15. Closing the seven openings of the head with your hands, a space between your eyes becomes all inclusive.
This is one of the oldest techniques — very much used, and one of the simplest also. Close all the openings of the head — eyes, ears, nose, mouth. When all the openings of the head are closed, your consciousness, which is continuously flowing out, is stopped suddenly: it cannot move out.
You may not have observed, but even if you stop your breathing for a moment, suddenly your mind will stop — because with breathing mind moves on. That is a conditioning with the mind. You must understand what `conditioning’ means, then only will this sutra be easy to understand.
Pavlov, one of the most famous Russian psychologists, has created this term “conditioning” — or “conditioned reflex” — a day-to-day word used all over the world. Everyone who is acquainted with psychology even a little knows the word. Two processes of thought — any two processes — can become so associated that if you start with one, the other is also triggered.
This is the famous Pavlovian example. Pavlov worked with a dog. He found that if you put dog food before a dog, its saliva begins to flow. The tongue of the dog comes out and he begins to get ready, prepared for eating. This is natural. When he is seeing the food, or even imagining the food, saliva starts flowing. But Pavlov conditioned this process with another.
Whenever the saliva would start to flow and the food was there, he would do some other things. For example, he would ring a bell, and the dog would listen to the bell ringing. For fifteen days, whenever the food was placed, the bell would ring. Then on the sixteenth day food was not placed before the dog, only the bell was rung. But still the saliva started flowing and the tongue came out, as if the food was there.
But there was no food, only the bell ringing. There is no natural association between the bell ringing and saliva, the natural association is with food. But now the continuous ringing of the bell had become associated with it, and even the ringing of the bell would start the process.
According to Pavlov — and he is right — our whole life is a conditioned process. The mind is a conditioning. Thus, if you stop something in the conditioning, every other associated thing also stops.
For example, you have never thought without breathing. Thinking has always been with breathing.
You are not conscious of breathing, but breathing is there continuously, day and night. Every thought, every thinking process is associated with breathing. If you stop your breathing suddenly, thought will also stop. And if all the seven holes — the seven openings of the head — are closed, your consciousness suddenly cannot move out. It remains in, and that remaining in creates a space between your eyes. That space is known as the third eye.
If all the openings of the head are closed you cannot move out, because you have always been moving out from these openings. You remain in, and with your consciousness remaining in it becomes concentrated between these two eyes, between these two ordinary eyes. It remains in between these two eyes, focused. That spot is known as the third eye.
This space BECOMES ALL INCLUSIVE. This sutra says that in this space everything is included; the whole existence is included. If you can feel the space, you have felt all. Once you can feel inside this space between the two eyes, then you have known existence, the totality of it, because this inner space is all inclusive. Nothing is left out of it.
The Upanishads say, “Knowing the one, one knows all.” These two eyes can only see the finite. The third eye sees the infinite. These two eyes can only see the material. The third eye sees the immaterial, the spiritual. With these two eyes you can never feel the energy, you can never see the energy; you can see only matter.
But with the third eye, energy as such is seen.
This closing of the openings is a way of centering, because once the stream of consciousness cannot flow out, it remains at its source. That source of consciousness is the third eye. If you are centered at the third eye, many things happen. The first is discovering that the whole world is in you.
Swami Ramateertha used to say that “The sun moves in me, the stars move in me, the moon rises in me. The whole universe is in me.” When he said this for the first time, his disciples thought he had gone crazy. How can stars be in Ramateertha?
He was talking about the third eye, the inner space. When for the first time the inner space becomes illumined, this is the feeling. When you see that everything is in you, you become the universe.
The third eye is not part of your physical body. The space between our two eyes is not a space which is confined in your body. It is the infinite space which has penetrated in you. Once this space is known, you will never be the same person again. The moment you know this inner space, you have known the deathless. Then there is no death.
When you know this space for the first time, your life will be authentic, intense, for the first time really alive. Now no security is needed, now no fear is possible. Now you cannot be killed. Now nothing can be taken away from you.
Now the whole universe belongs to you: you are the universe. Those who have known this inner space, they have cried in ecstasy, “AHAM BRAHMASMI! I am the universe, I am the existence.”
The Sufi mystic Mansoor was murdered only because of this experience of the third eye. When for the first time he became aware of this inner space, he started crying, “I am God!” In India he would have been worshipped, because India has known many, many persons who have come to know this inner space of the third eye. But in a Mohammedan country it was difficult.
