Sadhguru explains how even an enlightened being, whether Shiva, Krishna or anyone, is governed by the laws of the physical, once they choose to work with a physical body.

Questioner: Ordinary human beings are born with a certain amount of prarabdha, but what about Krishna, Shiva, or you – isn’t all your prarabdha dissolved? But still, even a god had to face many adversities in his life, and that seems to be the case in your life too.

Sadhguru: Shiva never went through any adversity. There have been situations, such as when he lost his dear wife Sati. He went through a period of intense grief for her death, but after some time, he was fine again. That is so with everyone – even if you lose someone very dear to you, you may grieve for some time, and then you move on. He also went through that – no big deal. Krishna also went through many situations, and this is so in my life too. Yes, there are situations, but there is no suffering. No matter what happens, it does not leave you broken; it does not cripple you.

Now to the question why such situations happen even to a Krishna, a Shiva, a Jesus, or to me? Once you have chosen to function in a certain way in the world, you are subject to the laws of the world. I am not talking about man-made laws, but once you have chosen to take a physical body and act out a role in the world, you are also governed by the laws that control physical existence. This is the reason why Krishna was talking about dharma, Gautama Buddha was talking about dhamma, and we are talking about the fundamental yogic principle, because this principle, the dhamma, or the dharma is the guiding factor for the physical dimension of life. God is not sitting up there and managing things – it is all functioning according to certain laws and a certain system.


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If you are in the physical world, the physical fools will be pushing you around. If nothing should push you around, you must become nothing, or everything

Once you choose to enter that dimension, the laws of that dimension are applicable to you too, no matter who you are. You may be Krishna, you may be Shiva, you may be Sadhguru – if you drink poison, you will die. Maybe you have the capacity to somehow transcend certain situations if absolutely needed, you may not die, but still, you will have to pay a price. You cannot escape it. If you fall off the terrace, something will break, no matter who you are, because you have chosen to enter into the physical space. If you want to be in a condition where you can fall off from anywhere and nothing happens to you, you must be disembodied. But as long as you have a physical body, you are subject to the laws of the physical. This also goes for the other dimensions. When you have seen enough of life – physical and otherwise – the longing for mukti arises.

If you are in the physical world, the physical fools will be pushing you around. If you are in the disembodied world, the disembodied fools will be pushing you around. If you are in the celestial world, the celestial fools will be pushing you around. Seeing all this, a wise one seeks mukti. You want to be in a situation where nothing pushes you around. If nothing should push you around, you must become nothing, or you must become everything – whichever way you want to put it. You must become everything, boundless – then nothing pushes you around. But even if you have access to the boundlessness within you, once you have chosen to be in this body, you are governed by the physical.

This is the reason most enlightened beings do not stay in their body. Once they have the key to go beyond, they do not see any sense in hanging on to the body and being pushed around by the physical. It is like you are the prime minister of the country, and you came to a small village, and there, the Panchayat head pushes you around. This is the experience of all enlightened beings. They have the key to go beyond, they could be elsewhere, but once they have taken a physical body, the physical, and everyone in the physical realm pushes them around in a million different ways. Krishna expressed many times that as the Divine, he would not need to be subject to these things, but since he took a body because he wanted to establish dharma in the physical dimension, he was subject to the laws of the physical. Some worshipped him, but repeatedly, people made fun of him, calling him a cowherd – not with love, they called him Gopala, but in a derogatory way He would not have had to take all that, but since he took up the project of establishing dharma, he did.

Editor’s Note: Watch the Leela series, where Sadhguru explores the life and path of Krishna. Available as a free webstream – one part every week.

This article is based on an excerpt from the June 2014 issue of Forest Flower. Print subscriptions are available.

Image courtesy: Krishna with cows, herdsmen and Gopis, Pahari painting from Wikipedia