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In this edition, we focus on relationships, particularly on the traditionally lifelong bond between two
individuals. In the past few decades, divorce rates have been rising worldwide, and as the social and
economic fabric changes, even in India, the once unthinkable is not completely out of bounds anymore.
Is marriage becoming obsolete, or are there fundamental reasons to uphold this institution? Our Lead
Article, “One Life, One Partner?” has Sadhguru’s answer. In a public conversation with Sadhguru,
actress and former Miss India, Juhi Chawla, calls attention to the emotional level of relationships:
Where to draw the line between loving unconditionally and becoming a doormat? In the article “Of
Domestic Love and Doormats,” Sadhguru sets forth his view on the matter.
While marriage is a union of two people, the article “Three in One Shot” is about a union of a different
kind. Find out why the number three plays a pivotal role in yogic practices, though we ultimately aim
at oneness. But whatever we may aim at, only Grace can make it a reality. This leads us to the 60th (!)
part of our Leela series and the question “How Grace Works.” If you are wondering to what extent God
or Guru is aware of your day-to-day events and pulling the strings, find out how it actually happens
on page 9 f. In the article “When Hesitation is a ‘Sin,’” Sadhguru answers a meditator’s question that
Printed by: S. PRAKASH; at FINE DOTS, No.15, Boo Begum 3rd Street,
Anna Salai, Chennai – 600 042. Editor: K. SEKAR.
arose from Krishna’s advice to Arjuna: Under what circumstances is immediate action in order, and
when would it be rash and foolish?
be path-breaking in the prevention and treatment of addiction. Especially for those who consider
relocating, the article “Does It Matter Where You Live?” provides invaluable decision-making support.
In our Hatha Yoga series, we look at the purpose of a few fundamental instructions for our practice:
“Close Your Eyes / Toe to Toe / Heel to Perineum.” The article “Down to Business” offers us a peak into
the 2013 edition of INSIGHT – The DNA of Success. Our “Dry Fruit Barfi” recipe allows you to treat
yourself, your family, and your friends with a sweet indulgence this Diwali. Enjoy without remorse!
The Editorial Team
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ISHA FOREST FLOWER
Published by: B. RAJESH CHANDER on behalf of ISHA FOUNDATION
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Also in this issue: Sadhguru indicates “A Different Approach to Addiction” that, if applied, could
One Life, One Partner?
Sadhguru on How Many Are Too Many
In Conversation with the Mystic
Of Domestic Love and Doormats
Juhi Chawla in Conversation with Sadhguru
The path of the playful – part LX:
How Grace Works
When Hesitation is a ‘Sin’
Sadhguru on Times to Probe and Times to Ac
Three in One Shot
Sadhguru on How to Approach the Fundamental Dimensions of Who We Are
A Different Approach to Addiction
Sadhguru on the Root Cause and the Remedy
Does It Matter Where You Live?
Sadhguru on Location Choices
Isha Hatha Yoga
Part 10: Close Your Eyes / Toe to Toe / Heel to Perineum
Down to Business
A Peak into INSIGHT 2013
Weaving Two Lives into One
Upcoming Programs and Events
Isha Yoga – Program Highlights
This Month: Dry Fruit Barfi
The Fire God Seeking Fire
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One Life, One Partner?
Sadhguru on How Many are Too Many
The following is an excerpt from a Darshan with
Sadhguru at the Isha Institute of Inner-sciences in
Questioner: Namaskaram, Sadhguru. Does God
intend human beings to have only one partner in
Sadhguru: God may not have intentions for you.
The question is, what is the sensible thing for you
to do? There are two aspects to this – one is a social
one. Generally, they always said “one man – one
woman” in order to stabilize society. In parts of the
world where they said “one man – several women,”
they had to rule with a stronger hand to keep society
stable. I will not go further into this.
The other aspect is, all substances in existence
have memory. Modern science says this, and in the
yogic system, we have always known this: the five
elements – water, air, earth and so on – have a strong
sense of memory. If I go to any place that is of some
significance on an energy level, I do not ask people
about it – I just place my hands on a rock. By being
with it, I will know the whole story of the place.
Like the rings of a tree tell you the ecological history
of the place, rocks have an even better memory.
Generally, the denser the substance, the better its
ability to retain memory, and inanimate substances
have better memory than animate life. Today’s
technology is proving it – your computer has better
memory than you. The human mind is not for
memory – it is for perception. The inanimate cannot
perceive – it can only remember. Deities and other
consecrated objects have been created because they
are powerful forms of memory.
Your body still actively remembers what happened
a million years ago. Genetics is just memory. This
physical memory is called runanu bandha. It is
your memory that binds you to things around you.
