The Knowledge That Is Self Knowledge
[Note: This is a translation from the Hindi series Shiva Sutra, which is in the process of being edited. It is for research only.]
ATMAN CHITTAM KALADINAM TATVANAMAVIVEKO MAYA MOHAVARNAT SIDDIH MOHAJAYADANATTABHOGATSAHAJA VIDYAJAYAH JAGRAD DVITIYA KARAH.
THE SOUL IS THE MIND.
LACKING DISCRIMINATION OF WHAT IS ESSENTIAL IS ILLUSION.
THE YOGI CAUGHT IN ATTACHMENTS MAY ATTAIN POWERS BUT NOT SELF-KNOWLEDGE.
AFTER CONQUERING ATTACHMENTS PERMANENTLY, SPONTANEOUS WISDOM IS ATTAINED.
THE AWAKENED YOGI REALIZES THAT THE WHOLE UNIVERSE IS AN EMANATION OF HIS OWN ENERGY.
THE SOUL IS MIND,
This sutra is very significant. Waves are seen in the ocean, but the wave also is the ocean. However superficial, however agitated the wave is, it still contains the infinite ocean within itself. The most contemptible, the most insignificant thing, also contains the absolute within itself. God is hidden in each and every particle No matter how mad you are, no matter how distressed your mind is, no matter how many disturbances and diseases surround you - still you are God. It makes no difference that you are asleep, unconscious. In your unconsciousness it is God who lies unconscious within you. It does not matter that you have committed, or thought of committing, many sins. It is God who thinks within you. It is through God that the sins are committed.
THE SOUL IS MIND means your mind is a form of your soul. It is important, very important, that you understand this; otherwise, you will begin to fight with your mind, and whoever fights with his mind ends up losing. The path of victory lies in the acceptance of the mind - that it too is God. Caught in the state of struggle - useless struggle - and duality, know that the wave is also the ocean. Once this is seen and accepted, the distortions and diseases of the mind begin to fade away.
The day you begin to understand that the absolute lies hidden even within the most insignificant, you will no longer call it insignificant. It is you who has drawn its boundaries. The most minute grain has no boundaries; it is part of the boundless. The boundaries are created by your eyes. The day you begin to see the limitless in the limited, all limits and boundaries disappear.
The most profound experience in a person's life happens when he begins to see God in his own mind, when he begins to see Him in his own evil deeds, when he sees His footprints - and only His footprints - in all his wanderings. Then his wandering stops. To wander shows that you consider yourself separate and apart from God. In this separateness lies your disease; this separateness is the root cause of everything that disturbs your natural harmony. That you consider yourself aloof and separate - just that is your ego!
Strange as it may seem, as far as the ego is concerned, there is no difference between a good man and a bad man. The sinner is as filled with ego as the so-called man of virtue. Their actions may be different but the feeling is the same: both consider themselves apart from the rest. One considers himself evil, the other good. You stand apart from the rest as long as you consider yourself to be one or the other. You are not different from others. It is your own belief that has squeezed you into this cramped position. Your own concepts bind you; you are imprisoned within the cage of your own beliefs. Otherwise, there are no walls anywhere; all around you are open skies. No one is stopping you. No one obstructs your way.
How can your ego melt? THE SOUL IS MIND means: you are not you! You are God! You are part and parcel of the whole. You are not a small wave; you are the whole ocean. If you encounter and experience this vastness - the whole - it will cause your ego to fall. And where there is no ego, there cannot be. any evil! There is only one evil, only one sin: "I am separate!" This feeling of separateness is also found in those whom we care our sadhus.
It is said that once a yogi died. He reached heaven and knocked at the door, which was opened.
The guard said, "Welcome! Please come in. The hatha yogi stopped there, shocked. He said, "What kind of heaven is this where you let anyone in without asking any questions at all? You never inquired who I was or what my actions were on earth, good or bad. I don't want to be in a place that is open to all and sundry. No reservation, no inquiry - you welcome just like that! This is not my idea of heaven."
His ego is filled with good deeds, not evil. This man has performed so many austerities, so many spiritual practices; perhaps he has attained siddhis, powers; but it is all in vain, for all the siddhis he has gained have only helped to swell his ego. His sadhanas (austerities or spiritual practices) have been a total failure.
Bernard Shaw had received the Nobel Prize. He was invited to join an exclusive club in Europe that has only a hundred members in the world. Each member must be an outstanding world figure in his own field: Nobel laureates, celebrities, great sculptors, painters, writers. But only hundred, not more than that. Only when a member dies do they choose another in his place. People wait their whole lives to be invited. When Shaw got the Nobel prize, he received the invitation of that club.
The invitation said: "We shall feel honored to have you as a member of our club." Shaw replied, "Any organization that is honored by my membership is no organization for me. It is inferior to me. I only want to become a member of a club that is unwilling to admit me."
The ego always seeks the difficult, the unattainable; whereas life is very simple. Therefore the ego always misses life. And there is nothing more simple than God. Therefore the ego never seeks this door. This door is always open. You are always welcome without any questions. If you are questioned at the entrance, that is not the gate to God; it is the gate to the market place. The fact is: you stand at this entrance. If you stand with your back towards it, it is entirely your own doing.
The door has not rejected you. If you would only look! The door is always open and the sign says "Welcome"!
