Washing off the Memories of the Body

Washing off the Memories of the Body

Sadhguru elaborates on how the body acquires memory and what are the ways to cleanse the system of the past impressions.

The body has its own memory. Today, there is research happening in this direction. To put it in a simplified way, let us say for example, your father, when he was a child, liked to play with round objects, round pebbles, and things like that, and he developed a certain level of involvement with them. As his child, without knowing why, you will tend to choose similar things. It is proven that these repetitions happen. This is simply because you carry a certain genetic material. Runanubandha is the physical memory that you carry within you. This memory can be acquired due to blood relationships or sexual relationships. The body remembers any kind of intimacy – not only with another physical body, but with any physical substance.

There are certain festivals in India like Pongal or Bhogi that are about clearing up your mental baggage, your emotional baggage, and your runanubandha. We are doing Klesha Nashana Kriya. You could consider it as a ritual fire wash, which you can make use of if a regular shower is not sufficient to get you clean. Klesha Nashana Kriya is a way of burning physical memories that you have picked up – not necessarily because of relationships. Just by coming in touch with people, situations, atmospheres, so many things, the body picks up memory.

There is fire wash, and of course, water wash every day. At the time in my life when I was into a lot of sadhana, I would have somewhere between five and seven showers a day, because your system becomes so sensitive. For example, you sit on a particular cushion, and you are conscious what this cushion is doing to you, so you want to wash it off by at least letting water run over your body. I did not calculate that I must take a shower five or seven times a day – whenever I felt like it. Most yogis have bath at least twice a day, at the minimum. Usually, it is a dip in the river – you dip in flowing water so that you are washed clean.

During certain seasons, like the shift of the Sun from the southern hemisphere to northern hemisphere, and again, from north to south, the winds are strong on the Indian subcontinent. One simple process is to go and stand in the wind so that you get a proper air wash. It will do wonders to you. Try this – when there is a strong breeze, just wear something loose and simply stand there for half an hour, with your eyes closed, being conscious of it. Turn both ways, so that the breeze flows over you from front and back. You will feel so much lighter and better.

In the ashram, all the brahmacharis wash their clothes separately. This is because all of them are doing sadhana and everyone has their own specific characteristic – we do not want it all mixed up. Another way to prevent a mix-up is to coat the clothes with soil in every wash. Sadhus and sanyasis always use finely sieved red earth to dye their clothes. The clothes are originally white, but because they are constantly washed with filtered earth, they turn mud color.
Similarly, the buildings in the ashram are painted with soil and a certain adhesive for it to stick like paint. Those who are doing intense sadhana must either wash separately, or coat your clothes with some soil material every time you wash them, so that the only runanubandha that you have is with the earth – not with people or things around you. Apart from that, if you wear clothes that are dipped in red earth, in some way, it is a reminder for the body as to where it comes from and where it will go. Another way of doing it is to have a mud bath – the idea of a mud bath is to clear everything.
Sadhguru’s new book, INNER ENGINEERING: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy was recently released on September 20th. In this, Sadhguru presents a sophisticated guide to self-empowerment based on the teaching and principles of classical yoga. This system is a means to create a framework of inner stability, helping those who practice become architects of a joyful life.

Bhuta Shuddhi – Elemental Transformation

Sadhguru looks at how the process of Bhuta Shuddhi can transform a human being in miraculous ways, by imprinting the right kind of information on each of the elements.

Sadhguru: “Every yogic practice, whatever kind it may be, is essentially drawn from the process of bhuta shuddhi. If you do an asana, surya namaskar, surya kriya, pranayama or a kriya, in a way, you are doing bhuta shuddhi. In other words, you address life in its most fundamental form, which are the five elements. You can address life just as body. You can address life as prana or life energy. You can address life on the cellular level. You can even address life on the atomic level. Or you can address life on the elemental level, which is most fundamental. Yoga is an attempt towards that.

It is these five elements that make up this body, this planet, this solar system, and the universe. Each of these five elements has its own individual nature, and all of them are capable of absorbing and retaining information. The whole system of bhuta shuddhi has evolved from the knowledge that the five elements can take in and hold information. If information is properly put into anything, it also creates an intention. Depending upon what kind of information you hold about something, you naturally develop a certain intention towards that something. Once you have an intention, you start moving in that direction.

It is this basis that gives bhuta shuddhi its effectiveness and its ability to transform a human being in miraculous ways. The process that we do at Isha now is a simple form of bhuta shuddhi. The intention behind bhuta shuddhi is that slowly, over a period of time, the elements within you should take instructions from you. Once you have the ability to make the elements within yourself function the way you want them to, it is not far away to impact the elements around you.

The idea of practicing bhuta shuddhi is to rearrange the way the elements function within you. You want to change the intention with which they function within you. If the elements within you function in the same way as they function in the earth or a tree, it is not useful to you. In the human system, the elements function in a particular way. We want them to function that way and to transform themselves into higher and higher possibilities.

In fact, in every individual, the elements function in a unique manner. The traditional medical systems in the East have always identified these individual differences. In this sense, these systems are designer medication. There is no common prescription for everyone. Unless the doctor is able to look at each individual and identify what is needed for this particular person, the treatment does not work as well as it should.

The diagnosis is not based on the disease or ailment that one has but on how each individual’s system is constructed. The diagnosis is not about the ailment – it is always about the individual. The treatment is according to how this particular body and human mechanism functions, and how it is arranged within itself – not based on the symptoms of a certain ailment. In other words, in Eastern systems, the treatment is never symptomatic, whereas the allopathic system is 100% about symptomatic treatment. If five of you have the same symptoms, all five of you will be given the same medicine. But in Siddha and Ayurveda, if five of you have the same symptoms, you will be given different types of medicine because the medication is for your particular system, not for the ailment.

When you chant the Bhuta Shuddhi mantra and take the elements – earth, water, air, and fire – into yourself, you try to influence how they function within you. It is important to be deeply focused towards that.

Bhuta shuddhi should not happen like an exercise but with absolute involvement, like a love affair. These five elements coming together and producing something so complex, so fantastic is a tremendous love affair. Your bhuta shuddhi should happen with a sense of devotion and love. Your mind, your emotions, your energy, your physical body – everything should be involved in this. Without this involvement, you still may get certain physical benefits, but you will not know the full depth and dimension of the process. If you give yourself totally to it, this simple process can change the fundamentals of your life.”

Sadhguru’s new book, INNER ENGINEERING: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy was recently released on September 20th. In this, Sadhguru presents a sophisticated guide to self-empowerment based on the teaching and principles of classical yoga. This system is a means to create a framework of inner stability, helping those who practice become architects of a joyful life.

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