Article by Pratiksha Apurv published in Speaking Tree on November 22, 2014, New Delhi, India
Through her painting, artist Pratiksha Apurv shares experiences from her journey to the inner world
Since childhood, we are told about the five senses — sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Our school textbooks explain the importance of each of these senses using different objects like traffic lights, flowers, birds, temple bells, fruits and even a picture of friends shaking hands. This textbook knowledge gets so ingrained in our mind that we live our entire life without even looking beyond these senses and, interestingly, we get even more attached to them with time. For example, as we grow, we develop a hobby and it differs from person to person. Some like to listen to classical music but some enjoy theatre. But, the journey remains in the outer world. We completely ignore the inner world that exists beyond senses.
Sant Kabir explains this phenomenon through his doha, couplet: Jo dekhe, so kahai nahi, sune so samjhavai naahi, rasna drug shruit kaahi. Scientists will agree with Kabir that eyes will only see but won’t speak; the tongue will speak but it cannot see; the ears can hear but cannot explain. Nose smells the flowers, hand touches — it means that all these senses and experiences originating from them are meeting somewhere. There is a confluence and each experience is being controlled by a centre within us which we generally ignore.
We must know that all the senses are equally important and, in fact, Zen masters have described them as five flavours. Besides these five flavours, there exists a sixth flavour or sense popularly known as intuition. It works around the spirit, rather than reality. But, it will be wrong to say that intuition is unreal. In fact, it is another side of the reality, but due to our social conditioning, we often ignore it. However, it is important to be aware of all our senses and, moreover, not to cling to experiences of the senses, not to be enslaved by them.
Ancient scriptures have argued that we do not need to destroy the senses, but create a balance by redirecting them towards the inner world that would take one’s self beyond the senses.
Krishna in the Gita, has warned Arjuna: Yatato hripi kaunteya, purushasya vipaschit, indriyani prathini haranti prasambha manah — If not conscious, O Arjuna, these senses are so turbulent that they can lead astray the mind of even a vigilant human being.
The third eye is just a space between the two eyes
and not a part of the body organs.
Once this space is realised and you have experienced it fully,
you have known the universe.
But, in reality, we are running after each and every experience of our senses, forgetting the centre, the master, our soul. Once the soul is gone from the body, these senses will remain as they are but it will not be able to experience anything because the master, the centre, is gone. Kabir has indicated in his dohas that there exists a launch-pad, a springboard to catapult oneself into the inner world. And that one should use it now, before it is too late.
Osho has described it as a journey to discover one’s centre. He says the life of man is like a circle without a centre and he goes on living on the circumference, outside, without relishing the taste and beauty of the centre. Our whole life is spent in discussing the various ways of penetrating the inner world. One of these techniques is closing the seven openings of the head with your hands. This is a simple technique meant for the one who has the desire to experience life beyond the senses. One just has to close all the openings of the head — eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. The moment all the openings — senses or organs of the head — are closed, consciousness, which is usually flowing out, will be stopped.
The moment the mind stops,
the world will be closed for you.
That very moment,
you will experience supreme bliss.
You will be suddenly transported
to a different world.
Now observe this very carefully. The very moment you stop breathing, your mind, too, stops functioning. The moment you stop breathing, you break the conditioning of breathing with the mind. This is an interesting experience, and in the process, you realise that all seven holes are conditioned. The normal functions to which you never gave much attention are actually deep-seated conditioning with one another.
Describing this conditioning, the Katha Upanishad states, Yena rupam gandham sabdan sparsham maithunan, etenaiva vijanati, kim atra parisisyate etad vaitad. It says that to reach the highest state, one has to dissect the real meaning behind the happenings. One has to differentiate the known from the knower. When you taste a fruit, who actually tastes it? Is it the tongue? No, actually it is the centre which controls the senses, but we are so conditioned that we never think about it. And it is true for all the senses — sound, smell, touch, etc.
Once all the seven openings are closed, the experiences of those senses or organs cannot move out. It will remain concentrated inside, and at that very moment, it will create a space called the ‘third eye’ between one’s two eyes. This space or third eye is the door to the inner world, the door to the inner sanctum. The moment you experience this space, you have experienced all. The third eye can see the infinite. Our conditioned eyes can only see matter, but the real energy can be seen through the third eye. This technique is, in fact, a tool for centring of consciousness. Once its outward flow is halted, the concentration will open the door to the inner world.
The third eye is just a space between the two eyes and actually not a part of the body organs. Once this space is realised and you have known and experienced it fully, you have known the universe. Then, there is nothing to be known or experienced. You will not be the same person who is scared of death or insecurities in life. Once the third eye is known, you will not need security, because you have touched the deathless.
In Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Shiva says: Sarvshrotonibandhen pranshaktodhrvaya shanaih pipeelshaparshvelayam prathate param sukham. Stop the doors of the senses when you feel the creeping of an ant. It is easy to close the senses by not breathing for a few seconds. This will disconnect all your sense channels. The moment the mind stops, the world will be closed for you. That very moment, you will experience supreme bliss. You will be suddenly transported to a different world. That very moment, as Shiva says, one will be in union with one’s own Self.
More articles by Pratiksha on Osho News