"Man is being abolished," says C. S. Lewis. "Good riddance," says B. F. Skinner.
"How like a god," says Shakespeare's Hamlet about man. "How like a dog," says Pavlov. The trouble is that man is both -- godlike, doglike, both. If man was a unity -- doglike or godlike -- there would have been no problem. The problem arises because man is a paradox: on the surface, worse than any dog; at the center, glorious, more glorious than any god.
If you look at man just from the outside, you cannot say that if man is being abolished there is some harm -- "It is good, good riddance. Skinner is right. The earth will be better; at least, more silent. Nature will be happier." But if you look at man deep, in his infinite depth, then without man the earth may be silent, but that silence will be dead. It will not have any music in it. It will not have any depth in it. Flowers will be there, but they will not be beautiful anymore. Who will feel their beauty? Who will know their beauty? Birds will go on singing, but who will call the singing poetic, mysterious? Trees will be green, but will not be green at the same time, because that greenery has to be recognized by a deep resonance of the human heart.
With man, appreciation will disappear. With man, prayer will disappear. With man, God will disappear. The earth will be there, but ungodly. The silence, but the silence of the cemetery. The silence will not be throbbing with the heart. It may be spread all over the earth, it may have expansion, but it will miss depth -- and a silence without depth is no longer silence. The world will be profane; it won't be sacred anymore.
Man creates the holy, because deep hidden behind man is the holy. Man cannot live without temples, without churches, without mosques, because man himself is a temple. He goes on creating temples -- even atheists create temples. Look at the temple of the Kremlin. Communists passing before the Kremlin or before the mausoleum of Lenin are as worshipful as any theist worshipping any other god.
Man cannot live without a god because deep down he is a god.
The problem, the trouble, arises because man is both: a bridge stretched between two eternities -- between matter and mind, between this world and that, between the profane and the sacred, between life and death. That's the beauty also: with the mystery, with the paradox, man is not only a puzzle, he also becomes a mystery.
What to do? If you settle with Pavlov and his disciple B.F. Skinner, you have settled without knowing man, without understanding man, without even making an effort to know him. If you settle too soon with Buddha, Mahavir, Krishna, Christ, Patanjali, if your acceptance is immature, then "that man is a god" will remain a belief; it can never become a faith. If you are in a hurry to be settled with anything, then you will miss. A deep patience is needed to know man.
And there is no way to know man objectively. If you try to know man objectively, as a scientist is tempted to, you will commit the mistake of Pavlov -- man will look like a dog. The only way to know man is to know the man who is within you. The only way to come face to face with man is to encounter yourself.
You are carrying a tremendous energy within you. Unless you are acquainted with it you will not be able to see and know it outside in others. Remember this as a criterion: that as much as you know yourself, only that much can you know the other. Not a bit more, no -- impossible. The knower must be known first; only then can the mystery of the known be penetrated. You must know your depth; only then your eyes become attuned to know the depth of the others.
If you remain on the surface of your being then the whole existence will remain just the surface. If you think that you are only a wave on the ocean, and you have not known the ocean at all, all other waves will remain waves. Once you have a look within your being and you become the ocean -- you have been the ocean, you come to know it -- all other waves have disappeared: now it is only the ocean waving. Now behind every wave -- beautiful, ugly, small, big -- it doesn't matter; the same ocean exists.
Yoga is a method to come to terms with the innermost depth of your own being, the subjectivity of your soul. It is infinite: you enter into it, but you never come to a point where you can say, "I have known all." You go on and on and on.... It is infinite. You can be deeply in it, but still, much always remains. That point never comes when you can say, "Now I have come to the boundary." In fact, boundaries don't exist. They don't exist in the universe. Outside there are no boundaries; existence is infinite. They don't exist within your subjectivity.
Boundaries are always false. Deeper you go, the unboundage opens more and more.
But once you have fallen in it, once you have flown in it... now you know. Now the small disappears, the bounded disappears, the limited disappears. Now you look into anybody's eyes and you know the infinite waiting there. Love, for the first time, becomes possible. Love is possible only when you have known your depth. Only gods love, and only gods can love. Dogs can only fight; even in the name of love they will fight. And if gods fight, even in their fight they love; otherwise is not possible.
