BY PERFORMING SAMYAMA ON THE NAVEL CENTER, KNOWLEDGE OF THE ORGANIZATION OF THE BODY IS GAINED.
The navel center is the center of your body, because it is through the navel center that you were fed by your mother in the womb. For nine months you existed only by the navel center. You were connected with the navel; that was the passage, the bridge. And when the navel center was disconnected from the mother and the cord was cut, you became an independent being. Your navel is tremendously significant as far as the body is concerned.
“By performing samyama on the navel, knowledge of the organization of the body is gained.” And the body is a great, complicated mechanism, very delicate. In your single body there are millions of cells; in your small head there are millions of nerves. Scientists have developed many complicated mechanisms, but nothing to compare with the human body – and there seems to be no possibility that they will ever be able to create such a complicated mechanism and function so well. It is a miracle. And functioning so automatically; and continuously it functions for seventy or even a hundred years.
Everything is made as if it is perfect. It is a self-perpetuating system: eats; whenever you are hungry, creates hunger; when you have eaten well, gives you an indication – stop; digests; makes blood and bones and the marrow; and continuously goes on cleaning itself because so many cells are dying every moment they have to be thrown out. Creating, cleaning, maintaining itself; and that everything is automatic.
If you follow a natural way of life, the body functions so beautifully, it hums so beautifully.
By knowing the navel center, you will be able to know the whole mechanism of the body. That’s how yoga physiology was known. It has been known not from the outside; it has not been known by postmortem reports. Because yoga says when a man is dead, whatsoever you know about him is not true about a man who is alive. Because a dead man is totally different from an alive man. Now scientists are coming to guess it, that the postmortem at the most is a guess; because when a man is dead the body functions one way and when a man is alive it functions differently, so whatsoever we know about the dead body is, at the most, approximately true about the living body but not exactly true.
Yoga came to know from the inside. Yoga discovered physiology with full life and awareness.
That’s why there are many things which yoga talks about and modern physiology will not agree, because modern physiology is of a dead man, of a corpse, and yoga is concerned with life.
Just think. When the electricity is flowing through the wires you cut the wires; then you will have one experience. When the electricity has stopped flowing then cut the wires; you will have another experience. And these are totally different.
You dissect a dead body. You cannot dissect an alive body because by the time you dissect, it will be dead. So one day or other, physiologists have to agree with yoga research that if you want to know the alive body, when the electricity is flowing and one is vital, then somehow one has to go deep within oneself and from there, from that vantage point of view, one has to know what the body is, how it is arranged.
When you go in a dead body, it is going in a house whose owner has left it. You may come across furniture, but you will not come across the owner. When you go inside a house when the owner is there, he fills, his presence fills, the whole house. When you are present in the body, your presence is making every cell qualitatively different. When you are gone, then just a dead thing is left, just matter.
BY PERFORMING SAMYAMA ON THE THROAT, THERE COMES A CESSATION OF THE FEELINGS OF HUNGER AND THIRST.
These are the inner investigations. Yoga came to know that if you are hungry, the hunger is not exactly in the stomach. When you are thirsty, it is not exactly in the throat. The stomach gives the information to the brain, and then the brain gives the information to you; it has some indications. For example, when you are feeling thirsty, the brain makes your throat feel thirsty. When water is needed in the body, the brain creates a symptom in the throat, and you feel thirsty. When you need food, the brain creates something in the stomach, and you have hunger pangs.
But you can deceive the brain very easily: you can drink water with sugar. Because the brain understands the language of the sugar only. So if you eat sugar, or drink sugar, immediately the brain thinks now there is no need; the hunger disappears. That’s why people who eat too many sweets lose their appetite. Just a small quantity of sugar is not going to nourish you, but the brain has been befooled by you. Sugar is the language. Immediately the brain thinks the sugar level has risen high, finished. It thinks as if you have eaten well and through the food the sugar level has risen high. You have simply taken a sugar pill; that is a deception.
Yoga came to know that by bringing samyama to certain centers things can disappear. For example, if you bring samyama to the throat, you will feel thirst has gone, and you will feel hunger has gone. That’s how yogis could fast so long. It is said about Mahavir that he fasted sometimes even three months, four months, continuously. During the whole period of twelve years while he was meditating, he fasted for almost eleven years. Three months he will fast, and then one day he will eat, then again one month he will fast, and two days he will eat; this way. In twelve years it adds up to only one year when he was eating; that means in twelve days, one day of eating, eleven days of fasting, average.
How did he do it? How could he do it? It is almost impossible, humanly impossible. Yoga has some secrets.
If you concentrate on the throat…. Try. Next time you feel thirsty, close your eyes, sit, and bring your total attention to your throat. Once the attention is there, you will see the throat is relaxing. Because whenever your total attention is at any point, you become separate from it. The throat is thirsty: you feel I am thirsty. If you bring your witnessing consciousness to it, suddenly you are separate. Your cooperation is broken. Now you know the throat is thirsty, not I. And how can a throat be thirsty without you?
How can the body be hungry without you? Have you ever seen a dead man hungry or thirsty? Even if all the water disappears and evaporates from the body, a dead man will not feel thirst. Identification is needed.
Try it. Next time you feel hungry try it. Just close your eyes, go deep down into the throat… watch.
You will see the throat separate from you. The moment you will see the throat separate from you, the body will stop saying that the body is hungry. The body cannot be hungry; only your identification with the body.
BY PERFORMING SAMYAMA ON THE NERVE CALLED KURMA NADI, THE YOGI IS ABLE TO BE COMPLETELY MOTIONLESS.
Kurma-nadi is the vehicle of prana, breathing. If you silently watch your breathing, not changing its rhythm in any way, neither making it fast, nor slow, just leaving it natural and relaxed, and if you simply watch it; you will become absolutely still. There will be no movement in you. Why?
Because all movement comes through breathing, prana. All movement comes through breathing.
The movement exists in you through breathing. When the breathing stops, a person is dead – he cannot move.
If you constantly bring your samyama to breathe, to kurma-nadi, by and by you will come to a state where you will see breathing has almost stopped. Yogis do this meditation facing a mirror because the breathing becomes so silent, they cannot feel it. They can only see whether there is some mist on the mirror from their breathing or not. Sometimes they have become so silent that they cannot decide whether they are still alive or not. In deep meditation this experience will happen to you also sometimes. Don’t be afraid. Breathing almost stops.
When consciousness is perfect, breathing almost stops, but don’t be worried. That is not death; that is simply stillness.
The whole effort of yoga is to bring you to such stillness that it cannot be broken by anything, to such a state of consciousness which cannot be disturbed.
I have heard:
A madman of the Way called at a shop and asked the businessman, “What makes you sit here day in, day out?”
“In order to make profit.”
“What is profit?” asked the madman.
“It is the making of one into two,” said the businessman.
“This is no profit,” the madman said. “Profit is when you can make two into one.” That madman was not an ordinary madman; he must have been a realized man. He was a Sufi Master.
Yes, profit is when you make two into one. Profit is when all duality disappears, when only one remains.Tags: Patanjali Yoga Sutra 37 Inner Investigations