It’s a very strange kind of place because he was not sitting here in blissfulness. There is a tradition that wherever Shiva stayed for a certain period of time, that place we tend to call it as Kailash. If we have to generate this kind of energy, enormous amount of work has to be done. If we get connected to this dimension of life, living blissfully is a natural process.
This is a mountain [Velliangiri] which has seen many sages and seers right through the ages
This is a space, this is a mountain which has seen many sages and seers right through the ages. It’s called Velliangiri because Velliangiri literally means either White Mountain or Silver Mountain, but it’s all green. So why it’s referred to as Velliangiri Mountain is – almost ten months of the year the peak of the mountain will always be in the cloud. And it looks silvery from here, it’s called Silver Mountain or White Mountain. So these mountains are not just mountains for us. For me, it’s like a whole large temple for me. It radiates a certain other dimension. If you are willing, this is much, much more than just stone and earth. This has imbibed a certain sense of energy and a certain sense of knowing.
This is generally here known as the ‘Kailash of the South.’
This is generally here known as the ‘Kailash of the South.’ Why it is referred to as the Kailash of the South is it’s so happened a very doughty South India woman fell in love with Shiva, and she took a vow, ‘If I marry, it’s him and nobody else but him.’ And she called forth. Being a certain kind of compassionate being, he started walking down, but a whole host of other beings, other gods, goddesses, celestial beings did not want him to have a South Indian wife. (Laughter) So they all conspired to stop him in so many ways, but it didn’t work. He was determined to come and he was… She set a date, ‘If you do not come before this date I am shedding my body.’
So he was hurrying down. He was to reach this place before sunrise and he was walking down. So the gods created a false sunrise by setting up a huge mound of camphor. They set up a false sunrise and Shiva thought sun is coming up and he thought he’s failed, that he’s not made it in time and she would have left. So he came very close to that place, which is today called as Kanyakumari, where she stood and she left her body.
So that’s why she’s called… it’s a maiden’s temple, she just stood there and left her body because he did not come in time but he had come in time, he came very close but he thought he didn’t make it. Just 22 kilometers away he turned back and she left. He was so despondent, frustrated with himself, angry with himself. He came and he needed a place to sit down, so he went up Velliangiri Mountains and sat there.
It’s a very strange kind of place because he was not sitting here in blissfulness, he was not sitting in meditation, he sat here in a certain kind of despondence and anger about himself. So the energy up there is very, very, very different from anything you would have imagined. Because he stayed there for a considerable amount of time there is a tradition that, wherever Shiva stayed for a certain period of time, that place we tend to call it as Kailash. So this became the Kailash of the South.
Because he spent a certain amount of time and because of a certain energy that he invested in the space, any number of yogis followed suit and right through the ages thousands of years there is a history of sages, seers, a very unique system of mysticism where generally they were referred to as siddhas or in Tamil they are called siddhars. The South Indian mysticism is very, very unique; you will not find that form of mysticism anywhere else in the world.
So in this tradition many came and one yogi who was significant for us is the Sadhguru Sri Brahma who lived in the early part of 20th century and when he had to leave his body. He went up the mountain, he sat there and this is a unique happening which even today is as alive as it ever was. He exits through the seven chakras, which is an extremely rare happening.
And even today in that place, it’s just the way it was on that day; that energy and that space, just like that. You need not know anything, it’ll just blow you out because there are just a few places on the whole planet which have witnessed that kind of event where a being leaves through all his seven chakras, because he is a Chakreshwara.
One who can leave through his seven chakras is called a Chakreshwara
One who can leave through his seven chakras is called a Chakreshwara. Shiva was known as a Chakreshwara. Matsyendranath was known as Chakreshwara. Gorakhnath was known as Chakreshwara and a few other yogis have been known as Chakreshwaras and they are just handful in these few thousand years.
There is no temple up there, there’re just three rocks simply standing, huge ones, about 25-30 feet tall rocks, three of them just standing like that. Beneath that space is the temple. There is no built temple there and every year almost a million people go up in this season in the nights. We want to open this up in a big way, not just going up as pilgrimage, we want to attach sadhana to it.
See, whatever you wish to do, if you want to transform yourself, a certain energy base is needed; otherwise it’ll be an uphill task. If we have to generate this kind of energy, enormous amount of work has to be done, enormous. Here it’s ready, sitting there, all you have to do is just look up and say, ‘Shiva.’ All you have to do is look up and be receptive to it, that’s all. When such an energy basis is available, this is the kind of energy which can be a base for a whole spiritual revolution which can go through the country or through the world.
This is not an exhaustible kind, it’s an inexhaustible kind, after touching it you cannot help being naturally spiritual in some sense. So we are seeing how to build the needed infrastructure were people can come and we can give them the necessary tools, go through 40 to 48 days of sadhana before they go up, some simple sadhana which everybody can do and they can go up and reap… become absorbed by this energy or at least absorb a little bit of that energy.
Shivanga means to become an Anga. You know what’s an anga? A limb of Shiva. You are anyway a limb of Shiva, okay? Shi-va means that which is not. That which is not is the maximum presence in the cosmos. That which is, is a small happening. So when we say ‘Shiva’, we are referring to that which is not. The huge body of that which is not has a few limbs. You know one may be a galaxy, another may be a star, another may be a solar system, another may be a planet, another may be an atom, another may be you. But all these are just limbs of Shiva, isn’t it? Because everything has come from nothing.
You are a limb of Shiva but you are living without that awareness
You are a limb of Shiva but you are living without that awareness. So the sadhana is structured in such a way, to bring this into your awareness. The nature of human existence is such, whatever you are not conscious of, does not even exist for you, isn’t it? So a whole process, which lasts for about forty-two days, is set up so that you go through this whole process to come to that experience. Establish this in your life that you are actually a limb of Shiva.
Only because you think you are an existence by yourself, you’re a unique piece of existence, not connected to anything around you or anybody around you, that is why suffering, that is why loneliness, that is why struggle, that is why fear, isn’t it? If you become truly separate, you will fall dead, you will cease to exist. Your existence is possible only because of the connection. But how unfortunate, when you are connected with something so tremendous, not being conscious of it, not knowing it, not experiencing the joy of it – I think it’s a crime. So Shivanga is just to avoid that crime.
If we get connected to this dimension of life, health, well-being, prosperity, these things should happen. Above all, living blissfully is a natural process. So this is a fundamental process which is set up to create the right ambience in you. If you walk into the sunlight, everybody does not receive the same amount of life. If they breathe, everybody does not absorb the same amount of oxygen. If they eat, everybody does not absorb the same amount of nutrients simply because of the type of ambience you set within yourself.
So the Shivanga sadhana is about setting that ambience so that whatever else you do, you have a fundamental basis so that everything prospers on this platform. Or in other words, you are building a spiritual platform for yourself, so that whatever else you do upon it works well.