Watch the video before you read. I believe it was produced by the Inner Engineering Marketing Team with a primary aim of drawing attention to the value of Inner Engineering rather than exploring the path of Aghora. No problem. Sadhguru is pretty cool. I’ve got nothing at all against the guy. But this is a defense piece.
At 0.30 and again at 3.10 we hear the same phrase “𝑰𝒇 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒚 𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒔𝒆𝒆 𝒓𝒂𝒊𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒅𝒆𝒂𝒅, 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒔𝒆 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒆𝒐𝒑𝒍𝒆…” This is a sensationalist phrase being wielded to purpose. Number one, there is no raising the dead. Corpses and cremation grounds do have a place – Lord Shiva is Buthnath – the Lord of Ghosts and Goblins, too. Death holds no sway. Fear takes no ground. And Shavasana is a tool to make your own mind into a corpse! The esoteric meanings of these legends is lost in public consumption of the myth.
0.45 “𝑨𝒈𝒉𝒐𝒓𝒊 𝒎𝒆𝒂𝒏𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒘𝒉𝒊𝒄𝒉 𝒊𝒔 ‘𝒃𝒆𝒚𝒐𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒓𝒊𝒃𝒍𝒆’.” This is only the Maruthi definition and sorry to say, the most publicized. There are two more opposing definitions as well, and thus the entire path is summed up in the name. Check those definitions for yourself in the Wisdom Library. It’s pertinent. You should know. Go now!
From 1.20 – 1.50 “𝑨 𝒓𝒆𝒄𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒍𝒚 𝒅𝒆𝒂𝒅 𝒃𝒐𝒅𝒚 𝒉𝒂𝒔 𝒄𝒆𝒓𝒕𝒂𝒊𝒏 𝒑𝒐𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒃𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒆𝒔; 𝒄𝒆𝒓𝒕𝒂𝒊𝒏 𝒔𝒚𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒎𝒔 𝒖𝒔𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕. … 𝑻𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒂 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒂 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒈 𝒃𝒐𝒅𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒉𝒂𝒔 𝒓𝒆𝒄𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒍𝒚 𝒅𝒊𝒆𝒅.” These rituals are rare. They exist, but they are rare and presenting them out of context doesn’t really do justice to the path that Sadhguru actually defines quite well towards the end of the video viz. “𝑻𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒆𝒗𝒐𝒍𝒗𝒆 𝒃𝒆𝒚𝒐𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒅𝒊𝒄𝒉𝒐𝒕𝒐𝒎𝒚 𝒐𝒇 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒖𝒔 𝒅𝒊𝒔𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆.”
2.31 “𝑾𝒉𝒚 𝒔𝒐 𝒆𝒙𝒕𝒓𝒆𝒎𝒆? 𝑻𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒅𝒐𝒏’𝒕 𝒔𝒆𝒆 𝒍𝒊𝒇𝒆 𝒂𝒔 𝒈𝒐𝒐𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒃𝒂𝒅, 𝒐𝒏𝒍𝒚 𝒂𝒔 𝒂 𝒑𝒐𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒃𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒚 𝒕𝒐𝒘𝒂𝒓𝒅𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒖𝒍𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒂𝒕𝒆. 𝑻𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒅𝒐𝒏’𝒕 𝒄𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒉𝒐𝒘 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒈𝒆𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆.” The last sentence isn’t accurate but sets up the dialogue flow viz.
3.30 – 5.50 “𝑨𝒈𝒉𝒐𝒓𝒂 𝒊𝒔 𝒂 𝒄𝒓𝒖𝒅𝒆 𝒕𝒆𝒄𝒉𝒏𝒐𝒍𝒐𝒈𝒚.” As opposed to Inner Engineering which is cutting edge technology (Unsaid, but appears to be the point) as the next full two minutes are given over to the allegory of digging for water with hands, tools, machines or lasers. “𝑯𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒔 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒈𝒐𝒐𝒅 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒈𝒆𝒕 𝒕𝒊𝒓𝒆𝒅. 𝑰𝒇 𝒂 𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒔𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒑𝒆𝒐𝒑𝒍𝒆 𝒕𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒑𝒂𝒕𝒉, 𝒐𝒏𝒍𝒚 𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒎𝒂𝒚 𝒎𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒊𝒕.” And it’s true.
Most people are geared to begin with Ashtangha, or Bhakti, or Gyana – the Aghora approach to self-mastery is a life path of dedication that few can imagine. But it’s not crude. Primal maybe. But not crude. In this regard, Inner Engineering is a very excellent program for most people to begin the journey of self-mastery. Slowly, gently. No hurries, no worries.
