ENERGY BLOCKAGE REMOVAL
|2005 AND 2006|
THE MAN AND HIS PHILOSOPHY
Chapter 12: Discipline, Devotion and Krishna, Question 1
QUESTIONER: WE HAVE HAD THE RARE OPPORTUNITY OF LISTENING TO YOU SPEAK ON KRISHNA'S MULTI-SPLENDORED LIFE -- HIS RAAS, HIS FLUTE, HIS RADHA AND HIS UNIQUE WEAPON, THE SUDARSHAN. WE WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU TODAY SOMETHING ABOUT HIS PHILOSOPHY, THE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE AND THE WAY OF WORSHIP THAT HE TAUGHT TO DISPEL THE DELUSION OF A SINGLE PERSON, ARJUNA. HERE YOU HAVE BEFORE YOU SO MANY OF US WHO ARE ALL DELUDED AND CONFUSED. HAPPILY FOR US YOU ARE THE MOST COMPETENT AUTHORITY TO REMOVE OUR DELUSION.
ANOTHER QUESTIONER: IN THE COURSE OF THE PAST FIVE DAYS YOU HAVE PRESENTED KRISHNA, WHO IS KNOWN AS A BUTTER-THIEF AND PERFORMER OF RAAS, AS A PERFECT EMBODIMENT OF THE FULLNESS OF LIFE AND OF YOGA. IF WE UNDERSTAND YOU RIGHTLY WE CAN SAY THAT KRISHNA'S RAAS IS THE TRUE PORTRAYAL OF EXISTENCE AND HIS GEETA THE QUINTESSENCE OF LIFE ITSELF. YOU HAVE SAID THAT THE GEETA, AND NOT THE RAAS, IS A TESTIMONY TO KRISHNA. YOU HAVE ALSO SAID THAT MAHAVIRA AND BUDDHA WERE INCOMPLETE BECAUSE THEY WERE ONE-DIMENSIONAL. AND ELSEWHERE YOU HAVE SAID ABOUT MAHAVIRA THAT HE HAD TRANSCENDED EVEN THE SIXTH AND SEVENTH BODIES AND ATTAINED TO THE FULLNESS OF YOGA. IN THIS CONTEXT, WE SHOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHETHER IT WAS THE GEETA OR FRIVOLITIES LIKE THE RAAS THAT MADE KRISHNA A COMPLETE INCARNATION. WE WOULD ALSO LIKE TO KNOW IF, LIKE MAHAVIRA, ALL OTHER JAINA TIRTHANKARAS WERE UNAWARE OF MULTIDIMENSIONAL LIFE. AND LASTLY EXPLAIN: WHAT IS SAMYAMA (DISCIPLINE OF BALANCE IN LIFE) WITHOUT REPRESSION? AND WHAT WOULD BE ITS PLACE IN SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE?
Let us first understand what I mean by completeness, wholeness.
Wholeness can be both one-dimensional and multidimensional. A painter can be complete as a painter, but it does not mean that he is also complete as a scientist. A scientist can be whole as a scientist, but that does not make him whole as a musician. So there is a one-dimensional completeness. I say Mahavira, Buddha and Jesus were complete in a particular dimension. But Krishna was complete in a multidimensional way.
It is quite possible that one chooses a particular dimension of life to the exclusion of the rest, and attains to its wholeness. This wholeness too can lead to the supreme truth The river that flows in a single stream is as much entitled to reach the ocean as one flowing in many streams. With respect to reaching the ocean, there is no difference between the two. Mahavira and Buddha and Krishna all reach to the ocean of truth, but while Mahavira does it as a one-dimensional man, Krishna does it as one who is multi-dimensional. Krishna's completeness is multidimensional, while Mahavira's is one-dimensional. So don't think that Mahavira does not attain to wholeness; he transcends the seventh body and attains to wholeness as much as Krishna does.
Krishna reaches the same goal from many, many directions, and that is significant.
