Sadhguru speaks on the significance of yagnas and goes on to narrate a story of a person he met while journeying in the Himalayas.
Read in Hindi: पूजा, हवन और यज्ञ
Sadhguru: These yagnas and poojas, there is some scientific basis to it. These rituals had some basis as a way of creating a conducive atmosphere for people. When people did not have their own ways to create an inner situation, others who knew how to create a conducive atmosphere made certain yagnas during the Vedic times.
Performing poojas still has not helped our country to be free from major problems like population and poverty. It is time we take our lives and our situations into our hands instead of always calling upon Gods to do this. Unless you become sensible, no holy men, no Gods, or enlightened beings are going to do anything for you. You may adore them, worship them or sing praises of them but you will continue to exist in the same misery. There will be no release.
Many years ago, I happened to go to Rishikesh. In those days, I used to wander in the Himalayas for at least for a month or two in a year. So I went to Rishikesh, and I stayed in an ashram because I wanted to conserve my money and stretch my tour and trekking. So I went to an ashram and lots of people were sleeping in one big hall. I sleep very little, so I sat there meditating. One man was arranging his bed and all the other support that he needed for sleeping.
Unfortunately his bedding was next to mine and this man had over 30 pictures of many Gods and saints and sages. Before he goes to bed he is positioning all of them around his bed. All the Gods that you know, the whole zoo full of them. He was just setting up his whole atmosphere to sleep so that all these demons and others don’t come and disturb his sleep. Sleep is a great yagna, you cannot live without it. I don’t know whether you learned all those yagnas where they burn this and that but you better learn simple yagnas like eating and sleeping. These are the basic yagnas in your body, in your life that you must do properly and with great reverence.
So he is performing his yagna and I just looked at him and he wanted to know where I am from. I had a great urge to give him an answer that will irk him. So I told him I am from devalok. His eyeballs rolled and he was confused and he was sure that I was lying but he couldn’t ignore me because I sat there, simply looking at him. Fifteen minutes of arranging and rearranging the Gods did not satisfy him. Then he came slowly and said, “Swamiji I can see divine light in you.” I said, “Yes.” He could not figure out what to do with me. Then he asked, “Which state do you come from?” I said, “I already told you I am from Devalok.”
Then he really got into turmoil. He kept struggling intensely, placing Shiva here, Parvathi there, that Swami here, this Swami there, and he came and asked, “Do you know that Mrityunjay Swami was in Yuktheshwar?”
I told him, “I’ve just come from Devalok, I don’t know anybody here.” Then he became absolutely mad. I let him struggle for two hours, and then I told him, “You come out, I want to talk to you.” He was terrified but he just followed me. Then I took him outside and spoke to him the whole night that, see, if you were doing this out of real devotion, I would not disturb you. I told him to get rid of all this nonsense but he was so much in fear. We went and sat on the Ganga bank. I said I am not forcing you but I want you to spend half an hour here. If it still makes sense to you, you keep it. But if it doesn’t make sense to you, you throw it into the Ganga and then we’ll see. Anyway you are not throwing it into the dustbin; you throw it into Ganga, the holiest of holy rivers.
I left in the morning to go somewhere. Then after about two days, I was just getting into the bus and somebody started tugging at my bag. I looked back, this man was all happy and he said, “Since you told me this I am sleeping on the Ganga bank and sleeping well.”
Yet to meditate but sleeping well. That is a big step. I like that. Getting closer to life. If you don’t even know how to be close to life you will never know how to be close to God.
When Krishna came, when Rama came, when Gautama Buddha came, when Jesus came, when so many others sages and saints came, truly wonderful beings, truly powerful beings, still most people around them just lived ordinary suffering lives. Just a few rose beyond their limitations. All others continued to exist in their suffering. So it does not matter if God comes down because of your yagna. Unless you do something about yourself the situation is not going to change. I just want to provoke people’s mind, body and energies in such a way that they become little more alive. Without aliveness people will not stand up for their lives, they will lie down and wait for God to do it for them.
No God needs to come because whatever you refer to as God is always here, within you but dead. If you become very alive, truly alive, then the divine in you also becomes alive. My work is just to make you come alive. So that is my yagna.