The witness is self-illuminating




Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Yoga Yoga Sutras of Patanjali



Book 4, Sutra 18


Book 4, Sutra 19


Book 4, Sutra 20


Book 4, Sutra 21


Book 4, Sutra 22


Book 4, Sutra 23


Book 4, Sutra 24


The first sutra:


PATANJALI TAKES the whole complexity of the human being into account that has to be understood. Never before and never after has such a comprehensive system ever been evolved. Man is not a simple being. Man is a very complex organism. A rock is simple because the rock has only one layer, the layer of the body. It is what Patanjali calls anamayakos: the most gross, only one layer. You go into the rock; you will find layers of rock but nothing else. Look at a tree and you will also find something else other than the body. The tree is not just the body. Something of the subtle has happened to it. It is not so dead as rock; it is more alive -- a subtle body has come into existence. If you treat a tree like a rock, you mistreat it. Then you have not taken into account the subtle evolution that has happened between the rock and the tree. The tree is highly evolved. It is more complex. Then, take an animal -- still more complex. Another layer of subtle body has evolved.

Man has five bodies, five seeds, so if you really want to understand man and his mind -- and there is no way of going beyond if you don't understand the whole complexity -- then we have to be very patient and careful. If you miss one step,.you will not be able to reach to your innermost core of being. The body that you can see in the mirror is the outermost shell of your being. Many have mistaken it, as if this is all.

In psychology, there is a movement called behaviorism, which thinks that man is nothing but the body. Always beware of people who talk of 'nothing buts'. Man is always more than any 'nothing but' can imply. Behaviorists: Pavlov, B. F. Skinner and company, think that man is the body -- not that you have a body, not that you are in the body, but simply that you are the body. Then man is reduced to the lowest denominator. And of course, they can prove it. They can prove it because that is the most gross part of man and is easily available to scientific experimentation. The subtle layers of man's being are not so easily available. Or, to say it in other words: scientific instrumentation is not yet so sophisticated. It cannot touch the subtler layers of man.

Freud, Adler, go a little deeper into man. Then man is not just the body. They touch something of the second body, what Patanjali calls pranamayakos: the vital body, the energy body. But only a very fragmentary part is touched by Freud and Adler; one part by Freud and another part by Adler.

Freud reduces man to just sexuality. That is also there in man, but that is not the whole story. Adler reduces man to just ambition, will to power. That too is there in man. Man is very big, very complex. Man is an orchestra; many instruments are involved in it.

But this has always happened. This is a calamity, but this has always happened: when once somebody finds something, he tries to make a total philosophy out of his finding. That's a great temptation. Freud stumbled upon sex, and that too, not the whole of sex. He stumbled only upon the repressed sexuality. He came across repressed people. Christian repression has made many blocks in man where energy has become coiled up within itself, has become stagnant, is no longer flowing. He came against those rock-like blocks in the stream of human energy, and he thought -- and the ego always thinks that way -- that he had found the ultimate truth. Adler, working in a different way, stumbled upon another block of man: the will to power. And then he made a whole philosophy out of it.

Man has been taken in fragments. Yoga is the only philosophy in existence which takes the whole of man into account. Jung went still a little further, deeper. One fragment of the third body of man, manomayakos -- he caught hold of it and he created a whole philosophy out of it. To comprehend the whole body -- even that has not been possible because the body itself is very complex: millions of cells in a great harmony, functioning in a miraculous way. When you were born in your mother's womb, you were just a small cell. Out of that one cell, another cell arises. The cell grows and divides in two, then the two cells grow and divide into four. Out of one division -- and division goes on -- you have millions of cells. And they all function in a deep cooperation, as if somebody is holding them. It is not a chaos; you are a cosmos.

And then, some cells become your eyes, some cells become your ears, some cells become your genital organs, some cells become your skin, some cells your bones, some cells your brain, some cells your nails and your hair; and they all are coming out of one cell. They are all alike. They have no qualitative difference, but they function so differently. The eye can see; the ear cannot see. The ear can hear, but cannot smell. So those cells not only function in harmony, but they become experts. They gain to a certain specialization. A few cells turn into the eyes. What has happened? What type of training is going on? Why do certain cells become eyes, and certain other cells become ears, and still certain others become your nose, and they are all alike? There must be a great training inside -- some unknown power training them for a specific purpose.

And remember, when those cells are getting ready to see, they have not yet seen anything. When the child is in the womb, he remains completely blind. He has not seen any light; the eyes are closed. A miracle: no training to see and the eyes are ready, no possibility to see and the eyes are ready. The child does not breathe with his own lungs, he has not known what breathing is, but the lungs are ready. They are ready before the child is going to enter into the world and breathe. The eyes are ready before the child is going to enter into the world and see. Everything is ready. When the child is born he is a perfect human being of tremendous complexity, specialization, subtlety. And there has been no training, no rehearsal. The child has never taken a single breath, but immediately out of the mother's womb, he cries and takes his first breath. The mechanism is ready before any training has been given: some tremendous power, some power which comprehends all the possibilities of the future, some power which is preparing the child to be able to face all possibilities of life for the future, is working deep within.

