Sadhguru: Why do I invoke Adiyogi, the Shiva so recurrently? It is a question I am often asked. The answer to that is simple. It is not because I want to anthropomorphize the divine. It is not because I want to introduce some devious mode of pagan worship. It is not because I want to usher in some Eastern cult.
I invoke him simply because he is vital for our times. And he is vital because there is nothing more important right now than raising human consciousness. We have the tools and technologies in our hands with which we can make this world a paradise, or turn it into a living hell, or obliterate it altogether because of our own capabilities. In other words, we have reached a point where if we do not raise human consciousness, our intelligence and capability is going to work against us. We are racing rapidly towards self-sabotage. How did we get ourselves into this mess? We got here because we developed our intellect at the expense of our interiority.
Stitching with a Knife
Right now, we use the single faculty of the intellect and mistake it for everything, forgetting that the mind is much more than that. The intellect is a tremendous resource. However, in isolation, it is a disaster because while the other dimensions of the mind enhance, the intellect can only divide. It does not allow you to simply be with anything completely.
The nature of consciousness is inclusion. Consciousness is one big embrace of the universe. If that experience does not happen to an empowered intellect, that intellect is going to destroy the world. In the East, there are several proverbs that say that when people show symptoms of an overactive intellect, they are heading towards total destruction.
In isolation, the intellect is divisive: it is capable of dividing even the self into different parts! In today’s world, there is much effort towards unity. But we are trying to put everything together with the intellect. It is like you try to stitch the world together with a knife – it will only leave everything in tatters.
The Missing Ingredient
The crucial ingredient missing in the world today is what yoga calls chitta – the deepest dimension of the mind. This is intelligence unsullied by memory, which connects you to the very basis of creation. Chitta is awareness, the intelligence of existence itself, the very cosmos in the living mind. In the yogic tradition, it is said that once you distance yourself from the compulsions of your genetic and karmic software, as well as the vested interests and identifications of your intellect, you are in touch with chitta, an unclouded consciousness. Now, your life returns to the way it was always intended to be – radiantly alive, fresh, immaculate. Even the divine has no choice but to serve you.
Adiyogi, the first yogi, becomes hugely significant in such a context because there is no one on this planet who has explored and revealed as much as he has. In terms of creating the most extensive and sophisticated system of human self-understanding – 112 methods by which human beings can explore and reach their fullest potential – there is no one whose contribution exceeds his.
Knowing, not Knowledge
Adiyogi knew life by becoming one with it – not cerebrally, but experientially. A yogi is one who has experienced union with the whole of existence. What Adiyogi represents is knowing, not knowledge.
Knowledge is intellectual accumulation. Knowing, on the other hand, is neither intellectual nor accumulative. If you pass a flowering plant and you know the chemistry of its fragrance, that is one dimension of knowledge. If you know the experience and ecstasy of that fragrance, that is another dimension of knowledge. But if you become the fragrance, that is knowing. A knowing that is 100 per cent experiential,100 per cent alive, here and now. This is what Adiyogi represents. That is why despite attempts to appropriate him, he cannot be domesticated by any scripture, dogma or doctrine.
Nature has set some laws for human beings. Breaking through the cyclical laws of physical nature is the basis of the spiritual process that Adiyogi explored. In that sense, yoga is a science for those who seek to be outlaws. And that is what Adiyogi represents: the ultimate outlaw.
Editor’s Note: Mahashivratri, a night of tremendous spiritual possibilities, will be celebrated at Isha Yoga Center on February 13. Visit the Mahashivratri webpage for info on the many ways you can participate.
A version of this article was originally published in gfiles.