13. Or, imagine the five-colored circles of the peacock tail to be your five senses in illimitable space. Now let their beauty melt within. Similarly, at any point in space or on a wall — until the point dissolves. Then your wish for another comes true.
14. Place your whole attention in the nerve, delicate as the lotus thread, in the center of your spinal column. in such be transformed.
Man is born with a center, but he remains completely oblivious of it. Man can live without knowing his center, but man cannot be without a center. The center is the link between man and existence; it is the root. You may not know it, knowledge is not essential for the center to be, but if you do not know it you will lead a life that is rootless — as if rootless.
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You will not feel any ground, you will not feel yourself based; you will not feel at home in the universe. You will be homeless. Of course, the center is there, but by not knowing it your life will be just a drifting — meaningless, empty, reaching nowhere. You will feel as if you are living without life, drifting, just waiting for death. You can go on postponing from one moment to another, but you know very well that that postponing will lead you nowhere. You are just passing time, and that feeling of deep frustration will follow you like a shadow.
Man is born with a center, but not with the knowledge of the center. The knowledge has to be gained. You have the center. The center is there; you cannot be without it. How can you exist without a center? How can you exist without a bridge between you and existence?… or if you like, the word ‘God’. You cannot exist without a deep link. You have roots in the divine. Every moment you live through those roots, but those roots are underground. Just as with any tree, the roots are underground; the tree is unaware of its own roots.
You also have roots. That rootedness is your center. When I say man is born with it, I mean it is a possibility that you can become aware of your rootedness. If you become aware, your life becomes actual; otherwise your life will be just like a deep sleep, a dream. What Abraham Maslow has called “self-actualization” is really nothing but becoming aware of your inner center from where you are linked with the total universe, becoming aware of your roots: you are not alone, you are not atomic, you are part of this cosmic whole.
This universe is not an alien world. You are not a stranger, this universe is your home. But unless you find your roots, your center, this universe remains something alien, something foreign. Sartre says that man lives as if he has been thrown into the world. Of course, if you do not know your center you will feel a thrownness, as if you have been thrown into the world. You are an outsider; you do not belong to this world and this world doesn’t belong to you.
Then fear, then anxiety, then anguish are bound to result. A man as an outsider in the universe is bound to feel deep anxiety, dread, fear, anguish. His whole life will be just a fight, a struggle, and a struggle which is destined to be a failure. Man cannot succeed because a part can never succeed against the whole. You cannot succeed against existence. You can succeed with it, but never against it. And that is the difference between a religious man and a non-religious man.
A non-religious man is against the universe; a religious man is with the universe. A religious man feels at home. He doesn’t feel he has been thrown into the world, he feels he has grown in the world. Remember the difference between being thrown and being grown. When Sartre says man is thrown into the world, the very word, the very formulation shows that you do not belong. And the word, the choice of the word ‘thrown’ means that you have been forced without your consent.
So this world appears inimical. Then anguish will be the result. It can be otherwise only if you are not thrown into the world, but you have grown as a part, as an organic part. Really, it would be better to say that you are the universe grown into a particular dimension which we call “human.” The universe grows in multi-dimensions — in trees, in hills, in stars, in planets… in multi-dimensions.
Man is also a dimension of growth. The universe is realizing itself through many, many dimensions. Man is also a dimension along with the height and the peak. No tree can become aware of its roots; no animal can become aware of its roots. That is why there is no anxiety for them. If you are not aware of your roots, of your center, you can never be aware of your death.
Death is only for man. It exists only for man because only man can become aware of his roots, aware of his center, aware of his totality and his rootedness in the universe. If you live without a center, if you feel you are an outsider, then anguish will result. However, if you feel that you are at home, that you are a growth, a realization of the potentiality of the existence itself — as if existence itself has become aware in you, as if it has gained awareness in you — if you feel that way, if you really realize that way, the result will be bliss.
Bliss is the result of an organic unity with the universe, and anguish the result of an enmity. But unless you know the center you are bound to feel a thrownness, as if life has been forced upon you. This center which is there, although man is not aware of it, is the concern of these sutras which we will discuss. Before we enter into VIGYANA BHAIRAVA TANTRA and its techniques concerning the center, two or three things more.
