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Chapter-2

THE YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJALI

The inside of the inside

Book 3, Sutra 6

6. SAMYAMA IS TO BE EMPLOYED IN STAGES.

Book 3, Sutra 7

7. THESE THREE -- DHARANA, DHYAN, AND SAMADHI -- ARE INTERNAL COMPARED TO THE FIVE THAT PRECEDE THEM.

Book 3, Sutra 8

8. BUT THE THREE ARE EXTERNAL COMPARED TO SEEDLESS SAMADHI.

Book 3, Sutra 9

9. NIRODH PARINAM IS THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE MIND IN WHICH THE MIND BECOMES PERMEATED BY THE CONDITION OF NIRODH, WHICH INTERVENES MOMENTARILY BETWEEN AN IMPRESSION THAT IS DISAPPEARING AND THE IMPRESSION THAT IS TAKING ITS PLACE.

Book 3, Sutra 10

10. THIS FLOW BECOMES PEACEFUL WITH REPEATED IMPRESSIONS.

I HAVE been told that traditionally there are two schools of thought in Germany. The industrial, practical northern part of the country has this philosophy: The situation is serious but not hopeless. In the southern part of Germany, more romantic and perhaps less practical, the philosophy seems to be: The situation is hopeless but not serious. If you ask me, then the situation is neither -- neither is it hopeless nor serious. And I am talking about the human situation.

The human situation looks serious because we have been taught and conditioned to be serious, for centuries. The human situation looks hopeless because we have been doing something with ourselves which is wrong. We have not yet found that to be natural is the goal, and all the goals that we have been taught make us more and more unnatural.

To be natural, to be just in tune with the cosmic law, is what Patanjali means by samyama. To be natural and to be in tune with the cosmic law is samyama. Samyama is not anything forced upon you. Samyama is not anything that comes from the outside. Samyama is a flowering of your innermost nature. Samyama is to become that which you already are. Samyama is to come back to nature. How to come back to nature? And what is human nature? Unless you dig deep within your own being, you will never come to know what human nature is.

One has to move inwards; and the whole process of yoga is a pilgrimage, an inward journey. Step by step, in eight steps. Patanjali is bringing you home. The first five steps -- yam, niyam, agan, pranayam, pratyahar -- they help you to go deep in you beyond the body. The body is your first periphery, the first concentric circle of your existence. The second step is to go beyond the mind. The three internal steps of dharana, dhyan, samadhi, lead you beyond the mind. Beyond the body and beyond the mind is your nature, is your center of being. That center of being Patanjali calls seedless samadhi -- kaivalya. That he calls to come face to face to your own grounding, to your own being, to come to know who you are.

So the whole process can be divided in three parts first, how to transcend the body; second, how to transcend the mind; and third, how to fall into your own being.

We have been taught, almost all over the world, in every culture, in every country, in every climate, to seek goals somewhere outside ourselves. The goal may be money, the goal may be power, the goal may be prestige, or the goal may be God, heaven, it makes no difference: all the goals are outside you. And the real goal is to come to the source from where you come. Then the circle is complete.

Drop all the outer goals and move inwards. That's the message of yoga. Outer goals are just forced. You have been just taught somewhere to go. They never become natural; they cannot become natural.

I have heard an anecdote about G.K. Chesterton:

He was on a train, reading earnestly, when the conductor asked for his ticket. Frantically, Chesterton fumbled for it.

"Never mind, sir," the conductor said reassuringly. "I will come later on to punch it. I am certain you have it."

"I know I have it," Chesterton stammered, "but what I want to know is, where in the world am I going?"

Where are you going? What's your destiny? You have been taught certain things to achieve. You have been made into an achiever. The mind has been manipulated, pushed and pulled. The mind has been controlled by the outside -- by the parents, by the family, by the school, by the society, by the government. Everybody is trying to pull you outside your being, and they are trying to fix a goal for you; and you have fallen in the trap. And the goal is already there inside you.

There is nowhere to go. One has to realize oneself, already -- who one is. And once you realize that, wherever you go you will find your goal, because you carry your goal with yourself. Then wherever you go, you will have a deep contentment, a peace surrounding you, a coolness, a collectedness, a calm as a milieu that you carry around you as an aura. That's what Patanjali calls samyama a cool, collected, calm atmosphere that moves with you.

