Sadhguru : Mysticism means exploring dimensions that are not
yet in your understanding or perception. To explore
those dimensions together, there are various types
of rituals, which are beautiful, but if not conducted
with absolute integrity, they can easily become
exploitative. Ritual means not just doing pooja. This
used to be a land with complex and phenomenal
rituals, but due to lack of integrity and misuse, these
rituals largely got wiped out.
For example, Kashi is the oldest living city on the
planet. Mark Twain said, “Benares is older than
history, older than tradition, older even than legend,
and looks twice as old as all of them put together.”
Even Shiva, the Adiyogi, got so enamored with this
city that he did not want to leave it anymore. Earlier,
he used to live at Kailash and the surrounding region,
but then he married a princess. She needed better
accommodation. So he came down to Badrinath,
and built a small home there. But after some time,
he was dispossessed of his home.
Shiva and Parvati had settled in Badrinath because
of its hot spring. Their small dwelling was at about
10,800 feet above mean sea level, so the climate was
cold. One day, they went to have bath in the hot
spring. When they came back, there was a beautiful
looking infant outside their doorstep. Parvati always
had a problem with the fact that she could not have
children because Shiva did not have human seeds,
and she being human could not contain his seed. Out
of her desperation, she created Ganapati, and from
what was left of six children, she made Karthikeya.
When she saw this wonderful baby at their doorstep,
her maternal instincts took over and she went to
pick up the child. Shiva said, ‘”Wait. Don’t touch
this baby. An infant that lands up at nearly 11,000
feet MSL all by himself is not a good infant. There is
nobody around; no footprints of the parents in the
snow. Why does this fellow land up at our doorstep
by himself? Just throw him away.” Parvati said,
“How can you say this? This is the most beautiful
baby I have ever seen!” And she took the baby into
the house. The next day, after coming back from
their bath, the baby had bolted the door from inside
and did not let these two people in. Parvati said,
“How can the baby bolt the door?” If a baby can land
up at 11,000 feet, the damn baby can do anything.
Shiva said, “Well, we will have to vacate the place.
Let’s move on.” Parvati said, “But this is our house.”
“It may have been our house, but since we let the
wrong people in, it is not ours anymore. Let’s go.”
They moved to Kantisarovar, which is at 12,700 feet.
This baby who locked himself inside and
dispossessed Shiva of his home was Vishnu, who
thought, “What does it matter for an ascetic yogi if
he is here or there? It is all the same for Shiva, but
for me it matters. I want to be here.” Shiva knew
that, and that is why they moved to Kantisarovar,
close to Kedar. Later on, one winter got bad, even at
Kantisarovar. From Kailash, he had come down to
Manasarovar, then moved to Badrinath, and later on
to Kedarnath – still the princess complained of the
cold and the desolation of the place.
Shiva decided that in winter, they would move to
Kashi. Who would have thought someone could
plan such a fabulous city 12,000–15,000 years ago.
It was a most fantastic plan – layers and layers of
urban development. The highest level of talent
in spirituality, science, mathematics, music, and
astronomy all gathered in one place. It became
the city of learning and of dispensing knowledge.
Shiva enjoyed the intellectual vigor, the music,
the company of people, and the way the city was
designed. He fell in love with Kashi and did not
want to leave anymore.
There is a story of how, when Shiva was about to
come to Kashi, king Diyo Dutta did not want him to
enter the city because he knew if Shiva was there,
he would not be the single point of focus anymore.
He said, “A king can rule the city only if everyone
looks up to him only. If you want me to rule the city,
Shiva should not come. If he comes, I will leave.”
Shiva sent two ganasto the city to see how to get
rid of this king. However, they fell so much in love
with Kashi that they established themselves just
outside the city and never went back. They did
not have the guts to go to Shiva and say, “We love
the city too much.” Shiva sent two more – they
never came back either. Today, at the four corners
of Kashi, there are four gana sthanas, where these
four guys settled. Then he sent Ganapati – he never
came back either. Afterwards, he sent Kubera – he
never came back. Finally, he decided to go himself,
and he did not want to go back either. All this is
being said to tell you how beautiful this city was.
When Agastya Muni was asked to leave Kashi and
go south, he cried and wrote a heartrending poem,
running into hundreds of stanzas, about the beauty
of the city and the pain of leaving.
There is a whole lot of science behind how they
established certain aspects of the city. But Kashi is
not what it used to be anymore. It has become quite
a decadent place – filthy as can be. And above all,
the superstructure of the city has been broken. The
center of Kashi was a powerful energy form, which
created a tower of light. So many sages and saints
have talked about the tower of light, and about the
actual Kashi being an energy form above the city.
Even today, that part is intact, but the base and the
main temple have been broken.
Even if you don’t go to Kashi yourself, just take
a look at its old plan. It was such a complex and
geometrically perfect design. Today all that is
broken. There are no words to describe what a
bad state the temple is in and how it is managed.
One thing is, there is a lot of armed police around
who are screening and searching everyone because
half or three-fourth of the temple have become a
mosque, and there is constant tension. Once you
have gone through that and you enter the temple,
the priests will get you. Whether you sit or stand
there, they will be shouting for money like in the
old stock markets. Everything that can be wrong
about a temple is wrong there. But one aspect, you
must witness if you have the opportunity – in the
evening around 7:30, there is one particular ritual,
which is called Sapta Rishi Aarti.
After Shiva had transmitted yoga to the Sapta Rishis
and they all had become fully enlightened, he sent
them to different parts of the world to spread this
knowledge. Before they left, they expressed their
anguish, “Now if we go away, probably we will
never get to set our eyes upon you again, physically.
How can we have you with us when we want you?”
Shiva taught them a simple process, which lives on
to this day as Sapta Rishi Aarti, conducted by these
priests who may not know the science behind it, but
they stick to the process. I witnessed how they built
stacks and stacks of energy, just like that.
We could do this here, but this takes a different
kind of skill. These priests neither have the skill
nor the energy, but they have a method – that is
what a ritual is. Even if it is conducted by someone
who is absolutely ignorant, if it is done right, it will
work, because it is a technology. For priests who
have no sadhana and no such energies of their own,
what they build up in this temple in this one hour is
phenomenal. There are yogis who do such things –
that is a different matter – but I have never seen
anything like that anywhere conducted by priests.
After this visit to Kashi, I have some respect for
priests – at least they maintained the process. They
did not keep themselves well, but they kept well
what is of some sanctity to them, and it still works
fantastically. And at night, there is the Shayan Aarti,
which is cute. If you get to witness it, you will know
how loudly you have to put Shiva to sleep.
This is the power of the ritual – you can conduct
it for any number of people, even if they are
ignorant of it. In contrast, doing anything spiritual,
meditative, is in a way safer and cleaner, but you
have to prepare the person. A ritual does not need
preparation – you can do it for the whole town.
It may be a million ignorant people – still, if they
just sit there, we can make them benefit. But unless
the person who performs the ritual has a certain
integrity, rituals become a tool for exploitation.
The best way to approach dimensions of the beyond
is through internal methods and processes, but it
needs a lot of preparation. If you want a quicker
dissemination, there are external technologies and
processes – I would rather call them processes than
rituals. We can make this happen to large groups
of people. But it needs absolute integrity. Only in
the last three years, we brought in rituals at the Isha
Yoga Center, because we have created people of
such integrity that no matter what is given to them,
the focus of their lives will not change.
Whatever external activity you do in your life, it
is meaningful only if it touches people’s lives. If
you can maintain integrity no matter what, we can
offer you wonderful tools through which you can
touch people’s lives in a way that you have never
imagined possible. Once you have such access to
another human being, your hands must be super
clean. If you are sweeping outside, no one will ask
you, “Did you wash your hands?” It is okay if your
hands are not so clean. Suppose you are serving
food, people would like to know if you washed your
hands. Suppose you are inside the temple, we would
like to know if you had a shower. Suppose you have
to conduct a surgery, we definitely want to know if
your hands are cleaned and disinfected.
The more access you have to another human being,
the cleaner you have to be. If “What about me?” is
the biggest question in your mind, you should not
have access to anyone. If this one question does
not arise in your mind, you are free to touch any
being, and you should. Millions of people need this,
because nothing has truly touched them. Without
being touched, the being will not be a being – the
being will just be a body.
from Life after joining Isha Yoga http://ift.tt/1hbK87u