Kailash of the South
is often portrayed as a dispassionate yogi. But whatever we say about Shiva, the very opposite is also the truth. This dispassionate yogi once turned into a passionate lover. Punyakshi, a woman of great perception, was an oracle who lived in the southernmost point of the Indian subcontinent. She developed a longing for Shiva and aspired to hold his hand as his wife. She had decided that she would marry only him and no one else. So Punyakshi started working towards making herself capable and suitable to draw Shiva’s attention. She remained absolutely focused upon him every moment of her life; her devotion crossed all boundaries and her austerities crossed all levels of sanity. Seeing the intensity of her passion, Shiva’s compassion and love were stirred. He reciprocated her love and was willing to marry her. But the society in which Punyakshi lived was worried. They believed that if Punyakshi married, she would lose her abilities to foresee the future and to protect and guide them. So they did everything possible to stop this marriage. But nothing could move Punyakshi from her determination and her devotion towards Shiva. Shiva responded passionately, and the date of her wedding was fixed. He set off towards the southern tip of the subcontinent. But the people of her community were against the marriage so they appealed to Shiva, “Oh Shiva, if you marry her, we will lose the only eye of perception that we have for ourselves. Please do not marry her.” But Shiva was not in a listening mood and he continued to proceed towards the wedding. The community elders stopped him and said, “If you want this girl as your bride, there are a few conditions. There is a bride-price that you have to pay us.”
Shiva asked, “What is the bride-price? Whatever it is, I will pay you.”
They listed out three items that Shiva was to pay as the bride price for Punyakshi, “We want a sugarcane without rings, a beetle leaf without veins, and a coconut without eyes. That is the bride-price you have to pay.” All these items are unnatural. A sugarcane always comes with rings, there is no beetle leaf without veins, and there cannot be a coconut without eyes. It was an impossible bride-price and a sure way of stopping the wedding. Shiva was very passionate about Punyakshi and wanted to marry her at any cost. So he brought forth his occult force and magical capabilities and breaking the laws of nature, created all these three objects. He broke the very fundamental laws of nature to fulfill the unjust, impossible bride-price that was demanded. Having fulfilled the demands made of him, he proceeded towards the wedding. But then, the community elders put one last condition on Shiva. “You must be married before the sun rises tomorrow morning. If you are late, you cannot marry the girl,” they said. Hearing this, Shiva hastened towards the southern tip of the country. He covered the distance at a rapid pace and was sure that he would reach Punyakshi on time. The community elders saw that Shiva was overcoming all the impossible conditions they had fixed and would fulfill his promise to Punyakshi. They were really worried.
Shiva was hurrying on his journey, he came to a place, known today as Suchindram, which was just a few kilometers away from the place of the wedding. He saw the sun coming up! He could not believe it. He had failed in his mission! But it was actually the community elders playing their final trick; they had decided to create a false sunrise. They gathered together a huge mound of camphor and set it ablaze. The camphor burned so bright and intense that when Shiva saw it from a distance, he thought the sun was coming up and that he had failed in his mission. He was so close – just a few kilometers away – but he was deceived into thinking that the time was up and that he had not been able to keep his word to Punyakshi. Punyakshi was preparing for her grand wedding with Shiva, completely unaware of her community’s efforts to ruin the wedding. When the real sunrise broke upon the horizon, she realized that Shiva was not coming. She became furious. She kicked and broke all the pots which were full of food prepared for the celebration, and in a violent temper, she went to the edge of the land and stood there. She was an accomplished yogini and standing there at the very edge of the subcontinent, she left her body. Even today, there is a temple on the spot where she left her body; that place is known as Kanyakumari. Shiva thought he had failed Punyakshi and was so despondent and frustrated with himself. He turned around and began walking back. But because of the anger within him, he needed a place to sit down and work out his despondency. So he went up the Velliangiri Mountain and sat on the peak. He did not sit in blissfulness or in meditation. He sat in a certain kind of despondence and anger about himself. He stayed there for a considerable amount of time and the Mountain imbibed his energy which is very, very different from anywhere else. Traditionally, any place that Shiva stayed for a certain period of time was called Kailash. So this mountain is called the Kailash of the South. In height and in color, and probably in magnitude, the Velliangiris may not be comparable to the Kailash in the Himalayas, but in potency, in beauty, and in sacredness, it is not any less. For thousands of years, many sages, yogis and mystics have walked this mountain. The Velliangiri Mountain has witnessed a phenomenal amount of mystical work. So many beings, the kind of men that gods would be envious of because they lived with such grace and dignity, have walked this Mountain. These great beings let the whole mountain imbibe what they knew, and it can never be lost.
n the yogic culture, Shiva is not seen as a god, but as the Adiyogi or the first yogi – the originator of yoga. He was the one who first put this seed into the human mind. According to the yogic lore, over fifteen thousand years ago, Adiyogi attained to his full enlightenment and abandoned himself in an intense, ecstatic dance upon the Himalayas. When his ecstasy allowed him some movement, he danced wildly. When it became beyond movement, he became utterly still. People saw that he was experiencing something that no one had known before, something that they were unable to fathom. Interest developed and people came wanting to know what this was. They came, they waited and they left because the man was oblivious to other people’s presence. He was either in intense dance or absolute stillness, completely uncaring of what was happening around him. Soon, everyone left…
Except for seven men.
