Practice and desirelessness
THE FIRST STATE OF VAIRAGYA, DESIRELESSNESS - CESSATION FROM SELF- INDULGENCE IN THE THIRST FOR SENSUOUS PLEASURES, WITH CONSCIOUS EFFORT.
THE LAST STATE OF VAIRAGYA, DESIRELESSNESS - CESSATION OF ALL DESIRING BY KNOWING THE INNERMOST NATURE OF PURUSHA, THE SUPREME SELF.
Abhyasa and vairagya - constant inner practice and desirelessness: these are the two foundation stones of Patanjali's yoga. Constant inner effort is needed not because something has to be achieved, but because of wrong habits. The fight is not against nature, the fight is against habits. The nature is there, every moment available to flow in, to become one with it, but you have got a wrong pattern of habits. Those habits create barriers. The fight is against these habits, and unless they are destroyed, the nature, your inherent nature, cannot flow, cannot move, cannot reach to the destiny for which it is meant to be.
So remember the first thing: the struggle is not against nature. The struggle is against wrong nurture, wrong habits. You are not fighting yourself; you are fighting something else which has become fixed with you. If this is not understood rightly, then your whole effort can go in a wrong direction. You may start fighting with yourself, and if once you start fighting with yourself you are fighting a losing battle. You can never be victorious. Who will be victorious and who will be defeated? - because you are both. The one who is fighting and the one with whom you are fighting is the same.
If my both hands start fighting, who is going to win? Once you start fighting with yourself you are lost. And so many persons, in their endeavors, in their seeking for spiritual truth, fall into that error. They become victims of this error; they start fighting with themselves. If you fight with yourself, you will go more and more insane. You will be more and more divided, split. You will become schizophrenic. This is what is happening in the West.
Christianity has taught - not Christ, Christianity - has taught to fight with oneself, to condemn oneself, to deny oneself. Christianity has created a great division between the lower and the higher. There is nothing lower and nothing higher in you, but Christianity talks about the lower self and the higher self, or body and the soul. But somehow Christianity divides you and creates a fight. This fight is going to be endless; it will not lead you anywhere. The ultimate result can only be self-destruction, a schizophrenic chaos. That's what is happening in the West.
Yoga never divides you, but still there is a fight. The fight is not against your nature. On the contrary, the fight is for your nature. You have accumulated many habits. Those habits are your achievement of many lives' wrong patterns. And because of those wrong patterns your nature cannot move spontaneously, cannot flow spontaneously, cannot reach to its destiny. These habits have to be destroyed, and these are only habits. They may look like nature to you because you are so much addicted with them. You may have become identified with them, but they are not you.
This distinction has to be clearly maintained in the mind, otherwise you can misinterpret Patanjali. Whatsoever has come in you from without and is wrong has to be destroyed so that which is within you can flow, can flower. Abhyasa, constant inner practice, is against habits.
The second thing, the second foundation stone, is vairagya, desirelessness. That too can lead you in the wrong direction. And, remember, these are not rules, these are simple directions. When I say these are not rules, I mean they are not to be followed like an obsession. They have to be understood - the meaning, the significance. And that significance has to be carried in one's life.
It is going to be different for everyone, so it is not a fixed rule. You are not to follow it dogmatically. You have to understand its significance and allow it to grow within you. The flowering is going to be different with each individual. So these are not dead, dogmatic rules, these are simple directions. They indicate the direction. They don't give you the detail.
I remember once Mulla Nasrudin was working as a doorkeeper in a museum. The first day he was appointed, he asked for the rules: "What rules have to be followed?" So he was given the book of the rules that were to be followed by the doorkeeper. He memorized them; he took every care not to forget a single detail.
And the first day when he was on duty, the first visitor came. He told the visitor to leave his umbrella there outside with him at the door. The visitor was amazed. He said, "But I don't have any umbrella." So Nasrudin said, "In that case, you will have to go back. Bring an umbrella because this is the rule. Unless a visitor leaves his umbrella here outside, he cannot be allowed in."
And there are many people who are rule-obsessed. They follow blindly. Patanjali is not interested in giving you rules. Whatsoever he is going to say are simple directions - not to be followed, but to be understood. The following will come out of that understanding. And the reverse cannot happen - if you follow the rules, understanding will not come, if you understand the rules, the following will come automatically, as a shadow.
Desirelessness is a direction. If you follow it as a rule, then you will start killing your desires. Many have done that, millions have done that. They start killing their desires. Of course, this is mathematical, this is logical. If desirelessness is to be achieved, then this is the best way: to kill all desires. Then you will be without desires.
But you will be also dead. You have followed the rule exactly, but if you kill all desires you are killing yourself, you are committing suicide-because desires are not only desires, they are the flow of life energy. Desirelessness is to be achieved without killing anything. Desirelessness is to be achieved with more life, with more energy - not less.
