Questioner: Sadhguru, how do you relate the concept of Shiva and Yoga?
Sadhguru: Well, right now most people’s understanding of Shiva is from the calendar images. These days I see, particularly, I think in both North India and South India, but I think it’s more in the north, they are making Shiva look like a chubby, sweet-looking man, okay? No mustache, no beard, nothing, sweet-looking baby like man. No, if you look at the stories, he is one of the most athletic Gods that you can think of, and above all, wherever you see him, he is sitting in yogic postures. He is a yogi, and he is the first yogi.
So, the reason why we remember people for thousands of years is because of their contribution to us. See, we must understand – all of us are self-centered human beings. Right now, we will remember somebody with great affection, love or devotion, simply because of the contributions they have made to our lives. Along with Shiva, many others might have lived on this planet, but who cares whether they existed or not? We don’t think about them. It’s only a few human beings that we revere, because of the contributions he has made to us.
What is his contribution, Adiyogi’s contribution to us? Because he was a yogi and people had never seen one like that before, they called him Adiyogi or the first Yogi. So, what is his contribution? His contribution is, he explored the mechanics of life like it has never been done before, nor has it been done after – 112 ways in which a human being can attain to the highest, ultimate level of liberation and well-being within oneself, 112 different ways of exploration. So, these 112 ways were taught to the seven yogis, who are today being referred to as the Saptarishis and also Devi Parvati, these were the eight people who became beneficiaries of this knowledge. From there, it has come down with various distortions and various interpretations, but fundamentally the science of Yoga.
What the science of Yoga means is – see, he’s like over 15,000 years ago, but probably only now for the first time the world is getting ready for him. So, Adiyogi is not of the past, he’s of the future. Why I’m saying this is – today you are here and many of you have children. You clearly know that with your children, unless you say something logically sensible, they are not willing to take it from you. Even if you happen to be a very loving, doting parent still they don’t take it from you. Is that so? Are you seeing this?
Because, for the first time in the history of humanity, the human intellect is more cultivated in maximum number of people than ever before. This is the first time that such a large percentage of humanity is beginning to think logically, otherwise it all went by belief. So, only when people start thinking logically and looking at life logically, a scientific approach to human well-being is a possibility, otherwise the way we have handled our well-being is by looking up. So, you look up and think something will come from there and make you well. When it doesn’t work, people will say, “Don’t worry, you will go to heaven, and there everything will be well.”
Now you ask the youth, do they want to go to heaven? They don’t want to go to heaven, it’s a very sensible population. For the first time, we understand that this [here] is the place to live, not another place, somewhere else. The idea that there is a better place to live elsewhere than this itself is a crime – this is the place to live. And how do you know, what proof do you have that this is not heaven? This is heaven, but you’re messing it up.
So, a time has come when everything has to be logically correct. That means, instead of handling our well-being through belief system, through philosophy, through ideology, through all kinds of cranky things – now we have come to a time where we want to address our well-being in a scientific manner with tools and technologies for well-being. This is what he gave over 15,000 years ago, but all these years all we did was largely – not everybody, there has been a whole yogic culture in this country, it is only in the last 500 years it’s kind of diminished. But, except for a segment of the population, all others just worshiped him. He did not ask for worship, he did not behave in such a way that he demands worship. He is simply there, giving these tools for transformation. For those who used it, it worked.
So, a time has come where populations on the planet are more ready for a scientific approach to human well-being and using technologies for well-being – time has come. So, in many ways, Adiyogi or Shiva is not of the past, he is of the future, because it is not a philosophy, it is not an ideology, it is not a belief system – these are technologies for well-being. And this is definitely the way for the future generations, everywhere in the world.