Even the body is not completely understood, not yet. Our whole understanding is fragmentary. The science of man does not exist yet. Patanjali's yoga is the closest effort ever made. He divides the body into five layers, or into five bodies. You don't have one body, you have five bodies; and behind the five bodies, your being. The same as has happened in psychology has happened in medicine. Allopathy believes only in the physical body, the gross body. It is parallel to behaviorism. Allopathy is the grossest medicine. That's why it has become scientific, because scientific instrumentation is only capable yet of very gross things. Go deeper.

Acupuncture, the Chinese medicine, enters one layer more. It works on the vital body, the pranamayakos. If something goes wrong in the physical body, acupuncture does not touch the physical body at all. It tries to work on the vital body. It tries to work on the bioenergy, the bioplasma. It settles something there, and immediately the gross body starts functioning well. If something goes wrong in the vital body, allopathy functions on the body, the gross body. Of course, for allopathy, it is an uphill task. For acupuncture, it is a downhill task. It is easier because the vital body is a little higher than the physical body. If the vital body is set right, the physical body simply follows it because the blueprint exists in the vital body. The physical body is just an implementation of the vital.

Now acupuncture is gaining respect, by and by, because a certain very sensitive photography, Kirlian photography, in Soviet Russia, has come across the seven hundred vital points in the human body as they have always been predicted by acupuncturists for at least five thousand years. They had no instruments to know where the vital points in the body were. But by and by, just through trial and error, through centuries, they discovered seven hundred points. Now Kirlian has also discovered the same seven hundred points with scientific instrumentation. And Kirlian photography has proved one thing: that to try to change the vital through the physical is absurd. It is trying to change the master by changing the servant. It is almost impossible because the master won't listen to the servant. If you want to change the servant, change the master. Immediately, the servant follows. Rather than going and changing each soldier, it is better to change the general. The body has millions of soldiers, cells, simply working under some order, under some commandment. Change the commander, and the whole body pattern changes.

Homeopathy goes still a little deeper. It works on the manomayakos, the mental body. The founder of homeopathy, Hahnemann, discovered one of the greatest things ever discovered, and that was: the smaller the quantity of the medicine, the deeper it goes. He called the method of making homeopathic medicine 'potentizing'. They go on reducing the quantity of the medicine. He would work in this way: he would take a certain amount of medicine and would mix it with ten times the amount of milk sugar or with water. One quantity of medicine, nine quantities of water; he would mix them. Then he would again take one quantity of this new solution, and would again mix it with nine times more water, or milk sugar. In this way he would go on: again from the new solution he would take one quantity and would mix it with nine times more water. This he would do, and the potency would increase. By and by, the medicine reaches to the atomic level. It becomes so subtle that you cannot believe that it can work; it has almost disappeared. That is what is written on homeopathic medicines, the potency: ten potency, twenty potency, one hundred potency, one thousand potency. The bigger the potency, the smaller is the amount. With ten thousand potency, a millionth of the original medicine has remained, almost none. It has almost disappeared, but then it enters the most deep core of manomaya. It enters into your mind body. It goes deeper than acupuncture. It is almost as if you have reached the atomic, or even the sub-atomic level. Then it does not touch your body. Then it does not touch your vital body; it simply enters. It is so subtle and so small that it comes across no barriers. It can simply slip into the manomayakos, into the mental body, and from there it starts working. You have found an even bigger authority than the pranamaya.

Ayurved, the Indian medicine, is a synthesis of all three. It is one of the most synthetic of medicines.

Hypnotherapy goes still deeper. It touches the vigyanmayakos: the fourth body, the body of consciousness. It does not use medicine. It does not use anything. It simply uses suggestion, that's all. It simply puts a suggestion in your mind call it animal magnetism, mesmerism, hypnosis or whatsoever you like -- but it works through the power of thought, not the power of matter. Even homeopathy is still the power of matter in a very subtle quantity. Hypnotherapy gets rid of matter altogether, because howsoever subtle, it is matter. Ten thousand potency, but still, it is a potency of matter. It simply jumps to the thought energy, vigyanmayakos: the consciousness body. If your consciousness just accepts a certain idea, it starts functioning.

Hypnotherapy has a great future. It is going to become the future medicine, because if by just changing your thought pattern your mind can be changed, through the mind your vital body and through the vital body your gross body, then why bother with poisons, why bother with gross medicines? Why not work it through thought power? Have you watched any hypnotist working on a medium? If you have not watched, it is worth watching. It will give you a certain insight.

You may have heard, or you may have seen -- in India it happens; you must have seen fire-walkers. It is nothing but hypnotherapy. The idea that they are possessed by a certain god or a goddess and no fire can burn them, just this idea is enough. This idea controls and transforms the ordinary functioning of their bodies.

They are prepared: for twenty-four hours they fast. When you are fasting and your whole body is clean, and there is no excreta in it, the bridge between you and the gross drops. For twenty-four hours, they live in a temple or in a mosque, singing, dancing, getting in tune with God. Then comes the moment when they walk on the fire. They come dancing, possessed. They come with full trust that the fire is not going to burn, that's all; there is nothing else. How to create the trust is the question. Then they dance on the fire, and the fire does not burn.

