Sadhguru’s Kriya Meditation

Sadhguru is an Indian mystic and yogi whose videos I have been watching on YouTube for about a year now. He created the Isha Foundation which teaches meditation in centres in both India and the United States. He holds talks at these centres regularly and publishes 5–15-minute snippets of them on YouTube, each usually covering one specific subject. There are literally hundreds of them on Sadhguru’s official YouTube channel. He is an engaging speaker and his talks are filled with profound wisdom. I watch them daily. He is probably my favourite guru, currently.

Sadhguru has an interesting past. He attained enlightenment spontaneously one day, apparently having had no prior interest in mysticism. He claims knowledge of his own past lives, and that his last three lives have been virtual copies of his existing one as Sadhguru. He says that he and yogi friends who shared past lives together still accidentally refer to each other with their old names from time to time. Sadhguru’s wife also died several years ago. He claims she wilfully entered mahasamadhi, which is when an enlightened yogi chooses to consciously exit his or her body during meditation. The physical body dies and the yogi’s karma is said to have been extinguished, meaning he or she will not be reborn again. This has predictably led to controversy, with some claiming she committed suicide and others accusing Sadhguru of murder. This controversy has only increased my interest in him.

Sadhguru leans far more toward the Hindu side of Indian mysticism and his stories are more colourful than their drier Buddhist counterparts. They are filled with saints and devas, and talking animals including monkeys, snakes, lions and pigs — everything you expect from a mystic of India’s rich mythological tradition. Sadhguru is an adherent of Shiva above all, who he calls Adiyogi (“the first yogi”). He holds the Buddha in high regard but considers his path to enlightenment to be just one among many, and that his method is dry and technical and only suitable for certain people. This is an interesting counterpoint if you are coming from a primarily Buddhist background, as I did.

Sadhguru has a polite but evident disdain for Western dualistic thought and the monotheistic religions that both arise from and propagate it (“Everything is either good or bad, God or Devil. Can anyone really be just one of these things all the time?!”). I have drawn similar conclusions, partly as a result of receiving emails from Christians describing my site as “demonic”. This mode of thought is the cause of all major schisms in the West — left vs. right, liberals vs. conservatives, good vs. evil. The tendency to split reality into two opposing camps has greatly hindered our ability to see life just as it is.

The purpose of this post is to introduce you to Sadhguru’s beginner’s meditation, or kriya as he calls it. It is technically a kriya as it utilizes energy work (a.k.a. kundalini). The reason I am encouraging you to try it is that, when I first saw it just a month ago, I was very surprised to find that it is almost identical to my standard kundalini meditation, i.e. the one I practise every day as my default meditation, and which was revealed to me during my kundalini awakening. Sadhguru’s intention is to “introduce a drop of spirituality to every human on the planet”. Here is the meditation, which is guided:

 

Despite being intentionally made suitable for beginners, this is in no way a “weak” meditation. It is fully capable of inducing strong samadhi/jhana and bliss if you practise it regularly. I will break down the components of this meditation now:

Sitting position — Spine is straight for upward energy flow. Head is slightly back to favour flow into the third eye chakra. You can use a chair if, like mine, your legs are too thick and inflexible to sit cross-legged (though this should probably be worked on over time).

Mudra — Hands are open, upward, placed on knees. This mudra induces broad upward energy flow and a feeling of openness, which is ideal for letting the meditation “take” you. I will sometimes place thumb and forefinger together for a more intense and narrower energy beam, but this is for specific purposes (meaning I know how to channel that more intense energy into samadhi states and visualizations). I recommend you keep the hands open.

Third eye focus — The point of focus – and, essentially, your “object” in this meditation – is the third eye chakra, which is located between your eyebrows. This chakra is the seat of spirituality and is capable of generating states of bliss quickly and easily, usually accompanied with ultrafine bursts of REM. You simply gaze at this point the whole time, and if you are distracted by thoughts just bring your attention back here. I also recommend being aware of your breath, which allows absorption very quickly, but just take it one step at a time and basically do what he says.

Breath control — This very basic intentional exhalation/inhalation will steady the mind quickly, since mind is so linked to the rhythm of the breath. This also allows an easier implantation of the formal resolution.

