gfiles governance awards 2019
Perspective

Geometric allure

IF we looked at the world around us with some attention, we would see that existence is essentially geometry. Every aspect of creation – from a leaf to a human being to planet Earth — is just a dynamic interplay of shape and form. How effectively you can walk, play, or simply handle life is determined by your understanding of this complex geometry.

Ever since my childhood, what first drew my attention in anything I saw was its geometry. The most significant aspect of a tree, for instance, lay not in the colour of its leaves or the beauty of its flowers, but in its shape and form. Just by looking at the way it stands, the whole story of the tree can be unravelled. This is how I see life even today. Geometry is the first thing I notice, whether in a stone, a tree, or a human being. Physical reality is all about shapes, sizes and angles, but most people get so lost in the psychological process that they miss this. With just a little attention, this intrinsic geometry of the universe can be perceived.

Although I am not a qualified architect, all the buildings in the Isha Yoga Centre are designed by me. But I don’t claim to be original. These buildings are a straight copy from Nature! They are a small imitation of creation, which offers us the most fantastic architecture imaginable.

The ashram buildings stand only because of the perfection of their geometry, not because of the strength of their material. Modern buildings, made of cement, steel and concrete, stand because the material binds them. Additionally, they are held together by tension. In most constructions, there is a continuous struggle between the roof and the force of gravity. Gravity wants the building down; the tensile material wants to keep it up. One day gravity will win.

In the ashram, however, the buildings are bound together with natural material: brick, lime and mud. The simple logic is that all the bricks are trying to come down at the same time, so they cannot fall. The logic is simple: if 10 people try to go through a door simultaneously, they will be unsuccessful; only if one of them steps back can the others enter. The same rationale holds true here. The buildings here are relaxed, in perfect harmony with the forces of the planet. There is no tension whatsoever. You can even say they are meditating! I often tell people, “When the buildings themselves are meditating, you should be an easy case!”

The whole universe happens because of a certain perfection of geometry. The planet is going around the sun because the perfection of geometry is keeping it in orbit. If the planet goes off orbit even a little, the game’s up! It will hurtle off into space.

When the Unmanifest begins to manifest itself, the first and fundamental form to emerge from a state of nothingness, is an ellipsoid. This form was known in this culture as a Linga. It is from this simple form that existence assumed a bewildering plurality of shapes. But fundamentally, nothing has changed. Existence is simply geometry in varying degrees of complexity: from simple physical geometry to a more complex chemical geometry, from a sophisticated atomic geometry to a far more sophisticated energetic geometry.

The whole process of yoga is to align the geometry of the body to the geometry of existence. In these days of dish antennae, people don’t face this problem anymore. But some years ago, you would be watching your favourite soap opera or cricket match, and suddenly the image would be gone. A single rain would mean you had to go and adjust the TV antenna.

If the body is held right, it can become a phenomenal antenna that can receive the profoundest mysteries of existence. For this, it needs to be in a certain state of ease. If there is rigidity or compulsiveness, it will be unsuccessful. But if you fine-tune the geometry, this human body can download the entire cosmos.

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