You may have noticed some Isha meditators wearing snake rings like the one below. You may even be wearing one now. But you may not know the purpose and significance behind wearing these copper rings on the ring finger.
Sadhguru explains, “As there is a physical body, there is a whole energy body… This energy that we generally refer to as either prana or Shakti, flows through the body in certain established patterns; it is not moving randomly. There are 72,000 different ways in which it moves. In other words, there are 72,000 pathways in the system through which it is flowing. So nadis are pathways or channels in the system. They do not have a physical manifestation; if you cut the body and look inside, you will not find these nadis. But as you become more and more aware, you will notice the energy is not moving at random; it is moving in established pathways…
In yoga, it is said that one who has mastery over his ring finger can rewrite anybody’s destiny. If I just touch my ring finger in a certain way I can rewrite your destiny if I wish to. It is a whole science by itself. See, your finger can be divided into three portions by the lines drawn on it. The first portion of the ring finger, from the tip onwards, carries lifetimes of experiences. Everything is in this. Everything is written into this, whether by touch here or here or here (gestures), every bit, every milli, milli, millimeter is rich with life. Every micro millimeter is different. There is a whole lot of sadhana for this. If you just know how to handle your ring finger like you handle a computer mouse, you can scroll all your lifetimes’ just right here. If you have mastery over it, you can do miraculous things to yourself and to the external situation. The second portion of your ring finger has elaborate detail of your prarabdha. The base digit can be used to predict future possibilities, based on the past accumulations of karma and the present expressions of the prarabdha.
Always in our tradition, for everything that you do, you must use the ring finger. All the nadis are activated by touching certain portions of the finger. If you want to take vibhuthi or kumkum, you use this finger to apply it, simply because these are all different ways to defuse the karmic structure. Even unknowingly if you touch something sacred that has a certain energy quality to it with your ring finger, it dissolves some karma; you get to shed some of it….The whole tradition was built like that – whichever way, you must be slowly moving towards your liberation.”
Wearing a metal ring, especially made of copper, by a seeker on the ring finger stabilizes the body and provides the fundamental support for sadhana or spiritual practices. With the right kind of sadhana, wearing the snake ring can become a key to mystical dimensions of life. Our copper snake rings are made in the Isha Yoga Center under Sadhguru’s guidance and go through a process of consecration before they are offered to seekers. The rings are meant to be worn at all times. The rings can be purchased online from Isha Shoppe
Read more about the significance and symbolism of snakes below:
Seeker: Snakes, or the symbolism of snakes, is predominate in this culture. They are worshipped here and seem to have a significant meaning in yoga also. How come they are seen as evil in the west, especially in Christianity? Can you explain this Sadhguru?
Sadhguru: Everybody is after my snakes; even you now started! (Laughs) Snakes, I think many times we have spoken why snakes, and what is the significance of a snake. Fundamentally, one aspect of this is that it is the symbolism for the Kundalini because of its nature, and its similarity with that of a snake in terms of movement and stillness. Another aspect is that the snake is at a very significant step in the evolutionary process of the being. As the monkey is at a very significant step in the evolutionary process of the body the snake is at a very significant step in the evolutionary process of the being. It is based this that in this culture, you are not supposed to kill a snake. lf you happen to find a dead snake or if you happen to kill one, then you must give it a proper funeral and a burial in India. Are you aware that a snake always gets a proper burial, like a human burial, because in terms of its being, it is very close to a human being. So killing a snake amounts to murder. That is one aspect.
There are so many things; and you know, for me, snakes have always been around me. People are complaining about my garden which is full of snakes, particularly about one of my close friends who is very big, and people are terrified of him. He is very beautiful. Nobody is seeing how beautiful he is. Everybody is concerned about how big he is! (Laughs).
About the Western culture having a very negative attitude towards snakes, it is fundamentally because of a gross misinterpretation of certain aspects of the Christian philosophy. One basic aspect about the snake being a negative factor, or it being presented as a Devil’s agent is because the snake came and tempted Eve to eat the apple. Now two idiots were on this planet: Adam and Eve, and they did not even know what it means. See, a man or a woman going beyond their dualities of being a man and a woman consciously, by choice, and transcending their sexual identification is a wonderful thing; but not even being aware of it is a stupid thing. They were not enlightened and free, they were ignorant, so ignorant that they didn’t know what that even means. There was no possibility of life. The snake entered the scene and tempted Eve because he found Eve to be the easier nut (laughs), and induced life on this planet.
lf you believe life on this planet is God’s creation, and if the snake has been the agent to induce life on this planet, you tell me whether the snake is the Divine’s agent or the Devil’s agent (laughs). lt must be the Divine’s agent, isn't it? Whatever induces life on this planet must be a Divine agent. Only somebody who is dead against the very process of life, who is stupid enough not to even accept the fundamental processes of life — the basic biology of life — such a person will think of the snake, which induced the process of life on- this planet, as the Devil’s agent. Anybody who is for life will definitely see the snake as a Divine agent.
Here, in this culture, we see him as a Divine agent, and Shiva Himself carried snakes, not at his-feet, but above his head, because in many ways, the snake is seen as a significant step towards life, human, life, human possibilities. Because of that, in this culture, whichever temple you go to, there are snakes. I don’t think there is any temple without a snake. Somewhere, there will be a little snake in almost every temple. At least all the ancient temples have snakes. Many temples that are built these days are just like your shopping complexes, probably for the same purpose. They may not have snakes, but any ancient temple you will see there is a place for a snake, because it’s a very important step in the evolutionary process of the being, and in many ways, it is the inducer of life. For us, in Isha, it is very significant for so many reasons; some of them you know, some of them you are yet to know because if l speak too much about snakes, people will get paranoid. For me, they need to be constantly around me. I am very comfortable with them.
It is is painful ignorance to see the snake as an agent of the Devil. lf you believe God is almighty and if He did create the Devil, if He is the Creator of everything, if He did create the Devil, then He must have a useful role for the Devil also. Otherwise, we would have done without the Devil. lf you are a believer in God, and you believe that everything is God‘s creation, and if God had to create a Devil, then you must be mature enough to understand and accept that the Devil also has a rightful place in the process of creation and his agent also has a rightful place. They must have some purpose to serve, isn’t It? It is a rudimentary mind which divides life into good and bad. Anybody who knows life will not divide life as good and bad. We still choose, we make choices, but choices are coming in terms of what leads you towards freedom and what leads you towards bondage, not because something is good or bad. We have not chosen to be in a certain way because we think another way is bad. We decided to meditate, not to drink alcohol today, not because we think alcohol is bad; we meditate because we see meditation as leading us towards freedom. Alcohol was leading us towards bondage, so we chose freedom; that's all. Any conscious human being naturally will choose freedom. It’s not because we have a morality “This is ‘bad’ and this is ‘good', that we have chosen this. We have chosen this consciously. It is rudimentary minds which always want to divide everything into good and bad. Once there is 'good' and ‘bad', there is going to be a fight, and what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is everybody’s cake. Everybody can decide what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ for themselves.