Vigyan Bhairav Tantra Volume 1 Chapter 9
"Techniques for centering"
12 November 1972 pm in Woodlands, Bombay
13. OR, IMAGINE THE FIVE-COLORED CIRCLES OF THE PEACOCK TAIL TO BE YOUR FIVE SENSES IN ILLIMITABLE SPACE. NOW LET THEIR BEAUTY MELT WITHIN. SIMILARLY, AT ANY POINT IN SPACE OR ON A WALL -- UNTIL THE POINT DISSOLVES. THEN YOUR WISH FOR ANOTHER COMES TRUE.
14. PLACE YOUR WHOLE ATTENTION IN THE NERVE, DELICATE AS THE LOTUS THREAD, IN THE CENTER OF YOUR SPINAL COLUMN. IN SUCH BE TRANSFORMED.
Man is born with a center, but he remains completely oblivious of it. Man can live without knowing his center, but man cannot be without a center. The center is the link between man and existence; it is the root. You may not know it, knowledge is not essential for the center to be, but if you do not know it you will lead a life that is rootless -- as if rootless. You will not feel any ground, you will not feel yourself based; you will not feel at home in the universe. You will be homeless.
Of course, the center is there, but by not knowing it your life will be just a drifting -- meaningless, empty, reaching nowhere. You will feel as if you are living without life, drifting, just waiting for death. You can go on postponing from one moment to another, but you know very well that that postponing will lead you nowhere. You are just passing time, and that feeling of deep frustration will follow you like a shadow. Man is born with a center, but not with the knowledge of the center. The knowledge has to be gained.
You have the center. The center is there; you cannot be without it. How can you exist without a center? How can you exist without a bridge between you and existence?... or if you like, the word 'God'. You cannot exist without a deep link. You have roots in the divine. Every moment you live through those roots, but those roots are underground. Just as with any tree, the roots are underground; the tree is unaware of its own roots. You also have roots. That rootedness is your center. When I say man is born with it, I mean it is a possibility that you can become aware of your rootedness. If you become aware, your life becomes actual; otherwise your life will be just like a deep sleep, a dream.
What Abraham Maslow has called "self-actualization" is really nothing but becoming aware of your inner center from where you are linked with the total universe, becoming aware of your roots: you are not alone, you are not atomic, you are part of this cosmic whole. This universe is not an alien world. You are not a stranger, this universe is your home. But unless you find your roots, your center, this universe remains something alien, something foreign.
Sartre says that man lives as if he has been thrown into the world. Of course, if you do not know your center you will feel a thrownness, as if you have been thrown into the world. You are an outsider; you do not belong to this world and this world doesn't belong to you. Then fear, then anxiety, then anguish are bound to result. A man as an outsider in the universe is bound to feel deep anxiety, dread, fear, anguish. His whole life will be just a fight, a struggle, and a struggle which is destined to be a failure. Man cannot succeed because a part can never succeed against the whole.
You cannot succeed against existence. You can succeed with it, but never against it. And that is the difference between a religious man and a non-religious man. A non-religious man is against the universe; a religious man is with the universe. A religious man feels at home. He doesn't feel he has been thrown into the world, he feels he has grown in the world. Remember the difference between being thrown and being grown.
When Sartre says man is thrown into the world, the very word, the very formulation shows that you do not belong. And the word, the choice of the word 'thrown' means that you have been forced without your consent. So this world appears inimical. Then anguish will be the result.
It can be otherwise only if you are not thrown into the world, but you have grown as a part, as an organic part. Really, it would be better to say that you are the universe grown into a particular dimension which we call "human." The universe grows in multi-dimensions -- in trees, in hills, in stars, in planets... in multi-dimensions. Man is also a dimension of growth. The universe is realizing itself through many, many dimensions. Man is also a dimension along with the height and the peak. No tree can become aware of its roots; no animal can become aware of its roots. That is why there is no anxiety for them.
If you are not aware of your roots, of your center, you can never be aware of your death. Death is only for man. It exists only for man because only man can become aware of his roots, aware of his center, aware of his totality and his rootedness in the universe.
If you live without a center, if you feel you are an outsider, then anguish will result. However, if you feel that you are at home, that you are a growth, a realization of the potentiality of the existence itself -- as if existence itself has become aware in you, as if it has gained awareness in you -- if you feel that way, if you really realize that way, the result will be bliss.
Bliss is the result of an organic unity with the universe, and anguish the result of an enmity. But unless you know the center you are bound to feel a thrownness, as if life has been forced upon you. This center which is there, although man is not aware of it, is the concern of these sutras which we will discuss. Before we enter into VIGYANA BHAIRAVA TANTRA and its techniques concerning the center, two or three things more.
