The Seeds of Misery




Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Yoga Yoga Sutras of Patanjali



Book 2, Sutra 1


Book 2, Sutra 2


Book 2, Sutra 3


Book 2, Sutra 4


THE ORDINARY humanity can be divided into two basic types: one is the sadist and the other the masochist. The sadist enjoys torturing others, and the masochist enjoys torturing himself. The sadist is of course attracted towards politics. There, there is the possibility, the opportunity to torture others. Or, he is attracted towards scientific research, particularly medical research. There, there is the possibility in the name of experiment, to torture innocent animals, patients, dead and alive bodies. If politics is too much and he is not so certain about himself, or not intelligent enough to move into research, then the sadist becomes a schoolmaster; he tortures small children. But the sadist always moves, knowingly or unknowingly, towards a situation where he can torture. In the name of country, in the name of nation, society, revolution, in the name of truth, discovery, in the name of reformation, of reforming others, the sadist is always in search of an opportunity to torture someone.

Sadists are not very attracted towards religion. The other type is attracted towards religion, the masochist. They can torture themselves. They become great mahatmas, they become great saints, and they are revered by the society because they torture themselves. A perfect masochist always moves directly towards religion, just as a perfect sadist moves towards politics. Politics is the religion of the sadist; religion is the politics of the masochist. But if a masochist is not too certain, then he can find some other sub paths. He can become an artist, a painter, a poet, and can allow himself to suffer in the name of poetry, literature, painting.

You must have heard the name Vincent Van Gogh, the great Dutch painter. He was the perfect masochist. If he had been born in India, he would have become a Mahatma Gandhi; but he became a painter. He had not much money. His brother used to give him only enough to survive. Out of the seven days of the week, he would eat only on three days, and the other four days of the week he would fast in order to paint.

He was in love with a woman, but the father of the woman wouldn't allow him to see her. So he forced his hand on a burning flame and he said, 'I will keep my hand on the burning flame until you allow me to see her.' He burnt his hand.

A prostitute told him, 'Your ears are very beautiful,' because there was nothing else to appreciate in his face. He was one of the ugliest men, he had ugly features. The prostitute must have been in a difficulty with this man, so she told him that his ears were very beautiful. He went back home, cut one of his ears off with a knife, packed it, went back to her with blood flowing all over, and presented the ear to the woman saying, 'You liked it so much that I would like to give it to you as a gift.'

He continued painting in the hottest part of France, Arles, in the summer when the sun was very hot. Everybody told him, 'You will get ill, the sun is too hot.' But the whole day, particularly when the sun was hottest, at full noontide, he would be standing in the fields and painting. Within twenty days he went mad. He was young, thirty three or thirty four when he killed himself, committed suicide.

But in the name of painting, art, beauty, you can torture yourself. In the name of God, in the name of prayer, in the name of sadhana, you can torture yourself. You will find this type very predominant in India: lying on a bed of nails, thorns, fasting for months. You will come across people who have not slept for ten years. They remain standing, fighting with sleep. There are people who have been standing for years, they have not taken any other posture; their legs are almost dead. There are people who are living with one hand raised towards the sky; the whole hand has gone dead, no more blood circulates in it, it is just bones. These people are ill; they need treatment. But thousands are attracted towards to them.

All of your politicians, Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin or Mao Tse Tung, need treatment. And all of your Mahatmas need treatment also, because a man who is interested in torturing himself or others is ill, deeply ill. To be interested in torture, either of the other or of oneself, to be interested in torture is an absolutely certain symptom of deep illness. When you are healthy you don't want to torture others, you don't want to torture your. elf. When you are healthy, you enjoy. When you are healthy you feel so blissful that you would like to bless everybody. You would like your blessings to flow from your being to the beings of all others, to the whole of existence. You al!e overflowing with bliss. Health is celebration. Illness is a torture, either of the other, or of yourself.

Why am I saying this before I start talking about Patanjali? I am saying it because up to now, Patanjali has always been commented upon by masochists. But whatsoever I am going to say about Patanjali is going to be totally different from all the other commentaries. I am not a masochist, I am not a sadist. I am celebrating myself and I would like you to participate with me. My commentary on Patanjali is going to be basically different from all the previous commentaries. My commentary will be just the same as if Patanjali himself were commenting.