For example, you can kill sex easily if you starve the body, because sex and food are deeply related. Food is needed for your survival, for the survival of the individual, and sex is needed for the survival of the race, of the species. They are both food in a way. Without food the individual cannot survive and without sex the race cannot survive. But the primary is individual. If the individual cannot survive, then there is no question of the race.
So if you starve your body, if you give so little food to your body that the energy created by it is exhausted in day-to-day routine work - your walking, sitting, sleeping - no extra energy accumulates, then sex will disappear because sex can be there only when the individual is gathering extra energy, more than he needs for his survival. Then the body can think of the survival for the race. If you are in danger, then the body simply forgets about sex.
Hence, so much attraction for fasting, because if you fast, sex disappears - but this is not desirelessness. This is just becoming more and more dead, less and less alive. Zen monks in India, they have been fasting continuously just for this end, because if you fast continuously and you are constantly on a starvation diet, sex disappears; nothing else is needed - no transformation of the mind, no transformation of the inner energy. Simply starving helps.
Then you become habitual for the starvation. And continuously if you do it for years, you will simply forget that sex exists. No energy is created; no energy moves to the sex center. There is no energy to move! The person exists just as a dead being. There is no sex.
But this is not what Patanjali means. This is not a desireless state. It is simply an impotent state; energy is not there. Give food to the body... You may have starved the body for thirty or forty years - give right food to the body and sex reappears immediately. You are not changed. The sex is just hidden there waiting for energy to flow. Whenever energy flows, it will become again alive.
So what is the criterion? The criterion has to be remembered. Be more alive, be more filled with energy, vital, and become desireless. Only then, if your desirelessness makes you more alive, then you have followed the right direction. If it makes you simply a dead person, you have followed the rule. It is easy to follow the rule because no intelligence is required. It is easy to follow the rule because simple tricks can do it. Fasting is a simple trick. Nothing much is implied in it; no wisdom is going to come out of it.
There was one experiment in Oxford. For thirty days a group of twenty students was totally starved, young, healthy boys. After the seventh or eighth day they started losing interest in girls. Nude pictures will be given to them and they will be indifferent. And this indifference was not just bodily, even their minds were not interested - because now there are methods to judge the mind.
Whenever a young boy, healthy boy, looks at a nude picture of a girl, his pupils of the eyes become big. They are more open to receive the nude figure. And you cannot control your pupils; they are not voluntary. So you may say that you are not interested in sex, but a nude picture will show whether you are interested or not. And you cannot do anything voluntarily; you cannot control your pupils of the eyes. They expand because something so interesting has come before them, that they open more, the shutters open more to take more in. No, women are not interested in nude men they are interested in small babies, so if a beautiful baby's picture is given to them, their eyes expand.
Every precaution was taken whether they are interested - no interest. By and by the interest was declining. Even in their dreams they stopped seeing girls, sexual dreams. By the second week, fourteenth or fifteenth day, they were simply dead corpses. Even if a beautiful girl comes nearby, they will not look. If someone says a dirty joke, they will not laugh. For thirty days they were starved. On the thirtieth day, the whole group was sexless. There was no sex in their mind, in their body.
Then food was given to them again. The very first day they became again the same. The next day they were interested, and the third day all that starving for thirty days had disappeared. Now not only they were interested, they were obsessively interested - as if this gap had helped. For a few weeks they were obsessively sexual, only thinking of girls and nothing else. When the food was in the body, girls became important again.
But this has been done in many countries all over the world. Many religions have followed this fasting. And then people start thinking that they have gone beyond sex. You can go beyond sex, but fasting is not the way. That's a trick. And this can be done in every way. If you are on fast you will be less angry, and if you become habitual to fasting, then many things from your life will simply drop because the base has dropped: food is the base.
When you have more energy, you move in more dimensions. When you are filled with overflowing energy, your overflowing energy leads you in many, many desires. Desires are nothing but outlets for energy. So two ways are possible. One is: your desire changes; the energy remains, or energy is removed, desire remains. Energy can be removed very easily. You can simply be operated, castrated, and then sex disappears. Some hormones can be removed from your body. And that's what fasting is doing - some hormones disappear; then you can become sexless.
But this is not the goal of Patanjali. Patanjali says that energy should remain and the desire disappears. Only when desire disappears and you are filled with energy you can achieve that blissful state that yoga aims at. A dead person cannot reach to the divine. The divine can be attained only through overflowing energy, abundant energy, an ocean of energy.
So this is the second thing to remember continuously - don't destroy energy, destroy desire. It will be difficult. It is going to be hard, arduous, because it needs a total transformation of your being. But Patanjali is for it. So he divides his vairagya, his desirelessness, in two steps. We will enter the sutra.