One: when man is born he is rooted in a particular spot, in a particular CHAKRA -- center -- and that is the navel. The Japanese call it HARA; hence the term HARA-KIRI. Hara-kiri means suicide. Literally, the term means killing the hara -- the spine, the center. Hara is the center; destroying the center is the meaning of hara-kiri. But in a way, we have all committed hara-kiri. We have not killed the center, but we have forgotten it, or we have never remembered it. It is there waiting, and we have been drifting away and away from it.
When a child is born he is rooted in the navel, in the hara; he lives through the hara. Look at a child breathing -- his navel goes up and down. He breathes with the belly, he lives with the belly -- not with the head, not with the heart. But by and by he will have to drift away.
First he will develop another center -- that is the heart, the center of emotion. He will learn love, he will be loved, and another center will develop. This center is not the real center; this center is a by-product. That is why psychologists say that if a child is not loved, he will never be able to love.
If a child is brought up in a non-loving situation -- a situation which is cold, with no one to love and give warmth -- he himself will never be able in his life to love anyone because the very center will not develop. Mother's love, father's love, family, society -- they help to develop a center. That center is a by-product; you are not born with it. So if it is not being helped to grow, it will not grow. Many, many persons are without the love center. They go on talking about love, and they go on believing that they love, but they lack the center, so how can they love? It is difficult to get a loving mother, and very difficult and rare to get a loving father. Every father, every mother, thinks that he or she loves. It is not so easy. Love is a difficult growth, very difficult. But if love is not there in the beginning for the child, he himself will never be able to love.
That is why the whole humanity lives without love. You go on producing children, but you do not know how to give them a love center. Rather, on the contrary, the more society becomes civilized, the more it forces into being a third center, which is intellect. The navel is the original center. A child is born with it; it is not a by-product. Without it life is impossible, so it is given. The second center is a by-product. If the child gets love, he responds. In this responding, a center grows in him: that is the heart center. The third center is reason, intellect, head. Education, logic and training create a third center; that too is a by-product.
But we live at the third center. The second is almost absent -- or even if it is present, then it is non-functioning; or even if it functions sometimes, it functions irregularly. But the third center, the head, becomes the basic force in life because the whole life depends on this third center. It is utilitarian. You need it for reason, logic, thinking. So everyone becomes, sooner or later, head-oriented; you begin to live in the head.
Head, heart, navel -- these are the three centers. The navel is the given center, the original one. Heart can be developed, and it is good to develop it for many reasons. Reason is necessary to develop also, but reason must not be developed at the cost of the heart -- because if reason is developed at the cost of the heart then you miss the link and you cannot come to the navel again. The development is from reason to existence to being. Let us try to understand it in this way.
The center of the navel is in being; the center of the heart is in feeling; the center of the head is in knowing. Knowing is the farthest from being -- feeling is nearer. If you miss the feeling center, then it is very difficult to create a bridge between reason and being -- really, very difficult. That is why a loving person may realize his at-homeness in the world more easily than a person who lives through intellect.
Western culture has basically emphasized the head center. That is why in the West a deep concern is felt for man. And the deep concern is with his homelessness, his emptiness, his uprootedness. Simone Weil wrote a book, THE NEED FOR ROOTS. Western man feels uprooted, as if with no roots. The reason is because only the head has become the center. The heart has not been trained, it is missing.
The beating of the heart is not your heart, it is just a physiological function. So if you feel the beating, do not misunderstand that you have a heart. Heart is something else. Heart means the capacity to feel; head means the capacity to know. Heart means the capacity to feel, and being means the capacity to be one -- to be one with something... the capacity to be one with something.
Religion is concerned with the being; poetry is concerned with the heart; philosophy and science are concerned with the head. These two centers, heart and head, are peripheral centers, not real centers, just false centers. The real center is the navel, the hara. How to attain it again? Or how to realize it?
Ordinarily it happens only sometimes -- rarely, accidentally it happens -- that you come near the hara. That moment will become a very deep, blissful moment. For example, in sex sometimes you come near the hara, because in sex your mind, your consciousness moves downwards again. You have to leave your head and fall down. In a deep sexual orgasm, sometimes it happens that you are near your hara. That is why there is so much fascination about sex. It is not really sex which gives you the blissful experience, really, it is the hara.
In falling down toward sex you pass through the hara, you touch it. But for modern man even that has become impossible, because for modern man even sex is a cerebral affair, a mental affair. Even sex has gone into the head; he thinks about it. That is why there are so many films, so many novels, so much literature, pornography and the like. Man thinks about sex, but that is absurdity. Sex is an experience; you cannot think about it. And if you start thinking about it, it will be more and more difficult to experience it because it is not a concern of the head at all. Reason is not needed.
And the more modern man feels incapable of going deep in sex, the more he thinks about it. It becomes a vicious circle. And the more he thinks about it, the more it becomes cerebral. Then even sex becomes futile. It has become futile in the West, a repetitive thing, boring. Nothing is gained, you just go on repeating an old habit. And ultimately you feel frustrated -- as if you have been cheated. Why? Because really, the consciousness is not falling back down to the center.