When you have come to know your being as divine, the whole existence immediately is transfigured. It is no longer the old existence, the stale, the day- to-day, the ordinary. No, nothing ordinary exists after that; everything takes the color of extraordinariness, of a superb glory. Ordinary pebbles become diamonds -- they are. Every leaf becomes alive with tremendous life hidden behind it, within it, below it, beyond it. The whole existence becomes divine. The moment you know your god, you only know God everywhere. That is the only way to know.
The whole yoga is a methodology: how to uncover it which is so hidden, how to open the doors within yourself, how to enter the temple that you are, how to discover yourself. You are there, you have been there from the very beginning, but you have not discovered it. The treasure is carried by you every moment.
Every breath you take in or out, the treasure is there. You may not be aware, but you have never missed it. You may be completely oblivious, but you have never lost it. You may have forgotten it completely, but there is no way to lose it -- because you are it.
So the only question is: how to discover it. It is covered; many layers of ignorance cover it. Yoga tries step by step, slowly, to penetrate the inner mystery. In eight steps yoga completes the discovery. The beginning steps are called bahirang yoga, the yoga of the outside. yam, niyam, asan, pranayam, pratyahar -- these five steps are known as the yoga of the outside. The following three, the last three -- dharana, dhyan, samadhi -- are known as antarang, the yoga of the inside.
Now, the sutra: Tatah kshiyate prakashavaranam.
The four steps have been taken. The fifth works as a bridge between the four, the yoga of the outside, and the last three, the yoga of the inside. The fifth, which is part of the yoga of the outside, also functions as a bridge. pratyahar: the word means "returning to the source" -- not reaching to the source, just returning to the source. The process of return has started: now the energy is no longer moving outwardly, the energy is no longer interested in objects -- the energy has taken a turn, an about turn. It is turning inwards -- this is what Jesus calls conversion, coming back.
Ordinarily, the energy is moving outward. You want to see, you want to smell, you want to touch, you want to feel: the energy is moving out. You have completely forgotten who is hidden within you. You have become eyes, ears, nose, hands, and you have forgotten who is hidden behind these senses, who looks through your eyes. You are not the eyes. You have the eyes, right, but you
are not the eyes. Eyes are only windows. Who is standing behind the windows?
Who looks through the eyes? I look at you; eyes are not looking at you. Eyes cannot look by themselves. Unless I am standing near the window, looking out, eyes by themselves cannot look.
It happens many times to you also: you go on reading a book, you have read pages, and suddenly you become aware that you have not read a single word.
Eyes were there, but you were not there. Eyes went on moving from one word to another, from one sentence to another, from one paragraph to another, from one page to another, but you were not there. Suddenly you become mindful that "Only eyes were moving; I was not there." You are in deep pain, suffering: then eyes are open, but you don't see; they are much too filled with tears. Or you are very happy, so happy that you don't care: suddenly your eyes are filled with so much cheerfulness they don't see.
You are in the market and somebody tells you, "Your house has caught fire" -- you start running. You see many people on the street. A few people say, "Good morning. Where are you going? Why are you in such a hurry? What has happened?" Your eyes go on seeing, your ears go on hearing, but you are not there. Your house has caught fire... your presence is not there, no more. If afterwards you are asked, "Can you remember who had asked you,'Where are you going? Why are you in such a hurry?' " you will not be able to remember.
You had seen the man, you have heard what he said, but you were not there.
Ears by themselves cannot hear. Eyes by themselves cannot see. Your presence is needed. You may be on the playground playing football, hockey, or volleyball or something: when the play is at the peak you are hit in your feet, blood starts flowing... but you are so deeply involved in the game, you are not aware. It hurts, but you are not there to feel. After half an hour the game stops; suddenly your attention moves to the feet, blood is flowing -- now it hurts. For half an hour the blood was flowing but it was not hurting -- you were not there.