THE SOUL IS MIND means: do not ever consider yourself separate, no matter how evil you are.
This does not give you licence to be bad. On the contrary. Once you see that you are not separate, evil will be impossible.
Psychologists say that an individual becomes what he believes himself to be. Our belief becomes our very existence. They say we should not call a bad man evil, because by constant repetition - "You are bad! You are bad!" - becomes a mantra. If a man is told constantly by everyone around him, "You are evil",it within himself that he is evil. Not only that, and then he tries to behave as others expect him to. Evil becomes his habit. People who explored the field of religion made this discovery long long ago. So they have asked the ultimate reality to make your mantra. THE SOUL IS MIND.
You are God. Your very soul is your mantra. This is the greatest statement that can be made about you. If this becomes your mantra, if it mingles and mixes with every particle of your being, if its vibrations penetrate each pore of your body, you will gradually come to feel that you are becoming what you think you are. What you have chanted inside yourself becomes a reality in your life.
The beginning of religion is: You are not, God is! It starts with this sutra. You are in deep slumber.
Granted that you are a great wrong-doer, granted that you are guilty of a host of sins this makes no difference to your basic nature. Purity is your nature. No matter what sins you have committed, once this thought takes root within you - that you are God! - all evil is wiped away. You can destroy your vices one by one, but it will be an arduous task, stretching over many, many lives because the vice are infinite.
In your effort to destroy one evil you create ten more. When you eradicate one vice and replace it with virtue, ninety-nine vices still remain within you; they will quickly spoil your one virtue. Then all your good acts will also appear sinful. If you touch nectar it becomes poison, because the evil within you quickly contaminates it. Building a temple brings you no humility. On the contrary, it inflates your ego even further. The ways of the ego enters are very subtle; something useless can nourish it.
Mulla Nasruddin owned a dog. Its pedigree was unknown. It was a thin, ugly, weak creature that went about with its tail between its legs always scared, always trembling but the Mulla never tired of praising him. He had named him Adolf Hitler. When I asked him about the dog the Mulla would say, "There may be doubts about Hitler's family background, but my dog is a very valuable thoroughbred.
No stranger can pass my house without our knowing it. Hitler lets me know immediately."
"What does your do Hitler?" I asked. "Does he bark or bite, what does he do?"
"He rushes in and hides under my bed," said the Mulla. not ones has it happened that a stranger has come and i fail to notice it." Even the cowardice is praised!
Your ego is like Mulla Nasruddin's Hitler. You don't know its breed. Do you know from where your ego is born? How can that which does not exist be born? The ego is an illusion. Its breed is unknown. You are born of God. From where does your ego come? Have you observed your ego closely? You may call it the Adolf Hitler, but its feet are made of clay. It is so torn and tattered!
The biggest of egos is weak and miserable. Why? Because even the biggest ego is impotent; it has no power of its own. Power belongs to the soul. The source of power is different. Therefore the ego has to be nursed twenty-four hours a day. It needs support. It has no legs to stand on. We have to prop it up with wealth or position - if nothing works we support it with sin!.
You can visit the prison. Men who are shut up in jail tell stories about crimes they never committed.
A man who has killed one person boasts that he has killed a hundred. This is the only way to inflate the ego in prison. There the bigger the crime, the bigger is the criminal. The petty criminal has no prestige, so prisoners compete to establish who is the greatest criminal. Those who are tried under one section are not respected. Those who are being tried for a number of crimes, are presented in the court every day are the bosses. They magnify their real crimes and take credit for others that are wholly fictitious.
The ego can be supported by good deeds, by evil deeds, by wealth, by position - and yet it is a cripple, death makes it fall. Death destroys that which is not; that which is cannot be destroyed. You will remain but remember, when I say you will remain, I am talking of that part of which you know nothing.
That which you believe yourself to be will not remain, because it is nothing but your ego. Your name, your looks, your wealth, your honor, your abilities, whatever you have earned - nothing of these will remain. If you find the faintest trace of the connecting link between this and what you actually are - which you have not laboured for, which you are born with and which is beyond all your ability - you will find that, that which was with you before you were born will remain with you after death.
THE SOUL IS MIND. That very soul is worth seeking. Your mind also bears a ray of the soul, or else it would no function. Even if you want to sin who will do it? You need energy to commit sin. The energy comes from the same source; you are simply misusing the energy, but cannot switch over from misuse to correct use, because at the root lies the ego.
There is only one sin: to consider oneself apart from the existence. All other evil follows like a shadow. There is only one virtue: to know oneself and be one with existence. When the wave merges with the ocean all virtues follow by themselves in its wake.
THE SOUL IS MIND.
ILLUSION IS LACKING DISCRIMINATION OF WHAT IS ESSENTIAL.
What is this illusion, this maya? Why is the mind fogged with darkness if the soul itself is the mind?
Why this inability to discriminate what reality is? You are unaware of the doer, the real artist within you. You are oblivious of the fundamental principle within you. That which you presume to be the doer is non-existent. You hold on to that which is not; hence the distress and confusion. All your life you slave and toil, and your troubles are not diminished; in fact they have increased. In spite of working hard all your life, in the end you find you have gained not a drop of joy; there are only mountains and mountains of sorrow and pain. Yet man runs in this meaningless rat race until his last breath.
Why this infatuation for what is worthless and meaningless? Try to understand. All that is meaningless and worthless has one quality in common.