Only when passing through the hara do you feel bliss. So whatsoever may be the cause, whenever you pass through the hara you feel bliss. A warrior on the field fighting sometimes passes through the hara, but not modern warriors because they are not warriors at all. A person throwing a bomb on a city is asleep. He is not a warrior; he is not a fighter; he is not a KSHATRIYA -- not Arjuna fighting.
Sometimes when one is on the verge of death one is thrown back to the hara. For a warrior fighting with his sword, any moment death becomes possible, any moment he may be no more. And when fighting with a sword you cannot think. If you think, you will be no more. You have to act without thinking because thinking needs time; if you are fighting with a sword you cannot think. If you think then the other will win, you will be no more. There is no time to think, and the mind needs time. Because there is no time to think and thinking will mean death, consciousness falls down from the head -- it goes to the hara, and a warrior has a blissful experience. That is why there is so much fascination about war. Sex and war have been two fascinations, and the reason is this: you pass through the hara. You pass through it in any danger.
Nietzsche says, live dangerously. Why? Because in danger you are thrown back to the hara. You cannot think; you cannot work things out with the mind. You have to act immediately.
A snake passes. Suddenly you see the snake and there is a jump. There is no deliberate thinking about it, that "There is a snake." There is no syllogism; you do not argue within your mind, "Now there is a snake and snakes are dangerous, so I must jump." There is no logical reasoning like this. If you reason like this, then you will not be alive at all. You cannot reason. You have to act spontaneously, immediately. The act comes first and then comes thinking. When you have jumped, then you think.
In ordinary life, when there is no danger you think first, then you act. In danger, the whole process is reversed; you act first and then you think. That action coming first without thinking throws you to your original center -- the hara. That is why there is the fascination with danger.
You are driving a car faster and faster and faster, and suddenly a moment comes when every moment is dangerous. Any moment and there will be no life. In that moment of suspense, when death and life are just as near to each other as possible, two points just near and you in between, the mind stops: you are thrown to the hara. That is why there is so much fascination with cars, driving -- fast driving, mad driving. Or you are gambling and you have put everything you have at stake -- the mind stops, there is danger. The next moment you can become a beggar. The mind cannot function; you are thrown to the hara.
Dangers have their appeal because in danger your day-to-day, ordinary consciousness cannot function. Danger goes deep. Your mind is not needed; you become a no-mind. YOU ARE! You are conscious, but there is no thinking. That moment becomes meditative. Really, in gambling, gamblers are seeking a meditative state of mind. In danger -- in a fight, in a duel, in wars -- man has always been seeking meditative states.
A bliss suddenly erupts, explodes in you. It becomes a showering inside. But these are sudden, accidental happenings. One thing is certain: whenever you feel blissful you are nearer the hara. That is certain no matter what the cause; the cause is irrelevant. Whenever you pass near the original center you are filled with bliss.
These sutras are concerned with creating a rootedness in the hara, in the center, scientifically, in a planned way -- not accidentally, not momentarily, but permanently. You can remain continuously in the hara, that can become your rootedness. How to make this so and how to create this are the concerns of these sutras.
Now we will take the first sutra which is another of the ways concerning the point, or center.
13. OR IMAGINE THE FIVE-COLORED CIRCLES OF THE PEACOCK TAIL TO BE YOUR FIVE SENSES IN ILLIMITABLE SPACE. NOW, LET THEIR BEAUTY MELT WITHIN. SIMILARLY, AT ANY POINT IN SPACE OR ON A WALL -- UNTIL THE POINT DISSOLVES. THEN YOUR WISH FOR ANOTHER COMES TRUE.
All these sutras are concerned with how to achieve the inner center. The basic mechanism used, the basic technique used is, if you can create a center outside -- anywhere: in the mind, in the heart, or even outside on a wall -- and if you concentrate totally on it and you bracket out the whole world, you forget the whole world and only one point remains in your consciousness, suddenly you will be thrown to your inner center.
How does it work? First understand this... Your mind is just a vagabond, a wandering. It is never at one point. It is always going, moving, reaching, but never at any point. It goes from one thought to another, from A to B. But it is never at the A; it is never at the B. It is always on the move. Remember this: mind is always on the move, hoping to reach somewhere but never reaching. It cannot reach! The very structure of the mind is movement. It can only move; that is the inherent nature of the mind. The very process is movement -- from A to B, from B to C... it goes on and on.
If you stop at A or B or any point, the mind will fight with you. The mind will say, "Move on," because if you stop the mind dies immediately. It can be alive only in movement. The mind means a process. If you stop and do not move, mind suddenly becomes dead, it is no more there; only consciousness remains.
