The esoteric dimensions of tantra

Fri, 11 July 1970 00:00:00 GMT
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In Search of the Miraculous Vol 2
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Question 1


In the context of the male and female bodies you have been told that the first body of the female is a female body while the second is male, and the exact opposite is the case with the male. Then the woman's third body is again female and the fourth male. I have told you before that the female body is incomplete; so is the male body. These two together make a complete body. This union is possible in two ways. If the external man combines with the external woman, together they create a unit. With this unit the work of procreation, of nature, goes on. If a man or woman turns inward and unites with the female or male within, a different journey begins which is the way towards the divine.

The external union, however, is a journey toward nature.

When the first body of the male meets his second, etheric body which is female, these two make a unit. When the first body of a female meets her second, etheric body which is of the male element, they also form a unit. This is a wonderful unity. The external union can only be momentary. Very briefly it gives a period of happiness, then the sorrow of separation is infinitely greater. And this sorrow brings about a fresh yearning for the same pleasure which again proves to be momentary; then again there is the parting which is long and painful. So the outer pleasure can only be momentary whereas the union within abides forever. Once it takes place it never breaks.

Therefore, as long as the union within does not take place there is sorrow and pain. A current of happiness begins to flow within as soon as the inner union takes place. This pleasure is similar to that which is experienced momentarily in the outer union that takes place during lovemaking - a union which is so infinitesimal in its duration that it is over almost before it has begun. Many times it is not even experienced; it happens with such swiftness that it is not experienced at all.

From the viewpoint of yoga, when inner intercourse becomes possible the instinct for outer intercourse immediately disappears. The reason is that this inner union is completely satisfying and fulfilling. The images of coitus depicted on temple walls are indications in this direction.

Inner intercourse is a process of meditation. Therefore, opposition arose between the concept of internal and external intercourse. This was due to the fact that he who enters into inner intercourse once will lose all interest in outer intercourse.

This also should be remembered: when a woman unites with her male etheric body the resulting unit will be female; when the male unites with his female etheric body the unit will be male. This is because the first body absorbs the second body: the second merges in the first. But now these are male and female in a very different sense. It is not the outer man and the outer woman that we see: the outer man is incomplete, and therefore uneasy, unsatisfied. The external woman is also incomplete, and therefore restless, unfulfilled.

If we examine the development of life on earth we will find that in primal organisms the male and female are both present. For example, the amoeba: the amoeba is half male, half female. Therefore, there is no other creature more satisfied in this world. No such thing as discontent ever arises in an amoeba. This is also the reason why it has failed to develop: it has always remained an amoeba.

So very elementary organisms in biological development do not have separate bodies for each sex.

Both male and female are contained within the same body.

When the first body of the woman unites with her male, etheric body, a new woman comes into being who is a complete woman. We have no idea of the personality of a complete woman because all the women we know are incomplete. We have no estimate of a complete man because all the men we know are incomplete; they are all only half. As soon as this unit is completed a supreme satisfaction pervades - a satisfaction in which all discontent diminishes and finally disappears. Now it will be difficult for this complete man and complete woman to establish any external relationships, because outwardly there are only half men and half women with whom their personalities do not feel harmony. However, it is possible for a perfect man - one whose first two bodies have united within - to form a relationship with a perfect woman, one whose first two bodies have also united.

Tantra has tried many experiments for this relationship. Therefore, tantra had to go through a great deal of harassment and misunderstandings. We could not understand what tantrikas were doing - naturally it was beyond our understanding. When a woman and a man who are united to the inner complementary body make love under the circumstances of tantra, it is nothing more than ordinary intercourse for us. We could never evaluate what was happening.

But this is a very different kind of happening, and this was a very great help to the seeker. It had a great significance for him. The external union of a complete man and a complete woman was the beginning of a new meeting; it was a journey toward a new union. One kind of journey was already over: the incomplete woman and incomplete man have been completed. A particular plateau of fulfillment was then reached, because now there was no thought of desire.

When a complete man and a complete woman meet in this way, they experience for the first time the bliss, the pleasure, of the union of two whole beings. Then they begin to understand that if such a perfect union could take place within themselves there would be a torrent of unbounded bliss. The half man enjoyed the union with the half woman; then he united with the half woman within himself and he experienced unlimited bliss. Then the complete man united with the complete woman. Then it is but logical that he should set out to attain a perfect woman within himself, so he set out in search of the perfect woman within where the meeting of the third and fourth bodies takes place.

The third body of the man is again male and the fourth female; the woman's third body is female and the fourth male. Tantra has taken care to see that man does not stagnate after the first perfection is achieved. There are many sorts of perfection within us. Perfection never obstructs, but there are many kinds of perfections which are imperfect compared to the further perfections that lie ahead.

However, they are perfections in relation to the preceding imperfections. The previous imperfections may have disappeared, but we still have no idea of the greater perfections that lie ahead. This may create a hindrance.

Therefore, many surprising methods have been developed in tantra which cannot be immediately understood. For instance, when there is intercourse between a complete man and a complete woman there will be no loss of energy: there cannot be, because each forms a complete circuit within his or her own self. There will be no discharge of energy from the partners; for the first time they will experience pleasure without loss of energy.

The pleasure experienced in the physical intercourse at the time of orgasm is invariably followed by the experience of pain. The gloom, the anguish, the fatigue, the remorse that follows with the loss of energy is inevitable. The pleasure passes in a moment but the loss of energy takes twenty-four to forty-eight hours or more to be regained. Until the energy is regained the mind is filled with agony.

Tantra has evolved strange and marvelous methods for intercourse without ejaculation, and it has worked very courageously in that direction. We shall have to talk separately on this subject some other time as tantric practice forms a complete network in itself. And since this network has been broken the entire science gradually became esoteric. Also, it is difficult to talk about tantric practices openly and directly, because our moral beliefs have made this very difficult. Moreover, our foolish "wise" men who know nothing but who are capable of saying anything have made it impossible to keep any precious wisdom alive. The practices of tantra thus had to be given up or else it was hidden and tantric experiments had to go underground. For this reason the current of tantric knowledge no longer flows clearly in our lives.

The intercourse between a complete man and a complete woman is a very different kind altogether.