Formal resolution/intention (1st mantra) — “I am not the body. I am not even the mind.” This is actually a type of formal resolution or intention (a verbal command which will shape the outcome of the meditation) being set right at the outset. This instructs the meditator to let go of his attachment to both his body and his mind and instead experience the True Self, or atman. (This is as opposed to Buddhist meditations which are geared to experiencing No Self, but I won’t get into that topic now).

Chant (2nd mantra) — “Aaaah.” These deep vibrations activate the lower chakras at the base of the spine. Combined with then gazing at the third eye, you have established a steady upward energy flow from the base of the spine to the third eye. I personally achieve this via a “will” for the base of the spine to become active, which is like pressing a button within myself, but that is from the kundalini awakening and you should not attempt to copy that at this time. The “Aaaah” sound is a perfectly valid way to achieve the same activation.

Equanimity — You ignore all activity of the mind and body and return attention to the third eye. This conditions equanimity to those things. You are not attempting to “do” anything in this meditation. In fact you are simply stripping back mindbody chatter to something more fundamental underlying that — the True Self. You are not “trying” to “attain” anything. It is all about letting go of goals and just following the instruction.

He recommends 12 minutes minimum for a sit, but I believe that is so as not to discourage people who would find longer times daunting. In my opinion however you should definitely do 30 minutes at a minimum, and definitely go on for longer if you feel a momentum has been built.

This meditation is a composite of concentration and energy work, and insight also will almost certainly arise with regular practice. I am so impressed with this meditation that I am considering making it the official PPM meditation, recommending it to beginners first and foremost while also continuing to provide materials on the more Buddhist-styled mindfulness, concentration and insight practices. Please let me know how it goes.

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34 Responses

  1. Kautilya says:

    Great information

    How do you reconcile Jhana stuff with stuff here? Actually im more familiar with this kind of background here anyway, but recently since I’ve been here – Jhana has been the main thing for me.

    Essentially are – Jhana/Kundalini Awakening/ 3rd Eye absorptions/ Yoga Nidra – Conscious deep sleep/ Insight experiences/ Samadhi/ Samyama …. different ‘flavours’ of the same higher consciousness or what?

    I’d like to see hopefully from you perhaps im future a kinda ‘map’ saying what the overall landscape is.

    Thanks

    • Illuminatus says:

      Jhana can be roughly equated with samadhi — but the word “samadhi” is used for many different states of calm abiding, from basic up to enlightening “pure consciousness” or “mind of the creator” states. Samadhi is used throughout yoga. Jhana however is specific to Buddhism, and must have the jhana factors present (rapture, bliss, equanimity, one-pointedness) to qualify. Jhana is a type of samadhi.

      As for the other stuff, you’re just naming concepts and it is beyond the scope of a comment reply to put them into some all-encompassing map. Regarding maps, I don’t think I’m qualified to make one nor do I think it is the best use of my time. I am not currently teaching an enlightenment or practice model because I’m not there myself yet. If you want a map you could follow TMI’s, or Patanjali’s, or Ingram’s (don’t follow his) — each teacher’s map is unique to their own experience. I don’t think all maps can be reconciled with each other, the same way no two people’s worldviews can be reconciled. A map is a personal thing for the individual who made it. This means that you can pursue one for a while (during which time you should probably give it your complete attention) then switch to one that’s a better fit for you if it’s not working out. Or you can mix and match bits from different maps and see what happens, but you are basically just playing around at that point. I have used both approaches in the past.

      • Kautilya says:

        Illuminatus,

        Just to clarify Things you have previously said – including that of others:

        One-pointedness
        Breath
        Silence
        Stillness
        Piti
        Jhana

        Are you switching to:-

        Tri-focus (Mantra/Breath/3rd Eye)
        Words replacing Silence
        Vibrations replacing Stillness
        Feeling of Piti replaced by Thought
        Kundalini replacing Jhana

        Just saying it makes more sense if you said prep using the meditation to replace your earlier suggested mindfullness then Focus breath into 3rd Eye (as in the past you have suggested many such as bridge of nose and the smile)

        Whilst I dont doubt the 3rd eye or power of this affirmation at all – essentially you are saying meditation using affirmations and energy movement are better than knowing the breath through absorption.

