Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev     690 posts


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' Yoga and the Mind '

The whole process of yoga is to transcend the limitations of the mind. As long as you are in the mind, you are ruled by the past, because mind is just an accumulation of the past. If you are looking at life only through the mind, then you will make your future just like the past, nothing more, nothing less. Isn’t the world enough proof of that? It does not matter what opportunities come our way through science, technology and many other things, aren’t we repeating the same historical scenes again and again?

If you take a closer look at your own life, you will see the same repetition happening, because as long as you are functioning only through the prism of the mind, you are functioning only with the old data. The past is carried only in your mind. Only because your mind is active, past exists. Suppose all your mind ceases right now, is your past here? There is no past here, only present. The reality is only present, but past exists through our minds. Or in other words, mind is karma. If you transcend the mind, you transcend the karmic bondage altogether. If you want to solve them one by one, it may take a million years. In the process of solving, you are also building new stock of karma.

Your old stock of karma is not the problem at all. You should learn how not to create new stock. That is the main thing. Old stock will wear out by itself; no big things need to be done about it. But the fundamental thing is you learn how not to create new stock. Then, leaving the old stock is very simple.

If you transcend the mind, you transcend the karmic bondage also, completely. You don’t really have to work it out because when you are playing with your karmas, you are playing with the non-existent. It is a trap of the mind. The past does not exist, but you are dealing with the non-existent, going about as if it is a reality. That is the whole illusion. Mind is the basis of this. If you transcend the mind, you transcend everything in one stroke.

The whole effort of spiritual sciences has always been how to transcend the mind, how to look at life beyond the limitations of the mind. Many people have defined yoga in many different ways. People say, “If you become one with the universe, it is yoga.” “If you go beyond yourself, it is yoga.” “If you are no longer subject to the laws of the physical, it is yoga.” All these things are fine and fantastic definitions, there is nothing wrong with them, but in terms of your experience, you cannot relate to them. Someone said, “If you become one with God, you are in yoga.” You don’t know where you are. You don’t know where God is. How to become one?

But Patanjali nailed it this way – “To rise above the modifications of your mind, when you cease your mind, when you cease to be a part of your mind, that is yoga.” All the influences of the world are entering you only through the instrument of the mind. If you can rise beyond the influence of your mind in full awareness, then you are naturally one with everything. The separation – you and me, time and space – has come only because of the mind. It is a bondage of the mind. If you drop the mind, you have dropped time and space. There is no such thing as this and that. There is no such thing as here and there. There is no such thing as now and then. Everything is here and now.

If you rise above all the modifications and manifestations of the mind, then you can play with the mind whichever way you want. You can use your mind with devastating impact in your life, but if you are in it, you will never realize the nature of the mind.

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You shouldn’t keep eating through the day. If you are below thirty years of age, three meals a day will fit well into your life. If you are over thirty, it is best to reduce it to two meals a day. Our body and brain work at their best only when the stomach is empty. Be conscious and eat in such a way that within two-and-a-half hours, the food moves out of the stomach bag, and within twelve to eighteen hours, it is completely out of the system. If you maintain this simple awareness, you will experience much more energy, agility and alertness.

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The Guru-shishya paramparya thrived and flourished for thousands of years in India. In this culture, when there was a need to convey subtle and powerful knowledge, it was always done in an atmosphere of utter trust, dedication, and intimacy between the Guru (Master) and the shishya (disciple).

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If you do not know how to keep yourself, you will definitely not know how to keep the world. So, don’t worry about your duty, see how to nurture yourself to the highest possible level.

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Looking good is not important. Is life a great experience for you or not? This is what is important. This shift in values must happen.

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Excerpted from Sadhguru’s opening discourse with the Hata Yoga students on July 23, 2013.

On Guru Pournami, we kicked off our 2nd annual Hata Yoga Teacher Training program at the ashram. It is wonderful to see over 85 people from different parts of the world come for this intense training for the next 21 weeks, and to acquaint themselves with Hata Yoga in its classical format.