It is an intercourse in which there is no loss of energy. An entirely new happening takes place which can only be hinted at. When an incomplete man and an incomplete wo-man meet, both undergo a loss of energy. The quantity of energy after their intercourse is much less than it was prior to it.

Quite the opposite is the case in the union of a complete man and a complete woman. The quantity of energy after their intercourse will be more than was there before it. The energy of both increases.

This energy lies within them, and it becomes awakened and active by the nearness of the other partner. In the first ordinary sexual act also, ejaculation happens by coming together of a man and a woman. In the second meeting of a complete man and a complete woman, their own individual energy becomes awakened and active in the presence of the other; whatever lies hidden within each one's own self manifests fully. From this happening there is a hint whether a union of the complete man and complete woman can take place within. The first union is a union of two incomplete beings.

Now the second phase of the work begins to bring together their third and fourth bodies.

The third body of the man is again male and the fourth female; the third body of the woman is again female and the fourth male. Now in the union of the third and the fourth only the male will remain within the male; his third body will become prominent. Within the female the female will remain prominent. Then the two complete females will merge into one, because now there will be no boundary between the two to separate them. The male body is required to keep them apart.

Similarly, between the two male bodies a female body is required to keep a distance between them.

When the female of the first and second bodies meets the female of the third and fourth bodies, at the very instant of meeting they will merge into one. Then the woman achieves perfect femininity in double measure. No greater womanhood than this is possible, because after this there is no further growth of femininity. This will be the perfect feminine state. This is the perfect woman who has no desire even to meet the perfect man.

In the first completeness there was the enchantment of meeting a second complete person, and the meeting created more energy. Now that too is over. Now even meeting God will be meaningless in a sense. Within the man also both the males will merge into one. When the four bodies unite, what remains in the male is the male and what remains in the female is the female. From the fifth body onwards there is no male and no female.

Therefore, the happening that takes place in a man and a woman after the fourth plane will be different; it is bound to be. The happening is the same but their attitude towards it is different. The man will still be aggressive and the woman will still be surrendered. After the attainment of the fourth body a woman lets go completely; not even an iota will be withheld in her surrender. This surrender, this letting go, will take her to the journey of the fifth plane where a woman is no longer a woman because in order to remain a woman it is necessary to keep something back.

In fact, we are what we are because we hold back a little of ourselves. If we were to let ourselves go completely we would become something we never were before. But there is a holding back in one's being all the time. If a woman gives in completely even to an ordinary man, there will be a crystallization within her and she will go beyond the fourth body. This is why women have many a time crossed the fourth body with their love for very ordinary men.

The word sati has no other esoteric meaning. Sati does not mean a woman whose eyes do not fall on another man; sati means that woman who no longer has the female factor left within her to look at another man.

If a woman becomes so completely surrendered in love to even an ordinary man, she does not have to go through this long journey. All her four bodies will combine and stand at the doorstep of the fifth.

Therefore, it was the women who went through this experience who said, "The husband is God."

This does not mean that they actually thought that the husband was God; it means that the doors of the fifth opened for them through the medium of the husband. There was no mistake in what they said; what they said was absolutely correct. What another meditator obtains through great effort she obtains with ease through her love. The love for one person alone takes her to that state.

Take the case of Sita: she belongs to the category of women whom we call sati. Now Sita's surrender is unique. From the point of view of surrender she is perfect; her surrender is total. Ravana is an incomplete man whereas Sita is a complete woman. The radiance of a complete woman is such that an incomplete man cannot dare to touch her. He cannot even set eyes on her, and only an incomplete woman can be seen in a sexual way by him.

When a man approaches a woman sexually the man is not entirely responsible. This incompleteness of the woman is also inevitably responsible. When a man sexually touches a woman in a crowd he is only half responsible. The woman who invites it is equally responsible. She provokes it, invites it, and because she is passive her aggression goes unnoticed. Since the man is active it is very evident that he touched her. But we cannot see the other side's invitation to it.

Ravana could not even raise his eyes toward Sita and Ravana held no meaning for Sita. Yet after the war Rama insisted on the fire test from Sita to confirm her purity. Sita did not resist. Had she refused to go through the test she would have lost her position as sati. She could have insisted that they both pass through the fire test, because if she was alone with another man Rama too was roaming the woods alone - and who knows what women he may have met!

But this question never arose in Sita's mind. She readily went through the fire test. Had she questioned Rama's authority even once she would have fallen from her position - because then the surrender would not have been total; there would have been something slightly lacking in it.

And had she raised the question even once and then passed through the fire, she would have been burnt; she would not have gone unscathed. But her surrender was total. For her there was no other man. We, however, think it a miracle that she passed through the fire unharmed.

If an ordinary person also passes through fire while in a particular inner state, he will not burn. If in the state of hypnosis a man is told that fire will not burn him, he can walk on it and not be burnt.

An ordinary fakir walks on fire in a particular state of mind when the energy circuit is complete within himself. The energy circuit breaks with doubt. If a doubting thought crosses his mind even once, if he doubts that maybe he will be burnt, the circuit breaks and he is bound to get burnt. If two fakirs jump into the fire and seeing them you feel, "If these two can jump and not be affected, how can I burn?" then if you too jump into the fire, you also will not be affected by it. A whole line of people can thus pass through fire and not be burnt. The one who doubts will not dare enter the fire; he will stand aside. But the one who sees so many passing through unaffected thinks, "If so many are unharmed, why should the fire harm me?" So for this reason he can go through and the fire does not touch him.

If the circuit within us is complete, even fire has no means of touching us. So if fire did not affect Sita it is quite conceivable. After the fire test, when Rama turned her out of his kingdom, even then she did not question him. She had passed the fire test to prove her chastity. But Sita's surrender is so total, so complete, that for her there was no reason to question.

If a complete woman reaches a perfection of love for one person she will jump over the first four steps of spiritual practice. For a man it is very difficult because he does not have a surrendering mind. But it is interesting to know that even aggression can be perfect. However, for aggression to be perfect many things are involved and not you alone. In surrender, however, you alone are responsible for its perfection and other things do not matter at all. If I wish to surrender to someone I can do so entirely without telling him. But if I have to be aggressive toward someone, that someone will also be involved in the final result.

