(For)Participant 1: Sadhguru, it is said that Adi Shankara entered the body of a king and inhabited it for a length of time. Is this actually possible? If so how? What kind of yogic mastery makes such a feat possible?
Sadhguru: It is not really such a feat. Adi Shankara got into an argument with a man. He won the argument. Then, that man's wife maneuvered herself into the argument, you know women (Laughter)? And, Adi Shankara is a certain level of logic. You shouldn't argue with a man like that.But she started… she negotiated herself into the argument, saying, “You defeated my husband, but he is not whole. We are two halves of the same thing. So you must also argue with me.” How can you beat this logic (Laughter)? So, arguments started with a woman. Then she saw she is losing. Then she started asking him questions about human sexuality.
Shankara said whatever he said. Then she went into more details and then she asked, “What do you know by experience?” Well, Shankara is a Brahmachari. Then he knew that this is a trick to defeat him. So he said, “I need a months’ break. We will hold the argument at this level. We’ll start from here after a month. Just give me a month.” So he went to a place where there was a cave. He went inside the cave and told his disciples, “no matter what happens. Do not allow anybody into this cave because I'm going to leave my body and look for another possibility for some time. Whatever happens, don't let anybody enter this cave.” Then it so happened, a king was bitten by a cobra and he died. When a man dies or even a woman when she dies… we have told you about the pancha pranas? If I go into this detail (Laughs) it’s a very technical question. Are you interested in all this?
Sadhguru: Oh! Then we have told you about how the life energies manifest in five qualities. The prana is happening in five different dimensions. It is called prana vayu, samana vayu, apana vayu, udhana and vyana. These five manifestations of prana have distinct… distinct functions to it. Prana vayu is in charge of respiratory action and thought process and the sensation of touch. When someone dies, how do you… how do you check, whether someone is alive or dead? You check his breath has stopped. When one’s breath has stopped, you say he is dead. The breath has stopped because the prana vayu has begin to… begun to exit. After the breath has stopped, it will take up to one-and-a-half hours for the pranayu… prana vayu to leave completely. But still the other four dimensions will be there. This is why it was set up after the breath stops, you must wait for one-and-a-half hours minimum before you cremate someone because he is still alive in many other ways.
Only thing is we want to wait till his sensation is gone, so that he doesn't feel the burn. See we are very compassionate (Few laugh). We wait for one-and-a-half hours so that his thought process, his respiratory action and his sensations are gone. That’s not the guy (A participant screams) we are talking about (Laughter). Now the remaining part of the prana will still be there. And the vyana, the last dimension of the prana could last up to twelve to fourteen days. Wherever there is no sensation, whichever part of your body, where there is no sensation, you must understand, that part of the body has no prana vayu in it. Right now, if you take your hair, if you do this, there is no sensation. Only if you pull it this way, there is sensation. Because here there is no prana vayu but still it grows. This is the reason why even after somebody is dead, even for a corpse, after few days still the hair growth happens, nail growth happens. Do you know? Are there any undertakers (Few laugh)?
I'm just asking if it's your profession. After one is dead, up to twelve to fourteen days, hair growth will happen, simply because this can grow just with vyana, with simple maintenance of the system, it will happen. Though other parts of the body may begin to rot, still vyana functions. So when Shankara left his body, he left his vyana in the system because his body should be maintained. And the king who died, died of a cobra venom. When cobra venom enters your system, what is happening to the system is, your blood begins to coagulate.When blood becomes thicker than what it is, the (Talks aside: speaks in Tamil - not transcribed) When blood begins to coagulate, breath becomes hard because (Audio Cut) Hello? (Audio Cut) Breathing and circulation are very directly connected. When circulation becomes difficult, it becomes hard to breath. So you… oh… (Talks aside: please give me a just give me a gooseneck microphone). Your breath will stop well before your prana vayu has exited. In many ways, this is an ideal condition for one who wants to… when somebody wants to enter that body, it’s ideal. Normally, it would give you only one-and-a-half hours’ time. But in…when a person has got cobra’s venom in the system, it will give up to four-and-a-half hours’ time.
