When you take the breath in, then the body naturally wants to throw it out when it is used, so that fresh air can enter. When you have taken its oxygen, absorbed it, that breath is useless; not only useless, it is dangerous because now only carbon dioxide is left. You have to throw it out quickly. So it is not something against you – that the breath is trying to struggle to get out – it is for you. It is your bodily mechanism. Your whole chemistry depends on it; once oxygen has been taken by your blood cells, the air has to be thrown out immediately, as quickly as possible, and when you throw the air out…. Your need for oxygen is constant.
You are not aware of it, but your need for oxygen is constant. You are not only taking oxygen from your nose, you are taking it from every small hole in your skin, all over the body. If your whole body is painted so thickly that all the holes are closed and only your nose is left open, you will die within three hours. More Longer than that you cannot survive.
Then you will know that the whole body was continuously taking oxygen on its own. It is breathing. Those holes in your skin are not just for nothing. When it is needed they throw the water out: that is perspiration. Otherwise they are constantly absorbing the air. So when you breathe out, the immediate need of the body is to breathe in again, because your blood cells are continuously running around the body, sending oxygen wherever it is needed, and they are coming back empty to the heart, where they want to be refilled. To refill them you have to take in fresh air.
Now, the only way to keep your breath in an unmoving state needs a certain yoga exercise in which you learn exactly the middle point, when the breath is neither in nor out – or half in, half out. At that exact point there is a certain equilibrium attained, and for a few minutes you can remain alive without breathing. Jesus had been to India. He had been traveling in Egypt, in India, in Ladakh, and perhaps in Tibet too. He must have learned the simple technique somewhere. There are people still in India who can do it, not only for hours, but for days – in small villages, you need not go to the Himalayas to find them.
In my own village, in my childhood, I have seen, three times, three different people going into a grave and being covered by mud completely – a six foot deep grave. It is impossible to conceive that six feet under the earth they will be able to breathe. For seven days, for fifteen days, and the last time I saw it, for twenty-one days…. After twenty-one days you take away the mud. The man is found almost white, as if dead, not breathing.
I was there. I had taken a mirror with me, because you may not be able to detect the breath just with your hand, but if you put the mirror near the nose, if any breath is going in and out the mirror will immediately give you the indication. But there was no pulse. Even doctors were present – there was no pulse, there was no breath. And the man had said, “When you take me out, do this procedure exactly: put me into a certain position, and don’t do anything on your own – just put me into a certain position.” So he had to be put in a certain position, and within five, seven minutes he was breathing. Slowly his paleness disappeared, his pulse was back, his heart was beating.