Therefore, in our talk about shaktipat you may have felt that there is something slightly lacking in women, that there is a slight difficulty as far as they are concerned. I had told you that there are rules of compensation in life. In the case of the woman, her shortcoming is made up for by her ability to surrender. A man is never able to love completely no matter how much he loves someone. The reason is that he is aggressive and has less ability to surrender. So if a woman's first four bodies become complete and merge into one unit she can surrender very easily at the fifth. And when a woman in this fourth state crosses these two steps of inner intercourse and becomes perfect, no power on earth can come in her way. Then no one except God exists for her. Actually, the one she loved in her first four bodies had also become God for her, but now, whatever is, is God.

There is a beautiful incident in Meera's life. Once she went to Vrindavan. There the priest of the great temple did not look at women, so women were not allowed inside that temple. Bells in hand, immersed in her Lord Krishna, Meera went right inside, however. The other people in the temple hastened to tell her that the temple was closed to women as the priest did not look at women. To this Meera said, "That is very strange. I was under the impression there was only one man in the world - Krishna. Who is this other man? Is there another man? I would like to see him."

They rushed to the priest and told him about Meera. When he heard all they had to say he came running to Meera, fell at her feet, and said, "It is meaningless to call her a woman for whom there is only one man. The matter of man and woman is finished for her. I touch your feet and ask forgiveness. Seeing ordinary women I looked upon myself as a man. But for a woman of your caliber my being a man has no meaning."

When a man reaches the fourth body he becomes a perfect man. He will have crossed the two steps toward attaining this perfection. From then onwards there is no woman for him; the word woman holds no meaning for him. Now he is only a force of aggressiveness, just as a woman who attains perfect womanhood in the fourth body becomes only the energy of surrender. Now they are only an energy of aggressiveness and an energy of surrender respectively. Now they no longer hold the name of man or woman; they are only energies.

Man's aggressiveness developed into various yoga practices and woman's surrender blossomed into various paths of bhakti, devotion. Surrender becomes bhakti, aggressiveness becomes yoga.

Both male and female are the same; there is no difference between them now. The difference of man and woman is now merely external and applies only to the physical body. Now, whether the drop falls into the ocean or the ocean falls into the drop, the final result is the same. The drop of the man will jump into the ocean and merge with it. The drop of the woman will become an abyss and call upon the whole ocean to fill her. She will surrender and the whole ocean will drop into her.

Even now she is negative; she is completely a negativity. She is the womb that holds the entire ocean within itself. The entire energy of the universe will enter into her. Man, even at this stage, cannot be receptive. He still maintains the quality of strength, so he will take a jump and drown in the ocean. In the intimate depths of their beings their personalities will carry this male-female differentiation - right until the very end of the fourth body.

The realm of the fifth plane is absolutely different, however. There only the soul remains. There is no longer any discrimination based on sex, and henceforth the journey is the same for all. Until the fourth there is a difference, and that too is only one of whether the drop falls in the ocean or the ocean into the drop. But the final outcome is the same. It makes no difference whether the drop falls in the ocean or the ocean into the drop. Until the last limit of the fourth body the difference is very apparent, however. There, if a woman wishes to jump into the ocean she will create difficulties for herself, and if a man wishes to surrender he will land himself in trouble. So you should beware of the possibility of such an error.

Question 2



As I said before, woman is half and so is man. Both are energies, both are electricity. The woman is the negative pole, the man the positive pole. Whenever the negative and positive poles of electricity meet and form a circuit light is created. This light is of various kinds: it may not be visible at all, it may be visible only sometimes, or it may be visible to some and invisible to others. But a circuit is formed all the same. But the union of man and woman is so momentary that no sooner is the circuit formed than it breaks. Therefore, there are methods and systems of prolonging intercourse.

If intercourse exceeds half an hour the electrical circuit can be seen encircling the couple. Many pictures of this have been taken. There are many primitive tribes whose sexual union lasts for long; hence the circuit is formed.

Ordinarily it is difficult to find this energy circuit in the civilized world. The more tension-ridden the mind, the more momentary the intercourse. Ejaculation takes place quicker when the mind is tense.

The greater the tension, the quicker the ejaculation, because a tension-ridden mind is not looking for intercourse but for release. In the West sex serves no greater purpose than a sneeze. A tension is thrown out, a load is unburdened. When the energy is thrown out a load is unburdened. When the energy is thrown out you feel dissipated. To relax is one thing, to feel dissipated is quite another.

Relaxation means the energy is within and you are resting, and to feel dissipated means energy is thrown out and you lie exhausted. You are weakened with the loss of energy and you think you are relaxing.

So as tension increased in the West sex became a release from tension, a freedom from the pressure of an internal energy. There are thinkers in the West who are not ready to consider sex as being any more valuable than a sneeze. The nose tickles, you sneeze, and so the mind is relieved.

In the West they are not ready to give sex any more recognition than this. They are correct also, because what they are doing with sex is no more than this.

In the East people are slowly coming to this point, because the East is also becoming tense.

Somewhere, in some distant mountain cave, we might find a man who is not tense. He lives in a world of mountains and streams, trees and woods, and is as yet untouched by civilization. There, even now, the energy circuit is formed during intercourse.

There are also tantric methods with which anyone can produce such an energy circuit. The experience of this circuit is wonderful because it is only when the energy circuit is formed that you get the feeling of oneness. This oneness is never experienced before the formation of this circuit. As soon as the circuit is formed the couple engaged in intercourse is no longer two separate entities.

They become a flow of one energy, one power. Something is experienced as coming and going and revolving; the two separate entities disappear.

Depending upon the intensity of this circuit, the desire for intercourse will lessen and its interval will increase. It can happen that once the circuit is formed, for one full year there may not be any desire for repetition, because a fulfillment has happened.

Or take it this way: a man eats a meal and then vomits it. Then he will not get any satisfaction from the meal. Satiation happens not by eating food but by digesting it. Generally we feel that the act of eating brings satiation. It is not so; satiation only comes when the food is digested.

Intercourse is of two types: one that is of merely eating and another is that of digesting. What we generally know as intercourse is merely eating and vomiting, nothing is digested. If something is digested its satisfaction is long and deep. Absorption takes place only when the energy circuit is formed, however. The energy circuit indicates that the minds of the two partners have merged and become absorbed into one another. Now there are not two; they become one. There are two bodies but the energy within each has become one; the energy has jumped and intermingled.

