Acclaimed filmmaker, Shekhar Kapur, seeks Sadhguru's insight on the technology of God-making, worship of the feminine, and the science of temples.
Shekhar Kapur: Yeah, he’s beautiful. We should talk little later. I want… I’m very fascinated by what you… because there’s a lot of construction going on here. It’s almost like, you know, there’s a…
Sadhguru: A whole humanity is in construction. (Laughs)
Shekhar Kapur: Okay. Alright. I’ll buy that. I’ll buy that. But why, let… let… we should talk about the construction. What are you building here and why is it so big, right? The blocks are really heavy…
Sadhguru: ___ (Unclear)
Shekhar Kapur: …like it’s meant to last a thousand years. So, Sadhguru, this is a temple that, I know you told me that, it will last thousands of years, and there… it’s a feminine temple. It’s a temple devoted to the female aspect, not only of us, but the whole existence, the feminine aspect of existence. So, tell me about this. This is not man, woman. What is it?
Sadhguru: What is feminine? What is masculine? See, you need to understand this. Human understanding comes from a certain perception, a limited perception. When I say a limited perception, right now, your whole perception comes through your sense perception. Sense organs can perceive something only if there is something to compare with. Only because there’s darkness, you understand light. Only because there’s death, (do) you understand life. So, only because there’s a woman, you know the man; otherwise, you wouldn’t know because sense organs can perceive only in comparison.
See, just your visual apparatus for example right now… you know silence only because there is sound. And you know sound only because there’s silence, isn't it? See right now, if I show you this part of my hand, (Gestures) you can only see this. You cannot see this. (Gestures) If I show you this, (Gestures) you can only see this. So, this is the nature of sense perception. Whether it’s your eyes or your ears or your smell or your taste or your touch, everything is only by comparison. So, the moment you perceive through sense organs, you already divided the existence. So, because of the division, your mind also thinks in divisions. Because without divisions you cannot perceive, without two there is no logic, so you need two. So, these two fundamental principles, because we are human, we are a species with man - woman, masculine - feminine, we are calling them masculine and feminine, two fundamental aspects. So, in this culture, they… it may be referred to as Shiva, Shakti, or in other cultures, Yin and Yang, whatever.
Shekhar Kapur: So, Shiva being masculine and Shakti being feminine.
Sadhguru: Yes. Yes.
Shekhar Kapur: Why Shakti? Shakti means power. Why is that feminine? You would expect…
Sadhguru: Not power, Shakti means energy.
Shekhar Kapur: Energy, okay.
Sadhguru: It’s energy. Unfortunately, because of various, you know, civilizational and exploitative situations in the human societies, we are thinking of energy as power and power and dominance. No, energy is just energy. Without energy nothing happens.
Shekhar Kapur: So, I could say this temple is… is a temple for energy.
Sadhguru: Feminine energy.
Shekhar Kapur: Feminine energy. So, let’s go in and tell me what feminine energy is, as against masculine energy. So, Sadhguru…
Sadhguru: When we say a temple, this must be understood. The temple is like a body, to energize the system. Temple is not a place of worship. Temple is not a place where you go and make appeals to some unknown God up there. This is not that kind. This is not a place where you lead a prayer. That is the uniqueness of this culture. Here, temple is like a body, energized in a certain way. Now, if you see the masculine temple that we have is circular, circular in nature because that is the quality that it is. The feminine temple is in the form of a triangle. There’s a whole lot of things in its geometry, how it is made. See, all the wings are 33 feet, properly done. Everything else is in the multiples of 11. It is made in a certain way to create a feminine energy there. Why 33? If you go into these details, there’s enormous amount of science behind that. Like your spinal column is 33 aspects, and…
Shekhar Kapur: Which I just risked right now, (Sadhguru Laughs) because… okay.