        Could this not then mean meditation by following the breath from base of spine to top of head – up and down – is an equally powerful meditation. I used to use this before with controlled breath and it was great. Just saing that including mantra and chanting traditionally do invoke powerful feelings but isnt stillness and silence still the eventual goal?

        By making it the core meditation…it feels like a step backwards in a way.

        Hope you understand the point I’m making!

        Thanks

        • Illuminatus says:

          I think the point you are making is, “I’m a beginner, I don’t understand the terrain, so I want a structure to follow and you keep moving the goalposts. What am I supposed to be doing?”

          So to start off it’s better to define the two types of student:

          1) The first is a beginner who wants goals clearly laid out (a description of the final goal and the signposts or attainments on the way) and a clear repetitive structure to follow to reach those goals.

          2) The second is someone who somewhat knows what they’re doing (or in fact just enjoys messing around with new techs) and who feels competent enough to be given something new and just run with it for a while, and see if it offers anything to their practice, and to keep elements of it in an ongoing fashion if it’s useful. This person may have an idea of what they’re trying to achieve, or they might just enjoy the journey and learning new tricks. This person often finds meditation somewhat easy from the get-go and might be happy riding the highs and lows of practice (and often all the crazy drugs and magick that goes along with it).

          This site has traditionally catered to the second category almost exclusively. I only even started somewhat structuring things these last couple of years when I felt my understanding was beginning to fall into place enough to actually begin writing more structured guides. But, understand this well: this site is still far away from providing complete guides from zero experience to enlightenment. I would have to become enlightened myself before even thinking about creating structured maps of practice. I have had tastes of it, which I may write about in a short post in the near future. I have had moments where I tasted liberation. These are moments where the veil between this side (“me”) and that side (“the world”) crackled and sometimes fell away completely, for only just a moment. The last few times this has happened, tears have literally streamed down my face, just like Sadhguru described. Not sobbing — just water pouring from the eyes. It is the release of the tension in holding onto a separate sense of self.

          In its current form this site is still somewhere you dip into to get ideas to take back to your practice; things to try out or “slot in” and to see if they fit. I know many readers get a lot of value from those techs.

          For the first category of person, the beginner looking for structure and guidance all the way, you must get a book like TMI or find a real-life teacher and just follow their map strictly for some time till you have enough info about yourself and the practice they have given you and whether it is right for you. I would suggest a year minimum for this. I followed Shinzen Young almost exclusively for many years and am pretty happy about that, though I wish I’d followed something with strong descriptions and guidance for jhana.

          But, for this first category of person, this site is currently NOT the answer. However, I have several students I’m teaching basic mindfulness and concentration to because they just want to enhance some aspect of their lives or learn to “reboot their system” every day (an easy thing to teach; 30 minutes of mindfulness of breath will certainly achieve that, even with “bad” technique) rather than because they are trying to fill some hole in themselves or get enlightened. My basic meditations work well for them. I have also got several people to jhana, but they mostly seemed to have “natural talent” and will probably end up in the second category of person quite quickly.

          So, all that out the way, I will address the rest of your question.

          Remember I said that meditation can be split VERY ROUGHLY (and this will no doubt generate a lot of argument) into two schools?

          – Buddhism (mindfulness of sensations, concentration, insight)
          – Yoga (energy work, pranayama, concentration)

          Well they achieve the same goals, but through different approaches. The two approaches converge.

          The goal is to see through formations so you can experience No-Self (Buddhism) or True Self (Yoga).

          (Go read my post on formations if you don’t know what they are. In yoga they might be called “modifications of mind” or similar.)

          In Buddhism, much emphasis is placed on becoming mindful of thoughts and sensations so you can see through them and see the No-Self space in which they arise. When you sit and watch the breath you are tuning into that thought stream as an impartial observer and seeing through it. The jhana is a more productive state in which to do this for many reasons — one being that the most distracting kinds of thoughts no longer exist in that state, and another being that the jhana concentration state acts as a magnifying glass letting you more clearly see the sensations that make up thoughts rather than experiencing thoughts as big “blocks”. Some schools emphasize jhana mastery way more than others (a good thing). “Dry insight” schools are teaching people to work with the thoughts/sensations in states closer to everyday living, without creating a cushion of joy to take the sting out of them.

