The word samadhi literally means sama and dhi – Sama means equanimous and dhi means the buddhi or intellect. If you reach that kind of equanimous state of intellect, it is known as samadhi. The word samadhi has been largely misunderstood. People think samadhi means some death-like situation. The word samadhi literally means sama and dhi – sama means equanimous and dhi means the buddhi or intellect. If you reach that kind of equanimous state of intellect, it is known as samadhi. The basic functioning of the intellect is always to set things apart. It is because intellect is...Read More
Byline: Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
Questioner: Sadhguru, why are women not being allowed into certain temples? For example, now with the Shani temple. Why this discrimination? Sadhguru: At Linga Bhairavi, men are not allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum, but they never protest. They are married and domesticated – they have been trained not to protest against anything (laughter). It needs to be understood that these temples are not places of prayer – they are different types of energies. Since we are aware that the planets in the solar system have an impact upon our physiology, our psychological structure, and the context of our...Read More
In Indian tradition, Shiva has many forms, each of which represents a powerful possibility for inner evolution. Sadhguru looks at a few of these, and explains the basis underlying each of them. Bholenath Shiva is always seen as a very powerful being, and at the same time, as one who is not so crafty with the world. So, one form of Shiva is known as Bholenath, because he is childlike. “Bholenath” means the innocent or even the ignorant. You will find that most intelligent people are very easily taken for a ride because they cannot subject their intelligence to petty things. A very low level of intelligence that is crafty and shrewd can easily outsmart an intelligent person in the world. That may mean something in terms of money or society, but it doesn’t mean anything in terms of life. When we say intelligence, we are not looking at just being smart. We are looking at allowing that dimension which makes life happen, to be in full flow. Shiva is like this too. It is not that he is stupid, but he does not care to use intelligence in all those petty ways. Nataraja Sadhguru: Natesha or Nataraja, Shiva as the Lord of Dance, is one of the most significant forms of Shiva. When I visited CERN in Switzerland, which is the physics laboratory on the planet, where all...Read More
Pilgrimages have been an essential part of the spiritual quest since time immemorial. Sadhguru looks at the significance and purpose behind going on a pilgrimage. What is the difference between travel, a journey and a pilgrimage? People move from one place to another for a variety of reasons. There are explorers who are always looking for virgin land that they want to put their footprint on. They want to prove something. There are travelers who are curious to see everything, so they travel. There are tourists who just go to relax. There are other kinds of tourists who just go to escape from their work or family. But a pilgrim is not going for any of these purposes. A pilgrimage is not a conquest, it is a surrender. It is a way of getting yourself out of the way. If you do not budge, it is a way of wearing yourself out. A process of destroying all that is limited and compulsive and arriving to a boundless state of consciousness. Subduing Who You Are The very idea behind a pilgrimage is fundamentally to subdue the sense of who you are. It is to become nothing in the process of just walking and climbing and subjecting yourself to various arduous processes of nature. In the ancient past, to get to such places, a person had to go through a certain...Read More
The only problem that I have with people is that they lack the needed intensity. If they were intense enough, we would not have to work towards the ultimate for a lifetime – today, the work could be done. The moment of death or the possibility of death is the most intense experience in most human beings’ lives. Most of them would have never touched that level of intensity throughout their lives. In their love, in their laughter, in their joy, in their ecstasy, in their misery – nowhere else do they touch that level of intensity – only in death. Because of that, Shiva went and sat in the cremation ground or kayanta, waiting. Kaya means “body,” anta means “ending.” Kayanta means “where the body ends” – not “where life ends.” It is a kayanta, not a jeevanta. All that you picked up on the planet, you have to leave behind. If you have lived in such a way that your body is all you know, then the moment when you have to shed it becomes the most intense moment of your life. If you know something beyond the body, it is not of great significance. For one who has realized the nature of who he is and what he is, kayanta is not such a great moment. It is just one more moment, that’s all. But for...Read More
In the yogic astronomy, we divide the orbit of the Earth around the Sun into 27 segments, called nakshatras. Each nakshatra is further divided into four equal sectors called padas or steps. Multiply 4 by 27 and it equals 108. These 108 units mark the 108 steps that the Earth takes through space. Each nakshatra corresponds to one half of the lunar orbit around the Earth. The cycles within the human body respond and correspond to that. In a woman’s body, there are very obvious cycles of 27.55 days if she is perfectly healthy. In a man’s body, the cycles are less obvious and pronounced – they happen in a different way and are of a larger span of time. In any case, these cycles are happening all the time in the solar system and the larger universe. The microcosm and the macrocosm both are playing the same game. But who should play whose game? If you think the macrocosm is going to play your game, you will waste your life. If you play the macrocosm’s game, your life will be beyond your expectations. The Cycle of Four Yugas The precession (caused by gradual rotation of the Earth’s axis) of the equinoxes is the period of time that it takes the Earth’s axis to pass through one complete cycle of the zodiac. It takes the planet 72 years to...Read More
Indian culture has been among the few cultures on this planet – if you look at it in terms of its geographical size, probably the only one of such size – where for thousands of years, the whole population was focused only on the ultimate wellbeing of the human being. The immediate, material wellbeing was just handled as a small part of one’s life. The moment you were born in India, your life was not about your business, your wife, your husband or your family; your life was only about mukti. Every aspect of life was about your liberation. The whole society was structured like this. So, they naturally wanted to use every possible device they could create, every possible situation in life, to enhance this process. If you got married according to the traditional rites, the priest at the ceremony was telling you just this: this union of you and your spouse is not important. It was not about you getting married. Both of you meet and make use of this for your ultimate union. You got married because you have some compulsions within you, you are not free of them yet, but you use them as a tool for your ultimate wellbeing so that you reach towards the Ultimate. Everything was just about that. In this context, many kinds of powerful devices were created in this culture....Read More
Indian culture is the most complex and colorful culture on the planet. You will see, the way people look, their language and food, their way of dressing, music and dance, everything is different every 50 or 100 kilometers in the country. One place where you can really see the complexity of this culture is the Kumbha Mela. During the Maha Kumbha Mela in 2001, 60 million people gathered in Allahabad. I have never had a longing to go to such places, but there was so much talk happening, so, to see a grand event of unimaginable scale, I decided to drive there from Coimbatore. It is one the most incredible sights in the world. I went there at around 2AM and all kinds of people from different parts of the country were there sitting around. They had no place to sleep, so they had little fires going with their own song and dance, culture and language. The worst and the best of humanity landed up there – every kind of crook who wants to try his hand, but also many yogis of great accomplishment. People have been meeting like this for thousands of years. It is a tradition and a culture that you cannot kill, and it has a certain social relevance. But it also has a certain spiritual strength. The earth and moon journey in cycles. Everybody is...Read More
Before you attempt anything that is considered as a mystical process, it is very important to stabilize the five fundamental elements within you. These are known as pancha bhutas or maha tatwas in the yogic science. The body, the very earth, the universe, and the cosmos, all are just a play of five elements. The body’s composition is such that most of it is water. Then there is earth, air, fire, and the rest is akash or etheric space. How these five elements behave within you determines just about everything. Bhuta means element, bhuta shuddhi means to become free from the taint of elements or to cleanse the elements. It means to become free from the physical nature. Most human beings are completely in the grip of their physiological and psychological processes. Our physiology is something that we have accumulated. Likewise, the whole content of our psychological process has been accumulated in the form of impressions. Between these two processes, who you are existentially, the nature of your being, is completely missed. If you want to access dimensions that are not yet in your experience, dimensions that are considered mystical, the first thing that you need to do is to start cleansing the five elements within you. When the elements are pure, you distinctly know the difference between what is physical, what is psychological, and what is existential. Tips...Read More
There are many aspects to the usage of vibhuti or sacred ash. First of all, it is a great medium to transfer or transmit energy, and it has an ability to help direct and control the energy body. Apart from that, there is a symbolic significance to applying it on the body. It is a constant reminder of the mortal nature of life – it is like you are always wearing mortality on your body. Normally, yogis use the ash that they pick up from the cremation grounds as vibhuti. If this ash cannot be used, the next alternative is to use cow dung. There are other substances used but the basic material, the body of it, is cow dung. If even this ash cannot be used, the next alternative is to make it of rice husk. This is indicative that the body is not the core substance, it is just the husk. Why do we use sacred ash? Unfortunately, in many places it has become a scandalous business where they are just giving a certain white rock powder as sacred ash. But if it is properly prepared and you know where and how to apply it, sacred ash makes you much more receptive; and the place where you apply it on your body becomes more sensitive and goes towards the higher nature. So, before you step out of...Read More
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