This has to be deeply understood: that senses by themselves are impotent -- unless you cooperate. That's the whole art of yoga. If you don't cooperate senses close. If you don't cooperate conversion starts. If you don't cooperate pratyahar comes in. That's what people who are sitting silently for hours, for years, are doing -- they are trying to drop the cooperation between themselves and their senses. When the energy is not obsessed to see, to hear, to touch; the energy starts moving inwards. That is pratyahar: movement towards the source, movement towards the place from where you have come, movement to the center. Now you are no longer moving to the periphery.
This is just the beginning. The end will be in samadhi. Pratyahar is just a beginning of the energy moving towards home. Samadhi is when you have reached home, arrived. The four -- yam, niyam, asan, pranayam -- are the preparation for pratyahar, the fifth. And pratyahar is the beginning, the turning; samadhi is the end.
"Then comes the dispersion of the cover that hides the light." The last sutra was about pranayam. Pranayam is a way of getting in rhythm with the universe, but you remain outside. You start breathing in such a way, in such a rhythm, that you fall in tune with the whole. Then you are not fighting the whole; you have surrendered. You are no longer an enemy of the whole; you have become a lover.
That's what it means to be a religious man: now he is not in conflict; now he has no private goals to achieve; now he is flowing with existence; now he is in tune with the goal of the whole, if there is any; now he has no individual destiny, the whole's destiny is his. He is floating with the river, not fighting up current.
When you really float you disappear, because the ego can exist only when it fights. The ego can exist only when there is resistance. The ego can exist only when you have some private goal against the whole. Try to understand this, how the ego exists. People come to me and they say, "We would like to drop the ego," and I tell them, "If you like to drop the ego you cannot drop it, because who are you to drop? Who is this who is saying,'I would like to drop?' This is the ego.
Now you are fighting with your ego also."
You may pretend to become humble, you may force humility on yourself, but the ego will exist. You may have been a king, now you may become a beggar, but the ego will exist. It existed as a king: now it will exist as a humble beggar. Your very way of walking -- seeing will show it. The way you will move -- you will announce it. The way you will talk -- you will announce it. You may say, " I am the most humble man in the world," that makes no difference. Before, you were the greatest man in the world, now you are the humblest -- but you are extraordinary. You are there.
If you start fighting with the ego you will create a subtler ego which is more dangerous, because that subtler ego will be a pious ego. It will pretend to be religious. In the beginning it was at least this-worldly, now it will be that- worldly -- greater, powerful, subtle -- and the grip will be more dangerous, and it will be difficult to come out of it. You have moved from a smaller danger to a greater one. You are more in the trap. The prison has closed upon you, even in a stronger way.
Pranayam, what has been continuously and wrongly translated as "breath control," is not control at all. Pranayam is a way of being spontaneous with the universe. It is not a control at all. All control belongs to the ego; otherwise who will control? Ego is the controller, the manipulator. If you understand this, ego will disappear -- there is no need to drop it.
You cannot drop an illusion, you can only drop a reality -- and ego is not real.
You cannot drop maya. Illusions cannot be dropped because, in the first place, they are not. You have only to understand, and then they disappear. A dream cannot be dropped. You have just to become aware that this is a dream, and the dream disappears. The ego is the subtlest dream: the dream that I am separate from existence, the dream that I have to achieve some goals against the whole, the dream that I am an individual. The moment you become alert, the dream disappears.
You cannot be against the whole, because you are part of the whole. You cannot float against the whole, because how can you float? It is just as foolish as my own hand trying to go against me. There is no way to go against the whole. There is only one way: to be with the whole.
Even when you are fighting you cannot go against -- that is just your imagination. Even when you think that you are moving against the whole or separate from the whole or you have a different dimension of your own, that is just a dream; you cannot do that. It is just like a ripple on the lake thinking to go against the lake: absolutely stupid -- not the least possibility there of it ever happening. How can a ripple on the lake move somewhere on its own? It will remain part of the lake. If it is moving somewhere it must be the will of the lake, that's how it is moving.
When one understands, one knows. One starts laughing that "I was in a great dream -- now the dream has disappeared. I am no more. I was the dream and the dreamer, both. Now the whole exists."