THE FIRST STATE OF VAIRAGYA - DESIRELESSNESS: CESSATION FROM SELF- INDULGENCE IN THE THIRST FOR SENSUOUS PLEASURES, WITH CONSCIOUS EFFORT.
Many things are implied and have to be understood. One, the indulgence in sensuous pleasures. Why you ask for sensuous pleasures? Why the mind constantly thinks about indulgence? Why you move again and again in the same pattern of indulgences?
For Patanjali and for all those who have known, the reason is that you are not blissful inwardly; hence, the desire for pleasure. The pleasure-oriented mind means that as you are, in yourself, you are unhappy. That's why you go on seeking happiness somewhere else. A person who is unhappy is bound to move into desires. Desires are the way of the unhappy mind to seek happiness. Of course, nowhere this mind can find happiness. At the most he can find few glimpses. Those glimpses appear as pleasure. Pleasure means glimpses of happiness. And the fallacy is that this pleasure- seeking mind thinks that these glimpses and pleasure is coming from somewhere else. It always comes from within.
Let us try to understand. You are in love with a person. You move into sex. Sex gives you a glimpse of pleasure; it gives you a glimpse of happiness. For a single moment you feel at ease. All the miseries have disappeared; all the mental agony is no more. For a single moment you are here and now, you have forgotten all. For a single moment there is no past and no future. Because of this - there is no past and no future, and for a single moment you are here and now-from within you the energy flows. Your inner self flows in this moment, and you have a glimpse of happiness.
But you think that the glimpse is coming from the partner, from the woman or from the man. It is not coming from the man or from the woman. It is coming from you! The other has simply helped you to fall into the present, to fall out of future and past. The other has simply helped you, to bring you to the nowness of this moment.
If you can come to this nowness without sex, sex, by and by will become useless, it will disappear. It will not be a desire then. If you want to move in it you can move into it as a fun, but not as a desire. Then there is no obsession in it because you are not dependent on it.
Sit under a tree some day - just in the morning when the sun has not arisen, because with the sun arising your body is disturbed, and it is difficult to be at peace within. That is why the East has always been meditating before the sunrise. they have called it brahmamuhurt - The moments of the divine. And they are right, because with the sun, energies rise and they start flowing in the old pattern that you have created.
Just in the morning, the sun has not yet come on the horizon, everything is silent and the nature is fast asleep - the trees are asleep, the birds are asleep, the whole world is asleep; your body also inside is asleep - you have come to sit under a tree. Everything is silent. Just try to be here in this moment. Don't do anything; don't even meditate. Don't make any effort. Just close your eyes, remain silent, in this silence of nature. Suddenly you will have the same glimpse which has been coming to you through sex or even greater, deeper. Suddenly you will feel a rush of energy flowing from within. And now you cannot be deceived because there is no other; it is certainly coming from you. It is certainly flowing from within. Nobody else is giving it to you; you are giving it to yourself.
But the situation is needed - a silence, energy not in excitement. You are not doing anything, just being there under a tree, and you will have the glimpse. And this will not really be the pleasure, it will be the happiness, because now you are looking at the right source, the right direction. Once you know it, then through sex you will immediately recognize that the other was just a mirror; you were just reflected in him or in her. And you were the mirror for the other. You were helping each other to fall into the present, to move away from the thinking mind to a non-thinking state of being.
The more mind is filled with chattering, more sex has appeal. In the East, sex was never such an obsession as it has become an obsession in the West. Films, stories, novels, poetry, magazines, everything has become sexual. You cannot sell anything unless you can create a sex appeal. If you have to sell a car you can sell it only as a sex object. If you want to sell toothpaste, you can sell only through some sex appeal. Nothing can be sold without sex. It seems that only sex has the market, nothing else - a significance.
Every significance comes through sex. The whole mind is obsessed with sex. Why? Why this has never happened before? This is something new in human history. And the reason is now West is totally absorbed in thoughts - no possibility of being here and now, except sex. Sex has remained the only possibility, and even that is going.
For the modern man even this has become possible - that while making love he can think of other things. And once you become so capable that while making love you go on thinking of something - of your accounts in the bank, or you go on talking with a friend, or you go on being somewhere else while making love here - sex will also be finished. Then it will just be boring, frustrating, because sex was not the thing. The thing was only this - that because sexual energy moving so fast, your mind comes to a stop; the sex takes over. The energy flows so fast, so vitally, that your ordinary patterns of thinking stop.
I have heard: Once it happened that Mulla Nasrudin was passing through a forest. He came upon a skull. Just curious, as he always was, he asked the skull, "What brought you here, sir?" And he was amazed because the skull said, "Talking brought me here, sir." He couldn't believe it, but he had heard it so he ran to the court of the king. He told there that "I have seen a miracle! A skull, a talking skull, lying just near our village in the forest."
