Aloneness is the last achievement

Second Question




Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Yoga Yoga Sutras of Patanjali


The second question:

Question 2


At least the questioner cannot enjoy, because one who can enjoy will never ask the question.

The very question shows that it will be impossible for you to enjoy being alone. Your aloneness will deteriorate and become loneliness. Your aloneness will not be a fullness; your aloneness will be loneliness -- empty.

Yes, out of fear you can settle in it. Out of the fear of getting wet in the water, out of the fear of getting caught in the fire; out of fear, you may settle. Many have settled. Go to the monasteries; look into the old ashrams: many have settled just out of fear.

Relationship is a fire; it burns. It is difficult. It is almost impossible to live with someone. It is a constant struggle. Many have escaped, but they are cowards. They are not grown-ups; their effort is childish. Yes, they will live a more convenient life, that's true. When the other is not there, of course, everything goes easily. You live alone -- with whom to get angry? -- with whom to get jealous? -- with whom to fight? But your life will lose all taste. You will become tasteless; you will not have any salt.

Many escape from life just because life is too much, and they don't find themselves capable of coping with it. I will not suggest that; I am not an escapist. I will tell you to fight your way through life, because that is the only way to become more aware and alert; to become so balanced that nobody can unbalance you; to become so tranquil that the presence of the other never becomes a distraction. The other can insult you but you are not irritated. The other can create a situation in which, ordinarily, you would have gone mad, but you don't go. You use the situation as a stepping-stone for a higher consciousness.

Life has to be used as a situation, as an opportunity to become more conscious, more crystallized, more centered and rooted. If you escape, it will be as if a seed escapes from the soil and hides in a cave where there is no soil, only stones. The seed will be safe. In soil, the seed has to die, disappear. When the seed disappears, the plant sprouts. Then dangers start. For the seed there was no danger: no animal would have eaten it, and no child would have broken it. Now the beautiful green sprout, and the whole world seems to be against it: the winds come and they try to uproot it, clouds come, and thunders come, and the small seed is fighting alone against the whole world. There are children and there are animals and there are gardeners, and millions of problems to be faced. The seed was living comfortably, there was no problem: no wind, no soil, no animals -- nothing was a problem. It was closed completely into itself; the seed was protected, secure.

So you can go to a cave in the Himalayas: you will become a seed. You won't sprout. Those winds are not against you; they give you an opportunity, they give you challenge, they give you an opportunity to get deeply rooted. They tell you to stand your ground and give a good fight. That makes you strong.

You see, one eucalyptus tree is here. Just to protect it, Mukta placed a bamboo by the side when the tree was small. Now it has gone so long, but it cannot stand on its own. The bamboos are still there and now it seems impossible. Once you remove the bamboos, the whole tree will fall down. The protection will have proved to be dangerous. Now the tree has become accustomed to protection. It has not grown in strength, it has remained childish.

Challenges are growth opportunities, and there is no greater challenge in life than love. If you love someone, you are in a tremendous turmoil. Love is not all roses as your poets say; they are all fools. They may have dreamed about love but they have never known it. It is not all roses. It is more thorny than you can imagine. Roses are rare, here and there; thorns are millions. But when out of a million thorns a rose arises, it has a beauty of its own. Love is the greatest danger in life. That's why I insist that if you really want to grow, accept the greatest danger and move into it.

People have tried to find many ways of avoiding it. Some have left the world. Why are you so afraid of the world? The fear of the world is really fear of love, because when others are there, the possibility is there that you may fall in love with someone. There are so many beautiful souls around, so many attractions; you may get caught somewhere. Danger... escape! A few have escaped to the monasteries, a few have escaped in other ways. A few have escaped into marriages. That too is an escape. The monastery is an escape, and marriage is also an escape -- to avoid love.

One never knows what will be the outcome of a love affair. It is always on the rocks. It is never convenient, it is never comfortable. It may bring you moments of joy, but it brings hell also. It is painful growth, but all growth is painful. One never grows without pain. Pain is part, an essential part. If you avoid the pain you also avoid the growth.

