On a Pournami (Purnima), some 2,500 years ago, something very tremendous happened. Since then, the world has never been the same. After almost eight years of extremely severe sadhana, Gautama Siddhartha had become very weak. His body was destroyed almost to the point of death. At this time, he came to the Niranjana, a large stream with knee-height water flowing swiftly. He tried to cross the river, but halfway across, his body became so weak that he could not take another step. But he was not the kind to give up. He held on to a dead branch and just stood there.
It is said that he stood like this for many hours. Then he suddenly realised that what he had been seeking was actually within himself. “So why all this struggle? All that is needed is absolute willingness, and it is right here. Why am I searching around the world?” When he realised this, he had that little extra ounce of energy to take the next steps, walk across the river and sit down under the now-famous Bodhi tree. He sat down with the determination that, “Unless the ultimate happens to me, I will not move. Either I will get up as an enlightened being or I will die in this posture.” And in one moment, he was there. If it becomes the only priority, one moment is all it takes.
Gautama has left an unchangeable impression on the world. In his own silent way, he changed the world forever. That man’s flowering on that full moon day, 2,500 years ago, has made a significant change for spiritual seekers, whoever or wherever they are.
But not just this particular Pournami, any Pournami is significant. One aspect is, there is a certain aesthetic quality about it, which definitely improves your receptivity. If you look at anything beautiful, your receptivity to that object increases. The moment you look at anything that you consider as ugly, your receptivity to it goes down.
Another aspect is, on Pournami, the planet is in a certain position to the moon. The vibration and feel of the moon is very different when it is full. And its magnetic pull is also different at that time. It is working upon the surface of the planet which is exposed to the moon. When there is such a natural pull, since your spine is vertical, there is a tendency for your energies to move upward. That means, blood and prana, the fundamental life energies, flow in a different way. Just as the tides rise higher on that night because of the gravitational pull of the moon, your blood is also being pulled up and the circulation of blood increases in your brain.
This upsurge of energy enhances your qualities, whatever they may be. If you are mentally imbalanced, it will make you even more imbalanced. If you are meditative, it makes you more meditative. If you are loving, it makes you even more loving. If you are fearful, it makes you even more fearful. The same happens with the other qualities in you too, but most people may not be sensitive enough to notice it.
For people on the spiritual path, especially for those who are on the meditative path, it is more conducive to meditate on those nights because without an upsurge of energy, without a heightened sense of energy, there is no question of awareness. When there is a heightened sense of energy in your system, what you call awareness will come naturally to you.
So, we just want to make use of this natural phenomenon which is occurring on that night. So, a Pournami is giving you a free ride of energy and awareness.
(Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, visionary and bestselling author. He was conferred with the ‘Padma Vibhushan’ by the Government of India in 2017 for his exceptional and distinguished service)