Sadhguru explains how the land of Nepal, nestled in the mighty Himalayas, was created as a living, tantric body by yogis and mystics. The entire geography of the land was turned into a phenomenal possibility for the spiritual wellbeing of every being in the land. He explains where Pashupatinath, Muktinath, Kalpanath and Kailash fit into this energy structure.
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Sadhguru: Large parts of India was like this at one time, that the whole geography of the place was created like a living body. They established, like how in the human body the energy centers are, like this they established these bodies, many kings sponsored these great adventures of turning their whole kingdom into a spiritual body, so that man, woman, child, animal, bird, worm – nobody escapes the spiritual process. Spiritual process is not only for those who close their eyes, roll their eyeballs and sit; nobody should escape this, this is the intention.
You should say this is the highest level of compassion, that you don’t even want the worms to go untouched by this energy, so making the whole geography into a spiritual process. But largely these structures or this phenomenal work that was done in the northern part of the India was wiped out because the northern part of the country saw invasions after invasions and the first thing that they went for is this, because they know if they break this, people’s minds will be broken, their spirit will be broken. In South a little bit of it is still left, but not because of the external invader, because of the invasion of ignorance, which is more dangerous than any invader, kind of dissipated. Still you can see remnants of the structure but not a very active process. Some processes are still on, but mostly defunct. A few things are alive but mostly gone.
Nepal is one place where it is much more alive than what you would find in India, simply because the whole culture supported it. Even now 98% of the population is dedicated to this process. Even now, for 98% of the population in Nepal, going to the temple and seeking their mukti is still the highest thing in their mind, which is largely lost in India. Yes? Mukti is not the highest thing; going to America is the highest thing. (Laughter) So when the very psychology of a civilization was completely geared towards ultimate liberation, these things could be done, that the very geography could be converted into a living spiritual body. So being in Kathmandu, which is the abode of Pashupatinath, Pashupatinath temple, in certain… certain traditions, is considered the temple on the planet. This temple is of thousands of year’s antiquity. The linga that the temple houses is pre-Vedic in its making. Pre-Vedic means… Vedic period is something like 5 to 8000 years ago. In that range, those 3000 years are called the Vedic period. This is pre-Vedic. The temple itself has come down many times and been rebuilt any number of times but the linga is pre-Vedic in its antiquity. Before the Aryan invasions happened, these things were set up.
So Pashupatinath is seen as the forehead of Shiva. So where does Shiva fit into all this, we’ll look at that later, okay? He creeps into everything. How, why? We’ll look at that later. Pashupatinath is seen as the forehead of Shiva and his body flows, one body to the South, another body to the West. One head, two bodies. These two bodies represent two fundamental systems of tantra. The southern body is the right hand, and the western body is the left hand. When I say tantra, I am not talking about the tantra that you are hearing of today. Tantra does not mean unbridled promiscuity. Today, the word tantra evokes all kinds of nasty things in people’s minds because most of the information that you know about tantra is rebound from the American shores. Even in India if you go into any bookstore, most of the books on tantra are written by American authors. (Laughs) So that is not the kind of tantra I am talking about.
Tantra means a technique or a knowledge or a certain technology of being able to unmake life and make life again. What is the purpose? If I give you a machine, if I give you, let’s say… you might have tried this with your bicycle, when you were young, that you dismantled your bicycle and you couldn’t put it back, it became a heap of metal. Did it happen to you? (Laughter) These days nobody dismantles everything, everything comes solid state; if there is a puncture in the tire just throw it and buy a new bicycle. Yes? That’s what your kids are doing, isn’t it? If you have a flat tire, throw the bike and get a new bike; otherwise, in the last 100, 200 years, since people’s imagination was fired by machines, which were not solid state, which you could open and see and understand and put it back – no more machines are made like that because they don’t want you to meddle with it, it all has to come from the company; it’s got something to do with the economy, okay?
So if you want to understand a machine, you dismantle, look at every part, understand what it is and put it back. If you can again have the engine roaring, you know it. You dismantled it, and if you can’t put it back, you are a half-baked knowledge. Yes? You know how to undo things but you don’t know how to put it back. So tantra is about undoing this machine. (Referring to one’s system) This is the most sophisticated machine, this is the greatest challenge. If you have a mechanical brain, this machine is the greatest challenge. If you can undo this and again do this, you are as good as the Creator in many ways. A cardiac surgeon had a little problem with his car, so he took it to a local mechanic he left it there, some engine trouble. And three days later, he went there to collect the car, at the appointed date but when he went there the car was not ready. So he asked, ‘Please, you know, I’m a cardiac surgeon. When somebody’s heart is fluttering than… in a way it should not, they call me and I must rush, I need my car, please.’ The mechanic said, ‘Come tomorrow.’
He went tomorrow, still it was in a dismantled state. He said, ‘Please, why are you doing this to me?’ You said yesterday, it was not ready, today, not ready, what is the problem?’ The mechanic looked at him with a little macho… wiping the grease off this hands and, (Imitates laugh) ‘What is the big thing that you do? You also fix engines, hmm? Heart is like an engine. You also fix an engine, I also fix an engine. You fix an engine with 4 valves; I fix an engine with 16 valves. (Laughter) So why is it that you are paid 100 times more than me?’ The cardiac surgeon looked at him and said, ‘Try fixing the engine when it’s on.’ (Laughter) So if you can dismantle this piece of life (Referring to oneself), this machinery and put it back, that’s the greatest thing. Those of you who come from India and maybe you have spent little time to look at the calendar art in India, you would have seen that sometimes there is a yogi or sometimes a woman who has taken off her head or his head, placed it in their hand and walking. Have you seen this picture? So this is the basic tantric imagery about dismantling this life and taking your own head in your own hand and being able to again put back everything. This is symbolic, it’s not necessarily this, but actually that is also done, that people are beheaded and it’s put back.
So this basic tantric imagery is to tell you that this is about the mechanics of life, understanding this machine so perfectly that you can completely dismantle it and put it back. So based on this… When I use the word tantra, I want you to understand from this context, not from… So in this context they created two tantric bodies with one head. The forehead is here, in Pashupatinath. The Sahasrar, the top of the head, is in Kalpanath, what is above is in the Muktinath, what is beyond is Kailash.