          In yoga however the emphasis is on breath-work, poses to create energy flow, direct energy-work (e.g. willing energy up the spine), mantras to create energy/perception changes, etc. The focus is on increasing energy level and piti directly. Then concentration and samadhi is easier and your mind gets to more and more refined states where the insight is easier to pick up.

          Insight is easier to gain while in high concentration because the subtle elements that make up reality become visible. E.g. I have had high jhana states where reality appears as waves. It is far easier to see the Three Characteristics (for Buddhist insight) in a wave than it is, say, some fearful thought (which is what dry insight would have you try to do).

          In a way, yoga tries to fire you straight at high concentration. Buddhist meditation such as anapanasati however will try to bundle in both insight and concentration in one exercise. The success of this depends on the teacher. They’ll explain it in all kinds of different ways that usually emphasize either insight or concentration. Many of them are trying to cram both into 30-minute sits because they know few Westerners will actually spare the hours required to get good.

          My previous guides have all been derived from the Buddhist schools. Now though I’m making what looks like a sharp turn towards yoga. You are asking the question because the two seem hugely different to you and it looks like I’m just changing my mind arbitrarily, or flip-flopping. So I will explain the main reason:

          Most people googling around for this stuff are craving an altered state — especially guys who found my site on the back of the Absolutus posts. People are craving enjoyment, happiness, being drunk with life, freedom from anxieties, freedom from pain, using their own minds, using some easy practice (they hope). The yogic arts offer far faster ways to access those altered states, in my experience.

          Pranayama exploded my ability to generate piti. Everything I ever did with energy work was AWESOME. You can hit buttons in yourself so damn quick with yoga, that you could end up spending months and months figuring out how to do with breath mindfulness alone. Then, when you can generate piti easily, you can go back and learn mindfulness of breath far quicker if you want, or instead continue yoga and gain higher concentration states. It gives you options.

          Finally, I will explain roughly how Buddhist and yoga practices converge at the same end goal anyway. In Buddhism you learn concentration from mindfulness of breath. The thoughts arise and dissipate into the breath as you learn to return your attention to the breath each time. This inherently gives piti, and jhana appears when you get better at it. You are dissipating the formation (the thought in this example) and at higher levels of resolution the more you progress.

          The kriya yoga such as Sadhguru’s however will not even acknowledge thoughts or emotions or whatever. You see, Buddhism is very much about looking at thoughts (not their content, but their nature) and acknowledging them then letting them go. In the kriya, however, you do energetic practices designed to destroy most distracting thoughts at source by creating strong energy and euphoria. This makes it a LOT easier to concentrate. Then you keep attention on the third eye. There is no instruction on how to deal with thoughts (other than the formal intention earlier in the meditation) because concentration is being emphasized — you just keep looking at the third eye. It is all about raising bliss and energy directly in order to enter samadhi, rather than trying to get some insight out of noticing thoughts. However, the formations that become thoughts DO arise, However, they are annihilated in the upward energy stream. So yoga is about destroying thoughts before they even become thoughts via energy work whereas Buddhism usually tries to grab some insight from thoughts as they float along.

          Of course this is all VERY general and no doubt will draw much disagreement from other practitioners; this is just my vague “bird’s eye view” of both schools at the moment.

        • Illuminatus says:

          I just re-read your question and it appears you didn’t actually watch the video. Most of the meditation is silence gazing at the 3rd eye.

          This isn’t helpful when you haven’t even bothered to view the materials.

          • Kautilya says:

            Never doubted your response would be good – but that was really fantastic

            I did watch the video and do the meditation

            Its not a question of ratio or how much time was spent gazing at the 3rd eye. Even that is pure concentration meditation – object it 3rd eye and not sensation at nostrils or smile.

            It was the mere presence of – using an ipad, hearing a voice, thinking an affirmation, making a sound, 3 stages in one meditation

            I’m familiar with all this – just the fact that you suggested it as an ‘official’ meditation. It did feel like you were ‘swerving’ more towards yoga and thats fine with me! thats on-going development.

            I think martial arts is a good metaphor for the 2 types. One guy wants a certain style, kata, block this foe that etc. the second group is more like Bruce Lee’s philoshphy.

