Vedas as well as in the Upanishads.

From, SwetAswatara Upanishad:

NavadwAre pure dehi hamso lelAyate vahih |
Vashi sarvasya lokasya sthAvarasya charasya cha ||


The Paramatman (Hamso), who is the lord (Vashi) of all movable-immovable world and creatures, attains jiva-hood upon entering the body that is endowed with 9 gates (NavadwAra Pura) and by being situated therein, it tries to accept the objects of the senses (lelAyate) (or "tries to sport" from the word lilA) .

SwetAswatara Upanishad, AdhyAya 3, Verse 19.

SwAmi GambirAnanda, the commentator/translator, says that the 9 gates are the 7 apertures of the head (2 eyes; 2 ears; 2 nostrils and the mouth cavity) plus the two organs of evacuation and reproduction (genitals and anus).

What these 7 holes of head are, are mentioned in the following Veda Mantra:

Kah sapta khAni vi tatarda shirshAni karnivibhau nAsike .....


Who bored the the seven apertures in the head... these ears, the nostrils...

Atharva Veda 10.2.6

And as said at the start, in Veda itself, we find the concept as well. The following Veda Mantra describes the human body as an impregnable city of the Gods that has 9 gates:


AshtachakrA navadvArA (1)
DevAnAm puroyodhyA (2)
TasyA hiranyaye koshah (3)
Swargo jyotishAvritah (4).


Nine doored with eight lotuses (1), is the impregnable stronghold of Gods (2); In that is a golden vessel (3), which is covered with light and leads to the Heaven (4).

Atharva Veda 10.2.31.


However, we can also include the Brahmarandhra of the head and the navel, as the two more (hidden) apertures of our body, thus raising the number of gates to 11.

It is quite valid to do so, as before our birth we obtain nourishment through navel and after death, in some cases, the vital air is said to exit out of the body through the Brahmarandhra of the head as well.

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    Impressive explanation and quoted scriptures ! – Just_Do_It Jan 10 '18 at 13:18
  • but no. of holes is counted wrongly there are 10 gates if you consider navel and shashrara – Prasanna R Mar 14 at 9:03
  • Yes u are right .. because brahmarandhra hole is already counted among the seven holes of the head .. so, if we count navel there are 10 only .. don't know how i made that mistake .. but let it be , I don't want to edit it now @PrasannaR – Rickross Mar 15 at 5:39
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As explained by others as well, there are 6 visible holes in head(every head is image of Brahman/God/Sun) i.e. 2 eyes, 2 ears, 1 nose and 1mouth and the 7th invisible opening for Satyaloka at top of head also called Brahmarandhra/Sahasrara chakra, which only enlightened Yogis can access and rupture at will. 7 being number of God(7 days in a week, 7 chakras in body, 7 sages), while rest 3 holes are in 1naval+1genital+1rectum(3 being number of 3gunamayi Maya)

Maha Bandha – The Great Lock is a part of Hathya Yoga established by Natha Yogis, where 3 holes of binding Maya are closed forcefully to rupture Sahasrara Chakra. Moola Bandha to lock rectum, Uddiyana Bandha to lock naval hole and Jalandhara Bandha to lock genital and whole spine below head.

Maha Bandha or the Great Lock combines all the three main Bandhas or locks practised by yogis – Moola Bandha, Uddiyana Bandha and Jalandhara Bandha. Maha in Sanskrit means ‘great’ or ‘supreme’ and Bandha means a lock. Maha Bandha means the great lock and is mentioned in the yogic texts Hatha Yoga Pradeepika, Gheranda Samhita and the Siva Samhita. Maha Bandha is said to activate the prana shakti thereby aiding the awakening of Kundalini Shakti at the base of the spine. Maha Bandha is also called the tri-bandha or the triple lock as it involves all the three major locks.

Goal of all Yoga paths like Bhakti, Gyana, Hatha Yoga or Karma Yoga is Samadhi.

Mahāsamādhi (the great and final samādhi) is the act of consciously and intentionally leaving one's body. A realized and enlightened(Jivanmukta), yogi(male) or yogini(female) who has attained the state of nirvikalpa samādhi, will, at an appropriate time, consciously exit from their body and attains Paramukti. This is known as mahāsamādhi. This is not the same as the physical death that occurs for an unenlightened person.

Enlightened yogis take their mahāsamādhi during their final practice of samādhi: and they transcend during this final sādhanā practice. Therefore, mahāsamādhi occurs only once in a lifetime, when the yogi finally casts off their mortal frame and their karma is extinguished upon death.

An enlightened or realized yogi is one who has attained the nondual state of nirvikalpa samadhi where duality of subject and object are resolved and the yogi becomes permanently established in the unity of full enlightenment (Paramukta).

Each realized yogi enters and prepares for mahāsamādhi in a unique fashion.

Swami Vivekananda ruptured 10th hole aka Brahmarandhra before leaving the body.

At 7:00 p.m. Vivekananda went to his room, asking not to be disturbed;[158] he died at 9:20 p.m. while meditating.[160] According to his disciples, Vivekananda attained mahasamādhi;[161] the rupture of a blood vessel in his brain was reported as a possible cause of death.[162] His disciples believed that the rupture was due to his brahmarandhra (an opening in the crown of his head) being pierced when he attained mahasamādhi.

  • Did brahmarandhra opened on its own or its internal rupture.. or some body opened brahmarandhra – Prasanna R Mar 14 at 9:06
  • @PrasannaR Not on own, but those who meditate for it and deserve it from God like Swamiji and are free from lust and greed. If you try to do Hatha Yoga/Ashtanga Yoga without Yama-Niyama without any Guru or seek powers, Siddhis, you would most probably go insane or kill yourself. One such person was Gopi Krishna en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gopi_Krishna_(yogi) who went crazy for 12 years due to improper Sadhana done without Yama-Niyamaa and without Guru. – Manu Kumar Mar 14 at 10:50

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