This condition of sexual absorption leaves a deep state of satisfaction: this is what I mean. It is very useful for yoga and for the meditator. If such inner intercourse is possible for the meditator the need for intercourse becomes very much reduced. Then the intervening period leaves him free for his inner journey. Once the inner journey starts and the inner intercourse takes place with the woman or man within, the external woman becomes useless, the external man becomes useless.

For a householder the term brahmacharya, celibacy, means that his act of intercourse should be so fulfilling that it leaves years of brahmacharya in between. Once this period of brahmacharya is attained and the seeker sets out on the inward journey, the outer necessity for intercourse fades away.

I am saying that this is the case for a householder. For those initiated into sannyas, the traditional kind of sannyas, for those who have not accepted a householder's life, the meaning of brahmacharya is antarmaithun, sexual union between the inner male and female. For them there is a need for inner intercourse. Such a person will directly have to start finding a means for inner intercourse, or else he will shun the outer woman only in name while his mind will keep running, and he will lose more energy in his efforts to keep away from the outer woman than he would by intercourse.

So the path is a little different for the traditional sannyasin. The difference is only this: sexual union with the outer woman is the initial step for the householder; he then meets the inner woman in the second step, whereas the traditional sannyasin unites directly with the inner woman within himself.

The first step is not for him.

Therefore, it is foolish in the traditional concept of sannyas to make anyone and everyone a sannyasin. Actually, initiation into traditional sannyas is only possible when we can look within the person to see whether his first body is in a state of readiness to meet the woman of his second body. If it is so, only then should the initiation into brahmacharya be granted; otherwise this will only bring about madness and nothing else.

But there are persons who go on initiating indiscriminately. There is one guru of a thousand sannyasins, another of two thousand, and they do not know what they are doing. Are those whom they initiate ready and fit for inner intercourse in meditative states? Not at all - they do not even know that there is anything like inner intercourse. This is why, whenever a traditional sannyasin comes to me, his most profound and intimate trouble is sex. Householders I meet have other troubles too, but I have yet to come across a traditional sannyasin whose trouble is anything but sex.

Sex is one of the many worries of a householder, but it is the one and only affliction of the traditional sannyasin. Therefore, his whole mind is centered around this one point. His guru shows him many remedies to save himself from the outer woman, but he has no idea of how a meditator can meet the woman within. Therefore, it becomes impossible to discard the outer woman. He can only make a show of shunning her - and it is very very difficult.

The bioenergy has to move somewhere. If it can go within, only then can it be prevented from flowing outwards. If it does not go in, it is bound to flow out. It makes no difference whether the woman is present in substance or in imagination; it can flow out with the help of an imaginary woman also.

The same goes for women, but here again there is a little difference between the two which should be kept in mind.

Sex is not such a problem for a female seeker as for a male seeker. I am acquainted with many Jaina nuns, and for them sex does not pose a big question. The reason is that a woman's sex is passive. Once it is awakened it becomes a problem; if it is not awakened she can go through a lifetime and never feel that there is any problem.

A woman requires initiation - even in sex. Once a man takes a woman into sex the energy rises sharply within her. But if this does not happen she can remain a lifelong virgin. This is very easy for her because of her passive nature. Her own mind is nonaggressive; she can wait and wait indefinitely. For this reason I feel that it is dangerous to initiate a married woman unless she is taught to unite with the man within her.

A virgin girl can be initiated. She is in a better position than a boy. She can wait indefinitely until she is taken into sex, because she is not aggressive. And if there is no aggression from without, gradually the inner man will begin to unite with the outer woman. Her second body is a male body which is aggressive.

So inner intercourse is much easier for a woman than a man. Do you understand what I mean?

The second body of a woman is male and this body is aggressive. Therefore, even if a woman does not find an outer man it does not matter to her. And if she does not experience sex from an outside source the man within will begin to be aggressive. Her etheric body will begin to invade her; then she will turn inward and become immersed in inner intercourse.

For a man inner intercourse is difficult, because his aggressive body is the first whereas his second body is female. This body cannot assert itself over the first. Only when the first body goes to it will it receive him.

These are the differences, and once they are understood we will have to change all our arrangements. If the householder succeeds in creating the electric circuit in intercourse it will be very helpful to him. The same energy circuit will be formed in the case of inner intercourse also. The energy circuit surrounds an ordinary man only at the time of ordinary intercourse. The same energy will surround the man who has united with his second body twenty-four hours a day. The circle of energy will become wider and wider at every plane.

No image was made of Buddha until five hundred years after his death, and this kind of phenomenon has happened many times throughout history. Instead an image of the bodhi tree was carved and was worshipped in the temples, but the place beneath the tree where Buddha was supposed to have sat was left vacant. Now those who study history and mythology are very much intrigued over why Buddha's image was not carved: why was Buddha symbolized by a tree? And why was his image then installed after five hundred years? Why was the place beneath the tree depicted as empty all that time? This is a mystery which neither the historian nor the mythologist can solve.

In fact, those who had observed Buddha very keenly stated that on observing him with one-pointed attention Buddha could not be seen: only the tree remained and the aura of the energy. His physical body disappeared. Now, for instance, if you observe me keenly I too will disappear and only the chair will remain. So those who saw him deeply claimed that Buddha could not be seen, but those who did not claimed that he could be seen. However, the statement of the former was more authentic.

For five hundred years the word of those who said that Buddha was never visible, and that there was only the tree and the empty place beneath it, was honored. But this concept worked only as long as there were people who could see deeply. When this caliber of people began to diminish it became difficult to worship the tree alone without Buddha. Five hundred years after Buddha his idol was installed. This is a very interesting fact.

Those who saw Jesus deeply also could not see him; they could see only light. Those who saw Mahavira deeply could also see only light, and so it was with Krishna also. If people of this caliber are observed with full alertness only the light of the energy will be visible; no person as such will be seen there.

After every two bodies the vital energy increases. After the fourth body it attains a fullness. At the fifth body there is only energy. At the sixth body this energy will appear not separate but as one with the stars and the skies. At the seventh plane even this will disappear. First matter will disappear, then energy.