A man bought a new bungalow. He laid out a garden and planted some seeds flowers. When they began to sprout he found that weeds had come up mixed with the flowers. He was worried, so he went to his neighbor, Mulla Nasruddin, for advice.
"How am I to know which plants are flowers and which are weeds?"
"That is simple," Nasruddin answered, "Pull them all out! Those which come up again are the weeds."
This is the quality of all that is worthless: pull it out and it is not destroyed. The meaningful, the purposeful, is destroyed if you pull it out; not so the meaningless, the purposeless. You sow the seeds of what is meaningful and you are not even sure if it will bear fruit, for there are thousands of obstacles ahead. This is the speciality of the useless. Uproot it, and it grows by itself. The useless and the ineffectual flower on their own. Uproot them a thousand times, and they will still persist.
The meaningless grows effortlessly, but the meaningful requires great effort. That is why you have chosen the meaningless; it grows on its own. You don't have to do anything to become a thief. The habit of stealing grows like weeds. Do you have to work hard to become or to become sexual? You don't have to go through any prayer, any sadhana, any yoga. These things happen on their own. do you have to go somewhere to learn how to be angry, to some university?No it grows like weeds. But when it comes to meditation the difficulty starts. If you want to learn how to be truly loving there are many difficulties in the way, while attachments grow and flourish like weeds. You learn love only with great difficulty. Every moment you have to uproot all the weeds before you can plant the seedling of love. If you want love to grow, the weeds must constantly be kept in check or the young plant will be smothered, as if covered by a heap of rubbish.
The useless and meaningless have one outstanding quality: they demand no effort. You may laze around, they will take root and flourish on their own, and they will keep a tight grip on you until your last breath.
A seeker is one who has begun his search for the meaningful. To attain to the meaningful is a journey, an uphill journey. Attaining the worthless is like rolling down the mountain; you don't have to do anything, since the force of gravitation will do everything.
Until now you have done nothing in your life, so you are useless. You may not agree. You may claim,"I have worked hard and made a success of my life. I have wealth and prestige. I have obtained these degrees, and these titles..." Still, I will say, you have not done anything to attain this. Your successes have come up like weeds, and if you take a good look at yourself you will find that you have done nothing to earn your wealth and position. You allowed ambition to grow in you, and these are simply the fruits of ambition. Ambition and desires were already there. They have grown in your mind like weeds, and cling to you until you die.
A seeker is one who has realized that that which grows on its own is useless, and that he has to plant something.
A woman went to a psychiatrist and said, "Now I need some help. I kept postponing it but it's high time now. I will have to speak. He asked what her problem was. She said, "It is not me but my husband. He is not as loving as he used to be when we first married, nor is his desire for me what it used to be. He used to be overwhelming like a flood, but now he is like a river that has dried up."
The psychiatrist was highly amused, but he kept a straight face. After all, business is business. Then he asked her, "How old are you?"
"Only seventy-two," she answered.
"And what is your husband's age?"
"He is only eighty-six."
Everybody thinks this way. The word 'only' - "only eighty-six", "only seventy-two" - this 'only' is used against death. They feel that they are still very young, they have barely started living.
Then the psychiatrist asked the lady, "And when did you begin to notice that his sex drive was getting less?"
She replied, "Last night and again this morning."
Till the very last, man holds on to what is worthless. There is nothing he has to do about it; it grows on its own.
People come to me and say,"We try to meditate but slip up again and again. We meditate for two days, but then it stops. Then after a few days we remember again, then again it stops.
This is not the case with your desires and passions. You have never forgotten to be angry and you have never forgotten to be greedy, but you have to remind yourself to meditate. Try to understand this fact, because meditation has to be actively practiced. It slips away again and again. It is a seed that has to be sown and taken care of. Rubbish grows by itself; weeds come up by themselves.
Know that whatever happens by itself is worthless. As long as you live that way you will attain nothing. At the time of death you will find yourself leaving empty-handed, just as you came in empty-handed. And it is this blindness, this lack of discrimination that is maya, illusion. This is the state of unconsciousness where you cannot discriminate between what is useful and what is useless.
Shankara has defined knowledge as the discrimination between the meaningful and the meaningless. In life both exist - the flowering shrubs as well as the weeds. You will have to distinguish one from the other by your own experience. If your attention gets fixed not on the meaningful but on the worthless, you wander in illusion.
You do not know who you are, nor where you are going, nor do you know where you come from.
You have got yourself entangled with the rubbish by the side of the road. You have made a home by the side of the road, and you are so filled with worries and anxieties-just because of this worthless trash, which is there whether you take care of it or not. You have no cause to worry about it.
Indiscrimination is maya. Indiscrimination means the inability to distinguish the diamond from the pebble. You have to become the jeweller of life because that alone leads to the birth of discrimination.
You possess life. Now look inside it. The test of your search is to know all that happens by itself is worthless, and that which refuses to happen in spite of your efforts, is worth attaining. This is the test. The day you find that that which was so difficult to bring about has begun to happen, then know the flowers are about to bloom. And the day all that used to grow by itself stops growing, know that maya has ended.
THE YOGI CAUGHT IN ATTACHMENTS MAY ATTAIN OCCULT POWERS BUT NOT SELF- KNOWLEDGE.