It has happened many times that somebody who was just a spectator became so possessed. Twenty persons walking on fire are not burned, and somebody would immediately become so confident: "If these people are walking, then why not I?"; and he has jumped in, and the fire has not burned. In that sudden moment, a trust arose. Sometimes it has happened that people who were prepared, were burned. Sometimes an unprepared spectator walked on fire and was not burned. What happened? -- the people who were prepared must have carried a doubt. They must have been thinking whether it was going to happen or not. A subtle doubt must have remained in the vigyan mayakos, in their consciousness. It was not total trust. So they came, but with doubt. Because of that doubt, the body could not receive the message from the higher soul. The doubt came in between, and the body continued to function in the ordinary way; it got burned. That's why all religions insist for trust. Trust is hypnotherapy. Without trust, you cannot enter into the subtle parts of your being, because a small doubt, and you are thrown back to the gross. Science works with doubt. Doubt is a method in science because science works with the gross. Whether you doubt or not, an allopath is not worried. He does not ask you to trust in his medicine; he simply gives you medicine.

But a homeopath will ask whether you believe, because without your belief it will be more difficult for a homeopath to work upon you. And a hypnotherapist will ask for total surrender. Otherwise, nothing can be done.

Religion is surrender. Religion is a hypnotherapy. But, there is still one more body. That is the anandmayakos: the bliss body. Hypnotherapy goes up to the fourth. Meditation goes up to the fifth. 'Meditation' -- the very word is beautiful because the root is the same as 'medicine'. Both come from the same root. Medicine and meditation are off-shoots of one word: that which heals, that which makes you healthy and whole is medicine; and on the deepest level, that is meditation.

Meditation does not even give you suggestions because suggestions are to be given from the outside. Somebody else has to give you suggestions. Suggestion means that you are dependent upon somebody. They cannot make you perfectly conscious because the other will be needed, and a shadow will be cast on your being. Meditation makes you perfectly conscious, without any shadow -- absolute light with no darkness. Now even suggestion is thought to be a gross thing. Somebody suggests -- that means something comes from the outside, and in the ultimate analysis that which comes from the outside is material. Not only matter, but that which comes from the outside is material. Even a thought is a subtle form of matter. Even hypnotherapy is materialistic.

Meditation drops all props, all supports. That's why to understand meditation is the most difficult thing in the world, because nothing is left -- just a pure understanding, a witnessing. That is what this first sutra is.

THE MODIFICATIONS OF THE MIND ARE ALWAYS KNOWN BY ITS LORD... who is the lord within you? That lord has to be found.


In you two things are happening. One is a cyclone of thoughts, emotions, desires -- a great whirlwind around you, constantly changing, constantly transforming itself, constantly on the move. It is a process. Behind this process is your witnessing soul -- eternal, permanent, not changing at all. It has never changed. It is like the eternal sky: clouds come and go, gather, disperse... the sky remains untouched, uninfluenced, unimpressed. It remains pure and virgin. That is the lord, the eternal within you.

Mind goes on changing. Just a moment before you had one mind, a moment afterwards you have another mind. Just a few minutes before you were angry, and now you are laughing. Just a moment before you were happy, and now you are sad. Modifications, changes, continuous waves up and down; like a yo-yo you go on. But something in you is eternal: that which goes on witnessing the play, the game. The witnesser is the lord. If you start witnessing, by and by, you will come closer and closer to the lord.

Start witnessing objects. You see a tree. You see the tree, but you are not aware that you are seeing it; then you are not a witness. You see the tree, and at the same time you see that you are seeing; then you are a witness. Consciousness has to become double-arrowed: one arrow going to the tree, another arrow going to your subjectivity.

It is difficult, because when you become aware of yourself you forget the tree, and when you become aware of the tree you forget yourself. But by and by, one learns to balance, just as one learns to balance on a tight-rope. Difficult in the beginning, dangerous, risky, but by and by, one learns the balance. Just go on trying. Wherever you have an opportunity to be a witness, don't miss it, because there is nothing more valuable than witnessing. Doing an act: walking or eating or taking a bath, become a witness also. Let the shower fall on you, but inside you remain alert and see what is happening -- the coolness of the water, the tingling sensation all over the body, a certain silence surrounding you, a certain wellbeing arising in you -- but go on becoming a witness. You are feeling happy; just feeling happy is not enough -- be a witness. Just go on watching -- "I'm feeling happy... I'm feeling sad... I'm feeling hungry" -- go on watching. By and by, you will see that happiness is separate from you, unhappiness also. All that you can witness is separate from you. This is the method of viveka, discrimination. All that is separate from you can be witnessed, and all that can be witnessed is separate from you. You cannot witness the witnesser; that is the lord. You cannot go behind the lord; you are the lord. You are the ultimate core of existence.