He was neither a sadist nor a masochist. He was a perfectly integrated man with no inner illness, with no psychological problems, with no obsessions. He was healthy, whole, integrated. Whatsoever he has said can be interpreted in three ways. A sadist may come upon it, but that is rare because sadists are not interested in religion. You cannot imagine Mao Tse Tung, Adolf Hitler, or Joseph Stalin being interested in Patanjali, no. Sadists are not interested, so they have not commented. Masochists are interested in religion, and they have commented and given their own color to Patanjali. There are millions of them, and whatsoever they have said has completely distorted Patanjali's message, completely destroyed it. Now, after thousands of years, those commentaries are standing between you and Patanjali. Still, they go on growing.

Patanjali's yoga sutras are one of the most commented upon things; they are pregnant with significance, they are very deeply meaningful. But where does one find a Patanjali to comment upon them? Where does one find a man who is not ill in any way? Because illness will color; you cannot help it. When you interpret, you are in your interpretation, you have to be there; there is no other way to interpret. I am going to say things which are not said, and you may find me continuously different from all the commentaries.

Remember this fact, because I am neither a masochist nor a sadist. I have not come to religion to torture myself; just the opposite has been the case. In fact, I have never come to religion. I have-simply been enjoying myself and religion has happened, just by the way. It has been a consequence. I have never practiced the way religious people practice, I have never been in that type of search. I have simply lived in deep acceptance of whatsoever is. I have accepted existence and myself, and I have never been in any mood to change myself. Suddenly, the more I accepted myself, the more I accepted existence, a deep silence descended upon me, a bliss. In that bliss religion has happened to me. So I am not religious in the ordinary sense of the word. If you want to find a parallel, you will have to seek it some where other than in religion.

I feel deep affinity with a man who was born two thousand years ago in Greece. His name was Epicurus. Nobody thinks of him as religious. People think that he was the most atheistic man ever born, the most materialistic ever born; he was just the opposite of the religious man. But that is not my understanding. Epicurus was a naturally religious man. Remember the words 'naturally religious'; religion happens to him. That's why people overlooked him, because he never sought. The proverb: Eat, drink and be merry, comes from Epicurus. And this has become the attitude of the materialist.

Epicurus in fact lived one of the most austere of lives. He lived as simply as anybody has ever lived. Even a Mahavir or a Buddha were not so simple and austere as Epicurus, because their simplicity was cultivated; they had worked for it, it had been a practice. They had thought about it and they had dropped all that w as unnecessary. They had been disciplining themselves to be simple, and whenever there is discipline, there is complexity. There is a fight in the background, and the fight will always be there, in the background. Mahavir was naked, nude; he had renounced all, but he had renounced. It was not natural.

Epicurus lived in a small garden. The garden was known as Epicurus' garden. He had no academy like Aristotle, or a school like Plato; he had a garden. It seems simple and beautiful. A garden seems more natural than an academy. He lived in the garden with a few friends. That was probably the first commune. They were just living there, not doing anything in particular, working in the garden, having just enough to live.

It is said that the King once came to visit and he had been thinking that this man must be living in luxury because his motto was: Eat, drink and be merry. 'lf this is the message,' the King thought, 'I will see people living in luxury, in indulgence.' But when he arrived he saw very simple people working in the garden, watering trees. The whole day they had been working. They had very few belongings, only enough to live. In the evening, when they were having dinner, there was not even any butter; just dry bread and a little milk. But they enjoyed it as if it were a feast. After the dinner, they danced. The day was over and they offered a thanksgiving to the existence. And the King wept, because he had always thought to condemn Epicurus in his mind. He asked, 'What do you mean by saying, "Eat, drink and be merry?"' Epicurus said, 'You have seen. For twenty four hours we are happy here. If you want to be happy you have to be simple, because the more complex you are, the more unhappy you become. The more complex your life, the more misery it creates. We are simple not because we are seeking God, we are simple because to be simple is to be happy.' And the King said, 'I would like to send some presents for you. What would you like for the garden and your community?' Epicurus was at a loss. He thought and thought and he said, 'We don't think that anything else is needed. Don't be offended; you are a great King, you can give everything -- but we don't need. If you insist, you can send a little salt and butter.' He was an austere man.

In this austerity, religion happens naturally. You don't think about God, there is no need to; life is God. You don't pray with folded hands towards the sky; it is foolish. Your whole life, from the morning until the evening, is a prayer. Prayer is an attitude: you live it, you don't do it.

Epicurus could have understood Patanjati. I can understand him. I can feel what he means. It is for you that I am saying all this, so that you don't get confused, because there are other commentaries which say just the opposite.