            I feel my nature is in that second group but think that right now I need to work patiently towards a goal.

            Yes once I’ve achieved that I’ll have a lot more optimism to start doing different things. Howver for now it seems adding some other yogic techniques to enhance aspects of the ‘usual meditation’ is recommended by you.

            I think I will do Pranayama (are you saying Nadi Shodhana or hardcore Kapalbati?) for a certain amount of time maybe 20 mins then do a 30 min session at least of the usual.

            Great reply

            Thanks

            • Illuminatus says:

              Well you are not going to be using an iPad every time. Someone with half a brain can memorize this short meditation.

              I use whatever pranayama technique I feel like at the time. My only goal is to generate piti, then cycle that into jhana using concentration meditation. Usually I can get piti just by “smelling the air”, therefore I don’t need pranayama. I use pranayama on days when that doesn’t work for whatever reason.

            • James says:

              Kautilya one technique worth trying is sitting down, and making a commitment to let meditation do what is best for you currently.

              Set this intent:

              “I’m letting go and am absorbing into the best meditation for me” and have at it.

              • Illuminatus says:

                That is exactly the intent I have when I do my kundalini meditation.

              • Kautilya says:

                So fuckin wierd….!!

                This whole week a has been around the subject of surrender, flowing, letting go…

                Especially ‘letting go’ in those EXACT words

                I realised that I was getting stressed despite my progress and not thinking…’wow, few months ago I couldn’t focus – now at LEAST I can relax at will’

                Mad

  2. Buddha says:

    Have u read “Autobiography of a yogi” i think u might find it intersting.

    • Illuminatus says:

      I own it and have got a third of the way through it. It’s okay; it’s just not really compelling me to finish it off for some reason.

  3. Mayath says:

    Pretty interesting. What does he have to say about Siddhis or Kundalini?

    • Illuminatus says:

      Plenty of stuff on both though they may be referred to by other titles. Have a look through his channel.

  4. G says:

    This is interesting. Do you feel that this is an effective method for Jhana?
    I have a similar meditation that I have been doing for a while now for about 1.5 hours a day and while my concentration has improved and I feel some pleasurable sensations I have not reached jhana yet.
    My method consists of 10- 15 min of wim hof breathing followed by keeping my attention on the third eye for the duration of the meditation. I feel a pressure on my third eye area so I gently place my attention there. Maybe I can start implementing this method if it will help me reach jhana which is my main goal right now.

    • Illuminatus says:

      Well, I’m not sure how much my answer will apply, since I can get jhana on basically anything these days. But, yes, I find jhana easy enough to reach on this meditation.

      There are three basic methods:

      1) Become aware of the breath at the same time as gazing at the third eye. The two objects should “merge” into a combined object.
      a) It may feel like the breath is filling the head in the third eye area and creating mental “space” in the mind. Stay in that space by continuing awareness of both breathing and the space surrounding the third eye and jhana will not be far away.
      b) Alternatively you might find that breathing just starts to feel really good while you gaze at the third eye. Notice how piti (pleasure, joy) comes in peaks as you breathe and begin riding that rhythm; it can take you all the way to jhana. The third eye location is just great for developing piti.

      I feel that running two objects simultaneously is, counterintuitively, very good for jhana, since with the mind so engaged on this quite difficult task there is basically zero room for distracting thoughts and absorption can occur more quickly.

      2) Become aware of the space in the head just above the third eye. This space extends back around and across the top of the head like there is a “dome” of space crowning your brain. If you can detect that space then simply stay in there, jhana will follow at some point (though piti methods are usually quicker). It is helpful in this case (and probably in #1, too) to let the eyes really relax and become soft and enter ultrafine REM. This expands the perception of space above and around the head quickly. Notice how there are no thoughts in this space and that it is, in itself, a preferable space to be in compared to everyday thought. Even if you don’t get jhana, this is a worthy attainment in my opinion. If jhana is approaching then the breath will begin to feel very good. Cool bodily bliss connected with the breath is present in basically all jhana. This makes this method basically the same as #1 but with a different approach, namely that you may find it easier to enter that mental space initially rather than working with the breath first.