The mind itself can be seen. It can become an object. It can be perceived, so it is not the perceiver. Ordinarily, we think that it is the mind which is seeing the flower. No, you can go beyond the mind and you can see the mind, just as the mind is seeing the flower. The deeper you go, the more you will find that the observer itself becomes the observed. That's why Krishnamurti goes on saying again and again, "The observer is the observed; the perceiver is the perceived." When you go deep, first you see the trees, and the rose and the stars, and you think the mind is witnessing. Then close your eyes. Now, see the impressions in the mind: of roses, stars, trees. Now who is the perceiver? The perceiver has gone a little deeper. Mind itself has become an object.

These five koshas, these five seeds, are five stations where the perceiver again and again becomes the perceived. When you move from the gross body, the food body, the anamayakos, to the vital body, you immediately see that from the vital body the gross body can be seen as an object. It is outside the vital body. Just as the house is outside you, when you stand in the vital body, your own body is just like a wall around you. Again you move from the vital body to manomayakos, the mental body; the same happens. Now, even the vital body is outside you, like a fence around you; and this way it goes on. It goes on to the ultimate point where only the witnesser remains. Then you don't see yourself as, "I am blissful"; you see yourself as a witness of bliss.

The last body is the bliss body. It is the most difficult to separate from because it is very close to the lord. It almost surrounds the lord like a climate. But that too has to be known. Even at that last point when you are ecstatically blissful, then too you have to do the ultimate effort, the last effort of discrimination, and of seeing that the bliss is separate from you.

Then is liberation, kaivalya. Then you are left alone -- just the witnesser -- and everything has been reduced to objects: the body, the mind, the energy. Even the bliss, even the ecstasy, even meditation itself is no more there. When meditation becomes perfect, it is no more a meditation. When the meditator has really achieved the goal, he does not meditate. He cannot meditate because that too is now an activity like walking, eating. He has become separate from everything. That is the difference between dhyan and samadhi, between meditation and samadhi. Meditation is of the fifth body, the bliss body. It is still a therapy, a medicine. You are still a little ill, ill because you are identifying yourself with something which you are not. All illness is identification, and absolute health is through non-identification. Samadhi is when even meditation has been left behind.

I was reading a book by Edward de Bono. He writes about a very ancient incident that happened in China.

Once, in ancient China, a pagoda, a temple burned down. A strange and appetizing smell led the searchers in the ashes to the roasted body of an unfortunate pig which had got into the blaze, burned in the blaze. Roast pig became a delicacy in China. Accidentally it was discovered because the pagoda burned and a pig was burned in it. But then people thought that it must have something to do with the pagoda, otherwise how could the pig be so delicious? So for centuries in China it continued that whenever they would like to eat a roast pig, they would build a pagoda first, then put a pig inside and burn it down. It was very costly, but it looked very scientific to them. Only after centuries did they become aware that it was foolish. The pig can be roasted without the pagoda. The pagoda is not essential to it.

But this is how the human mind functions, because you become aware of your body first and everything gets associated with it. When you feel a certain well-being, a happiness all around you, of course you feel it is because of the body, because, "I am feeling healthy, no illness, no disease. That's why it is there." Then you try to keep the body young, healthy. Nothing is wrong in it, but well-being comes from somewhere deep within you. Yes, a healthy body is needed, otherwise those deep springs will not be able to be active. A healthy body functions as a vehicle to bring you the well-being from your own innermost core, but the body itself is not the cause.

Let me tell you a few anecdotes on how the mind gets apparently very logical, but deep down comes to very absurd conclusions.

A professor once trained a hundred fleas to jump when he shouted the right command. Once they were responding satisfactorily, he took a pair of scissors and snipped off their legs. As soon as he realized that not one single flea obeyed the command to jump anymore, he announced his findings to the medical world: "I have irrefutable proof, gentlemen, that a flea's ears are situated in its legs."

This has happened many times in the whole history of human thought: legs cut, now they don't jump, they don't listen to the command. Of course, naturally, the ears of the flea are situated in the legs.

Logic can go to very illogical ends. Logic can conclude very illogical conclusions. The body is the most gross part, easily comprehensible; you can catch hold of it, you can train it, you can make it more healthy by giving food, nutrition. You can kill it by starving it. You can do a thousand and one things with the body. It is graspable. Beyond the body starts the world of the elusive.

Scientists are a little afraid to move into the elusive world, because then their criteria don't function well. Then everything goes on becoming dimmer and dimmer. Of course, they stay where light is.

A famous anecdote about Rabia al Adaviya: One evening she was searching for something in the street. Somebody asked, "What are you searching for?" She said, "I have lost my needle." So those people, being kind people, started helping her. "The old woman, poor woman, has lost her needle"; everybody tried to help. But then somebody became aware that a needle is such a small thing: "Exactly where has it fallen? The street is big. If we go on searching it will take millennia." So they asked, "Where exactly has the needle fallen, so we can search only in that place?" Rabia said, "Don't ask that, because the needle has fallen inside, in my house." They all stood up and said, "Have you gone mad! If the needle has fallen inside, search for it there!" Rabia said, "But there is no light! Here on the street there is still light. The sun has not yet set. Don't waste time. Help, because soon the sun will set and the street will be dark."