The first word is 'austerity'. Masochists have converted austerity into self-torture. They think that the more you torture the body, the more spiritual you become. Torturing the body is the way to become spiritual: this is the understanding of the masochist.

Torturing the body is not a way; torturing is violent. Whether you torture others or yourself, it is violent; and violence can never be religious. What is the difference between torturing someone else's body and torturing your own body? What is the difference? The body is 'the other'. Even your own body is the other. Your body is a little closer and the other's body is a little further away, that's all. Because yours is closer it is more likely to become a victim of your violence; you can torture it. And for thousands of years people have been torturing their bodies with the false notion that it is the way towards God.

In the first place, why would God give you a body? He has not provided you with any implements to torture your body. Rather, on the contrary, he has provided you with sensibilities, sensitiveness, with senses: to enjoy it, not to torture it. He has made you so sensitive because through sensitivity awareness grows. If you torture your body you will become more and more insensitive. If you lie down on a bed of thorns, by and by, you will become insensitive. The body will have to become insensitive, otherwise how can you continuously tolerate thorns? The body will become dead in a way, it will lose its sensitivity. If you stand in the hot sun continuously, the body wilt protect itself by becoming insensitive. If you sit naked in the Himalayas when snow is falling and the whole mountain range is covered in snow, by and by, the body will lose its sensitivity to coldness. It will become a dead body.

And with a dead body, how can you feel the blessings of existence? How can you feel the constant shower of blessings that is happening every moment? Existence goes on pouring millions of blessings upon you; you cannot even count them. In fact, you need more sensitivity to become a religious man, not less, because the more sensitive you are, the more you will be able to see the Divine everywhere. Sensitivity should become the eye, the penetration. When you become absolutely sensitive, every small breeze touches you and gives you the message, and even an ordinary leaf shaking in the wind becomes such a tremendous phenomenon because of your sensitivity. You look at an ordinary pebble and it becomes a kohinoor. It depends on your sensitivity.

Life is more if you are more sensitive; life is less if you are less sensitive. If you have a completely wooden body with no sensitivity, life is nil, life is no longer there; you are already in your grave. Masochists have done that. Sadhana has become an effort to deaden the body and the sensitivity.

To me, just the opposite is the way. Austerity does not mean torture; austerity means a simple life, an austere life. Why a simple life? Why not a very complicated life? Because the more complicated the life is, again, the less sensitive you will be. A rich man is less sensitive than a poor man because his whole effort of accumulating riches has made him insensitive. You have to be insensitive if you are going to accumulate riches. You have to be completely like a murderer and not bother about what is happening to others. You go on accumulating treasures, and others are dying. You go on becoming more and more rich, and others are losing their very lives in it. A rich man has to be insensitive, otherwise he cannot be rich. How will he exploit?  -- it will be impossible.

I have heard about a very great rich man; Mulla Nasrudin went to see him. He wanted some donation for an orphan house that he was running. The rich man said, 'Okay Nasrudin, I will give you something, but I have a condition and nobody has ever fulfilled it. Look into my eyes; one eye is false and another eye is real. If you can tell me exactly which eye is false and which is real, I will donate.' Nasrudin looked into his eyes and said, 'The left eye is real and the right eye is false.' Amazed, the rich man said, 'But how could you tell?' He said, 'Because in the left eye I can see a little compassion; it must be false.'

He saw a little compassion, just a glimmer, and it had to be false. A rich man cannot be rich if he is sensitive. In accumulating wealth, he goes on dying.

There are two ways to kill your body: one is the way of the masochist who tortures, another is the way of the rich man who accumulates wealth and rubbish. By and by, all the garbage that he accumulates becomes a barrier and he cannot move, he cannot see, he cannot hear, he cannot taste, he cannot smell. An austere life means an uncomplicated life, simple. It is not a cultivation of poverty, remember, because if you cultivate poverty through effort, then again the very cultivation will deaden you.

A simple life is a life of deep understanding, not of cultivation. k is not a practice to become poor. You can practice being poor, but through the practice your senses will harden. Practice of anything makes you hard; the softness is lost, the flexibility is lost. Then you are no longer flexible like a child. Then you become rigid like an old man. Lao Tzu says, 'Rigidity is death, flexibility is life.' A simple life is not a cultivated, poor life. Don't make poverty your goal and don't try to cultivate it. Just understand that the more simple, unloaded your body and mind are, the more you penetrate into existence. Unburdened, you can come into direct contact with reality; burdened you cannot come. A rich man always has his bank balance in the way.

