Rhythms of Earth, Cycles of Life
April 22 is celebrated as Earth Day. Sadhguru looks at how we can live in sync with the cycles of nature.
Read in Telugu: భూమి గమనాలు – జీవన వృత్తాలు
Q: Not so long ago, in not-so-ancient times, people knew the rhythms of the earth, and when they would plant, they would listen to different things, rhythms from the animals and cycles of the moon. Now it's all satellite images and genetically modified organisms and chemicals in the earth. How do we get people to revere and understand those old ways where people understood and worked within the cycles of life and heeded them for their own survival?
Sadhguru: Today, at least in cities, I would say 95% of people do not know what phase of the moon it is right now. If you ask them, they will Google it, they won't look up in the sky! The phases of the moon and the impact that it has on your physiology and your psychological structure is phenomenal.
It is capable of pulling up the whole ocean, but you think nothing is happening to you? It definitely happens to you. It is just that we have become a society of accumulated knowledge, not experiential knowing. For everything, we have to read a book. Slowly, we are becoming more and more of an incubated life rather than a real life. This will cause various things. Many more things will happen if we don't take care of it now. We are still at a place where we can turn it around, but if you cross certain lines, turning around is not going to be easy.
The Solar System as Potter’s Wheel
In yoga, we see the solar system as the potter's wheel out of which we have been churned. The relationship between the solar system and the body is recognized and a whole lot of practices are designed to be in sync with that. There are 72,000 energy channels in the body, which meet in 114 places in significant ways. Out of these 114, two are outside the physical body. With another four, there is nothing much you can do. So there are only 108 which you can practically work with.
108 has been held as a significant number in Indian culture. There is something called as the Surya Siddantha, an ancient text about the science of the sun. It says that the distance between the sun and earth is 108 times the diameter of the sun. The diameter of the sun is 108 times the diameter of the earth. The distance between the earth and the moon is 108 times the diameter of the moon. The human system is also in sync with this.
The Peak of Evolution
15,000 years ago when Adiyogi, the first yogi, was transmitting yoga to his seven disciples, the Saptarishis or seven celebrated sages in India, he charted out how a human being has evolved.
He said the first form was a fish, then it was a turtle – an amphibious creature. Among the mammals, the first one is a wild boar. Then he talks about half man-half animal, then a dwarfed man, then a full-fledged man, but emotionally volatile. Then he talked about a peaceful man, a loving man and then a meditative man. After this is a mystical man – a man who is capable of experiencing other things – will come. When he talks about a man, he is not talking about an individual man. He is talking about humanity evolving on this planet.
Then the Saptarishis asked, “Can't a human being evolve further?” Adiyogi said, “Unless there are drastic changes in the solar system, your body cannot evolve further; the physical laws will not permit that.” It is very uncanny that today, modern neuroscientists are saying something very similar. When people ask, “Can't we have a bigger brain than what we have so that we can do more things?” They are saying, “The human brain cannot evolve any further, not because of neurological principles but because of physical laws. We can only learn to use it better, but we cannot evolve it further because the only way we can do that is to pack more neurons in it. If we do that, clarity will go away.” Many children are born like this – they have phenomenal intelligence but they have no clarity. Over a period of time, natural cycles will kill some of the neurons and bring them down to a balanced state. If they don't come down, they will be not normal.
The other way for the brain to evolve is for the neuronal size to increase, in which case the brain’s power consumption will be so high that the physical body cannot sustain it. In a restful state, twenty percent of your energy is consumed in your brain. If you increase the size of the neurons, the volume of energy that it will consume will be so high that the physical body cannot sustain it. This is because of the physical laws, not because of neurological principles. Adiyogi said this 15,000 years ago.
In yoga, we evolved a whole system of practices as to how to stay in sync with the solar system so that your physical health, your mental balance and your spiritual wellbeing is not even an issue. It is something that naturally gets handled once you fall in sync with the whole system. Today we ignore everything and try to live. You can't be well that way.
We have strived to produce societies and world with all kinds of conveniences. But we have not invested enough on the inner wellbeing of a human being. We need infrastructure which delivers inner possibilities without fanciful belief systems; an infrastructure where a human being can turn inward and explore himself. I am talking about inner exploration as an experience, not a psychological analysis. If that doesn't happen, becoming ecologically sensitive is going to be just a fashionable or a freaky thing.
Editor’s Note :"A Tree Can Save the World" is more than just a book! It is a call to action from Sadhguru. Making it clear that “when it comes to ecological work, it is not somebody’s work, it is everybody’s work,” Sadhguru links the responsibilities of people, business and governance to address the problem with both short-term action as well as long-term vision. Name your own price and download.
Image courtesy: Dasavatar By Anonymous - V&A Museum, Public Domain