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 Ancient Spiritual Discipline of Caucasus Mountains
by Murat Yagan



In 1984, when I published my booklet on longevity (later expanded into a book) and well being as observed in the Caucasus and known about by the rest of the world,* I expressed the importance and place of the spiritual discipline of the peoples of the Caucasus in their achieving a long and active life. In that booklet I also mentioned briefly what this discipline was like.

Ahmsta Kebzeh, also called by outsiders in the Old World 'Caucasian Yoga,' is a tradition peculiar to the mountaineers of Caucasus, who are in general called Circassians by Europeans. This tradition was preserved mostly in the higher mountainous parts of Caucasus until recently and started fading away at the beginning of the twentieth century as a result of invasion of Caucasus by Russia. Today it is very difficult to find anything but traces of it in communities, and very rarely possible to meet some old old-timers who can manifest some knowledge about it. It is one anthropological issue which is passed away, or at the very least, may find its place among the items of museums.

I happen to be one of those rare Circassian Elders who lived and was trained in it up to a certain extent and who is still alive today. Seeing that in the West within the last three, four decades there developed an interest in the ancient traditions of mankind, wherever it might be on Earth, and a group of seekers forming a circle around me, I started to transfer to them whatever I had. This process started in 1975. Transcripts of talks, seminars, workshops, and evening classes, put together, formed some four thousand typed pages.

Recently they organised, and registered themselves into a non-profit society under the name, "Kebzeh Foundation of Canada." They started their own publishing company, deciding to activate and promote the teachings of Ahmsta Kebzeh and prevent its dying away unknown to the world at a time when the planet needs so much an awakening to and attainment of human potential, to enable human beings to live abundant life on a globe   I happen to be one of those rare Circassian Elders who lived and was trained in it up to a certain extent and who is still alive today. Seeing that in the West within the last three, four decades there developed an interest in the ancient traditions of mankind, wherever it might be on Earth, and a group of seekers forming a circle around me, I started to transfer to them whatever I had. This process started in 1975. Transcripts of talks, seminars, workshops, and evening classes, put together, formed some four thousand typed pages. Recently they organised, and registered themselves into a non-profit society under the name, "Kebzeh Foundation of Canada." They started their own publishing company, deciding to activate and promote the teachings of Ahmsta Kebzeh and prevent its dying away unknown to the world at a time when the planet needs so much an awakening to and attainment of human potential, to enable human beings to live abundant life on a globe which is in the process of losing its resources to support its population.

This is an introduction  to Ahmsta Kebzeh. To cover the whole teaching of it many, many, books, in various sizes, have to follow to complete the intellectual part of its teaching only. As for the applied part of it, personal involvement in it will be needed, as is the case in any experiential and processal learning - such as learning how to swim, how to play an instrument of music, or how to ride a bike. No matter how much you study the intellectual, theoretical part of it, unless you get involved also physically and personally in doing it, you cannot learn it.

Ahmsta Kebzeh is a science of living abundantly, using all human faculties as a whole, fully and wholistically. It is peculiar to Circassian people of Caucasus but in the past millennia had also its effects on other people living in Greater Caucasus in general.

Circassians are composed mainly of nineteen different Tribes, and I belong to the one which is called Abkhazian. Although Ahmsta Kebzeh belongs in general to all Circassians and is quite the same in principles, it displays some differences from tribe to tribe, mostly due to change in altitudes; to the effect that among tribes higher in altitudes it was preserved more unchanged through millennia compared with the ones living closer to heavier traffic. Since the languages of Circassian tribes also differ from each other, some original words used in the teaching and versions of the topics I am relating here are according to their use in the Abkhazian version to which I belong. Further more, because I belong to the high mountain group, Abazas, I am relating to that group all my source.

To be more precise, I am an Abkhazian from the group called Abazas who live on Caucasian Sierra at the place called Ashkhara, between Mount Elbruz and Mount Kazbek.

The Content of Kebzeh

Kebzeh consists of three levels of teaching and application.
From lower to higher they are: 
1.    Aleishwe
2.    Kebzeh
3.    Ahmsta Kebzeh.

1.    Aleishwe (Etiquette). This is the level of edification which regulates social properness. It can be expressed by the name Etiquette. It is the rules and habits concerning personal relationships; rules about everything which is part of daily life; rules and ways concerning work, dressing, horseback riding, greeting each other and meeting people for the first time; ceremonial rules regulating weddings, funerals, paying visits to each other to observe special occasions, and so on.

2.    Kebzeh (Tradition, social concepts and rules). This is the level of edification which regulates the knowledge necessary in the administrative field. As the social system in Caucasus was feudal, there is a strictly established Caste classification, expressed in five main categories: 1) Rulers,  2) Administrators,  3) Nobles,  4) People,  5) Serfs.

The second class down from the top is the class which executes the ruling of the Ruler. The discipline of Kebzeh is given to this class. It consists of all the education necessary to cultivate this class of people to perform efficiently the function of administering.

The third class down from the top, which constitutes the nobles, is the class from which administrators and rulers are promoted when there is a shortage.

The training in these two categories is done by intellectual teaching and application in the field of action. The family and the community in which a child exists from birth to death is the milieu to embrace him, providing him with everything he needs to exist, to grow, and to be raised and edified. The homogeneity of concepts and judgements of value is the most efficient teacher, trainer, and coach in the community. The whole community with its living rooms, dining tables, farming fields, gathering and dancing grounds, sporting fields, riding rings, martial arts grounds, workshops, fire-side lecturings, hunting parties, festivity meetings, toasting ceremonies, wedding parties, funerals, and all sorts of possible social activities, becomes a huge and unlimited classroom for a growing child.

The teaching and training received from community develops further when the individual gets involved in public office and grows in it backed up by the same common teacher.

3.    Ahmsta Kebzeh (Tradition of the Elite). This is the part of Kebzeh the explorers from the West, starting from early fifteenth century, called The Caucasian Yoga. The teaching and training of Ahmsta Kebzeh was given exclusively to the children of the ruling class, and in exceptional cases to anybody who was deemed to be ready - in human evolution - to receive it, by the Source of the teaching.

Although this a short introduction to Kebzeh and it is not possible to go into detailed explanations within the scope of it, as I didn't in the preceding two paragraphs, I shall give a little more explanation on Ahmsta Kebzeh to be able to give some idea of what really it is about.

Ahmsta Kebzeh

Ahmsta Kebzeh is the science of processing human being to the level of enabling him to activate and use his utmost human faculties without limit. Every human being subjected to this processing in the right way and under the right coaching can reach certain levels of attainment according to his ability, effort, perseverance, and can come so much closer to enjoy abundant life as long as he lives on this planet.

The life in this Universe came to existence as a reflection of a creative power which is the source of everything, and which exists without beginning and without end. This power is electromagnetic in nature with an intelligence and will of its own. Because it is electromagnetic in nature it manifests itself in vibrations. Every single thing or form of life in existence, exists in an entity of vibration peculiar in frequency and length of wave to this thing or form of life; and this particular vibration makes its determination in Cosmic Mind and manifestation in the material Universe at the same time simultaneously and remains constant.

This Creative power, electromagnetic in nature, establishes its connection and relationships with all existing entities through a phenomenon electrochemical in nature (DNA).

Once an entity comes to existence with a vibration peculiar to potential manifestation of self it enters the World of Creation and starts its cycle of evolution. Every entity which came to existence in creation evolves until ultimately the end of its evolution comes to be One with the very thing it originated from. Evolution takes place in two areas of existence, 1) Material Area, 2) Mental Area, and completes itself in material first in a comparatively short time, namely some two to three million years, after which mental part of evolution continues until becoming one with Cosmic Mind or, in slightly other words, Cosmic intelligence, and gains the consciousness of Absolute Being which has a WILL of its own.

This cycle of evolution is taking place in everything existing in the World, but from this point on I shall take into consideration only man - and whenever I use the word man I mean human being, that is, man or woman, and I shall beg it to be understood as such.

Man has completed his material evolution some one million years ago. Although, while he was in the process of this evolution in matter his mental evolution also was processing, evolution of human body to its highest material manifestation was completed, and now for these one million years he is in the process of evolving in consciousness.

When speaking of Cosmic consciousness we are by definition speaking of infinite, and consequently, since the destination of the evolution of human consciousness is ultimately Cosmic consciousness (Christ consciousness),  there is no limit to it. This is exactly what is being meant when speaking of the predestination of Man in the first chapter of the epistle to the Ephesians in the New Testament.  Eph. 1:3-12.

Human body having completed its evolution, became a perfect home for Cosmic Mind, human nervous system altogether becoming the very living-room of it, workshop of it, classroom of it and creative studio of it, and it shall have a chance of being revealed and reflected if necessary edification and culture for that is deliberated. It is exactly this deliberation job which is the science which is called Ahmsta Kebzeh.

Application of Ahmsta Kebzeh consists of a long series of physical and mental exercises having for aim developing human nervous system as a better home for mind.

It goes without mentioning that in an introductory presentation of a system we cannot cover the content in its full comprehension. Suffice it to say that Ahmsta Kebzeh is an applied science in all its magnitude and can only be known and learned by entering into it in full commitment.

There is a question frequently and unanimously asked about it, which is, is Ahmsta Kebzeh a religion?  I thought it might be useful to answer this question, just in case it may occur. And the answer is no, Ahmsta Kebzeh is not a religion and does not interfere with any existing religion. It is an Applied Science; it is the art of living as a human being fully exercising human faculties as applied to life. But religions can be made out of it.

I think to say anything more on Ahmsta Kebzeh after this point will enter into the teaching and training of it and will be beyond the level of introduction. But if any questions arise in any level I shall be happy to answer them.


* The Abkhazian Book of Longevity and Well Being - 1999 Kebzeh Publications



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