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Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Yoga Yoga Sutras of Patanjali



Book 4, Sutra 11


Book 4, Sutra 12


Book 4, Sutra 13


Book 4, Sutra 14


Book 4, Sutra 15


Book 4, Sutra 16


Book 4, Sutra 17


The first sutra:


Avidya, ignorance of one's own being, is the basic cause of the world. Once avidya, the ignorance of one's own being, disappears, the world also disappears -- not the world of objects, but the world of desires; not the world that is outside you, but the world that you have been constantly projecting from the inside. The world of your dreams, illusions, projections, immediately disappears the moment ignorance disappears within you.

This has to be understood: ignorance is not simply lack of knowledge so you can go on gathering knowledge but ignorance will not disappear that way. You can become very knowledgeable, but still you will remain ignorant. In fact, knowledge functions as a protection for ignorance. Ignorance is not destroyed by knowledge. On the contrary, it is protected by it. The urge to collect knowledge, accumulate knowledge, is nothing but to hide one's own ignorance. The more you know, the more you think that now you are no longer ignorant.

There is a saying in Tibet: Blessed are they who are ignorant, for they are happy in thinking that they know everything.

Trying to know everything is not going to help; it is missing the whole point. Trying to know one's self is enough. If you can know your own being you have known all because you participate with the whole, your nature is of the whole.

You are just like a drop of water. If you know the drop-of water totally, you have known all the oceans, past, present and future. In a single drop of water the whole nature of the ocean is present.

A man who is after knowledge continuously forgets himself and goes on accumulating information. He may come to know much, but still he will remain ignorant. So ignorance is not against knowledge; knowledge is not the antidote for ignorance. Then what is the antidote for ignorance? Yoga says: awareness; not knowledge, but knowing; not focusing yourself outside, but focusing on the very faculty of knowing.

When a child is in the mother's womb, he is completely asleep. The first months in the mother's womb are of deep sleep, what yoga calls sushupti -- sleep without any dreams. Then, by the end of the sixth or seventh month, the child starts a little dreaming. The sleep is disturbed; it is no more absolute. Something happens outside, a noise, and the child's sleep is disturbed. Vibrations reach him, and in his deep sleep a distraction arrives and he starts dreaming. The first ripples of dream arise. Dreamless sleep is the first state of consciousness.

The second state is: sleep plus dream. In the second state sleep remains, but a new faculty starts functioning: the faculty of dreaming. Then, when the child is born a third faculty arises, what we ordinarily call the state of waking. It is not really the state of waking, but a new faculty starts functioning and that faculty is of thought. The child starts thinking.

The first state was dreamless sleep: the second state was sleep plus dreaming; the third state is sleep, plus dreaming, plus thinking, but sleep still remains. Sleep has not been completely broken. You remain asleep in your thinking also. Your thinking is nothing but another way of dreaming; the sleep is not disturbed. These are the ordinary states. Rarely does a man reach higher than this third stage, of thinking. And that is the goal of yoga: to reach to a state of pure awareness, as pure as the first state is. The first state is of pure sleep, and the last state is of pure awakening, pure awareness. Once your awareness is as pure as your deep sleep, you have become a Buddha, you have attained, you have come home.

Patanjali says: samadhi, the ultimate state of awareness, is just like sleep, with one difference. It is as calm and quiet as sleep, as silent, undisturbed as sleep, as integrated and blissful as sleep, with one difference: it is fully alert. These are the points of evolution. Ordinarily, we remain at the third. Deep down sleep continues, on top of it a layer of dreaming, on top of it another layer of thinking -- but the sleep is not broken. And you can observe it; it is not a theory. You can observe the facticity of it.

At any moment you close your eyes, first you will see thoughts, a layer of thinking all around you, thoughts vibrating -- one coming, another going -- a crowd, a traffic. Remain silent for a few seconds, and suddenly you will see that thinking is no longer there but dreaming has started. You are dreaming that you have become the president of a country, or you have found a brick of gold on the road, or you have found a beautiful woman or a man, and suddenly you start projecting; dreams start functioning. If you continue dreaming for a long time, one moment will come when you will fall asleep -- thinking, dreaming, sleep, and from sleep again to dreaming and thinking. This is how your whole life revolves. Real awareness is not known yet, and that real awareness is what Patanjali says will destroy ignorance -- not knowledge, but awareness. We collect knowledge just to befool ourselves and others.

I have heard: In a small school it happened that a school inspector said to the class, "Who knocked down the walls of Jericho?" And one of the pupils, a lad called Billy Green, replied promptly, "Please sir, it was not me." The inspector was amazed at this show of ignorance and brought the matter up in the headmaster's study at the end of the visit. "Do you know," he said, "I asked the class, 'Who knocked. down the walls of Jericho,' and young Billy Green said it was not him!" The headmaster said, "Billy Green? Oh well... I must say that I have always found the lad to be honest and trustworthy, and if he says that it was not him, then it was not him."

