What are the akashic records and how do we access them? And what exactly is akasha, the subtlest of the five elements? Sadhguru answers a few questions.
What are the akashic records?
Questioner: Could you tell us about the akashic records?
Sadhguru: That’s what we call as internet today! There are many ways you can be active in life. You can do physical work, you can do mental work, or you can do work with your prana. If you do something with your body, it has a certain lifespan. Things you do with your mind have a slightly longer lifespan. If you do something with your prana, it has a much longer lifespan. But once you work beyond this physical dimension, that is forever. No one can destroy it.
I have never studied any spirituality. But I am crystal-clear about anything concerned with human consciousness. Everything that I know, I don’t know! When I walk on the street, I don’t carry it. But when I want it, it is always there. Why should I burden myself with all that when it is anyway available all the time. This is how people are using the internet also today, isn’t it? You don’t have to carry the information with you. It is all there. When you want, you access it.
Akashic records on the “inner net”!
This is also a kind of net. Whenever you want you can access it. As far as I am concerned, Krishna, Gautama Buddha or many other yogis of the past, are not really past for me. They are like right now. They may have physically died a long time ago, but as far as the core of their work is concerned, it is always like now. Even right now, you can access it the way Gautama did things at that moment. As far as I am concerned, Gautama is right now, not 2500 years ago.
All beings who have broken all dimensions of barriers within themselves and touched the ultimate, what they perceived, grasped and distilled within themselves, is for always. That is always available. It is on the “inner net” or “yogic net.” You just have to access it. You don’t even need a Wi-Fi for that! If you are willing, what Krishna knew, what Buddha knew, what someone else knew – everything is there. You don’t have to study the nonsense that people around them wrote.
The akashic mind
There is an individual mind and there is a universal mind. They are just a reflection of each other. It is just that the individual mind may be too muddled and it may not be catching all of it. If one is able to access life through the akashic mind, not through the individual mind, if you see the akashic mind clearly, you not only see possible situations for yourself, you see possible situations for just about anything.
It is there, but the problem is, right now, if you even as much as talk about these things, all kinds of people will start imagining all the different types of nonsense they are “receiving” from people. They will start “communicating” with everyone even though they are not on talking terms with the people around them. At the same time, if we deny that possibility we are rendering humanity blind.
Tapping into akashic intelligence
Today, modern science is recognizing there is something called as akashic intelligence. That is, empty space has a certain intelligence. Whether this intelligence works for you or against you will determine the nature of your life, whether you are a blessed being or one who is going to be knocked around for the rest of your life. For no reason, some people are being hammered around by life, isn’t it? For no reason, some people seem to be blessed with everything. It is not for no reason. It is your ability – either consciously or unconsciously, to be able to get the cooperation of this larger intelligence which is functioning.
One simple process you can do for this is, after sunrise, before the sun crosses an angle of thirty degrees, look up at the sky once and bow down to akash for holding you in place today. After the sun crosses thirty degrees, sometime during the day – anytime – look up and bow down again. After the sun sets, once again look up and bow down, not to some god up there, just to the empty space for holding you in place for today. Just do this. Life will change dramatically.
Akasha – Space or ether?
Questioner: Namaskaram, Sadhguru. I am confused whether akasha is space or ether. Can you please elaborate?
Sadhguru: Like earth, water, air, and fire, akasha is one aspect of the five elements. Elements are not empty space but a kind of substance. Do not mistake akasha for empty space. It is ether. The word “ether” is not quite accurate but it is the closest translation. Ether is not space – ether is a subtle dimension of existence. Space is kala or nonexistence. It is Shi-Va – “that which is not.” Akasha is “that which is.”
Akasha is a subtle dimension of physical manifestation. You cannot see the air in this hall, but still it is there, and it is very much a part of your life. In that sense, your life is spread all over. There are gross elements in the body, and there are subtler elements in this body. If you have constipation, you have something gross inside you! Above that, there are more refined aspects of the body. Above that there is a lungful of air, and above that, a brain, thoughts, emotions and so many things. And there is life going in and out. In other words, life is always from a hardcore crudeness to many subtleties. The wider you spread your wings, the more subtlety you will have in your life.
The importance of akasha
Without akasha, you cannot exist here. Without the air in this hall, you cannot exist here. You cannot see the air, but it is more vital than your hair – though more money is spent on haircare in the world than on brain care! You see where our values lie. Without hair, you can still live. Without ears, you can still live. Without nose, you can still live. Most of the time, you are not even conscious whether the air exists or not, but without it, you cannot live for a moment. Likewise, without akasha, you cannot live for a moment.
There is a temple in Karnataka in southern India, which is dedicated to Annapoorneshwari. At the rear part of the temple, there is an inscription in Hale Kannada – an ancient form of the language, which is a few thousand years old – about how to design an airplane. It says how you can construct it, but also that if you fly such a machine, it will disturb the ether. They say if you disturb akasha, human beings will not live peacefully. Once akasha is disturbed, psychological disturbances become enormous. We can see this in the world today.
The human system, a minicosmos
The design of everything in the universe – from the atomic to the cosmic – is fundamentally the same. We have always said this in the yogic system, and modern physics has also come to this realization. Whether it is a human being, a grasshopper, an earthworm, a bird, a snake, or whatever kind of form – everything has the same fundamental design. The difference is only in terms of complexity and sophistication, and how it has evolved into a multitude of forms. Your design is far more sophisticated compared to that of an amoeba, but the fundamentals are the same – only the complexity has increased.
Do not try to observe the cosmos, because you do not have a gallery view of it. There is no place where you can sit and observe the cosmos. In fact, you cannot really observe anything except what happens within you. Even if you take a telescope and look at a star, you can see the star only the way it is projected in your mind. In other words, you can only experience yourself – you are the only doorway through which you can experience anything. So, do not try to understand that – the larger cosmos. Just get this – the human system that you are – because this is a minicosmos. If you perceive this right, you know that.
Whether you want to experience the food that you eat, the air that you breathe, the people around you, the world, or the cosmos – you can only experience it the way you are within yourself. If you are very clear, you will see everything the way it is. It is like looking into a concave or convex mirror. They will give you different impressions of how you look. Suppose you always look into a distorted mirror, after some time, you will assume this is how you look.
Similarly, you think the world looks a particular way simply because that is how it is projected in your mind. If you evolve your mind into a more refined surface with absolutely no wavering or distortion, if it becomes a perfectly plain mirror, it will reflect everything the way it is. But since it is a reflection, it is mirror-inverted. You must have the intelligence to correct this image without distorting it.
Most people cannot turn a dosa without making a mess out of it. This is the problem with the mind too. One thing is your mind is wavy. Seeing the world in a wavy mirror makes it look a certain way. The other thing is most people have never attempted to turn it around. They think the way they perceive things right now is how it is. It takes a certain skill to turn the image around without distorting it.
You have two projects. The first one is to flatten the mirror so that it is not distorted anymore. Then, the much bigger task is to flip it around without any distortion. We have not approached that aspect in your life yet. First we have to work on making the mirror absolutely free from distortions – that is project 1. Project 2 is more subtle. Project 1 needs perseverance. Project 2 needs enormous skill.