Wherever you go you bring your own atmosphere with you, and everybody can feel it. Almost it can be touched by others also, whether they become aware or not. Suddenly, if a man of samyama comes close to you, suddenly you become aware of a certain calm breeze blowing near you, a fragrance coming from the unknown. It touches you, it pacifies you. It is like a beautiful lullaby. You were in turmoil if a man of samyama comes near you, suddenly your turmoil subsides. You were angry if a man of samyama comes near you, your anger disappears. Because a man of samyama is a magnetic force. On his wave you start riding; on him, with him, you start moving higher than you can move alone.

So in the East we developed a beautiful tradition of going to people who have attained to samyama and just sitting by their side. That's what we call darshan, that's what we call satsang: just going to a man of samyama and just being near him. To the Western mind sometimes it looks almost absurd because sometimes the man may not even speak, he may be in silence. And people go on coming, they touch his feet, they sit by his side, they close their eyes.... There is no conversation, there is no verbal communication, and they sit for hours; and then fulfilled, in some unknown way, they touch the feet in deep gratitude and they go back. And you can watch from their faces that something has been communicated; they have attained to something. And there has been no verbal communication -- nothing visible has been given or taken. This is satsang just being with a man of truth, with an authentic being, a man of samyama.

Just by being close to him, something starts happening in you, something starts responding in you.

But the concept of the man of samyama has also become very muddled because people started to do it from the outside. People started to still themselves from the outside, to practice a certain calmness, a certain silence, to force themselves into a particular pattern and discipline. They will look almost like a man of samyama. They will look almost, but they will not be: and when you go near them, their appearance may be of silence, but if you sit near them silently, you will not feel any silence. Deep down the turmoil is hidden. They are like volcanoes. On the surface everything is-quiet: deep down the volcano is getting ready to explode any moment.

Remember this: never try to force anything upon you. That is the way to get divided, that's the way to become hopeless, and that's the way to miss the point. Your innermost being has to Row through you. You are only to remove the hindrances on the path. Nothing new is to be added to you. In fact, something minus, and you will be perfect. Something plus -- no. You are already perfect. Something more is there than the spring, some rocks on the path. Minus those rocks, and you are perfect and the Row is attained. These eight steps, ashtang, of Patanjali are nothing but n methodological way of removing the rocks.

But why does man become so obsessed with an outer discipline? There must be a cause to it, a reason for it. The reason is there. The reason is because to force anything from the outside seems easier, cheap, at no cost. It is as if you are not beautiful, but you can purchase a beautiful mask from the market and you can put it on your face. Cheap, not costly, and you can deceive others a little bit. Not long, because a mask is a dead thing and a dead thing can have an appearance of beauty, but it cannot be really beautiful. In fact you have become more ugly than you were before. Whatsoever your original face was was at least alive, radiating life, intelligence. Now you have a dead mask and you are hiding behind it.

People become interested in cultivating samyama from the outside. You are a man of anger: to attain to a state of no anger much effort will be needed, and long is the journey, and you will have to pay for it. But just to force yourself, repress anger, is easier. In fact you can use your energy of anger in repressing anger -- immediately. There is no problem because anybody who is a man of anger can easily conquer anger. The only one thing is he has to turn the anger upon himself. First he was angry with others: now he has to be angry with himself and suppress the anger. But if you look into his eyes, anger will be there lurking like a shadow.

And remember, to be angry sometimes is not bad, but to suppress anger and to remain angry constantly is very dangerous. That is the difference between hatred and hate. When you Rare up in anger there is hate, but it is momentary. It comes and it goes. Nothing much to be worried about it. When you suppress anger, then hate disappears and hatred arises, which becomes a permanent style of your life. The repressed anger continuously affects you -- your behavior, your relationship. Now it is not that you sometimes become angry, now you are all the time angry. Your anger is not addressed to anybody now: it has become unaddressed, just a quality of your being. Now it clings to you. You cannot exactly say with whom you are angry, because in the past you have been accumulating anger. Now it has become a reservoir. You are simply angry.