The inspector left the school without further comment, but lost no time in reporting the full sequence of events to the Ministry of Education in a written report. In due course, he received the following reply: "Dear sir, Reference: The Walls of Jericho; this is a matter for the Ministry of Works, and your letter has been sent to them for their attention."

But nobody wants to recognize a simple fact, that they don't know. Everybody tries; whatsoever the question, everybody tries the answer. You should catch yourself red-handed many times if you try. Somebody asks something, somebody talks about something you don't know, but you start commenting, advising, saying something or other so that you are not caught ignorant, so nobody thinks that you are ignorant. But the first beginning of awareness starts with the recognition that you are ignorant. Ignorance can be destroyed, but not without recognizing it.

When P. D. Ouspensky, the great disciple of George Gurdjieff, met his Master for the first time, he was already a very famous, well known man in the world. Gurdjieff was unknown, Ouspensky was known very much already. He had already written one of the best books written in this century, TERTIUM ORGANUM. It is really a bold attempt. In fact, in this century no other man has tried such a bold speculation. With courage, Ouspensky has described his book as the third canon of thought: TERTIUM ORGANUM. The first was written by Aristotle; the second was written by Bacon. And he said, "I write the third canon of thought." He said, "The first and the second are nothing before the third. The third existed before the first." It was really a bold attempt, and not just egoistic. The claim was almost true.

When Ouspensky went to Gurdjieff, Gurdjieff looked at him. He could see the knowledgeable man who knew much, who knew that others also knew that he knew much -- the subtle ego. Gurdjieff gave him a paper, a sheet of paper, and told him to go to a room on the side and write down on one side whatsoever he knew, and on the other side whatsoever he did not know. Because the work could start only when he was clear about what he knew and what he did not know. Gurdjieff said, "Remember, whatsoever you write that you know, I will accept, and we will never talk about it again. It is finished; you know. Whatsoever you write that you don't know, we will work on it." And the first thing Gurdjieff said was to know what you know and what you don't know.

Ouspensky went into the room. He started thinking of what he knew for the first time in his life, and he could not write a single thing on the paper. He tried God, self, the world, mind, awareness -- what did he know? For the first time the question was asked authentically. He knew many things about God, and he knew many things about the soul, and he knew many things about awareness, but he did not really know a thing about God. It was all information; it was not his experience. And unless something is your experience how can you say you know it?

You may know about love, but that is not knowledge really. You have to pass through love, you have to pass through the fire of love. You have to burn, you have to survive the challenge, and when you come out of love you are totally different, different from the man who had gone in. Love transforms. Information never transforms you. Information goes on becoming an addition: whatsoever you are, it goes on adding to it. It becomes like a treasure to you but you remain the same. Experience changes you. Real knowledge is not an accumulation, it is a transformation, a mutation -- the old dies and the new is born. It is hard....

Ouspensky tried as hard as possible to find at least a few things, because it was so much against his ego not to write anything. He could not even write, "I know myself." If you have not known the basic entity, yourself, then what else can you know? It was a cold night and he started perspiring. Just a moment before he was shivering with cold. His whole being was at stake. He started feeling dizzy, as if he would fall into a swoon or a fit. Long hours passed, then Gurdjieff knocked at the door and said, "Have you done anything?" And Gurdjieff could see that the man had changed. Just keeping that blank sheet of paper in his hand, sitting there -- it had been a great meditation, a zazen. He gave the empty, blank paper to Gurdjieff and said, "I don't know anything. I am absolutely ignorant. Accept me as your disciple." Gurdjieff said, "You are ready then... to recognize that one is ignorant is the first step towards wisdom."


Patanjali says that you are immoral, but that is an effect. You are greedy, but that is an effect. You feel anger; that is an effect. Find out the cause. Don't go on fighting with the effects because that is not going to help. You can fight with your greed, and it will appear again from somewhere else. You can fight with your anger; it will be repressed and will explode somewhere again. Effects cannot be destroyed by fighting with effects. That's why yoga is not a system of morality, it is a system of awareness. The real cause has to be found. If you go on cutting and pruning the leaves of a tree it is not going to affect the tree. New leaves will come up. You will have to seek out the roots, the very cause. If you want to destroy the tree you will have to destroy the roots. With the roots destroyed, the tree will disappear. But you can go on cutting the branches; it is not going to destroy the tree. In fact, wherever you cut one branch, three will come up. Prune a tree and it becomes denser and thicker. Cut the roots and the tree disappears.

Yoga says: morality goes on fighting with the effects.

You are greedy, you try to be non-greedy, but what happens? You can be non-greedy only if your greed can be diverted towards non-greed. If somebody says that if you become non-greedy you will go to heaven, and if you remain greedy you will go to hell, now what is he doing? He is giving you a new object for your greed. He is saying, "Become non-greedy; you will attain to paradise and you will be happy there forever and ever." Now, a greedy person will start thinking how to practice non-greed so he can reach to heaven.

