Sadhguru speaks about the spiritual significance of the month of Margazhi, which in the Tamil calendar begins on December 16. He explains the cosmological basis behind why this month helps us create balance and stability within ourselves, and looks at the science behind some of the common customs in Indian culture associated with this month.
In the process of evolving life… when I say in the process of evolving life, I am not talking about how to make monkeys into human beings. I am talking about how to make human beings into better human beings - better not just physically, better not just mentally, but as a life a better life. “Oh, is one life better than the other?” This is a difficult thing. But if you closely observe one life to another, you will see how one life functions - not in terms of social actions, not in terms of capability and competence, simply how life functions within the system is different from person to person. The system of yoga is seeing how to make this life function at its highest. People think highest means, “Will I be the most successful person on the planet? Will I run hundred meters in so many seconds?” (Laughs) Better does not mean that. Better simply means as a piece of life, it is better.
There is no context to speak about this dimension in normal parlance or in English language particularly there is no way to say it because life is all same. Yes, life is all same, but it can function better. If you allow it, it will function better. If you do not allow it, it will not function as well. Whether we like it or we don’t like it, that’s how it is. When the same… you must see, there is a beautiful example in the Spanda Hall garden. We planted two Nagalingam trees. One - we have taken care of them equally well - one has grown and flowered, other is always struggling. (Laughs) There are different reasons for that, but it’s like this. In the same home, two children are born - one just flourishes within himself, another struggles all the way because for life to happen it needs a conducive atmosphere. Creating that conducive atmosphere and allowing life to happen better, this time of the year has maximum possibility in this direction.
You know about, definitely you know about the story of Bhishma waiting to cross this Dakshinayana to Uttarayana before he left his body because he wants to be out of this pull to the south. South is called… Down is called south. So, if it is pulling down, the Muladhara will be strongest, the preservative aspect will be strongest. He does not want to leave at that time. He wants the sun to move away to a place where there is an upward pull to his body… there is an upward pull to his being so that he can ascend in a proper way. The Margazhi is significant for a spiritual seeker because it brings a natural sense of stability into the system, particularly those who are suffering from any kind of ailments, particularly psychological imbalances - this is a good time to balance because the sun’s energy and the sun’s gravity is pulling downward, one can stabilize themselves.
Stability before the upward pull happens is most important. If you are pulled upward and you are not stable within yourself, it will lead to imbalances. So, this is called as sadhana pada and this is the peak of sadhana that if you do the necessary sadhana at this time… Generally traditionally, people don’t want to miss the brahma muhurtam in this month that is at three-forty. They are all up. And there are various processes to keep in touch with water. There are many systems and many cultural practices and yogic practices to keep in touch with water because water is the largest element within you and water is one thing that could slosh. If your waters are not proper, it will cause imbalance in the system.
In the yogic system, if there is a psychological imbalance, it is always seen as water element going out of control because if you have a tank full of water and shake it, it will slosh. If you have a tank full of sand or mud, it will not slosh the same way. So, the water element is what causes various levels of imbalance in a person if the right kind of things are not done with it. So, traditionally, there’re various practices to be in touch with water. One of the simplest thing is people always went into temple ponds at three-forty in the morning to take a dip. It would be good. We should… we should keep our theerthakund open early, (Few Laugh) this month from 16th to 13th or 14th of January, we must keep it open very early. Those who want to make use of it, can make use of it.
Bringing stability to the waters within, is one big step towards bringing psychological balance. Only when there is psychological balance and physiological balance and energy balance, will you dare to climb. Otherwise, a little one step - if everything shakes inside of you, you will only step backwards. There’re any number of spiritual seekers who are constantly one step forward, one step backward, one step forward, one step backward because the moment they take a forward step, they will notice imbalance and they will come back. This is happening to too many people because not enough sadhana towards stabilizing themselves. This particular month offers a phenomenal opportunity to stabilize oneself because of the way… the relationship between the sun and the earth is such that it creates maximum stability.
Stability also means inertia. It’s not mobile. It is stable. So, it causes a certain level of inertia and also stability. So, this month is used for stability and the next month, the Thai, is used for mobility. If you have created enough stabi… stability within you, then only you would dare to be mobile. Only… If you are riding a bicycle, only if you are well-balanced, will you dare to move. Otherwise, you will sit on a bicycle with the stand on. (Laugh) (Few Laugh) Yes. Yes, that’s how life is happening for lot of people. Because of the fear of instability, they sit on a bicycle with the stand on. You can pedal, you can get some exercise, but you are not going anywhere.