This is bad; this is chronic. First the anger was just a flare-up, something happened. It was situational. It was like as small children become angry: they Rare up like a Flame and then they subside, and immediately the storm is gone and the silence is there and they are again loving and beautiful. But by and by the more you suppress anger, anger enters into your bones, into your blood. It circulates within you. It moves in your breathing. Then, whatsoever you do you do in anger. Even if you love a person you love in an angry way. Aggression is there: destructiveness is there. You may not bring it up, but it is always there. And it becomes a great rock.

To force anything from the outside seems, in the beginning, very cheap, but in the end it proves very fatal.

And people find it cheap because there are experts who go on telling them how to do it. A child is born and parents become the experts. They are not. They have not solved their own problems yet. If they really love the child they will not force the same pattern on him.

But who loves? Nobody knows what love is.

They start forcing their pattern, the same old pattern in which they are caught. They are not even aware what they are doing. They themselves are caught in the same pattern and their whole life has been a life of misery, and now they are giving the same pattern to their children. Innocent children, not knowing what is right and what is wrong, will become victims.

And these experts who are not experts, because they don't know anything -- they have not solved any problem themselves --  simply take it for granted that because, just because, they have given birth to a child they have become, in a certain way, authoritative: and they start molding the soft child into a fixed pattern. And the child has to follow them; the child is helpless. By the time he becomes aware, he is already caught, trapped. Then there are schools, universities, and a thousand and one ways of conditioning all around, and all sorts of experts, and everybody pretending that he knows. Nobody seems to know.

Beware of the experts. Take your life in your own hands if you want to reach someday to your innermost core. Don't listen to the experts; you have listened long enough.

I have heard a small anecdote:

An efficiency expert was checking a government bureau and came to an office where two young men were seated on opposite sides of a desk, neither occupied with work.

"What are your duties?" the expert asked one.

"I have been here six months, and I have not been given any duties yet," the man replied.

"And your duties?" the efficiency expert asked the other man.

"I too have been here for six months and have not been given any duties yet," he replied.

"Well, one of you must go," snubbed the expert. "This is an obvious instance of duplication."

Two persons doing the same duty -- of not doing anything.

The expert always thinks in terms of knowledge. Go to a wise man. He does not think in terms of knowledge. He looks at you through his knowing eyes. The world is ruled by experts too much, and the world has almost forgotten to go to the wise men. And the difference is the expert is as ordinary as you are. The only difference between you and the expert is that he has accumulated some dead information. He knows more than you know, but his information is not his own realization. He has just accumulated it from the outside, and he goes on giving advice to you.

Seek, search for a wise man. That is the search for the guru. In the East people travel for thousands of miles to seek and search for somebody who has really come to know, and to be with him, to be with the man of samyama -- one who has attained, who has not cultivated, who has grown, who has flowered in his inner being. The flower is not borrowed from the outside. It is an inner flowering.

Remember, Patanjali's samyama is not the concept of ordinary cultivation. It is the concept of flowering, of helping and allowing that which is hidden in you to be manifested. You are already carrying the seed. The seed only needs a right soil. A little care, a loving care, and it will sprout, and it will come one day to flower. And the fragrance that was carried by the seed will be spread to the winds, and the winds will carry it to all the directions.

A man of samyama cannot hide himself. He tries. He cannot hide himself, because the winds will continuously carry his fragrance. He can go to a cave in the mountains and sit there, and people will start coming to him there. Somehow, in some unknown way, those who are growing, those who are intelligent, they will find him. He need not seek them; they will seek him.

Can you watch something similar in your own being, because then it will be easy to understand the sutras? You love somebody, really; and, you show love to somebody. Have you watched the difference? Somebody comes, a guest. You really welcome. It is a flowering; from your very being you welcome him. It is not only a welcome to your home, it is a welcome to your heart. And then some other guest comes and you welcome him because you have to welcome. Have you watched the difference between the two?

When you really welcome, you are one flow -- the welcome is total. When you don't really welcome and you are simply following etiquette, manners, you are not one flow; and if the guest is perceptive, he will immediately turn back. He will not enter your house. If he is really perceptive, he can immediately see the contradiction in you. Your extended hand for a handshake is not really extended. The energy in it is not moving towards the guest; the energy is being withheld. Only a dead hand has been spread out.