You are afraid; fear is there. How to get rid of fear? You can be made more afraid, and so much fear can be created about fear that you start repressing it. But that is not going to make you fearless; you will simply become more afraid. A new fear will arise, the fear of fear.

You are angry. It is simple for you to become angry, and very difficult to resist the temptation. Now something can be done. Why do you become angry? Whenever your ego is hurt, you become angry. Now it can be taught to you that a man who is controlled is respected in society. A man who does not show his anger so easily is thought to be a great man. Then your ego is being enhanced: become more disciplined and controlled, and don't be so easily tempted to become angry. Your ego is not destroyed; rather, it is strengthened. The disease may change its form, name, but the disease will remain. Remember this: yoga is not a system of morality because it doesn't bother about effects. That's why there is no such thing as ten commandments.

People go on teaching each other without knowing the basic cause. And unless the basic cause is known, nothing can be done; the human personality remains the same; maybe a little modified here and there, polished here and there.

I have heard: A Polish man went to the eye hospital for an eye test. Seated in front of the chart, the doctor asked him to read through the lines one at a time. As the man got to the bottom line which read: C S V E N C J W, he hesitated. The doctor said, "Don't look so worried. If you can't read it, just try your best." The Polish man said, "Read it? I know the fellow personally!"

It is so hard to accept that you don't know, that you don't know why you are egoistic. You don't know why you get so easily angry. You don't know why greed is there. You don't know why lust is there, why fear is there. Without knowing the cause, you start fighting with the effects. You assume that you know. Many people come to me and they say, "Somehow, we would like to get rid of anger." I ask them, "Do you know the cause?" They shrug their shoulders. They say, "Just, anger is there, and I get very easily angry and it disturbs me, disturbs my relationship, makes me more tense, creates anxiety, repentance, guilt." But these are all effects.

Why, in the first place, does anger arise? -- nobody asks. And this is the beauty of it: if you ask about the cause, if you enquire about the cause, you will be surprised to find out that the cause is one. There are millions of effects but the cause is one, the root is one. Anger, greed, ego, lust, fear, hatred, jealousy, envy, violence: whatsoever the effect, the cause is one. And the cause is: that you are not aware enough. You can control anger, but that will not help you. It will be just controlling the disease within you, holding it in. It will not make you healthy. It may even make you more unhealthy. You can see -- a person who gets easily angry is never very dangerous. You can be certain that he will never commit any murder. He will never accumulate enough anger to become a murderer. Every day he catharts. Easily, with any provocation, he gets angry. That means that his steam no longer accumulates in him. He has a leaking system. Whenever there is too much steam, he lets it go. A man who is very much controlled is a dangerous man. He goes on holding in steam; his energies become pent-up, dammed. One day or other the energies will prove more than his control. Then he will explode, then he will do something really grave. A man who easily gets angry, easily cools also.

I have heard: "I'm sorry sir," said the clerk, "but I'm giving in my notice."

"But why?" asked his boss in surprise.

"Well sir, to tell you the truth, I can't stand your foul temper."

"Oh, come now," pleaded the boss. "I know I can be a bit grumpy at times, but you must admit that no sooner is my temper on than it is off."

"That's true sir, but also, as soon as it is off, it is on again."

But this type of man can never be a murderer. He never accumulates that much steam. People who simply get emotional are good people. They may not be very controlled, they can cry and weep and laugh, but they are good people. To be with them is better than to be with a religious man -- moralistic, puritan, very collected, controlled. He's dangerous.

Just a few days ago a young man had been in Teertha's encounter group. He had taken training for many years in aikido. Now aikido, judo, karate, and all methods of ju-jitsu are disciplines of control. You have to control yourself so much that a person becomes almost a statue, so controlled you cannot provoke him. And this man took part in the encounter group.

Now, the philosophy of an encounter group is totally different. It is to bring out whatsoever is inside you. Never accumulate it. Cathart, let it go, act it out. Encounter and aikido are totally diametrically opposite things. Aikido says: control -- because the training of aikido is the training for a warrior. All the Japanese trainings are to make you a great warrior, and certainly they have developed methods which are tremendously dangerous. But they were meant to be so because the Japanese are very small people. Their height is very small, and they had to fight with people who were bigger than them. They had to create devices in which they could prove themselves stronger than the bigger people, stronger people, and they really found devices. The one device is to control every energy in you. It becomes a pooled-up thing. So the Japanese, the Chinese, they have lived with much control, discipline. They are dangerous. Once they attack you they will not leave you alive. Ordinarily, they will not attack you, but once they attack you, you can be certain that they will kill you.

Now this man who had been deeply in aikido was in the encounter group, and Teertha must have been insisting for him to bring things out, and he would not. His whole training -- he told me later on -- "My whole training is to remain controlled." Now one girl participant in the group started hitting him. She was bringing her anger out, and he remained like a statue because his whole training is to not act out. He remained like a Buddha; not actually a Buddha, because a Buddha remains alert, not controlled. On the surface, both may look the same. A man who is controlled and a man who is aware may look the same, but deep inside they are totally different. Their energy is qualitatively different.

