Questioner: Namaskaram Sadhguru. I want to know what is the significance of the form of Mahishasura at the feet of Linga Bhairavi and…
Sadhguru: That means a man was killed by a woman.
Questioner: And the bull form at the sides of the Yantra?
Sadhguru: Do you understand the question?
Sadhguru: Mahishasura is a man first. We really don’t know much about him, but traditionally got terribly bad press. So he was supposed to be bad and Devi killed him. And his vehicle – poor guy, maybe he couldn’t afford a horse, so he used a buffalo – and not only he was slaughtered, even his buffalo.
Buffaloes can fight. So, in the past, certain people rode buffaloes because in a fight, a buffalo is much better than a horse. Horse is taller that’s the only advantage, that if you are a good fighter. But buffalo, if you train them well and you keep them well-nourished they can rampage through crowds. So buffalo was a good one. And of course in India people used elephants to fight. He used a buffalo.
This is – this imagery has continued just to indicate that the beastiality in a man, the beastly nature, the animal nature, in a man because you didn’t drop from heaven as some people believe. You evolved the qualities of an amoeba, an earthworm, a grasshopper, a buffalo, every kind of beast that evolution went through, elements of those qualities are still with you. Yes, you know, they’re still with you. So these are all compulsive tendencies. Even modern neurology recognizes that one part of your brain is that of a reptile.
Even modern neurology recognizes that one part of your brain is that of a reptile
There’s a reptilian brain, which is approximately the size of your fist. So those of you who have big fist, I’m sorry. Hey, you show your fist… somebody else… See! He’s got more animal in him. So the evolutionary process, the modern neurology recognizes that there is a part of your brain which is reptilian. That means it’s at that stage of development, which is instinctive and does things in a certain way.
But over that a flower of cerebral cortex evolved. If you function out of this, which is a happening, which happened after human spine became erect. After the human spine became erect, the outer flower developed, which is what makes you a human, which is what gives you thoughts about universality of the existence, which is what gives you an idea that everything is one, which is what allows you to be a scientist. This is what allows you to be a spiritual seeker. But if you go back to this [reptilian brain], all you have is instincts of survival.
Over that [reptilian brain] a flower of cerebral cortex evolved
So, the entire process, the human effort, through education, through spiritual process, through meditation, everything is to move away from this [reptilian brain] and function from the outer dimension, which is a more recent happening. But this gives you a sense of seamless way of approaching life. If you go to the reptilian brain of who you are, fixing boundaries is all that you know. So, whenever you are having problems with people around you, always wanting to fix your boundaries – this is mine, this is yours, my space, your space, my air, your air – when it comes, you must know you’ve gotten here [reptilian brain].
Now, the spiritual process, the yogic dimension is looking at how to make this – because if you function only from one aspect of your brain, it will work, but not enough. You’re not using all of it. So, there are methods, some of the methods you are already practicing. But the idea is to open this [brain] up. There is evidence to show that the reptilian brain can become more transparent and starts communicating with the outside part of the brain. There are experiments, there are studies which show that with certain practices of meditativeness, reptilian brain which is always about fixing boundaries will begin to communicate with the outer part of the cerebral cortex and it function as one brain.
So I don’t know if you [have opened your reptilian brain], you should, the flower should open up and that is why in the yogic – you will see all the imagery in the yogic culture, flower, flower, small flowers, small flowers, small flower, big flower [moving from muladhara to sahasrar] – it opened up. If it opens up, now human intelligence is functioning in a very unifying way, not in a divisive way, not in a way that you will become exclusive, you will become inclusive.
Inclusiveness is not a philosophy. Inclusiveness is the nature of the existence
Inclusiveness is not a philosophy. Inclusiveness is the nature of the existence. No other creature is able to realize this. They’re all busy fixing boundaries. The dog is peeing all over the place, not because of urinary problems but he’s establishing a kingdom – pee Kingdom of course. Human beings are not any different. They’re doing the same things in a different way. This is mine, that is mine, that is mine, that is mine – fixing a kingdom. When it’s possible push it a little bit. When it’s possible push it a little bit, not possible put the wall. Happening all the time.
So the, the imagery or the symbolism is, that beast has been killed and put down. That is the symbolism of Mahishasura and his buffalo, dead and down. This means you are [opened up your reptilian brain] big flower.
And Navaratri is coming now. That mean Navaratri liter… literally means nine nights. Why this Navaratri is, every month after the no moon day or the new moon day as it’s called here or the Amavasya. After that, days are counted, ninth day is called Navami that means nine, ninth day it is.
These nine days are considered feminine. Out of the twenty-eight days, one and a half days or nearly thirty to thirty-six hours is a neutral time when the full moon is on. So twenty-seven days, are the days which are calculated in a certain way. Twenty-seven days or twenty-seven is significant with reference to the solar cycle also.
So, one third of it is called the feminine part of the month, the nine days. The remaining eighteen days are masculine in nature. So when the feminine is on, the Devi’s thing is on, so that is why in the tradition up to Navami all the worship is for the Devi, after that things will change.
Particularly in the tradition that comes from Kashmir, which is a very strong feminine worshipping culture. I’m talking about the past! Today if we say Kashmir, you think of terror, you think of militancy, you think of extreme manifestations of many things. But this is all about, started about seven centuries ago, before that and even after that for quite some time, Kashmir was a very strong Devi process and very feminine oriented practices, very powerful things were done.
There are – every Navami, that is every nine days in this twelve months that is going on, they’re dedicated to different Devi’s. The one that comes now, which is called the Dussehra, or the Navaratri as it’s largely celebrated. This is dedicated to Devi Sharadha. This was considered most important because Sharadha is the goddess of learning. So among the various things that a human being can do, this tradition held learning as the most important that a human being can do. He can fight, he can win, he can conquer, he can run, but the most important thing that a human being can do is they can learn. That is the significant aspect of who we are. Other creatures can run faster than us, they’re stronger than us. They can do many, many things that we cannot do, but they can’t learn like us.
So this Navaratri which is coming now, end of September, oh, no, beginning of October, I think is dedicated to Sharadha Devi, the goddess of learning, because this is unique to us. This is the pride of being human, that you can learn just about anything. If you’re willing, you can learn. Even if they’re willing, the other creatures cannot learn. So this is the most significant Navaratri dedicated to Sharadha and you must prepare learning something.
Either you must open up or she will slay you. She will put you down there. The symbolism is also this – that when masculine exists by its own nature, it naturally lives instinctively. That means this [within reptilian brain]. Only when feminine enters, it can become a little open. So when it opened, the masculine or the beastly nature fell at her feet because she rose out of that. So the symbolism in the Devi temple is just that. Because she rose in full power this beastiality is down there.