Another significant thing about Krishna is that unlike Mahavira and Buddha, he does not deny life, he is not life-negative. There is an unavoidable element of negation in the lives of Mahavira and Buddha which is completely absent in Krishna's life. There is not a trace of negativity in this man with the flute. Mahavira attains through renunciation of life; Krishna attains through total acceptance of it. That is why I differentiate Krishna's wholeness from that of others. But let no one think that Mahavira is incomplete. All one can say is that while his wholeness is one-dimensional, Krishna's wholeness is multidimensional.
One-dimensional wholeness is not going to have much meaning in the future. For the man of the future, multidimensional wholeness will have tremendous significance. And there are reasons for it. One who attains to wholeness through a single facet of his life not only negates all other facets of his own life, he also becomes instrumental in negating those aspects in the lives of many other multidimensional people.
On the other hand, one who attains to wholeness, to the absolute, through all aspects of his life, proves helpful even to all kinds of one-dimensional seekers in their journey to the supreme from their own aspect. In short, while Mahavira and Buddha can be of help only to a few, Krishna's help will be available to many. For example, we cannot think how a painter or sculptor or a poet can attain to the supreme through the path of Mahavira. Mahavira is one-dimensional not only for himself; all others who will try to understand him and experiment with his discipline will have to negate all other facets of their lives as ways to attainment. We cannot conceive how a dancer can attain to the supreme in Mahavira's terms, but in Krishna's terms he can. A dancer, if he so chooses, can drop all other aspects and keep to dancing, and by going deeper and deeper into it can attain to the same state Mahavira attains through meditation. This is possible in terms of Krishna.
Krishna makes every side, every facet of his life divine; with him every direction of life becomes sacred. It is not so with Mahavira: one particular direction in which he journeys becomes sacred, while all other directions remain profane. And in fact because his one direction becomes sacred all other directions are bound to remain profane; these are automatically condemned; doomed to live in the shade of profanity. And this is applicable not only to Mahavira, but also to Rama, Buddha, Christ, Mohammed -- all those who adhere to one exclusive direction in life's quest.
Krishna is the sole being about whom it can be said that he made every path, every facet of life sacred and holy. He made it possible for every kind of seeker to attain to the supreme from any direction that comes naturally to him. In this sense he is multi-dimensional, not only for himself but for others too. With a flute on his lips one can dance his way to God; playing a flute he can touch that depth where samadhi, or ecstasy happens. But to Mahavira and Buddha with a flute there is no way. It is not possible on the paths of Mahavira and Buddha that a flute can achieve the majestic heights of meditation and samadhi. It is impossible. To Mahavira, Meera can never attain to the highest; she is attached to Krishna, she loves Krishna. And according to Mahavira, attachment can never lead you to God, only non-attachment can. But going with Krishna, both the attached and non-attached can reach the same destination.
That is why I say that Krishna's wholeness is incomparable; it is rare.
Secondly, you want to know if none of the Jaina tirthankaras attained to wholeness. No, they all had attained to it, but only to one-dimensional wholeness. And it was because of this that Jaina ideology could not achieve widespread popularity. It was inherent in the very nature of Jainism. Twenty-five centuries have passed, and there ate only three and a half million Jainas, a very poor figure.
It is ironic that the message of a person of the stature of Mahavira -- and he was not alone, he carried with him an immense heritage bequeathed by twenty-three tirthankaras -- could reach only three and a half million people. If only three dozen persons had been influenced by Mahavira in his lifetime, they alone through procreation would have, in the course of twenty-five hundred years, reached this figure. What is the cause? The cause is obvious. It is their one-dimensional approach. They lack the multi-dimensional wholeness of Krishna. Their appeal is limited to a few; it is ineffectual in reaching the rest of mankind. People with inclinations different from the single dimension that Jainism represents remain wholly unaffected; they don't find themselves in tune with it.