You are a contradiction whenever you are following anything outer, just following a discipline. It is not true; you are not in it.

Remember, whatsoever you do -- if you are doing it at all -- do it totally. If you don't want to do it at all, then don't do it -- then don't do it totally. The totalness has to be remembered because that totalness is the most significant thing. If you continuously go on doing things in which you are contradictory, inconsistent, in which a part of you moves and another part doesn't move, you are destroying your inner flowering. By and by you will become a plastic flower -- with no fragrance, with no life.

It happened:

Mulla Nasrudin on leaving a party said to his hostess, "Thank you very much for inviting me. It is the very nicest party I have ever been invited to in all my life." And the party was very ordinary.

Somewhat taken aback the hostess exclaimed. "Oh, don't say that."

To which the Mulla replied, "But I do say that. I always say that."

Then it is meaningless. Then it is absolutely meaningless.

Don't live a life of mere manners, don't live a life of mere etiquette. Live an authentic life.

I know the life of etiquette, manner, is comfortable, convenient; but it is poisonous. It kills you slowly, slowly. The life of authenticity is not so convenient and comfortable. It is risky, it is dangerous -- but it is real, and the danger is worth. And you will never repent for it. Once you start enjoying the real life, the real feeling, the real flow of your energy and you are not divided and split, then you will understand that if everything is to be staked for it, it is worth it. For a single moment of real life, your whole unreal life can be staked, and it is worth -- because in that single moment you would have known what life is and its destiny. And your whole long life of a hundred years you will simply live on the surface, always afraid of the depth, and you will miss the whole opportunity.

This is the hopelessness that we have created all around us living and not living at all, doing things we never intended to do, being in relationships we never wanted to be, following a profession which has never been a call to you. Being false in a thousand and one ways, and how do you expect that out of this falsity. Layer upon layer, you can know what life is? It is because of your falsity you are missing it. It is because of your falsity you cannot make the contact with the living stream of life.

And sometimes, when you become aware of it, a second problem arises. Whenever people become aware of the falsity of life, they immediately move to the opposite extreme. That is another trap of the mind because if you move from one falsity to the exact opposite, you will move to another falsity again. Somewhere in between, somewhere between the two opposites is the real.

Samyama means balance. It means absolute balance not moving to the extremes, remaining just in the middle. When you are neither a rightist nor a leftist, when you are neither a socialist nor an individualist, when you are neither this nor that, suddenly, in between, the flowering, the flowering of samyama.

It happened that Mulla Nasrudin was suffering from a very deep-rooted fear. It had almost become an obsession. I advised him to go to a psychiatrist. Then one day, after a few weeks, when I saw him I asked, "I understand that you have been going to the psychiatrist I suggested to you. Do you think it has helped you?"

Certainly it has. Only a few weeks ago, when the phone rang I was deadly afraid to answer it."

That was his fear always. The ringing of the phone, and he will start trembling. Who knows what is the message? Who knows who is calling him? "Only a few weeks ago, when the phone rang I was deadly afraid to answer it."

"And now?" I asked.

He said, "And now? I go right ahead and answer it --  whether it rings or not."

You can move from one extreme to another, from one falsity to another falsity, from one fear to another fear. You can move from the marketplace to the monastery. Those are the polarities. The people who live in the marketplace are unbalanced, and the people who live in the monasteries are also unbalanced on the other extreme, but both are lopsided.

Samyama means balance. That's what I mean by sannyas to be balanced, to be in the marketplace and yet not be of it, to be in the bazaar but to not allow the bazaar to be in you. If your mind can remain free from the marketplace, you can be in the marketplace and there is no problem, you can move to the monastery and live alone; but if the bazaar follows inside you.... Which is bound to follow because the bazaar is not really outside -- it is in the buzzing thoughts, in the inner traffic noise of the thoughts. It is going to follow you. How can you leave yourself here and escape somewhere else? You will go with yourself, and wherever you go you will be the same.

