Shiva as Mrityunjaya: How Shiva Mastered Death

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Death / Shiva The Adiyogi / Storytelling


Eevery day you have free enlightenment, when you go to sleep. If you can sleep in a certain way, and come awake in a certain way, then one can achieve a state of turya, which means you have become deathless, or mrityunjaya.


Duration: 6 min


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4 min read

Shiva as Mrityunjaya: How Shiva Mastered Death

The following is an unedited transcript of Sadhguru's video. For better readability, breaks and highlights have been added by the editors.

There are various aspects to that which we refer to as Shiva. The boundless reality is referred to as Shiva. The greatest of the yogis has been referred to as Shiva. His dance is referred to as Shiva. His music is referred to as Shiva. His stillness is referred to as Shiva.

But of all this, he being a yogi is of the greatest importance, in terms of opening up a door of possibility for every other human being. Somebody may be many things, but for the world, that dimension which is a possibility for the world is the most important thing. So he being a yogi is the most important thing.

Being a yogi means many things. One aspect of a yogi is that he sleeps in his wakefulness, and he is awake in his sleep. This must be fully awake, but if you check the parameters of the body, it must be asleep. In sleep, everything should be asleep, but you must be awake. Your body should sleep, your mind should sleep, everything should sleep, but you must be awake.

When you are fast asleep, you are in perfect tune with the existence, one with the existence, isn’t it? Nature has given you this, if you have forgotten, every day when you go to sleep, it makes you one with the existence. In the same sense of unity, if you can wake up and walk around you made it, isn’t it? Every day you have free enlightenment when you go to sleep, but the problem is you are unconscious.

So the sadhana essentially is just this, that, from wakefulness when you go to sleep a certain part of you goes to sleep, a certain part of you if it still stays awake, then you made it. Otherwise when you wake up, a certain part of you still continues to sleep, then you made it.

If you are awake and fast asleep at the same time – you are asleep and awake at the same time, this is called turya. If you are in a state of turya we say you are a mrityunjaya, that means you’re deathless. Because if you can be awake in your sleep, you will also be awake when you have to shed the body. So, there’s no question of death for such a person.

Because Life and death are happening at the same time. It is only the ignorant who think right now I am alive, and one day I will die. No. Both are happening at the same time. They are not two different things, actually. Only for the sake of understanding, we have to divide them. Otherwise it’s just life and life – one dimension of life and another dimension of life. So this transition from one dimension of life to another becomes an easy doorway.

Every day you have this doorway available to you, that is – between wakefulness and sleep is as good as life and death. If you know how to exploit this doorway, if you stay alert till that last moment – do you ever know when you actually slept off? You think you are there, but after some time phoof. You don’t know when you slept. If you can take yourself to that moment, it’s as good as being conscious at the moment of death. You master your mortality, if you just manage to stay awake when you slip into sleep.

See, this is an opportunity for you – the best preparation for death is – make an attempt to try to fall asleep consciously. Instead of drifting away, if you shift from wakefulness to sleep consciously, death will become a play. So the moment of sleep is a tremendous opportunity. If you sleep in a certain way, tomorrow morning when you wake up, you can be significantly one notch up.

Everyday you have this opportunity to practice death. If you can manage that moment, like – you can do this [turn your hand over] consciously right? Just like that, from wakefulness to sleep, if you can do it that way [consciously], that’s it, you’re mrityunjaya, because there’s no death for you.


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