14. Place your whole attention in the nerve, delicate as the lotus thread, in the center of your spinal column. in such be transformed.
For this sutra, for this technique of meditation, one has to close his eyes and visualize his spinal column, his backbone. It is good to look up in some physiology book the structure of the body, or to go to some medical college or hospital and look at the structure of the body.
Then close your eyes and visualize your backbone. Let the backbone be straight, erect. Visualize it, see it, and just in the middle of it visualize a nerve, delicate as the lotus thread, running in the center of your spinal column.
IN SUCH BE TRANSFORMED. If you can, concentrate on the spinal column, and then on a thread in the middle of it — on a very delicate nerve like a lotus thread running through it. Concentrate on it, and this very concentration throws you to your center. Why? The spinal column is the base of your whole body structure. Everything is joined to it. Really, your brain is nothing but one pole of your spinal column. Physiologists say it is nothing but a spinal column growth; your brain is really a growth of your spinal column. Your spine is connected with your whole body — everything is connected to it. That is why it is called the spine, the base.
In this spine there is really a thread-like thing, but physiology will not say anything about it because it is not material. In this spine, just in the middle, there is a silver cord — a very delicate nerve. It is not really a nerve in the physiological sense. You cannot operate and find it; it will not be found there. But in deep meditation it is seen. It is there; it is non-material. It is energy, not matter. And really, that energy cord in your spinal column is your life.
Through that you are related to the invisible existence, and through that also you are related to the visible. That is the bridge between the invisible and the visible. Through that thread you are related to the body, and through that thread also you are related to your soul. First, visualize the spine. At first you will feel very strange, you will be able to visualize it, but as an imagination. And if you go on endeavoring, then it will not be just your imagination. You will become capable of seeing your spinal column.
I was working with a seeker on this technique. I gave him a picture of the body structure to concentrate upon so that he would begin to feel how the spinal column can be visualized inside. Then he started. Within a week he came and said, “This is very strange. I tried to see the picture you gave me, but many times that picture disappeared and I saw a different spine. It is not exactly like the picture you gave to me.” So I told him, “Now you are on the right path. Forget that picture completely, and go on seeing the spine that has become visible to you.”
Man can see his own body structure from within. We have not tried it because it is very, very fearful, loathsome; because when you see your bones, blood, veins, you become afraid. So really, we have completely blocked our minds from seeing within. We see the body from without, as if someone else is looking at the body. It is just as if you go outside this room and look at it — then you know the outer walls. Come in and look at the house — then you can look at the inner walls. You see your body from outside as if you are somebody else seeing your body. You have not seen your body from inside. We are capable of it, but because of this fear it has become a strange thing.
Indian yoga books say many things about the body which have been found to be exactly right by new scientific research, and science is unable to explain this. How could they know? Surgery and knowledge of the inside of the human body are very recent developments. How could they know of all the nerves, of all the centers, of all the inner structures? They knew even about the latest findings; they have talked about them, they have worked upon them. Yoga has always been aware about all the basic, significant things in the body. But they were not dissecting bodies, so how could they know? Really, there is another way of looking at your own body — from within.
If you can concentrate within, suddenly you begin to see your body — the inner lining of the body. This is good for those who are deeply body-oriented. If you feel yourself a materialist, if you feel yourself to be nothing but body, this technique will be very helpful for you. If you feel yourself to be a body, if you are a believer in Charvak or in Marx, if you believe that man is nothing but a body, this technique will be very helpful for you. Then go and see the bone structure of man. In the old tantra and yoga schools they used many bones.
Even now a tantric will always be found with some bones, with a man’s skull. Really, that is to help concentration from inside. First he concentrates on that skull, then he closes his eyes and tries to visualize his own skull. He goes on trying to see the outer skull inside, and by and by he begins to feel his own skull. His consciousness begins to be focused. That outer skull, the concentration on it and the visualization, are just helps.
Once you are focused inside, you can move from your toes to your head. You can move inside — and it is a great universe. Your small body is a great universe. This sutra uses the spinal column because within the spinal column there is the thread of life. This is why there is so much insistence on a straight backbone, because if the backbone is not straight you will not be capable of seeing the inner thread. It is very delicate, it is very subtle — it is minute. It is an energy flow. So if the spinal column is straight, absolutely straight, only then can you have glimpses of that thread.