The meaningless rubbish has become so significant for us that when we set out to accomplish the meaningful we end up accomplishing only the worthless.
I am astonished by the motives of the people who come here to meditate. They desire only the worthless even through meditation. They come to me and say, I want to meditate to get rid of physical ailments. Can you assure me that they will disappear by meditation? It would be better for them to go to a doctor. When they come to a spiritual physician it is only to cure their physical disorders. Meditation is no more than medicine to them, just medicine for the body.
People come to me and say: My financial condition is very bad. Will meditation improve things? This cover of attachments is so dense and thick that even when you seek nectar it is only for the poison.
Isn't this amazing? You come for the elixir - but only want to commit suicide by drinking it! But you cannot commit suicide with the elixir of life. Once you drink it you become immortal, but when you set out to find the elixir, the nectar, your goal is suicide. You want to fulfill some earthly desire or other, even through religion.
Go to the temples and listen to the prayers of people. You will find that their demands are all worldly: someone's son needs a wife, another person's son needs a job, someone wants peace in his household. Even in the temple you ask for worldly objects. One would think your temples were supermarkets where everything is sold. You have no idea what a temple should be. Your priests are no more than shopkeepers. The people who go to the temples are buyers of worldly goods. You will always avoid the real temple.
Once I was a guest at the house of a dentist friend. One day, while I was sitting in his drawing room, a small boy who looked scared, entered. He looked around furtively. I could almost see him trembling inside. Then he asked me, "Could you tell me if the doctor is in?" I told him that he had just gone out. The child's eyes lit up with joy.
"My mother sent me to have my teeth checked," he said. "may I ask when he will be out again?"
Such is your condition. If you come across a genuine temple you will run away as fast as you can.
You can bear the toothache, but you are not ready to bear the pain that the dentist gives you. We are all like small children.
You can bear all the pain the world inflicts on you, but you are not prepared to undergo any pain for religion. And religion is bound to give you pain. Actually it is not the religion that gives you pain.
Your teeth have decayed so badly that the pain is inevitable.
Religion causes no pain. Religion is the supreme bliss. But you have always lived in pain. You have accumulated so much pain around you that all your teeth are filled with pain and suffering. Truly you will have trouble pulling them out, so you would rather live with this pain and suffer. The poison is spreading all over of your body. Your life is going topsy turvy but this pain is familiar to you. these pains are familiar to you.
Man is ready to bear the familiar suffering. Ready to go through the unfamiliar suffering. These teeth are yours and the pain is yours. You have known them for millions of lives, but you are unaware of the fact that once these teeth are removed, this pain disappears, the doors of bliss will open for the first time in your in your life.
Even if you go to the temple you ask the priest when God will next go out? - when can I come? You go and you do not want to go. It is difficult to assess the games you play with yourself.
Observing you and your problems over a period of time, I have come to the conclusion that your problem is only one. You do not know exactly what it is that you want. You are not sure that you want to meditate, but you are upset if you cannot meditate. Now if your mind is not entirely made up whatever you do, will be half-hearted. Nothing is ever attained in a half-hearted way. The worthless needs no effort; it continues by its own momentum. That which is meaningful in life demands that you stake your life on it.
This sutra says: THE YOGI CAUGHT IN ATTACHMENTS MAY ATTAIN OCCULT POWERS BUT NOT SELF-KNOWLEDGE.
The curtain of attachments is so dense and thick that even if you go towards religion you look for miracles. If you find Buddha standing before you, you will not recognize him. If Buddha and Satya Sai Baba are both present you will definitely move towards Satya Sai Baba, and not towards Buddha, because Buddha is not so stupid as to conjures things out of the air! You are in search of magicians.
You are impressed by miracles, because your deepest desire is for the world and not for God.
When you see a miracle you are impressed. You think that you have found a guru. Now you hope to have your desires fulfilled. A guru who can produce an amulet from nowhere must surely also produce the Kohinoor Diamond, so you wait patiently and serve the guru. for You never know when his compassion might fulfill your desire. What difference does it make to the guru whether he produces an amulet of the Kohinoor. You desire the Kohinoor, and even a great man will become a thief for the Kohinoor. Today he showers ashes from his hands, tomorrow he may shower the elixir of life; nothing is impossible for such a guru. You only need to serve him!
No, you will never go to Buddha, because no miracles occur around him. When all your desires have ended, there is no question of satisfying them. The greatest miracle that takes place with Buddha is the light of desirelessness; but your desire-ridden eyes cannot see this. You can only see Buddha, you can only understand him, you can only bow down to him when the world's meaninglessness has really and truly dawned on you, and the curtain of attachments and cravings has really fallen away.
Attachment is an intoxication.. Just as an intoxicated man addicted to drugs does not know where he is going, what he is doing, so also you move about in this almost dazed condition. No matter how hard you try to watch your step, it makes no difference. All drunkards try to take hold of themselves; they try to prove to themselves that they are not intoxicated. They only deceive themselves! The more they try to cover it up, the more obvious it is. Attachment is an intoxication.
When I say that attachment is an intoxication I am speaking in chemical terms. In the state of attachment your whole body is filled with intoxicant chemicals- even in the scientific sense. When you fall in love with a woman your blood becomes filled with certain chemical substances. These chemicals are the same as are found in L.S.D., hashish and marijuana. This is why the woman involved begins to look so wonderful; she never appears dull or ordinary. Similarly, the woman who falls in love sees her man as something out of this world. When the intoxication fades, he does not seem to be worth a penny.
