Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

Sadhguru looks at how important it is to have some mastery over the five elements, and explains the two ways to access the source of creation.

Sadhguru: Over 15,000 years ago, Adiyogi spoke about the five elements or the “pancha bhutas.” He pointed out for his first seven disciples that the whole universe is just a play of five elements, and in what proportion it plays within our body and how, if one can gain mastery over these, in a way you have mastery over the creation. By having even an element of mastery over the creation, you have a very direct access to that which is the source of creation. When this science was expounded in great detail and in all its manifestations, the Saptarishis who were sitting there as disciples, and Parvati, his wife, who was also witness to this, were amazed. They were incredulous. They couldn’t believe that the whole existence is just five things – and one is nothing, so only four things.

Adiyogi went about describing the intelligence behind it: with just four ingredients, you can cook up such a soup that we call “the cosmos” today.

Adiyogi went about describing the intelligence behind it: with just four ingredients, you can cook up such a soup that we call “the cosmos” today. Everything that is physical is largely four elements. You do not experience the fifth one most of the time. If I just give you four things, can you even make sambar out of it? Even to make sambar you need twenty-five ingredients! If someone can cook up a whole cosmos with four things, that is astounding brilliance.

Adiyogi went about describing the science and technology of gaining mastery over these elements. These seven plus one who were listening to this and were watching the little demonstrations that he setup were absolutely taken by this. Then he said, “Either you can master all these things or you can just surrender to this intelligence and it will be yours.” The seven men were excited about mastering it. Parvati, the woman, decided to surrender to it and make it a part of herself.

So the seven were sent away to do work. Parvati was kept there because she gave in to the intelligence and it became a part of her. These seven were labeled as sages. She became a Goddess. I am talking about how to promote yourself! If you get into the intricacy of how everything has manifested, even if you live here for a million years and study, study, study, it will be an endless process. It is exciting but it is an endless process. Or, you simply put this endless process aside and touch the dimension that is the source of all these. If you want to play the game, you involve yourself with the elements of creation. If you don’t want to play the game, if you are a match-fixer and just want to win – you are not interested in the game, you just want to pass and go on – then you touch only that which is the source of Creation. You don’t have to get lost in the elements.

You play the game or the game plays you

But if you do not play the game, the game may play you. Keeping the whole game of life aside and just being focused on being one with the source of Creation seems to be the simplest thing. If you have no sense of “you”, if you have that level of dispassion about your own body, mind, thoughts, emotions and everything, it comes naturally. Otherwise, this is the most difficult thing. Is it possible to keep “you” aside when you are the hero of your life? When you are the main role, keeping “you” aside doesn’t happen so easily. But that is the simplest and greatest way. Otherwise there is a big game to play – quite an endless game. But if you want to play the game, you better play it skillfully. A lousy player is hated by everyone.

Bhuta shuddhi or gaining a certain mastery over the elements is a way of consciously winning because without mastery over what you are doing, victory will be accidental.

Once you choose to play the game, having some mastery over the elements is important. Otherwise you will be a lousy player with life. If people have succeeded, that means knowingly or unknowingly, in some way there is some mastery. Otherwise there is no success in anything. Maybe they worked for it elsewhere or they are working for it here, but without a certain element of mastery over something, there is not going to be any success in life.

If we have chosen to do activity, success is the sweetest thing in human life. There are some people going about spreading this kind of rubbish – they are referred to as philosophies – “It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s all right.” There is no such rubbish in life. When you play a game you want to win. After the game is over, in case you lost, yes it’s all right that you lost but before you play if you think it’s all right to lose, you don’t know what a game is. Once you have chosen to play the game – whether the market place, marriage, life or spiritual process – you must win. Many times it may be a team sport. You may forget that you winning means people with you also need to win. If you are married and you think only you should win, he or she will make it miserable for you!

Bhuta shuddhi or gaining a certain mastery over the elements is a way of consciously winning because without mastery over what you are doing, victory will be accidental. Your opponents may be lousy, so you may win. That is of no consequence. Whichever way, you play to the best of your capabilities and beyond. Whenever we give instructions for Hatha Yoga, we say, “Stretch yourself as much as you can and little more.” It is that little more which is the most important aspect. That’s where life is. That is the difference between victory and failure – someone is doing that little more and another is not.

Out of control, with control

In the 1970s, Kenny Roberts won the world motorcycle championship three times in a row. That’s not easy because these are the best machines on the track and the riders are of the highest order on the planet, so you win by hundredths of a second. If you have to win a championship, you have to win some twelve, fifteen races in a season and three times in a row is almost impossible. So people asked him, “How do you do this?” He said, “I go out of control with control.” Having the courage to cross that line of control and having the wisdom not to go too far.

For those people who are not willing to do any sadhana towards this, we organize the Pancha Bhuta Aradhana so that at least you benefit by being there.

If you have to have the courage to do something, you have to have some capability. Otherwise courage will turn into disaster. If you do it successfully, people will say you are courageous. If you crash, people will say you are stupid. That line is very thin and your ability to traverse that line, your ability to walk that line becomes better and better if you have more mastery over the fundamentals of your existence.

For those people who are not willing to do any sadhana towards this, we organize the Pancha Bhuta Aradhana so that at least you benefit by being there. This is the significance of a ritual. A ritual is essentially for those who cannot do it by themselves – public sadhana. A thousand people can sit and benefit from it. But if you do sadhana, it’s just you. Sadhana is definitely of a higher nature but ritual is of a larger benefit.

Editor’s Note: Every month, during the Pancha Bhuta Aradhana, Sadhguru opens up a unique opportunity for devotees to benefit from this deep yogic science which would otherwise require intense sadhana.

On the 14th day of every lunar month, known as Shivaratri, and especially on Mahashivarathri , there will be an opportunity to experience the Pancha Bhuta Aradhana at the Dhyanalinga between 5:40 pm and 6:10 pm.

For more information, check the schedule of upcoming events or contact: Tel: 0422-2515345, Email: pba@ishafoundation.org