You see the Queen of England, Elizabeth? She cannot even shake hands without gloves on. She cannot even touch humanity without gloves on. Even the human touch seems to be something impure, something ugly. A queen, a king, live encapsulated; it is not only a question of the hand. That is just a symbol to say that the Queen is entombed; she is no longer alive.

In the Middle Ages in Europe it was thought that kings and queens didn't have two legs, because nobody had ever seen them naked. It was thought that they had only one leg. They were not human; they were living at a distance. Ego always tries to live at a distance, and the distance makes you insensitive. You cannot come and touch a child playing on the road. You cannot come near a tree and embrace the tree. You cannot come nearer to life; you are pretending that you are higher than life, greater than life, bigger than life. The distance has to be created and only then can you pose as being bigger than life. But life is not losing anything by your foolishness; you are only becoming more and more insensitive. You are already dead. Life needs you to be more alive.

When Patanjali says 'austerity', he means, 'Be simple, don't cultivate it.' Because cultivated simplicity is not simplicity. How can a cultivated simplicity be simple? It is very complex; you have been trying, calculating, cultivating.

I know a man; I happened to pass by the village where he was living. My driver said, 'Your friend lives here, just outside the village.' So I said, 'It is good. Just for a few minutes I will go see him, and see what he is doing now.' He was a Jain monk. When I reached near his house, through the window I could see him walking naked inside. Jain monks have five stages; by and by, they cultivate simplicity. At the fifth stage, the last, they become naked. First they will wear three articles of clothing, then two, then one, and then that too is to be dropped. That is the highest ideal of simplicity, when one becomes absolutely nude; nothing to carry -- no burden, no clothes, no things. But I knew that this man was only in the second stage, so why was he nude?

I knocked on the door. He opened the door, but now he was wrapped in a lunghi. So I asked, 'What is the matter.? Just now I saw you through the window and you were nude.' He said, 'Yes, I am practicing. I am practicing for the fifth, the last stage. First, I will practice inside the house, then with friends; then, by and by, I will move to the village, and then to the larger world. I have to practice. It will take at least a few years for me to drop the shyness, to be courageous enough to move naked in the world.' I told him, 'You had better join a circus. You will be nude, but a practiced nudity is not simple; it is very calculated. You are very cunning, and you are moving step by step with cleverness. In fact, you will never become nude. A practiced nudity will be like clothes again, very subtle clothing. You are creating them by practice.

'If you feel like an innocent child, you will simply drop the clothes and move in the world. What is the fear -- that people will laugh? What is wrong in their laughter? -- let them laugh. You also can participate, you also can laugh with them. They will make fun of you -- so far, so good, because nothing kills ego like people making fun of you. It is good, they are helping you. But by this practice for five years, you will miss the whole thing. Nudity should be innocent like a child's. Nudity should be an understanding, not a practice. Through practice, you are finding a substitute for understanding. Innocence is not of the mind, it is not a part of your calculating, your reasoning. Innocence is an understanding of the heart.'

Austerity cannot be practiced. You simply have to look at life and see that the more complicated you become, the less sensitive you become. And the less sensitive you are, the farther away from the Divine you are. The more sensitive you become, the closer and closer and closer you come. A day comes when you are sensitive to the very roots of your being; suddenly you are no longer there, you are just a sensibility, a sensitivity. You are no longer there, you are just an awareness. And everything is beautiful then, everything is alive; nothing is dead. Everything is conscious; nothing is alive, nothing is dead. Everything is conscious, nothing is unconscious. With your sensitivity, the world changes. At the last moment, when the sensitivity reaches to its total, its ultimate climax, the world disappears; there is God. God is not to be found, really; sensitivity has to be found. Be sensitive so totally that nothing is left behind, no holding back; and suddenly, God is there. God has always been there, only you were not sensitive.

To me, austerity is a simple life, a life of understanding. You need not move into a hut, you need not go naked. You can live simply in life, with understanding. Poverty will not help but understanding will. You can force poverty on yourself, you can become dirty, but that won't help.

This is happening now in the West with hippies and other sorts of people. They are again making the same mistake that India has been making for a long time. India has known all sorts of hippies in the past. They have lived the dirtiest lives possible. Just in the name of austerity, they would not take baths because they felt, 'Why bother, and why decorate the body?'

