Q: Sadhguru, you had spoken about conflict or friction between different layers of the system and how, in some people, the karmic body or the energy body may be in friction with their physical body. Why does this happen, and how can we overcome this?


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Sadhguru: Let me give you an automobile example. Suppose you take a little car and put a very powerful engine in it. If you don’t beef up the entire car, the car is going to fall apart – not because the engine is bad, but simply because the engine is too good. Similarly, if your energy body is greatly enhanced without enhancing your physical body, and without making your karmic body conducive to that, something may fall apart.

This is why we conduct several days of classes just to teach the twenty-one minute Shambhavi Mahamudra – so that you also learn to handle your physicality and, above all, your karmic nature. There are certain ways to function in the world where, if you enlarge your identity – particularly your emotional identification – the karmic body sits loosely upon you. Now it will accommodate any amount of ambitious expansion of your energy body. Your emotional identification has to expand. Without that, your karma sits tight on you.

When your karma sits so tight on you, if your energies expand, you will feel like you are being ripped apart. It is good if you are ripped, but you must be able to endure that. If you are not able to endure that, you will think you are going crazy. So, the best thing is to expand the karmic body in such a way that, whatever level of intensity and expansion happens in the energy body, the karmic body is able to withstand it.

Regarding the physical body, it is rare that someone’s physical body cannot take this. That will come into play only when we do very powerful systems of kriya yoga. Before we explore the nature of kriya yoga to a certain depth and intensity, it is very important that the physical body is stable and capable of taking that. Without this necessary understanding, they could cause immense damage to themselves.

I have seen people who have caused immense damage to their physical body, simply by doing what is generally called kundalini yoga. But generally, most people are only talking yoga, rarely practicing yoga with any intensity. I know a lot of people, particularly in the United States, who only practice yoga when they meet once a month. It is like a yoga club. If you are just an “entertainment yogi”, you may not feel the difference. But if you seriously practice, and if your energy body genuinely expands in a big way, then the physical body and karmic body must be ready for that. Otherwise they cannot handle it.

Editor’s Note: “Mystic’s Musings” includes more of Sadhguru’s insights on karma and the yogic sciences. Read the free sample  or purchase the ebook.