The king also couldn't believe, but he was also curious. The whole court followed. They went into the forest. Nasrudin went near the skull and asked again the same question, "What brought you here, sir." But the skull remained silent. He asked again and again and again, but the skull was dead silent.
The king said, "I knew it before, Nasrudin, that you are a liar. But now this is too much. You have played such a joke that you will have to suffer for it." He ordered his guard to cut his head and throw the head near the skull for the ants to eat. When everybody went - the king, his court - the skull started talking again. And she asked, "What brought you here, sir?" Nasrudin answered, "Talking brought me here, sir."
And talking has brought man here - the situation that is today. A constant chattering mind does not allow any happiness, any possibility of happiness, because only a silent mind can look within, only a silent mind can hear the silence, the happiness, that is always bubbling there. But it is so subtle that with the noise of the mind you cannot hear it.
Only in sex the noise sometimes stops. I say "sometimes". If you have become habitual in sex also, as husbands and wives become, then it never stops. The whole act becomes automatic and the mind goes on its own. Then sex also is a boredom.
Anything has appeal if it can give you a glimpse. The glimpse may appear to be coming from the outside; it always comes from within. The outside can only be just a mirror. When happiness flowing from within is reflected from the outside, it is called pleasure. This is the definition of Patanjali's - happiness flowing from within reflected from somewhere in the outside, the outside functioning as a mirror. And if you think that this happiness is coming from the outside, it is called pleasure. We are in search of happiness, not in search of pleasure. So unless you can have glimpses of happiness, you cannot stop your pleasure-seeking efforts. Indulgence means search for pleasure.
A conscious effort is needed. For two things. One: Whenever you feel a moment of pleasure is there, transform it into a meditative situation. Whenever you feel you are feeling pleasure, happy, joyful, close your eyes and look within, and see from where it is coming. Don't lose this moment; this is precious. If you are not conscious you may continue thinking that it comes from without, and that's the fallacy of the world.
If you are conscious, meditative, if you search for the real source, sooner or later you will come to know it is flowing from within. Once you know that it always flows from within, it is something that you have already got, indulgence will drop, and this will be the first step of desirelessness. Then you are not seeking, not hankering. You are not killing desires, you are not fighting with desires, you have simply found something greater. Desires don't look so important now. They wither away.
Remember this: they are not to be killed and destroyed; they wither away. Simply you neglect them because you have a greater source. You are magnetically attracted towards it. Now your whole energy is moving inwards. The desires are simply neglected.
You are not fighting them. If you fight with them you will never win. It is just like you were having some stones, colored stones, in your hand. And now suddenly you have come to know about diamonds, and they are lying about. You throw the colored stones just to create space for the diamonds in your hand. You are not fighting the stones. When diamonds are there you simply drop the stones. They have lost their meaning.
Desires must lose their meaning. If you fight, the meaning is not lost. Or even, on the contrary, just through fight you may give them more meaning. Then they become more important. This is happening. Those who fight with any desire, that desire becomes their center of the mind. If you fight sex, sex becomes the center. Then, continuously, you are engaged in it, occupied with it. It becomes like a wound. And wherever you look, that wound immediately projects, and whatsoever you see becomes sexual.
Mind has a mechanism, an old survival mechanism, of fight or flight. Two are the ways of the mind: either you can fight with something or you can escape from it. If you are strong, then you fight. If you are weak, then you take flight, then you simply escape. But in both the ways the other is important, the other is the center. You can fight or you can escape from the world - from the world where desires are possible; you can go to the Himalayas. That too is a fight, the fight of the weak.
I have heard: Once Mulla Nasrudin was shopping in a village. He left his donkey on the street and went into a shop to purchase something. When he came out he was furious. Someone has painted his donkey completely red, bright red. So he was furious, and he inquired, "Who has done this? I will kill that man!"
A small boy was standing there. He said, "One man has done this, and that man just has gone inside the pub." So Nasrudin went there, rushed there, angry, mad. He said, "Who has done this? Who the hell has painted my donkey?"
A very big man, very strong, stood and he said, "I did. What about it?" So Nasrudin said, "Thank you, sir. You have done such a beautiful job. I just came to tell you that the first coat is dry."
If you are strong, then you are ready to fight. If you are weak, then you are ready to fly, to take flight. But in both the cases, you are not becoming stronger. In both cases the other has become the center of your mind. These are the two attitudes fight or flight - and both are wrong because through both the mind is strengthened.
Patanjali says there is a third possibility: don't fight and don't escape. Just be alert. Just be conscious. Whatsoever is the case, just be a witness. Conscious effort means, one: searching for the inner source of happiness, and, second: witnessing the old pattern of habits - not fighting it, just witnessing it.
THE FIRST STATE OF VAIRAGYA, DESIRELESSNESS - CESSATION FROM SELF- INDULGENCE IN THE THIRST FOR SENSUOUS PLEASURES, WITH CONSCIOUS EFFORT.