Consciousness is your nature; mind is your activity -- just like walking. It is difficult because we think mind is something substantial. We think mind is a substance -- it is not, mind is just an activity. So it is really better to call it "minding" than mind. It is a process just like walking. Walking is a process, if you stop, there is no walking. You have legs, but no walking. Legs can walk, but if you stop then legs will be there but there will be no walking.
Consciousness is like legs -- your nature. Mind is like walking -- just a process. When consciousness moves from one place to another, this process is mind. When consciousness moves from A to B, from B to C, this movement is mind. If you stop the movement, there is no mind. You are conscious, but there is no mind. You have legs, but no walking. Walking is a function, an activity; mind is also a function, an activity.
If you stop at any point, the mind will struggle. The mind will say, "Go on!" The mind will try in every way to push you forward or backward or anywhere -- but, "Go on!" Anywhere will do, but do not stay at one point.
If you insist and if you do not obey the mind... it is difficult because you have always obeyed. You have never ordered the mind; you have never been masters. You cannot be because, really, you have never disidentified yourself from the mind. You think you are the mind. This fallacy that you are the mind gives the mind total freedom, because then there is no one to master it, to control it. There is no one! Mind itself becomes the master. It may become the master, but that mastery is just seemingly so. Try once and you can break that mastery -- it is false.
Mind is just a slave pretending to be the master, but it has pretended so long, for lives and lives, that even the master believes that the slave is the master. That is just a belief. Try the contrary and you will know that that belief was totally unfounded.
This first sutra says, IMAGINE THE FIVE-COLORED CIRCLE OF THE PEACOCK TAIL TO BE YOUR FIVE SENSES IN ILLIMITABLE SPACE. NOW LET THEIR BEAUTY MELT WITHIN. Think that your five senses are five colors, and those five colors are filling the whole space. Just imagine your five senses are five colors -- beautiful colors, alive, extended into infinite space. Then move within with those colors. Move within and feel a center where all these five colors are meeting within you. This is just imagination, but it helps. Just imagine these five colors penetrating within you and meeting at a point.
Of course, these five colors will meet at a point: the whole world will dissolve. In your imagination there are only five colors -- just like around the tail of a peacock -- spread all over space, going deep within you, meeting at a point. Any point will do, but the hara is the best. Think that they are meeting at your navel -- that the whole world has become colors, and those colors are meeting at your navel. See that point, concentrate on that point, and concentrate until the point dissolves. If you concentrate on the point it dissolves, because it is just imagination. Remember, whatsoever we have done is imagination. If you concentrate on it, it will dissolve. And when the point dissolves, you are thrown to your center.
The world has dissolved. There is no world for you. In this meditation there is only color. You have forgotten the whole world; you have forgotten all the objects. You have chosen only five colors. Choose any five colors. This is particularly for those who have a very keen eye, a very deep color sensitivity. This meditation will not be helpful to everyone. Unless you have a painter's eye, a color consciousness, unless you can imagine color, it is difficult.
Have you ever observed that your dreams are colorless? Only one person in a hundred is capable of seeing colored dreams. You see just black and white. Why? The whole world is colored and your dreams are colorless. If one of you remembers that his dreams are colored, this meditation is for him. If someone remembers even sometimes that he sees colors in his dreams, then this meditation will be for him.
If you say to a person who is insensitive to color, "Imagine the whole space filled with colors," he will not be able to imagine. Even if he tries to imagine, if he thinks, "Red," he will see the word `red', he will not see the color. He will say, "Green," and the word `green' will be there, but there will be no greenness.
So if you have a color sensitivity, then try this method. There are five colors. The whole world is just colors and those five colors are meeting in you. Deep down somewhere in you, those five colors are meeting. Concentrate on that point, and go on concentrating on it. Do not move from it; remain at it. Do not allow the mind. Do not try to think about green and red and yellow and about colors -- do not think. Just see them meeting in you. Do not think about them! If you think, the mind has moved. Just be filled with colors meeting in you, and then at the meeting point, concentrate. Do not think! Concentration is not thinking; it is not contemplation.
If you are really filled with colors and you have become just a rainbow, a peacock, and the whole space is filled with colors, it will give you a deep feeling of beauty. But do not think about it; do not say it is beautiful. Do not move in thinking. Concentrate on the point where all these colors are meeting and go on concentrating on it. It will disappear, it will dissolve, because it is just imagination. And if you force concentration, imagination cannot remain there, it will dissolve.
The world has dissolved already; there were only colors. Those colors were your imagination. Those imaginative colors were meeting at a point. That point, of course, was imaginary -- and now, with deep concentration, that point will dissolve. Where are you now? Where will you be? You will be thrown to your center.
Objects have dissolved through imagination. Now imagination will dissolve through concentration. You alone are left as a subjectivity. The objective world has dissolved; the mental world has dissolved. You are there only as pure consciousness.