It is ironic that even this handful of Jainas don't treat Mahavira the way he should be treated. It is all right to worship Krishna, but it is repugnant to Mahavira's teachings. And the Jainas are worshipping Mahavira. Worship is okay with Krishna but not with Mahavira. It means Mahavira will not agree with the minds of even those few who are born into the Jaina community. The reason is that the dimension of Mahavira is very exclusive; it accords with few. So being born in the Jaina community one continues to be a Jaina, but takes on many things that don't belong to Mahavira's dimension. Devotion has entered Jainism, and along with it have come worship and prayer and other rituals. They have nothing to do with Mahavira; they are alien to his genius. In fact, devotion and worship are an outrage against Mahavira; there is no place for them in the life of Mahavira. But the Jainas have their own difficulty; they cannot feel gratified without worship and prayer. So they go on incorporating all these things into the religion of Mahavira.
Here I would like to say that all those who have attained to one-dimensional wholeness are bound to be unjustly treated by their followers; they cannot escape it. But you cannot misbehave in this way with those who have attained to multidimensional wholeness; whatever you do they will accept it. While all types of people can walk with Krishna, only a particular type can go with Mahavira.
This is the reason I have said that all the twenty-four tirthankaras of the Jainas are travelers on the same path; their direction is the same and their spiritual discipline is the same. And I don't say that they don't arrive at the goal, they do arrive. It is not that ultimately they don't achieve what Krishna achieves; they achieve exactly that which Krishna achieves.
It does not matter whether a river reaches the ocean in hundreds of streams or in a single stream. On reaching the ocean all journeys end and all the rivers become one with the ocean. Yet there is a difference between the two rivers -- one has a single stream and another has many. While a river with many streams can water a very large area of the earth, the river with a single stream cannot -- only a few trees and plants can be benefited by it. This difference has to be understood, it cannot be denied.
This is what I would like to say in regard to multidimensional wholeness.
And you ask: What is samyama, the discipline of balance in life, without repression?
In terms of renunciation samyama generally means repression. By and large, every seeker on the path of renunciation understands samyama in the sense of repression. For this reason the Jaina scriptures have even a term like body-repression; they believe that even the physical body has to be suppressed and repressed. It is unfortunate that samyama has become synonymous with repression.
But in Krishna's terms, samyama can never mean repression. How can Krishna say that samyama can be achieved through repression? For Krishna samyama has an absolutely different meaning.
Words sometimes put us in great difficulty. Words are the same, whether they come from Krishna's mouth or from Mahavira's, but their meanings change from mouth to mouth. This word samyama is one such word which has different meanings with different people. Mahavira means one thing when he uses this word, and Krishna means just the opposite when he uses the same word. While the word comes from the dictionary, its meaning comes from the person who uses it.
The meaning of a word does not, as is usually believed, come from the dictionary. Of course, people who have no individuality of their own depend on the dictionary for the meanings of words. People with individuality invest words with their own meanings. So what Krishna means by samyama can be known only in his context. Similarly Mahavira's meaning of samyama will have to be known from his context. Its meaning does not lie in the word itself, it lies in Krishna and Mahavira or whoever uses it.
Looking at Krishna's life no one can say that samyama means repression. If there has been a single person on this earth who can be called utterly unrepressed, uninhibited and free it is Krishna. So samyama for Krishna cannot have anything to do with repression. And as far as I am concerned, samyama and repression are antonyms, opposites.
This Sanskrit word samyama is really extraordinary. To me it means balance, equilibrium, to be just in the middle. When the scales are equalized so that neither side outweighs the other, it is samyam. In this sense a renunciate does not have samyama, balance any more than one who indulges in worldly pleasures. Both are unbalanced; they are wanting in samyama. Both are extremists: the indulgent holds to one extreme of life; the renunciate holds to the other extreme. Samyama means to be equidistant from the two extremes, to be just in the middle. Krishna stands for that middle state where there is neither renunciation nor indulgence. Or you can say samyama is indulgence with an element of renunciation in it, or it is renunciation with an element of indulgence; it is striking a balance between indulgence and renunciation. Really samyama is neither indulgence nor renunciation; it is a state where you don't tilt the scales to either side. He alone is samyami who maintains equidistance from either extreme.
There is a man who is mad after wealth. Day in and day out he is running after amassing money. Day in and day out he goes on adding to his bank balance. Money has become the be-all and end-all of his life -- his demigod. This person has gone to one extreme of life. There is another person who has turned his back on wealth; he is running away from wealth. He renounces wealth and does not even look back lest it attract him and entrap him again. This person has gone to the other extreme. Both have lost balance, both lack samyama. Renunciation of wealth is the goal of one and acquisition of wealth is the goal of another.