Did you know that Jain monks don't take baths? You cannot sit near them; they stink. They don't brush their teeth. You cannot talk to them; there is a bad smell, a bad odor comes out of their mouths. And this is thought to be austerity, because they say, 'Even bathing or cleaning the body is to be a materialist. Then you are much too involved with the body, so why bother?' But this type of attitude is just moving to the other extreme, from one foolishness to another.

There are people who are engaged with the body for twenty-four hours. You can find women wasting hours before the mirror. This is one type of foolishness: just cleaning the part continuously, never noticing that it is only a part. Good, clean it, but don't clean it continuously the whole day, otherwise it is an obsession. A clean body is good, but a continuous obsession with cleaning it -- that is madness. There are people who are continuously decorating their bodies. Almost half of the industries of the world are devoted to body decorations: powders, soaps, perfumes.

Cleanliness is good, but it should not be an obsession. It had become an obsession in the West, and now, the other pole. People who are too concerned with the body, with clothes and cleanliness and this and that, are 'square' people. But the hippies have moved to the other extreme -- they don't bother at all. They are dirty, and the dirtiness has become a religion. As if just by being dirty, they will attain to something. They are simply becoming more and more insensitive to the beauties of life.

Because you have become so insensitive, drugs have become so important. Now it seems that you cannot be sensitive with out chemical drugs. Otherwise, an austere man is so sensitive that he does not need the drugs. Whatsoever you experience through drugs, he experiences just through his sensitivity. You take the drug and an ordinary tree becomes a marvelous phenomenon -- every leaf a unique world in itself, thousands of greens in one tree. And every flower emanates light, becomes a prism. An ordinary tree that you have passed so many times and never looked at, suddenly becomes like a dream, an ecstasy, a rainbow of colors. This is what happens to a sensitive man without taking any drugs. To take the drugs means that you have become so hardened and dull and dead that now a chemical aggression is needed on your body. Only then for a few moments the window will open and you will see the poetry of life, and again the window will be closed; and more and more quantity of the drug will be needed. The moment will come when even drugs won't help. Then you will really be stoned!

Become more sensitive, become more austere. And when I say 'become', I don't mean practice, I mean understand. Try to see that whenever you are simple, things go beautifully. When ever you are complex, things become problematic; you create more puzzles to be solved and everything becomes entwined, a mess.

Live a simple life of needs being fulfilled, with no mad desires. You need food, you need clothing, you need a shelter -- finished. You need somebody to love, you need somebody to be loved by. Love, food, shelter -- simple; but you create millions of desires. If you need a Rolls Royce then difficulties arise. If you need a palace, or you are not satisfied with ordinary womankind, you need a Miss Universe -- and all your Miss Universes are almost dead -- you need something impossible: then you go on and on. And you have to go on postponing, 'Someday, when I have a palace, then I will sit silently.' But meanwhile the life is flowing out of your fingers. If ever it should happen that you acquire your palace, you will have forgotten how to sit silently because, running after the palace, you will completely forget how to sit. That happens to all ambitious people -- they run. Then running becomes their very way of life. A moment comes when they have achieved, but now they cannot stop. You know it well, that if for the whole day you have been thinking and thinking, you cannot stop.

Mulla Nasrudin once came home after having decided that day to do something and not forget it. He had put a knot in his clothing so that he would remember. Then, when he got home, he was frantic because he had forgotten.'The knot is there, but for what?' He tried to think. His wife insisted, 'Now you go to sleep and tomorrow morning we will see.' But he said, 'No, it is something very important. It was important and I had decided to do it tonight. At no cost can I neglect it, so you go to sleep.' In the middle of the night when the clock chimed two, he remembered. He had decided to go to bed early. That was what the knot was for.

This is happening to all ambitious people. They desire so much, and by the time they reach their goal they have completely forgotten for what they were reaching. In the first place, for what were they desiring so many things? Now they have achieved and they have forgotten. Even if they remember that they had wanted to be silent, relaxed, to enjoy life, now their whole pattern of life and the whole conditioning will not allow them to relax, will not allow them to sit silently and enjoy. When you run with ambition for your whole life, you cannot stop easily. Running becomes your very being. If you want to stop, this is the moment. There is no future for it, this is the moment.

Needs are simple. A man can live a very simple, austere life and enjoy it. Rich food is not needed to enjoy food, only a rich tongue is needed. By the time you are able to accumulate rich food, you will have lost the very capacity to enjoy it. Enjoy it while the moment is still there. Enjoy it while you are alive. Don't waste it and don't postpone it.

