Where to look to find the Divine? Sadhguru says, no matter where you look, there’s only one place. By pursuing anything strongly enough, one can find the Divine at the dead end.
If you nurture the roots, how can you avoid the flowering?
Wherever the Divine flowering happens, there heaven is.
None can see the flowering, but who can avoid the fragrance?
Sadhguru: Whatever you may pursue in this existence, if you pursue it steadily enough, for long enough, or if you pursue something to its end, you will always see that what we refer to as the Divine is the dead end. Whatever you look into – whether it is the sky, a flower, a human face, an animal, or a grain of sand – if you look into it with enough penetration, the Divine is like the dead end. This is not because what you refer to as Divine is flying in the sky, sitting in a flower, flying in a bird, crawling in an insect, or sitting in a rock. This is because you have no ability to truly see anything except your own interiority.
What you call as seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching or whatever kind of perception you have, is only that which happens on the inner screen. If you are engaged by the picture that plays on the screen, it looks like many things. But if you penetrate through the picture and touch the screen, the Divine is always the dead end because you are incapable of seeing anything other than your own interiority. It is not by looking up or looking down that one will know this.
Looking Up or Down?
There are two kinds of religions in the world. The moment you utter the word “God,” a lot of people look up – Uparwala – “the One above.” But in a few indigenous religions, they look down because they believe God is in the core of the Earth. Those who believe God is up in heaven are responsible for the disastrous ways in which we are treating this planet because they want to burn it and go to heaven. Every step that they take scorches the planet. We call this “carbon footprint.” What they are leaving is ashes – burnt-out carbon. Those who believe God is hidden in this planet walk a little more gently because this planet is the abode of their gods.
Looking up and looking down is not a way of knowing. It cannot be because a human being is not capable of knowing anything other than what reflects within his own consciousness. You cannot see anything outside. You can only see that which happens in your mindscape. You cannot hear anything that is happening outside. You can only hear that which happens in your mind. There is only one place. That makes it easy. If there were a million places in front of you and you were asked to choose, the decision-making would become too difficult. If you look at your life closely enough, with enough penetration, you will see there is only one place – the only place.
Mysore to Bengaluru and Back
When I was in the university and we started using motorized wheels, if there was gas in the tank, we could not sit still. At that time, Jawa – the motorcycle in India – a Czechoslovakian brand, was made in Mysore, so Mysore was the hometown for motorcycles. Everyone who could balance on two wheels believed he was a Grand Prix champion. Mysore is about 140 kilometers from Bengaluru. If the tank was full, we would just ride all the way to Bengaluru, enter the city, go around the main circle, and come straight back. Then the Bengaluru people did the same thing. They came to Mysore and went straight back.
After some time, we eased up a little bit and the Bengaluru kids started stopping at our place. They invited us, so we went and stopped at their place in the heart of the city. You cannot call it a restaurant – there were no tables, chairs or anything – just motorcycles and a little bit of coffee and snacks. This was named “The Only Place.” If we went to the city, this was the only place for us.
Whichever way you go, whatever you think you are doing, it is only happening in the inner scape, nowhere else. That makes it easy. There is only one place. And the place comes with you. You do not need to go anywhere. Wherever you go, “The Only Place” goes with you.
The Divine is like packed lunch. You do not have to go to a restaurant, a temple or heaven to be served. The ultimate nature of your existence always goes with you. You cannot get a better deal! Whatever images happen upon your inner scape, if you pursue any one of them strongly enough, you will touch the dead end, and the Divine is the dead end, always.
There was a wise rabbi. A young man came to him and said, “Rabbi, I don’t know what to do… I try to do all the things you taught me but I can’t help it. Every day, all I end up doing is sinning.” The rabbi looked at him and said, “Sin strongly.”
Whatever you are doing, whatever is happening, if you do it strongly enough, you will hit the dead end. For example, anger is an ugly thing. A man or a woman looks ugliest when they are angry. But if you maintain intense anger for 24 hours, you will get enlightened. You will see it is a hard path. To remain angry for 24 hours, you need a phenomenal amount of energy. You can remain loving for 24 hours, but you cannot remain angry for 24 hours – it burns you up. Sadhguru Sri Brahma used to be angry all the time – not about anybody, simply, just like that.
Everyone can choose their way. It is not the direction which is the problem – it is the lack of intensity and focus, and wrong ideas, where people are constantly faking qualities which are not theirs. Somebody told you, “You must be loving, you must be nice to each other, you must be kind,” so people are trying to act these things out and are wasting their lives.
The Bootlegging Brothers
There were two notorious brothers in Tennessee. Both of them were bootleggers. They made a lot of money but carried themselves off in society by dispensing money. Then, one of the brothers died. There was a new pastor in town. The old one had been completely under their grip. They had been supplying spirits to him and kept him happy. Now, this new one was young and a little straight. You know, when they are young, a lot of people have values and principles. They believe they can clean up the world. This pastor wanted to build a new place of worship and clean up the mess that his predecessor had left. The other brother went to the pastor and told him, “See, all the money that you need to build this new place of worship, I will give it to you. The only thing is, when you conduct my brother’s service, you must declare that he is a saint.” The pastor readily agreed. When the moment came, he said, “This man was a bootlegger, he corrupted the society, he corrupted all the local officials, he cheated on his wife, he treated his family badly, he abused God, but compared to his brother, he’s a saint.”
Your goodness is always in comparison to somebody else’s. That is of no value. When the only place is here, within you, comparison is a horrible way to live. There is no comparison because it is the only place.
So, to hit the dead end, all it takes is an intense dimension towards any one thing. This is not possible for people who are “multi-tasking.” That is a very common word nowadays. It is the fickleness of approach which is the problem – the constant shifting from this to that, that to this, this to that. The problem is that you want to juggle, you want to play circus. But if you do anything strongly enough, it will get you there.
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A version of this article was originally published in Isha Forest Flower December 2010.