But our spinal columns are not straight. Hindus have tried to make everyone’s spinal column straight from the very childhood. Their ways of sitting, their ways of sleeping, their ways of walking were all based, basically, on a straight spinal column. If the spinal column is not straight, then it is very difficult to see the inner core. It is delicate — and really, it is not material. It is immaterial; it is a force. When the spinal column is absolutely straight, that thread-like force is seen easily. … IN SUCH BE TRANSFORMED. Once you can feel, concentrate and realize this thread, you will be filled with a new light. The light will be coming from your spinal column. It will spread all over your body; it may even go beyond your body. When it goes beyond, auras are seen.
Everyone has an aura, but ordinarily your auras are nothing but shadows with no light in them — just dark shadows around you. And those auras reflect your every mood. When you are angry, then your auras become as if blood-filled; they become filled with a red, angry expression. When you are sad, dim, down, then your auras are filled with dark threads, as if you are just near death — everything dead, heavy. When this spinal column thread is realized, your auras become enlightened.
So a Buddha, a Mahavir, a Krishna, a Christ are not painted with auras just as decorations, those auras exist. Your spinal column begins to throw out light. Within, you become enlightened — your whole body becomes a body of light — then it penetrates the outer. So really, for a buddha, for anyone who is enlightened, there is no need to ask anyone what he is. The aura shows everything. And when someone becomes enlightened the master knows it, because the aura reveals everything.
I will tell you one story… Hui Neng, a Chinese master, was working under his master. When Hui Neng went to his master, the master said, “For what have you come here? There is no need to come to me.” He couldn’t understand. Hui Neng thought that he was not yet ready to be accepted, but the master was seeing something else. He was seeing his growing aura. He was saying this: “Even if you do not come to me, the thing is bound to happen sooner or later, anywhere. You are already in it, so there is no need to come to me.” But Hui Neng said, “Do not reject me.”
So the master accepted him and told him to go just behind the monastery, in the kitchen of the monastery. It was a big monastery of five hundred monks. The master said to Hui Neng, “Just go behind the monastery and help in the kitchen, and do not come again to me. Whenever it will be needed, I will come to you.” No meditation was given to Hui Neng, no scriptures to read, study or meditate upon. Nothing was taught to him, he was just thrown into the kitchen. The whole monastery was working. There were pundits, scholars, and there were meditators, and there were yogis, and the whole monastery was agog. Everyone was working and this Hui Neng was just cleaning rice and doing kitchen work.
Twelve years passed. Hui Neng didn’t go again to the master because it was not allowed. He waited, he waited, he waited… he simply waited. He was just taken as a servant. Scholars would come, meditators would come, and no one would even pay any attention to him. And there were big scholars in the monastery. Then the master declared that his death was near, and now he wanted to appoint someone to function in his place, so he said, “Those who think they are enlightened should compose a small poem of four lines. In those four lines you should put all that you have gained. And if I approve any poems and see that the lines show that enlightenment has happened, I will choose someone as my successor.”
There was a great scholar in the monastery, and no one attempted the poem because everyone knew that he was going to win. He was a great knower of scriptures, so he composed four lines. Those four lines were just like this… the meaning of it was like this: “Mind is like a mirror, and dust gathers on it. Clean the dust, and you are enlightened.” But even this great scholar was afraid because the master would know. He already knows who is enlightened and who is not. Though all he has written is beautiful, it is the very essence of all the scriptures — mind is like a mirror, and dust gathers on it; remove the dust, and you are enlightened — this was the whole gist of all the Vedas, but he knew that was all that it was. He had not known anything, so he was afraid.
He didn’t go directly to the master, but in the night he went to the hut, to his master’s hut, and wrote all the four lines on the wall without signing — without any signature. In this way, if the master approved and said, “Okay, this is right,” then he would say, “I have written them.” If he said, “No! Who has written these lines?” then he would keep silent, he thought. But the master approved. In the morning the master said, “Okay!” He laughed and said, “Okay! The man who has written this is an enlightened one.” So the whole monastery began to talk about it. Everyone knew who had written it. They were discussing and appreciating, and the lines were beautiful — really beautiful. Then some monks came to the kitchen. They were drinking tea and they were talking, and Hui Neng was there serving them. He heard what had happened.
The moment he heard those four lines, he laughed. So someone asked, “Why are you laughing, you fool? You do not know anything; for twelve years you have been serving in the kitchen. Why are you laughing?” No one had even heard him laugh before. He was just taken as an idiot who would not even talk. So he said, “I cannot write, and I am not an enlightened one either, but these lines are wrong. So if someone comes with me, I will compose four lines. If someone comes with me, he can write it on the wall. I cannot write; I do not know writing.” So someone followed him — just as a joke.