This is why your love affairs cannot be permanent - they are all conducted in a state of intoxication; it is a form of attachment. it has not happened consciously. You were unconscious when it happened.
This is why we say, "Love is blind." Actually love is not blind it is attachment that is blind. We mistake attachment for love. Love is 'the eye'. No eye is sharper than the eye of love. It is the eye of love that sees God hidden in all His creation.
Attachment is blind. It sees things where they are not. Attachment is a dream; and those whom we call yogis are also prey to it. They acquire certain occult powers; that is not difficult at all.
You can read another person's thoughts with a little practice. You can influence others thoughts with a little practice. You can implant your thoughts into another - again, with a little effort. This is science, and religion has nothing to do with it. just as reading a book is a science. When an illiterate person sees you reading a book, it is nothing less than a miracle to him. He only sees a few blotches on the piece of paper and you are getting great pleasure of reading poetry Vedas Upanishads. You are being mesmerized by them. An illiterate man is amazed to see this.
Mulla Nasruddin was the only one in his village who could read and write. When there is only one literate person it is difficult to judge whether he is really literate. Who can tell? One day an old woman came to him and asked him to write a letter for her.
"I am sorry. I shall not be able to write it," said Nasruddin. "My foot is aching."
"But how can your foot prevent you from writing?" the old woman demanded.
"Don worry about the detail. I say, my foot hurts and I cannot write your letter."
But the woman was obstinate. "I will not leave unless I know the truth. I may be illiterate, but I have never heard that the pain in the foot has anything to do with writing a letter."
"If you insist I will tell you," said Nasruddin. "Who will go to the next village to read the letter? It's me!
I can write, but I am the only one who can read my writing. now my foot is hurting. I am not going to write it!"
An uneducated person is amazed to see someone lost in the book. But anyone can be taught to read; there is a method to it. You see your thoughts moving inside you, and another person can also learn to see them. There is a method, an art but this art has nothing to do with religion. Just as reading a book has nothing to do with religion, reading another person's thoughts has nothing to do with religion. These are the tricks of a juggler, a magician, and those who can perform them are not those who have attained.
But you are bound to be impressed. You go to a monk and he calls you by your name. He says, "You come from such-and-such village, and there is a neem tree on the right corner of your yard." You go crazy! But what does the true saint have to do with knowing your name, your village, your house, and even a neem tree? He is a saint who has realized that no one has a name, no one belongs to a village. This name, this family, this village, all belong to the mundane world.
You are a worldly person, so the monk impresses you because he himself is more deeply involved in the world. He has learned a greater art. He speaks without your asking. He wants to impress you. Remember, as long as you want to impress someone, you are possessed by the ego. The soul never wants to impress anybody; what is the point? It is like drawing a line on water.
What difference does it make to me whether ten thousand people are impressed by me or twenty billion? What will I gain out of it? The desire to impress crowd of ignorant people only shows your own ignorance. It only betrays my own ignorance. When a politician tries to impress people one can understand it, but why should a religious person do this?
Know one thing for sure: whenever you try to impress others it shows that you are not established within your soul; it shows that you are very much centered in the ego. Ego is nourished by influencing others; it works like food for the ego. The more I am known, the greater is my ego. If the whole world recognizes me, my ego becomes invincible. If I pass through a village and no one recognize me, no one even looks at me, there is no flicker in anybody's eyes, as if I don't exist, then my ego receives a blow.
The ego desires attention from others. Now this is very interesting. The ego has no desire to pay any attention to others, but it certainly wants the attention itself. It wants to be the center of the world.
A religious person is not worried whether others look at him or not. He is more concerned about looking into himself because it is that self that will ultimately remain with him. It is childish! It is natural for children to be eager to impress their elders; they bring a certificate home from school and show it off to everyone. But if you are still seeking certificates in the old age, then you have missed life altogether.
The desire for occult powers is part of the desire to impress others. It has nothing to do with the religious quest. It is essentially worldly.
This sutra says, the yogi who is caught up in his attachments, attains occult powers but is devoid of any self-knowledge. No matter how great his attainment is - he may raise the dead, he may cure illnesses, he may turn water into wine - but this has nothing to do with self-knowledge. In fact, the truth is that the more power he acquires, the further he drifts away from self-realization, because as the ego becomes larger and larger, the soul becomes more and more empty. And as the ego is emptied, the soul becomes richer and richer. You cannot enhance both ego and the soul at the same time.
Give up the desire to impress and influence others or your yoga will be corrupted. In that case, even if you practise yoga, it will have a political, not a religious motivation. And politics is tricky. In politics you want to influence other by hook or by crook. You don't mind using right or wrong methods in doing that. And the reason why you want to influence others is that you want to exploit them.
I have heard: Elections were in progress and, three people were taken to jail. It was quite dark inside when the three introduced themselves to one another.
One of them said, "I am Sardar Sant Singh. I work for Sardar Sirfod Singh."
The second said, "That is strange! I am Sardar Shaitan Singh, and I work against Sardar Sirfod Singh."
The third said, "Amazing! I am Sardar Sirfod Singh!"