The Aghori, the Tantrics – they play with all kinds of magic, sure. But what he says at 5.52-6.24 “𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒑𝒂𝒕𝒉 𝒊𝒔 𝒕𝒂𝒌𝒆𝒏 𝒕𝒐 𝒂𝒄𝒒𝒖𝒊𝒓𝒆 𝒐𝒄𝒄𝒖𝒍𝒕 𝒑𝒐𝒘𝒆𝒓𝒔” is somewhat out of context and again doesn’t jibe with “𝑻𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒆𝒗𝒐𝒍𝒗𝒆 𝒃𝒆𝒚𝒐𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒅𝒊𝒄𝒉𝒐𝒕𝒐𝒎𝒚 𝒐𝒇 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒖𝒔 𝒅𝒊𝒔𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆.” Every path attracts aspirants to psychic achievement. No problem. Buddha described the pursuit of power as a distraction from the goal and the consideration of the extent of power Imponderable.
Most sages apart from those on the particular path known as 𝐒𝐢𝐝𝐝𝐡𝐚 𝐘𝐨𝐠𝐚 agree and don’t guide their charges in that direction. And yet, personal vision and mission is according to one’s freedom. The Aghori are well versed in the arts, but it is not a central tenet or pursuit on the path. It’s a product. The siddhis develop. They’re mile markers. Awareness expands; there’s no way around it.
“… 𝑨𝒔 𝒂 𝒔𝒑𝒊𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒖𝒂𝒍 𝒑𝒂𝒕𝒉 𝒊𝒕 𝒊𝒔 𝒂 𝒑𝒐𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒃𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒚, 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝒎𝒐𝒔𝒕 𝒑𝒆𝒐𝒑𝒍𝒆 𝒅𝒐 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒈𝒆𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒃𝒆𝒄𝒂𝒖𝒔𝒆 𝒎𝒐𝒔𝒕 𝒅𝒐 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒅 𝒐𝒇 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒄𝒆” Yes, very true. “…𝒐𝒓 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒂𝒈𝒆…” Again true.
“…𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒄𝒂𝒑𝒂𝒃𝒍𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒅𝒊𝒔𝒈𝒖𝒔𝒕. 𝑩𝒆𝒄𝒂𝒖𝒔𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒎𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒅𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒎𝒐𝒔𝒕 𝒅𝒊𝒔𝒈𝒖𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒔 𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒑𝒂𝒕𝒉.” Kinda sorta. Yes, there are rituals. There are some pretty serious rituals, embroiled in legend because they are not for everyone, and not necessary for everyone either. But moreover, because the physical ritual does not need to be undertaken if the spiritual ritual is possible for the aspirant. Just as there are the tantric rituals that represent the five elements, and said rituals may be undertaken physically such as with wine or food or sex, the same rituals may be sublimated and undertaken spiritually. As Sadhguru says, the spiritual, esoteric path is the harder one and not as easy to approach or maintain.
“…𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒅𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒃𝒚 𝒑𝒆𝒐𝒑𝒍𝒆 𝒘𝒉𝒐 𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒂𝒄𝒒𝒖𝒊𝒓𝒆 𝒄𝒆𝒓𝒕𝒂𝒊𝒏 𝒑𝒐𝒘𝒆𝒓𝒔, 𝒕𝒐 𝒅𝒐𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒂𝒕𝒆 𝒍𝒊𝒇𝒆 – 𝒕𝒐 𝒅𝒐𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒂𝒕𝒆 𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒉𝒖𝒎𝒂𝒏 𝒃𝒆𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒔.” Patently false. Yes, there are black magicians, of course. But the Aghori are life worshippers. Custodians of a sacred fire. They are enthralled with life and worship Her before anything else. The Goddess – Kundalini. And they would be Shiva in Her embrace. No, this is not something that will be taught in the Inner Engineering program – taking on the form of the Divinity and becoming one with Life. The Aghori way is very visual and very visceral, but it is above all beyond personal distinction. He says it only once – “𝑻𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒆𝒗𝒐𝒍𝒗𝒆 𝒃𝒆𝒚𝒐𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒅𝒊𝒄𝒉𝒐𝒕𝒐𝒎𝒚 𝒐𝒇 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒖𝒔 𝒅𝒊𝒔𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆.” But it is the most powerful phrase in the commercial.
6.32-6.55 “𝑰𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒙𝒕 𝒊𝒕 𝒉𝒂𝒔 𝒃𝒆𝒆𝒏 𝒂𝒏 𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒆𝒇𝒇𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒑𝒂𝒕𝒉. – 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒂 𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚 𝒇𝒆𝒘 𝒊𝒕 𝒊𝒔 𝒂 𝒔𝒑𝒊𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒖𝒂𝒍 𝒑𝒂𝒕𝒉, 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒎𝒐𝒔𝒕. 𝑴𝒐𝒔𝒕 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒃𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒌.” Yeah. It’s active. Tantra is the umbrella under which every other yoga system developed and thus holds within its teachings every aspect of every path. You will find Patanjali’s Ashtangha there. You will find the most passionate Bhakti wherein She is not only our Divine Mother, but also our Lover and Wife, our Daughter, our Sister. A Yogini of the Tantric order will say the same of the Lord. You will find the deepest Gyana on this path. The Aghori path is Raja Yoga on Steroids.