"Conscious effort" is the key word. Consciousness is needed, and effort is also needed. And the effort should be conscious because there can be unconscious efforts. You can be trained in such a way that you can drop certain desires without knowing that you have dropped them.
For example, if you are born in a vegetarian home you will be eating vegetarian food. Non-vegetarian food is simply not the question. You never dropped it consciously. You have been brought up in such a way that unconsciously it has dropped by itself. But this is not going to give you some integrity; this is not going to give you some spiritual strength. Unless you do something consciously, it is not gained.
Many societies have tried this for their children to bring them up in such a way that certain wrong things simply don't enter in their lives. They don't enter, but nothing is gained through it because the real thing to gain is consciousness. And consciousness can be gained through effort. If without effort something is conditioned on you, it is not a gain at all.
So in India there are many vegetarians. Jains, Brahmins, many people are vegetarians. Nothing is gained because just by being born in a Jain family, being a vegetarian means nothing. It is not a conscious effort; you have not done anything about it. If you were born into a non-vegetarian family, you would have taken to non-vegetarian food similarly.
Unless some conscious effort is done, your crystallization never happens. You have to do something on your own. When you do something on your own, you gain something. Nothing is gained without consciousness, remember it. It is one of the ultimates. Nothing is gained without consciousness! You may become a perfect saint, but if you have not become through consciousness, it is futile, useless. You must struggle inch by inch because through struggle more consciousness will be needed. And the more consciousness you practice, the more conscious you become. And a moment comes when you become pure consciousness.
The first step is:
CESSATION FROM SELF-INDULGENCE IN THE THIRST FOR SENSUOUS PLEASURES, WITH CONSCIOUS EFFORT.
What to do? Whenever you are in any state of pleasure - sex, food, money, power, anything that gives you pleasure - meditate on it. Just try to find it, from where it is coming. You are the source, or the source is somewhere else? If the source is somewhere else, then there is no possibility of any transformation because you will remain dependent to the source.
But, fortunately, the source is not anywhere else, it is within you. If you meditate, you will find it. It is knocking every moment from within, that "I am here!" Once you have the feeling that it is there knocking every moment - and you were creating only situations outside in which it was happening - it can happen without situations. Then you need not depend on anybody, on food, on sex, on power, anything. You are enough unto yourself. Once you have come to this feeling, the feeling of enoughness, indulgence - the mind to indulge, the indulgent mind - disappears.
That doesn't mean you will not enjoy food. You will enjoy more. But now food is not the source of your happiness, you are the source. You are not dependent on food, you are not addicted to it.
That doesn't mean you will not enjoy sex. You can enjoy more, but now it is fun, play; it is just a celebration. But you are not dependent on it, it is not the source. And once two persons, two lovers, can find this - that the other is not the source of their pleasure - they stop fighting with the other. They start loving the other for the first time.
Otherwise you cannot love a person upon whom you are dependent in any way. You will hate, because he is your dependence. Without him you cannot be happy. So he has the key, and a person who has the key of your happiness is your jailer. Lovers fight because they look that the other has the key and, "He can make me happy or unhappy." Once you come to know that you are the source and the other is the source of his own happiness, you can share your happiness; that's another thing, but you are not dependent. You can share. You can celebrate together. That's what love means: celebrating together, sharing together - not driving from each other, not exploiting each other.
Because exploitation cannot be love. Then you are using the other as a means, and whomsoever you use as a means, he will hate you. Lovers hate each other because they are using, exploiting each other, and love - which should be the deepest ecstasy - becomes the ugliest hell. But once you know that you are the source of your happiness, no one else is the source, you can share it freely. Then the other is not your enemy, not even an intimate enemy. For the first time friendship arises, you can enjoy anything.
And you will be able to enjoy only when you are free. Only an independent person can enjoy. A person who is mad and obsessed with food cannot enjoy. He may fill his belly, but cannot enjoy. His eating is violent. It is a sort of killing. He is killing the food; he is destroying the food. And lovers who feel that their happiness depends on the other are fighting, trying to dominate the other, trying to kill the other, to destroy the other. You will be able to enjoy everything more when you know that the source is within. Then the whole life becomes a play, and moment-to-moment you can go on celebrating infinitely.
This is the first step, with effort. Consciousness and effort, you achieve desirelessness. Patanjali says this is the first because even effort, even consciousness, is not good, because it means that some struggle, some hidden struggle, is on still.
The second and last step of vairagya, the last state of desirelessness:
CESSATION OF ALL DESIRING BY KNOWING THE INNERMOST NATURE OF PURUSHA, THE SUPREME SELF.
