Posted: 19 January 2010
When Greek philosopher Pythagoras reached Egypt to enter a school -- a secret esoteric school of mysticism -- he was refused entry. And Pythagoras was one of the best minds ever produced. He could not understand it. He applied again and again, but was told that unless he goes through a particular training of fasting and breathing he cannot be allowed entry.
Pythagoras is reported to have said: "I have come for knowledge, not for any sort of discipline." But the school authorities said: "We cannot give you knowledge unless you are different. And really, we are not interested in knowledge at all; we are interested in actual experience. No knowledge is knowledge unless it is lived and experienced. So you will have to go on a 40-day fast, continuously breathing in a certain manner, with a certain awareness on certain points."
There was no other way, so Pythagoras had to pass through this training. After 40 days of fasting and breathing, aware and attentive, he was allowed to enter the school. Pythagoras reportedly said: "You are not allowing Pythagoras in. I am a different man; I am reborn. You were right and I was wrong, because then, my whole standpoint was intellectual. Through this purification, my centre of being has changed.
From the intellect it has come down to the heart. Now I can feel things. Before this training I could only understand through the intellect, through the head. Now I can feel. Now truth is not a concept to me, but life. It is not going to be a philosophy, but rather, an experience -- existential."
What was that training he went through? The technique was as follows: Attention between eyebrows, let mind is before thought. Let form fill with breath essence to the top of the head and there, shower as light.
Pythagoras went with this technique to Greece, and really, he became the fountainhead, the source of all mysticism in the West. This technique is among the deep methods. Try to understand it.
Modern physiology says that between the two eyebrows is the gland that is the most mysterious part of the body. This gland, called the pineal gland, is the third eye to Tibetans. It is the Shivnetra, the eye of the Shiva, of tantra. Between the two eyes there exists a third eye, but it is non-functioning. You have to do something to open it. Otherwise, it remains closed.
Close your eyes and focus both eyes on space in the middle of your eyebrows. Give total attention to it. This is one of the simplest methods of being attentive. You cannot be attentive to any other part of the body so easily. This gland absorbs attention like anything. If you give attention to it, both your eyes become hypnotised with the third eye. They become fixed; they cannot move. The third eye forces attention. It is magnetic. Your attention is brought to it forcibly. It is absorbed.
It is said in ancient tantra scriptures that for the third eye, attention is food. And once you feel that the gland itself is magnetically pulling your attention, it is not so difficult. For the first time you will see thoughts running before you. You will become the witness. It is just like a film screen: thoughts are running and you are a witness.
Source: The Times of India, New Delhi