He became more and more angry inside, and also more and more controlled because his whole training was at stake. Then he threw a pillow at the girl, and even a pillow thrown by a man of aikido can be dangerous. He can hit you at such a delicate point, with such force, that even death can occur with a pillow. That is the whole training -- one takes years -- a small hit, but at the very delicate points.

The Japanese have worked out where to hit very slightly, and the person is gone. Just with a single finger they can defeat the enemy. They have found the delicate points to hit, and how to hit, and when to hit.

But then, he himself became afraid, afraid that he could kill the girl. He became so afraid that he escaped from the group and he came to me and complained. He said, "This type of group should not be allowed in the ashram. Someday, somebody may murder somebody." He's right, because the murderer in him is there. His fear is right; it is right about himself. He can be a murderer. In fact, trainings like that are trainings to make you a murderer of man, to make you a warrior.

Remember, if you control anger, greed, and things like that, they go on accumulating in the basement of your being -- and you are sitting on a volcano. Yoga has nothing to do with repression. The belief of yoga is in awareness.


Find out the cause, and the cause is one. And things become simple, because you are not to fight with so many effects. You simply cut one root, the main root, and a whole tree of a thousand and one branches simply disappears, withers away. Become more aware.

Out of sleep arises the dream state; dreams start floating. Have you seen, sometimes in a dream you dream that you are awake? Exactly the same is happening: in thinking, you think you are awake. As in a dream you can dream you are awake, in thinking you can think you are awake -- but you are not. Real awakening happens only when all thoughts have disappeared -- there is no cloud inside you, not a single thought floating, just pure you. It is just a purity, a clarity of perception; just a vision with no object in your vision, the whole sky empty. If you look at anything, no word arises in you. You see a rose flower: not even this much arises in you, that "This is a beautiful flower." You simply see the rose there, you here, and between you two, no verbalization. In that silence, for the first time you know what being aware is, what is this state of wakefulness -- and that cuts the root. Now try it in many ways.

One way is: when you get angry try to be aware. Suddenly, you will see that either you can be angry or you can be aware; you cannot be both together. When sexuality arises try to be aware. Suddenly, you will see that either you can be aware or you can be sexual; you cannot be both together. That will help you to see the fact: that awareness is the antidote, not control. If you become more and more aware, energy starts moving in a totally different dimension. The same energy that was moving in anger, in greed, in sex, is freed, starts moving like a pillar of light inside you. And that awareness is the highest state of human evolution. A man becomes a God when he is aware. Unless you attain to that, your life has been a wastage. We live as if we are drunk.

Let me tell you a few anecdotes.

After a wild night in Old Mexico, the tourist woke up with a raging hangover and only a dim memory of the night before. Beside him in the bed lay a filthy, ugly, wrinkled and toothless hag. Retching with disgust, he ran to the bathroom, where he bumped into a pretty, young Mexican girl. "Hey, was I drunk last night?" he asked her. "I think you must have been," came the reply. "Otherwise you would not have married my mother."

Whatsoever you have done up to now, one day, suddenly you will see that all has gone wrong. Whosoever you are married to, whatsoever your life has been motivated by up to now, whatsoever your desire has been up to now, one day you will become aware and see that it has always been as if you have been drunk.

John Smith was a notorious tippler. One night, after an evening on the town, he was taking a short-cut home through a cemetery when he tripped over a gravestone and fell flat on his face. He did not regain consciousness until the next morning, and the first thing he saw when he opened his eyes was the gravestone above his head.  Now, John Smith is a common name, and the grave he was lying on happened to belong to another man with the same name. As the words 'Sacred to the Memory of John Smith' came into focus, he muttered to himself, "Well, that's me alright, but I don't remember a damned thing about the funeral!"

When a person starts meditating, he is coming out of a long drunkenness of many lives. For the first time, one cannot even believe how one has lived up to now. It seems like a nightmare -- horrible. That's why people don't even try to be aware, because the first glimpse of awareness is going to scatter, to destroy their whole life that they had been thinking had any meaning up to now. Their whole life is going to become meaningless, insignificant. The fear of awareness is the fear that it may prove your whole life wrong. That's why only very courageous people try to meditate, try to become aware. Otherwise, people just go on moving in the same vicious circle of the same desires, and the same dreams, and the same thoughts; and they come again and again back to life, and again die -- from the cradle to the grave....

Just start thinking a little, contemplate about what you have been doing: repeating a few unconscious desires, repeating something which never gives you any blissfulness, which always frustrates you. Still you go on as if you are hypnotized. In fact, that's what yoga says: that we are in a deep hypnosis. Nobody else has hypnotized us, we are hypnotized by our own minds; but we live in a hypnosis.