Suppose you went home and you forgot who your
father and mother are, what would you do? It is not
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the blood; it is not the love – it is the memory that
tells you this person is your mother or father. It is
only memory that breeds relationship and bondage.
If you lose your memory, anyone will look like an
absolute stranger to you.
Your mind’s memory is miniscule compared to
your body’s memory. If you just touch something
or somebody once, the mind might forget, but in
the body, it is registered forever. This is why we say
in the ashram, unless you are in a certain mode, do
not physically contact everybody. There are people
who exchange hugs all the time. When people have
sex with each other, the mind may forget it, but
the body will never forget. If you get a divorce, no
matter how much you hate your spouse – still you
will go through pain, because the physical memory
can never be lost.
Even if you just hold somebody’s hand intimately
enough for a certain period of time, this will never
be forgotten, because your palms and your soles
are very effective receptors. Whenever you see
somebody you do not want to get involved and
entangled with, just do “Namaskar,” because when
you bring your two hands together (or you bring
your big toes together), it stops the body from
soaking in memory.
The idea is to keep the physical memory to the
minimum because otherwise, taking you to a
different level of experience becomes difficult.
Those who have indulged excessively in pleasure
have a certain grin on their face that is of a leery
superiority, but there is no joy in them. It takes a lot
of work to get rid of that, because physical memory
entangles you in a way that your mind cannot even
figure out. Therefore, it is very important that you
learn to be conscious about what you expose your
In India, there was a time when you could only
enter a Shiva temple naked. Only after the British
came into the country and started banning all these
things, we have become very prudish. The idea of
going naked to the temple was to take the memory
of the Divine into the body. You take a dip and then
lie down on the floor with wet body so that it soaks
in memory of the Divine. The mind looks at other
people, what is happening, but the body absorbs the
energy of the space.
Both at the entrance of Dhyanalinga and Linga
Bhairavi, there are sculptures of prostrating
devotees. This is to show you that the body soaks
in the Divine much better than the mind. It is just
that human beings cannot go nude anymore because
we have become so civilized – we put on so many
clothes that we do not know whether there is a body
or not. Only when sexual urges come up, people
know that they have a body.
There is a price to pay for too much intimacy all
over the place – unless you know how to keep the
body at a distance from yourself. For such a person
it does not matter what he does. However, such a
person has no inclination to do such things. He is
not compelled by the limitations and compulsions of
the body – he is using the body as a tool. Otherwise,
it is best to limit intimacy to the minimum. That
is why we said one to one, unless one of them dies
and the other one remarries. But now, before you
are 25, you had 25 partners – people are already
paying the price for that – 10% of the population in
the United States is on antidepressants. One major
contributing factor is they do not know where they
belong, because the body is confused.
The body needs stable memory – people feel
this. Their spouse may not be physically great or
intellectually great, they may be quarreling on the
surface, but still they would sacrifice anything to be
with them, because somewhere, they understand that
this gives them maximum comfort and wellbeing.
This is because your physical memory rules your life
much, much more than your mental memory. The
very way you are right now is ruled by your physical
memory, not by your mental memory. Mental
memory can be thrown away tomorrow morning,
but you cannot throw your physical memory away.
That would require a completely different level of
spiritual evolution within you.
Devotees are capable of this. I have seen quite a few,
but one man really struck me. There was a woman
who came down south to Kanyakumari, which is the
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southern tip of India. We do not know where exactly
she came from, but looking at her face, probably
from Nepal. She just walked around, never uttered
a word, and always a bunch of dogs were following
her. She would even steal food, just to feed these
dogs, and many times, she was beaten up for that.
To avoid these beatings and this social retribution,
she learnt one thing and started doing it. This was
a coastal town where three oceans meet. She would
go to the beach, sit cross-legged on the water, and
float around. Then people started worshiping her.
When she came, they would still protect their food,
but they could not beat her anymore because she
was something more.
Her whole life, she had lived outdoors. She slept
on the street or on the beach, without any kind of
shelter. She had a completely weather-beaten face –
very similar to pictures you would have seen of old
Native Americans. Towards the end of her life, when
she was over 70, a famous South Indian musician
saw her and became her devotee. He brought her to
Salem, Tamil Nadu, and built a small house for her
there, and a few devotees gathered around her.
