Birthdays – A Reminder of Your Mortality
“Life is just slipping all the time. If one doesn’t come awake, if one doesn’t put all his attention towards his inner wellbeing, the moment of death will be a regret.”
September 3rd is Sadhguru‘s birthday! Here’s an excerpt of a talk Sadhguru gave at the Isha Yoga Center in 2002, three years after consecrating the Dhyanalinga.
Sadhguru: Three years ago, after the Dhyanalinga consecration, we never thought we will see this day, but many people’s love and will has brought us this far. For some reason they willed that we should live on, though I never looked at life that way. As I was telling a few people in the morning, I can’t believe it’s so many years ago. It feels like I was born the day before yesterday. It’s just gone so quick and so simply – probably because I never did anything very seriously, I just played around with life.
Deal-Makers Are Deal-Breakers
The spiritual possibility is available to everyone but unfortunately, very few people make it possible. That’s been the way so far in the history of humanity. In every generation, very few flowers bloom. I have a dream that the maximum number of flowers will bloom in the 21st century.
One reason why people don’t allow it to happen is because they are always trying to make a deal with life – the best possible deal. On a certain day, Shankaran Pillai went fishing in his boat. After some waiting, something tugged on the line and pshew he got it out. He saw the fish had silver and gold-colored fins. It was very beautiful. He put it in the boat and the fish started thrashing for life.
Then, to his surprise, it spoke, “Let me go into the river. Just put me back in the water. I will give you three wishes. You can ask for anything but put me back in the water now.” Shankaran Pillai thought for a few minutes. The fish was thrashing for life, getting weaker and weaker. Then he said, “Okay make it five wishes, I’ll let you go.” The fish said, “No, three.” Already the voice was weak. Then Shankaran Pillai thought for a few more minutes and said, “Okay four-and-a-half.” The fish was very weak. He said, “No, only three, I can do only three.” Then Shankaran Pillai again said, “Okay let’s make a deal – four.” The fish didn’t say anything, it was dead.
Life is very brief. In that, if you try to make deals, before you know what’s happening it will be over. Birthdays are a reminder that it’s getting over. It’s like a sack with a hole. Before you know what’s happening, the empty sack will fall apart. Life is just slipping all the time. If one doesn’t come awake, if one doesn’t put all his attention towards his inner wellbeing, the moment of death will be a regret. And you don’t know how many birthdays you will see, do you?
I have still not decided how many to see. But at least I have a choice – how many I can see. You still don’t have a choice. There are so many forces working upon you. Any moment it may happen. So, whether it is my birthday or your birthday or anyone’s birthday – every day it is someone’s birthday – let’s use it to count that the sack is leaking. One day it may be empty of life. Before that, something must happen.
Being 100% focused on your spiritual process does not mean you cannot do other things. What you do outside is as it is needed. But whatever you may be doing outside – whether you are walking, talking, cooking, eating or working – the inner process can be kept on. It’s not morning yoga, evening yoga, rest of the time we’ll live a stupid life – that’s no good. Unless it becomes every moment, nothing worthwhile will happen.
Once the spiritual longing has come, just making it absolutely intense is what is needed for the flowering to happen. It is not about what you are doing, it is about how intensely it is being done. Once, when certain people asked about a certain aspect of life, Jesus said “Look at the lilies. They don’t spin, they don’t weave, they don’t labor, but see how beautiful they have become.” It is the intensity of life which makes them beautiful. It is not because of what you do that you become beautiful. You become beautiful because of the intensity with which you are doing whatever you are doing – whether you sit, stand, eat, serve, sweep, do pranayam, meditation – no matter what.