I have heard: As the drunk staggered homeward, he was wracking his brains for a means of concealing his condition from his wife. Finally he thought of a bright idea: he could go in and pick up a book. "After all," he thought, "who ever heard of a drunk reading a book?" Putting his plan into action, he let himself into his house, walked straight into the lounge and sat down. A minute later, his wife came stamping down the stairs and peered round the door. "What do you think you're doing?" she asked. "Just reading, dear," replied the drunk. "You're blind drunk again, you alcoholic idiot," ranted his wife. "Now close that suitcase and come to bed."

Whatsoever you are doing in your unconscious state, whatsoever it is, I say unconditionally, is going to be idiotic. You also feel that sometimes, but again and again you drop the subject. You don't remember it for too long because that seems to be too much of a risk.

You love a woman: if you became aware, the love might disappear because your love might be just a hypnosis, as it is ordinarily. You are ambitious, you are trying to reach to the capital to become a president or a prime minister: now you will be afraid of becoming aware, because if you become aware suddenly the whole thing will look stupid, and you have staked your whole life for it.

Just the other day I saw a picture of Senator Humphrey crying, because he had been trying for his whole life to become the President of America, and this was his last chance, and there seemed to be no possibility. So, standing before his admirers he started weeping. Tears came to his eyes and he said, "Now I am old, and this seems to be my last chance; I will never be standing again for President." Crying like a small child... your politicians are just small children playing and fighting with each other.

If you become aware, you may suddenly see the whole nonsense of your efforts. You may stop, and that 'somewhere' deep inside you is always felt. You are after money....

Once it happened: A very rich man used to come to listen to me. Suddenly he stopped. After many months I suddenly met him on a morning walk. I asked him, "Where have you been? You have disappeared suddenly?" He said, "Not suddenly; but I became, by and by, afraid. I will come to listen to you, but now is not the time. I am young, and listening to you, by and by, I was getting less and less ambitious. Now that will be dangerous. I have to attain my ambitions first. In my later years, when I have become old, then I will meditate, but this is not for me now. First I had come to you just out of curiosity, but by and by, I was getting caught in it. I stopped myself. It was difficult to stop, but I am a man of willpower.

You cannot become aware because you have many investments in your foolishness, in your ignorance, in your unawareness. In this sleep, in this slumber, you have invested your life, and many things. Now, the first ray of awareness, and you will feel that your whole life has been a wastage. You are still not courageous. That's why people go on changing effects, because then there is no danger. And they never touch the root.

Once it happened: I was travelling with Mulla Nasrudin. Suddenly he became aware that he had lost his ticket. He looked in all his pockets: in the coat, in the shirt, in the pants -- but I was watching. He was not looking in one of his pockets. So I told him, "You are looking in every pocket, in the suitcase, in the bag and everything. Why don't you look in this pocket?" He said, "I am afraid. If the ticket is not there I will drop dead. I am leaving it so that the hope remains that if it is not anywhere, at least that pocket is still there; maybe it is there? If I look into it and it is not there, I will drop dead."

You know where to look, but still you are afraid. Then you go on looking in other places just to remain occupied. You go on looking in money, in power, in prestige, in this and that, but never inside you, never in your inner being. You are afraid; it seems that if you look there and nothing is found you will drop dead. But those who have looked there have always found. Not a single exception has ever happened of one who has gone within and has not found the treasure. This is one of the most universal facts. Even scientific facts are not so universal; this fact is without any exception. Whenever, in any country, in any century, any woman or any man have looked into themselves, they have found the treasure. But one has to look, and for that a great daring is needed. You have arranged your world outside of yourself. Your love, your power, your money, your fame, your name: all are outside you. One who wants to go in will have to leave these things, will have to close his eyes; and one clings to the very end.

Life goes on frustrating you; that's a blessing. Life goes on frustrating you again and again. Life is saying, "Go within." All frustrations are simply indications that you are looking in a wrong direction. Fulfillment is possible only in a right direction. Life frustrates you because life is a tremendous blessing. If you are satisfied outside you will be lost forever; then you will never look within. But in spite of all the frustrations you go on hoping.

I have heard about a man: "Why did you quit your last job?" "Well, the boss said I was sacked, but I did not take any notice. He was always saying that. So I went in the next day and all my things had been cleared out of my office. Then I went in the day after and my name plate had been taken off the door, and the following day I found someone else sitting in my chair. 'This is too much!' I thought to myself; so I resigned."

But even that is not too much to you. Every day you are sacked, every day you are fired, every day you are frustrated, every moment. Whatsoever arrangements you make are destroyed every moment, whatsoever you propose is disposed. All your hopes simply prove hopeless, and all your dreams turn into dust and leave a very bitter taste in the mouth. You feel continuously nauseous, but still you go on clinging: some day, maybe, from somewhere, your dreams may be fulfilled. This is how you go on hanging on to the very illusory world of your projections. Unless you become alert and see the hopelessness of your hopes, unless you drop all hoping you will not turn in, and you will not be able to destroy the cause.