About 15, 16 years ago, I happened to be in a hill
station near Salem. There, someone told me about
this woman – her name was Mayamma. She was
already dead by then. It was a full moon night, and
they said there would be a pooja at Mayamma’s
samadhi. I drove down with my wife and daughter,
who was just about five or six at that time, to spend
the evening there. It is the most unimpressive little
place, a concrete samadhi. When I came there,
it just hit me in the face – the very energy of that
place was like an explosion. As we sat there, hours
flew by. Later, there was a free dinner. A devotee
of hers was serving us food. I looked at this man’s
face, and I could not believe it – he looked exactly
like her! He was a South Indian man, but he looked
like a Nepali woman. Out of devotion, his face had
become almost like hers.
If you erase your physical memory through deep
devotion or certain other practices, your body will
become like that which matters most to you. The
very shape of everything in you will change. That
means you get rid of your genetic compulsions.
When someone takes sanyas, the first thing is to
do a certain process for the parents and forefathers.
Normally, we conduct this process for the dead, but
for sanyasis, we do this even if the parents are still
living. Not that we intend them to die – the idea is
to wash off one’s physical memory.
When you were 18, you might have rebelled against
your father and your mother, but by the time you
are 45, whether you like it or not, you begin to
talk like them and act like them. It is not just your
parents – your forefathers are acting through you
right now. Your behavior is generated and controlled
by them. That is why, if you become serious about
the spiritual process, the first step is to distance
yourself from your genetic memory. Without doing
that, you cannot get rid of the compulsions of your
forefathers. They will live through you and rule you
in so many ways.
When the memory of the body rules you to such
an extent, it is better to keep it to the minimum in
this lifetime. After all, you still have to get rid of a
million years of memory from your forefathers. You
have a reptilian brain – the crawling snake and the
lizard, and even the scorpion still live through you.
Do not think the brain is mind – the brain is body.
At least in this lifetime, you want to limit these
impressions so that your body does not get confused.
People who were aware of this context created
spiritual processes in such a way that the body
would become most conducive. Everywhere in
the world, it is understood that if someone gets
very serious about his spiritual process, the first
thing that he does is keep away from all kinds of
relationships, because if he builds any physical
relationships, naturally, it will complicate things.
Only if he is either so compulsive that he needs it,
that you cannot take him beyond that right now, or
he is so free that he does not identify with the body,
we let him have it – otherwise, we generally say no.
But if you must, at least stick to one body, because
too many will confuse the physical system.
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Of Domestic Love and Doormats
Juhi Chawla in Conversation with Sadhguru
In the latest “In Conversation with the Mystic” editions, actress and former
Miss India Juhi Chawla met Sadhguru in Mumbai on 4 August 2014 to discuss
matters of “Love and Life.” Here is the first excerpt of their conversation.
Juhi Chawla: Sadhguruji, a question from the public.
Where and how do we draw the line between loving
unconditionally and becoming a doormat?
Sadhguru: We need to understand that what is
considered as love is generally a mutual benefit
scheme. “You give me this – I give you that. If you
don’t give me this, I don’t give you that.” This is not
said, but it’s done.
Human beings have physical, psychological,
emotional, economic, social, and various other
kinds of needs. Instead of making ugly transactions
in the sense of “You give me this – I give me
that,” we bring some aesthetics and beauty to it
by coating it with a certain amount of sweetness
of emotion which we call a love affair. As human
beings, doing transactions in a basic way makes
us feel ugly. If you take food with both your
hands and eat it, it is ugly, isn’t it? We want to
eat in a certain way.
Similarly, we have arrangements to fulfill our
physical, emotional, and needs in a more aesthetic
manner. I’m not saying this is right or wrong –
this is a fact of life. For domestic purposes – for
two people to live together, to fulfill their needs,
to produce children, to raise them, a domestic
level of love is enough. Not many people are
capable or ready to have a kind of love affair that
will make two lives into one and bring them to
an ultimate union.
Two actually becoming one in experience needs
something more. Most people are competent of
using love to fulfill the domestic needs, but they are
not ready to go beyond that. Both have to be ready.
When one is ready and the other is not, or one is
making an effort and the other doesn’t, it may feel
like one is becoming a doormat, like one is being
exploited. But one who is longing to become love
as a way of ultimate union should not be bothered
about becoming a doormat or whatever.
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We have a culture here in India where by choice,
people name themselves as slaves. You know
Ramdas, Krishnadas, or any other kind of “das1” ?
They openly say, “I’m a slave.” They are not afraid
of being used as a doormat. They want to be a
doormat. This kind of love is for ultimate union and
not just for domestic purposes. If you are looking for
ultimate union, love is a different affair. If you are
looking for a way to conduct domestic affairs, then
you must manage with dignity “who gets what.”
If anyone uses more than they should, then it is
“If you don’t give me this, I don’t give you that.”
That’s a social thing. Otherwise, if you’re looking
for ultimate union, you should not think of all this.