7.05-7.34 “𝑻𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒆𝒗𝒐𝒍𝒗𝒆 𝒃𝒆𝒚𝒐𝒏𝒅 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒅𝒊𝒔𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒃𝒚 𝒃𝒆𝒇𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒅𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒘𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒂𝒃𝒉𝒐𝒓. 𝑩𝒆𝒄𝒂𝒖𝒔𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒎𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒐𝒓 𝒅𝒊𝒔𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒔𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈, 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒅𝒊𝒗𝒊𝒅𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒆𝒙𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒉𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒄𝒂𝒏𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒆 𝒊𝒕. 𝑺𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒈𝒐 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒘𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒊𝒔 𝒂𝒃𝒉𝒐𝒓𝒓𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒃𝒆𝒄𝒂𝒖𝒔𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒓𝒆𝒎𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒅𝒊𝒔𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 – 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒂𝒎𝒆” The only problem with the entire monologue is the incessant focus on the abhorrent, only appropriate as the monologue was begun with only one definition of the word Aghor. The opposite also exists, in the word, on the path, in the practice and in the man.
𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝟐 – 𝐀𝐧 𝐈𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐫’𝐬 𝐕𝐢𝐞𝐰𝐩𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐭:
All of the above is based on my experience with my Guru on a very uncommon path. It was uncommon primarily because of the unorthodox nature of the delivery of the teachings.
I lived that path for the two decades between ages 24 and 44, and if it wasn’t for my academic leanings, my deep interest to understand the experience, I never would have explored all the various paths of yoga and this and that.
Babaji didn’t give me text books. He pointed me towards Ayurveda and several pertinent scriptures in the tradition like the Gita or some Puranas or Upanishads, but the nature of the experience was as it should be, a moment to moment metamorphosis of being guided by magic and grace and the keen direction of the Guru. My experience of the path was eventually one that led me to the most sublime levels of normalcy. Ashtangha, Meditation, Magic, Psychic Experience, Bhakti – all of it – was all part of the weave of the day to day, whether I was in the hills with my tribe, or home in Japan or traveling the world – soon there was little distinction.
I am the light and the dark. I am good and bad and everything in between. I am human. I am a man and I am God. There is no unconscious in me; what was veiled has been uncovered. Judgement doesn’t exist in me, unless I want it to. Unless Nature demands it.
And now words are going to begin to fail because hard as I try to sum up the experience of that path I can only realize how futile it is. Hence the blog. Hence a Facebook group and the topics I share with my tribe. Hence the book I write and the programs I create. These are the legacy I would leave for those who come after me, breadcrumbs to follow on an ever-changing Way, on a never-ending road.
In fact, I am nothing, just one more speck of light in an infinite cascade of shooting stars across the galaxies. Just one more piece of the infinite here to express for a moment before fizzling out. I came for an experience, and I was rewarded with an experience of life.
Yes, I experienced ritual and witnessed miracle. My approach to the path of self-mastery was with questions similar to everybody else’s. Who am I? What am I doing here? What is the meaning and purpose of my life? How can I experience more than this mundane drama around me. I want to break out of these shackles! I want to be free! And that is precisely what the path gave me. And neither did I have to eat a human heart or do anything else abhorrent to recall the nature of freedom either. Mine was the spiritual road in accordance with my nature. And still, there was plenty physical to the life as well, as I am a physical being. I don’t know, I guess I could go on, but that’s why I have a 900pg book waiting in the wings to be published.
𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝟑: Straight From the Yogi’s Mouth
See. Whenever I would travel to meet my Master, He would always deliver the truth right away, usually taking the first day and night or two to fill me up with knowledge and then letting me use the next few weeks or months to digest it slowly, experientially.
And so it is now that I am a product of His guidance and my way models His to the best of my ability. He was my role model, and I’ve actively modeled my way after His. Deliver knowledge up front and encourage experience to help it digest and transform the being.
See the 5-minute preview to the introduction section of my masterclass. It’s the longest section of the eight sections because it’s the most important. It sets up the foundation, and the techniques that follow are given to allow that foundation to get firm.
What does the Guru say? “It needs to be particular.” Particular to you. And “if you want to attain” then what must you do? That is exactly what you must do! No here and there. No like or dislike. No right or wrong. And it’s hard. It’s work. No flipping it on like a light switch.
And in order to begin that work, what must you do first? And so the masterclass techniques that follow correspond accordingly. This is what the Aghori believes. This is the spiritual context and the physical context stirred up together in a crucible encouraged to powerful health in order to be enabled for the Great Work of Attaining the Ultimate. This is the Aghor way.
And don’t be fooled by the clothes either. Guruji did face paint and Shiva gear just as well as the next saddhu, but neither would He have called Himself Aghor or Tantrik or this or that either. He was quite far beyond and removed from the labels of lineage. He would say He’s just a guy on His Way.
…is a Saiva Tantrika, Gyana Yogi and founder of Uma Maheshwara Yoga & Ayurveda. David has an MA in Semiotics, lives in Japan with his family and works as a coach in L & D, devoting his time to developing science-based tools and programs that help people reach the fullest potential of the human condition.