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Radiate Like the Sun: Sadhguru on the Power of Surya Namaskar

Radiate Like the Sun: Sadhguru on the Power of Surya Namaskar

“Surya Namaskar is designed in such a way that it makes your energies radiate.” —Sadhguru

Q: Sadhguru, you said we shouldn’t look at Surya Namaskar as a physical exercise. What’s its purpose then?

Sadhguru: The purpose is to generate your prana [1] in such a way that it radiates like the sun. The sun has no intention of either roasting you in the summer season, or giving you solar energy, or making your plants grow. The sun just burns; this burning radiates and we all benefit from that. This is the nature of the existence. And this is how a human being should be too – but he’s unwilling to be that way. He doesn’t radiate anything – he thinks he has to do. Petty human beings are just living on intentions which they think are lofty, which make them feel great. This is a poor way to exist. They find a little bit of fulfillment through their intentions, not by their way of being; they haven’t attained to such grandeur.

Surya Namaskar is designed in such a way that it makes your energies radiate. Then you don’t have to have good intentions; you don’t have to have any intentions. If you simply sit here, your presence is beautiful and beneficial. Nobody needs to think we should make use of such a person’s presence; anyway it is beneficial, whether others are aware of it or not. To what extent you radiate depends on whether you are willing to face the sun or whether you sit under a concrete block. So if you are radiating, what will happen? What does it mean?

Radiation means who you are is spreading in a subtle way. If I sit here like a cold block of meat, I’m just here. If I am radiating, in a subtle way, I’m all over the place. The more I am able to experience the existence, the more the existence is able to benefit from me – both ways it works; it’s a transaction.

So if I radiate, my being radiates in a big way. It is like a large umbrella that people can experience. And above all, I can experience the existence because who I am is not a piece of meat anymore, it’s radiating. If it radiates, prana will come in touch with akasha[2]. You are doing Surya Namaskar because you want to become like the sun. Becoming like the sun does not mean you will burn up tomorrow morning. It simply means you will be in akasha. Right now you are just stuck to the planet, but if you become like the sun, you are in akasha; you are in the vast expanse of creation; you are not stuck to a limited space anymore.

So, does the akasha have an influence upon us? First of all, it is always holding us in place. Your understanding may be that earth’s gravity is holding you in place, but that’s not how it is. The idea that the earth is like a magnet, holding all of us down, is a simplistic way of looking at things. What is holding the earth in place? To think that the sun’s gravity is holding you is a very childish, infantile conclusion. The sun doesn’t even have a solid substance. What is holding the whole solar system in place? Why is it not falling off? That’s because of akasha. You want to be held in the embrace of akasha because that way, your experience of life becomes purely existential and universal in possibility; it is no more limited to the physical.

Maladihalli Swami, who first taught me yoga, used to do 4008 Surya Namaskars per day. Just like me he got into yoga for the wrong reasons. Right from his infancy, he had been a chronic asthmatic. He was just wheezing day and night. In those days, there was no proper medicine or treatment, and even if there had been, his parents would not have been able to afford it. They did whatever they could, but the boy was just wasting away.

When he was about 11 or 12 years of age, a yogi came by and the parents asked him to heal the boy. The yogi said, “Anyway this boy is not going to be of any use to you. If you keep him with you, he will die. Give him to me; I will take him with me.” He didn’t belong to the kind of people who are recruiting disciples. He wanted to walk alone; generally, he didn’t take anybody. But he took compassion upon this boy because he had his mission. This yogi was Palani Swamy – that’s my Guru too. So he took this young boy and trained him in the ways of yoga. The boy not only grew out of his ailment, he grew into a physically almost superhuman person – and he came and reminded me of yoga. [Laughs]

So if you radiate substantially, akasha is not only something that your planet is held in, it is something that you also swim in on a daily basis. Then your life is very different.

My sadhana is very, very limited. I neither have the time nor the inclination to do any physical part of the sadhana. Now this is going to make your eyes red. [Laughter] I do only one Surya Namaskar every day. Wherever I am, I just do one, and I can do even without that. I can just sit and mentally do it – even then, it still works. This is because even though you do have a body and you are limited to the physical laws, if you are in touch with what is known as akasha, that which is holding the whole system up, will also hold you up.

My sadhana is very, very limited. I neither have the time nor the inclination to do any physical part of the sadhana. Now this is going to make your eyes red. [Laughter] I do only one Surya Namaskar every day. Wherever I am, I just do one, and I can do even without that. I can just sit and mentally do it – even then, it still works. This is because even though you do have a body and you are limited to the physical laws, if you are in touch with what is known as akasha, that which is holding the whole system up, will also hold you up.

Life has left everything open for you; the existence has not blocked anything for you. If you are willing, you can access the whole universe. Somebody said, “Knock, and it shall be openedr” You don’t even have to knock because there is no door – it’s open. You just have to walk through it, that’s all. But because your instinct of self-preservation keeps on telling you, “Unless you build a wall, you’re not safe,” unconsciously, you go on building walls all the time.

So what you are battling with is neither the creation’s nor the Creator’s unwillingness to open up the possibility. What you are struggling with is just the concrete walls that you have built. That is why the yogic system does not talk about God, the Ultimate Being, or the Creator – it only talks about karma – because we are interested in what blocks you. We are not interested in talking about the Ultimate. If we talk about the Ultimate, you will go into fanciful imagination. We are only talking about what is blocking you because that is what needs to be attended to.

God doesn’t need your attention. There is nothing to do about the Ultimate; that which binds you has to be broken, that’s all, and that bondage is 100% your making. That is why we are only talking karma. You have no work with the Existence. You have work only with the existence that you have created.

– Excerpted from a Talk by Sadhguru

[1] prana - Life energy

[2] akasha - one of the five elements or pancha bhuta

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