Yoga believes in eternity, not in time. Yoga says: all always is -- the past is still there, hidden in the present, and the future is also there, hidden in the present -- because the past cannot simply disappear and the future cannot simply appear out of nothingness. Past, present, future, all are here-now. For us they are divided because we cannot see the totality. We have very small slits of eyes, senses, to look at reality. We divide.

If our consciousness is pure and there is no cloud in it, we will see eternity as it is. There will be no past and there will be no future. There will only be this moment, eternally this moment.

A great Zen Master, Bokuju, was dying, and his disciples gathered. The chief disciple asked, "Master, you are leaving us. People will ask us what your message was, after you are gone. Though you have been teaching us always and always, you have taught so many things, and we are ignorant people; it will be difficult for us to condense your message. So please, before you leave, give your very essence just in a single sentence." Bokuju opened his eyes and said loudly, "This is it!" closed his eyes and died. Now after him, for centuries, people have been asking what he meant: This is it? He had said everything.

This... is... it...

He had given the whole message: this moment is all there is. This moment -- the whole past, the whole present, the whole future, is involved in this moment. But you cannot see it in its totality because your mind is so clouded, so dusty with thought, dream, sleep; so much hypnosis, desire, motive. You cannot see. You are not total, your vision is not total. "Once the vision is total," Patanjali says, "past and future exist in the present, but they are not experienced in the present because they are on different planes." The past has moved on a different plane. It has become superconscious you cannot know your future. You are closed in your small consciousness, very fragmentary. You are just like the tip of an iceberg: much is hidden deep, just beneath you, and much is hidden just above you. Just below, and above, and the whole reality surrounds you, but you are clinging to a very small consciousness. Make this consciousness greater and bigger.

That's what meditation is all about -- how to make your consciousness bigger, how to make your consciousness infinite. You will only be able to know that much reality; in the same proportion will you be able to know the reality as you have consciousness. If you have infinite consciousness you will know the infinite; if you have momentary consciousness you will know the moment. On your consciousness depends everything.


We have talked in the past about the three gunas: sattva means stability, rajas means action, and tamas means inertia. Patanjali now joins past, present, and future with the three gunas. For Patanjali, everything in life and existence is somehow joined with the three gunas, the three attributes of existence. That is Patanjali's trinity. Everything consists of three things. Stability; the past is stability. That's why you cannot change your past; it has become almost stable. Now you cannot change it. There is no way to change it. It has become permanent. The present is action, rajas. The present is a continuous process, movement. Present is dynamic and future is inertia. It is still in the seed, fast asleep. In the seed the tree is asleep, is in inertia.

The future is the potential, the past is the actual, and the present is the movement of the potential towards the actual. The past is that which has happened, the future is that which is going to happen, and the present is the passage between the two. Present is the passage of the future to become past, for the seed to become the tree.


Now physicists say that the electron, neutron, and proton are the basic elements, and everything is made of these. Everything is made of these three: the positive, the neutral and the negative. That is exactly the meaning of sattva, rajas, and tamas: the positive, the neutral, and the negative -- and everything is made of these three. Just the proportions differ, otherwise these are the basic elements that the whole existence consists of.

THE SAME OBJECT IS SEEN IN DIFFERENT WAYS BY DIFFERENT MINDS... but a different mind will see the same object in a different way.

For example, a woodcutter comes into the garden -- he will not look at the flowers, he will not look at the greenery; he will be looking at the wood and the possibilities for the wood -- which tree can become a beautiful table, which tree can become a door. For him, trees exist only as material for furniture. Potential furniture, that's what he will see. And if there comes a painter he will not think of furniture at all. Not even for a single moment will furniture enter into his consciousness. He will think of colors: the green, the red, the white, and thousands of colors all around. He will think of painting, of bringing these colors to canvas. If a poet comes he will not think of painting, he will think of something else. A philosopher comes and he will think still of something else. It depends on the mind. The object is always seen through the mind; the mind colors it.

Let me tell you a few anecdotes.

The tramp happened to call at the house of a temperance man. "I want to ask you a question," said the man to the tramp. "Do you ever take alcoholic drinks?" "Before I answer," said the tramp, "I want to know whether it is put as an inquiry or as an invitation."

It depends... the answer will depend on the question. The tramp is trying to be safe as to whether it is an invitation or an inquiry. His 'yes' and 'no' is going to be dependent on what it is. When you see a certain thing, you don't see the thing as such.

Immanuel Kant has said that a thing in itself cannot be known, and he is right in a way. He is right because whenever you know a thing, your mind, your prejudice, your greed, your concept, your culture, your religion, are all there looking at the thing. But Immanuel Kant is not absolutely true because there is a way to look at a thing without the mind. But he was not aware of meditation at all.

That's the difference between Western philosophy and Eastern philosophy. The Western philosophy goes on thinking through the mind, and the whole effort in the East is how to drop the mind and then see things, because then things appear in their own light, in their intrinsic qualities. Then you don't project anything.