Question 3


The perfect no-thought state is attained in the fifth body but small glimpses begin from the fourth body. Thoughts continue in the fourth body but one begins to observe the gaps between two thoughts. Before the fourth there are thoughts and thoughts and only thoughts; we do not see the gap between the thoughts. In the fourth the intervals begin to appear and the emphasis changes.

If you have observed gestalt images you will be able to understand this. Suppose there is a picture of a flight of steps: it can be so drawn that if you look attentively you will observe the steps going up; then if you look again you will see the steps coming down. But the most interesting part is that you cannot observe the steps going up and down simultaneously. You can see only one of the two.

When you observe the second picture the first picture will have vanished.

We can make a picture in which two faces can be seen facing each other, complete with nose, eyes and beard. First it will appear as if two men are facing each other. Now paint the faces black leaving the intervening space white. Now you will say that there is a flower pot in this intervening space, and the nose and eyes become the outlines of the pot. You will not be able to see the pot and the two faces at one time. When you see the two faces the pot will not be seen; when the pot is observed the faces will vanish. No matter how hard you try to see them all together the gestalt will change its emphasis. When your emphasis shifts to the faces the pot will vanish; when the emphasis is on the pot the faces will vanish.

Up to the third body the gestalt of our mind has its emphasis on thought. Rama comes, so Rama is visible and his coming is visible. The empty space between Rama and his coming, or the empty space before Rama's coming and after Rama's going, is not visible to us. The emphasis is on Rama's coming; the intervening space is not observed. The change starts from the fourth body. All of a sudden it will strike you that Rama's coming is no longer very important. When Rama was not coming there was the empty space; when Rama has gone there is the empty space. The empty space begins to come within the focus of your mind: faces disappear; the pot becomes visible. And when your attention is on the empty space you cannot think.

You can do only one of the following two things: as long as you see thoughts you will think, but when you see the empty space you will be empty within. However, this will keep alternating in the fourth body. Sometimes you will see the two faces and sometimes the pot: that is, sometimes you will see thoughts and sometimes the gap. Silence will come and so will thoughts.

The difference between silence and emptiness is only this: silence means thoughts have not yet ended, but the emphasis is changed. The consciousness has shifted from thought and takes pleasure in silence, but thought still remains. It is only that the consciousness has shifted: the attention has shifted from thoughts. Then the attention is on silence. But thought returns sometimes - and when it manages to draw your attention, again silence is lost and thought begins.

In the last moments of the fourth body the mind will keep alternating between the two. On the fifth plane all thoughts will be lost and only silence will remain. This is not the ultimate silence, because this silence exists in comparison to thought and speech. Silence means not speaking; emptiness means a state where there is neither silence nor speech. Neither the faces remain nor the flower pot; only the blank paper. Now if you are asked whether the faces are there or the flower pot, you will say neither.

The state of no-thought occurs in its totality in the fifth body. At the fourth we get glimpses of this state; it will be observed off and on between two thoughts. At the fifth the no-thought state will become evident and thoughts will disappear.

Now the second part of your question is, "Is identification necessary for the formation of thoughts, or can thoughts occur without any identification?" Up to the third body identification and thought come simultaneously. There is your identification and there is the coming of thought: there is no interval between the two. Your thoughts and you are one - not two. Now when you are angry it is wrong to say that you are angry. It would be more correct to say that you have become anger, because in order to be angry it should also be possible for you not to be angry. For instance, I say, "I am moving my hand." Then suppose you say, "Now stop your hand," and I say, "That is not possible; the hands keep moving" - then you may well question what I mean when I say, "I am moving my hand."

I should say, "The hand is moving," because if I am moving the hand I should be able to stop it. If I cannot stop my hand I cannot claim to be its owner. It has no meaning. Because you cannot stop your thoughts, your identification with them is complete up to the third body. Up to there you are thought.

So up to the third body, by hitting someone's thoughts we are hitting the person himself. If you tell such a person, "What you say is wrong," he will never feel that what he says is wrong; he will feel he is wrong. Quarrels and fights take place not because of a statement but because of the I - because there is complete identification. To attack your thoughts is to attack you. Even if you say, "It is all right if you do not agree with my way of thinking," within you will feel that you have been opposed. Many times it happens that the idea in question is left aside and we begin to fight for it merely because we put forth the view and not for any other reason. You support it merely because you have put it forth as your viewpoint - because you have declared it as your scripture, your principle, your argument.

Until the third body there is no distance between you and your thoughts. You are the thought. In the fourth wavering begins. You will begin to get glimpses of the fact that you are something apart and your thoughts are something apart. But so far you are unable to stop your thoughts, because deep within the roots the association still exists. Above on the branches you feel the difference. You sit on one branch and the thoughts on the other and you see they are not you. But deep within you and thoughts are one. Therefore, it seems that thoughts are separate, and it also seems that if my association with them is broken thoughts will stop. But they do not stop. At some deeper level the association with thoughts will continue.

Changes begin to take place on the fourth plane. You begin to get a vague notion of thoughts being different and you being different. You still cannot proclaim this, however, and the thought process is still mechanical. You cannot stop your thoughts, nor can you bring them about. If I can say to you, "Stop anger and show that you are the master," it can also be said, "Bring about anger and prove that you are the master." You will ask, "How can this be done? We cannot bring about anger." The moment you can you are its master. Then you can stop it at any moment. When you are the master the process of bringing on anger and stopping it are both in your hands. If you can bring on anger you can stop it also.

It is also interesting to note that stopping it is a little difficult, but bringing it on is easier. So if you want to be the master first begin by bringing on anger, because this is easier. In the situation of bringing it on you are tranquil, but in the situation of having to stop it you are already angry and so you are not even aware of yourself. Then how will you stop it? Therefore, it is always easier to start the experiment by bringing on anger rather than by stopping it. For instance, you begin to laugh but then you find that you cannot stop laughing; it is difficult. But if you are not laughing and you want to bring on laughter you can do it in a minute or two. Then you will know the secret of laughter - from where it comes and how - and then you will know the secret of stopping it also, and it can be stopped.

At the fourth plane you will begin to see that you are separate and thoughts are separate; that you are not your thoughts. Therefore, whenever the no-thought state occurs - as I said before - the witness also comes, and wherever there are thoughts the witness will be lost. In the intervals between thoughts - that is, in the gaps between thoughts - you will realize your separate identity from the thoughts. Then there is no association between you and the thoughts. But even then you will be a helpless observer. You will not be able to do much, though all efforts are to be made in the fourth body only.

