Sadhguru talks about the spiritual process as a means to become either “zero” or “infinite” – pointing out that the two are not different.
Sadhguru: The spiritual process is always to either become a zero or to become infinite. You approach it whichever way is most convenient for you, but they are not different. Something-ness is always finite. Nothingness is infinite. How can nothingness and infinite be the same? If you want a really big number, do you add 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or do you add 0, 0, 0, 0, 0? Zero means nothing, but it is nothingness which makes a number into an infinite number. The most incredible thing in mathematics is the zero, and this did not come by accident. It is from a certain realization. When people looked inward and fell into the void of nothingness, the zero was born. It is not an accident that the zero comes from the East, because that is their whole life’s endeavor.
The science of yoga is the technology to make ourselves into a zero because zero is not a simple thing. Zero is infinite, it is the very beginning of everything. It is a numberless state. A numberless state is a silent state. Silence has been lost only because numbers have entered. There is one body, but two hands have come out of it. This is one earth, and many have come out of it. This is one existence, and so many universes have come out of it. All spiritual cultures aspire to become infinite because they saw that that was nature’s intention. When they came in contact with the intention of nature and the intention of creation, they realized that infinite is just imagination. The real thing is actually a zero. So, they talked about emptiness – shoonya, nirvana, nirvikalpa.
Emptying The Vessel
The nature of the mind is always to accumulate. When it is gross, it wants to accumulate things. When it becomes a little more evolved, it wants to accumulate knowledge. When emotion becomes dominant, it wants to accumulate people, but its basic nature is that it wants to accumulate. When a person starts thinking or believing that he is on a spiritual path, his mind starts accumulating so-called spiritual wisdom. But whether it is food, things, people or wisdom – it does not matter what you accumulate, when there is a need to accumulate, it means there is an insufficiency. This feeling of being insufficient has entered only because you got identified with limited things that you are not.
If one brings sufficient awareness, and above all a constant sadhana – a practice into one’s life – slowly the vessel becomes totally empty. Awareness empties the vessel. Sadhana cleanses the vessel. When these two aspects – awareness and sadhana – are sustained for a sufficiently long period, your vessel becomes empty. Only when this emptiness arises, Grace descends upon you. Without Grace, no one really gets anywhere. If you need to experience Grace, your vessel has to become totally empty.
If you become empty enough for Grace to descend, the Ultimate Nature is not far away. It is here to be experienced. It is here to be realized. It is not tomorrow or another lifetime. It becomes a living reality.