Many have settled somewhere. A few have settled in ambition, have become politicians. They are not worried about love. They say they have great things to do in the world. They are worried about power: they use power as an escape. A few are buried in their monasteries, a few are buried in their families: marriage, children, this and that, but I rarely come across a man who has faced the challenge of love, the greatest storm there is. But one who has faced it, grows. He comes out of it one day, clean, pure, mature.

So you ask, "Cannot one enjoy life alone?"

You can be happy alone, but you cannot enjoy. You can be happy, in a way, because there will be no disturbance, no turmoil, no conflict. Your happiness will be more like peace, less like enjoyment. It will not have any ecstasy in it. Joy is very ecstatic; joy is very much like dance. Happiness is like the singing you do in your bathroom -- the bathroom singing -- it is very lukewarm; you can do it alone. You always do it in your bathroom because you are alone. But singing and dancing with other people, getting completely possessed by it, is joy. Joy is a shared phenomenon; happiness is a non-shared phenomenon.

People who are miserly always look for happiness, not for joy -- because joy needs sharing. You cannot be joyful alone. A certain atmosphere is needed, a certain climate is needed: a certain whirlwind of people, persons, consciousness, is needed. Alone you can be happy, at the most.

And remember, happiness is not a very happy thing.

Joy is really moving high. Joy is the climax, like peaks; happiness is a plain ground: one moves comfortably with no fear of any fall anywhere -- no valley around, no danger. You can walk with your eyes closed. You know the path. You have been moving on that path, this way and that. You can move completely unconsciously.

Joy needs consciousness. Have you ever moved into the mountains and just by the side, a great valley is yawning? You become alert. That is one of the beauties of mountaineering. It is not really the joy in the mountain; the joy is in moving in danger, constant danger. Always there is death around; the valley is waiting to swallow you at any moment. Once you lose your footing, you are gone forever. Because of that danger one becomes very sharply aware, like a sword. That awareness gives joy.

When you are moving with people, in relationship, you are always in danger. Life becomes sharp. Then you have a tone; then your energy is not just rusting, it is flowing. Look at the people who have lived too long in the caves or in the monasteries: you will see that a certain rust has settled on their faces. They will not look alive. They will be dull almost to the point of being stupid. That's why monks have not created anything beautiful in the world. Nothing has come out of them. They are wastages; they are not fertile soil. They proved impotent.

All escape makes you more of a coward, impotent. And the more you escape, the more you want to escape. All escape is suicidal.

Then what do I mean? Am I saying to you, never be alone? No, not at all. But I am saying, never be lonely. Aloneness comes out of the richness that you have learned through relationships, out of many relationships, of many dimensions, many qualities: being with a mother, being with a father, being with a friend, being with a brother, sister, being with a wife, being with a beloved, lover, with friends, with enemies.'Being with' is the world. And one has to be in as many relationships as possible; then you expand. Each relationship contributes something to your inner enrichment. The more you spread into people, the more you expand. You have a bigger soul, and you have a richer soul. Otherwise, you become impoverished.

Now psychoanalysts have been working hard on children who have not received their first and basic relationship: the relationship between the child and the mother. They shrink. These children are never normal. Somehow, the first urge to expand has not happened. The relationship between a child and the mother is the first entry into the world.

You enter into the world with your mother's love. You enter into the world because you relate with your mother, and you learn how to relate. The warmth that flows between the child and the mother is the first exchange of energies. It is tremendously sexual, because all energy is sexual. The child smiling, the mother smiling, a tremendous energy is being exchanged. The mother cuddling the child, hugging the child, kissing the child; a great energy is being given to the child, and the child is getting ready to respond. Sooner or later, the day will come when the child will hug and kiss the mother. Now he's ripe -- not only ready to take, but ready to give also. That is his first learning. Then he will move with brothers and sisters and father and uncles, and the circle will become bigger and bigger and bigger: in school, and in college, and in the university, and then in the universe one goes on.

The more and more you relate, the more and more you are. The being is discovered through being related. Each relationship is a mirror. It shows a fragment of your being to you. It reflects something about yourself. When you have grown so much and expanded to the infinity, then the last relationship is with God.

That is the last relationship.

If you escape from relationship, as these so-called religious people do.... They are doing something very absurd. They will not be able to relate with God because they have not learned how to relate. They have not learned how to move in relationship. And remember, to relate with God is the greatest, the most dangerous relationship there is.