One: when man is born he is rooted in a particular spot, in a particular CHAKRA — center — and that is the navel. The Japanese call it HARA; hence the term HARA-KIRI. Hara-kiri means suicide. Literally, the term means killing the hara — the spine, the center. Hara is the center; destroying the center is the meaning of hara-kiri. But in a way, we have all committed hara-kiri. We have not killed the center, but we have forgotten it, or we have never remembered it. It is there waiting, and we have been drifting away and away from it. (Please read more about Chakra in our Chakra Meditation Guide)
When a child is born he is rooted in the navel, in the hara; he lives through the hara. Look at a child breathing — his navel goes up and down. He breathes with the belly, he lives with the belly — not with the head, not with the heart. But by and by he will have to drift away. First he will develop another center — that is the heart, the center of emotion. He will learn love, he will be loved, and another center will develop. This center is not the real center; this center is a by-product.
That is why psychologists say that if a child is not loved, he will never be able to love. If a child is brought up in a non-loving situation — a situation which is cold, with no one to love and give warmth — he himself will never be able in his life to love anyone because the very center will not develop. Mother’s love, father’s love, family, society — they help to develop a center. That center is a by-product; you are not born with it. So if it is not being helped to grow, it will not grow. Many, many persons are without the love center. They go on talking about love, and they go on believing that they love, but they lack the center, so how can they love?
It is difficult to get a loving mother, and very difficult and rare to get a loving father. Every father, every mother, thinks that he or she loves. It is not so easy. Love is a difficult growth, very difficult. But if love is not there in the beginning for the child, he himself will never be able to love. That is why the whole humanity lives without love. You go on producing children, but you do not know how to give them a love center. Rather, on the contrary, the more society becomes civilized, the more it forces into being a third center, which is intellect. The navel is the original center. A child is born with it; it is not a by-product.
Without it life is impossible, so it is given. The second center is a by-product. If the child gets love, he responds. In this responding, a center grows in him: that is the heart center. The third center is reason, intellect, head. Education, logic and training create a third center; that too is a by-product. But we live at the third center. The second is almost absent — or even if it is present, then it is non-functioning; or even if it functions sometimes, it functions irregularly. But the third center, the head, becomes the basic force in life because the whole life depends on this third center. It is utilitarian. You need it for reason, logic, thinking.
So everyone becomes, sooner or later, head-oriented; you begin to live in the head. Head, heart, navel — these are the three centers. The navel is the given center, the original one. Heart can be developed, and it is good to develop it for many reasons. Reason is necessary to develop also, but reason must not be developed at the cost of the heart — because if reason is developed at the cost of the heart then you miss the link and you cannot come to the navel again.
The development is from reason to existence to being. Let us try to understand it in this way. The center of the navel is in being; the center of the heart is in feeling; the center of the head is in knowing. Knowing is the farthest from being — feeling is nearer. If you miss the feeling center, then it is very difficult to create a bridge between reason and being — really, very difficult. That is why a loving person may realize his at-homeness in the world more easily than a person who lives through intellect.
Western culture has basically emphasized the head center. That is why in the West a deep concern is felt for man. And the deep concern is with his homelessness, his emptiness, his uprootedness. Simone Weil wrote a book, THE NEED FOR ROOTS. Western man feels uprooted, as if with no roots. The reason is because only the head has become the center. The heart has not been trained, it is missing. The beating of the heart is not your heart, it is just a physiological function.
So if you feel the beating, do not misunderstand that you have a heart. Heart is something else. Heart means the capacity to feel; head means the capacity to know. Heart means the capacity to feel, and being means the capacity to be one — to be one with something… the capacity to be one with something. Religion is concerned with the being; poetry is concerned with the heart; philosophy and science are concerned with the head. These two centers, heart and head, are peripheral centers, not real centers, just false centers. The real center is the navel, the hara. How to attain it again? Or how to realize it?
Ordinarily it happens only sometimes — rarely, accidentally it happens — that you come near the hara. That moment will become a very deep, blissful moment. For example, in sex sometimes you come near the hara, because in sex your mind, your consciousness moves downwards again. You have to leave your head and fall down. In a deep sexual orgasm, sometimes it happens that you are near your hara. That is why there is so much fascination about sex.
