Kalaripayattu is so old, its origins are traditionally attributed to the gods. But as with many other aspects of Indian culture, this incredible marital art form comes from none other than Agastya Muni.
Sadhguru: Kalari is probably the oldest martial art form on the planet. These martial art forms were essentially taught by Agastya Muni to start with because martial arts are not just about kicking and punching or stabbing. It's about learning to use the body in every possible way. So it not only involves exercise and other aspects of agility, it also involves understanding the energy system. There is Kalari chikitsa and Kalari marma which involves knowing the secrets of the body and healing the body quickly to keep the body in a regenerative mode. Maybe in today’s world there are very few Kalari practitioners who dedicate enough time, energy and focus, but if you go deep enough you will naturally move towards yoga because anything that came from Agastya cannot be any other way than being spiritual. It's just another dimension, another dimension, another dimension – every possible way of exploration.
People know eating, sleeping and simple pleasures, and nothing more about their body. There are unexplored dimensions of the body. You know, some karate masters can kill you just with a little touch. Killing somebody with a touch is not the big deal. With a touch you can make them come awake, that’s a big thing. With a touch you can make them come alive, that’s a big thing. With a simple touch, not even somebody else, yourself simply touching the body in a certain way, the whole system can come awake.
For me, if we were only striving for the spiritual advancement of people, it’s very easy. I don’t even see it as a great challenge. But we want to open up the mystical dimension into human life. This needs work, a different level of commitment, focus, and dedication. To penetrate through the limitations which naturally exist for our species, to know life beyond the limitations set by nature, it needs a certain kind of people. The time is coming when we’ll do more focused work. I want to increase the percentage of what I can leave behind before I go, because there are many, many, aspects about this fantastic machine. 99.99% of humanity goes without ever exploring even their body. If they have a little pleasure it's over. It’s not like that. If you explore this, this is a cosmos by itself. It can do tremendous things just sitting here. This is the way of yoga. Kalari is just a more active form of that.