So I have defined two possibilities of the fourth body - one that is natural and the other that is obtained through meditations. You will be alternating between these two. The first possibility is thought and the second is understanding. The moment you attain the second potential of the fourth body - vivek, or understanding - the fourth body will drop as well as the identification of consciousness with mind. When you attain the fifth body two things will drop: the fourth body and this identification.

In the fifth body you can bring on thoughts or not bring them on, as you wish. For the first time thoughts will be a means and will not depend on identification. If you wish to bring on anger you can bring on anger; if you wish to bring on love you can do so. If you do not wish to bring on anything you are at liberty not to do so. If you wish to stop anger that is half-formed you can order it to stop.

Whatever thought you want to bring will come to you, and that which you do not wish to bring will not have any power to invade your mind.

There are many such instances in the life of Gurdjieff. People considered him a peculiar man. If two people were sitting before him, he would look toward one with the utmost anger and toward the other with the utmost love. So quickly would he change his expression that the two would carry away different reports about him. Though both had met him together, one would say, "He looks like a dangerous man," while the other would say, "How full of love he is." This is very easy on the fifth plane. Gurdjieff was beyond the understanding of people around him. He could instantly bring any kind of expression to his face. There was no difficulty for him in this, but there was difficulty for others.

The reason behind this is that in the fifth body you are the master of yourself; you can bring about any feeling you please. Then anger, love, hatred, forgiveness, all your thoughts, become mere playthings; therefore, you can relax when you please. To relax after play is very easy but to relax from life is difficult. If I am only playing at anger I will not sit in anger after you leave the room. If I am playing the game of talking I will no longer be talking after you go. But if talking is my life-breath, then I shall keep on talking even after you leave. Even if nobody listens, I will listen. I will keep on talking because that is my very life; it is not a play after which I can relax. It is my very life, it has taken hold of me. So such a man will talk even at night. In dreams also he will gather a crowd and speak. In dreams also he will quarrel, he will fight and do all that he has been doing in the daytime.

He will keep doing this all the twenty-four hours, because that is his life, that is his very existence.

Your identification breaks in the fifth body. Then for the first time you are at peace, you are empty, by your own free will. But when the need arises you think also. So in the fifth body, for the first time you will be putting your power of thinking to use. It would be better to say that before the fifth body thoughts make use of you; after the fifth you make use of thoughts. Before that it is not correct to say, "I think." In the fifth body you also come to know that your thoughts are not your own: thoughts of people around you also enter your mind. However, you are not even aware that the thoughts you think to be your own could be someone else's.

A Hitler is born and the whole of Germany is permeated with his thoughts - but each German feels it to be his own thought. A very dynamic person diffuses his thoughts into the minds of others and they become echoes of the same. This dynamism is as serious as it is deep. For example, it is two thousand years since Jesus died. The thought waves that he left in the world still grasp the minds of Christians who think that these are their own thoughts. The same is the case with Mahavira, Buddha, Krishna and others. Any kind of dynamic person's thoughts, whether they are of a good person or an evil one, can catch hold of the human mind. The hold of Tamerlane and Genghis Khan upon our minds has not yet been released, nor has the hold of Krishna and Rama. Their thought waves move forever around us, and you are able to catch those thought waves that are conducive to your particular state of mind.

It always happens that a man who is very good in the morning becomes evil by noon. In the morning he moves in the waves of Rama; in the afternoon he may be caught by the waves of Genghis Khan.

Receptivity and time cause the difference. The beggar always comes to beg in the morning, because the effect of evil vibrations is at the minimum at the time of the rising sun. As the day progresses and as the sun gets tired of its long journey in the skies the influence gains strength, so the beggar has no hope of charity from others in the evening. If a beggar asks a man early in the morning to give two rupees he will not be able to refuse right away; as the day progresses it is more difficult to say yes to the beggar. By evening the man is tired with the day's work so now he is fully prepared to refuse. The condition of his mind is quite different now; so also is the entire atmosphere of his surroundings. So the thoughts we feel to be our own also do not belong to us.

This you will experience only in the fifth body, and you will be surprised to see the way thoughts come and go. The thought comes, then it goes; it catches hold of you, then it leaves you alone. There are a thousand kinds of thoughts - and very contradictory ones too; therefore, there is confusion in our minds. Every single person is confused. If thoughts were entirely yours there would be no question of confusion. Your one hand catches hold of Genghis Khan and the other catches hold of Krishna, so there is bound to be confusion. Both of these sets of thought waves lie in wait for you, and as soon as you show your readiness they enter within. They are present all around you.

All this you will come to know when your identification with thoughts breaks completely. The biggest change will be that until this time you will have thoughts, but now you will have thinking. There is a difference between the two. Thoughts are atomic: they come and go and they are always alien.

To say that thoughts are always alien is quite correct. Thinking is ours, but thoughts are alien. This thinking will start within you after the fifth body. Then you will be able to think; you will no longer be merely collecting the thoughts of others. Therefore, the thinking of the fifth body is never a burden upon you, because it is your own. This thinking that is born in the fifth body may be called wisdom or understanding or whatever you like to call it.

At the fifth plane you have your own intuition, your own understanding, your own intelligence. At the fifth the influence of all outside thoughts will end, and in this sense you will be the master of yourself; you will attain your being; you will become your self. Now you will have your own thoughts, your own power of thinking, your own eyes and your own vision. After this only what you wish will come to you; what you do not wish will never come near you. You can think just what you want to think; other thoughts cannot invade you. Now you will be the master. Here the question of identification does not arise.

In the sixth body thinking is also not required. Thoughts are necessary up to the fourth body; thinking and wisdom are necessary in the fifth. On the sixth plane even these end, because there they are not required at all. You become cosmic; you become one with the Brahman. Now there is no other.

In fact, all thoughts are always related to the other. The thoughts before the fourth body are unconscious links with others. The thoughts of the fifth body are conscious links but they are still related to others. After all, why are thoughts necessary? They are required only to establish a relationship with others. Until the fourth they are unconscious links; at the fifth they are conscious links. But at the sixth no "other" remains for establishing links. All relatedness is finished; only the cosmic remains. I and thou are now one. Now there is no place, no reason for thought to exist.

