For ten years I used to run eight miles every morning and eight miles every evening—from I947 to I957. It was a regular thing. And I came to experience many, many things through running. At sixteen miles per day I would have encircled the world seven times in those ten years. After you run the second or third mile a moment comes when things start flowing and you are no longer in the head, you become your body, you are the body. You start functioning as an alive being—as trees function, as animals function. You become a tiger or a peacock or a wolf. You forget all head. The university is forgotten, the degrees are forgotten, you don’t know a thing, you simply are.
In fact, by and by, after three or four miles, you cannot conceive of yourself as a head. Totality arises. Plato is forgotten, Freud has disappeared, all divisions disappear—because they were on the surface—and deep down your unity starts asserting itself.
Running against the wind in the early morning when things are fresh and the whole existence is in a new joy, is bathed in a new delight of the new day, and everything is fresh and young, the past has disappeared, everything has come out of deep rest in the night, everything is innocent, primitive—suddenly even the runner disappears. There is only running. There is no body running, there is only running. And by and by you see that a dance arises with the wind, with the sky, with the sun rays coming, with the trees, with the earth. You are dancing. You start feeling the pulse of the Universe. [parad107]
Let me tell you an incredible experience I had. It has just occurred to me; I have never told it before. About seventeen or eighteen years ago I used to meditate until late at night sitting in the top of a tree.
I have often felt the body has a greater influence over you if you meditate sitting on the ground. The body is made of earth, and the forces of the body work very powerfully if one meditates sitting on the ground. All this talk of the yogis moving up to the higher elevations—to the mountains, to the Himalayas—is not without reason; it’s very scientific. The greater the distance between the body and the earth, the lesser the pull of the earthly element on the body.
So I used to meditate every night sitting in a tree.
One night…I don’t know when I became immersed in deep meditation, and I don’t know at what point my body fell from the tree, but when it did, I looked with a start to see what had happened.
I was still in the tree, but the body had fallen below. It’s difficult to say how I felt at that time. I was still sitting in the tree and the body was below. Only a single silver cord connected me with the navel of my body—a very shiny silver cord. What would happen next was beyond my comprehension. How would I return to my body?
I don’t know how long this state lasted, but it was an exceptional experience. For the first time I saw my body from outside, and from that very day on the body ceased to exist. Since then I am finished with death, because I came to see another body different from this one—I came to experience the subtle body. It’s difficult to say how long this experience lasted.
With the breaking of dawn, two women from the nearby village passed, carrying milk pots on their heads. As they approached the tree they saw my body lying there. They came and sat next to the body. I was watching all this from above. It seems the women took the body to be dead. They placed their hands on my head, and in a moment, as if by a powerful force of attraction, I came back into the body and my eyes opened.
At that point I experienced something else too. I felt that a woman can create a chemical change in a man’s body, and so can a man in a woman’s body. I also wondered how the touch of that woman caused my return to the body.
Subsequently, I had many more experiences of this kind. They explained why the tantrikas of India, who experimented extensively with samadhi and death, had linked themselves with women too.
During intensive experiences of samadhi, man’s luminous body, his subtle body, cannot return without a woman’s help if it has come out of the physical body. Similarly, a woman’s luminous, subtle body, cannot be brought back without a man’s assistance. As the male and female bodies connect, an electrical circuit is completed and the consciousness that has gone out returns swiftly to the body.
Following this event, I consistently had the same kind of experience about six times in six months. And in those six months I felt I had lost at least ten years off my life. If I were to live up to seventy, now I can only live up to sixty. I went through some strange experiences in six months—even the hair on my chest turned white. I couldn’t comprehend what was happening.
It occurred to me, however, that the connection between this body and that body had ruptured, had been interrupted, that the adjustment, the harmony that had existed between the two, had broken down. What also occurred to me was that the reason for Shankaracharya dying at the age of thirty-three and Vivekananda dying at the age of thirty-six was something else. It becomes difficult to live once the connection between the two bodies breaks abruptly. This explained why Ramakrishna was besieged with illnesses and Ramana died of cancer. The cause was not physical; rather, the breaking of the adjustment between their physical and subtle bodies was responsible for it.
It is generally believed that yogis are healthy people, but the truth is completely the opposite. The truth is, yogis have always been ill, and have died at early ages. The sole reason for this is that the necessary adjustment between the two bodies becomes interrupted. Once the subtle body comes out of the physical body it never re-enters fully and the adjustment is never completely restored. But then it is not needed. There is no reason for it; it has no meaning.
