Shivanga Sadhana – Continuing the Wave of Devotion

In a recent Darshan, Sadhguru explained the significance of the Shivanga Sadhana as a means to employ one’s emotional intelligence and embrace life, just as it is.

Questioner: Namaskaram Sadhguru. In the Thaipusam Sathsang, you talked about being able to continue the Shivanga Sadhana. How do we continue this, are there different levels to it? 

Sadhguru: The sadhana is essentially towards empowering your emotional intelligence. Today in the world, the word “intelligence” is identified as IQ. IQ means, “I stand in the queue.” That means you are always behind somebody.

The nature of the intellect is always trying to imitate and be one up on the other. Wanting to be better than somebody is also an imitation of somebody. Essentially, this means we are trying to do a little better than the monkeys – that’s evolution.

Right now, for most human beings, the intellect is a useless instrument unless there is a bank of information. If there is no information, most people do not know how to use their intellect. This is not the nature of emotional intelligence. It doesn’t need any information. It can just embrace everything and know it. It can feel its way through life. It need not stand in a queue behind somebody, it need not try to be better than somebody. It is simply a way of being involved with life, knowing life by involvement not by dissection. This is the difference between intellect and emotion. Intellect tries to know everything by cutting it open, by dissection. Emotion knows things by embrace, by inclusion.

Devotion is not about dissecting the divine; it is about dancing with the divine and becoming one with it

So the sadhana is essentially to heighten your emotional intelligence because it’s so much of a easier way of doing things. If you want to dissect the ultimate, if you want to dissect the divine, that is not a good thing and you won't get anywhere with it. The best way is to embrace. When you embrace somebody, you are also allowing yourself to be embraced, otherwise it will not happen. “Only I will embrace you, you cannot embrace me” – it doesn’t work like that. When I embrace, I am also embraced. So this is a way of embracing the divine rather than dissecting the divine. Devotion means just that. Devotion is not about dissecting the divine; it is about dancing with the divine and becoming one with it.

Emotional intelligence means, your ability to live well is by your own innate nature, not because you are better than somebody. You don’t have to prove that you’re better than somebody. You don’t even have to try to be better than somebody. There is no hierarchy in this. Nobody can decide, “This person loves more than the other person.” There is no such thing. Quantities do not apply to emotional intelligence. When quantities do not apply, the high and low disappear, big and small disappear; life becomes as it is. Is an ant a more important life than you or are you a more important life than the ant? If you think you are more important, you have a gross mind. You do not understand that the ant considers its life as important as you consider your life –  probably more. He has more limbs than you and is probably doing more useful things.

Intellect is always trying to set one thing against the other. It is your intellect which has created conflict, it is your emotion which can bring this together. But if emotion follows intellect, emotion will also become a deadly conflict. If your intellect follows the emotion, then there will be no conflict, there will be sweetness in the world. There will be wonderful situations in the world.

It is a simple structure, but if you give yourself to it, it can do miraculous things to you

So the sadhana is essentially oriented towards that. It is a simple structure, but if you give yourself to it, it can do miraculous things to you. Many people cannot understand that something so simple can do something like this to a human being because they dissect it and see. Suppose you are a great singer and I say, “Wow, you sing so well. Let me see what is inside your vocal cords.” If I dissect your vocal cords and look inside, I will not find any music because that is not how life works.

Dissection will take you to a place where everything becomes meaningless. If you apply your intellect to every aspect of your life, you will turn everything into meaningless rubbish. That is what is happening in the life of an intellectual. Everything looks meaningless. But if you apply your emotion, everything becomes valuable and beautiful. A blade of grass becomes poetry, a wave of the branch becomes a song.

So do not apply your intellect to the sadhana structure – “Oh what is this? If I fold my leg, what will happen? Why can't I do it some other way?”  If your body and your system was engineered like that, we would have done another kind of Devi Dandam, but it is engineered like this, so we are doing it like this. So do not dissect the sadhana; hold it as something sacred. If you simply do it, it will do miraculous things to you. If you dissect it and look into it, you will not find anything valuable in it. So continuing the sadhana just means that you learn to use your emotional intelligence, which includes and embraces everything; not splits everything into pieces.

Editor's Note: Stories of Yudhisthira's devotion to Krishna, and a little-known story of a group of monks and their devotion to Shiva, illustrate how devotion is a tool for dissolution. Explore the power of devotion in this intense series, Devotion. Only on Sadhguru Exclusive! Watch now.