So don't try to escape from situations. Rather, try to become more and more aware. Change the inner climate and don't be worried about the outer situations. Insist continuously on it, because the cheaper is always alluring. It says, "Because you are worried in the market, escape to the monastery and all worries will disappear: because worries are because of the business, because of the market, because of the relationship." No, worries are not because of the market, worries are not because of the family, worries are not because of the relationship: worries are because of you. These are just excuses. If you go to the monastery, these worries will find some new objects to hang to, but the worries will continue.

Just look at your mind, in what a mess it is. And this mess is not created by the situations. This mess is in you. Situations, at the most, work as excuses.

Sometime, do one experiment. You think people make you angry, then go for a twenty-one-day silence. Remain silent and you will suddenly become aware that many times in the day, for no reason at all -- because now there is nobody to make you angry -- you become angry. You think because you come across a beautiful woman or a man that's why you become sexual? You are wrong. Go for a twenty-one-day silence. Remain alone and you will find many times, suddenly for no reason at all sexuality arises. It is within you.

Two women were talking. I have simply overheard them; excuse my trespass.

Mistress Brown, very annoyed: "Look here, Mistress Green. Mistress Gray told me that you told her the secret I told you not to tell her."

Mistress Green: "Oh! The mean creature. And I told her not to tell you that I told her."

Mistress Brown: "Well. Look here, don't tell her that I told you she told me."

This is the traffic noise that goes on continuously in the mind. This has to be stilled, not by any force but by understanding.

The first sutra

SAMYAMA IS TO BE EMPLOYED IN STAGES.

Patanjali is not for sudden enlightenment: and sudden enlightenment is not for everybody. It is rare, it is exceptional; and Patanjali has a very scientific outlook he does not bother for the exceptional. He discovers the rule, and the exceptional simply proves the rule, nothing else. And the exceptional can take care of itself: there is no need to think about it. The ordinary, the ordinary human being, grows only in stages, step by step, because for a sudden enlightenment, tremendous courage is needed, which is not available.

And, for a sudden enlightenment, there is such a risk in it -- one can go mad or one can become enlightened. Both the possibilities remain open because it is so sudden that the mechanism of your body and mind is not ready for it. It can shatter you completely.

Patanjali does not talk about it. In fact he insists that the samyama should be attained in stages so that by and by you move, in small doses you grow, and before you take another step you have become ready and prepared for it. Enlightenment, for Patanjali, does not take you unawares. Because it is such a tremendous event, you may be so shocked -- shocked to death or shocked to madness -- he simply debars any talk about it. He does not pay any attention to it.

That is the difference between Patanjali and Zen. Zen is for the exceptional: Patanjali is the rule. If Zen disappears from the world, nothing will be lost because that exceptional can always take care of itself. But if Patanjali disappears from the world, much will be lost because he is the rule. He is simply for the common, ordinary human being -- for all. A Tilopa may take the jump, or a Bodhidharma may take a jump, and disappear. These are adventurers, people who enjoy risk, but that is not the way of everybody. You need a staircase to go up and to go down: you simply don't jump out of the balconies. And there is no need to take that risk while one can move gracefully.

Zen is a little eccentric because the whole point is of the unique experience. The whole point is of the exceptional, the rare: in a way, the nonordinary. Patanjali, in that way, moves on plain ground. For the common humanity he is a great help.

He says, "samyama is to be employed in stages." Don't be in a hurry, move slowly, grow slowly, so everything becomes solid before you take another step. After each growth, let there be an interval. In that interval, whatsoever you have attained is absorbed, digested, becomes part of your being... then go ahead. There is no need to run because in running you can come to a point for which you are not ready, and if you are not ready, it is dangerous.

The greedy mind would like to attain everything now. People come to me and they say, "Why don't you give us something which can make us suddenly enlightened?" But these are exactly the people who are not ready. If they were ready they would have patience. If they were ready they would say. "Whenever it comes. We are not in a hurry: we can wait." They are not the real people: they are greedy people. In fact, they don't know what they are asking. They are inviting the sky. You will burst: you won't be able to contain it.

Patanjali says, "samyama is to be employed in stages," and these eight stages he has described.

THESE THREE...

The three that we discussed the other day...

 -- DHARANA, DHYAN, AND SAMADHI --

ARE INTERNAL COMPARED TO THE FIVE THAT PRECEDE THEM.