And Mansoor’s statement that “I am God — ANA’L HAK!” — was taken to be something anti-religious, because Mohammedanism cannot conceive that man and God can become one. Man is man — the created — and God is the creator, so how can the created become the creator? So this statement of Mansoor’s, “I am God,” could not be understood; thus, he was murdered. But when he was being murdered, killed, he was laughing. So someone asked, “Why are you laughing, Mansoor?”
Mansoor is reported to have said, “I am laughing because you are not killing me, and you cannot kill me. You are deceived by this body, but I am not this body. I am the creator of this universe, and it was my finger which moved this whole universe in the beginning.”
In India he would have been understood easily. The language has been known for centuries and centuries.
We have known that a moment comes when the inner space is known. Then one simply goes mad. And this realization is so certain that even if you kill a Mansoor he will not change his statement — because really, you cannot kill him as far as he is concerned. Now he has become the whole. There is no possibility of destroying him.
After Mansoor, Sufis learned that it is good to be silent. So in Sufi tradition, after Mansoor, it has been consistently taught to disciples, “Whenever you come to the third eye, remain silent and do not say anything. Whenever this happens, then keep quiet. Do not say anything, or just go on formally saying things which people believe.”
So Islam has now two traditions. One is just the ordinary, the outward, the exoteric; another, the real Islam, is Sufism — the esoteric. But Sufis remain silent, because since Mansoor they have learned that to talk in that language which comes when the third eye opens is to be unnecessarily in difficulty — and it helps no one.
This sutra says: Closing the seven openings of the head with your hands, a space between your eyes becomes all inclusive. Your inner space becomes all the space.
Every technique is useful for a certain type of mind. The technique we have been discussing, the third — closing the openings of the head — can be used by many.
It is very simple and not very dangerous. You can use it very easily, and there is also no need to close the openings with your hands. Closing is needed, so you can use ear plugs and you can use a mask for the eyes. The real thing is to close the openings of your head completely for a few moments — for a few moments or for a few seconds. Try it. Do not practice it — only suddenly is it helpful. When it is sudden it is helpful. When lying in your bed, suddenly close all your openings for a few seconds, and see what is happening within.
When you feel suffocated, go on — unless it becomes absolutely unbearable, because breathing will be closed. Go on, unless it becomes absolutely unbearable. And when it is absolutely unbearable, you will not be able to close the openings any more, so you need not worry. The inner force will throw all the openings open. So as far as you are concerned, continue. When the suffocation comes, that is the moment — because the suffocation will break the old associations. If you can continue for a few moments more, it would be good. It will be difficult and arduous, and you will feel that you are going to die — but do not be afraid, because you cannot die. You cannot die just by closing the openings. But when you feel now you are going to die, that is the moment.
If you can persist in that moment, suddenly everything will be illumined.
You will feel the inner space which goes on spreading, and the whole is included in it. Then open your openings. Go on trying it again and again. Whenever you have time, try it. But do not practice it. You can practice stopping the breath for a few moments. But practice will not help, a sudden jerk is needed. In that jerk, the flow into your old channels of consciousness stops, and a new thing becomes possible.
Many practice this even today — many persons all over India. But they practice it, and it is a sudden method. If you practice, then nothing will happen. If I throw you out of this room suddenly, your thoughts will stop. But if we practice it daily, then nothing will happen. It will become a mechanical habit. So do not practice it. Just try it whenever you can. Then suddenly, by and by, you will become aware of an inner space. That inner space comes only to your consciousness when you are on the verge of death. When you are feeling, “Now I cannot continue for a single moment; now death is near,” that is the right moment. Persist! Do not be afraid. Death is not so easy. At least up until now not a single person has died using this method.
There are built-in securities, that is why you cannot die. Before death one becomes unconscious. If you are conscious and feeling that you are going to die, do not be afraid. You are still conscious, so you cannot die. And if you become unconscious, then your breath will start.
Then you cannot prevent it. So you can use ear plugs, etc. Hands are not necessary. Hands were used only because if you are falling into unconsciousness, the hands will become loose and the life process will resume again by itself.
You can use plugs for the ears, a mask for the eyes, but do not use any plugs for the nose or for the mouth, because then it can become fatal. At least the nose should remain open. Close it with your hands. Then when you are actually falling into unconsciousness, the hands will become loose and the breathing will come in. So there is a built-in security. This method can be used by many.