The sixth is the Brahman - the cosmic reality, where there are no thoughts. In the Brahman there are no thoughts; therefore, it can be said that in the Brahman there is knowing. Actually, the thoughts which exist up to the fourth body are unconscious thoughts; they contain a deep ignorance. It shows that we need thoughts to fight with this self-ignorance. At the fifth there is knowing of the self within, but we are still ignorant about that which is other to us; the other is still there for us. Therefore, there is the need to think in the fifth body. At the sixth there is no inside or outside, there is no I or thou, there is no this or that. Now there is no distance to justify thoughts. Now what is, is. Therefore, at the sixth there is only knowing, not thoughts.

At the seventh knowing also does not exist, because he who knew is no more and that which could be known is no more. So even knowing is not on the seventh plane. The seventh plane is not knowing-less, but beyond knowing. If you like you can call it a state of ignorance also. That is why it is always the case that a man of ultimate consciousness and an absolutely ignorant person seem identical - because their behavior is often similar. This is why there is always a great similarity between a small child and an old man who has attained enlightenment: they are not actually the same but super-ficially they seem alike. Sometimes an enlightened sage acts in a childlike way; sometimes in the behavior of a child we get a glimpse of saintliness. Sometimes an enlightened one looks like an absolutely ignorant person, an absolute fool, and it would seem that no one could be as foolish as he. But the sage has gone beyond knowledge and the child is still below knowledge.

The similarity lies in the fact that they both are outside of knowledge.

Question 4


Actually there are many types of samadhi. One samadhi will take place between the fourth and the fifth body. Remember, samadhi is not a happening of one plane; it always happens between two planes, it is the twilight period. One may just as well ask whether twilight belongs to the day or the night. Twilight belongs neither to the day nor the night, it is a happening between day and night. So is samadhi.

The first samadhi occurs between the fourth and the fifth planes. This samadhi leads to self- realization, atma gyan. One samadhi occurs between the fifth and the sixth planes; this in turn leads to brahma gyan - cosmic knowing. The samadhi that occurs between the sixth and the seventh planes is the samadhi that leads to nirvana. So generally speaking there are these three samadhis that occur between the last three shariras, the last three bodies.

There is one false samadhi that has to be recognized also. It occurs in the fourth body, but is not samadhi though it seems like it. In Japan the Zen Buddhist term for it is satori. It is false samadhi. It is that state which a painter or a sculptor or a musician reaches when he is completely immersed in his art; he experiences a great bliss. This is a happening on the fourth - the psychic plane. If when looking at the morning sun or listening to a melody or looking at a dance or looking at the opening of a flower the mind is completely drowned in the happening, a false samadhi takes place. Such a false samadhi can be brought about by hypnosis or false shaktipat. Such a false samadhi can be brought about by alcohol and drugs like marijuana, lsd, mescaline, hashish.

So there are four types of samadhi. Actually there are three authentic samadhis and they happen in a sequence. The fourth is an absolutely false experience that appears like samadhi. In this there is no actual experience - only a feeling of samadhi that is misleading. Many people are misled by satori. This false samadhi occurs in the fourth - the psychic plane. It is not the transitional process between the fourth and the fifth plane; it happens well within the fourth body. The three authentic samadhis occur outside the bodies in a transitional period when we pass on from one plane to another. One samadhi is a door, a passage.

Between the fourth and the fifth bodies happens the first authentic samadhi. One attains self- relaxation. We can get stuck here. Usually people stop at the false samadhi in the fourth body because it is so easy. We have to spend very little energy, making no effort at all, and it is obtained just like that. The majority of meditators, therefore, stagnate here. The first real samadhi, which takes place on the journey from the fourth to the fifth body, is very difficult; and the third, from the sixth to the seventh, is the most difficult of all. The name chosen for the third samadhi is vajrabhed - piercing of the thunderbolt. It is the most difficult one because it is a transition from being into nonbeing; it is a jump from life into death; it is a plunge from existence into nonexistence.

So there are actually three samadhis. The first you may call atma samadhi, the second brahma samadhi, and the last nirvana samadhi. The very first and false samadhi you may call satori. This is the one you should guard against, because it is very easily attainable.

Another method to test the validity of the samadhi is that if it takes place within the plane it is false; it must take place between the planes. It is the door; it has no business to be inside the room. It must be outside the room, adjoining the next room.

Question 5


The serpent symbol for the kundalini is very apt and meaningful. Perhaps there is no better symbol than this. Therefore, not only the kundalini but also the serpent has undergone a great many travels in the symbol form. Nowhere in the world is there a religion in which the serpent has not been depicted somewhere. This is because the serpent has many qualities that tally with the kundalini.

The very first thing that occurs to the mind at the mention of the serpent is the motion of sliding - crawling. The very first experience of kundalini is that of something moving within. You feel as if something has moved within - just as a serpent moves. Another thing that comes to mind with the very notion of a serpent is that it has no legs, yet it moves. It has no means of movement - it is sheer energy - yet it travels. The third thing that comes to the mind is that when a serpent sits it forms coils. When the kundalini lies asleep within us it too rests in the same manner.

When a long thing has to accommodate itself in a small place it has to coil up; there is no other way for it. A very big power is seated on a very small center so it can only coil itself up. Now when the snake gets up it unwinds the coils one by one; as it rises the coil unwinds. In the same way we feel kundalini unwinding within when the kundalini energy rises within us.

The serpent sometimes in playfulness catches its tail in its mouth. This holding of the tail in the mouth is also a significant symbol. This is a valuable symbol and many recognized it as such. It is valuable because it suggests that when the kundalini is fully awakened it will become circular and begin to form its own circuit within. Its hood will catch hold of its own tail; the serpent will become a circle. Now when a symbol is made to depict male sadhana, male spiritual practice, it will catch the tail by its mouth; it will be aggressive. If the symbol is arrived at by female sadhana, female spiritual practices, the tail will just be touching the hood. This is a surrendering tail - one that is not held in the mouth. This is the only difference and no more.