We have discussed those five stages.

These three are internal compared to the five that have preceded them...

BUT THE THREE ARE EXTERNAL

COMPARED TO SEEDLESS SAMADHI.

If you compare them with yam, niyam, asan, pranayam, pratyahar, then they are internal, but if you compare with the experience, the ultimate experience of a Buddha or Patanjali, they are yet external. They are just in between. First you transcend the body, those are the external steps: then you transcend the mind, these are internal steps: but when you reach to your being, even that which was internal now will look external. Even that was not internal enough. Your mind is not internal enough. It is more internal than the body. It is external if you become a witness: then you can watch your own thoughts. When you can watch your own thoughts. Your thoughts become external. They become objects: you are the watcher.

The seedless samadhi means: when there is going to be no birth anymore, when there is going to be no coming back to the world anymore, when there is going to be no entry again in time. The seedless means: the seed of desire is burned completely.

When you move, even towards yoga, when you start the journey inwards, that too is still a desire -- desire to achieve oneself, desire to achieve peace, bliss, desire to achieve truth. It is still desire. When you attain the first samadhi.... After dharana, concentration: dhyan, contemplation: when you come to samadhi, where subject and object become one, even there, a slight shadow of desire is present -- the desire to know the truth, the desire to become one, the desire to know God -- or whatsoever you name it. Still that desire, very subtle, almost invisible, almost as if it is not: but still it is there. It has to be there because you have been using it all throughout the way. Now that desire also has to be dropped.

Samadhi has also to be dropped. Meditation becomes complete when meditation has to be dropped... when meditation can be dropped. When you forget all about meditation and you drop it, when there is no need to meditate, when there is no need to go anywhere -- neither outside nor inside -- when all journeying stops, then desire disappears.

Desire is the seed. First it moves you outwards: then, if you are intelligent enough to understand that you are moving in a wrong direction, it starts moving you inwards: but the desire is still there. The same desire, feeling frustrated outside, starts searching inside. That desire has to be dropped.

After samadhi, even samadhi has to be dropped. Then the seedless samadhi arises. That is the ultimate. It arises not because you desired it, because if you desire then it will not be seedless. That has to be understood. It arises only because understanding the futility of desire itself -- even the desire to go in the very understanding of the futility of desire, desire disappears. You cannot desire the seedless samadhi. When desire disappears, suddenly, the seedless samadhi is there. It has nothing to do with your effort. This is the happening.

Up to now, up to samadhi, there is effort: because effort needs desire, motivation. When desire disappears, effort also disappears. When desire disappears there is no motivation to do anything -- neither is there any motivation to do nor is there any motivation to be anything. Total emptiness, nothingness, what Buddha calls shoonya, arises -- on its own accord. And that's the beauty of it untouched by your desire, uncorrupted by your motivation, it is purity itself, it is innocence itself. This is seedless samadhi.

Now there will no longer be any birth. Buddha used to tell his disciples, "When you come to samadhi become alert. Cling to samadhi so that you can be a help to people." Because if you don't cling to samadhi, and the seedless samadhi appears, you are gone, gone forever gate, gate, para gate -- Gone, gone, gone forever. Then you cannot help. You must have heard the word "bodhisattva." I have given the word to many sannyasins. Bodhisattva means one who has come to samadhi and is denying seedless samadhi, is clinging to samadhi because while he clings to samadhi he can help people, he can still be there, at least one chain with the world is still there.

There is a story that Buddha comes to the ultimate heaven, doors open, and he is invited, but he stands outside. The devas tell him, "Come in. We have been waiting so long for you." But he says, "How can I come in right now? There are many who need me. I will stand at the door and help to show people the door. I will be the last to enter. When everybody has entered the door, when there is nobody else left outside, then I will enter. If I enter right now, with my entry the door will be lost again: and there are millions who are struggling. They are just coming closer and closer. I will stand outside: I am not going to enter: because you will have to keep the door open while I stand here. You will have to wait for me, and while you are waiting the door will be there, open, and I can show people this is the door."