That is why this sutra says: AT ANY POINT IN SPACE OR ON A WALL... This will help. If you cannot imagine colors, then any point on the wall will help. Take anything just as an object of concentration. If it is inner it is better, but again, there are two types of personalities. For those who are introvert, it will be easy to conceive of all the colors meeting within. But there are extroverts who cannot conceive of anything within. They can imagine only the outside. Their minds move only on the outside; they cannot move in. For them there is nothing like innerness.
The English philosopher David Hume has said, "Whenever I go in, I never meet any self. All that I meet are only reflections of the outside world -- a thought, some emotion, some feeling. I never meet the innerness, I only meet the outside world reflected in." This is the extrovert mind par excellence, and David Hume is one of the most extrovert minds.
So if you cannot feel anything within, and if the mind asks, "What does this innerness mean? How to go in?" then try any point on the wall instead. There are persons who come to me and ask how to go in. It is a problem, because if you know only outgoing-ness, if you know only outward movements, it is difficult to imagine how to go in.
If you are an extrovert then do not try this point inside, try it outside. The same will be the result. Make a dot on the wall; concentrate on it. Then you will have to concentrate on it with open eyes. If you are creating a center inside, a point within, then you will have to concentrate with closed eyes.
Make a point on a wall and concentrate on it. The real thing happens because of concentration, not because of the point. Whether it is out or in is irrelevant. It depends on you. If you are looking at the outside wall, concentrating on it, then go on concentrating until the point dissolves. That has to be noted: UNTIL THE POINT DISSOLVES! Do not blink your eyes, because blinking gives a space for the mind to move again. Do not blink, because then the mind starts thinking. It becomes a gap; in the blinking, the concentration is lost. So no blinking.
You might have heard about Bodhidharma, one of the greatest masters of meditation in the whole history of humankind. A very beautiful story is reported about him.
He was concentrating on something -- something outward. His eyes would blink and the concentration would be lost, so he tore off his eyelids. This is a beautiful story: he tore off his eyelids, threw them away, and concentrated. After a few weeks, he saw some plants growing on the spot where he had thrown his eyelids. This anecdote happened on a mountain in China, and the mountain's name is Tah, or Ta. Hence, the name `tea'. Those plants which were growing became tea, and that is why tea helps you to be awake.
When your eyes are blinking and you are falling down into sleep, take a cup of tea. Those are Bodhidharma's eyelids. That is why Zen monks consider tea to be sacred. Tea is not any ordinary thing, it is sacred -- Bodhidharma's eyelids. In Japan they have tea ceremonies, and every house has a tea room, and the tea is served with religious ceremony; it is sacred. Tea has to be taken in a very meditative mood.
Japan has created beautiful ceremonies around tea drinking. They will enter the tea room as if they are entering a temple. Then the tea will be made, and everyone will sit silently listening to the samovar bubbling. There is the steam, the noise, and everyone just listening. It is no ordinary thing... Bodhidharma's eyelids. And because Bodhidharma was trying to be awake with open eyes, tea helps. Because the story happened on the mountain of Tah, it is called tea. Whether true or untrue, this anecdote is beautiful.
If you are concentrating outwardly, then non-blinking eyes will be needed, as if you no longer have eyelids. That is the meaning of throwing away the eyelids. You have only eyes, without eyelids to close them. Concentrating until the point dissolves. If you persist, if you insist and do not allow the mind to move, the point dissolves. And when the point dissolves, if you were concentrated on the point and there was only this point for you in the world, if the whole world had dissolved already, if only this point remained and now the point also dissolves, then the consciousness cannot move anywhere. There is no object to move to -- all the dimensions are closed. The mind is thrown to itself, the consciousness is thrown to itself, and you enter the center.
So whether in or out, within or without, concentrate until the point dissolves. This point will dissolve for two reasons. If it is within, it is imaginary -- it will dissolve. If it is outside, it is not imaginary, it is real. You have made a dot on the wall and have concentrated on it. Then why will this dot dissolve? One can understand it dissolving inside -- it was not there at all; you just imagined it -- but on the wall it is there, so why will it dissolve?
It dissolves for a certain reason. If you concentrate on a point, the point is not really going to dissolve, the mind dissolves. If you are concentrating on an outer point, the mind cannot move. Without movement it cannot live, it dies, it stops. And when the mind stops you cannot be related with anything outward. Suddenly all bridges are broken, because mind is the bridge. When you are concentrating on a point on the wall, constantly your mind is jumping from you to the point, from the point to you, from you to the point. There is a constant jumping; there is a process.
When the mind dissolves you cannot see the point, because really, you never see the point through the eyes: you see the point through the mind AND through the eyes. If the mind is not there, the eyes cannot function. You may go on staring at the wall, but the point will not be seen. The mind is not there; the bridge is broken. The point is real -- it is there. When the mind will come back, you will see it again; it is there. But now you cannot see it. And when you cannot see, you cannot move out. Suddenly, you are at your center.
