On the occasion of the spring equinox – March 20 – Sadhguru explains the cosmic significance of this day when Shiva sat as Ardhanari – half man, half woman.
Sadhguru: The celestial equator is an imaginary line drawn above the earth’s equator, which divides the planet into northern and southern hemispheres. From this point, the magnetic field of the northern pole and southern pole alter in different ways.
On the days of the equinox – one in March and another in September – the celestial equator is in perfect alignment with the sun. That means all the influences upon the planet are at equilibrium. For a human being, the significance of this day is that the masculine and feminine are at an even keel – within our own system, there is a level playing field.
Masculine and feminine are not about being physically male or female. Certain qualities in nature have been identified as masculine. Certain other qualities have been identified as feminine. You may be a man, but it is possible that the feminine may be dominant in you. Or, you may be a woman, but the masculine may be dominant in you. Only when these two qualities happen in balance within a human being, can one live a life of fulfillment.
The equinox is seen as the day when Shiva sat as Ardhanari – he was half woman and half man, because both are even today. In the yogic tradition, this is a day when one has the best possibility of transcending the limitations of one’s physical longings. The possibility of transcending the lustful compulsions within the human body is at its best.
A Level Playing Field
Whether socially, economically or otherwise, the only thing that we can provide is a level playing field for everyone. You cannot make people equal, but you can provide an equal opportunity. Equal opportunity simply means a level playing field. This is the day when the two fundamental forces which play within us as Ida and Pingala, as masculine and feminine, as Shiva and Shakti, are on an even keel. One will not dominate the other.
Prejudice essentially arises in our minds because we are overly identified with something. If you are too identified with being masculine, you will have a masculine prejudice. If you are too identified with being feminine, you will have a feminine prejudice. The equinox is considered a day when one can be free of prejudice. All other prejudices are an outcome of this fundamental prejudice, which is physiological in nature. The very way our bodies are made, one has become superior and another has become inferior. From this prejudice, everything else arises.
There are many types of sadhanas in yoga for different times of the year. But when most people have trouble with their basic sadhana, adding more things is meaningless. If basic sadhana has become like your breath – simply there with your life where there is no effort in it – then other dimensions could be added.
Aligned with Life
If you want to know the intricacy of life in its full depth and dimension – not living somehow and dying – if you want to know it all, it requires attention to everything. If you simply close your eyes and sit, you must know which day of the year it is, even if you have been kept in a dark room in sadhana for twelve months. Not by marking it on the floor like Robinson Crusoe. That is the way of a prisoner or somebody who is trapped. If you are conscious, just by feeling the way it is, you should know which time of the day, month, and year it is. That means you as a life are in perfect sync with the larger dimension of life.
Modern physics is clearly telling you that everything pulsing within your body is in some way a reflection of the cosmic pulse. There is no doubt anymore about this because enough scientific evidence has been gathered. If this is just a small reflection of everything else, if you see clearly, you must see everything in the reflection. If you hold a mirror to the mountain you can see the mountain in the mirror. It is just that the mirror should be clean, not uneven or covered with muck. If it is a plain mirror, kept clean, you can see the mountain and the sky in it. You can see the world through your two eyes, which are so small. You do not need huge eyes to look at the world. In the same way, you do not have to become a huge piece of life to reflect the cosmos within you. It is just about alignment.
All these things are relevant only to those who are paying enormous attention to life. If life means so much to you that you want to know it in its minutest possibility, the yogic system has a sadhana for every day of the year. For every dimension, every position of the planet, there is a different sadhana so that you are aligned and able to reflect it the way it is – untouched by the corruption of your thought.
Prejudice of Thought
Thought need not have anything to do with life. It can be induced into you. We can say some rubbish to you, and that rubbish can go on endlessly in your mind. It has nothing to do with the reality of the existence.
Thought can come to you simply as gossip, the most harmless form of thought. Or it can come to you as an ideology, which is a little stronger. Or it can come to you as a philosophy, which is much stronger. It can come to you as religion, or the worst form, as the word of God. Now you are fully corrupted because you cannot deny even the silliest thought. You have lost the discriminatory process so that you cannot even see this is stupid. Once you are corrupted by thought, you have no sense of life; your own psychological process becomes more important than the whole cosmic dimension of the existence.
The equinox is the time to become unprejudiced. The fundamental process of prejudice is that you get identified with your body and thought. From identifying with the body to identifying with the thought is a many-fold promotion into corruption. The moment you are identified with your thought, you are a lost case because you have fallen out of Creation and reality into your own illusory rubbish. Once you fall into your own nonsense, you are free to drive yourself crazy whichever way you want.
The equinox is a day to bring balance, to not be identified with this or that, not even being a man or a woman, not even being human or another creature – just to sit and throb as life.