Just the other day I was reading a memoir of a Christian, a very beautiful person who had lived in Soviet Russia's jails for many years. For three years continuously he was in an underground cell, thirty feet into the earth. For three years continuously he never saw any sunlight, any flower, any butterfly, any moon. He didn't see any human face, except the guard. For three years it was maddening: no book to read, nothing to do. He was not even aware of whether it was day or night, whether the sun had arisen outside in the world or not. There was no newspaper, no news of what was happening in the world, nothing. He was completely unrelated. He started doing one thing -- tremendously beautiful: he started talking to God. What to do? What else to do? For three years he talked to God and, by and by, he started giving sermons. God was the only audience. He would stand and he would give a sermon. But those sermons are really beautiful. Now, out of the jail, he has collected those sermons, and he has put them as he had given them to God. He says, "Don't be offended," because many times he becomes angry with God. One has to become. What nonsense: for three years! He quotes from scriptures and says to God, "Look at what you have said. In the Bible you say that a man should never be alone. What about me! Have you forgotten all about your scripture and your message that you gave through Jesus? Where are you? Have you changed your rules? A man should never be alone? -- then why have you forced me for three years to be alone?" And he says, "Remember, at the last day of judgement I am not going to be the only culprit, you are also going to be the culprit. Not only will you tell about my sins, I am also going to tell about your sins. Remember! Don't forget it! It is not going to be one way."

Really, those sermons are beautiful, those talks with God. He remained sane because of these talks. He came out perfectly sane, saner really than when he had gone in -- more sane. Such a beautiful relationship... and the God was absolutely silent. It irritates. You go on talking; he never says yes, no -- nothing.

Just think -- you go on speaking and your wife keeps quiet. She goes on working in the kitchen. You are going crazy and you are shouting and yelling, and she goes on silently doing her things. How will you feel? The same happens in relationship with God. One has to learn it in life, then you can relate with God. To relate with God is to relate with the whole. Of course, the whole is silent, and great skill is needed in relating -- only then. After you have related with God, and you have become merged with Him, then aloneness arises.

Aloneness is the last achievement.

That's what Patanjali calls kaivalya: absolute aloneness. It is not in the beginning; it is in the end. That is why we are reading the last chapter. The chapter is about aloneness, Kaivalya Pada. It is the whole effort of the yogi through many lives to reach to aloneness. It is not so cheap as you think: that you just leave the house and you go into a cave, and you are alone. Then there is no need for Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. A simple sutra will do: go to the railway station, purchase a ticket, and go to the Himalayas -- finished. Who is preventing you? Who can prevent you? How can you be prevented?

But that way, life would be too cheap, would not be of worth. One has to learn it. Aloneness is the flowering of all your relationships. You have gathered the fragrance out of all your relationships: good and bad, beautiful and ugly; you go on gathering fragrance. Then, a flame arises in you. That aloneness has to be the goal. What you call aloneness right now is not aloneness; it is going just to be loneliness. To be solitary is not to be in solitude. To be solitary is ugly, ill, sad. To be in solitude has a tremendous beauty in it; it is an achievement.

"... because I am not so aware, that moving into water without getting wet, or going through fire without getting burnt can be possible for me."

Then how are you going to become aware? Move more and more. By escaping you will never become aware. All these situations are needed to make you aware. If you cannot become aware in the world, you cannot become aware out of the world. Otherwise, why has the world been given to you; why are you in the world? -- to learn awareness.

When so many people are criss-crossing your path, so many energies criss-crossing all around you, and it is a puzzle to solve, awareness will arise out of it. Yes, one day you will be able to walk in water and the water will not touch your feet; but before that happens, you will have to walk in many rivers and many oceans of life. Yes, one day you will be capable of walking into fire and the fire will not burn you, but that has to be learned through many fires, and many burnings. Only out of experience is one freed. Truth liberates; experience gives you truth. Never decide for the life of no experience. Always decide for more experience. Howsoever hard and difficult, but always choose the life of experience. One day, you will transcend, but one transcends only by knowing it.


Next: Chapter 2, Aloneness is the last achievement: Third Question


Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Yoga Yoga Sutras of Patanjali



Chapter 2



Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Yoga Yoga Sutras of Patanjali



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