So Shankara got this opportunity that there was four-and-a-half hours’ time. So he very easily entered that body and he was there to answer these questions experientially. So, he went through that process. But the king's people, there were some wise people there. When they saw a man who they had declared dead, suddenly sits up and full of energy and they could recognize by his behavior, it is not the same person. This is someone else in the same body.
So what they did (Laughs) they sent soldiers all over the city, saying whoever is dead, whoever, wherever you see a body, burn it immediately. Because now the king has come alive, he should not leave and go back. So soldiers went looking everywhere. Anybody, anywhere just burn it quickly. So that, if that is the person, who has come here, cannot go back. So we still have our king, a different guy but he looks the same, so what (Laughter).
So is such a thing possible? Yes, very much possible. Is it a feat? It is not really such a feat. A little bit of understanding of the mechanics of how life happens within you. Now, if one wants to enter a living body, someone was alive, to enter that, that would take a lot more. To enter one who has just exited, that's much simpler. Within first one-and-a-half hours it's ideal because the necessary vacuum has happened at the same time everything else is on. This was (Laughs) this used to be common, not very common, but almost everybody would've heard that something like this happened somewhere. So, this is the reason why when somebody's breath begins to become recede, in India, they always keep them just outside the house. They will put Samrani (Referring to a kind of incense used in religious activities) and they will start chanting something. This is one thing is to comfort the one who is departing. Another thing is to ensure that somebody else doesn't usurp the body.
So many methods and many protections were created so that these things don't happen. There are many ways to see that such things don't happen. But today, it is such a rare occurrence that now you started referring to it as a feat. So maybe, you would like to see it happen. But most people are dying with tubes and needles stuck all over them. So I don't think that will offer much of an opportunity. Because their breath is not theirs, the machines are breathing for them. So we should go and check and see whether still prana is still on or prana is gone, they’re just keeping the breath on through a machine. This is something we can check. I think it's very much possible. Even after prana vayu is completely gone, they're keeping the breath going on and extending it by a few days or hours because it adds up into nice fat bills. It's good for the economy (Few laugh).
Sadhguru: Today, lot of sport coaches, people who coach sports persons are all talking about muscle memory. People understand that if you go by your mental memory, many things cannot be done. So you've to build muscle memory about doing a particular action with a certain level of perfection that unthinkingly, you can just do it. So we are conscious that we can build memory into the body. Well, but this need not be discovered now. We know very well the body is full of memory. Every cell in your body, carries enormous memory. That's how you've a form and a shape. Depending upon the kind of memory that our parents gave us accordingly everything is formed.
But now we are talking about imparting memory to the body from outside. Yes. You will see by memory, by muscle memory or by body, physical memory, if you go on sitting in one place as you get older, this will get stronger in you, that even in your home, if you start sitting in one particular place, somehow you go round and round and settle down in the same place. This your dogs do, cats do, other animals do. It's okay for them. A human being is not supposed to be like this but they have built Runanubandha with even, you know, a pillow. So they can build that physical memory which comforts them, which gives them some sense of belonging.
This Runanubandha what it means is, it gives you a certain level of belonging, certain level of being at home, with certain kind of memory, if you build in the system, with that kind of person with that kind of situation, you feel at home. This is what you call as home. Your home is Runanubandha. Why one who is on the spiritual path, always wanders or moves away from home and keeps minimal contact with those things is because even inanimate things can bind you big time. So Runanubandha means body develops a certain memory with things that it’s come in touch with. It can be a thing. It can be a place. It can be another person. More and more of this kind of memory means these are all good, if you want to be anchored to one place.
A ship throws anchor when it doesn't want to sail anywhere. But when it wants to sail, it has to pull up its anchor. Otherwise, it's not going to go anywhere. Even if the winds are great, it will not sail because the anchor is down. So Runanubandha is like anchor. If you don't pull it up, you can flutter your sail as much as you want, but the anchor won't let you travel anywhere. It won't let you be a sea-farer. You will be docked. That's a right word. You are docked.