First you have to know that you are the source of all happiness that happens to you. Second, you have to know the total nature of your inner self. First, you are the source. Second, "What is this source?" First, just this much is enough, that you are the source of your happiness. And second, what this source is in its totality, this purusha, inner self is: "Who am 'I'?" in its totality.
Once you know this source in its totality, you have known all. Then the whole universe is within, not only happiness. Then all that exists, exists within - not only happiness. Then God is not somewhere sitting in the clouds, he exists within. Then you are the source, the root source of all. Then you are the center.
And once you become the center of existence, once you know that you are the center of existence, all misery has disappeared. Now desirelessness becomes spontaneous, SAHAJ. No effort, no striving, no maintaining is needed. It is so; it has become natural. You are not pulling it or pushing it. Now there is no "I" who can pull and push.
Remember this: struggle creates ego. If you struggle in the world, it creates a gross ego: "I am someone with money, with prestige, with power." If you struggle within, it creates a subtle ego: "I am pure; I am a saint, I am a sage," but "I" remains with struggle. So there are pious egoists who have a very subtle ego. They may not be worldly people. They are not; they are otherworldly. But struggle is there. They have achieved something. That achievement still carries the last shadow of "I".
The second step and the final step of desirelessness for Patanjali is total disappearance of the ego. Just nature flowing. No "I", no conscious effort. That doesn't mean you will not be conscious, you will be perfect consciousness - but no effort implied of being conscious. There will be no self- consciousness - pure consciousness. You have accepted yourself and existence as it is.
A total acceptance - this is what Lao Tzu calls Tao, the river flowing toward the sea. It is not making any effort; it is not in any hurry to reach the sea. Even if it doesn't reach, it will not get frustrated. Even if it reaches in millions of years, everything is okay. The river is simply flowing because flowing is its nature. No effort is there. It will go on flowing.
When desires for the first time are noted and observed effort arises, a subtle effort. Even the first step is a subtle effort. You start trying to be aware, "From where my happiness is coming?" You have to do something, and that doing will create the ego. That's why Patanjali says that is only the beginning, and you must remember that is not the end. In the end, not only have desires disappeared, you also have disappeared. Only the inner being has remained in its flow.
This spontaneous flow is the supreme ecstasy because no misery is possible for it. Misery comes through expectation, demand. There is no one to expect, to demand, so whatsoever happens, it is good. Whatsoever happens, it is a blessing. You cannot compare with anything else, it is the case. And because there is no comparing with the past and with the future - there is no one to compare - you cannot look at anything as misery, as pain. Even if pain happens in that situation, it will not be painful. Try to understand this. This is difficult.
Jesus is being crucified. Christians have painted Jesus very sad. They have even said that he never laughed, and in their churches they have the sad figure of Jesus everywhere. This is human; we can understand it, because a person who is being crucified must be sad. He must be in inner agony; he must be in suffering.
So Christians go on saying that Jesus suffered for our sins - but he suffered. This is absolutely wrong! If you ask Patanjali or me, this is absolutely wrong. Jesus cannot suffer. It is impossible for Jesus to suffer. And if he suffers, then there is no difference between you and him.
Pain is there, but he cannot suffer. This may look mysterious, but this is not; this is simple. Pain is there. As far as we can see from the outside he is being crucified, insulted; his body is destroyed. Pain is there, but Jesus cannot suffer. Because in this moment when Jesus is crucified, he cannot ask. He has no demand. He cannot say, "This is wrong. This should not be so. I must be crowned, and I am crucified."
If he has this in this mind - that "I must be crowned and I am crucified" - then there will be pain. If he has no futuring in the mind that "I should be crowned," no expectation for the future, no fixed goal to reach, wherever he has found himself is the goal then. And he cannot compare. This cannot be otherwise. This is the present moment that has been brought to him. This crucifixion is the crown.
And he cannot suffer, because suffering means resistance. You must resist something, only then you can suffer. Try it. It will be difficult for you to be crucified, but there are daily crucifixions, small. They will do.
You have a pain in the leg or in the head you have headache. You may not have observed the mechanism of it. You have headache, and you constantly struggle and resist. You don't want it. You are against it, you divide. You are somewhere standing within the head and the headache is there. You are separate and the headache is separate, and you insist that it should not be so. This is the real problem.
You try once not to fight. Flow with the headache; become the headache. And say, "This is the case. This is how my head is at this moment, and at this moment nothing is possible. It may go in future, but in this moment headache is there." Don't resist. Allow it to happen; become one with it. Don't pull yourself separate, flow into it. And then there will be a sudden upsurge of a new type of happiness you have not known. When there is no one to resist, even headache is not painful. The fight creates the pain. The pain means always fighting against the pain - that's the real pain.