These seven people were insistent that they must learn what this man had in him, but Adiyogi ignored them. They pleaded and begged him, “Please, we want to know what you know.” He dismissed them and said, “You fools. The way you are, you are not going to know in a million years. This is not entertainment. There is a tremendous amount of preparation needed for this. Are you ready for this commitment?” These seven people were insistent that they must learn what this man had in him, but Adiyogi ignored them. They pleaded and begged him, “Please, we want to know what you know.” He dismissed them and said, “You fools. The way you are, you are not going to know in a million years. This is not entertainment. There is a tremendous amount of preparation needed for this. Are you ready for this commitment?” They nodded eagerly. Looking at their perseverance, he said, “I shall give you a preparatory step. Do this for some time. After that, we shall see.” They started preparing. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, they prepared. Adiyogi just chose to ignore them. On a full moon day, after eighty-four years of sadhana, when the solstice had shifted from the summer solstice to the winter solstice – which in the Indian tradition is known as Dakshinayana 2 – Adiyogi looked at these seven people and saw that they had become shining receptacles of knowing. They were absolutely ripe to receive. He could not ignore them anymore. They grabbed his attention. He watched them closely for the next few days and when the next full moon rose, he decided to become a Guru. The Adiyogi transformed himself into the Adi Guru; the first Guru was born on that day which is today known as Guru Pournami. On the banks of Kanti Sarovar, a lake that lies a few kilometers above Kedarnath, he turned south to shed his grace upon the human race, and the transmission of the yogic science to these seven people began. The yogic science is not about a yoga class that you go through about how to bend your body – which every new born infant knows – or how to hold your breath – which every unborn infant knows. This is the science of understanding the mechanics of the entire human system.
fter many years, when the transmission was complete, it produced seven fully enlightened beings – the seven celebrated sages who are today known as the Saptarishis, and are worshipped and admired in Indian culture. Shiva put different aspects of yoga into each of these seven people, and these aspects became the seven basic forms of yoga. Even today, yoga has maintained these seven distinct forms. The Saptarishis were sent in seven different directions to different parts of the world to carry this dimension with which a human being can evolve beyond his present limitations and compulsions. They became the limbs of Adiyogi, taking the knowledge and technology of how a human being can exist here as the Creator himself, to the world. Time has ravaged many things, but when the cultures of those lands are carefully looked at, small strands of these people’s work can be seen still alive. It has taken on various colors and forms and has changed its complexion in a million different ways, but these strands can still be seen. Adiyogi brought this possibility that a human being need not be contained in the defined limitations of our species. There is a way to be contained in physicality but not to belong to it. There is a way to inhabit the body but never become the body. There is a way to use your mind in the highest possible way but still never know the miseries of the mind. Whatever dimension of existence you are in right now, you can go beyond that – there is another way to live. He said, “You can evolve beyond your present limitations if you do the necessary work upon yourself.” That is the significance of Adiyogi.
(1) Spiritual practices (2) Occurs in June/July. The Sun’s movement in the Earth’s sky shifts from a northward movement to a southward movement. Similarly, in December/January, the Sun’s movement shifts from southward to northward, and is known as Uttarayana.
ogi, mystic, and visionary, Sadhguru is a spiritual master with a difference. An arresting blend of profundity and pragmatism, his life and work serve as a reminder that yoga is not an esoteric discipline from an outdated past, but a contemporary science, vitally relevant to our times. Among the few rare beings who have been known as “Chakreshwara” or one who has complete mastery over the 114 chakras (energy junctions) in the human system, he has initiated millions of people across the globe into powerful spiritual processes. No single angle provides a complete picture of Sadhguru. A contemporary Guru, he is rooted as strongly in worldly and practical matters as he is in inner experience and wisdom. Whether speaking economics to the world’s statesmen at an international conference or leading intimate disciples through a dynamic meditation, he takes one on the sacred journey from the known to the unknown. Equally at ease with the ancient and the ultramodern, Sadhguru’s areas of active involvement encompass fields as diverse as architecture and visual design, poetry and painting, ecology and horticulture, music and sports. Sadhguru is also the founder of Isha Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the wellbeing of the individual and the world for the past three decades. Isha Foundation does not promote any particular ideology, religion, or race, but transmits inner sciences of universal appeal.
“Anyone who comes into the sphere of the Dhyanalinga cannot escape the sowing of the spiritual seed of liberation.”Sadhguru
hyanalinga is a powerful and unique energy form which creates the possibility for every human being who comes within its sphere to experience life in its totality. The dream of many enlightened beings, Dhyanalinga was consecrated by Sadhguru after three years of an intense process of prana pratishtha – a pure energy process devoid of mantras and rituals, wherein the energies of all the seven chakras are raised to the very peak and locked to prevent dissipation over time. Measuring 13 feet 9 inches in height, Dhyanalinga is the largest live linga in the world and the first of its kind to be consecrated in thousands of years. “Dhyana” essentially means “meditation,” and “linga” means “the form.” Just sitting silently for a few minutes within the sphere of Dhyanalinga, is enough to make even those unaware of meditation experience a state of deep meditativeness. Every week, several thousand people visit the Dhyanalinga and imbibe a lasting sense of joy and profound stillness. In the metaphysical sense, Dhyanalinga is a guru. A doorway to enlightenment and spiritual liberation, Dhyanalinga offers a spiritual seeker the opportunity to perform spiritual practices in utmost intimacy with a live guru, an opportunity traditionally available only to a select few. Representing Sadhguru’s long-term vision for the benefit of mankind, Dhyanalinga is an offering to future generations of humanity.