He was the laziest man in the entire town. Unfortunately, he had a bad accident: he fell off his couch at home. A doctor examined him and said, "I'm afraid I have some rather bad news for you, sir. You will never be able to work-again." "Thank you doctor," said the lazy one. "Now what is the bad news?"

For a lazy man it is not bad news that he will never be able to work again in his life. This is good news. It depends on your interpretation. And always remember, all interpretation is false because it falsifies reality.

The man lay on the psychiatrist's couch in a state of nervous tension. "I keep having this recurring, horrible nightmare," he told the psychiatrist. "In it I see my mother-in-law chasing me with a man-eating alligator on a leash. It is really frightening. I see the yellow eyes, the dry scaly skin, the yellow, decaying and razorsharp teeth, and smell foetid heavy breath."

"It sounds pretty nasty," agreed the psychiatrist understandingly.

"That's nothing, doctor," continued the man. "Wait till I tell you about the alligator!"

Your mind is continuously projecting something. The reality functions as a screen and you go on working as a projector. A man who is learning how to be aware will learn how to drop his projections and look at facts as they are. Don't bring your mind in, otherwise you will never be able to know reality. You will remain closed in your own interpretations.


But still, Patanjali is not saying the same things as Bishop Berkeley. Berkeley says that things are absolutely dependent on mind. He says that when you go out of your room everything in the room disappears. If there is nobody to see, how can things exist? And, in a way, it is difficult to disprove him because he says, "When you come back into the room again, things appear. When you go out, they disappear because a mind is needed to interpret them." Berkeley is saying that things are nothing but interpretations. So when you go out, of course your interpretation goes with you and there is no thing left in the room. It is very difficult to prove that he is wrong, because if you come back into the room to prove, you have come back, so things have appeared. But people have tried. One man tried to find a few things which even Bishop Berkeley would be forced to believe.

You are sitting in a train and the train is moving, and you are not looking at the wheels, but still they are, because the train is moving. Nobody may be looking at the wheels, but you cannot deny that they are, otherwise you would not reach from one station to another. And all the passengers are inside the train but nobody is looking at the wheels, but wheels are. Of course, he was also worried about things because if all things disappear, then how will they come back again? Finally he decided that they exist in the mind of God, so even when you are not there God is looking at your furniture. That's why it remains; otherwise it would disappear.

Berkeley's philosophy is very logical in a way. He believes in the mind, and he does not believe in matter. He says matter exists just as things exist in your dreams. In your dream you see a palace; it exists there, as real as anything you have ever seen. By the morning, when you open your eyes, it is gone. But when you dream it again it is again there. He's a perfect mayawadin, a perfect believer in illusion, that the world is illusory.

But Patanjali is very scientific. He says that the thing is not your interpretation, though whatsoever you think about the thing is your interpretation. The thing in itself exists. When nobody comes into the garden -- the carpenter, the woodcutter, the painter, the poet, the philosopher; nobody comes into the garden -- still flowers flower, but without any interpretation. Nobody says they are beautiful, so they are not beautiful, they are not ugly. Nobody says they are white or red, so they are not red or white, but still they are.

Things exist in themselves, but we can know things in themselves only when we have dropped our minds. Otherwise, our minds go on playing tricks. We go on seeing things which we desire. We see only that which we want to see. It happens every day here: I talk to you; you listen to that which you want to listen to. You choose that which helps you. Your own mind is strengthened by it. If I say something which goes against you, there is every possibility you will not listen to it. Or, even if you listen to it, you will interpret it in such a way that it does not create any irritation in your mind, that it is absorbed, that you make it a part of your mind. Whatsoever you hear has to be your interpretation, because you listen from the mind.

Patanjali says: right listening means listening without the mind, right seeing means seeing without the mind; you are simply aware.


Now, one thing more: when you look at an object, your mind colors the object and the object colors your mind. That's how things are known or unknown. When you look at a flower you say, "Beautiful." You have projected something on the flower. The flower is also projecting itself onto your mind: its color, its form. Your mind gets in tune with the form and the color of the flower; your mind gets colored by the flower. That's the only way to know a thing. If you are not colored by the flower, the flower may be there but you have not known it.

Have you watched? -- you are in the market-place and somebody says, "Your house is on fire!" You start running, you pass by many people. Somebody says, "Hello, where are you going?" but you don't listen. On another day, at another time, you would have listened, but now your house is on fire. Your mind is totally directed towards your house. Now your attention is not here. You are not getting colored. You may pass a beautiful flower, but you will not say 'beautiful', you will not even recognize that the flower is there -- impossible.