Then who is samyami, the balanced person? In Krishna's terms a person like Janaka is samyami. Negation of the extremes is samyama; to be exactly in the middle is equilibrium. Too much fasting and too much eating go against samyama; right eating goes with samyama. Fasting amounts to tilting the balance on the side of hunger; overeating amounts to tilting the balance on the side of indulgence. The balance lies in eating just the right amount of food -- neither less nor more. By samyama Krishna means balance. equilibrium, equipoise. Any movement deviating from the center, even a slight deviation from the middle to one side or another destroys the equilibrium; on either side there is the death of samyama.
And one can deviate from samyama in only two ways: one way is indulgence and the other is renunciation. Either you get attached to a thing, you cling to it, or you get repelled by it. Have you watched a wall clock with a pendulum? Its pendulum is constantly swinging from one side to the other; it never stops in the middle. It swings from the left side to the right and back; it does not stop at the center. Another significant thing about the pendulum is that when it is moving toward the right, it only seems so; in reality it is gathering momentum to move toward the left. And when it is moving toward the left, it is really gathering momentum to move toward the right.
We are exactly like this pendulum. When one is fasting he is in fact, preparing himself for feasting, and similarly when he is feasting he is preparing to go on a fast. One who is running after attachments and addictions will soon get tired and will pursue renunciation and asceticism. Both extremes are joined together; they are two sides of the same thing.
Only when the pendulum stops in the middle, swinging in neither direction, it is balanced. And it is such a pendulum that can symbolize samyama. So long as one pursues indulgence or asceticism, he is unbalanced, he is an asamyami. One can be called a rightist kind of asamyami and the other a leftist kind.
To be steadied in the middle is samyama in terms of Krishna. It can have no other meaning as far as Krishna is concerned. To be balanced is samyama.
Let us look at samyama in the context of real life. In the context of real life, in the sense of the interiority of life, a person of samyama has two connotations. Such a person is neither an ascetic nor a hedonist -- or he is both. Such a person is a renunciate and a hedonist together. His indulgence is blended with renunciation and his renunciation mixed with indulgence.
But none of the old traditions of renunciation will agree with this definition of samyama. To these traditions samyama means aversion to enjoyment and asamyama, imbalance, means addiction to enjoyments. One who gives up his attachments and takes to asceticism is a samyami in the eyes of the traditionalists.
Krishna is neither a renunciate nor a hedonist. If we have to place him somewhere, he will be midway between Charvaka and Mahavira. In indulgence he will equal Charvaka, and in renunciation he will not lag behind Mahavira. If we can have a blending of Charvaka and Mahavira, it will be Krishna.
So in terms of Krishna, all such words as samyama and asamyama will undergo a transformation. The words will be the same, but their meanings will be radically different. The meanings will stem from Krishna's own being.
The second part of your question is: WHAT IS KRISHNA'S SADHANA OR SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE? WHAT IS HIS WAY OF WORSHIP.
There is nothing like sadhana -- or spiritual discipline in the life of Krishna. There cannot be. The basic element of spiritual discipline is effort; without effort sadhana is not possible. And the second inescapable element of sadhana is ego; without the ego, the "?", spiritual discipline falls apart. Who will discipline himself? Effort implies a doer; there has to be somebody to make the effort. Effort ceases if there is no doer.
If we go into the matter deeply we will know that sadhana is an invention of the godless people, people who don't accept God. Those who deny God and accept only the soul believe in sadhana or spiritual discipline. They believe the soul has to make efforts to uncover itself, to be itself.
Upasana, devotion, is the way of a very different kind of people, who say there is no soul, only God is. Ordinarily we think that sadhana and upasana -- discipline and worship -- go together, but it is not so. Theists believe in devotion and worship; they don't believe in effort. They say all one has to do is to get closer and closer to God.