An austere man lives moment to moment -- 'This day is enough for itself, and tomorrow will take care of itself.' Says Jesus again and again, 'Look at the lilies of the field, at how beautiful they are. They don't bother about the morrow. Even Solomon was not so beautiful in the moments of his greatest glory as ordinary lily-flowers in the field.' Look at these birds, they are enjoying. This very moment the whole existence is celebrating -- except you.

What is the trouble with man? The trouble is that he thinks that for enjoyment certain conditions have to be fulfilled first; this is the trouble. To enjoy life in fact no conditions are to be fulfilled; it is an unconditional invitation. But man thinks that certain conditions have to be fulfilled first; only then can he en. joy life. This is the complex mind. The simple mind feels that one has to enjoy whatsoever is available. Enjoy it! No conditions are to be fulfilled. And the more you enjoy this moment, the more capable you become of enjoying the next. The capacity grows; the greater and greater it becomes, the higher and higher it goes -- it is infinite. And when you come to the infinity of enjoyment, that is what God is. God is not a person sitting somewhere and waiting for you. By this time He will have got bored, waiting and waiting for you. He will have committed suicide if He had any sense... waiting for you.

God is not a person. He is not a goal, He is a way of enjoying life right here and now. God is the attitude of being blissful for no reason at all. You are miserable for no reason at all; that is the complex mind.

I saw Mulla Nasrudin one day following the body of a rich man who had died. The whole town was following, and Mulla Nasrudin was crying and weeping so hard. So I asked him, 'What is the matter, Nasrudin? Were you in some way related to the rich man?' He said, 'No.' 'Then why you are weeping?' I asked. He said, 'Because I was not related to him, that's why!'

People are weeping because they are related; people are weeping because they are not related. It seems that you want to weep whatsoever is the case. You are miserable for no reason at all. I have not come across a single person who really has any reason to be miserable. You create it. Because it looks absurd to be miserable without any reason, you create the reason. You rationalize, you find out, you invent; you are great inventors. And when you have found the reason or created a reason, invented one, then you are at ease. Now nobody can say that you are miserable without a reason.

In fact, the situation is this: there is no cause for any misery and there is no cause for any bliss. It just depends on your attitude. If you want to be happy, you can be, whatsoever the situation; the situation is irrelevant. To be happy is a capacity; in spite of the situation you can be happy. But if you have decided to be miserable you can be miserable in spite of the situation; the situation is irrelevant. If even in heaven you are received, welcomed, you will be miserable; you will find some reason or other.

It was asked of a great mystic, a Tibetan mystic, Marpa, 'Are you certain that when you die you will go to heaven?' He said, 'Absolutely!' The man said, 'But how can you be so certain? You have not died, and you don't know what God has in His mind.' Marpa said, 'I'm not worried about God's mind, that is His business. I am certain because of my mind. Wherever I am, I will be happy and it will be heaven, so it makes no difference whether I am thrown to hell or to heaven -- it is irrelevant.'

I have heard a beautiful anecdote about Adolf Hitler. He came to know from his friends that there was a Jewish woman, a great astrologer, and whatsoever she had been predicting had always been true. Hitler was a little reluctant because the woman was a Jew. But then the idea haunted his mind; he couldn't sleep for days: 'If the woman can really predict the future, then it is worth asking, even if she is a Jew.' The woman was called secretly. Hitler asked, 'Can you tell me when I am going to die?' The woman closed her eyes, contemplated and said, 'On a Jewish holiday.' Hitler said, 'What do you mean, what holiday?' She said, 'That is irrelevant. Whenever you die it will be a Jewish holiday.'

Marpa said, 'It is irrelevant what God has in His mind. Wherever I go, it will be heaven -- because I know, I am happy with out any cause.'

An austere man comes to know that happiness is the nature of life. You need not have any causes to be happy. You can simply be happy just because you are alive! Life is happiness, life is bliss; but this is possible only for an austere man. A man who accumulates things always thinks that because of these things he is going to be happy. Palaces, money, gadgets; he thinks that because of these things he is going to be happy. Riches are not the problem; the attitude of the man who tries to find riches is the problem. The attitude is: unless I have all these things, I cannot be happy. This man will always remain unhappy. An austere man comes to know that life is so simple that whatsoever he has, he can be happy. He need not postpone it for anything else.

Austerity will then mean: come down to your needs; desires are mad, needs are natural. Food, shelter, love; bring your whole life energy down just to the level of needs, and you will be happy. And a happy man cannot be other than religious; and an unhappy man cannot be other than irreligious. He may pray, he may go to the temple and the mosque -- that doesn't matter. How can an unhappy man pray? His prayer will have a deep complaint in it, a grudge. It will be a deep grump. Prayer is gratitude, not complaint.

Only a happy man can be grateful; his whole heart cries in total gratitude, tears come to his eyes because God has given so much without his asking. And God has given so much just by giving you life. A happy man is happy just because he can breathe -- that is too much. Just to breathe for a single moment is enough, more than enough. Life is such a benediction! -- but an unhappy man cannot see it.

So remember, the more you are possession oriented, the less happy you will be. The less happy you are, the farther away from the Divine, from prayer, from gratitude you will be. Be austere. Live with the necessary and forget about desires; they are fantasies in the mind, ripples in the lake. They only disturb you, they can never lead you to any contentment.


They are all interlinked. If you are simple you will be able to observe yourself. A complex man cannot observe himself because he is so divided. He has so many things around him: so many desires, so many thoughts, and so many problems arising out of these desires and thoughts. He is continuously in a crowd. It is difficult to attain to self study. Only an austere man eats, sleeps, loves, and that is all. He has ample time and ample energy left to observe, just to be, just to sit and look. And he is so happy. He has eaten well, the hunger has been satiated; he has loved well, the deeper hunger of being has been satiated. Now what to do? He sits, looks at himself, closes his eyes, watches his own being. There is not a crowd, nothing much to be done. Things are so simple that he can do them easily. And simple things have a quality that even while doing them you can study yourself. Complex things are too much for the mind. It gets too involved and fragmentary, and self study becomes impossible.

What Patanjali means by self study is the same as what Gurdjieff meant by self remembering, or what Buddha meant by right mindfulness, or what Jesus meant by becoming more alert, or what Krishnamurti means when he goes on saying to be aware. When you have nothing to do, nothing much to do, the simple things of the day finished, where will the energy move? What will become of your energy? Right now you are always low, low in your energy, because there are so many engagements for the energy, so many involvements for the energy. You never have enough energy. And without energy there is no possibility of being aware, because awareness is the subtlest transformation of energy. It is the cream of your energy. If you don't have enough overflowing energy, you can not be aware. At the point of low energy, low level energy, you cannot be aware; overflowing energy is needed. An austere man has so much energy left -- what to do with this energy? All that can be done has been done; the day is over. You are sitting silently; the energy moves to the subtlest layers -- it goes higher and higher, it goes on accumulating, it becomes a pinnacle, a pillar of energy. You can study yourself now. Even the subtlest nuances of your thoughts, emotions, feelings, you can watch.


Whenever you watch, you are no longer there. Austerity leads to self study; self study leads to egolessness, because you are not there. The more you know yourself, the less you are. Only ignorant people are. Enlightened people are not. They are like an emptiness, they are like a vast sky. If you enter a Buddha you will never find him anywhere. You will find infinite space, but nobody there. If you enter me you will not find me there -- an emptiness, a vast sky, total freedom for you. You will not stumble upon me; I am not there. When you become more and more aware inside, you are less and less. It is always in the same proportion: the more unaware you are, the more you are; the more aware you are, the less you are. When you become perfectly aware, you are not. The whole energy has become aware ness; nothing is left for the ego. And then the ego is left, just as a snake moves out of an old skin. Now it is a dead skin lying there; anybody can take it. Then surrender to God happens. You cannot surrender to God because you are the barrier.

People come to me and they say, 'I would like to surrender.' That's not possible. How can you surrender? You are the non-surrender. When you are not, surrender is. When you cease, surrender happens. So remember, you cannot surrender. It can not be an effort on your part -- it is impossible. You can do only one thing, what Patanjali is saying: be austere, simple. So much energy is then left which spontaneously becomes awareness, and in awareness you are not there. Suddenly, you find that the surrender has happened. Suddenly, without doing anything on your part... you have not done anything and the surrender has happened. Surrender to God is the state of non ego within you. It is not an act on your part, there is no effort in it. If there is effort, it is not surrender.

Surrender is a realization. When you are aware and the flame is burning high, suddenly you realize that the darkness is not there. You are surrendered; it is a revelation, a realization. Suddenly you are amazed! You are absent and God is there. In your absence is God, in your presence is only misery. In your presence nothing is possible, in your absence the whole infinity becomes possible. These are interrelated things: austerity, self study and surrender to God.


These three steps reduce misery and lead you towards samadhi, the ultimate, the last beyond which nothing exists. When you are surrendered to God, you have become God -- that is samadhi.


In fact, just the ego is the cause. All others which follow are just shadows of the ego. Lack of self awareness is the ego. You feel that you are because you don't know. You are in darkness, you have never met yourself, and you think you are. This creates all sorts of miseries: egoism, attractions towards things which are useless, repulsions -- which is the other extreme of attraction -- clinging to life and fear of death. You cling to life because you don't know what life is. If you knew, there would be no clinging; because life is eternal -- why cling? It is going on and it can never stop. You unnecessarily trouble yourself by clinging. It is as if a river is flowing and you are pushing the river towards the ocean when it is going by itself. You need not push. You will unnecessarily create misery for yourself. You will think that you are a martyr because you are pushing the river and leading it towards the ocean. The river is going by itself; don't disturb, you need not do it. If you want to go to the ocean, you can just become part of the river and the river will take you. But don't help the river; you have been doing that. Life is flowing by itself; nothing is needed. What have you done to be born? What have you done to be here? What have you done to be alive? Is it something that you have done? If not, then why bother? Life moves on its own. Foolish people create miseries; the situation is like this.

I have heard: Once a rich man, a great King, was going some where in his chariot. He saw a poor villager, an old man, by the side of the road carrying a big burden on his head, and the burden was too much. The King felt compassion. He said, 'You come, old man; sit by my side in the chariot. Wherever you want I will drop you. The old man went to the chariot but he was still carrying his burden on his head. The King said, 'Are you mad? Why don't you put your burden down?' The man said, 'I am on the chariot, and even that is too much of a burden for the chariot and the horses. My burden will be too much. Thank you sir, but let me carry this burden. It will be too much for the horses and the chariot.'

Whether you carry your burden on your head or you put in the chariot, it is all the same to the horses; they have to carry all of it.

Life is carrying itself. Why don't you leave your burdens to life? But you cling. And when you cling to life, the fear of death arises. There is no death and there is no fear of death. Clinging to life creates the fear of death, and the fear of death creates death. Otherwise, there is no death and no fear.

Life is eternal. Nobody has ever died; nobody can ever die. That which exists will exist, has always been in existence, cannot go out of existence. Nothing can go out of existence; nothing can go out, nothing can come in. Existence is total. Everything remains; moods change, forms change, names change.

It is what Hindus call namarupa. Forms and names change; otherwise everybody remains, everything remains.You have been here millions of times, you will be here millions of times -- you will be here forever. Life is forever. Of course your name will not be the same. You may not have the same face again, you may not have the body of a man or a woman again, but that doesn't matter, that is irrelevant. You will be here just like the waves in the ocean -- they go and come, they go and come. Forms change, but the same ocean goes on waving.


There can be many forms of the causes of misery: they can be in the form of seeds. You can carry your misery in the form of a seed -- dormant. You may not be aware of it, but in a certain situation, if the soil is right and the seed can get the water and the sun, it will sprout. So sometimes for years you feel that you have no greed, and suddenly one day when the right opportunity arises, the greed is there. Then the seeds are in a very feeble form that you are not aware of, so feeble that unless you search deeply within yourself, you will not be able to see that they are there. Or they may be in an alternating form: sometimes you feel happy and sometimes you feel unhappy. You feel happy with love, you feel unhappy with hate; but hate and love are two alternating phenomena of the same energy. Sometimes they will be in their perfect form: when you are depressed, so depressed that you want to commit suicide; or sometimes when you are so happy that you feel like going mad. All these forms have to be watched because Patanjali says, 'All these forms exist because of unawareness; you are not aware.'

First become aware of the surface phenomena: greed, anger, hate; then go deeper, and you will be able to feel the alternating phenomenon -- both are connected. Go still deeper, become more aware, and you will feel a very feeble phenomenon inside you, shadow like, but any time it can gain substance. So it happens with a holy man -- who just a moment before was holy -- that a beautiful woman comes, and all holiness disappears; just in a single moment! It was there in a feeble form. Or, it can be in a seed form. To know the seed form is the most difficult because it has not sprouted. It needs perfect awareness.

But the whole method of Patanjali is awareness: become more and more aware. You will become more aware if you become austere, simple. You will become more aware and self study will become possible. With self study, self drops and one feels surrendered. And to be surrendered is to be on the right track.


Next: Chapter 2, You Are ALready That...: First Question


Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Yoga Yoga Sutras of Patanjali




Search Search web