Sadhguru: So, there are so many aspects to this, which I don’t wish to go right now, but essentially, it is feminine energy. Where was the need for this, in a way? See, one thing is today, the feminine is at huge risk on the planet. So, immediately, people may think, ‘Oh, that’s because of the man.’ Maybe man instigated it, but when I say masculine and feminine, I’m not talking about male, female. I’m talking about those two aspects, those two dimensions of life, without which, our life will not be beautiful; our life cannot work actually, even in the most fundamental way. So, because people start thinking in terms of dominance, this is a problem. If you’re not looking at life as dominance, if you’re looking at life as integration, if you’re looking at life as cooperation, if you’re looking at life as oneness, then without these two dimensions, there is no existence. But unfortunately, societies have taken on to this, as to who is dominating right now, whether masculine or dominates, it’ll turn ugly or feminine dominates, it’ll turn ugly. If any one of them dominates, it’ll turn ugly. Above all, if you start thinking in terms of dominance, your life will turn ugly. Instead of seeing how to embrace life you’re thinking how to dominate life.
By domination, you will not know life. Only by inclusion, you will know life. So, this is essentially to create an energy force where people can experience a powerful sense of feminine, a fiery nature of the feminine thing. See, feminine is a very fiery form of energy. But today, because we have made economics the most important aspect of human societies, naturally… see, we need to understand this, economics is being glorified as if it’s some kind of a divine thing; economics (Laughs) essentially means survival, survival process. A man used to go into the forest, have a hunt and bring a little bit of meat or fruit or whatever. That was the simple economics. Now it’s complicated in a million different ways, but still, it’s the same thing - providing for yourself and people around you. We are raising it… we are rising… raising a simple survival process to a divine level, which is a foolish way to live. Economics has a place in our life for sure, but it is not the be all of life.
So, feminine doesn’t belong to that dimension. If, in these societies love, art, music, above all, aesthetics of life, was dominant in a society, if aesthetics was as important as economics, nobody had to bring up the feminine, feminine would be naturally dominant or let me not use the word dominant, feminine would be naturally exuberantly alive and manifest in the society. Today, either we have… we are slowly making all the women like men, because they have to survive, they have to earn money, they have to provide; or a small percentage of them, in reaction, not being able to cope with that, they’re becoming like Barbie dolls. Here we are creating a woman who is fiery and powerful in a completely different way.
Shekhar Kapur: But what you're saying is, you just said love, art, aesthetics, you used those three words as part of the feminine energy. Now, I’m a filmmaker. I’d like to assume that I have all three in myself, so that’s my feminine energy.
Sadhguru: Yes, it is.
Shekhar Kapur: Yes. So, what else…..
Sadhguru: If you do not have the feminine, you won’t look in… think in terms of what’s beautiful, what’s not beautiful. You’ll only think in terms of what’s useful and what’s not useful. You will become utilitarian. The masculine is like that.
Shekhar Kapur: So that’s, so I’m…
Sadhguru: So, you being a man or a woman has nothing to do with it.
Shekhar Kapur: So, am I in conflict constantly between my masculine and feminine self.
Sadhguru: Why… see, that’s the whole thing. These two energies are the basis of creation, why would they be in conflict? They’re in absolute collaboration. It is only in human mind that it’s in conflict. In life, it’s not in conflict. In energy, it’s not in conflict. Only in… in mind it’s in conflict because mind divides. Because perception is partial, that’s why conflict, otherwise there’s no conflict in the existence between masculine and feminine.
Shekhar Kapur: Because to people who were listening to you say the sheer, absolute power of the feminine energy, they don’t relate to that the… the… see feminine energy is something gentle, nurturing, soft.
Sadhguru: No, no, no.
Shekhar Kapur: Tell me about the power of feminine energy…
Shekhar Kapur: …because a lot of our culture talks about various goddesses that have a sense of huge power and almost violent power.
