Kangana Ranaut Explores the Potency of Indian Temples with Sadhguru
In an excerpt from a conversation with Kangana Ranaut in Varanasi, Sadhguru sheds light on the significance of temple spaces and the best way to make yourself receptive to this energy.
Temples – Places to Receive, Not Ask
Kangana Ranaut: Sadhguru ji, I saw the way you were in Kashi Vishwanath – you sat there, and I do not know if you were meditating or you were just observing everything. I know there is a very intense science, whether it is the vastu or it is the Garbhasthan. I’ve also helped build a temple, so I know the whole thing is very scientific. So when the layman goes there, how do we maximize our time there? How do we make most of these energy bodies?Sadhguru: There are basic instructions for going to Indian temples. In the south, still those instructions live. Even today people know, if they go to the temple – their prayer, their petition is not important. They must just sit there for some time quietly, because a temple is like a battery-charging place. We created different types of temples for different purposes but unfortunately today, most people have started interpreting temples as places of prayer. Temples are not places of prayer – you are just supposed to have darshan. Darshan means just to behold, because the form has been created with a certain geometry and other kinds of perfections.
The idea is to sit there and have Darshan, which means you are taking an imprint of that form into yourself. It is a powerful form and it has been created with a certain science and with certain energy dimensions to it. If you take this form within you, it lives and grows within you, and that is the significance of going to the temple, sitting there and imbibing that energy. But today unfortunately, people think they should just go there and petition god for what they want.
How to Be in a Temple
Kangana Ranaut: Growing up, I never thought I will glow as a being if I say “Shri Ram” and take in an imprint of the standards of life, the morals, and the value system that he has set up.
Sadhguru: That is because we are taking in things from the rest of the world, where they have set up places of prayer. It is not an Indian thing to talk to your god. Because here, out of our consciousness we realized that we can create a god. This is the only culture which is conscious that god is our making.
That is why we have thirty-three million gods and goddesses. Everywhere else they believe god created you. Here we know, we created god – but for our wellbeing! And our wellbeing does not just include our money, survival, or food. It includes our mukti – that is the significance of this culture.
So what should be the expectation and preparation to experience a temple? If you come to the Yoga Center, you will see people take a dip in the Suryakund or Chandrakund, depending on their gender, and then go into the temple, keeping their bodies slightly wet. All these things were there earlier, which is why there were kunds in every temple. You are supposed to take dip and then go, because the energy there becomes more available to you if your body is damp. Plus, in your mental attitude, the important thing is that you are not going there thinking that god should take instructions from you.
You are not going there to tell god what he should do – you are there to make yourself available to a dimension of energy that you by yourself are not able to generate. So this is why in this culture, it is said that people in family situations should go to the temple every day before they start their day. But always this exemption has been there that people on the spiritual path need not go to the temple because you have your own self-charging methods – you need not go to a public place. If you see people in the villages, they go to the public tap because they are no taps at home. But those who have water taps at home are not going to the public place to gather water – this is just like that!
Either you can generate this within yourself, or you can go someplace and get it. “How should I go?” You should become like a micro-temple yourself. A micro-temple means you understand that this body also embodies the source of creation, which is what you are calling as the divine. Whatever is the source of creation, that is what you are referring to as divine, and this definitely embodies that. Even if you are not experiencing it, at least you go with that thought and emotion that it is within me and it needs to come awake. The only thing is, it is not in my experience right now, but it should come into my experience.
Kangana Ranaut: It is my own understanding that some humans are a lot more evolved than others. But is it that everybody who goes to the temple can have this self-realization experience if they try? Or will some have a hard time and others will get it easier?
Sadhguru: If I asked you to climb a tree, won’t there be a difference between how I go up the tree and how you will, depending upon how I have kept my body and how you have kept yours? The same goes for all dimensions of life. Suppose you read a book. How quickly one person understands depends on how sharp they have kept their perception. Similarly for your life energy also – it depends on what level of fitness and agility you have kept it.
Kangana Ranaut: But Sadhguru, there are so many temples. I feel that the generations before us invested in all kinds of glorious temples. Generation after generation, the kind of money, resources, and mental and emotional energy that have been put into temples, it seems like a tradition which was so much more into temples, and you're saying it is not even important.
Sadhguru: Even then, they created this for people who are in family situations. But the yogis went and lived in the cave. They never lived in the temple – they walked the mountains and lived by the riverside. They did not come to the temple on a daily basis. But if you need it, there is nothing wrong in using it. It is perfectly fine.
How Is Sadhguru Different as a Yogi?
Kangana Ranaut: From whatever I have heard about Adiyogi, he was just in ecstasy on his own. He was not interested in the Saptarishis or giving gyan to anybody. In fact, whatever he gave them, he took it back. He was the least interested in imparting knowledge or anything. So most yogis I see, when the Kumbh happens, there are so many magnificent beings, who come as if they've just descended from heaven or something.
But what is it about you? I feel you are a doer in the world – you want to save rivers, you feel for them; you feel for the environment. The way you consecrated the Dhyanalinga, you almost left your life in order to consecrate that. There is a very strong desire to give to people. So how are these yogis different from you?
Sadhguru: Some of them that you saw here in Kashi are just wearing the yogi uniform and wanting to look like Adiyogi. That is why I have changed my attire completely. Many of them are just smoked out and badly nourished. But you see Adiyogi – probably he is the most athletic god that you can find on the planet because he is a yogi.
You did not have the misfortune of going and studying in universities. Otherwise, if you go there, there will be professors who are sharing what they have learned every day. But there was a time when they were doing their PhD or something for five years. When they did not speak to anyone, they spent time in the library writing, reading, and understanding things. Suppose you saw them at that time, you would have thought they have renounced the world – they had in a way. It is not a renunciation, it is just that your focus has shifted to something bigger. When you are working on that, other people think you have given up everything else. They do not understand you are pursuing something very hard, so you have no time for other things. So someone who is doing a PhD for four to five years, if they are not available for your local party, you think they have renounced. But once he becomes a professor, he starts teaching, and every day he mingles with all kinds of people. One thing is that his knowledge or state of knowing is not fragile anymore. When I say fragile, the way of being is not under threat. Initially, if you dress differently, eat differently, or mix with people, the knowledge is threatened because it is still under incubation. Similarly for a yogi – you think he has renounced everything. He has not renounced; he is focused on something.
There are certain stages like that in everyone’s life, and there have been such stages in my life also. But now it is different because my spiritual process is not fragile. I can be any way and still be present – nothing is lost for me. It does not matter what kind of atmosphere I am in, what sort of people I am with – it makes no difference for me. I am not looking for good company. I am okay with bad company, because bad company is my work.
We are working in the prisons for more than two decades, which means I am with hardcore criminals. Will I become a criminal, because I am with them? No. The chance is, they will become yogis. I will not become a criminal.
Editor’s Note: Here’s a glimpse into Sadhguru’s Kashi Krama in 2019.