Leaders and followers of ruling party or the opposition, all - are fit only for jails. That is the right place for them. The roots of sin lie in the desire to influence others. Ego knows neither good nor bad; it only knows how to fulfill itself. How it fulfills itself is secondary. The ego's only aim is to nourish itself and grow strong; but, since the ego is emptiness, it always remains empty in spite of everything. As life advances, a man's ego turns more and more insane. He realizes that life is passing by, most of it is gone, and yet the ego is unfulfilled.
This is the reason why the old people are so irritable. This irritability is not because they have been unsuccessful in their lives. They become irritable because they could not fill what they wanted to.
Their irritability becomes more and more because as they get older people stop noticing them. In fact they are simply waiting for his departure.
Mulla Nasruddin was a hundred years old. I asked him if he could tell me why God had granted him such a long life. Without batting an eyelash the Mulla replied, "He is only testing the family's patience."
All old people are testing the patience of their family They are watching all the time that the relatives are paying less and less attention to them. The death will destroy them. The death will destroy them much later, the inattention of the relatives kills them much earlier. Hence the irritability.
You cannot imagine how irritable Richard Nixon must right now. All those people who wanted nothing more than a glance from him have now turned their backs on him. Those who were nears and dears have become strangers. Friends are become enemies. These who supported him, withdrew their support. Nixon is perturbed, perplexed, restless. The first question he asks of anyone is, "Wasn't what I did right? What are people saying about me?"
Just recently he was at the height of his power, and suddenly he was thrown deep into oblivion. He is the same man before. The only difference is: he was at the peak of his ego's glory, now he is thrown into the ditch but the soul remains untouched. If he could remember that which has neither peak nor valley; for which there is no victory or defeat, which is not bothered whether people look at him or turn away, which is devoid of all change and is uniform.
You will experience this uniformity only when you stop looking to others for recognition. Drop this beggar-like attitude. What will you gain by attaining powers? People will call you a miraculous man millions of people will come to you. By attracting a millions of idiots you will prove that you are the center of attention of millions of idiots: you are super idiots!
What will you gain from the praises of the ignorant? In what way you are benefit by the appreciation of the ignorant? What is their praise worth? What is the advantage in being the leader of those who have already gone astray?
I have heard: There was a Sufi saint, Farid. If people clapped when he spoke he would cry. One day hid disciples asked him the significance of his tears. Farid said, "When they clap I know at once that I have made some mistake, otherwise they would never clap. Then, when they do not clap I know that they have not understood me. Then I know that whatever I said was right."
What is the applause of misguided people worth? Before whom do you want to prove yourself? If you want to be acclaimed as one who has arrived by the world, you are still looking for the recognition of fools. You yourself are a fool. If you want to prove yours powers in front of god and be recognized by Him, you are a greater fool, because the ego has no place before God. You have to be exceedingly humble. You will be accepted there only if you have completely annihilated the ego. If you reach there with your arrogance, it in itself is a great obstacle.
Therefore the so-called siddhas, those who possess the powers, never reached God. They acquire many powers but they miss the real power. Self-realization is the genuine power. Why do they miss? Because occult powers are also oriented towards the other. Would you crave these powers if there would be nobody is the existence, if you would be all alone? Would you like to turn water into medicine? Would you like to touch a dead man and bring him back to life? If there were no one else in the world you still want to acquire such powers? You will say, "what's the use of these powers?
There are no spectators. The powers are for the spectators.
As long as your attention is directed towards others you cannot direct it towards yourself. Self- knowledge is attained only by him who turns his eyes away from others and into himself.
AFTER CONQUERING ATTACHMENTS PERMANENTLY, SPONTANEOUS WISDOM IS ATTAINED.
Only when attachments are completely conquered is the victory complete. What is the meaning of attachment? It is the attitude, "I cannot live without others. The other is the center of my life."
You must have read the children's stories in which there is a king whose life force is encaged in a bird maybe a parrot or a mynah. It is impossible to kill the king. The bullet will pass through his body, the king will remain alive. The arrow will pierce his heart, the king will not die. You may poison him, he will not be killed. You will have to find the bird in which his life force is hidden. Kill the bird and the king dies. These stories, are very meaningful. The adults would do well to understand them.
Attachment means: you do not live within yourself; you live for something else. For example, someone's life revolves around his cash-box. You wring his neck and he will not die, but steal his treasure and he will drop dead. This man's life lies in his wealth. His bank balance falls and it is a death-blow to him. You kill him but he is not going to die. Try to poison him and he will remain alive.
Attachment means you have removed your life-force from within yourself and placed it elsewhere.
somebody puts it in his son, another in his wife, a third in his wealth or his position-but always somewhere else. The life force is not vibrating within you. It is not where it should be, and then you will be in a trouble.
This very attachment is a samsara, worldliness. Wherever you place your life-force, you become slave to it. The king whose life force is in the parrot is slave to that parrot. His very life depends on the parrot. If the parrot dies he dies, so he guards the parrot with his life.
I have heard that once a king was very displeased with his astrologer. The astrologer had predicted the death of the prime minister the next day, and he died! The king was very worried. He suspected that his prime minister had died because of his prediction. He had died as a result of a spell cast upon him by the astrologer's prediction. The king thought, "If he says the same thing about me then I will surely die." It will be influenced by his words.