It is not really sex which gives you the blissful experience, really, it is the hara. In falling down toward sex you pass through the hara, you touch it. But for modern man even that has become impossible, because for modern man even sex is a cerebral affair, a mental affair. Even sex has gone into the head; he thinks about it. That is why there are so many films, so many novels, so much literature, pornography and the like. Man thinks about sex, but that is absurdity. Sex is an experience; you cannot think about it. And if you start thinking about it, it will be more and more difficult to experience it because it is not a concern of the head at all.
Reason is not needed. And the more modern man feels incapable of going deep in sex, the more he thinks about it. It becomes a vicious circle. And the more he thinks about it, the more it becomes cerebral. Then even sex becomes futile. It has become futile in the West, a repetitive thing, boring. Nothing is gained, you just go on repeating an old habit. And ultimately you feel frustrated — as if you have been cheated. Why? Because really, the consciousness is not falling back down to the center.
Only when passing through the hara do you feel bliss. So whatsoever may be the cause, whenever you pass through the hara you feel bliss. A warrior on the field fighting sometimes passes through the hara, but not modern warriors because they are not warriors at all. A person throwing a bomb on a city is asleep. He is not a warrior; he is not a fighter; he is not a KSHATRIYA — not Arjuna fighting. Sometimes when one is on the verge of death one is thrown back to the hara. For a warrior fighting with his sword, any moment death becomes possible, any moment he may be no more.
And when fighting with a sword you cannot think. If you think, you will be no more. You have to act without thinking because thinking needs time; if you are fighting with a sword you cannot think. If you think then the other will win, you will be no more. There is no time to think, and the mind needs time. Because there is no time to think and thinking will mean death, consciousness falls down from the head — it goes to the hara, and a warrior has a blissful experience. That is why there is so much fascination about war. Sex and war have been two fascinations, and the reason is this: you pass through the hara. You pass through it in any danger. Nietzsche says, live dangerously. Why? Because in danger you are thrown back to the hara.
You cannot think; you cannot work things out with the mind. You have to act immediately. A snake passes. Suddenly you see the snake and there is a jump. There is no deliberate thinking about it, that “There is a snake.” There is no syllogism; you do not argue within your mind, “Now there is a snake and snakes are dangerous, so I must jump.” There is no logical reasoning like this. If you reason like this, then you will not be alive at all. You cannot reason. You have to act spontaneously, immediately. The act comes first and then comes thinking. When you have jumped, then you think. In ordinary life, when there is no danger you think first, then you act. In danger, the whole process is reversed; you act first and then you think. That action coming first without thinking throws you to your original center — the hara.
That is why there is the fascination with danger. You are driving a car faster and faster and faster, and suddenly a moment comes when every moment is dangerous. Any moment and there will be no life. In that moment of suspense, when death and life are just as near to each other as possible, two points just near and you in between, the mind stops: you are thrown to the hara. That is why there is so much fascination with cars, driving — fast driving, mad driving.
Or you are gambling and you have put everything you have at stake — the mind stops, there is danger. The next moment you can become a beggar. The mind cannot function; you are thrown to the hara. Dangers have their appeal because in danger your day-to-day, ordinary consciousness cannot function. Danger goes deep. Your mind is not needed; you become a no-mind. YOU ARE! You are conscious, but there is no thinking.
That moment becomes meditative. Really, in gambling, gamblers are seeking a meditative state of mind. In danger — in a fight, in a duel, in wars — man has always been seeking meditative states. A bliss suddenly erupts, explodes in you. It becomes a showering inside. But these are sudden, accidental happenings.
One thing is certain: whenever you feel blissful you are nearer the hara. That is certain no matter what the cause; the cause is irrelevant. Whenever you pass near the original center you are filled with bliss. These sutras are concerned with creating a rootedness in the hara, in the center, scientifically, in a planned way — not accidentally, not momentarily, but permanently. You can remain continuously in the hara, that can become your rootedness. How to make this so and how to create this are the concerns of these sutras. Now we will take the first sutra which is another of the ways concerning the point, or center.
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Next : Meditation technique No. 13