What is the way to proceed if we are looking to know ourselves?
Sadhguru: The only gateway for you to know anything in this universe is yourself. Anything that you can experience can only happen within you. So, turning inward is the answer. All your sense organs are outward bound.
You can see what is around you, but you cannot roll your eyeballs inward and scan yourself. You can hear what happens around, but you cannot hear the immense amount of activity happening in your body. It is the same with every sense organ because they are essentially outward bound. Nature has opened up your sense perception as it is necessary for your survival.
Turning inward is another dimension of perception. This is possible for everyone. But it is not part of your survival scheme, which is why it has not opened up naturally.
You have to strive a little bit. Anything that is not part of your survival will not come to you naturally, you have to strive.
For example, suppose you were lost in the jungle when you were just an infant. If something edible came in front of you, you would not take it and push it into your ears. You would know where it should go. All aspects of survival have come naturally to you. But would you know how to read, write or do so many other things that you are doing right now. These things have come to you only with a certain striving. Do you remember, when you were three or four years of age, if you had to write that “A,” how complicated it was—and there were two versions! You had to write it a hundred times to get it.
Today, you can do it with eyes closed because of striving. Someone who did not strive cannot write even today. Similarly, turning inward has not happened because there has been no striving, and generally, in the last few centuries, there has been no guidance in society. We have turned our entire life into survival process. We are not looking at just surviving, we want to survive better than those around us.
This keeps us busy our entire life. But if you are willing to dedicate thirty hours of focused time, we can give you a vehicle that will turn you inward.
This is a simple process called Shambhavi Mahamudra. It can be formatted in different ways but you need thirty hours of focused time to create the vehicle, so that you can easily turn inward. If you turn inward, you know the nature of life. It happened, someone came looking for the Isha Yoga Centre in southern India.
They came across a boy from the local village and asked him, “How far to the Isha Yoga Centre?” He said, “24,996 miles.” “What! That far?” He said, “The way you are going, yes. If you turn around, it is four miles.” All those questions that seem to be big questions of life are simply because you are looking outward and asking them. If you look inward, this is not even a question, it is right here.
Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, a bestselling author and poet. He was conferred the Padma Vibhushan in 2017. Isha.sadhguru.org