Pranayam creates the situation in which return becomes possible, because now there is nowhere to go. The fight has stopped. The enemy disappears. Now you start floating towards your own being -- and that is not a going, really, that is a floating. If you stop fighting, if you stop going outward, you will start floating inward. That's natural.
After pranayam, Patanjali says, "Then comes the dispersion of the cover that hides the light." This sutra has to be dissected, analyzed, and understood, because many things will depend on this sutra.
Patanjali is not saying that after pranayam the inner light is achieved. Many commentators on Patanjali have taken the wrong attitude. They think that this sutra says that the cover drops and one attains to light. That's not possible. If it happens then what about dharana, dhyan, samadhi? If it happens in pratyahar that you have attained to the goal, reached to your innermost being, known the inner light, then what is the point of dharana, dhyan, samadhi? Then what will you do? No, Patanjali cannot mean it, and the sutra is clear. Patanjali says "dispersion of the cover," not the attainment of light -- these are two things.
Dispersion of the cover is a negative achievement -- it creates the possibility to attain to the light -- but dispersion Of the cover in itself is not the attainment of light. Many more things are still there to be done. For example, you have remained with closed eyes; your eyelids have functioned as a cover on the sunlight. After millions of lives you open your eyes: the cover is no longer there, but you will not be able to see the light -- you have become attuned to darkness.
The sun will be there in front of you and the cover no more hiding it, but you will not be able to see it.
The cover has disappeared, but the long habit of darkness has become a part of your eyes. The gross cover of the eyelids is no longer there, but a subtle cover of darkness is still there... and if you have lived so many lives in darkness, the sun will be much too dazzling for your eyes. Your eyes will be so weak that they will not be able to tolerate so much light. And when there is more light than you can tolerate, it becomes darkness again. Try to look at the sun for a few moments: you will see darkness falling on your eyes. If you try too much you can even go blind. Too much light can even become darkness.
And you don't know for how many lives you have lived in darkness. You have not known any light, not even a ray has penetrated into your being. Darkness has been the only experience. The light will be so unknown that it will be impossible to recognize it. Just by the dispersion of the cover, you will not be able to recognize it.
Patanjali knows it well. That's why he formulates the sutra in such a way: "tatah kshiyate prakashavaranam" -- then the dispersion of the cover which hides the light. But not the attainment of light. This is a negative attainment.
Let me try to explain it to you in some other way. You are ill: medicine can help - - the illness can disappear through medicine -- but that doesn't mean that you have attained to health. Illness may disappear, now there is no longer any illness in the body, but health has not appeared yet. You will have to rest to recoup.
Disappearance of illness is not necessarily attainment of health. Health is a positive phenomenon; disease is a negative phenomenon. It may be possible that you go to the doctor and he cannot find any disease -- that does not mean that you are healthy. You may go on saying, "I don't feel healthy. I don't feel a well- being arising in me. I don't feel the zest of life, I don't feel that I am alive."
The doctor can only detect disease, he cannot detect health. There is no way for him to detect whether you are healthy or not. The doctor cannot give you a certificate that you are healthy; he can only give you a certificate that you are not ill. Not to be ill is not necessarily to be healthy. Of course, not to be ill is a basic condition to be healthy -- if you are ill you cannot be healthy -- but if you are not ill it is not necessary that you are healthy. Health is something positive.
It happens in many cases. A person -- old, ill, weary of life -- loses the lust for life, what Buddha calls tanha. He loses interest in life. You can go on treating him -- you may help him to become completely okay as far as medicine can help, he is no longer ill -- but you are worried: he is no longer ill, but he is not healthy. The desire to live has disappeared. Illness is not there, the hospital is ready to discharge him, but he has no desire to live. He will not be healthy; he will die.
Nobody can help him. To be healthy is a positive phenomenon; to be ill is a negative phenomenon.
Patanjali says the cover is no longer there. That does not mean that you have known the light -- three more steps still wait. By and by you will have to train your eyes in your being to feel, to know, to imbibe light. Sometimes it can take years.