I have heard of one man, a very great philosopher; his name was Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. The Governor General was going to give him an award for his services, his learning, his scholarship, but he was a very poor man. He lived in Calcutta, a poor Bengali, and his clothes were not such that he should go wearing those clothes when the award was to be given to him. So the friends came and they said, "Don't be worried, we have ordered beautiful clothes for you." But he said, "I have never used anything more costly than these clothes. Just to take an award, should I change my whole way of life?" But the friends convinced him and he became ready. The same evening he was coming home from the market, just walking behind a Mohammedan who was walking with great dignity -- very slow, with grace -- a very beautiful man. And then a servant came running to that Mohammedan and said, "Sir, your house is on fire," but the Mohammedan continued the same way. The servant said, "Have you heard me or not? Your house is on fire! Everything is burning!" The Mohammedan said, "I have heard you, but just because the house is on fire I cannot change my way of walking. And even if I run, I cannot save the house, so what is the point?"

Ishwar Chandra listened to this dialogue between the servant and the master. He could not believe his eyes, he could not believe his ears: "What is this man saying?" And then he remembered: "I am just changing my clothes and going in borrowed clothes just to receive an award?" He dropped the idea. The next day he appeared in his ordinary poor clothes. The Governor General asked, the friends asked; he related the story.

Now, this Mohammedan had a certain awareness, a certain awareness which cannot be clouded by anything, a certain wakefulness which is not easily disturbed. Ordinarily, everything colors you and you color everything. When this coloring stops, this reciprocal coloring stops, things start appearing in their true being. Then you come to see reality as it is. Then you come to know, 'This is It'. Then you come to know that which is.

These sutras are just indicators that unless a state of no-mind is achieved, ignorance cannot be destroyed. Awareness is against ignorance, knowledge is not against ignorance. So don't become parrots, and don't rely only on memorizing. Don't cram; try to see. Become more capable of seeing things as they are. The Vedas, the Upanishads, The Koran, the Bible, cannot help much. You can become great learned scholars, but you will remain, deep down, just fools. And when ignorance is decorated by knowledge then one clings to it. One does not want to destroy it. In fact, ego feels very happy.

You will have to choose. If you choose the ego, you will remain ignorant. If you want awareness, you will have to become aware of the tricks the ego goes on playing with you.

This morning, contemplate what you know and what you don't know, and don't be easily satisfied. Go as deep as possible into what you know and what you don't know. If you can decide that this you know and this you don't know, you have taken a great step. And that step is the most significant step a man can ever take because then the pilgrimage starts, the pilgrimage towards reality. If you go on believing that you know many things, and you don't know them, you are deceiving yourself and you will remain hypnotized by your knowledge. You will waste your whole life in drunkenness. Ordinarily, people live just like they are deeply asleep, walking in their sleep, doing things in their sleep, somnambulists.

Gurdjieff took Ouspensky and his thirty disciples to a very faraway place, and he told his thirty disciples to be absolutely silent for three months. He told them to be so silent that they should not communicate even through eyes or gestures. And thirty persons were to remain in a small bungalow as if there were not thirty people, but as if each one was living alone. After a few days a few people left, because it was too much, impossible. And Gurdjieff was a hard task-master. If he saw somebody smiling at somebody else, immediately he was expelled because he had communicated; the silence was broken. He said, "Live in this house as if you are alone. There are twenty-nine other people, but you are not concerned with them -- just as if they are not." By the time the three months ended only three persons were left; twenty-seven had left. Ouspensky was one of those three persons. Those three persons became so silent that Gurdjieff took them outside the bungalow into the town, moved them in the market-place, and Ouspensky writes in his diary, "For the first time I could see that the whole of humanity is walking in sleep. People are talking in their sleep. Shopkeepers are selling things, customers are purchasing things, great crowds are going here and there, and I could see that moment that everybody is fast asleep; nobody is aware." He said, "We felt so uncomfortable in that mad place that we asked Gurdjieff to take us back to the bungalow. But he said, 'That bungalow was just an experiment to show you the reality of humanity, and you also have lived the same way. Because now you are silent you can see that people are just drunk, unconscious; not living really, just moving not knowing why, not knowing for what.'"

Watch yourself, meditate over it, and see whether you are living in sleep. If you are living in sleep, then come out of it.

Meditation is nothing but an effort to gather together the small consciousness that you have, to gather together, to crystallize it, to make all sorts of efforts to increase it more and more, and to decrease unconsciousness. By and by, consciousness becomes higher and higher: less and less dreamy; less and less thoughts come to you, and there are more and more gaps of silence. Through those gaps, windows will open to the divine. One day, when you have become really capable and you can say that, "I can exist for a few minutes without any thought or dream interfering with me," for the first time you will know. The purpose is fulfilled.

From deep sleep you have come to deep awareness. When deep sleep and deep awareness meet, the circle is complete.

That's what samadhi is. Patanjali calls it kaivalya -- pure consciousness, alone; so pure, so alone that nothing else exists. Only in this aloneness does one become blissful. Only in this aloneness, one comes to know what truth is. Truth is your being. It is there but you are asleep. Awake.


Next: Chapter 6, Without any choice of your own: First Question


Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Yoga Yoga Sutras of Patanjali



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