Yoga means many things to many people. One thing is, it is a sure way to avoid going to hell. Because even if they send you to hell, you will think you are in heaven after Hata Yoga. Nobody can ever torture you again. (Laughter) It is not a small freedom. Hata is a phenomenal science – it is a way of building a platform. When I say a platform – your body, mind and energy system are essentially a platform to experience life. The question is just about how profound your experience of life is.

Changing your chemistry by whatever means is not the most profound thing. If you change your chemistry either by yoga or bhoga, you will have pleasant experiences. Looking for pleasantness itself is not a very profound thing. To build a system which is capable of handling all dimensions of life as an experience – where no experience will break this system, no experience will mess up this energy – is what Hata means. Ha-ta means to bring a certain cohesiveness between the two major players who make this body – the sun and the moon. Every moment of our life, everything that we do is being controlled by these two forces. Forget about asanas, take something as simple as walking – the volume of physical laws involved in walking is too complex for anybody to understand. If you take away a drop of fluid from your ears, which is playing a crucial role in keeping your balance, suddenly you cannot stand. Your legs may be strong, but still they will be no good because to walk on a round planet – which is spinning and travelling at a tremendous speed – involves too many forces.

Hata Yoga is a way of getting beneath these forces so that you use these forces as a way to deepen your experience of life, or to make a larger slice of life available to yourself, because ultimately that is the longing of every human being. It doesn’t matter whether you are running after money, knowledge, wealth or love, essentially, everybody wants to have a larger slice of life. If you want to have it all, if you want to eat the whole pie, you must have a stomach to digest it. That is the most important thing. Classical Hata Yoga is to prepare your body and your mind, and above all, to strengthen your energy system in such a way that your energy body is so strong and stable that it can take any kind of experience. It is capable of handling all this that you call life.

Whether pleasant or unpleasant things happen, Hata Yoga is to develop a system which will turn everything into your well-being. Because what life throws at you, you cannot determine. What you make out of it, you can determine. If this has to happen, you need an appropriate body, mind and energy system, otherwise the ways of life are such it can completely break and destroy you. You may think you are very nice and peaceful, but if somebody does one thing to you, you will crack up.

Another meaning for the word ‘Hata’ is adamant. You are adamant, you are not the kind to give up on anything. It doesn’t matter – there are people who will keep going only if you throw flowers in their path. If you throw filth, they will run away. But you are adamant; it doesn’t matter if life throws flowers or filth, you will go where you want to go. It doesn’t matter what the world does to you. If you want to become like that, Hata Yoga is a good method to get to that place. Hata Yoga is a powerful tool to determine and execute the course of your Destiny.

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Being on the spiritual path does not mean trying to get closer to the Divine – you are seeking to become one with the Divine.

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Celebration is feminine. The feminine is exuberance. And that is how you should be every moment of your life – exuberantly alive.

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In my experience, there is no past, there is no future. Everything simply is.

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Everything is food if you are truly hungry. Everything is poison if you are overfed.

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Devotion is not a concept, ideology, or act – it is an agent of dissolution.

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Handling your life consciously will determine the nature, context, and quality of your life.

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Devotion is not a concept, ideology, or act – it is an agent of dissolution.

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If you stop judging what is important or not and pay full attention to everything, every door in the universe will open for you.

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What hatha yoga does is, if you consciously hold the body in an asana, it can alter the way you think and feel and experience life.

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I am not giving a teaching, I am only giving a method. Do you know the distinction between the two? A teaching can be analyzed and understood. A method has to simply be used. It cannot be analyzed or understood. This is just a method. It does not take much effort. You just constantly see how small a creature you are in this existence.

Look at the mountain and see how small you are, look at the sky and see how small you are. Look at the distance into the sky and see how poor your vision is. Like this, put yourself into the right place. I am not saying depreciate yourself, I am saying be realistic as to who the hell you are in this Creation. You do not have to appreciate or depreciate; you do not have to lie to yourself. Simply see what is your place in the existence and constantly keep reminding yourself, “This is all I am, a speck of nothing in nothing.” Who the hell you are, what you think of yourself, your greatness – these do not mean anything. Even if you disappear tomorrow morning, the whole world will be fine. This is so for you, this is so for me, this is so for everyone. The more people do not understand this, the more idiotic their lives will be. The more they come to terms with it, the more intelligently they will live.

