Guru Purnima: The First Guru
This full moon night is recognised as the night of the first guru. It is on this day, for the very first time in the history of humanity, that human beings were reminded that they are not a fixed life. If they are willing to strive, every door in the existence is open. A human being need not be confined by the simple laws of nature. Confinement is one thing that a human being suffers most. We have been teaching programs in prisons, both in India and a little bit in the United States, and in my experience, every time I entered the prison there is pain in the air. It is something that I can never articulate. I am not a sappy, emotional kind but I have not gone into the prison once without tears welling up because there is so much pain in the air. This is the pain of confinement.
A human being suffers confinement more than anything else. It is in knowing this and understanding this fundamental nature of a human being that the Adiyogi spoke about liberation. This culture adopted liberation as the highest goal and the only goal. Everything that you do in your life is only towards your ultimate liberation because whatever the nature of confinement, whether the confinement is imposed by prison guards, marriage, school teachers or just the laws of nature -- anything for that matter -- confinement is one thing that a human being cannot take because his innate longing is for liberation. For the first time on this day, a few thousand years ago, he gave ways as to how to transcend this confinement.
He was not speaking about philosophy, nor was he dictating some kind of dogma. He was talking about a scientific method through which you can undo the boundaries which nature has set upon human life. Every boundary that we set has the purpose of protection to start with, but the boundaries of protection and self-preservation have become boundaries of self-imprisonment. These boundaries are not in any one form; they have taken on so many complex forms. They are not just psychological boundaries, but boundaries set by nature for your protection and well-being. Human nature is such that you cannot experience true well-being unless you transcend the limitations of the boundaries set upon you. This is a human predicament – when you are in danger, you want fortresses to come around you. But the moment the danger is gone, you want it all to collapse and disappear. And when the boundary that you set for your self-preservation does not go down when you wish, you feel imprisoned, confined and suffocated.
To keep the fortresses to the extent that they served their purpose, and be able to make them vanish when you don’t want them – this was Shiva’s work. How to build that magical fortress where no enemy can penetrate, and at the same time, you can walk through the fortress. He came up with many incredible methods. Unfortunately, not even a handful of human beings have the necessary focus, patience and interest to explore the intricacies of what is the nature of confinement for a human being, and what is the way out. People think they can drug themselves out, smoke, drink, eat or even sleep themselves out of their confines. That is not how simple the manifestation of creation is. It is such a fantastic design of protection. But one who does not see that it is complete confinement – from inside and from outside – does not know what its purpose is because they have never been outside.
This day is in celebration of this, that something so sophisticated and phenomenal began for the human race for the first time. I bow down to the Adiyogi for who he is, but my appreciation for the seven sages goes beyond my appreciation for the Adiyogi because they made themselves in such a way that he could not ignore them. I don’t think that any guru or yogi ever found another seven people with whom he could share anything he wanted, who were competent enough to grasp whatever was offered. Many yogis and gurus have found absolutely fabulous devotees with whom they have shared their grace and fulfilled them. But no one has found seven people with whom they could share their knowing. That has not happened…we are still striving.
Editor’s Note: Celebrate Guru Purnima With Sadhguru, in the Presence of Adiyogi. Join in person at the Isha Yoga Center or watch the free live webstream.