So, Margazhi is a blessed month which is used for various processes. Across the Shiva temples in the south, there’re various events happening on 16th, 17th, 18th of this month. The… one important step is the arudra poojas that happen. Rudra means a roarer - somebody who… who is very effervescent… more than effervescent, a roar. Arudra means stable - not roaring kind, just absolutely stable. Arudra also suggests a certain inertia because rudra suggests movement and creation. Arudra suggests no movement and a certain inertia. There is inertia. There is enormous inertia in this part of the year, but the wise should make use of whatever there is and we need a certain level of inertia to bring stability. When you want to bring stability, the thing is to slow down. If you lose balance, the first thing is to slow down. So, this is the time when everything slows down and people want to make use of it and that is why this Margazhi has become significant in… in a spiritual seeker’s life.
The name Margazhi comes from the word mrigasira which literally means the head of an animal or the face of an animal… or the head of an animal, which is in the western cultures known as the Orion. Orion literally means the hunter. Orion is one of the most easily noticeable constellations. The sun is at the clo… as… is in line with the Orion at this time of the year. Because of this, this month is called as mrigasira or margasira, as it’s known in the rest of the country. In Tamil Nadu, we call this Margazhi, which is mainly referring to the relationship between our sun, which is a star - with the star or the constellation of Orion because they are aligned together. At this time, it has a certain impact on our sun and after… In… in the month of October, generally, there are… it is the season for comets in Orion or at least that’s the time we see it. The impact of that, what happens in October, they say will take effect now in December.
So, because of that also, this is called a spectacular month because comets have come out. Celestially spectacular but not considered good for human beings. So, they burn out in this time and the end of the comets happen at this time, somewhere around this time. So, because the comets have ended, we consider this as auspicious because the comets from the Orion have burnt themselves out and they have ended. This is all in relation to this planet. In… in terms of… See, the movement of the earth is gyroscopic. You know what’s gyroscopic? It’s… I wish we had something to show. There is a gyroscopic movement which gives the axis of the earth a certain precession. This precession means a little wobble in the earth’s movement - the axis wobbles a bit. This wobble com… completes one revolution in approximately twenty-six thousand years. This is in relation to the circumference of the planet which is closely related to that.
The outer ring of the equator is approximately the same length and so it creates a small… if… if an axis is loose and going like this, it goes… this revolution takes approximately twenty-six thousand years. It is said from… all this is in human conjuncture because we want to count from somewhere. We have to start counting from somewhere. We can’t count from the beginning because we don’t know what’s the beginning. We start counting from somewhere. So, this revolution that we are going through right now is considered to be approximately according to the Hindu calendar about seven thousand years old. We still have another twenty-one thousand years (should be nineteen thousand) before it completes one revolution. Because why this is significant is - it is the gyroscopic movement of the planet which determines the distance between… the relationship between the planet and the sun at different times of the year.
We are somewhere around seven thousand years from the day we started counting. It could be (Laughs) anywhere. We start counting at some point. There are various other aspects to this which could be too technical. In terms of… in terms of what happens to our life, whatever is happening to the planet, in some way translates into all life on this planet. Human being, being one creature with most evolved neurological system is supposed to be more sensitive - but they are proving it to be wrong (Laughs) for various reasons. Supposed to be more sensitive and it is actually. So, this… this creature with such an evolved nervous system which is capable of making out even the smallest changes that are happening to the planet and the energy system and how it functions in relation to all life - this is most sensitive.
So, for the human being, there are certain things happening. One thing is, there is a downward movement. When there is a downward movement, you know, if… if somebody is a little psychologically disturbed, during full-moon days and new-moon days, they tend to go more disturbed because there is an upward movement of blood. There is a blood rush happening into the brain. So, whatever is your quality gets enhanced on that day. It is not that full-moon day causes madness. Full-moon day just enhances whatever is your quality. If your quality is meditativeness, you become more meditative. If your quality is love, you become more loving. If your quality is madness, you become more that. So, it is not causing madness, but it is causing a rush of blood into the brain which enhances whatever you are on that day.
So, now because of the reverse effect, these pournamis, these two have least impact on the system, that is, there is no blood rush into the brain to the same extent as it would happen on other full-moon days and new-moon days. Because of this, it causes a much more stable mental, psychological and physiological situation. So, such a situation is rare for a lot of people. (Laughs) Yes. So, when such an opportunity is being offered by nature, I think the best use of it must be made use of because stability is the basis of all activity. It’s only when you are truly stable, you can house tremendous amount of dynamism within you. If you are not so stable, you wouldn’t dare to be dynamic. You would always contain yourself. So, this is a time to create that. I think we will set out a few small possibilities by 16th of December which is another five to six days. We will announce a few things that those of you who wish to do can do during this month and you will definitely benefit from that.