Why Do People Go on Pilgrimages?
Pilgrimages have been an essential part of the spiritual quest since time immemorial. But why do people go on pilgrimages, enduring hardships and discomfort? Sadhguru looks at the significance and purpose behind making a journey to a sacred space.
Subduing Who You Are
The very idea behind a pilgrimage is fundamentally to subdue the sense of who you are. It is to become nothing in the process of just walking and climbing and subjecting yourself to various arduous processes of nature. In the ancient past, to get to such places, a person had to go through a certain amount of physical, mental, and every kind of hardship, so that he becomes less than who he thinks he is right now. Today things have been made much more comfortable. We are flying up, driving down and just walking a little bit.
Physically, we are much weaker human beings than what they used to be a thousand years ago because somewhere we do not know how to make use of the comforts and conveniences for our wellbeing. We have used them to make ourselves weaker, at more difficulty with ourselves and with the surroundings in which we exist. So the fundamental idea of pilgrimage becomes all the more relevant to modern societies than it was to the ancient ones.
Hardship is not necessary but most people are unwilling to dissolve, so you have to wear them down. It is unfortunate that most human beings cannot grow in comfort. It would be wonderful to grow in comfort but unfortunately, most human beings become frivolous when there is comfort. Some profoundness comes to them only when there is hardship. But it need not be so. Something else need not beat us down. We must have the sense to understand that if we want to experience something larger than ourselves and touch dimensions which are not yet in our perception, the most important thing is that the sense of who you are should go down.
Make Your Life a Pilgrimage
If you have a working head, you would make your life into a pilgrimage. If your life is not a constant process of reaching for something higher than where you are right now, what kind of life is that? If this life is not constantly longing for something higher than what it is, that is not much of a life. If you are aspiring and working towards something higher, then your life is a pilgrimage.
Editor's Note: The Shivanga sadhana for men is an opportunity to bring forth devotion from within and to bring our connection with the source of creation into our awareness. The sadhana is also includes making a pilgrimage to the sacred Velliangiri Mountains and be initiated into Shiva Namaskar, a powerful practice. Find out more here.