In Part 3 of the conversation with Dr. Sanjeev K. Chaudhry, CEO of Super Religare Laboratories (SRL), Dr. Chaudhry asks Sadhguru that apart from the yogic asanas and kriyas that one can practice, how the basis of yoga is related to a person’s health and wellbeing. Sadhguru mentions that traditionally, from the beginning it has been the yogis that also handled health. Health through yoga is seen as the basis to explore deeper dimensions of life.
Sanjeev Chaudhary: That is indeed very interesting and earlier, Sadhguru, you mentioned about the importance of practices like the Shambhavi Mahamudra. The good thing is we have you back in Delhi in January to teach Inner Engineering to Delhi people, so I’m sure many people will benefit from that process. A related question, Sadhguru, you talk of Shiva as what he is not. This is in context of…
Sadhguru: Now… now you’re tuning this into a Sathsang kind of situation.
Sanjeev Chaudhary: But it’s another question.
Sanjeev Chaudhary: What is not? And what we know of human body is what is our awareness as a healthy body. How does this journey of human body go from what is to what is not? And what aspects of health one needs to be mindful in taking this journey?
Sadhguru: This… this ‘what is not’ is a scary thing for lot of people. See one thing you need to understand is, because we have so many Gods in India, over thirty-three million Gods and Goddesses. We’re a very rich nation that way. Among all the Gods you can see, you will see Shiva is the most athletic-looking God. He is a fit God. Not a (an?) old man who’ll bless you like this. He is fit, as fit as a man can be.
The lore, and some of the scriptures, but mainly the lore, describes him as – they say, ‘He is… He was as tall… he… when he stood next to a horse, he was level, his head was level with the horse’s head.’ So they estimate that he was nine feet tall. And when he came to South India, in the south they described and said, ‘He is twice the height of an average woman.’ In the southernmost part of India, average women of those days were about four-and-a-half or less than five feet. So both these things say he was a very, extraordinarily tall man. Maybe nine or eight or whatever… Yesterday I met somebody who was seven feet, four inches tall. He was… he was looking tall, then I thought how Shiva should have looked? I had to talk to this man only like this looking up.
So when we use the word Shiva, we must understand in the yogic lore, we never saw him as God. We see him as ‘Adiyogi’ that is the first yogi. Because he never introduced himself, we gave him a name. We said he is ‘Adiyogi’, because he is the first yogi we saw. He never bothered to introduce himself, he is that kind. Nor did he tell us where he came from nor did he explain anything. Ultimately, you don’t care where somebody comes from. Ultimately, you only care what he has to offer for you. Isn’t it so? That’s all that matters, isn’t it? So what he had to offer was very valuable, so people went. In that value, definitely health was a serious issue too.
In those days… I am talking about over twelve to fifteen thousand years ago. How do you arrive at this date? The yogic date, according to astrological and astronomical arrangements is much beyond, but I am sticking to the modern date. There are… there is iconographic proof, there are coins in British Natural History Museum, which show Rudra sitting in a yogic posture, which is 12,200 or 12,400 years old coins. So if somebody had to make a coin of him, if he was that famous by then, that they had to make a coin of him, at least you can put another couple of thousand years behind him, so at least twelve to fifteen thousand years old.
So in terms of health, you know in the south at least, I don’t know if it’s in the north also, but in the south, there are temples where he sits as ‘Vaidyanath.’ That means he is a doctor. He is… he treats people. And this has been the tradition always, the yogis on the side also handled health everywhere; unless you came from a European studio.
If you grew up looking at the internal nature of the body and the human system, naturally health is also one of the things, because if somebody is unhealthy, you cannot ask him to seek mukti. That’ll be insulting, isn’t it? Somebody is in a hospital, you cannot tell him, ‘You must attain mukti.’ It’s very improper, please know this much. You can talk to only somebody who is healthy and well and you can… you can tell him and inspire him, ‘You must strive for mukti.’ When somebody is down, you don’t tell him about mukti, you tell him about getting back into action. Basic aesthetics I am talking.
So when he came down to teaching people, where he sat down and started expounding the nature of the body, people asked questions about health. He brushed it aside. He said, ‘Don’t bother about the health.’ Health is only a (an?) issue if you’re unhealthy. If you have created ill-health, then health is a (an?) issue, otherwise where is health a (an?) issue? Health is not a (an?) issue, isn’t it? For one who is perfectly healthy, health is… health is not a (an?) issue. Only for one who has attained ill-health… I am saying ‘attained’ because it’s an achievement!
When every cell in your body is working towards your health, if you have worked against it, it’s quite an achievement! You must be living completely improperly to get there. know this’ll be… if you’re suffering some kind of ill-health, this would be insulting. That’s why I said, ‘I would never say such things to somebody who is unhealthy.’ I believe you’re healthy and I’m saying these things to you. If somebody is down, you can’t say these things, but that is the reality.
Reality is just this – this body is geared for health. I know your doctor will say something different. He will say there are genetic factors, there’s this, that. I want you to understand, genetics are only information. You can use information to get better or you can use information to go back into the same cycle. It’s up to you. Information is empowerment or information is entangling, please tell me? It’s the way you use it, isn’t it? So whatever the information that is there in this body is not entangling. If it was entangling, this life wouldn’t come forth as a new possibility at all. This has all this information. My great-great-grandfather was suffering from this, that information is there in this – this does not mean I must have it. If I make the same mistakes that he did – yes! Otherwise it does not mean I must have it. I have, for my reference that all these things have happened, so this is how I must take care.
You will see… you know I… I don’t want to start this off now, but if I check certain people in a certain way, I can tell them in the next fifteen years, what ailments they will get right now. But I will not do it because there are more important things to do. What are you going to do in these fifteen years, that’s more important to me than after fifteen years, are you going to be like that or you’re going to be healthy, because the system is already talking about it. You are going to get a heart attack after fifty… at thirty, thirty-five, it’s already talking about it. Are you willing to listen, is the question? If you listen carefully enough, it is already talking about it.
At least this much the medical science has to admit – they could not predict a heart attack fifteen-twenty years ago. Now they’re able to foresee it six months ahead, one year ahead. Yes or no? Or even much more? So the prediction time… the amount of time that you’re able to predict is increasing because you’re able to observe more parameters. But still, your observation is all by instruments, not by you. You… Somewhere, we’re forgetting, all these instruments were created by this instrument. If you enhance this instrument, this is capable of perceiving in a certain way. Only thing is it needs a certain level of work and a certain level of focus, certain dedication… and dedication is a scarce material.
So did Shiva offer solutions for health… for ill-health? No. He just said you… if you do these things, ill-health should not enter your mind. It is not even a thought on your mind. It doesn’t exist for you.
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