This centering will make you aware of your existential roots. You will know from where you are joined to the existence. In you, there is a point which is related with the total existence, which is one with it. Once you know this center, you know you are at home. This world is not alien. You are not an outsider. You are an insider, you belong to the world. There is no need of any struggle, there is no fight. There is no inimical relationship between you and the existence. The existence becomes your mother.
It is the existence that has come into you and that has become aware. It is the existence that has flowered in you. This feeling, this realization, this happening... and there can be no anguish again.
Then bliss is not a phenomenon; it is not something that happens and then goes. Then blissfulness is your very nature. When one is rooted in one's center, blissfulness is natural. One happens to be blissful, and by and by one even becomes unaware that one is blissful, because awareness needs contrast. If you are miserable, then you can feel it when you are blissful. When misery is no more, by and by you forget misery completely. And you forget your bliss also. And only when you can forget your bliss also are you really blissful. Then it is natural. As stars are shining, as rivers are flowing, so are you blissful. Your very being is blissful. It is not something that has happened to you: now it IS YOU.
With the second sutra, the mechanism is the same, the scientific basis is the same, the working structure is the same:
14. PLACE YOUR WHOLE ATTENTION IN THE NERVE, DELICATE AS THE LOTUS THREAD, IN THE CENTER OF YOUR SPINAL COLUMN. IN SUCH BE TRANSFORMED.
For this sutra, for this technique of meditation, one has to close his eyes and visualize his spinal column, his backbone. It is good to look up in some physiology book the structure of the body, or to go to some medical college or hospital and look at the structure of the body. Then close your eyes and visualize your backbone. Let the backbone be straight, erect. Visualize it, see it, and just in the middle of it visualize a nerve, delicate as the lotus thread, running in the center of your spinal column. IN SUCH BE TRANSFORMED.
If you can, concentrate on the spinal column, and then on a thread in the middle of it -- on a very delicate nerve like a lotus thread running through it. Concentrate on it, and this very concentration throws you to your center. Why?
The spinal column is the base of your whole body structure. Everything is joined to it. Really, your brain is nothing but one pole of your spinal column. Physiologists say it is nothing but a spinal column growth; your brain is really a growth of your spinal column.
Your spine is connected with your whole body -- everything is connected to it. That is why it is called the spine, the base. In this spine there is really a thread-like thing, but physiology will not say anything about it because it is not material. In this spine, just in the middle, there is a silver cord -- a very delicate nerve. It is not really a nerve in the physiological sense. You cannot operate and find it; it will not be found there.
But in deep meditation it is seen. It is there; it is non-material. It is energy, not matter. And really, that energy cord in your spinal column is your life. Through that you are related to the invisible existence, and through that also you are related to the visible. That is the bridge between the invisible and the visible. Through that thread you are related to the body, and through that thread also you are related to your soul.
First, visualize the spine. At first you will feel very strange, you will be able to visualize it, but as an imagination. And if you go on endeavoring, then it will not be just your imagination. You will become capable of seeing your spinal column.
I was working with a seeker on this technique. I gave him a picture of the body structure to concentrate upon so that he would begin to feel how the spinal column can be visualized inside. Then he started. Within a week he came and said, "This is very strange. I tried to see the picture you gave me, but many times that picture disappeared and I saw a different spine. It is not exactly like the picture you gave to me."
So I told him, "Now you are on the right path. Forget that picture completely, and go on seeing the spine that has become visible to you."
Man can see his own body structure from within. We have not tried it because it is very, very fearful, loathsome; because when you see your bones, blood, veins, you become afraid. So really, we have completely blocked our minds from seeing within. We see the body from without, as if someone else is looking at the body. It is just as if you go outside this room and look at it -- then you know the outer walls. Come in and look at the house -- then you can look at the inner walls. You see your body from outside as if you are somebody else seeing your body. You have not seen your body from inside. We are capable of it, but because of this fear it has become a strange thing.
Indian yoga books say many things about the body which have been found to be exactly right by new scientific research, and science is unable to explain this. How could they know? Surgery and knowledge of the inside of the human body are very recent developments. How could they know of all the nerves, of all the centers, of all the inner structures? They knew even about the latest findings; they have talked about them, they have worked upon them. Yoga has always been aware about all the basic, significant things in the body. But they were not dissecting bodies, so how could they know?
Really, there is another way of looking at your own body -- from within. If you can concentrate within, suddenly you begin to see your body -- the inner lining of the body. This is good for those who are deeply body-oriented. If you feel yourself a materialist, if you feel yourself to be nothing but body, this technique will be very helpful for you. If you feel yourself to be a body, if you are a believer in Charvak or in Marx, if you believe that man is nothing but a body, this technique will be very helpful for you. Then go and see the bone structure of man.