      3) If you are able to perceive the upward flow of energy up the spine (kundalini) then it becomes possible to tune into that upward stream as your object. So this is a sensation of energy flowing up the spine and, for me at least, a visual of the energy stream appearing at the third eye. It is possible to enter jhana rapidly by making this energy stream your object. When the energy stream appears to be stable and to exist as its own “thing” with no further effort required to maintain it, that signifies the second jhana. Perceiving these energy currents is quite advance, I feel, so you are probably better off working with #1 or #2 initially, and I would recommend #1 as it trains working with the breath, too, which is really important to get to know well as it is implicated in all jhana.

      My main piece of advice whatever method you use is to LET GO. Whether it’s an upward energy current or feeling good in the breath at the third eye or whatever, you must LET GO fully into it to attain jhana. It should make you giddy with bliss. The more you let go, the higher energy throughput will rush up the spine, which is usually too much to handle for beginners. At that point you are just backing off then doing it again to train a higher bandwidth for energy, as jhana correlates with higher energy.

  5. G says:

    Wow thanks for the quick response. From what you’ve said it seems that option 1 would be the easiest for me. I normally find my mind being aware of the breath during this meditation but usually take my attention away to focus exclusively on the third eye since I was under the impression that it should be “one pointed attention”. Will try it out. Thanks

    • Illuminatus says:

      “One-pointed” really means all attention is turned towards the object. You can be one-pointed on combined objects, as they merge to become one experience. You can be absorbed in the breath while looking at the third eye. You could also experience the breath “at” the third eye.

  6. Kautilya says:

    Would it be possible for a ‘yoga’ practitioner if they were a True Yogi, to attain Jhana during asana by being so absorbed into the movement of their yoga as a moving meditation that their body was moving by itself and they were only focusing on the essence of energy running through their bodies?

    • Aldous says:

      Yes it would. I can confirm this from personal experiance.

      • Aldous says:

        Not that I’m a ‘true yogi’! But I’ve experienced Jhana whilst practicing yoga (and freeform tai chi) and it was quite incredible – the body seems to take over and move itself and just feels like a pure energy pattern. Boundaries dissolve, the spine lights up – it feels amazing.

        • Illuminatus says:

          And jhana with sex as the object (while having sex) = tantric sex.

          • P_locked says:

            I remember reading a comment you posted about sex but I can’t seem to find it anymore. You wrote that while having sex, to experience more pleasure, one should pull out, focus on bringing energy up the spine into the third eye, and then continuing as the sexual stimulation from your penis leaves and the intensity dulls. I could be making this up or confusing it with another post someone else made but I found this to be quite effective. It’s crazy that this works. Focusing on an upwards energy stream from the bast of my spine, I pull my sexual energy up into my third eye and the pleasure/energy starts to give me a head high along with splotches of pleasure appearing in other places in my body. However, would you say that this is a safe practice? I’ve heard that working with the third eye in this way could be trouble but I don’t really know.

            • Illuminatus says:

              I’ve written about it many times, but the latest iteration is here: http://www.personalpowermeditation.com/forum2/sex/involuntary-contractions/

              I originally created it to prevent cumming too soon and so I could go all night. Little did I know that was the start of my energy work and concentration meditation.

              I personally would not worry about negative effects from energy practices as you’ll just end up scripting yourself. Instead, expect the good, and deal with the bad if/when it comes up.

    • Illuminatus says:

      There’s no such thing as a “True Yogi” FFS.

    • P_locked says:

      Asana practice came about fairly recently in the 19th century or so due to the likes of Brahmacarya and B.K.S. Iyengar. While asanas have benefits in the way it can prepare the body for meditation, the only asana that yogis practiced historically were the lotus positions which were deemed fit for meditation. However, practicing either of these methods wouldn’t matter in attaining Jhana since you can attain them using both methods considering you had the proper amount of concentration.

  7. James says:

    Here is a very entertaining article on this meditation:

    http://www.meditationiseasy.com/meditation-techniques/fifth-technique/

    • Illuminatus says:

      What exactly is entertaining about it?

      • James says:

        just the ways its written, from the prospective of a greek philosopher trying to acquire knowledge – and goes on to explain the buddah talked about the third eye as “seeing dreams as reality and reality as dreams”.

