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Chapter-8

THE YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJALI

Beyond The Rhythms of The Mind to Being

First Question

Question 1

SOMETIMES AT YOUR LECTURES I CAN'T KEEP MY EYES OPEN OR CONCENTRATE, AND KEEP FALLING SOMEWHERE AND COMING BACK WITH A JERK. THERE IS NO MEMORY OF WHERE I HAVE BEEN. AM I GOING DEEP, OR JUST FALLING ASLEEP?

Mind functions through very subtle electric waves. That mechanism has to be understood. Now researchers say that mind functions in four states. The ordinary awake mind functions at eighteen to thirty cycles per second -- this is the "beta" state of mind. Right now you are in that state, while awake, doing your things.

Deeper than that is the "alpha" rhythm. Sometimes, when you are not active, but passive -- just relaxing on the beach, not doing anything, listening to music, or deep in prayer or in meditation -- then the activity of the mind is lowered: from eighteen to thirty cycles per second it becomes nearabout fourteen to eighteen cycles per second. You are aware, but not very alert. You are awake, but passive. A certain kind of deep relaxation surrounds you.

All meditators fall into this second, alpha rhythm, when they meditate or pray. Listening to music also that can happen. Just looking at trees, the expanse of greenery, it can happen. Not doing anything particularly, just sitting silently, it can happen. And once you know the knack of it, you can slow down the activity of the mind; then thoughts are not rushing. They move, they are there, but they move at a very slow pace, as if clouds floating in the sky -- in fact, not going somewhere, just floating. This second state, alpha, is very valuable.

Below the second there is a third state; the activity falls even lower. That state is called "theta": from eight to fourteen cycles per second. This is the state you pass through in the night when you are falling asleep, the drowsiness. When you take alcohol you pass through that drowsiness. Watch a drunkard walking: he is in the third state. He is walking not aware. Where he is going, he does not know. What he is doing.... The body goes on functioning as a robot. The mind activity has slowed down so much that it is almost just on the verge of falling asleep.

In very deep meditation also this will happen -- you will fall from alpha to theta. But it happens only in very deep states. Ordinary meditators don't touch it. When you start touching this third state you will feel very blissful.

And all drunkards are trying to reach this blissfulness, but they miss; because the blissfulness is possible only if you go into this third state fully alert -- passive, but alert. A drunkard reaches into it, but he is unconscious; by the time he reaches he is unconscious. The state is there but he cannot enjoy it, he cannot delight in it, he cannot grow through it. The appeal all over the world of all sorts of intoxicants is because of the appeal of the theta. But you have chosen a wrong means if you are trying to reach it through chemicals. One should reach it just by slowing down the activity of the mind and remaining fully alert.

Then there is the fourth state; it is called "delta." The activity falls lower still: from zero to four cycles per second. The mind is almost nonfunctioning. There are moments when it touches the zero point, absolutely still. This is where you go in deep sleep, when even dreams have stopped; and this is what Hindus, Patanjali, Buddhists, have called samadhi. Patanjali, in fact, defines samadhi as deep sleep with awareness -- with only one condition: that awareness should be there.

In the West, much research has been done lately about these four states. They think it is impossible to be aware in the fourth, because they think it is contradictory -- to be aware and fast asleep. It is not. And one man, a very exceptional yogi, has proved it now scientifically. His name is Swami Ram. In 1970, in an American lab, in Menninger Institute, he told the researchers that he would go into the fourth state of mind willfully. They said, "That is impossible, because the fourth comes only when you are fast asleep and the will cannot function and you are not aware." But the swami said, "I will do it." The researchers were unwilling to believe, they were suspicious, but they tried.

The swami started meditating. By and by, within a few minutes, he was almost asleep. The EEG records which were tracing the waves of his mind showed that he was in the fourth state, the mind activity had almost ceased. Still, the researchers didn't believe because, he may have fallen asleep, that is not the point: the point is whether he is aware. Then the swami came back from his meditation, and he reported all the conversation that was going on around him -- better than those who were fully alert.

For the first time in a scientific lab, Krishna's famous sentence has been proved. Krishna says in the Geeta, "Ya nisha sarva bhutayam tasyam jagrati samyami" -- "That which is a deep sleep to all, even there the yogi is awake." For the first time it has been proved as a scientific theory. It is possible to be fast asleep and aware, because sleep happens in the body, sleep happens in the mind, but the witnessing soul is never asleep. Once you have become unidentified with the body-mind mechanism, once you have become capable of watching what goes on in the body, in the mind, you cannot fall asleep: the body will go to sleep, you will remain alert. Somewhere deep within you a center will remain perfectly aware.

Now, the question: "Sometimes at your lectures I can't keep my eyes open...." Don't try to keep them open. If you are falling in a deep rhythm allow it, because when you are listening to me, if you try to concentrate, you will remain in the first state, the beta, because the mind has to function. Don't be bothered. What I am saying is not so important as to realize that which is going to happen to you. In fact whatsoever I am saying is nothing but to prepare you to fall deeper into your inner states of mind. So if you miss something don't bother -- you can listen to the tape later on. And even if you don't listen it doesn't matter.