Or in other words, if love crosses a certain level, and
even if you just fall in love, you become vulnerable
to someone. Without becoming vulnerable, there
is no love affair. You have to fall. When you fall,
someone may raise you or walk over you.
you – No! You just sat there, willing to die – that
was the moment. You were willing to not just be a
doormat but the dust on their feet.
The experience is beautiful because you fell. Not
because they raised you, not because they walked
over you – you actually had the sense of abandon in
you to fall. The beauty of your love affair was not in
what they gave you, not what they did to you. You
sat alone and thought you really loved this person
so much you were willing to die – that was the most
beautiful moment. Not the moment they gave you
a big gift, not the moment they gave you a diamond
ring, not the moment they said this and that about
Devotion means it is your intention to dissolve
into your object of devotion. As a devotee, you
don’t think about whether you become a doormat
or a crown on someone’s head. Whatever you
become is fine with you, as long as you can touch
that one’s feet or head or whatever else. That’s a
different state of existence. I don’t think someone
who is looking for a domestic level of love affair
should even ask that question.
Sanskrit word for “slave”
I’m not saying you should be like that – I’m
saying this is how it is when love transforms itself
into devotion. If you fall in love, you become
vulnerable, but there are still some shreds of
sanity in love affairs – you can recover. But if you
become a devotee, there is no sanity left and you
cannot recover. So, before you tread such a land,
you must see whether you’re ready for it or not.
What are your goals, first of all? If your goal is to
make life a quotient, a very measured love affair is
good. But if you are not planning to have a good
life, if you want to dissolve into the process of life,
if you want to become an explosion of life, if you
don’t care what you get and what you don’t get,
then you become a devotee.
The path of the playful –
How Grace Works
The following is an excerpt from Leela, the path of the playful, a unique exploration with Sadhguru
into the mystical realm of Krishna, which took place at the Isha Yoga Center in September 2005.
Krishna was not present when the Kauravas tried to
disrobe Draupadi in public. He was not even aware
of the scene because when he was about to go to the
Rajasuya Yagna, Shalva, a king who held a grudge
against him, came and raided Dwaraka. He and
his men killed people and burnt homes, cattle and
everything. Those of the Yadavas who managed to
escape ran into the forest in the mountains and hid
there. On top of that, Shalva kidnapped Krishna’s
father Vasudeva and took him away. By the time
Krishna reached Dwaraka, the whole place was
burnt and devastated, and the survivors were all
hiding in the mountains. When they saw him, they
came back down. He organized the reestablishment
of the community and the reconstruction of the
city and sent his son to go and somehow achieve
the release of his kidnapped father. Since he was
involved in all this, he was not aware of what was
going on in Hastinapur.
If Krishna was not even aware of Draupadi’s
predicament, how did he reach out to her? How
did this miracle happen that she was guarded? This
is a question of Grace. People constantly ask me
this – some gently, some sarcastically, some in an
accusing manner – how does Grace work? For Grace
to function, I need not be mentally aware of what
is happening to you. Through an initiation into a
spiritual process [such as Shambhavi Mahamudra], a
certain investment of energy has been made, which
functions as Grace. If I wish to be aware of what
is happening with someone, I can be aware. But
most of the time, I do not wish to be aware because
too many things are going on. For those who are
receptive, Grace works. For those who are not
receptive, Grace does not work.
In a similar vein, Udhava once asked Krishna, “In
many situations, I have seen beyond any doubt that
you are a divine manifestation. There is so much
about you which is beyond man. But then how
come people are struggling and you cannot handle
their problems with a snap of your fingers?” Krishna
smilingly said, “No one can work a miracle unless the
recipient is in full faith. Even the great Mahadeva
cannot work a miracle unless there is receptivity
and faith. When people are not receptive, you
cannot expect miracles.”
There is a beautiful story: one day, Krishna was
having lunch. Satyabhama was serving him. Halfway
through the meal, he got up and said, “One of my
devotees is in trouble. I need to go.” He washed his
hands and went. Just before the gate, he suddenly
stopped, turned around, and came back. Satyabhama
asked, “You left midway through lunch, saying your
devotee is in trouble, but then you turned back.
What happened?” Krishna said, “A devotee of mine
was chanting, ‘Krishna, Krishna,’ with eyes closed.
A hungry tiger approached him. The man would
have gotten killed, so I thought I will reach out and
I left. But by the time I was near the gate, the fool
had picked up a stone – so I turned back.”
For Grace to function, the person who is the source
of that Grace does not need to be mentally aware
of the situation. The investment of energy that
has been made through the initiation functions by
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