The hood of the serpent also became purposeful. The tail is very narrow whereas the hood is very broad. When kundalini awakens fully it reaches up to the sahasrar. It opens and spreads like the hood of the serpent; it expands enormously. It is as if many flowers bloom in it. Then its tail becomes very small.

When the serpent stands up it is a wonderful sight; it stands erect on the tip of its tail. It is almost a miracle. The serpent is an invertebrate, a creature with no bones, and yet it can perform this act. It can only be with the help of the vital energy within it, because there is no other substantial means for it to stand erect. It stands by the strength of its own willpower; it has no material strength to rely on. So it is also when the kundalini awakens: it has no physical support; it is an immaterial energy.

These were the reasons why the serpent was chosen as a symbol. There are many other reasons too. For instance, it is an innocent creature; hence, the Hindu god Shiva - who is also called "the innocent Shiva" - carries it on his head. On its own the serpent never troubles anybody, but if it is disturbed it can be very dangerous. The same applies to the kundalini. It is a very innocent power; it does not trouble you on its own. But if you disturb it the wrong way you will find yourself in trouble.

It can prove very dangerous. So the symbol of a serpent reminds us that it is dangerous to disturb the kundalini in the wrong way. Keeping all this in mind, there was no other symbol more apt than that of the serpent.

All over the world the snake stands as the symbol of wisdom. Jesus has said, "Be clever and intelligent like a snake and as innocent as a dove." The snake is a very intelligent creature - very alert, very watchful and very sharp and quick. These are all its qualities. The kundalini is also like this. You reach the ultimate peak of wisdom through it; it is very swift, and also very powerful.

In the old days, when this symbol was chosen for the kundalini, perhaps there was nothing better than the serpent. Even now there is nothing better. Perhaps in the future there may be a new symbol - like the rocket. Some future concept may grasp the kundalini as being like the rocket. Its journey is the same; it travels from one sky to another, from one planet to another, and there is void in between. It can become a symbol. The age decides the symbol.

This symbol was chosen when man was very close to the animal kingdom. All our symbols of those times have been taken from animals, because that was all that our knowledge consisted of so we tried to find symbols in them. The serpent was thus the most apt symbol to define the kundalini.

In those days we could not say that kundalini is like electricity; when we talk today we can say so.

Five thousand years ago kundalini could not be talked about in terms of electricity because there was no notion of electricity. But the snake has the quality of electricity. This is hard for us to believe because many of us have no experience of the snake. We may have no experience of the kundalini whatsoever, but we hardly have any experience of snakes either. The serpent is a myth for us.

Recently a survey was taken in London and it was found that seven hundred thousand children had never seen a cow. Now these children who have not seen a cow cannot possibly have any idea of a snake. So their whole way of thinking and reflecting - and their symbols - will be quite different.

Now the serpent is obsolete: it is no longer an important part of our life. Once upon a time it was very near to us; it was our neighbor and was with us all the twenty-four hours of the day. It was then that man noticed its agility, its intelligence, its movements, and the ease with which it carried itself about. It was then that man realized also how dangerous a creature it could be. There are stories of a serpent guarding an infant, and it is so innocent.... There are instances when it has bitten the most fierce person and killed him, so dangerous it can be. So both of these possibilities are in it.

When man was very close to the serpent he must have watched it closely. The subject of kundalini also began at about the same time, and both the serpent and the kundalini were found similar in their qualities. But all symbols are meaningful, and if they have come to us through the ages there is a suitability, a rhythm in them. But now it is bound to break. The symbol of the serpent will not last long. We shall not be able to call the kundalini serpent power, because now where is the poor serpent? It is no longer our neighbor; we have no connection with it. We do not even see him on the roads. So as we have no connection with it whatsoever, this question arises. It could never arise before when it was the only symbol.

Question 6


There is a meaning to this. This description is almost literally true. Actually, when the kundalini arises many transformations take place within the body. Whenever a new energy arises in the body its old composition undergoes a complete change. It is bound to change; the body functions in so many unknown ways of which we are not conscious. For example, take the case of a miser.

Miserliness is a quality of the mind, but his body will also become a miser. His body will begin to collect those substances that may be required by it in the future. It will keep on accumulating without any reason until it reaches a point where it becomes a harassment and a discomfort.

Now let us consider another man who is a coward. His body will gather all the elements that are conducive to fear. Suppose the body wants to tremble in fear and it does not have the necessary requirements - what will it do? You demand fear from the body and it does not have the necessary glands and hormones: what will it do? So the body keeps a ready store as it knows your requirements. The body of a fearful man gathers glands of fear to facilitate his indulgence in fear. The man who perspires with fear will have very strong perspiration glands; he has a capacity to perspire profusely. This arrangement is absolutely necessary because his demands can be many in the course of a single day. So the body stores things according to the requirements of our mind - and more.

When the mind changes the body changes also. When the kundalini rises there will be a complete change in your body. In that transformation your flesh may decrease and so also your blood, but it will decrease strictly to your requirements. So the body will be completely transformed. Only as much flesh and blood as is necessary for the body will remain; the rest will be burnt away. Then only will you feel light; then only will you be able to fly in the inner sky. This will be the difference.

What has been said is correct. The meditator has to have a special diet and a special arrangement for living, or else he will find himself in difficulties. When the kundalini rises a lot of heat is produced within because it is an electric force; it is an energy that is of a very high voltage. Just as I told you that the serpent is a symbol of kundalini, fire too is a symbol of kundalini in some places. This too is a very good symbol.

So the kundalini will burn like fire within you and the flames will rise high. A lot of things will burn in this. A certain dryness can result from the awakening of the kundalini. Therefore, the personality should be very harmonious and some channels of juicy qualities should be developed. For instance, take an angry person: if his kundalini awakens he will find himself in difficulty. He is a dry and coarse person, so if a fire should burn within him he will be in trouble. A loving person has a deep chemical harmony. There is a smoothness of chemical harmony within him. He will not be adversely affected by the awakening of the kundalini.

Whatever has been said has been said with regard to all these details. Things have been put rather roughly because the art of ex-pression in the old days was not very developed and the approach was raw. So what has been said is very true: the flesh will burn and so will the blood and marrow, because you will change completely; you are going to be an entirely new person. All of your patterns, your composition, have to undergo a change. The meditator has to keep this in mind and prepare himself accordingly.

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