When life is divided into this and that, good and bad, one will never know silence, explains Sadhguru. The idea of yoga is to destroy this duality, and this is the reason Shiva, the Adiyogi, is known as the destroyer.
Sadhguru: There have been teachers who taught goodness to people. There have been others who taught evil to people. But there have also been teachers who did everything to destroy both good and evil so that life may happen just the way it should, not by some principles of goodness or some thoughts and emotions of the ego. Only then one will know what it means to be silent within oneself. Good people cannot be silent. Evil people cannot be silent. Only those who do not pay attention to either, who just pay attention to the process of life, can be truly silent.
This and This
Silence means you have no stuff of your own going on. Silence does not mean that I do not hear the birds chirping or the clash and thunder of the sun rising. Silence simply means that I have stopped making the noise. All noises fundamentally began because you have created a division about this and that. When there is this and that, there can be no silence. Only where there is this and this, there can be silence.
Everywhere, this same question keeps coming: “How much spirituality should I do?” How much ever you do, you will be in trouble. You must only do this and this. Everything else should fit into it, then it is okay. If you do this and that, you will be in turmoil - it will not work. Those who tried to teach goodness to people, they took that mode generally because society at that particular time was in such a state of deviation, that to bring some semblance of order to the social system and also to get people out of what they are entangled in, they just taught the opposite.
When there were people who were taught “an eye for an eye”, and a man comes and says, “If somebody slaps you on one cheek, show him the other,” it is just to destroy the existing entanglement that people had. If they had let him live a little longer, he would have also told them how to slap somebody in the face when need be. Or maybe he just taught what was really needed. The other parts they would have anyway learned.
Ideas of Good and Bad
Every idea of goodness only breeds different levels of prejudice. Once you identify one thing as good, another thing as bad, your perception gets completely distorted. You have no chance to extricate yourself from that. No matter how hard you look, that is how it will seem. To destroy this, we created yoga. That is why Shiva, the first teacher of yoga, is known as the destroyer. The whole idea of yoga is to destroy all these things which initially look wonderful but after some time are the basis of your entanglement.
When Shiva expounded yoga, he did it in many ways. On one level, he said it is so close. He told Parvati, “You just sit on my lap, that’s it, that is yoga.” This looks like a man's trick to get the woman on his lap. No, because he did not just keep her on his lap. He gave up a part of himself and made her a part of himself. When she asked all kinds of questions, he said, “You don’t worry, you just sit here, that’s all. Just sit on my lap, everything is taken care of.” But to somebody else he taught elaborate methods, talking about the truth as if it is a million miles far away, how there are a million intricate steps to be taken. The same man speaks in both ways.
Truth Needs No Addressing
This is the most beautiful part - he is not addressing truth, he is addressing the people who are sitting in front of him, because truth cannot and need not be addressed. This is the mistake the world has made. They have constantly tried to address the Ultimate. They have never addressed the people. They always tried to address God, which is their idea of the Ultimate. The moment you address the Ultimate, you will go into all kinds of imaginary distortions.
The yogic system never addresses the Ultimate. It only addresses the people. There is no need to do anything about the Ultimate – it is ultimate. It is the one who is right now in certain states of limitations who needs to be addressed. If you go to a doctor, he is supposed to look at you. You do not expect him to close his eyes and pray. That is not why you went to him. You want him to look at your body and find out what is wrong with you.
Similarly, it is people who are going through many things. The Ultimate is not struggling. It is individuals who are struggling. It is this individual being who is going through upheavals for every little thing that happens. It is this individual being who needs to be addressed. Addressing each individual being as they are right now, not addressing the Ultimate, is the essence of yogic sciences.
Editor’s Note: Find more of Sadhguru’s insights in the ebook “From Creation to Creator”, available at Isha Downloads. Pay what you wish and download it. Enter “0” or click “Claim for free” for a free download.
A version of this article was originally published in Isha Forest Flower October 2007.