Sadhguru: (Laughs) See, the original Goddesses that we created in this culture were all Kali, Bhairavi, now she’s Bhairavi; all fierce, powerful creatures, okay? Somewhere down the line when the outside influences came upon the culture and people made fun of them, people ridiculed ‘Your women are like this?’ (Laughs) Then they tried to domesticate the feminine. And then they created Saraswati, Lakshmi, very soft, gentle, housewife kind of feminine. Bhairavi, you can’t keep her in your house; you can’t contain her to the limitations of your… not that she’s… she cannot stay in your house; you cannot contain her to the boundaries of your house. She’s… she is all-encompassing. That’s the nature of her. That’s the nature of the feminine, that it’s all-embracing, not all-conquering, you must understand. Man wants to be in conquest. A woman wants to embrace. If the feminine is dominant, the feminine wants to embrace. Masculine want to conquer. That’s a big difference. By conquest, you will never have it. By embrace, you will have it, isn't it?
Shekhar Kapur: So, is spirituality very feminine? Or it’s the perfect balance? So, what is the perfect…
Sadhguru: It is an… it is an absolutely balance. If there is no balance, it’ll not work.
Shekhar Kapur: Yeah. Okay.
Sadhguru: It’s not just spirituality. Life is an absolute balance. Existence is an absolute balance between masculine and feminine. So, spirituality is not alien to existence. Spirituality is purely existential, not psychological. All these questions are come… coming up because society has become psychological, not existential. Spiritual process is purely existential, so masculine and feminine have equal roles in making it happen.
Shekhar Kapur: You know, Sadhguru, as you are talking, I can’t help noticing all those people sitting. The tap… the tapping and what they’re creating and sculpting, that tap is almost feminine. Now, is that my learning or is that actually feminine? (Sadhguru Laughs) That tap is… is not a big tap. It’s so gentle that you can barely, you know, if you hear it…
Sadhguru: Yes. See now, now it’s come to a point where the work has become almost feminine. Okay? You have… you need gentle hands to do what they’re doing. But before that, this rock was in the quarry, okay? There you needed some hard tools to cut it, make it a big piece, transport it on the truck, bring it in, hold it there, cut it down to size. All that was very masculine. If that masculine work had not happened, this feminine part would be not possible. This is so in the society also, I want you to see. If the man goes about, breaks down nature, builds his home and all this, then the woman comes in and makes it beautiful. If she didn’t come in, he would just have a rock house which is of (Laughs) no consequence. Nobody enjoys being there. They’ll have a house, and they’ll live outdoor. It’s happening in cultures where feminine has been suppressed. They have great homes, but they always want to be outdoors. (Both Laugh)
Shekhar Kapur: You’re right. Alright, so when will this temple be complete?
Sadhguru: We are opening this on… on the last three days, it’s 28th, 29th and 30th of January 2009 (2010) now. On that day, the consecration will be complete. The consecration process has been happening for a little more than nine months now; so, the gestation period is 11 months.
Shekhar Kapur: Okay, so let’s take a one minute break, Sadhguru, and then, or not take a break, if you feel; it’s a good place to talk about what consecration means. What does consecration mean? (Sadhguru Laughs) What do you consecrate? I mean, what is that… what is that process and what does it achieve?
Sadhguru: See, this is happening everywhere around you all the time. One form of existence, or one form of energy, is transforming itself into another. What is mud is becoming flower, fruit and food, isn't it? What is filth is actually becoming a flower. What is stink is becoming fragrance. It’s happening. If you eat the food, this food becomes, from what was just a grain of rice, becomes such a sophisticated machinery like human body. So, if you make mud into food, you call it agriculture. If you make food into this, (Ref to body) you call it digestion. If we make this into mud, usually we call it cremation, (Both Laugh) or burial and whatever. So, if you can make a stone or some other gross substance, a material substance, into a divine reverberance, into highest, subtlest possible reverberance, that’s called consecration. So, the whole existence is doing it all the time in different levels. So, this is a certain science and a technology through which you transform the grosser elements into finer elements. Unfortunately, this was always mistaken as producing gold. The alchemy of the West is always talking about producing gold. Gold has no worth except in the market, okay? It’s only greed which makes a man go towards gold. The Indian alchemy never talked about making gold. Indian alchemy always talked about making grosser elements into finer substances, making a stone into the divine. So, the whole Indian alchemy is like a consecration process. So, we were never interested in making gold out of steel because we always felt steel is more useful than gold.
