Questioner: Namaskaram Sadhguru. Can you talk about Abhay Sutra and how it protects us from fear?
Sadhguru: The whole science of yoga itself is extrapolated in the form of sutras, various kinds of sutras. Over 200 sutras makes the whole body of yogic knowledge. So, when they say sutra, in that context, they are talking about just the basic. When the yoga sutras, when we say yoga sutras, when Patanjali kind of assimilated yoga sutras – sutra means a thread – he gave only the thread. He left the responsibility, the mastery, and the artistry of making the garland to each Master.
The sutra is the same, the thread is the same, but what kind of garland you make out of it is different. There can never be a garland without the thread, but nobody ever wears a garland for the sake of the thread. They wear the garland for the flowers that it bears. You can put flowers on it, you can put beads on it, you can put pearls on it, you could put diamonds on it. But without the thread, there is no garland. But you never wear the garland for the sake of the thread. The thread is vital, but it is not a purpose by itself, it’s not a goal by itself.
So, we found many other ways to use the thread. You’ve heard of mangal sutra? You’ve tied one? No. If it was properly done, the idea was binding two beings as one, that was the idea. Today it’s just become a ritual – that’s different – but if someone is there who knows how to do this, you mix up the two DNAs in such a way that energy wise they cannot be separated, doesn’t matter what happens. Many things may happen in the course of life. You may quarrel over big things, you may quarrel over petty things, but you cannot separate, because the energies are bound in a certain way. You would have to tear yourself apart, that’s the only way you can go. It’s not like shedding your clothes; it’s like peeling your skin off.
Now, abhaya sutra is not made to bind you. There are two kinds of sutras – both are being called ‘abhaya sutra.’ The terminology ‘abhaya sutra’ goes better with the Devi sutra, which is red in colour. When you get the sutra for the pancha bhuta aradhana [process in Dhyanalinga], which is connected to the Dhyanalinga, it is more to enhance certain dimensions of who you are, fundamentally, to enhance the spiritual dimension. Then why is it being called abhaya sutra?
You need to understand, bhaya means fear – the basis of fear is your physicality. If you were not physical, would you have fear? Would you? No. It is the limitations of the physical which causes fear. If you were not at all physical, you wouldn’t be fearful of anything, isn’t it? So, in that context, it is abhaya. But essentially, it is the sutra of transcendence. But we did not want to use too many names. You’ll get confused, you know? So, this also leads to a state of nirbhaya, or fearlessness. We can call this nirbhaya sutra, that is abhaya sutra. That [devi sutra] is more like a protection. This is to enhance the spiritual dimension of who you are, so that you become less physical. If you’re not so physical, there is not much fear in you.
But the Devi sutra is more like a protection. There are two ways to be free of thieves. If you’re always afraid a burglar may come into your house and steal, one way is to put a guard outside. Another way is not to have anything, and nobody will come. Even if you invite him he won’t come, he’ll go somewhere else. So, this is his [Dhyanalinga] way – nothing, so nobody will come – so, fearless. There [Devi] you want to put a guard, you still have stuff, you want to guard. I see many, many hands which have both. That’s good.
So, how to dispose it? You can keep it for a minimum of 40 days. If you are not using soap, too much soap, it will last much longer. It you are using a lot of soap, at least for 40 days it will remain vibrant. If you are using only cold water it will last much longer. If you’re having bath with warm water, at least 40 days it will last. If the thread maintains its tenacity, then it will maintain the energy. So, somewhere between 40 to 60 days, if it’s just become a thread, there’s no point wearing thread and walking around.
So, you can take it off and put it somewhere where it will disintegrate easily. Usually, the tradition is to dig a small hole near a plant, and put it, because it gets watered, and within 3 days it will be gone. It should not get into somebody else’s hands, that’s important. Something that has been so intimately on your body, a certain marriage has happened between you and Devi, and between you and Dhyanalinga – a small scale marriage. When that has happened, it’s best that it should not get into somebody else’s hands. If they know how to use it, they can finger you. So, you must always bury it. If you don’t have a place to bury, you must burn it. You can burn it, take the ash and smear it on your body from your vishuddhi down. That’s a simple way of doing it. Otherwise, you bury it.