If the eyes are closing, allow them. The only thing to remember is: be alert. Allow the eyes to close.... In fact become more alert, because the deeper you go in the mind, more alertness will be needed. You are diving deep in consciousness. You can fall asleep: then you have missed the lecture and you have missed the inner state also. Then it has been futile to be here. "Sometimes at your lectures I can't keep my eyes open...." No need. Close the eyes. Just remain alert inside -- become more alert.

"... and keep falling somewhere and coming back with a jerk." That somewhere is the third state, the theta. If you fall to the second, alpha, you will know where you had gone and there will be no jerk. Smoothly one can move from the first to the second, from the beta to the alpha, very smoothly, because the difference is only of activity and passivity -- you remain alert. But when you move from the second to the third, then the difference is very deep. Now you are moving, ordinarily, from awakeness to sleepiness. Then if you come back you will come with a jerk, and consciousness is lost -- that's why you don't know where you have been.

"There is no memory of where I have been." If you had just simply fallen asleep you would have the memory. If you were dreaming, you would have the memory of the dream. If you were nondreaming, you would have the memory that you fell asleep and there was no dream. Either, positively, you will remember a dream or, negatively, you will remember there was no dream and the sleep was deep; but you will remember if it is a sleep.

That's how in the morning you remember that in the night there were so many dreams, or on some day you say, "I slept very deeply; there were no dreams." These are both memories -- one positive, one negative. If dream happens there will be a positive memory -- something was happening, certain activity going on. If there is no dream you will have just a peaceful remembrance of nothing, that nothing happened. But this you will remember: that nothing happened and no dream crossed my mind and sleep was really deep, very deep, not a single ripple. But you will remember and you will say, "I was very blissful."

But if you fall not asleep but into the meditative state -- they are similar, almost similar -- than you will not be able to remember anything. Because when you fall into a meditative state, theta, or sometimes you can move into the fourth also, the delta, then there will be no memory at all because you are going somewhere which is not part of the mind, somewhere where memory does not function, somewhere off the track. You are not on the superhighway, you are moving in the forest of your unconscious being: uncharted, no maps, thinking doesn't function -- -no ideas can be applied to it. Then you will come back with a jerk as if you had been lost. You will come back with a jerk to the superhighway again, where milestones exist and everything is clean and the map exists -- and you can understand where you are.

You are not just falling asleep; otherwise you will know, because you know sleep. For many lives you have been sleeping; you are perfectly acquainted with the phenomenon. If you live sixty years, twenty years are passed in sleep. It is not an ordinary phenomenon. Sixty years' life, twenty years are passed in sleep: every day, one third of your time is sleep time. You know it; you know it well. And this is not only for one life -- for millions of lives you have been sleeping, one third every life. In fact there is no other activity which takes so much time. No other single activity takes so much time. You neither love for eight hours nor do you eat for eight hours nor do you meditate for eight hours. Sleep is the most significant thing. How can you be unaware of it? Maybe dimly aware, but you are aware: memory will function.

But you are falling off the track, where you have never been. That's why you come with a jerk. Something unknown touches your being. That's why you cannot decide "whether I am going deep or just asleep." Be happy. If you can decide, then it is sleep; if you can recognize, then it is sleep. If you cannot recognize, then something from the beyond is penetrating you and you are penetrating into the beyond. Be happy. Delight in it, and allow it. One day it becomes possible, when you go again and again and again into the unknown, then you become acquainted with the territory. Then there may be no common map, but you have your own private map of it. At least you know where you are going.

So the only thing to be done is: when you close your eyes be come more alert, because more alertness will be needed. Into the deeper darkness more light will be needed. Become alert, and as you start falling into somewhere -- the unknown -- try to keep alertness. By and by, one learns the knack of it. And then every night when you are falling asleep, again try it -- just to give it practice. When you start feeling drowsy, inside remain alert and go on seeing what is happening. One day you will see: drowsiness has come, sleep has entered, and alertness is still there. That day is the most beautiful day of any life. When you can remain alert and move into deep sleep you have moved into the fourth, the delta. That is the deepest center of your being.

Of course one has to earn it, one has to learn it, one has to become capable of it. It does not happen, ordinarily. It is not an ordinary state of mind; it is a very extraordinary state of mind. That's why Krishna declared it five thousand years before, and for five thousand years there existed no scientific proof for it -- it appeared to be just a philosophical theory: "YA NISHA SARVA BHUTAYAM TASYAM JAGRATI SAMYAMI." After five thousand years, now, a few scientific proofs are arising. You can also move into it, and when it becomes a scientific proof of your own understanding it is a revelation.

 

 

Next: Chapter 8, Beyond The Rhythms of The Mind to Being: Second Question

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Yoga Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

 

 

Chapter 8

 

 

Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Yoga Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

 

 

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