Shekhar Kapur: So, Sadhguru, you keep saying, this is word, two words you use - science and technology. And you’ve just called consecration the science of technology of taking stone and making it divine. I’ve often heard you talking about divine, the achieving (Unclear), the science of becoming divine or achieving divinity and the technology. Why, why is it science? Is it that mathematical? Don’t we have to cross one barrier to go beyond the mathematics of it or the technology of it?
Sadhguru: See, right now, there is an agricultural science, right?
Shekhar Kapur: Yeah.
Sadhguru: They will teach you how to study the soil, the qualities of the soil, the seed, the manure, everything. So, they only set those conditions, but they don’t produce food, do they?
Shekhar Kapur: No.
Sadhguru: Can they do it?
Shekhar Kapur: Right.
Sadhguru: They will set the soil conditions; they’ll set the seed condition; everything else that’s necessary to grow. But the growth itself, the transforming earth into food, that, no scientist does. That is happening by nature. Here also, the same thing. We have a whole science. If we set all these conditions, the gross becomes subtle. You know, I must tell you how it happened to me for the first time. I was building a, you know, like, I’ve always been building something or the other. (Laughs)
Shekhar Kapur: I think you’re… I think you’re a, like a, in another life, you were an architect.
Sadhguru: (Laughs) Why? In this life, I am.
Shekhar Kapur: Yes, in this life, but you have this… this fascination for architecture. Every time I talk to you, you always bring architecture into it.
Sadhguru: Because creation is essentially shapes and forms, isn't it?
Shekhar Kapur: Yeah.
Sadhguru: Creation is a fantastic architecture.
Shekhar Kapur: Yeah.
Sadhguru: That’s all creation is. It’s fabulous, fabulous architecture. So, now we are trying to create our own spaces. Not in competition with creation, just in small imitation of the creation. (Laughs) So, my architecture is straight from nature. I have not studied anything. (Laughs)
So, when I was building something, and this was my first project. I’m building a farm in… near Mysore, and I’m doing it with a real short shoe string. So when I wanna, in… in the end, I wanna paint it. I don’t have the money to go and buy regular paint. So I buy ordnance paint, military reject paint, which is the worst kind of paint. If you paint it, 15 days, it’ll be still wet. You can still stick to it. (Shekhar Laughs) It’s a good mosquito trap. (Both Laugh) So, I get this paint, and all… the only paint they have is farm blue. I don’t like the color, so I dilute it so that it’s little lighter. And I don’t have the thing to get painters to paint this large wall surface. So, I want to paint it, and it takes too much time to go like this; (Gestures) so what I do, I dip, hold it here (Gestures) and just walk. One smear of paint (Laughs) from this end to that end, that end to this end. The first smear that I did, I dipped and walked like this. (Gestures) Here, the smear was thick. As it went, it became lighter, lighter, lighter, lighter and became really subtle. I just looked at this and I burst into tears. That was one great moment of realization for me. This is the whole creation.
From a rock to divine, this is all the thing is. It’s either dense or it’s subtle. That’s all it is. It’s the same existence everywhere. Whether you look at the Earth or you look at your body or you look at what you call as Divine, it is all the same substance. It is just getting subtler. So, that was my huge realization for me, just a paint smear. And whatever we are creating as divine is just that - making a rock into a subtler form of energy. Every substance on the planet is exuding a certain kind of energy, reverberation, which is a scientific fact. You can change the way it exudes, what type of energy it exudes, you can change that. Altering that to a very subtle and useful form of energy is consecration process. So, temples were energy forms, temples were energy places where every day in the morning, before you start your day, you go sit there for some time, imbibe this energy and go into the world. Why this became necessary is, see, once you step into the world, for a ordinary person, a common man, every transaction in the world, whatever it may be, what is your profit is somebody’s loss; what is somebody’s profit is your loss. In every transaction there’s something to be lost or something to be gained whether it’s family transaction, between husband and wife, father and son, business partners or every transaction there’s something to give, something to take everywhere. That’s why it’s a transaction. So, if you’re not sufficiently lubricated in your… the way you are, every transaction is a point of friction, a possible friction. There are some people who are making every (Laughs) transaction into a friction. Some people are conducting their transactions gracefully.