In the old tantra and yoga schools they used many bones. Even now a tantric will always be found with some bones, with a man's skull. Really, that is to help concentration from inside. First he concentrates on that skull, then he closes his eyes and tries to visualize his own skull. He goes on trying to see the outer skull inside, and by and by he begins to feel his own skull. His consciousness begins to be focused. That outer skull, the concentration on it and the visualization, are just helps. Once you are focused inside, you can move from your toes to your head. You can move inside -- and it is a great universe. Your small body is a great universe.
This sutra uses the spinal column because within the spinal column there is the thread of life. This is why there is so much insistence on a straight backbone, because if the backbone is not straight you will not be capable of seeing the inner thread. It is very delicate, it is very subtle -- it is minute. It is an energy flow. So if the spinal column is straight, absolutely straight, only then can you have glimpses of that thread.
But our spinal columns are not straight. Hindus have tried to make everyone's spinal column straight from the very childhood. Their ways of sitting, their ways of sleeping, their ways of walking were all based, basically, on a straight spinal column. If the spinal column is not straight, then it is very difficult to see the inner core. It is delicate -- and really, it is not material. It is immaterial; it is a force. When the spinal column is absolutely straight, that thread-like force is seen easily.
... IN SUCH BE TRANSFORMED. Once you can feel, concentrate and realize this thread, you will be filled with a new light. The light will be coming from your spinal column. It will spread all over your body; it may even go beyond your body. When it goes beyond, auras are seen.
Everyone has an aura, but ordinarily your auras are nothing but shadows with no light in them -- just dark shadows around you. And those auras reflect your every mood. When you are angry, then your auras become as if blood-filled; they become filled with a red, angry expression. When you are sad, dim, down, then your auras are filled with dark threads, as if you are just near death -- everything dead, heavy.
When this spinal column thread is realized, your auras become enlightened. So a Buddha, a Mahavir, a Krishna, a Christ are not painted with auras just as decorations, those auras exist. Your spinal column begins to throw out light. Within, you become enlightened -- your whole body becomes a body of light -- then it penetrates the outer. So really, for a buddha, for anyone who is enlightened, there is no need to ask anyone what he is. The aura shows everything. And when someone becomes enlightened the master knows it, because the aura reveals everything.
I will tell you one story... Hui Neng, a Chinese master, was working under his master. When Hui Neng went to his master, the master said, "For what have you come here? There is no need to come to me." He couldn't understand. Hui Neng thought that he was not yet ready to be accepted, but the master was seeing something else. He was seeing his growing aura. He was saying this: "Even if you do not come to me, the thing is bound to happen sooner or later, anywhere. You are already in it, so there is no need to come to me."
But Hui Neng said, "Do not reject me." So the master accepted him and told him to go just behind the monastery, in the kitchen of the monastery. It was a big monastery of five hundred monks. The master said to Hui Neng, "Just go behind the monastery and help in the kitchen, and do not come again to me. Whenever it will be needed, I will come to you."
No meditation was given to Hui Neng, no scriptures to read, study or meditate upon. Nothing was taught to him, he was just thrown into the kitchen. The whole monastery was working. There were pundits, scholars, and there were meditators, and there were yogis, and the whole monastery was agog. Everyone was working and this Hui Neng was just cleaning rice and doing kitchen work.
Twelve years passed. Hui Neng didn't go again to the master because it was not allowed. He waited, he waited, he waited... he simply waited. He was just taken as a servant. Scholars would come, meditators would come, and no one would even pay any attention to him. And there were big scholars in the monastery.
Then the master declared that his death was near, and now he wanted to appoint someone to function in his place, so he said, "Those who think they are enlightened should compose a small poem of four lines. In those four lines you should put all that you have gained. And if I approve any poems and see that the lines show that enlightenment has happened, I will choose someone as my successor."
There was a great scholar in the monastery, and no one attempted the poem because everyone knew that he was going to win. He was a great knower of scriptures, so he composed four lines. Those four lines were just like this... the meaning of it was like this: "Mind is like a mirror, and dust gathers on it. Clean the dust, and you are enlightened."
But even this great scholar was afraid because the master would know. He already knows who is enlightened and who is not. Though all he has written is beautiful, it is the very essence of all the scriptures -- mind is like a mirror, and dust gathers on it; remove the dust, and you are enlightened -- this was the whole gist of all the Vedas, but he knew that was all that it was. He had not known anything, so he was afraid.
He didn't go directly to the master, but in the night he went to the hut, to his master's hut, and wrote all the four lines on the wall without signing -- without any signature. In this way, if the master approved and said, "Okay, this is right," then he would say, "I have written them." If he said, "No! Who has written these lines?" then he would keep silent, he thought.
But the master approved. In the morning the master said, "Okay!" He laughed and said, "Okay! The man who has written this is an enlightened one." So the whole monastery began to talk about it. Everyone knew who had written it. They were discussing and appreciating, and the lines were beautiful -- really beautiful. Then some monks came to the kitchen. They were drinking tea and they were talking, and Hui Neng was there serving them. He heard what had happened. The moment he heard those four lines, he laughed. So someone asked, "Why are you laughing, you fool? You do not know anything; for twelve years you have been serving in the kitchen. Why are you laughing?"