In a way, it looks illogical; in another way it seems to be very logical. That's what science has been doing. The body seems to be the only lighted part of you; everything else is dark -- the deeper you go, the more dark. The deeper you go, the more direction is lost. The deeper you go, all that looked clear looks clear no more. Everything seems to be a tremendous confusion. Better keep to the lighted part; remain there. Something can be done, because the body can be manipulated.

But in this way something very valuable is being lost, and humanity, by and by, has become too focused with the body. And the body is just your outer shell.

It happened in a prison: Joe was sentenced to twenty years for his part in a robbery. Shortly after his term of imprisonment began, he discovered a flea in his hair, and having nothing better to do, trained it to do tricks. First of all, Joe taught the flea to jump on command, then gradually the tricks became more and more complex. Every single day of every single week, Joe kept up a routine of constant practice and calm patience, so that when the day of his release came he had trained the flea to do tricks which were utterly unbelievable. As soon as he got outside the prison gates, Joe rushed to the world's biggest circus. Hurrying into the manager's caravan Joe produced the flea from his top pocket and placed it on the table, "Just look at this," said Joe to the manager. "Yes," said the manager, as he slammed a large heavy ashtray down on the flea. "Nuisances, are they not?"

He killed the flea, and now there is no way for that poor Joe to prove that he had trained the flea to do almost miraculous things, unbelievable things. Now there is no way to prove it.

That's what gross thinking about humanity has done: it has killed the inner mystery. It has made people so addicted with the body that they have forgotten their inner world. Now even to prove it has become difficult. People like Buddha and Jesus and Krishna look insane. There are books in the English language and in other Western languages proving Jesus to be neurotic. Of course, if you have not known anything of the inner world, he looks neurotic. He is neurotic if you don't know anything about the inner world. Then he seems to be like a madman because sometimes he talks to God, and he declares that he receives the answers also. And you have lost all contact with the inner world, so what is the difference between a madman and him? A madman also listens to voices. You can see; go to the madhouse and you can see mad people sitting alone and talking so enchantedly, as if somebody is present there. What is the difference? When in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed, raised his hands towards the sky and started talking to God, what is the difference? There seems to be nobody there. Jesus is as mad as the madman. When on the cross he started crying and saying things to God, what is the difference? Because many thousands of people had gathered there; they could not see anybody there. And Jesus said, "Father, forgive these people, because they don't know what they are doing." He is mad. To whom was he talking? He had gone out of his senses. By and by, if your innermost world is crippled and you have lost contact with it, you cannot believe in Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, or Patanjali. What are they talking about? These people are dreaming. And you, very clever people, go on talking about your dreaming in a very scientific way.

Many mad people are very, very logical. If you listen to mad people, you will be surprised. They are very argumentative, very rational; and up to a certain extent you will be almost convinced by them.

I have heard about one man who went to see some relative who was in a madhouse. In the same cell there was another inmate, and the other man looked so gentlemanly, so graceful, and was sitting with such dignity reading a newspaper, that this visitor asked, "You don't look mad at all." He talked with that man and he was perfectly logical, absolutely normal. The visitor was surprised: "Why have you been kept?" He said, "Because of my relatives; they wanted to throw me in here because they want to grab all the money that I have, and that is the only way: either to kill me, or to throw me into a madhouse. And I also agreed. This is better. At least I am alive. Otherwise, they would have killed me. I have such a lot of money."

And everything was so logical and normal that the visitor said, "You don't be worried. I know the governor, and I will go to him and tell everything." The madman said, "Please, if you can do something, do it." When the visitor was just leaving the room, suddenly the madman jumped and hit him hard on the head. The visitor said, "What are you doing?" He said, "Just to remind you... don't forget to go to the governor. Now you will not forget."

Everything was logical somewhere, but how to differentiate between a madman and a mystic? Because everything seems to be logical in a mystic also, to a certain extent. Then suddenly, he is talking of something which you have not ever experienced. Then you become afraid, and to protect yourself from the fear, you start rationalizing your fear.


These sutras are all about witnessing. Patanjali is saying, step by step, that it is impossible for the mind to do two things: to be perceived and to be the perceiver. Either it can be the perceiver or it can be the perceived. So when you can witness your mind, that proves absolutely that the mind is not the perceiver. You are the perceiver. You are not the body; you are not even the mind. The whole emphasis is: how to help you to discriminate from that which you are not.


But there have been philosophers who say that there is no need to assume a witness; we can assume another mind: mind one is perceived by mind two. That's what psychologists will also agree to, because why bring something absolutely unknown into account? -- mind is observed by mind itself, by a subtle mind. But Patanjali gives a very logical refutation of this attitude. He says, "If you assume that mind one is perceived by mind two, then who perceives mind two? Then mind three; then who perceives mind three?" He says, "Then this will create confusion. It will be an infinite regress. Then you can go on, ad absurdum; and again, even if you say 'the mind one thousand', the problem remains the same. Then you have to again assume a mind behind mine one thousand: one thousand and one -- and this will go on and on.

No, one has to understand something absolutely inside, behind which there is nothing. Otherwise there is a confusion of memories, otherwise, a chaos. Body, mind, and the witnesser: the witnesser is absolute. But who perceives the witnesser? Who knows the witnesser? And then we come to one of the most important hypotheses of yoga.


