When one of the great Greek philosophers Pythagoras, reached Egypt to enter an esoteric school of mysticism, he was refused. And Pythagoras was one of the best minds ever produced so he could not understand this. He applied again and again, but he was told that unless he undertook a particular training of fasting, meditation and breathing he wasn’t allowed to enter.
Pythagoras was 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 forty day fast, continuously breathing in a certain manner, with certain awareness on certain points.”
There was no other way, so Pythagoras had to pass through this training. After forty days of fasting and breathing, aware, attentive, he was allowed to enter the school. It is said that Pythagoras 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 center 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 a life. It is not going to be a philosophy, but rather, an experience – existential.”
WEEK 3 SADHANA
What was this mysterious technique that Pythagoras undertook for forty days? Let us experience it as well….
This week’s practice is ~16 minutes in length: