Ask a Question Close to Home

Book 3, Sutra 1


Book 3, Sutra 2


Book 3, Sutra 3


Book 3, Sutra 4


Book 3, Sutra 5


Once a Master of Zen invited questions from his students. A student asked. "What future rewards can be expected by those who strive diligently with their lessons?"

Answered the Master, "Ask a question close to home."

A second student wanted to know, "How can I prevent my past follies from rising up to accuse me?"

The Master repeated, "Ask a question close to home."

A third student raised his hand to state, "Sir, we do not understand what is meant by asking a question close to home."

"To see far, first see near. Be mindful of the present moment, for it contains answers about future and past. What thought just crossed your mind? Are you now sitting before me with a relaxed or with a tense physical body? Do I now have your full or partial attention? Come close to home by asking questions such as these. Close questions lead to distant answers."

THIS is the yoga attitude towards life. Yoga is not meta-physical. It does not bother about the distant questions.-faraway questions, about past lives, future lives, heaven and hell, God, and things of that sort. Yoga is concerned with questions close at home. Closer the question, the more is the possibility to solve it. If you can ask the question closest to you, there is every possibility that just by asking, it will be solved. And once you solve the closest question, you have taken the first step. Then the pilgrimage begins. Then by and by you start solving those which are distant -- but the whole yoga inquiry is to bring you close at home.

So if you ask Patanjali about God, he won't answer. In fact he will think you a little foolish. Yoga thinks all metaphysicians foolish; they are wasting their time about problems which cannot be solved because they are so far away. Better start from the point where you are. You can only start from where you are. Each real journey can begin only from where you are. Don't ask intellectual, metaphysical questions of the beyond; ask the questions of the within.

This is the first thing to be understood about yoga it is a science. It is very pragmatic, empirical. It fulfills all the criteria of science. In fact what you call science is a little far away, because science concentrates on objects. And yoga says unless you understand the subject, which is your nature, closest to you, how can you understand the object? If you don't know yourself, all else that you know is bound to be erroneous, because the base is missing. You are on faulty ground. If you are not enlightened within, then whatsoever light you carry without is not going to help you. And if you carry the light within then there is no fear: let there be darkness outside; your light will be enough for you. It will enlighten your path.

Metaphysics does not help; it confuses.

It happened When I was a student in the university. I joined the subject of moral philosophy, ethics. I attended only the first lecture of the professor. I could not believe that a man can be so outdated. He was talking almost a hundred years back, as if he was completely unaware of what new growth has happened to the subject of moral philosophy. But that could have been forgiven. He was tremendously boring, as if he was making all efforts to bore you. But that was also not a big problem; I could have slept. But he was annoying also, jarring -- his voice, his manners.... But that, too, one can become accustomed to. He was very much confused. In fact I have never come across a man with so many qualities all joined in one person.

I never went again to his class. Of course, he must have been annoyed by that, but he never said anything. He waited for his time, because he knew one day I will have to appear in the examination. I appeared. He was even more annoyed because I got ninety-five percent marks. He could not believe it.

One day when I was coming out of the university cafeteria and he was going in, he caught hold of me. He stopped me and said, "Listen. How did you manage? You only attended my first lecture, and for two years I have not seen your face. How did you manage to get ninety-five percent marks?"

I said, "It must be because of your first lecture."

He looked puzzled. He said, "My first lecture! Just out of one lecture?" "Don't try to befool me," he said. "Tell me the truth."

I said, "Propriety won't allow it."

He said, "Forget all about propriety. Just tell me the truth. I will not mind."

I said, "I have told you the truth, but you have misunderstood it. If I had not attended your lecture I would have got a hundred percent. You confused me! That accounts for those five percent I lost.

Metaphysics, philosophy, all distant thinking simply confuse you. It leads you nowhere. It muddles your mind. It gives you more and more to think, and it doesn't help you to become more aware. Thinking is not going to help: only meditation can help. And the difference is: while you think, you are more concerned with thoughts; while you meditate, you are more concerned with the capacity of awareness.

Philosophy is concerned with the mind; yoga is concerned with consciousness. Mind is that of which you can become aware: you can look at your thinking, you can see your thoughts passing, you can see your feelings moving, you can see your dreams floating like clouds. Riverlike, they go on and on; it is a continuum. The one that can see this is consciousness.

The whole effort of yoga is to attain to That which cannot be reduced to an object, which remains irreducible, to be just your subjectivity. You cannot see it because it is the seer. You cannot catch hold of it, because all that you can catch hold of is not you. Just because you can catch hold of it it has become separate from you. This consciousness, which is always elusive and always stands back and whatsoever effort you make all efforts fail... to come to this consciousness -- how to come to this consciousness -- is what yoga is all about.

To be a yogi is to become what you can become. Yoga is the science of stilling what has to be stilled and alerting what can be alerted. Yoga is a science to divide that which is not you and that which is you, to come to a clear-cut division so that you can see yourself in pristine clarity. Once you have a glimpse of your nature, who you are, the whole world changes. Then you can live in the world, and the world will not distract you. Then nothing can distract you; you are centered. Then you can move anywhere you like and you remain unmoving, because you have reached and touched the eternal, which never moves, which is unchanging.

Today we start the third step of Patanjali's YOGA SUTRAS, "Vibhuti Pada." It is very significant because the last, the fourth, "Kaivalya Pada," will be just attaining to the fruit. This third. "Vibhuti Pada," is the ultimate as far as means are concerned, techniques are concerned, methods are concerned. The fourth will be just the outcome of the whole effort. Kaivalya means aloneness, absolute freedom of being alone, no dependence on anybody, on anything -- so contented that you are more than enough. This is the goal of yoga. In the fourth part we will be talking only about the fruits, but if you miss the third you will not be able to understand the fourth. The third is the base.

If the fourth chapter of Patanjali's YOGA SUTRAS is destroyed nothing is destroyed, because whosoever will be able to attain to the third will attain to the fourth automatically. The fourth can be dropped. It is in fact, in a way, unnecessary because it talks about the end, the goal. Anyone who follows the path will reach to the goal, there is no need to talk about it. Patanjali talks about it to help you, because your mind would like to know, "Where are you going? What is the goal?" Your mind would like to be convinced, and Patanjali does not believe in trust, in faith, in belief. He is a pure scientist. He simply gives a glimpse of the goal, but the whole basis, the whole fundamental basis is in the third.

Up to now we were getting ready for this Vibhuti Pada, the ultimate in means. Up to now in two chapters we have been discussing means which help, but those means were outer. Patanjali calls them "bahirang." "on the periphery." Now these three -- dharana, dhyan, samadhi, -- concentration, meditation, samadhi -- these three he calls "antarang," "internal." The first five prepare you, your body, your character -- you on the periphery -- so that you can move inwards. And Patanjali moves step by step: it is a gradual science. It is not a sudden enlightenment; it is a gradual path. Step by step he leads you.

The first sutra:



The object, the subject, and the beyond -- these three have to be remembered. You look at me I am the object; the one who is looking at me is the subject. And if you become a little more perceptive, you can see yourself looking at me that is the beyond. You can see yourself looking at me. Just try. I am the object, you are looking at me. You are the subject who is looking at me. You can stand by the side within yourself. You can see that you are looking at me. That is the beyond.

First, one has to concentrate on the object. Concentration means narrowing of the mind.

Ordinarily, mind is in a constant traffic -- a thousand and one thoughts go on moving, like a crowd, a mob. With so many objects, you are confused, split. With so many objects you are moving in all directions simultaneously. With so many objects you are always, almost, in a state of insanity, as if you are being pulled from every direction and everything is incomplete. You go to the left, and something pulls you to the right; you go to the south, and something pulls you to the north. You are never going anywhere, just a muddled energy, a whirlpool, constant turmoil, anxiety.

This is the state of ordinary mind -- so many objects that the subjectivity is almost covered by them. You cannot have a feel who you are, because you are so much concerned with so many things you don't have a gap to look into yourself. You don't have that stillness, that aloneness. You are always in the crowd. You cannot find a space, a corner, where you can slip into yourself. And the objects continuously asking for attention, every thought asking for attention, forcing exactly that the attention should be given to it. This is the ordinary state. This is almost insanity.

In fact to divide mad people from nonmad people is not good. The distinction is only of degrees. It is not of quality: it is only of quantity. Maybe you are ninety-nine percent mad and he has gone beyond -- a hundred and one percent. Just watch yourself. Many times you also cross the boundary in anger you become mad -- you do things you cannot conceive of yourself doing. You do things for which you repent later on. You do things for which you say later on, "I did it in spite of me." You say, "... as if somebody forced me to do it, as if I was possessed. Some evil spirit, some devil forced me to do it. I never wanted to do it." Many times you also cross the boundary, but you come back again and again to your normal state of madness.

Go and watch any madman. People are always afraid of watching a madman because, suddenly, watching a madman you realize your own madness also. Immediately it happens because you can see at the most the difference is of degrees. He has gone a little ahead of you, but you are also following, you are also standing in the same queue.

William James once went to a madhouse, came back, became very sad, covered himself with a blanket. The wife could not understand. She said. "Why are you looking so sad?" He was a happy man.

He said, "I have been to the madhouse. Suddenly the thought occurred that between these people and me there seems to be not much difference. There is a difference, but not much. And sometimes I have also crossed the boundary. Sometimes in anger, sometimes in lust, sometimes in anxiety, depression. I have also crossed the boundary. The only difference seems to be that they are stuck and they cannot come back and I am still a little flexible and I can come back. But who knows? Someday the flexibility may be lost. Watching those madmen in the madhouse I became aware that they are my future. Hence. I am very much depressed. Because the way I am moving, sooner or later I will overreach them."

Just watch yourself, and go and watch a madman the madman goes on talking alone. You are also talking. You talk invisibly, not so loud, but if somebody watches you rightly he can see the movement of your lips. Even if the lips are not moving, you are talking inside. A madman talks a little louder; you talk a little less loudly. The difference is of quantity. Who knows? Any day you can talk loudly. Just stand by the side of the road and watch people coming from the office or going to the office. Many of them, you will feel, are talking inside, making gestures.

Even people who are trying to help you -- psychoanalysts, therapists -- they are also in the same boat. In fact more psychoanalysts become mad than do people of any other profession. No other profession can compete with psychoanalysts in going mad. It may be because living in close quarters with mad people, by and by, they also become unafraid of being mad; by and by the gap is bridged.

I was reading an anecdote:

One man was attending his local doctor for an examination. "Tell me. Do you get spots before the eyes?" asked the doctor.

"Yes, Doctor."

"Frequent headaches?" asked the doctor.

"Yes." said the patient.

"Pains in the back?" Yes, sir.

"So do I," declared the doctor. "I wonder what the heck it can be."

The doctor and the patient, they are all in the same boat. Nobody knows what the heck it can be.

In the East we never created the profession of psychoanalysts, for a certain reason. We created a totally different type of man the yogi. Not the therapist. The yogi is one who is qualitatively different from you. The psychoanalyst is one who is not qualitatively different from you. He is in the same boat; he is just like you. He is not different in any way. The only difference is that he knows about your madness and his madness more than you know. He is more informed about madness, about insanity, neurosis, psychosis. Intellectually he knows much more about the normal state of human mind and humankind, but he is not different. And the yogi is totally a different man, qualitatively. He is out of the madness you are in: he has dropped that.

And the way in the West you are looking for causes, for ways and means how to help humanity, seems to have from the very beginning gone wrong. You are still looking for causes outside -- and the causes are within. The causes are not outside, not in relationship, not in the world; they are deep in your unconsciousness. They are not in your thinking: they are not in your dreams. The analysis of dreams and the analysis of thoughts is not going to help much. At the most it can make you normally abnormal, not more than that. The basic cause is that you are not aware of the traffic and the traffic noise of the mind, that you are not separate, distant, aloof -- that you cannot stand as a witness, as a watcher on the hill. And once you look for a cause in a wrong direction, you can go on piling up case histories upon case histories, as it is happening in the West.

Psychoanalysis goes on piling up case histories upon case histories... and nothing seems to come out of it. You dig up the mountain and not even a mouse is found. You dig up the whole mountain -- nothing comes out of it. But you become experts in digging, and your life becomes an investment in it, so you go on finding rationalizations for it. Always remember, once you miss to look in the right direction, you can go on infinitely -- you will never come back home.

It happened:

Two Irishmen landed in New York. They had not been around very much, so they decided to take a train trip. As they were riding along, a boy came through selling fruit. They recognized oranges and apples, but there was a strange fruit they had never seen before, so they asked the boy. "What is that?"

He answered, "That is a banana."

"It is good to eat?"

He said, "Sure." "How do you eat it?" they asked.

The boy showed them how to peel a banana, so each bought one. One fellow took a bite out of it, and just then the train went into a tunnel.

He said, "Great heavens! Pat, if you haven't eaten the darn thing, don't do it! I ate mine, and I have gone blind!"

Coincidences are not causes: and the Western psychology is looking into coincidences. Somebody is sad: you start immediately looking into coincidences why he is sad. There must have been something wrong in his childhood. There must have been something wrong in the way he was brought up. There must have been something wrong in the relationship between the child and the mother or the father. There must have been wrongs, something wrong in the environment. You are looking for coincidences.

Causes are within; coincidences without. That is the basic emphasis of yoga, that you are looking wrongly now and you will not ever find a real help. You are sad because you are not aware. You are unhappy because you are not aware. You are in misery because you don't know who you are. All else is just coincidences.

Look deep down. You are in a misery because you have been missing yourself, you have not yet met yourself. And the first thing to be done is dharana. Too many objects are there in the mind; the mind is much too overcrowded. Drop those objects by and by; narrow down your mind; bring it to a point where only one object remains.

Have you ever concentrated on anything? Concentration means your whole mind is focused on one thing. On a rose flower. You have looked at a rose so many times, but you have never concentrated on a rose. If you concentrate on a rose, the rose becomes the whole world. Your mind becomes narrowed down, focused like a torchlight, and the rose becomes bigger and bigger and bigger. The rose was one in a million objects, then it was a very small thing. Now it is the all, the whole.

If you can concentrate on a rose, the rose will reveal qualities that you have never seen before. It will reveal colors that you have been missing always. It will reveal to you fragrances that were always there but you were not sensitive enough to recognize. If you concentrate totally then your nose is only filled with the fragrance of the rose -- all else is excluded, only the rose is included in your consciousness, is allowed in. Everything excluded, the whole world drops out, only the rose becomes your world.

There is a beautiful story in Buddhist literature. Once Buddha said to his disciple. Sariputra. "Concentrate on laughter." He asked. "For what am I to look into it?" Buddha said. "You are not to look for anything specially. You simply concentrate on laughter, and whatsoever laughter reveals, you report.

Sariputra reported. Never before and never after has anybody looked so deeply in laughter. Sariputra defined and categorized laughter in six categories "They are arranged in hierarchical fashion from the most sublime to the most sensuous and unrefined." The laughter revealed its inner being to Sariputra.

First he called SITA: "a faint, almost imperceptible smile manifest in the subtleties of the facial expression and countenance alone." If you are very, very alert, only then can you see the laughter he called sita. If you watch Buddha's face you will find it there. It is very subtle, very refined. If you are very, very concentrated, only then will you see it, otherwise you will miss it, because it is just in the expression. Not even the lips are moving. In fact, there is no visible thing, it is invisible laughter. That may be the reason Christians think Jesus never laughed: it may have been sita. It is said that Sariputra found sita on Buddha's face. It was rare. It was very rare because it is one of the most refined things. When your soul reaches to the highest point, only then sita. Then it is not something that you do it is simply there for anybody who is sensitive enough, concentrated enough, to see it.

Second, Sariputra said, HASITA: "a smile involving a slight movement of the lips and barely revealing the tips of the teeth." Third he called VIHASITA: "a broad smile accompanied by a modicum of laughter." Fourth he called UPAHASITA: "accentuated laughter, louder in volume, associated with movements of the head, shoulders and arms. Fifth he called APAHASITA: "loud laughter that brings tears." And sixth he called ATIHASITA: "the most boisterous, uproarious laughter, attended by movements of the whole body, doubling over in raucous guffawing, convulsions, hysterics."

When you concentrate even on a small thing like laughter, it becomes a tremendous, a very big thing -- the whole world.

Concentration reveals to you things which are not ordinarily revealed. Ordinarily, you live in a very indifferent, mood. You simply go on living as if half asleep -- looking, and not looking at all; seeing and not seeing at all; hearing, and not hearing at all. Concentration brings energy to your eyes. If you look at a thing with a concentrated mind, everything excluded, suddenly that small thing reveals much that was always there waiting.

The whole of science is concentration. Watch a scientist working; he is in concentration.

There is an anecdote about Pasteur He was working. Looking through his microscope, so silent, so unmoving that a visitor had come and waited for long, and he was afraid to disturb him. Something sacred surrounded the scientist. When Pasteur came out of his concentration, he asked the visitor. "How long have you been waiting? Why didn't you tell me before?"

He said, "I was going to tell you many times -- in fact. I am in a hurry. I have to reach somewhere, and some message has to be delivered to you, but you were in such deep concentration -- almost as if praying -- that I could not disturb. It was sacred."

Pasteur said. "You are right. It is my prayer. Whenever I feel disturbed and whenever I feel too many worries and whenever I feel too many thoughts. I simply take my microscope. I look through it -- immediately, the old world drops I am concentrated."

A scientist's whole work is of concentration, remember this. Science can become the first step towards yoga because concentration is the first inner step of yoga. Each scientist, if he goes on growing and does not get stuck, will become a yogi. He is on the way because he is fulfilling the first condition concentration.

"Dharana, concentration, is confining the mind to the object being meditated upon."


First, concentration dropping the crowd of objects and choosing one object. Once you have chosen one object and you can retain one object in your consciousness, concentration is achieved. Now the second step uninterrupted Row of consciousness towards the object. As if light is falling from a torch, uninterrupted. Or, have you seen? You pour water from one pot to another pot the flow will be interrupted; it will not be uninterrupted. You pour oil from one pot to another pot: the flow will be uninterrupted, continuous; the thread will not be broken.

Dhyan, contemplation, means your consciousness falling on the object in continuity, with no break -- because each break means you are distracted, you have gone somewhere else. If you can attain the first, the second is not difficult. If you cannot attain the first, the second is impossible. Once you drop objects, you choose one object, then you drop all loopholes in your consciousness, all distractions in your consciousness, you simply pour yourself on one object.

When you look at one object the object reveals its qualities. A small object can reveal all the qualities of God.

There is a poetry of Tennyson. He was going for a morning walk and he came across an old wall, and in the wall there was grass growing, and a small flower had bloomed. He looked at that flower. The morning, he must have been feeling relaxed, happy, energy must have been flowing, the sun was rising.... Suddenly the thought occurred to his mind -- looking at this small flower he said. "If I can understand you root and all. I will understand the whole universe." Because each small particle is a miniature universe.

Each small particle carries the whole universe as each drop carries the whole ocean. If you can understand one drop of ocean you have understood all oceans; now there is no need to go to understand each drop. One drop will do. Concentration reveals the qualities of the drop, and the drop becomes the ocean.

Meditation reveals the qualities of consciousness, and the individual consciousness becomes cosmic consciousness. First reveals the object: second reveals the subject. An uninterrupted flow of consciousness towards any object.... In that uninterrupted flow, in that unfrozen flow, just in that flow... you are simply flowing like a river, with no interruption, with no distraction... suddenly you become for the first time aware about the subjectivity that you have been carrying all along who you are.

In an uninterrupted flow of consciousness ego disappears. You become the self, egoless self, selfless self. You have also become an ocean.

The second, contemplation, is the way of the artist. The first, concentration, is the way of the scientist. The scientist is concerned with the outside world, not with himself. The artist is concerned with himself, not with the outside world. Then a scientist brings something, he brings it from the objective world. When an artist brings something he brings it out of himself. A poem: he digs deep in himself. A painting he digs deep in himself. Don't ask the artist about being objective. He is a subjectivist.

Have you seen Van Gogh's trees? They almost reach to the heavens; they touch the stars. They overreach. Trees like that exist nowhere -- except in Van Gogh's paintings. Stars are small and trees are big. Somebody asked Van Gogh, "From where do you create these trees? We have never seen such trees." He said, "Out of me. Because, to me, trees always seem desires of the earth to meet the sky." "Desires of the earth to meet the sky" -- then the tree is totally transformed, a metamorphosis has happened. Then the tree is not an object; it has become a subjectivity. As if the artist realizes the tree by becoming a tree himself.

There are many beautiful stories about Zen Masters, because Zen Masters were great painters and great artists. That is one of the most beautiful things about Zen. No other religion has been so creative, and unless a religion is creative, it is not a total religion -- something is missing.

One Zen Master used to tell his disciples, "If you want to paint a bamboo, become a bamboo." There is no other way. How can you paint a bamboo if you have not felt it from within?... if you have not felt yourself as a bamboo standing against the sky, standing against the wind, standing against the rains, standing high with pride in the sun? If you have not heard the noise of the wind passing through the bamboo as the bamboo hears it, if you have not felt the rain falling on the bamboo as the bamboo feels it, how can you paint a bamboo? If you have not heard the sound of the cuckoo as the bamboo hears it, how can you paint a bamboo? Then you paint a bamboo as a photographer. You may be a camera, but you are not an artist.

Camera belongs to the world of science. The camera is scientific. It simply shows the objectivity of the bamboo. But when a Master looks at the bamboo he is not looking from the outside. He drops himself by and by. His uninterrupted Row of consciousness falls on the bamboo there happens a meeting, a marriage, a communion, where it is very difficult to say who is bamboo and who is consciousness -- everything meets and merges, and boundaries disappear.

The second, dhyan, contemplation, is the way of the artist. That's why artists sometimes have glimpses as of the mystics. That's why poetry sometimes says something which prose can never say and paintings sometimes show something for which there is no other way to show. The artist is reaching even closer to the religious person, to the mystic.

If a poet just remains a poet, he is stuck. He has to Row, he has to move: from concentration to meditation, and from meditation to samadhi. One has to go on moving.

Dhyan is uninterrupted Row of the mind to the object. Try it. And it will be good if you choose some object which you love. You can choose your beloved, you can choose your child, you can choose a flower -- anything that you love -- because in love it becomes easier to fall uninterruptedly on the object of love. Look in the eyes of your beloved. First forget the whole world; let your beloved be the world. Then look into the eyes and become a continuous Row, uninterrupted, falling into her -- oil being poured from one pot into another. No distraction. Suddenly, you will be able to see who you are; you will be able to see your subjectivity for the first time.

But remember, this is not the end. Object and subject, both are two parts of one whole. Day and night: both are two parts of one whole. Life and death: both are two parts of one whole existence. Object is out, subject is in -- you are neither out nor in. This is very difficult to understand because ordinarily it is said, "Go within." That is just a temporary phase. One has to go even beyond that. Without and within -- both are out. You are that who can go without and who can come within. You are that who can move between these two polarities. You are beyond the polarities. That third state is samadhi.



When the subject disappears in the object, when the object disappears in the subject, when there is nothing to look at and there is no looker-on, when simply the duality is not there, a tremendously potential silence prevails. You cannot say what exists, because there is nobody to say. You cannot make any statement about samadhi, because all statements will fall short. Because whatsoever you can say either will be scientific or will be poetic. Religion remains inexpressible, elusive.

So there are two types of religious expression. Patanjali tries the scientific terminology. Because, religion in itself has no terminology -- the whole cannot be expressed. To express, it has to be divided. To express, either it has to be put as an object or as a subject. It has to be divided to say anything about it is to divide it. Patanjali chooses the scientific terminology: Buddha also chooses the scientific terminology. Lao Tzu, Jesus, they choose the poetic terminology. But both are terminologies. It depends on the mind. Patanjali is a scientific mind, very rooted in logic, analysis. Jesus is a poetic mind; Lao Tzu is a perfect poet, he chooses the way of poetry. But remember always that both ways fall short. One has to go beyond.

"Samadhi is when the mind becomes one with the object."

When the mind becomes one with the object, there is no one who is a knower and there is none who is known.

And unless you come to know this -- this knowing which is beyond the known and the knower -- you have missed your life. You may have been chasing butterflies, dreams, maybe attaining a little pleasure here and there, but you have missed the ultimate benediction.

A jar of honey having been upset in a housekeeper's room, a number of flies were attracted by its sweetness. Placing their feet in it they ate greedily. Their feet, however, became so smeared with honey that they could not use their wings nor release themselves and were suffocated. Just as they were expiring, one of them exclaimed, "Ah, foolish creatures that we are, for the sake of a little pleasure we have destroyed ourselves."

Remember, this is the possibility for you also. You may get smeared with the earth so much that you cannot use your wings. You may get loaded with your small pleasures so much that you forget all about the ultimate bliss, which was always yours just for the asking. In collecting pebbles and shells on the seashore you may miss the utterly blissful treasure of your being. Remember this. This is happening. Only rarely somebody becomes aware enough not to be caught in this ordinary imprisonment of life.

I am not saying don't enjoy. The sunshine is beautiful and the flowers also and butterflies also, but don't get lost in them. Enjoy them, nothing is wrong in them, but always remember, the tremendously beautiful is waiting. Relax sometimes in the sunshine, but don't make it a life-style. Sometimes relax and play with pebbles on the seashore. Nothing is wrong in it. As a holiday, as a picnic, it can be allowed, but don't make it your very life then you will miss it. And remember, wherever you pay your attention, that becomes your reality of life. If you pay your attention to pebbles, they become diamonds -- because wherever is your attention, there is your treasure.

I have heard, it happened once:

A railway employee accidentally trapped himself in a refrigerator car. He could neither escape nor attract the attention of anybody to his sad plight, so he resigned himself to a tragic fate. The record of his approaching death was scribbled on the wall of the car in these words: "I am becoming colder. Still colder now. Nothing to do but wait. These may be my last words." And they were. When the car was opened, the searchers were astonished to find him dead. There was no physical reason for his death. The temperature of the car was a moderate fifty-six degrees. Only in the mind of the victim did the freezing apparatus work. There was plenty of fresh air; he had not suffocated.

He died of his own wrong attention. He died of his own fears. He died of his own mind. It was a suicide.

Remember, wherever you pay your attention, that becomes your reality. And once it becomes a reality, it becomes powerful to attract you and your attention. Then you pay more attention to it: it becomes even more of a reality and, by and by, the unreal that is created by your mind becomes your only reality and the real is completely forgotten.

The real has to be sought. And the only way to reach it is, first, drop too many objects, let there be one object: second, drop all distractions. Let your consciousness fall on that object in an uninterrupted Row. And the third happens by itself. If these two conditions are fulfilled. Samadhi happens on its own accord. Suddenly one day the subject and object both have disappeared: the guest and the host both have disappeared: silence reigns, stillness reigns. In that stillness, you attain to the goal of life.

Patanjali says:


Such a beautiful definition of samyama. Ordinarily, samyama is thought to be a discipline, a controlled state of character. It is not. Samyama is the balance which is attained when subject and object disappear. Samyama is the tranquillity when the duality is no more within you and you are not divided and you have become one.

Sometimes it happens naturally also, because if it were not so, Patanjali would not have been able to discover it. Sometimes it happens naturally also -- it has happened to you also. You cannot find a man to whom there have not been moments of reality. Accidentally, sometimes you fall in tune not knowing the mechanism, how it happens, but sometimes you fall in tune and suddenly it is there.

One man wrote me a letter and he said. "Today I attained five minutes of reality." I like the expression "five minutes of reality." "And how did it happen?" I inquired. He said that he had been ill for a few days. And this is unbelievable, but this is true, that to many people, in illness sometimes the tranquillity comes -- because in illness your ordinary life is stopped. For a few days he was ill and he was not allowed to move out of the bed, so he was relaxing -- nothing to do. Relaxed, after four, five days, suddenly one day it happened. He was just lying down, looking at the ceiling and it happened -- those five minutes of reality. Everything stopped. Time stopped, space disappeared. There was nothing to look at, and there was nobody to look. Suddenly there was oneness, as if everything fell in line, became one piece.

To a few people it happens while they are making love. A total orgasm, and after the orgasm everything silences, everything falls into line... one relaxes. The frozenness is gone, one is no longer tense, the storm is gone, and the silence that comes after it... and suddenly there is reality.

Sometimes walking in the sun against the wind, enjoying. Sometimes swimming in the river, f{owing with the river. Sometimes doing nothing, just relaxing on the sand, looking at the stars, it happens.

But those are just accidents. And because they are accidents, and because they don't fit in your total style of life, you forget them. You don't pay much attention to them. You just shrug your shoulders, and you forget all about them. Otherwise, in everybody's life, sometimes, reality penetrates.

Yoga is a systematic way to reach to that which sometimes happens only accidentally. Yoga makes a science out of all those accidents and coincidences.

The three taken together constitute samyama. The three -- concentration, meditation, and samadhi -- are as if they are the three legs of a three-legged stool, the trinity.



Those who attain to this trinity of concentration, meditation and samadhi, to them happens the light of higher consciousness.

"Climb high, climb far, your goal the sky, your aim the star." But the journey starts where you are. Step by step Climb high, climb far, your goal the sky, your aim the star. Unless you become as vast as the sky, don't rest; the journey is not yet complete. Unless you reach and become an eternal light, the star, don't become complacent, don't feel contented. Let the divine discontent burn like a fire, so that one day, out of all your efforts the star is born and you become an eternal light.

"By mastering it, the light of higher consciousness." Once you master these three inner steps, the light becomes available to you. And when the inner light is available you always live in that light: "At dusk the cock announces dawn. At midnight, the bright sun." Then even in the midnight there is bright sun available; then even at dusk the cock announces dawn. When you have the inner light there is no darkness. Wherever you go your inner light moves with you -- you move in it, you are it.

Remember that your mind always tries to make you satisfied wherever you are; the mind says there is nothing more to life. The mind goes on trying to convince you that you have arrived. The mind does not allow you to become divinely discontent. And it always can find rationalizations. Don't listen to those rationalizations. They are not real reasons they are tricks of the mind, because the mind does not want to go, to move. Mind is basically lazy. Mind is a sort of entropy: the mind wants to settle, to make your home anywhere but make your home; just settle, don't be a wanderer.

To be a sannyasin means to become a wanderer in consciousness. To be a sannyasin means to become a vagabond -- in consciousness -- go on searching and wandering. "Climb high, climb far, your goal the sky, your aim the star." And don't listen to the mind.

It happened one night:

A policeman was watching a very drunken man vainly trying to fit his house key into a lamp post.

"It is no use, old chap," he said. "There is nobody at home."

"That is where you are wrong," replied the fuddled man. "There is light upstairs."

The mind is very much fuddled and drunken. It goes on giving reasons. It says, "What more is there?" Just a few days before, a politician came to me. He said, "Now what more is there? I was born in a small village to a poor family, and now I have become a Cabinet Minister. What more is there to life?" Cabinet Minister? What more is there to life he asks, and he is satisfied. "Born in a village to a poor family, what more can one expect?" While the whole sky was available, he is satisfied in being a Cabinet Minister. Don't get finished that way.

Unless you become a god! Take rest sometimes by the way, but always remember: it is only a night's rest; by the morning we go.

There are a few people who are satisfied with their worldly achievements. There are a few more who are not satisfied with their worldly achievements but who are satisfied by the promises of the priests. Those, the second category, you call religious. They are also not religious -- because religion is not a promise. It has to be attained. Nobody else can promise you; you have to attain it. All promises are consolations and all consolations are dangerous, because they are like opium. They drug you.

It happened:

At an examination of a class in first-aid, a priest was asked (he was also taking the training of first-aid), "What would you do if you found a man in a fainting condition?"

"I would give him some brandy," was the answer.

"And if there was no brandy?"

"I would promise him some." said the priest.

The priest has always been saying that. The priests are the great promisers -- they go on issuing promissory notes. They go on saying, "Don't be worried. Donate, make a church, give money to the poor, make a hospital, this and that, and we promise you."

Yoga is self-effort. Yoga has no priests. It has only Masters who have attained by their own effort -- and in their light you have to learn how to attain yourself. Avoid the promises of the priests. They are the most dangerous people on earth, because they don't allow you to become really discontent. They go on consoling you; and if you are consoled before you have attained, you are cheated, you are deceived. Yoga believes in effort, in tremendous effort. One has to become worthy. One has to EARN God; you have to pay the cost.

Someone once asked the former Prince of Wales, "What is your idea of civilization?"

"It is a good idea," replied the prince. "Somebody ought to start it.

The yoga is not just an idea it is a practice, it is abhyas, it is a discipline, it is a science of inner transformation. And remember, nobody can start it for you. You have to start it for yourself. Yoga teaches you to trust yourself; yoga teaches you to become confident of yourself. Yoga teaches you that the journey is alone. A Master can indicate the way, but you have to follow it.



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