  8. Arpan says:

    @ Illuminatus:
    What is your view on Sadhguru’s views on promiscuity ? He talks about the concept of Renanubandh(debt bond). I am a hindu Indian..and have encountered this concept in other very brilliant yogic literature(not mere Dos and Donts religious scripture) written by seemingly very open minded yogus who would not be shy of things culturally shunned
    , if they led to yogic progress:

    “Today, we are living in a culture where it is not necessary that you have lived with one partner all your life. Things have changed. I mean, a partner comes with an expiry date. When you made the relationship you thought this is forever, but within three months you think, “Oh, why the hell am I with this person?” Because it is all going by what you like and what you do not like. Because of this, it is always off and on, off and on. When it is broken and when it is unstable, you will go through enormous pain and suffering, which is totally unnecessary. If you do this exercise of falling in and out of love too often, if you go on playing around with too many people, after some time you will become numb, you do not like anybody because there is something called Runanabandha.

    Runanabandha is a certain aspect of karma; it is a certain structure of karmic substance. It happens because of a certain amount of meeting and mingling that happens between people. Wherever there is a certain amount of meeting and mingling, some runanabandha is created. Especially when two bodies come together, the runanabandha is much deeper. It is a kind of recording in the body; the body is keeping a record of everything that has happened. If intimacy happened with another body, it is keeping a record of that particular kind of energy.

    Now because the body remembers, if there are multiple partners, the body slowly gets confused over a period of time and this confusion will tell in your life in a million different ways. Your mind is confused, but you are living with that somehow. If the body gets confused, then you are in deep trouble.

    In many ways, one of the major reasons for the level of anxiety, the level of insecurity, and the level of depression that is going on right now is just that the bodies are confused. After some time, you do not need any reason to go nuts. People are just going nuts without any reason because the body itself is confused.

    Body gets confused with multiple intimacies, that is one thing. Another thing is the type of food that you eat. Whenever a little affluence comes, people think they have to eat everything in a single meal. In India, orthodox people never ate more than two or three items in a meal, and those three items were always matched together, not mismatched food. People understood the body so well that in our homes, they knew that when they cook a particular vegetable, they will make only a particular kind of curry. When they cook this vegetable, another kind will never be made because traditionally, they understood that if they put this and that together, the body gets confused.

    As young boys, we were trained – if we go to the market, how we should pick up the vegetable. These days it is totally gone, but when I was young they trained me – when we go to the market, “If you buy this vegetable, you do not buy that because these two cannot be eaten within a span of two days. If you have eaten this, you should not eat that,” because the body will get confused. Once your body gets confused you will go haywire in so many ways. This understanding was always there.

    What I see is, if you go to any affluent dinners, it has become madness. Recently in one of the events, someone was very proudly announcing that they have 270 different varieties of food. People take a little of everything and eat. The body gets confused with this kind of food.

    So these are two major things – people not eating properly and an indiscriminate sense of intimacy with other bodies – which will create certain confusion on the body level which will take a toll over a period of time. “So have I committed a sin? Is this a punishment for me?” It is not on that level. Every action has a consequence. This is not a moralistic reality; it is a certain existential process. If you do certain things with your mind, certain consequences will come. If you do certain things with your body, certain consequences will come.

    These are things that have been deeply understood and life was structured in a certain way around that. Now, in the name of freedom we want to demolish everything and suffer. Maybe centuries later we will realize that this is not the way to live.”

    ……

    It’s also said that ths Rebanubandh gets transferred from one person to another in sexual act and it may express itselfin that person’s life if the conditions are ripe. So yogos fave an AIDS campaign like formula: When you sleep with someone, you sleep with all the people they have slept with and all the people those ppl have slept with, ad infinitum. Lol
    Karmic exchange is said to occur in every interaction..but Renanubandh level karma gets transferred in deepest of exchanges: sexual one.
    Renanubandh literally means: debt bond.

    It is part of the reason why both male and female virginity before choosing a lifemate were emphasised by yogis(they didnt care of social ramifications of promiscuity that much) and why it is very popularly said in India(and i suspect other Eastern cultures) that marriage changes luck(assuming premarital abstinence)

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