Yoga believes that the witness is a self-illuminating phenomenon. It is just like a light. You have a small candle in your room -- the candle illuminates the room, the furniture, the walls, the painting on the wall. Who illuminates the candle? You don't need another candle to find this candle; the candle is self-illuminating. It illuminates other things, and simultaneously it illuminates itself. svabuddhi-samvedanam: innermost consciousness is self-illuminating. It is of the nature of light. The sun illuminates everything in the solar system -- at the same time it illuminates itself. The witnesser witnesses everything that goes on around in the five seeds and in the world, and at the same time it illuminates itself. This seems to be perfectly logical. Somewhere, we have to come to the rock bottom. Otherwise, we go on and on -- and that will not help, and the problem remains the same.


When your inner consciousness has come to a moment of no movement, when it has become deeply centered and rooted, when it is unwavering, when it has become a constant flame of awareness, then it illuminates itself.


The mind is just between you and the world. The mind is the bridge between you and the world, between the witnesser and the witnessed. The mind is a bridge, and if the mind is colored by things, and also by the witness, it becomes all-comprehending. It becomes a tremendous instrument of knowledge. But two types of coloring are needed; one: it should be colored by the things it sees, and, it should be colored by the witnesser. The witnesser should pour down its energy into the mind; then only can the mind know things.

For example: a scientist is working. He has dissected the body of a man and he is looking very minutely, as minutely as scientific instruments make available. He is searching for the soul, and he cannot find any soul, just matter, matter. At the most, he can find something belonging to the world of physics or to the world of chemistry, but nothing belonging to the world of consciousness. And he comes out of the lab, and he says, "There is no consciousness." Now, he has missed one thing. Who was looking in the dead body? He has completely forgotten himself. The scientist is watching the object but is completely oblivious of his own being. The scientist is trying to find consciousness outside, but has forgotten completely that the one who is trying is consciousness. The seeker is the sought. He has become too much focused on the object, and the subject is forgotten.

Science is too focused on the object, and so-called religions are too focused on the subject. But yoga says, "There is no need to become lopsided. Remember the world is there, and also remember that you are." Let your remembrance be total and whole, of the object and the subject both. When your mind is infused with your consciousness, and also infused with the objective world, there happens apprehension.


It can know all that can be known. It can know everything that can be known. Then nothing is hidden from that mind. A religious mind -- let us call him an introvert -- by and by, knows only his subjectivity and starts saying that the world is illusion, maya, a dream, made of the same stuff as dreams are. A scientist who is too focused on objects starts believing in the objective world and says that only the material exists; consciousness is just poetry, a talk of the dreamers: good, romantic, but not real. The scientist says that consciousness is illusory. The extrovert says that consciousness is illusory; the introvert says that the world is illusory.

But yoga is the supreme science. Patanjali says, "Both are real." Reality has two sides to it: the outside and the inside. And remember, how can the inside happen, how can it exist without an outside? Can you conceive that only the inside exists and the outside is illusory? If the outside is illusory, the inside will become illusory automatically. If the inside of your house is real, and the outside of the house is unreal, where will you demarcate? Where does the reality stop and illusion start? And how can an outside  which is illusory have a real inside? An unreal body will have an unreal mind; an unreal mind will have an unreal consciousness. A real consciousness needs a real mind; a real mind needs a real body; a real body needs a real world.

Yoga does not deny anything. Yoga is absolutely pragmatic, empirical. It is more scientific than science, and more religious than religions, because it makes the greater synthesis of the inner and the outer.


The mind goes on working, but it is not working for itself. It has a managerial post; the master is hidden behind. It cooperates with the master. Now, this has to be deeply understood.

If the mind cooperates with the master, you are healthy and whole. If the mind goes astray, against the master, you are unhealthy and ill. If the servant follows the master like a shadow, everything is okay. If the master says, "Go to the left," and the servant goes to the right, then something has gone wrong. If you want your body to run and the body says, "I cannot run," then you are paralyzed. If you want to do something and the body and the mind say, "No," or, they go on doing something which you don't want to do, then you are in great confusion. This is how humanity is.

Yoga has this as the goal: that your mind should function according to your lord, the innermost soul. Your body should function according to the mind, and you should create a world around you which is in cooperation. When everything is in cooperation -- the lower is always in cooperation with the higher, and the higher is in cooperation with the highest, and the highest is in cooperation with the utterly ultimate -- then you have a life of harmony. Then you are a yogin. Then you become one, but not in the sense that only one exists: now you have become one in the sense of unison. You have become one in the sense of an orchestra -- many instruments, but the music is one; many bodies, millions of objects, desires, ambitions, mood, ups and downs, failures and successes, a great variety, but everything in unison, in harmony. You have become an orchestra. Everything is cooperating with everything else, and everything finally is cooperating with the very center of your being.

That's why in India we have called sannyasins swamis. 'Swami' means: the lord. You become a swami only when you have attained to this harmony that Patanjali is talking about. Patanjali is not against anything whatsoever. He is in favor of harmony. He's against discord. He is not against anything: he's not against the body, he's not an anti-body man; he's not against the world, he's not anti-life; he absorbs everything. And through that absorption he creates a higher synthesis. And the ultimate synthesis is when everything is in cooperation, when there is not even a single jarring note.