So, everyday going sitting in the temple was just this - you already well lubricated; when you step out you can pass through the world with least amount of friction. So, this is a very very significant instruction which is still alive in the southern part of this country. Here, nobody tells you if you go to the temple, you should pray. They always tell you if you go there, you must sit there; you must sit there for some time and come. But today, the instruction has become like this, the way they are following it is, they touch their bottom to the floor, and they go. Nobody told you, you have to pray. Nobody told you, you have to make a offering. You just have to sit there. But they also told that people on the spiritual path need not go to the temple. Because they have self-charging mechanisms. So, temple is essentially for a householder who has no his own way of transforming his own energies - Use a public place; a battery charging place it is. So, this is feminine energy; it’s triangular. That’s… whole temple is triangular, pointing towards the southwestern direction, which is a feminine direction on the planet. In the Northern Hemisphere, southwestern point is very feminine.
Shekhar Kapur: And that’s technology, or is it…
Sadhguru: Yes. We can actually demonstrate this to you.
Shekhar Kapur: Really?
Sadhguru: Yes. How it’s more feminine than the other directions. We can actually give you a demonstration. (Laughs)
Shekhar Kapur: Yeah, okay. Alright. And the, the masculine is completely the opposite way.
Sadhguru: Very… very direct sense of masculine is like this. (Gestures? - Ref to what?) But in-between, all both are spread out.
Shekhar Kapur: Yeah. So, there we have the tip of the triangle of the feminine pointing in that direction, and…and comes to the southwest. And completely opposite, no I wouldn’t say opposing, ‘cause you’d say that’s wrong, but (Sadhguru Laughs) completely in contextualizing or contradiction to that, if you just turn around, and I can see the masculine. (Ref to Dhyanalinga) Just talk to us about the masculine. Just…
Sadhguru: See, when we say masculine and feminine, this is human intellect which is saying they are opposites. They’re not opposites. They are not in conflict. They are in collaboration. One cannot exist without the other in the very nature of things. So, it’s only in the mingling of these two dimensions of energies… they are not two different energies; these are two manifestations of energy from the unmanifest. These two manifestations of energy, only in the mingling of these two, life happens. So, Shekhar you’re getting too lost in the feminine. Let’s go towards the masculine. (Laughs)
Shekhar Kapur: Yeah, let’s go there. Okay. (Laughs) Well, that’s true. (Laughs)
(Audio cuts off and restarts)
Sadhguru: …the equilateral triangle, okay? There are many aspects of the geometry, which I don’t want to go in, but the significant aspect is there’s another triangle fitting into this in a smaller capacity. So, a downward triangle is…
Shekhar Kapur: That’s this one.
Sadhguru: No, this downward triangle always symbolizes the feminine. The upward moving triangle symbolizes the masculine. But here, normally it would be depicted like this. (Gestures) Okay, this is also the Star of David and whatever else, the star is used, and this is the basic yanta for Shri Chakra and everything. This is the masculine and feminine meeting. But here, the masculine is held inside the feminine triangle, because here, the masculine is unborn. It’s in the womb of the feminine. So, it’s a smaller triangle held inside. It is not a larger triangle like a male meeting the female. This is like in the womb. The masculine is a child in the feminine’s womb because here the feminine is in a dominant form.
So, those… there’s a whole geometry of things into, in this, where we are trying to build a body of the feminine to energize it in a certain way. So, Devi will sit here. This is also a triangle, and this is into the Earth. Here, there are steps going in. Being in the Earth is very important for the feminine. So, the deity herself is going into the Earth, and people have to go in to meet her. That’s how it is. And there are lots of symbolisms attached and geometry involved in this whole process. In the end, today you have walked in, it’s like a construction site. After two months, you walk into this space, forget about the ambience, walk with your eyes closed, you will see it’ll just hit you in your face, the whole energy of it. That’s how it will be.