If one wants to explore the mystical nature of our existence, then enhancing the Akash is a very vital and necessary aspect. Once there is a certain amount of mastery over the 5 elements, one will find there is no such thing as what is inward and what is outward.
The 5 elements that we recognize as the basic ingredients of life, this elemental magic, I’m calling it elemental magic because just with 5 things – not 5 million, just 5 things – with 5 things, too much has been done. With 5 things, what is presenting itself as cosmos, what is presenting itself as life, what is presenting itself as everything that we can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch is well beyond the permutations and combinations that we can think of. If something goes beyond the permutations and combinations, then it’s no more mathematic – it is magic. So, this elemental magic, to master this elemental magic is the most fundamental dimension of yoga.
Once there is a certain amount of mastery over the 5 elements, one will find there is no such thing as what is inward and what is outward
Essentially, when people want to be physically robust, then earth would be important, but for one who is on the spiritual path, one who wants to perceive, the most important thing is Akash. Why Akash becomes most important is – in the making of this human form 72% of water, 12% of earth, 6% of air, 4% of fire, is largely determined, the rest is Akash. When we said rest, we did not mean 6% – we said ‘rest.’ Now, if you increase the proportion of Akash within the system, if you increase the proportion of Akash in the larger scape of who we are, then our ability to perceive is tremendously enhanced. If this proportion remains low, or Akash is at its minimal in one’s making, then their ability to perceive will be very minimal. Even if they have a great intellect, this intellect will forage in mundane things. It can never rise to perceive something more than that.
If one wants to explore the mystical nature of our existence, then enhancing the Akash is a very vital and necessary aspect
So, in this context, one important aspect of spiritual progress, one important aspect of vigyan or vishesh gyan, if one wants to perceive beyond 5 senses, if one wants to perceive that which is not physical in nature, if one wants to extend his antenna to larger dimensions of life, if one wants to explore the mystical nature of our existence – then enhancing the Akash is a very vital and necessary aspect. Akash is a boundless dimension. When the composition of Akash is enhanced, then boundlessness becomes the nature of one’s being. If not boundlessness, at least a boundary that you cannot see and feel. This gives the individual person a great sense of freedom, a great sense of not being tied down to anything.
This lack of bondage within oneself is an essential amount of space that one needs, if they want to have some mastery over these 5 elements. This goes for human system also. To keep the system well, to keep the system in an efficient and effective mode but not being identified with it is a very important, or ‘the’ very important step one has to take, if one has to have mastery over elements. Once there is a certain amount of mastery over the 5 elements, one will find there is no such thing as what is inward and what is outward, because elements don’t respect your boundaries. To put it in the simplest form – as you sit here, you breathe. The air does not respect your boundary, it is constantly in and out. This is not just air, this is happening with everything. The food that you eat, and whatever substance we relieve ourselves off, and everything else is in constant transaction, or the elements do not respect the boundaries of your body.
The boundaries of your body are only for your psychological comfort, but the 5 elements have no respect for that, and they anyway transact without your permission. So, if you have some access to experiencing the nature of the elements, then you also lose the boundaries of your body. Or in other words, you have sacrificed your privacy because there is no such thing as privacy because, you know, everything is seeping in, and everything is seeping out constantly.
When one wants to gain mastery, one of the things that are commonly done is – those of you sitting in America, or anywhere else in the world right now, including India, don’t try to do this. You will see, the spiritual movements of the past, whether you take the yogis like the Nagas, or the Goraknathis, or the Jains, one of the things that they do at the basic level of sadhana is, first thing is to expose themselves to elements, because they want the transaction to happen freely. As today walking around naked in the world is not a possibility, though in India it is still in practice, you will see thousands of them walking naked, not bothered about the social norms, that is not a possibility for all of you.
One simple thing that you can do is, move to a looser level of clothing
So, one simple thing that you can do is, move to a looser level of clothing. Well, you may not look shapely, but there is no shape to you on the elemental scape, it is in constant transaction. To facilitate this, to be able to be conscious of this, one important thing is, there is a little bit of space between your body and what you wear, that it is not tight-fitting clothes. This is one step that one can take to – if you pay attention, you will see beyond this breath, a whole lot of transaction is happening constantly across the body. If one pays enough attention to this transaction, then one will also slowly understand the nature and the composition of the elements within us, then enhancing one dimension, or increasing the Akash in the system through appropriate practice becomes a possibility.
And of course, once I say this, the first question is, “Sadhguru, what is that practice?” Practice doesn’t come first – attention comes first. By attention if one knows that there is transaction, not by intellect, but by attention if one knows that there is a transaction, then how to tweak the transaction in our favor is something we can do. First thing is to take charge of the most obvious transactions. The most obvious transactions are breath, food, consumption of water, and the temperature of the body, and the temperature outside – these are the most obvious transactions. Just pay a little more attention to these obvious transactions. It always amazes me how breath, which is such an obvious transaction, and it doesn’t happen quietly, it moves the entire body, but most people never, ever, notice it.
If you can’t notice your breath, how to notice anything subtler than that, because breath is a noisy activity, it is happening. If you bring attention to these things – how you eat, how you drink, how you breathe, how you touch everything that you touch, you will see, the experience of life will rise to a completely different level. These simple things most human beings are not doing. They’re gulping down what they eat and drink, they breathe completely unconsciously, they touch anything and everything without knowing what they’re touching, or feeling it. Largely, it’s happening like this for most people.
If you bring awareness to that, if you bring – let me not even use the word ‘awareness’ because it means many things to many people, bring more attention to that. If you are far more attentive to these things, then, without slowing down anything – this is important – because people think that when you’re breathing, you should not be doing anything else, just you must be breathing. When you’re eating, you must be eating. When you’re drinking, you must be drinking. No, that is the beauty of being human that we have a cerebral capability of conducting complex activity within us, and still be able to pay attention. It is like you’re driving, and you can still have a conversation with somebody. So, two levels of attention are happening just like this. You could be doing whatever you’re doing, but pay attention to the breath. Breath is one thing that is always happening, so you can pay attention to that. You can also pay attention to the food that you eat, and water that you drink – let it not happen all the time.
So, the possibility of knowing dimensions of the beyond, the possibility of dipping into the mystical nature of the existence is very much rooted in the elemental composition of who we are. Bringing about a transformation in this can do fantastic things to you, but one must also understand that fantastic things can also turn your life upside down. That is the nature of fantastic things.