In this week’s Spot, Sadhguru answers questions about rituals and the Devi. “The beauty of ritual is that even somebody who is ignorant of everything can participate and benefit from a ritual if it is conducted as a scientific process. It is a way of generating energy for the community. I am becoming a little more gentle, a little more compassionate – sort of moving from hard love to soft love. So that’s why Devi; it’s an expression of maternal compassion.”
This question keeps coming up – just today someone called me and asked, ‘Sadhguru, why did you do such a thing and build the Linga Bhairavi?’ As if I committed a crime by doing that.
So, why Devi? I’ve answered this question a thousand times to a thousand different people, but today somebody called me and said very vehemently, ‘Sadhguru, how could you do this?! It seems you are even doing rituals!’ I asked, ‘Did you brush your teeth today morning?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ So I said, ‘Why are you doing such a ritual everyday?’ If you are doing that, that is also a morning ritual, isn't it? When you can brush your teeth, when you can eat regularly, when you can ingest and excrete without a day’s break, what is your problem with other rituals?
The negativity about rituals is only because of the misuse that has happened, not because ritual is bad, simply because of the possibility of misuse. We are in the process of establishing people with whom there is no question of misuse.
The beauty of meditation is this - it is all by yourself. And the beauty of ritual is that even somebody who is ignorant of everything can participate and benefit from a ritual if it is conducted as a scientific process. It is a way of generating energy for the community. So ritual is like a community meditation; it is like a community spiritual process. In a community, you can do it. But the danger of ritual is it can be easily misused. Now we have insured that there is absolutely no room for misuse because whatever simple rituals that are done are 100% recorded and people of absolute integrity are handling it. And even tomorrow, if the next generation comes, how it should be done and for what purpose it should be done is clearly written down, so that there will be no misuse at all. So ritual is not bad by itself. It can be used in a negative way - as almost everything can be.
A new shopping mall opened and a woman went into one of the stores. She went to the counter and was amazed to see God himself behind the counter. Then she looked at him and said, ‘Oh my Lord! You? In a shop? So I can have anything that I wish?’ He said, ‘Yes, my child, you can have anything that you want.’ So she thought and then said, ‘I want peace of mind. I want happiness. I want love. I want freedom from fear and I want wealth.’ Then she thought that she looked bad asking for these things, so she said, ‘Okay, I want this for everyone.’ Then God looked at her and said, ‘You see, here we only sell seeds, not fruits. This is a seed shop, this is not a fruit shop. We sell every kind of seed but you have to take it and grow it.’
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So this is what we have been doing for a long time – a seed shop. Isha has always been a seed shop. I have always been saying that Dhyanalinga is a tool for planting the seed of wellbeing and liberation. Many people take the seed and go home, but by the time it germinates, they eat it up. They don’t wait for it to grow and bear fruit. So now we opened a fruit shop. For people who do not know how to grow their own fruits, this is a fruit shop.
You know, I am getting soft in my head as I get old. I am becoming a little more gentle, a little more compassionate - sort of moving from hard love to soft love. At one time I was asking everybody to jump the ultimate bar. Now I am allowing people to go below the bar, ‘Okay, it's all right. This is a high jump competition but if you go under the bar, it’s okay.’ What to do? I am slowly becoming like that because of time. It takes a certain amount of time to train everybody to jump the height. So when people do not prepare their legs that much, I say, ‘It's all right, walk under the bar. At least cross the bar somehow. No gold medals, but get across somehow. It’s okay.' So that’s why Devi; it’s an expression of maternal compassion.
See, what a fall - from being a guru of great intensity, now I am becoming a mother. You don't know how to grow your own fruit, so we have a fruit shop. Shall we rename the temple a fruit shop?
Guavas, don’t get me into butterfruit...