He had the astrologer thrown into prison. When the astrologer asked the king why he was being imprisoned the king said, "You are a dangerous man. I do not think that the prime minister dies a natural death. What you said influenced him deeply. Your words hypnotized him. You are dangerous!"
The astrologer said, "Before you throw me into the dungeon hear what I have to say about your future, I have figured it out too." The king refused to listen to him, but he called out, "You will die three days after my death." Now the king was really in a dilemma. He kept the astrologer in the palace and had him looked after day and night. He himself took care of his body because his death meant the death of the king.
Wherever you place your very being, there are you enslaved. Watch people approaching their strong-box, with folded hands, as if they are going to the temple. All sorts of holy inscriptions are written on it as if it is the very place where God resides. They worship it.
On the festival of diwali you should see these mad people worshipping their wealth, with such feeling!
Their attitude is worth watching. Every year on this day the shopkeeper starts his new account book.
On the first page he draws a swastika, the symbol of Ganesh, and he writes, "I bow to Ganesh."
This Ganesh is an old trouble-maker. The ancient story tells us that Ganesh is the Lord of all obstacles, and he looks like a mischief-making sort of God. First of all, he doesn't have a head of his own, and anyone who doesn't have a head of his own is really crazy! He can do the impossible.
Everything about him is ambiguous and confused. He sits astride a mouse that he rides. And the mouse is the symbol of reasoning and logic. And logic is as sharp as the teeth of a mouse; it bites and chews things into pieces. You can never depend on logic, for wherever there is logic it creates a great deal of obstacles. If a person's life is pervaded with logic it will be full of confusion and chaos; he will lose all peace and tranquillity.
It is an ancient story that ganesh is a God who creates trouble. Whenever there is an auspicious occasion he presents himself. People were afraid of him. They stood before him with folded hands and begged him to create no trouble for them in their affairs. Gradually people began to look upon the God Who was a trouble maker, as a trouble-shooter but they have forgotten the real story. They are right when they fold their hands and beg him to have mercy on them.
The curtain of attachments means that your soul is prisoner elsewhere. Whether it is locked up in your son or your wife or your wealth makes no difference. What matters is the fact that your soul is not within you; that's what attachment means. A permanent conquest of attachment means that you have given up all dependence on others. Now you no longer depend on someone else in order to live. Your life depends entirely on you. You are centered within your own self. You have made your own existence your center. Now if your wife dies or your wealth disappears, it does not matter at all. For these are just superficial waves. Then, whether you succeed or fail, whether happiness or sorrow, it makes no difference, for the difference was caused by your dependence.
Victory over attachment means to become completely independent. It means the feeling and the knowledge that "I depend on no one. I am enough for myself, alone!" Such satisfaction! Such contentment! That I exist is enough. Such an attitude is victory over attachments. As long as your being depends on another attachment holds you captive. Until then you will grab on to others so tightly for fear of losing them, for you cannot live without them.
Mulla Nasruddin's wife died. The Mulla cried dutifully, but one of his friends could not contain his grief. He cried and howled he beat his breast and refused to be consoled. The Mulla could not endure it. He put his hand on his friend's shoulder and said, "Don't grieve my friend, I shall marry again." Now this man had been in love with the Mulla's wife; his life-force was invested in her, so it was only natural that he should be so distressed, but not so the Mulla!
What is it that makes you cry? It is only your attachments. What is it that you miss when it is lost? It is the object of your attachment. Ponder over this. Find out what it is that grips your very life, without which you feel miserable and destitute; that is the center of your attachment. Before it is taken away from you, abandon your hold on it, because you are sure to lose it one day.
Nothing is stable in this life, neither love nor friendship. Constant change is the very nature of this world. The world is like a river... constantly flowing. Nothing is enduring, nothing is constant; and nothing can be made to endure, no matter how hard you try. You cannot hold that which is forever moving, forever flowing. You want to hold it, to freeze it. You will have no success, for you are going against the very nature of things. It is because of the effort that you put into this futile endeavor that you find yourself so disturbed.
Change is the other name for the world; yet you attempt to find in it some permanent support on which your life can depend. This cannot be! Every moment of your life is filled with sorrow, for every moment further erodes the support on which you stand.
Here is what you should do: make an effort to find out what things it would hurt you to lose. Then, before they are lost, open your hands little by little, relax your grip on them. This is the method for conquering attachment. There is bound to be pain, but you must bear it; this is your penance. It is not necessary to renounce anything. It is not that you should leave your wife and run away to the Himalayas. Remain there, where you are, but gradually stop depending on her. There is no need to cause any pain; your wife need not even know it. There is no deed to tell her.
Jesus said, "Only when your right hand does not know what your left hand is doing, are you a true seeker." The desire to let others know what you are doing is again a desire of the ego. You want the world to know, "Look at that man! He has left his wife and is going to the Himalayas. Isn't that wonderful!" It is not the least great. Ask any husband. He is only too happy to go to the Himalayas.
Maybe he is unable to go, but that is a different matter.
Mulla Nasruddin ran to the local lunatic asylum and knocked at the door. When the superintendent asked him what the matter was he said, "Has any lunatic escaped from your asylum!"
The superintendent wondered, "Why do you ask? Have you seen someone running?"
"Someone has run off with my wife," said the Mulla. "He must be some crazy man who has escaped from here."