I have heard an anecdote: The baby baboon was five years old but had not spoken a word since birth. Its parents were convinced that their offspring was dumb until one night when the little baboon was eating a banana. It suddenly looked up at its mother and spoke clearly: "What is the idea of feeding me a rotten banana?" The mother baboon was overjoyed and asked her baby why he had never spoken before. "Well," said the little baboon, "the food has been okay up to now."

If you are in a harmony, you will not complain about the world. You will not complain about anything. The complaining mind is simply indicative that things are not in harmony inside. When everything is in harmony, then there is no complaint. Now, you go to your so-called saints: everybody is complaining -- complaining of the world, complaining of desires, complaining of the body, complaining of this and that. Everybody lives in complaints; something is jarring. A perfect man is one who has no complaints. That man is a God-man who has accepted everything, absorbed everything and become a cosmos, is no more a chaos.

Another anecdote: The sweet little old lady was proud of the way she had trained her talking parrot, and was showing him off to the vicar. "If you pull his left leg, he says the Lord's Prayer, and if you pull his right leg, he repeats the Psalms," she explained.

"What if you pull both legs at once?" asked the vicar.

"I would fall flat on my behind, you stupid old coot!" retorted the parrot.

And this is what has happened to man. If you pull one leg it is okay; if you pull the other leg, that too is okay; but if you pull both legs, everything is bound to topple down. That's what has happened to man. His whole being has been pulled down. Religions have been trying to pull his body. They are much too afraid of the body, too guilty. They have been continuously trying to destroy and poison the body. They would like you to be like ghosts, without bodies. Their idea is that body is intrinsically wrong, that body is the body of sin. So you should be like spirits -- without bodies, disembodied.

Now the materialists -- the communists, the Marxists, the scientists -- have been trying the other way. They have been trying to pull the other leg. They say that there is nothing like consciousness; there is no self. It is just a combination of physical and chemical things that you are. You should be a body, nothing else. Now, both together have pulled both legs, and the whole man has become a miserable thing, a disease, a dichotomy.

Patanjali says, "Accept everything, use it, be creative about it; don't negate." Negation is not his way, but affirmation. That's why Patanjali has worked so much on the body, on food, on yoga asanas, on pranayam. These are all efforts to create the harmony: right food for the body, right posture for the body; rhythmic breathing for the vital body. More prana, more vitality has to be absorbed. Ways and means have to be found so that you are not always lacking in energy, but overflowing.

With mind also, pratyahar; the mind is a bridge: you can go outside on the bridge, you can move on the same bridge and go inside. When you go outside, objects, desires, predominate you. When you go inside, desirelessness, awareness, witnessing, predominate over you; but the bridge is the same. It has to be used; it is not to be thrown and broken. It has not to be destroyed because it is the same bridge by which you have come into the world, and by which you have to go back again into the inner nature, and so on and so forth.

Patanjali goes on using everything. His religion is not one of fear, but of understanding. His religion is not for God and against the world. His religion is for God through the world, because God and the world are not two. The world is God's creation. The world is His creativity, His expression; the world is His poetry. If you are against the poetry, how can you be in favor of the poet? In condemning the poetry, you have already condemned the poet. Of course, poetry is not the goal; you should seek the poet also. But on the way you can enjoy the poetry; nothing is wrong in it.

A methodist minister was on a flight to America when the stewardess asked if he would like a drink from the bar. "At what height are we flying?" he asked. When told that it was thirty thousand feet, he replied, "I would rather not... too near headquarters. "

Fear -- continuously, religious people are obsessed by fear. But fear cannot give you a grace, cannot give you dignity. Fear cripples, paralyses, corrupts. Because of fear religion has become almost a disease. It makes you abnormal. It does not make you healthy, it makes you more and more afraid to live: hell is there, and whatsoever you do it seems to be that you are doing something wrong. You love and it is wrong; you enjoy and it is wrong. Happiness has become associated with guilt. Only wrong people seem to be happy. The good people are always serious and never happy. If you want to go to heaven you have to be serious and unhappy and sad and miserable. You have to be austere. If you want to go to hell, be happy and dance and enjoy. But remember, Omar Khayyam says somewhere, "I am always worried about one thing: if all these unhappy people are going to heaven, what will they do there? They cannot dance, they cannot sing, they cannot drink, they cannot enjoy, they cannot love. The whole opportunity will be wasted on these foolish people. People who could enjoy are thrown into hell. In fact, they should be in heaven. It seems more logical." Omar Khayyam says, "If you really want to go to heaven, live a heavenly life here, so that you are ready."

Patanjali would like you to radiate with life, to throb with the unknown. He is not against anything. If you are in love he says, "Make your love a little more deep." There are greater treasures waiting for you. These treasures are good; these trees, these flowers, are good. Then man, woman, they are good and beautiful, because somehow, howsoever far away, God has come to you through them. Maybe there are many screens. When you meet a man or a woman, there are many screens and sheets, but still the light is of God. It may be passing through many barriers, it may be distorted, but still, the light is of God.