The word upasana is beautiful; it means to sit near God, to get close to one's object of worship. And the worshipper disappears; his ego evaporates in the very process of getting close to God. There is nothing more to be done. The theists believe that it is really one's ego that separates him from God; ego is the gulf between the seeker and the sought. The greater the ego, the greater is the distance between the two. Ego is the measure of distance between the seeker and God. To the extent this ego melts and evaporates, one gets closer and closer to God. And the day the ego disappears completely, the day the seeker ceases to be, his upasana is complete and he is God himself.
It is like ice turns into water, and water in turn evaporates and disappears into the sky. Does ice have to make efforts to become water? If it makes efforts, it will only become more hardened as ice. Efforts will make ice more and more crystallized, solid. So if a seeker resorts to sadhana or spiritual discipline, it will only strengthen his ego, harden it and solidify it.
So sadhana ultimately leads to the soul, while upasana, devotion leads to God. One who disciplines himself will end with the soul, he cannot go beyond it He will say that he has ultimately found himself, his soul. On the other hand the devotee will say that he has lost himself and found God. So the sadhaka and the upasaka, the man of discipline and the devotee, are contrary to each other; they are not the same. While an upasaka will melt and evaporate like water, a sadhaka will be strengthened and crystallized as a soul.
In Krishna's life there is no element of discipline; there is actually no place whatsoever for sadhana. It is upasana or devotion which has meaning for Krishna.
The whole journey of upasana is opposed to effort and discipline; it enters a different dimension altogether. For an upasaka it is a mistake to think that one finds himself. The self is the only barrier, the only falsehood. To be is the only bondage. And therefore not to be, or to be nothing, is the only freedom. While a sadhaka says, "I want to be free," an upasaka says, "I want to be free from the '?', the self." A sadhaka says, "I want freedom," but his "I" remains intact. To an upasaka, freedom means a state of "non-I" or complete egolessness. Not freedom of the "I" but freedom from the "I" is the highest state for an upasaka. So sadhana has no place in the vocabulary of Krishna; upasana has.
Therefore I will go into upasana in depth. To understand it, it is necessary first to know that it has nothing to do with efforts or discipline. Unless we know it clearly, we will continue to confuse the two. And remember that very few people want to take the path of devotion and worship. Most people would like to be sadhakas. doers. A sadhaka has nothing to lose, he has only to gain something -- his soul. And an upasaka has everything to lose, he has to lose himself totally, he has nothing to gain. Losing is his only gain, and nothing else. So very few people want to take this path. That is why even the lovers of Krishna turn into sadhakas. They too talk in terms of sadhana and discipline, because they love to be doers. The ego loves the words: strive, achieve, arrive; it is always after achievement.
Upasana is arduous, devotion is hard. Nothing is more difficult than evaporating and disappearing into nothingness. One would, for sure, want to know why he should die and disappear into nothing ness, what he is going to gain by dying as an entity. A sadhaka, in spite of his lofty words, will always think in terms of gain and loss. Even his liberation is nothing more than a means to his happiness; his freedom is his freedom. So it is not surprising that a sadhaka is a selfish person in the deeper sense of the word. In this sense he cannot rise above the self. But an upasaka, a devotee will rise above self and will know the ultimate, where the self is no more.
What is this upasana? What is its meaning and significance? What is its way? Before you try to understand this question of upasana, it is essential that you drop the idea of sadhana altogether. Forget it; it has no place whatsoever. Only then you can know what upasana is.
As I said. the word upasana means to sit near someone, to sit close to someone. But what is the distance, the remoteness that has to be overcome in order to be near? There is physical distance, distance in space. You are sitting there and I am sitting here, and there is a distance between you and me. This is physical distance. We move closer to each other and the physical distance disappears. If we sit together taking each other's hands, the distance will disappear completely.
There is another kind of distance which is spiritual, inner, which has nothing to do with physical distance. Two persons can be together holding each others' hands and yet they may be hundreds of miles away from each other spiritually. And maybe, two other persons are physically separated from each other by hundreds of miles, yet they are intimately together in spirit. So there are two kinds of distances: one is physical and the other is psychological, spiritual. Upasana is a way of ending the inner distance, the psychological separateness between the seeker and the sought.
