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Butterflies at Isha Yoga Centre

The first Isha Yoga Centre in Europe, established in London, celebrated this Guru Pournima in a very special way. In the build up to the celebrations, the centre welcomed a batch of freshly hatched caterpillar larvae. This was highly metaphorical as their journey from a cocooned state to fully grown butterflies symbolizes the metamorphosis a seeker undergoes on the spiritual path. There are many similarities between their transformation, and our own. To help understand this significance, Sadhguru tells a beautiful story about a caterpillar that wanted to experience a dimension of existence beyond survival. He captures its growth beautifully with the following words: “Once the transformation had taken place, it is impossible for the butterfly to return to being a worm.”

The journey of the butterflies, from little worms trying to survive, through the stillness of a cocoon, to a full-fledged life willing to experience the nature of its existence was a true motivation to all who came in contact with them. This transitioning was followed enthusiastically by the visitors to the centre, who would often queue up to capture the different phases of their transformation. The centre followed their growth through a series of blog posts on social media platforms. Often the caterpillars would fight playfully as if pushing each other to accelerate their growth! They won the hearts of everyone, and provided a timely reminder of the wonderful things that happen when one's energy is focused on inner transformation.  Volunteers recall an interesting anecdote: when the drumming started during the Shambhavi Mahamudra Kriya initiation, the caterpillars responded to the music by suddenly moving from their still upside-down position to a wild dance of exuberance. With their eyes glued to the performance, the viewers were mesmerized by their movement in response to each and every beat of the drum.

Sadhguru often emphasizes on the importance of a consecrated space for a spiritual seeker. This fact was made evident in the turbocharged growth of the caterpillars, fostered by the conducive and nurturing environment of the centre. It came as no surprise that the centre’s charged atmosphere propelled them to blossom into butterflies much faster than their natural cycle. This growth on a fast-forward mode also carries a message for a seeker on the spiritual path: being in the centre’s energetically charged space, the pace of his transformation hastens! The process is subtle but is building up in the system and the change is sure to manifest itself, just like it did for the butterflies.

The Guru Pournima celebrations at the centre were kicked off by releasing of the fully grown butterflies to an enthusiastic response. It was a fitting start for the centre, which envisages to become a hub for raising human consciousness across Europe.