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This is a journey from untruth to truth. The key to victory lies in knowing that who you are is beyond this body and mind.

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Dussehra – Devotion and Reverence

Of the many things that we are in touch with, of the many things that contribute in making and creating our lives, the most important devices that we employ in making a success of our lives are our own body and mind. Being in reverence towards the very earth that you walk upon, towards the air that you breathe, the water that you drink, the food that you eat, the people that you come in touch with and everything else that you use, including your body and mind, will lead us to a different possibility as to how we can live. Being in a state of reverence and devotion towards all these aspects is a way of ensuring success in every endeavor that we partake in.

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Yoga is not about going to heaven. It is about making a heaven out of yourself.

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Namaskaram Sadhguru. You have said that you are in a hurry, and that you would like to work with people towards different possibilities. What can we do?

Sadhguru: The first and the foremost thing is iccha. Iccha means a strong aspiration or desire. If iccha is not strong enough, whenever a small difficulty comes your way, you will take the sideline. This will happen if you trek in the mountains. On our last trek to Kailash, we went through the Manang Valley to Thorong La, via the Thorong La Pass. It is about 18,000 feet, sixty degree slopes. When you start climbing, your mind says, “Manang Valley is beautiful enough! Do we really have to go through that pass? It looks desolate up there. Everything is rocky, not a spot of green. But here in the Manang Valley, it is nice and full of flowers.” In your life, this will always be the trick of the mind. Those who rise beyond this trick go places – others will have a snack and sleep. Whether it is spirituality, business, music, art – or whatever – this will come when you pitch beyond your limits. Your mind says, “Is it really necessary? It is nice here, where is the need to go up the mountain?”

The first thing is to create an aspiration. “I want to know, I want to know, I want to know.” It must bother you from within. If the aspiration does not bother you, seeking will not take you beyond limitations because every human being has them. “Will I cross these limitations or succumb to them?” That is the question. Instead, people are asking, “What is the point, what will I achieve?” It is not an achievement. There is a very beautiful video about how a plant grows – all that the roots do to find nourishment and throw out one flower or fruit. Somebody filmed it and it is played on fast forward so you can see what the roots do just to survive and flourish. This struggle and this wanting to be something more than what you are is not because of a teaching – this is the very nature of life. In every sphere of life, human beings have strived. It is only because of the striving of a few human beings that you are enjoying many things in terms of science, technology, geography and spirituality. Many died trying, few made it. It is because of those few people that many things have happened on the planet.


The spiritual process is the same thing – is it hard? It is not hard, but if you are a hard nut, it is hard. The hardness is not in the spiritual process; the hardness is within you. If the aspiration becomes a burning aspiration, leave the rest to me, I will tell you what to do step by step. But if the aspiration is wavering every day, how to work? If I wanted to just initiate people into a simple fifteen or twenty minute meditation process, we could have done that; that is very simple. But somebody with fire can be taken to the ultimate goal. My intent is not that everybody is happy, healthy and sleeping comfortably. I want them to burn with a different light! Whether you live for thirty, ninety or one hundred years is not important to me. What is important is, “Did you access the Divine in your life? Did you burn with a light beyond flesh and bone?” This must happen to you in your life, otherwise what is the point? In this flesh and bone, even if you live for one hundred years, you will still have the same issues, believe me. More painful issues, that is all!

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If you look at the Earth from another part of the universe, we are celestial beings. It’s just a question of perspective.

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Only if intelligence, sensitivity, and perception become the most valued aspects of life, will there be gender equality.

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In Yoga, big experiences only serve a single purpose – to keep you on the path.

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The need for meaning is only of the mind. Life has no need for meaning. You are alive – that’s beautiful, and that’s it.

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My whole work is to empower people to go ahead, not follow me.

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A seeker does not aspire to meet the Divine but to become the Divine.

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