Jesus accepts. This is how his life has come to the cross. This is the destiny. This is what in the East they have always called fate, bhagya, the kismat. So there is no point in arguing with your fate, there is no point in fighting it. You cannot do anything; it is happening. Only one thing is possible for you - you can flow with it or you can fight with it. If you fight, it becomes more agony. If you flow with it, the agony is less. And if you can flow totally, agony has disappeared. You have become the flow.
Try it when you have a headache, try it when you have an ill body, try it when you have some pain - just flow with it. And once, if you can allow, you will have come to one of the most deepest secrets of life-that pain disappears if you flow with it. And if you can flow totally, pain becomes happiness.
But this is not something logical to be understood. You can comprehend it intellectually, but that won't do. Try it existentially. There are everyday situations. Every moment something is wrong. Flow with it, and see how you transform the whole situation. And through that transformation you transcend it.
A Buddha can never be in pain; that is impossible. Only an ego can be in pain. Ego is a must to be in pain. And if the ego is there you can transform your pleasures also into pain; if the ego is not there you can transform your pains into pleasures. The secret lies with the ego.
THE LAST STATE OF VAIRAGYA, DESIRELESSNESS: CESSATION OF ALL DESIRING BY KNOWING THE INNERMOST NATURE OF PURUSHA, THE SUPREME SELF.
How it happens? Just by knowing the innermost core of yourself, the purusha, the dweller within. Just by knowing it! Patanjali says, Buddha says, Lao Tzu says, just by knowing it all desires disappear.
This is mysterious, and the logical mind is bound to ask how it can happen just by knowing themselves all desires disappear. It happens because now knowing themselves all desires have arisen. Desires are simply the ignorance of the self. Why? All that you are seeking through desires is there, hidden in the self. If you know the self, desires will disappear.
For example, you are asking for power. Everybody is asking for power. Power creates madness in everybody. It seems to be just human society has existed in such a way that everybody is power- addicted.
The child is born; the child is helpless. This is the first feeling you all carry always with you. The child is born, he is helpless, and a helpless child wants power. That's natural because everybody is more powerful than him. The mother is powerful, the father is powerful, the brothers are powerful, everybody is powerful, and the child is absolutely helpless. Of course, the first desire that arises is to have power - how to grow powerful how to be dominating. And the child starts being political from that very moment. He starts learning tricks how to dominate.
If he cries too much, he comes to know that he can dominate through crying. He can dominate the whole house just by crying. He learns crying. And women continue it even when they are not children. They have learned the secret, and they continue it. And they have to continue it because they remain helpless. That's power politics.
He knows a trick, and he can create disturbance. And he can create such a disturbance that you have to accept and compromise with him. And every moment he feels deeply that the only thing that is needed is power, more power. He will learn, he will go to school, he will grow he will love, but behind everything - his education love, play - he will be finding how to get more power. Through education he will want to dominate, how to come first in the class so he can be dominating, how to get more money so he can be dominating, how to go on growing the influence and the territory of domination. The whole life he will be after power.
Many lives are simply wasted. And even if you get power, what you are going to do? Simply a childish wish is fulfilled. So when you become a Napoleon or a Hitler, suddenly you become aware that the whole effort has been useless, futile. Just a childish wish has been fulfilled, that's all. Now what to do? What to do with this power? If the wish is fulfilled you are frustrated. If the wish is not fulfilled you are frustrated, and it cannot be fulfilled absolutely, because no one can be so powerful that he can feel, "Now it is enough" - no one! The world is so complex that even a Hitler feels powerless in moments, even a Napoleon will feel powerless in moments. Nobody can feel absolute power, and nothing can satisfy you.
But when somebody comes to know one's self, one comes to know the source of absolute power. Then the desire for power disappears because you were already a king and you were only thinking that you were a beggar. And you were struggling to be a bigger beggar, a greater beggar, and you were already the king. Suddenly you come to realize that you don't lack anything. You are not helpless. You are the source of all energies, you are the very source of life. That childhood feeling of powerlessness was created by others. And it is a vicious circle they created in you because it was created in them by their parents, and so on and so forth.
Your parents are creating the feeling in you that you are powerless. Why? Because only through this they can feel they are powerful. You may be thinking that you love children very much. That doesn't seem to be the case. You love power, and when you get children, when you become mothers and fathers, you are powerful. Nobody may be listening to you; you may be nothing in the world, but at least in the boundaries of your home you are powerful. You can at least torture small children.
And look at fathers and mothers: they torture! And they torture in such a loving way that you cannot even say to them that "You are torturing." They are torturing for "their own good", for the children's own good! They are helping them to grow. They feel powerful. Psychologists say that many people go to the teaching profession just to feel powerful, because thirty children at your disposal, you are just a king.
It is reported that Aurangajeb was imprisoned by his son. When he was imprisoned, he wrote a letter and he said, "Only one wish, if you can fulfill, it will be good, and I will be very happy. You just send thirty children to me so that I can teach them in my imprisonment."