A crowd came there and Hui Neng said, “Write: There is no mind and there is no mirror, so where can the dust gather? One who knows this is enlightened.” But the master came out and he said, “You are wrong,” to Hui Neng. Hui Neng touched his feet and returned back to his kitchen. In the night when everyone was asleep, the master came to Hui Neng and said, “You are right, but I could not say so before those idiots — and they are learned idiots. If I had said that you are appointed as my successor, they would have killed you. So escape from here! You are my successor, but do not tell it to anyone. And I knew this the day you came. Your aura was growing; that was why no meditation was given to you. There was no need.
You were already in meditation. And these twelve years’ silence — not doing anything, not even meditation — emptied you completely of your mind, and the aura has become full. You have become a full moon. But escape from here! Otherwise they will kill you. “You have been here for twelve years, and the light has been constantly spreading from you, but no one observed it. And they have been coming to the kitchen, everyone has been coming to the kitchen every day — thrice, four times. Everyone passes through here; that is why I posted you in the kitchen. But no one has recognized your aura. So you escape from here.”
When the spinal column thread is touched, seen, realized, an aura begins to grow around you. … IN SUCH BE TRANSFORMED. Be filled with that light and be transformed. This is also a centering — a centering in the spinal column. If you are body-oriented, this technique will help you. If you are not body-oriented, it is very difficult, it will be very difficult to visualize from the inside. Then to look at your body from the inside will be difficult. This sutra will be more helpful for women than for men. They are more body-oriented. They live more in the body; they feel more.
They can visualize the body more. Women are more body-oriented than men, but for anyone who can feel the body, who feels the body, who can visualize, who can close his eyes and feel his body from within, this technique will be very helpful for him. Then visualize your spinal column, and in the middle a silver cord running through it. First it may look like imagination, but by and by you will feel that imagination has disappeared and your mind has become focused on that spinal column. And then you will see your own spine. The moment you see the inner core, suddenly you will feel an explosion of the light within you. Sometimes this can also happen without any effort.
It happens sometimes. Again, in a deep sex act it sometimes happens. Tantra knows: in a deep sex act your whole energy becomes concentrated near the spine. Really, in a deep sex act the spine begins to discharge electricity. And sometimes, even, if you touch the spine you will get a shock. If the intercourse is very deep and very loving and long — really, if the two lovers are just in a deep embrace, silent, non-moving, just being filled with each other, just remaining in a deep embrace — it happens. It has happened many times that a dark room will suddenly become filled with light, and both bodies will be surrounded with a blue aura.
Many, many such cases have happened. Even in some of your experiences it may have happened, but you may not have noticed that in a dark room, in deep love, suddenly you feel a light around both of your bodies, and that light spreads and fills the whole room. Many times it has happened that suddenly things drop from the table in the room without any visible cause. And now psychologists say that in a deep sex act, electricity is discharged. That electricity can have many effects and impacts. Things may suddenly drop, move or be broken, and even photographs have been taken in which light is visible. But that light is always concentrated around the spinal column. So sometimes, in a deep sex act also — and tantra knows this well and has worked on it — you may become aware, if you can look within to the thread running in the middle of the spinal column.
And tantra has used the sex act for this realization, but then the sex act has to be totally different, the quality has to be different. It is not something to be gotten over with; it is not something to be done for a release; it is not something to be finished hurriedly; it is not a bodily act then. Then it is a deep spiritual communion. Really, through two bodies it is a deep meeting of two innernesses, of two subjectivities, penetrating each other. So I will suggest to you to try this technique when in a deep sex act — it will be easier. Just forget about sex. When in a deep embrace, remain inside. Forget the other person also, just go inside and visualize your spinal column.
It will be easier, because then more energy is flowing near the spinal column, and the thread is more visible because you are silent, because your body is at rest. Love is the deepest relaxation, but we have made love also a great tension. We have made it an anxiety, a burden. In the warmth of love, filled, relaxed, close your eyes. But men ordinarily do not close their eyes. Ordinarily, women do close their eyes. That is why I said that women are more body-oriented while men are not. In a deep embrace in the act of sex, women will close their eyes. Really, they cannot love with open eyes. With closed eyes, they feel the body more from within. Close your eyes and feel your body. Relax. Concentrate on the spinal column. And this sutra says very simply, IN SUCH BE TRANSFORMED. And you will be transformed through it.