It is ironic that even a devotee is anxious to remove the physical distance that seems to separate him from his beloved. He says, "I am restless for you; don't torture me any more. I have made the bed for you, don't delay your arrival any longer." But the difficulty is that the inner distance remains even when the physical distance has been eliminated. To come close to one's beloved is altogether an inner phenomenon. A devotee can be with God, who is invisible, and there is no physical distance between the two. Upasana is a way of uniting the devotee with the divine. But how is this inner distance created?
We know how the outer distance is created. If I walk away from you in another direction, a physical distance will immediately come to exist between you and me. And if I walk back to you the distance will be gone. But how does the inner distance come into being? There is no way to walk in the inner space as we do on the outside. This inner space is created by becoming; the more solid my ego the greater is the distance between my becoming and being. And as the ego melts and evaporates the inner distance is destroyed in the same measure. And when my ego evaporates completely and I am no more, I am all emptiness, then the inner distance between me and God disappears altogether.
So upasana, devotion, means that the devotee becomes an emptiness, a nothingness, a non-being. To know the truth that "I am not" is to be a devotee, is to be with God. And conversely, to know that "I am" and to cling to this ego is to go far away from God. The declaration that "I am" makes for the separation and distance between the seeker and the sought.
Rumi has written a beautiful song. It is the song of the Sufis, who know what devotion is. Sufis are among those few people on this earth who know what upasana is. If any one can understand Krishna fully it is the Sufis. Although they are Mohammedans, yet it makes no difference. This song belongs to Jalaluddin Rumi.
A lover knocks at the door of his beloved. A voice from inside queries, "Who are you?"
The lover says, "I am; don't you know me?" And then no voice comes from inside; there is utter silence. The lover goes on knocking and shouting, "Don't you recognize my voice? I am your lover. Open the door without delay."
Then a small voice is heard coming from inside the house, "As long as you are, love's door will remain closed. This door never opens for one who says, 'I am.' So go back and return here only when your 'I' is no more."
The lover goes away disappointed. Many summers and winters, springs and falls come and go. Even years pass. Then one day the lover reappears and knocks at the same door. He then hears the same question coming from the inner sanctuary of the house: "Who are you?" And the lover answers, "Now only thou art." And the door opens.
Rumi's song ends here.
I think Rumi could not get inside the spirit of devotion fully; he fails to reach to the height of Krishna. He walks with him, but does not go the whole length. If I have to write this song, I would have the beloved say again to the lover, "As long as 'thou' remains 'I' will be here -- maybe in hiding. So go back again and return here after you are finished with 'thou' too."
The awareness of "thou" cannot exist without "I". Whether one uses "I" or not, does not make a difference. As long as "thou" exists for me, I exist Maybe my "I" hides itself in the dark recesses of the unconscious, but it is there. Because who will say "thou" if the "I" is not there? So it does not make any difference if one says, "Only thou art"; it is like Tweedledum and Tweedledee. If I am going to write this poem I would have the beloved say, "As long as 'thou' is, 'I' cannot be erased. So go back and get rid of 'thou' as you got rid of '?'."
But do you think the lover will return after losing both "I" and "thou"? He will not. And then my poem will be in real difficulty, because then it cannot be completed. The lover will not return -- Who will come? And to whom? Then he will never come again, because the inner distance, in which coming and going happens, is gone. In fact, the distance is made by the awareness of "I" and "thou"; with the cessation of "I" and "thou" distance is completely obliterated. So on coming to its end my song will be in real trouble. Maybe, for this very reason Rumi concluded his song the way it iS. One cannot take it any further, because nothing remains to be said after it. The song has to be concluded there. There is no one who will go, and there is no one who will receive him. Who will go to whom? And for what?
As long as one comes and goes, there is distance. And when "I" and "thou" disappear, distances disappear. And with the disappearance of distances the meeting happens, merging happens
A devotee need not go anywhere. The meeting happens wherever he is. It is not a question of going anywhere; one has to die as a self and one comes close to the supreme.