The son has been reported to have said, "My father has always remained a king, and he cannot lose his kingdom. So even in the prison he needs thirty children so he can teach them."
Look! Go into a school! The teacher sitting on his chair-and absolute power, just the master of everything that is happening there. People want children not because they love, because if they love, really, the world will be totally different. If you love your child the world will be totally different.
You will not help him to be helpless, to feel helpless, you will give him so much love that he would feel he is powerful. If you give love, then he will never be asking for power. He will not become a political leader; he will not go for elections. He will not try to accumulate money and go mad after it, because he knows it is useless - he is already powerful; love is enough.
But nobody is giving love, then he will create substitutes. All your desires, whether of power, of money, prestige, they all show that something had been taught to you in your childhood, something has been conditioned in your bio-computer and you are following that conditioning without looking inside, that whatsoever you are asking is already there.
Patanjali's whole effort is to put your bio-computer in silence so that it doesn't interfere. This is what meditation is. It is putting your bio-computer, for certain moments, into silence, into a non-chattering state, so that you can look within and hear your deepest nature. Just a glimpse will change you because then this biocomputer cannot deceive you. This bio-computer goes on saying that, "Do this, do that!" It goes on continuously manipulating you, that "You must have more power; otherwise you are nobody."
If you look within, there is no need to be anybody; there is no need to be somebody. You are already accepted as you are. The whole existence accepts you, is happy about you. You are a flowering - an individual flowering, different from any other, unique, and God welcomes you; otherwise you could not be here. You are here only because you are accepted. You are here only because God loves you or the universe loves you or the existence needs you. You are needed.
Once you know your innermost nature, what Patanjali calls the purusha - the purusha means the inner dweller... The body is just a house. The inner dweller, the inner-dwelling consciousness, is purusha. Once you know this inner-dwelling consciousness, nothing is needed. You are enough, more than enough. You are perfect as you are. You are absolutely accepted, welcomed. The existence becomes a blessing. Desires disappear; they were part of self-ignorance. With self- knowledge, they disappear, they evaporate.
Abhyasa, constant inner practice, conscious effort to be more and more alert, to be more and more master of oneself, to be less and less dominated by habits, by mechanical, robot-like mechanisms - and vairagya, desirelessness: these two attained one becomes a yogi; these two attained one has attained the goal.
I will repeat: but don't create a fight. Allow all this happening to be more and more spontaneous. Don't fight with the negative. Rather, create the positive. Don't fight with sex, with food, with anything. Rather, find out what it is that gives you happiness, from where it comes - move in that direction. Desires, by and by, go on disappearing.
And second: be more and more conscious. Whatsoever is happening, be more and more conscious. And remain in that moment, and accept that moment. Don't ask for something else. You will not be creating misery then. If pain is there, let it be there. Remain in it and flow in it. The only condition is, remain alert. Knowingly, watchfully, move into it, flow into it. Don't resist!
When pain disappears, the desire for pleasure also disappears. When you are not in anguish, you don't ask for indulgence. When anguish is not there, indulgence becomes meaningless. And more and more you go on falling into the inner abyss. And it is so blissful, it is such a deep ecstasy, that even a glimpse of it and the whole world becomes meaningless. Then all that this world can give to you is of no use.
And this should not become a fighting attitude - you should not become a warrior, you should become a meditator. If you are meditating, spontaneously things will happen to you which will go on transforming and changing you. Start fighting and you have started suppression. And suppression will lead you into more and more misery. And you cannot deceive.
Many people are there who are not only deceiving others, they go on deceiving themselves. They think they are not in misery; they go on saying they are not in misery. But their whole existence is miserable. When they are saying that they are not in misery, their faces, their eyes, their heart, everything, is in misery.
I will tell you one anecdote, and then finish. I have heard once it happened that twelve ladies reached purgatory. The officiating angel asked them,"Were any of you unfaithful to your husbands while on earth? If someone was unfaithful to her husband, she should raise her hand." Blushingly, hesitating, by and by eleven ladies raised their hands. The officiating angel took his phone, called into the phone, "Hello! Is that hell? Have you got room for twelve unfaithful wives there? - one of them, stone deaf!"
It isn't needed whether you say or not. Your face, your very being, shows everything. You may say you are not miserable, but the way you say it, the way you are, shows you are miserable. You cannot deceive, and there is no point - because no one can deceive anybody else, you can only deceive yourself.
Remember, if you are miserable, you have created all this. Let it penetrate deep in your heart that you have created your sufferings because this is going to be the formula, the key. If you have created your sufferings, only then can you destroy it. If someone else has created them, you are helpless. You have created your miseries, you can destroy them. You have created them through wrong habits, wrong attitudes, addictions, desires.
Drop this pattern! Look fresh! And this very life is the ultimate joy that is possible to human consciousness.