This is the state of bodhisattva. Bodhisattva means one who has already come to the door of being a Buddha. In essence he is ready to disappear into the whole, but he resists for compassion. He clings to it. The last desire, to help people -- that too is a desire -- keeps him in existence. It is very difficult, it is almost impossible, when all the chains are broken from the world, just to depend on a very fragile relationship of compassion -- almost impossible. But those are the few moments -- when somebody comes to the state of bodhisattva and stays there those are the few moments when the door is open for the whole of humanity, to look at the door, to realize the door, to recognize, and to enter it.

These three -- dharana, dhyan, samadhi -- are internal compared to the five that preceded them, but the three are external compared to seedless samadhi.

NIRODH PARINAM IS THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE

MIND IN WHICH THE MIND BECOMES PERMEATED BY

THE CONDITION OF NIRODH, WHICH INTERVENES

MOMENTARILY BETWEEN AN IMPRESSION THAT IS

DISAPPEARING AND THE IMPRESSION THAT IS

TAKING ITS PLACE.

This sutra is very, very significant for you because you can immediately use it. Patanjali calls it nirodh. Nirodh means a momentary suspension of the mind, a momentary state of nomind. It is happening to you all, but it is very subtle and the moment is very small. Unless you are a little more aware, you will not be able to see it. First let me describe what it is.

Whenever a thought appears in the mind, the mind is covered with it like a cloud appears in the sky. But no thought can be permanent. The very nature of thought is to be nonpermanent one thought comes, it goes: another thought comes and replaces it. Between these two thoughts there is a very subtle interval. One thought goes, another has not come yet that is the moment of nirodha -- subtle interval when you are thoughtless. One cloud has passed, another has not come yet, and the sky is open. You can look at it.

Just sitting silently watch. Thoughts go on coming like traffic on the road. One car has passed, another is coming -- but between the two there is a gap and the road is vacant. Soon the -other will come and the road will again be full and will not be empty. If you can look between the gap that exists between two thoughts, you are for a moment in the same state as when somebody comes to realize samadhi -- a momentary samadhi, just a glimpse. Immediately it will be filled by another thought which is already on the way.

Watch. Watch carefully. One thought going, another coming, and the gap between: in that gap you are exactly in the same state as one who has attained to samadhi. But your state is just a momentary phenomenon. Patanjali calls it nirodh. It is momentary, dynamic, it is changing all the time. It is a fluxlike thing one wave going, another coming: between the two... no wave. Just try to watch it.

This is one of the most significant meditations. There is no need to do anything else. You can just sit silently and you can go on watching. Just look in the gap. In the beginning it will be difficult. By and by you will become more alert and you will not miss the gaps. Don't pay attention to the thoughts. Focus yourself for the gap, not for the thoughts. Focus yourself when the road is vacant and nobody is passing. Change your gestalt. Ordinarily we focus on thoughts and we don't focus in between.

It happened once A great yoga Master was teaching about nirodh to his disciples. He had a blackboard. On the blackboard, with a white chalk, he made a very small point, just visible, and then he asked his disciples, "What do you see?" They all said, "A small white point." The Master laughed. He said, "Nobody can see this blackboard? All are seeing only the small white point?"

Nobody has seen the blackboard. The blackboard was there, the white dot was there, but they all looked at the white dot.

Change the gestalt.

Have you looked in children's books? There are pictures, pictures which are very, very meaningful to be understood. In a certain picture there is a young woman, you can see it, but in the same lines, in the same picture, there is hiding an old woman. If you go on looking, go on looking, suddenly the young woman disappears and you see the old woman's face. Then you go on looking at the old woman's face -- suddenly it disappears and again the young woman's face appears. You cannot see both together: that is impossible. You can see one face one time, another face another time. Once you have seen both the faces, you know very well that the other face is also there, but still you cannot see it together. And the mind is constantly changing, so one time you see the young face, another time you see the old face.

The gestalt changes from the old to the young, from the young to the old, from the old to the young, but you cannot focus on both. So, when you focus on thoughts, you cannot focus on the gaps. The gaps are always there. Focus on the gaps, and suddenly you will become aware that gaps are there and thoughts are disappearing: and in those gaps the first glimpses of samadhi will be attained.

