With all the advances made in science and technology, today we have tools that are powerful enough to make or break the planet several times over. That the United Nations declared World Environment Day, it is a reminder to us all to live more mindfully, and wherever required, to take urgent measures to reverse any process that is causing ecological harm, the effects of which could impact all life on the planet. However, human consciousness has become so fragmented that most people have forgotten that what you consider to be your ‘body’ is not just a piece of the planet, but much more.
Interdependence is not just a philosophical theory. It is a reality. Your physical existence is possible only because of your body’s seamless ability to respond to the entire universe. Without this, you wouldn’t be able to exist for a moment.
I lived on a farm for a few years. There was a man in the locality with a hearing impairment, an object of ridicule for the villagers. I employed him to help me on the farm. He was a nice companion because I wasn’t particularly interested in talking, and he couldn’t talk because he could not hear. So, no problem!
In those days before tractors, life on the farm was all about bullocks and ploughs. One day, suddenly, at four o’clock in the morning, I saw him preparing the plough and asked him what he was doing. He said, ‘It will rain today. I am preparing to plough.’ I looked up. It was an absolutely clear sky. I said, ‘What? Where is the rain?’ He said, ‘No, sir, it will rain.’ And it did.
I sat up for days and nights after this. Why couldn’t I feel what this man could feel? I sat, holding my hand in different positions, trying to feel the moisture, the temperature, trying to read the sky. I read all kinds of books on meteorology, but was up against a wall. But gradually, with careful observation of my own body and environment, I discovered the fundamental mistake that most of us make: the fact that we view the ingredients which constitute our body, like earth, water, air and food, as commodities and not as an organic part of the life process.
If it is to rain today, some change will happen in your body. Most urban-dwellers cannot feel it, but many rural folk all over the world, sense this. This is not astrology or magic, but a surmise based on the minute observation of a completely different level of the human system and its ongoing transaction with the cosmos. Most insects, birds and animals can feel it. A tree for sure knows it.
Modern physics has established that the universe is a great dance of energy, and every subatomic particle in your body is in constant dialogue with the entire cosmos. The aim of the spiritual process is to make this scientific fact an experiential reality for you.
Yoga reminds us that the physical body is just an accumulation of food — or what is called annamayakosha. The food that you eat is just the produce of the earth, which, in turn, is a fragment of the universe. You are a small outcrop of this planet, claiming to be an autonomous entity! But with some inner work, a dimensional shift occurs. Suddenly, the human body becomes what it was always intended to be – an instrument of extraordinary refinement, a barometer, an antenna capable of downloading the entire cosmos. We realise that we inhabit a living cosmos.