No one had even heard him laugh before. He was just taken as an idiot who would not even talk. So he said, "I cannot write, and I am not an enlightened one either, but these lines are wrong. So if someone comes with me, I will compose four lines. If someone comes with me, he can write it on the wall. I cannot write; I do not know writing."
So someone followed him -- just as a joke. A crowd came there and Hui Neng said, "Write: There is no mind and there is no mirror, so where can the dust gather? One who knows this is enlightened."
But the master came out and he said, "You are wrong," to Hui Neng. Hui Neng touched his feet and returned back to his kitchen.
In the night when everyone was asleep, the master came to Hui Neng and said, "You are right, but I could not say so before those idiots -- and they are learned idiots. If I had said that you are appointed as my successor, they would have killed you. So escape from here! You are my successor, but do not tell it to anyone. And I knew this the day you came. Your aura was growing; that was why no meditation was given to you. There was no need. You were already in meditation. And these twelve years' silence -- not doing anything, not even meditation -- emptied you completely of your mind, and the aura has become full. You have become a full moon. But escape from here! Otherwise they will kill you.
"You have been here for twelve years, and the light has been constantly spreading from you, but no one observed it. And they have been coming to the kitchen, everyone has been coming to the kitchen every day -- thrice, four times. Everyone passes through here; that is why I posted you in the kitchen. But no one has recognized your aura. So you escape from here."
When the spinal column thread is touched, seen, realized, an aura begins to grow around you. ... IN SUCH BE TRANSFORMED. Be filled with that light and be transformed. This is also a centering -- a centering in the spinal column. If you are body-oriented, this technique will help you. If you are not body-oriented, it is very difficult, it will be very difficult to visualize from the inside. Then to look at your body from the inside will be difficult.
This sutra will be more helpful for women than for men. They are more body-oriented. They live more in the body; they feel more. They can visualize the body more. Women are more body-oriented than men, but for anyone who can feel the body, who feels the body, who can visualize, who can close his eyes and feel his body from within, this technique will be very helpful for him.
Then visualize your spinal column, and in the middle a silver cord running through it. First it may look like imagination, but by and by you will feel that imagination has disappeared and your mind has become focused on that spinal column. And then you will see your own spine. The moment you see the inner core, suddenly you will feel an explosion of the light within you.
Sometimes this can also happen without any effort. It happens sometimes. Again, in a deep sex act it sometimes happens. Tantra knows: in a deep sex act your whole energy becomes concentrated near the spine. Really, in a deep sex act the spine begins to discharge electricity. And sometimes, even, if you touch the spine you will get a shock. If the intercourse is very deep and very loving and long -- really, if the two lovers are just in a deep embrace, silent, non-moving, just being filled with each other, just remaining in a deep embrace -- it happens. It has happened many times that a dark room will suddenly become filled with light, and both bodies will be surrounded with a blue aura.
Many, many such cases have happened. Even in some of your experiences it may have happened, but you may not have noticed that in a dark room, in deep love, suddenly you feel a light around both of your bodies, and that light spreads and fills the whole room. Many times it has happened that suddenly things drop from the table in the room without any visible cause. And now psychologists say that in a deep sex act, electricity is discharged. That electricity can have many effects and impacts. Things may suddenly drop, move or be broken, and even photographs have been taken in which light is visible. But that light is always concentrated around the spinal column.
So sometimes, in a deep sex act also -- and tantra knows this well and has worked on it -- you may become aware, if you can look within to the thread running in the middle of the spinal column. And tantra has used the sex act for this realization, but then the sex act has to be totally different, the quality has to be different. It is not something to be gotten over with; it is not something to be done for a release; it is not something to be finished hurriedly; it is not a bodily act then. Then it is a deep spiritual communion. Really, through two bodies it is a deep meeting of two innernesses, of two subjectivities, penetrating each other.
So I will suggest to you to try this technique when in a deep sex act -- it will be easier. Just forget about sex. When in a deep embrace, remain inside. Forget the other person also, just go inside and visualize your spinal column. It will be easier, because then more energy is flowing near the spinal column, and the thread is more visible because you are silent, because your body is at rest. Love is the deepest relaxation, but we have made love also a great tension. We have made it an anxiety, a burden.
In the warmth of love, filled, relaxed, close your eyes. But men ordinarily do not close their eyes. Ordinarily, women do close their eyes. That is why I said that women are more body-oriented while men are not. In a deep embrace in the act of sex, women will close their eyes. Really, they cannot love with open eyes. With closed eyes, they feel the body more from within.
Close your eyes and feel your body. Relax. Concentrate on the spinal column. And this sutra says very simply, IN SUCH BE TRANSFORMED. And you will be transformed through it.
Enough for today.
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