And that taste is needed in order to go on because whatsoever I say, whatsoever Patanjali says, can only become meaningful to you when you have already tasted something of it. If once you know the gap is blissful, a tremendous bliss descends -- just for a moment, then it disappears -- then you know if this gap can become permanent, if this gap can become my nature, then this bliss will be available as a continuum. Then you start working hard.

This is nirodh parinam: "Nirodh parinam is the transformation of the mind in which the mind becomes permeated by the condition of nirodh, which intervenes momentarily between an impression that is disappearing and the impression that is taking its place."

 

Just ten years ago, an inventory was made of the Imperial Japanese Jewels. The royal treasure has been kept in a guarded building called the Soshuen. For nine hundred years the jewels had rested in that palace. When a string of amber beads was examined, one bead in the center of the string appeared to be different from the others. The accumulated dust of centuries was washed off the beads and the center stone was examined with deep curiosity. The examiners found a treasure within a treasure. The special bead was not made of common amber as were the other beads. It was a high quality pearl of pink-green color. For hundreds of years, the unique pearl had been mistaken for a piece of amber, but no longer.

No matter how long we have lived in a mistaken identity, self-examination can reveal our true and tranquil nature.

Once you have a glimpse of the reality that you are, then all false identities which have existed for centuries suddenly disappear. Now, no longer can you be deceived by those identities. This nirodh parinam gives you the first glimpse of your real nature. It gives you a glimpse, behind the layers of dust, of the real pearl. The layers of dust are nothing but layers of thought, impressions, imaginations, dreams, desires -- all thoughts.

Once you can have one glimpse, you are already converted. This I call conversion. Not when a Hindu becomes a Christian, not when a Christian becomes a Hindu, that is not a conversion. That is moving from one prison to another prison, The conversion is when you move from thought to no-thought, when you move from mind to no-mind. The conversion is when you look in nirodh parinam, when you look between two thoughts and suddenly your reality is revealed -- almost like a lightning. Then again there is darkness, but you are not the same. You have seen something you cannot forget now. Now you will be searching again and again.

This is what the following sutra says:

THIS FLOW BECOMES PEACEFUL

WITH REPEATED IMPRESSIONS.

If again and again you fall in the gap, if again and again you taste the experience, if again and again you look through the nirodh -- cessation of the mind -- without thought you look into your own being; this flow becomes peaceful, this flow becomes natural, this flow becomes spontaneous. You attain, you begin to attain, your own treasure. First as glimpses, small gaps; then bigger gaps, then still bigger. Then one day it happens the last thought is gone and no other thought comes. You are in deep silence, eternal silence. That's the goal.

It is hard, arduous, but available.

Tradition has it that when Jesus was crucified, just before he died, a soldier pierced his side with a spear, just to see whether he is dead or still alive. He was still alive. He opened his eyes. Looked at the soldier, and said, "Friend, there is a shorter road to my heart than that." He has pierced his heart with a spear, and Jesus says, "Friend, there is a shorter road to my heart than that."

For centuries, people have wondered what he really meant. A Thousand and one explanations are possible because the sentence is very cryptic, but the way I look into it and the meaning that I think into it is that if you go into your own heart, that is the shortest, the most shortcut way to reach to Jesus' heart. If you go into your own heart, if you go withinwards, you will come closer to Jesus.

And, whether Jesus is alive or not, you have to look withinwards, you have to seek the source of your own life; and then you will know that Jesus can never be dead. He is eternal life. He may disappear from this body on the cross; he will appear somewhere else. He may not appear anywhere else, but then too he will remain for eternity into the heart of the whole.

When Jesus said, "Friend, there is a shorter road to my heart than that." he meant "Go withinwards. Look into your own nature, and you will find me there. The kingdom of God is within you." And it is eternal. It is unending life; it is deathless life.

If you look into nirodh, you will look into deathless life, life that has no beginning and no end.

And once you have tasted of that ambrosia, that elixir, then nothing else can become the object of your desire -- nothing else. Then that becomes the object of desire. That desire can lead you up to samadhi, and then that desire has also to be left, that desire has also to be dropped. It has done its work. It gave you a momentum, it brought you to your very door of being; now that has to be dropped also.

Once you drop it, you are there no more... only God is. This is seedless samadhi.

 

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