Patanjali says, " Don't be against this world. Rather, search through this world. Find a way so that you can come to the original source of light, the pure, the virgin light."

There are people who live only for food, and there are people who go against food -- both are wrong. Jesus says, "Man cannot live by bread alone" -- true, perfectly true -- but can man live without bread? That has to be remembered. Man cannot live by bread alone, right; but man also cannot live without bread.

I was reading a small anecdote.

The woman bought a budgerigar from the pet shop on the assurance that it would talk. Two weeks later she was back to complain. "Buy a little bell for it to play with," suggested the pet shop owner. "That often helps to get them talking." The woman bought the bell and went off. A week later she was back to say the bird had still not uttered a word. The shop owner suggested that she buy a mirror, which was a sure-fire way of encouraging budgies to talk. She took the mirror and went away, only to return in another three days. This time the shop owner sold her a small plastic bird which he suggested would give the bird something to talk to. Another week passed and the woman came in to inform the shop owner that the bird had now died.

"Did he die without ever speaking?" asked the shop owner.

"Ah, no," replied the woman. "It said one thing shortly before it passed away."

"What was that?"

"Food! For Pete's sake, give me food!"

One has to be very, very alert, otherwise one can move to opposite polarities very easily. Mind is an extremist. This is my observation: people who have lived only for food, when they get frustrated with their life-style, start fasting. Immediately, they move to the other extreme. I have never come across a faster, a fanatic about fasting, who has not previously been a fanatic about food. They are the same people. People who are too much in sexuality start becoming celibate. People who are very miserly start renouncing everything. This is how the mind moves from one extreme to another.

Patanjali would like you to balance your life, to bring an equilibrium. Just in the middle somewhere, where you are not mad after food and you are not mad against food, where you are not mad after women or men and you are not mad against them; you are simply balanced, a tranquility.

A psychiatrist says that we are a little strange in our behavior. We all are a little strange in our behavior. Another way of saying this is: I am original, you are eccentric, he is nuts. When you do the same thing you think you are original, when your friend is doing the same thing you think he is eccentric, and when your enemy is doing the same thing you think he is nuts. Remember, this egoistic way of thinking will destroy all the opportunities for growth. Be very objective about yourself. There is a strain of insanity in everybody, because humanity has been insane for millennia. There is a strain of neurosis in everybody, because civilization has not yet come to a point where it can allow the full functioning of the human being. It has been repressive. So watch: if you are neurotic you will eat too much. You can move to the other extreme -- you can stop eating completely -- but your neurosis remains the same. Now, the neurosis is against food. And don't think that you are doing great spiritual work, very original work.

Once Veena brought a boy to me. In fact, that is how she got caught with me. She had come with some other boy who was almost neurotic. He had come to ask me, "Can man live on water alone?" He wanted to live on water alone. And he was very thin, and almost dying and pale. When I said, "Don't be foolish," he was not happy. He said, "You just give me some address, some people who can help me, because I want to live only on water. Everything is impure -- just pure water."

These people are neurotic. You can find them all over India: in monasteries, in ashrams. Out of a hundred people you will find ninety-five neurotic. And you cannot call them mad because they are doing yoga asanas, fasting, prayer, this and that. But their neurosis can be seen immediately, what I call neurosis. Any extremism is neurotic. To be balanced is to be healthy; to be unbalanced is to be neurotic. Wherever you find any unbalance within yourself or in somebody else, beware. Otherwise, you will miss the ultimate unison. Lopsided, unbalanced, you cannot create the orchestra that Patanjali is trying to give you a glimpse of.



TAT-PRABHU, the lord has to be found. He's hiding in you; you have to seek him. Whatsoever you are, he's present. Whatsoever you do, he's the doer. Whatsoever you see, he's the seer. Even whatsoever you desire, it is he who has desired it. Layer upon layer, like an onion, you have to peel yourself. But peel yourself not in a rage, but in love. Peel yourself very cautiously, carefully, because it is God you are peeling. Peel very prayerfully. Don't become a masochist. Don't start creating suffering for yourself. Don't enjoy suffering. If you start enjoying suffering and you become a masochist, you are going on a suicidal trip. You will destroy yourself. One has to be very, very cautious, careful and creative. You are moving on holy ground.

When Moses reached to the top of the mountain where he encountered God, what did he see? He saw in a bush, a flame, a fire, and he heard a voice: "Leave your shoes off, because it is holy ground you are walking on." But wherever you are walking, you are walking on holy ground. When you touch your body, you are touching something holy. When you eat something, you are eating something holy; annambrahma: food is God. When you love somebody, you are loving the divine, because it is He all around, in millions of forms. It is He who is expressing.

Keep this always in mind so that no neurosis can take possession of you. Remain balanced and tranquil, just walk the path in the middle, and you will never be lost, you will never be unbalanced, lopsided.

Yoga is balance. Yoga has to be a balance because it is going to be the path to the ultimate unity, the ultimate harmony of all that is.


Next: Chapter 8, Trust is unaddressed: First Question


Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Yoga Yoga Sutras of Patanjali



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