Ask any husband. Whoever lives in the world has no end and to his tales of woe. He cannot escape for he can see no joy anywhere. Where is he to go? Wherever he goes, the world follows him like a shadow. Besides, with great expectations he has made a place for himself in the world now it is difficult tom destroy it, for then life becomes meaningless.
Seek out the attachments. Try gradually to live without the things that you now think you cannot live without. Create such a state within yourself that if and when these things are lost, there is not the slightest tremor within you. Then you will have attained victory over these attachments. This can be possible. It has been possible. And if it has happened to even one, it can happen to all.
This sutra of Shiva says: AFTER CONQUERING ATTACHMENTS, SPONTANEOUS WISDOM IS ATTAINED. The day you overcome your attachments for good, you will begin to experience that knowledge - the knowledge that is not learned from others, but is innate and natural. That very knowledge is self-knowledge. There is no way to learn knowledge of the self from others. It springs naturally from within.
As flowers grow on trees, as streams flow down the mountains, so this knowledge gurgles within you; and it is your very own innate knowledge. You don't have to get it from any other person. No guru can give it to you; all gurus only point towards it. When it is attained you will find that it was already within you. It is your own wealth, and therefore it is called innate, natural knowledge.
There are two types of knowledge. The knowledge of the world has to be learned from the other.
It is not innate, not spontaneous. No matter how intelligent a person is, he acquires worldly knowledge only through others. No matter how dull and stupid a person may be, even he cannot attain knowledge of himself from others. It is within you. The only obstacle is attachment. When attachments are cut away, when the clouds disperse, the sun shines through.
THE AWAKENED YOGI REALIZES THAT THE WHOLE UNIVERSE IS AN EMANATION ON HIS OWN ENERGY.
The day the natural knowledge unfolds within a person he becomes awakened and he can see that everything in this world emanates from his pulsations. He becomes the center. You wanted very much to be the center of the whole world, but because of the ego you could not succeed. Every attempt ended in defeat. How as soon as the ego falls, you become the center.
What you wish to attain you will attain. Only now you are looking in the wrong direction. You are following the wrong path; you have fallen into error. What you desire you shall attain - only you have chosen the wrong support, the wrong charioteer, the wring vehicle. You can never be the center of the universe along with your ego. The egoless person becomes the center of the universe at once.
Buddhahood is attained only under the bodhi tree. Then all the world becomes the circumference and buddhahood becomes the focal point. Then all the world is only my expansion. Then all the rays are mine. All life is mine, but this only happens when the 'I', the ego, is no more. This is the complication, as long as the 'I' exists, no matter how much you expand yourself, no matter how great your empire is, you are only deceiving yourself.
You have traveled a great deal. Lives upon lives have you wandered and yet you have not become aware.
Mulla Nasruddin once boarded a plane. Before he settled in to his seat he called the stewardess and said, "Look here! Has the oil and gas and water been properly checked?"
The stewardess assured him, "Just relax, sir. That is our worry, not yours."
"Then don't ask me halfway to get out and push!" said the Mulla.
I happened to hear of this incident, so I asked the Mulla, "Did you have any trouble? Did you have to push the plane?"
He answered with the proverb: "He who has been scalded by hot milk never forgets to blow, even on his buttermilk. If you had ever been made to push a bus you would also have been about the plane."
You have been scalded so very many times, and you haven't even learned to cool the milk, let alone the buttermilk. The greatest problem in life is that we fail to learn from experience. People say that they learn by experience, but there is no evidence of it, for time and again the same mistakes are repeated. If you were to commit some new errors that would show some ability, some skill, and it would bring some momentum and maturity to your life.
The mind is a circle. You keep revolving round and round in the wheel of the ind, and this wheel is given energy by your attachments. Break your attachments and the wheel stops, and as soon as the wheel comes to a halt you realize you are the center. You need not become the center, there is no need to become God; you already are! Therefore this knowledge is innate.
Such an awakened yogi realizes this world to be the result of the rays that emanate from his own self. Such is the experience, and it gives supreme bliss. There is supreme nectar in the feeling. All darkness flees from your life as soon as this knowledge comes to you; all suffering, pain and anxiety vanish into thin air. You are filled with a joy, an ecstasy. You are drunk, intoxicated with it, and it awakens the song within you. You throb with every breath; you are filled with a fragrance that comes from an unknown source.
This is natural knowledge which no scripture can teach, nor any guru, but the guru can help you to remove the hurdles. Keep this well in mind. There is no way to 'learn' this supreme knowledge. You have to learn to remove the obstacles in its way. Meditation will not give you that supreme treasure; you only get the key to the door. With this key the door can be opened. The treasure lies within you.
Thou art that! Tat-tvam-si! You are the brahma!
All methods serve to remove the hurdles along the way. All your rocks must be removed. The destination you carry with you. There is no difficulty in attaining Brahma. The difficulty is in your holding on to your attachments. You cling so hard to the world, and as long as you hold on to the world, you are merely postponing the meeting with God. It depends on you. Leave this very moment and you attain this very moment. If you wish to delay, if you wish to linger, you may do so for many more births. You have seen lingering since time immemorial. You have lingered enough, and you can linger for many more lives, but I feel that it is not meaningful to wait any longer.
The time is ripe for you to drop off the tree of the world. Don't be afraid that you will disappear.
You will be lost, but only the you that is useless will be lost. What is meaningful will be multiplied endlessly.