With the use of will power, simply with will power, the energy can be drawn inside—just the thought, the feeling, “I want to turn in, I want to go back in, I want to return within, I want to come back in.” Were you to have such an intense longing, such a powerful emotion; if your whole being were to fill with a passionate, intense desire to return to your center; if your entire body were to pulsate with this feeling, someday it can happen—you will instantly return to your core and, for the first time, see your body from within.
When yoga talks about thousands of arteries and veins, it is not from the point of view of physiology. Yogis have nothing to do with physiology. These have been known from within; hence, when one looks today one wonders where these arteries and veins are. Where are the seven chakras, the centers within the body that yoga talks about? They are nowhere in the body. We can’t find them because we are looking at the body from outside.
There is one other way to observe the body—from within, through the inner physiology. That’s a subtle physiology. The nerves, veins and centers of the body known through that inner physiology are all totally different. You won’t find them anywhere in this physical body. These centers are the contact fields between this body and the inner soul, the meeting points for both.
The biggest meeting point is the navel. You may have noticed, if you suddenly get into an accident driving a car, the navel will be the first to feel the impact. The navel will become disordered at once, because here the contact field between the body and the soul is the deepest of all. Seeing death, this center will be the first to become disturbed. As soon as death appears, the navel will be disrupted in relation to the body’s center. There is an internal arrangement of the body which has resulted from the contact between this body and the inner body. The chakras are their contact fields.
So obviously, to know the body from within is to know a totally different kind of world altogether, a world we know absolutely nothing about. Medical science knows nothing about it, and won’t for some time. Once you experience that the body is separate from you, you are finished with death. You come to know there is no death. And then you can actually come out of the body and look at it yourself from outside.
Questions relating to life and death are not matters of philosophical or metaphysical thought. Those who think about these things never accomplish anything. What I am talking about is an existential approach. It can be known that “I am life;” it can be known that “I am not going to die.” One can live this experience, one can enter into it. [now08]
I used to ask myself, “Who am I?” It is impossible to count how many days and nights I passed in this query. The intellect gave answers heard from others, or born of conditioning. All of them were borrowed, lifeless. They brought no contentment. They resonated a little at the surface, and then disappeared. The inner being was not touched by them. No echo of them was heard in the depths. There were many answers to the question, but none was correct. And I was untouched by them. They could not rise to the level of the question.
Then I saw that the question came from the center but the replies touched only the periphery. The question was mine, but the answers came from outside; the question arose from my innermost being, the replies were imposed from outside. This insight became a revolution. A new dimension was revealed.
The responses of the intellect were meaningless. They had no relevance to the problem. An illusion had shattered. And what a relief it was!
It seemed as if a closed door had been flung open, filling the darkness with light. The intellect had been providing the answers—that was the mistake. Because of these false answers, the real answer could not arise. Some truth was struggling to surface. In the depths of consciousness some seed was seeking the way to break open the ground in order to reach the light. Intellect was the obstruction.
When this was made plain, the answers began to subside. Knowledge acquired from outside began to evaporate. The question went ever deeper. I did not do anything, only kept on watching.
Something novel was happening. I was speechless. What was there to do? I was, at the most, simply a witness. The reactions of the periphery were fading, perishing, becoming nonexistent. The center now began to resonate more fully.
”Who am I?” My entire being was throbbing with this thirst.
What a violent storm it was! Every breath quaked and trembled in it.
”Who am I?” - like an arrow, the question pierced through everything and moved within.
I remember—what an acute thirst it was! My very life had turned into thirst.
Everything was burning. And like a flame of fire the question stood forth, “Who am I?”
The surprise was that the intellect was completely silent. The incessant flow of thoughts had stopped. What had happened? The periphery was absolutely still. There were no thoughts, no conditionings of the past.
Only I was there—and there was the question too. No, no— I myself was the question.
And then the explosion. In a moment, everything was transformed. The question had dropped. The answer had come from some unknown dimension.
Truth is attained through a sudden explosion, not gradually.
It cannot be compelled to appear. It comes.
Emptiness is the solution, not words. Becoming answerless is the answer.
Someone asked yesterday—and someone or the other asks every day—“What is the answer?”
I say, “If I mention it, it is meaningless. Its meaning lies in realizing it oneself.” [sdwisd01]
To be continued…3