"Then comes the dispersion of the cover that hides the light." So I disagree with all those commentators who say that the inner light is attained -- that is not the
meaning. Now, the hindrance no longer exists, the barrier disappears, but the distance is still there. You will have to walk a little more, now even more carefully than before because you can also fall in the same error: you may think, "Now everything is attained; the barrier has broken, disappeared. Now I am back home." Then you will settle before the goal has been achieved.
There are many yogis who have settled with the fifth. Then they cannot understand what is happening. The barrier is no longer there, but they are not deeply content also. In fact if you are very egoistic you will stop here, with this sutra, because with the barrier, the ego has something to fight. The cover: you go on trying to penetrate it, to disperse it. When it disperses then there is nothing. It is just like you were fighting with something that suddenly disappears -- your whole meaning of life disappears with it. Now you don't know what to do.
There are people in the world who are fighting with others in deep competition - - in business, in politics, this and that. Then they become tired. If they are a little intelligent, they are bound to become tired. Then they start fighting with their own ego, which is the cover. One day that cover also disappears, then there is nothing to fight. Once there is nothing to fight, it becomes impossible for the ego to move even an inch, because the whole training of the ego is to fight with somebody -- either somebody else or your own ego, but fight. When there is nothing to fight, the hindrance no more, one stops. There is nowhere to go now... but three steps are still waiting.
Dharanasu cha yojnata manasah.
Dharana is not only concentration. "Concentration" gives a little glimpse into the nature of dharana, but dharana is a bigger concept than concentration. So let me explain it to you.
The Indian word dharma also comes from dharana. Dharana means: the capacity to contain, the capacity to become a womb. When, after pranayam, you have become in tune with the whole, you become a womb -- a great capacity to contain. You can contain the whole. You become so vast that anything can be contained. But why has dharana been continuously translated as "concentration"? Because "concentration" gives a little glimpse into it. What is concentration? To remain with a single idea for a long time is concentration, to contain a single idea for a long time.
If I tell you to just concentrate on a picture with a monkey inside, try so that you remain with the concept of the monkey, the picture of the monkey and nothing else -- -it will be very difficult for you. A thousand and one things will interfere.
In fact, only the monkey will not be there and everything else will be there, the monkey will disappear again and again and again.
It becomes so difficult for the mind to contain anything. Mind is very narrow. It can contain something only for a few seconds, then it loses it. It is not vast; it
cannot remain with one thing for long. That is one of the deepest problems of humanity. You fall in love with a woman or a man; then the next day the mind is moving to somebody else. One day, and you cannot contain. You cannot be in love with the same person for long; even hours is too much. Your mind goes on wandering all over the world.
You were hankering for a car for many days. You struggled; somehow you managed. Now the car is there in your drive -- but finished. Now the mind is moving somewhere else again -- the neighbor's car. And the same will happen with that car also. The same has been happening for ever and ever: you cannot contain. Even if you reach to a point, soon you lose it.
Dharana means the capacity to contain -- because if you want to know God you will have to become capable to contain him. If you want to know your innermost being you will have to create the capacity to become the womb for it. You will have to give a rebirth to yourself. Concentration is only a fragment of it. Dharana is a very wide word; it is very, very comprehensive. It contains more than concentration; concentration is only one part of it.
"And then the mind becomes fit for concentration." I would like to translate it: "And then the mind becomes a womb." When I say "a womb" I mean: a woman contains a child for nine months in her own being, like a seed she carries it.
Hindus have called woman the earth, because she carries the child, the seed of the child, just as the earth carries a seed of a great oak tree, for months together.
When the seed settles deep into the soil, loses all fear, is no longer a stranger in the earth, starts feeling at home.... Remember, a seed has first to feel at home, only then the shell breaks; otherwise the shell will not break. When the seed starts feeling that this earth is motherly -- now there is no need to protect oneself, there is no need to carry the armor of the shell around -- it becomes loose. By and by, the shell breaks and disappears into the earth. Now the seed is no longer a stranger; he has found the mother. And then the sprout comes up.
In India we have called woman the earth element and man the sky element -- because man is a wanderer. He cannot contain much. And it happens every day: if a woman falls in love with a man, she can remain in love for her whole life.
That is easier for her -- she knows how to contain one idea deep, and remain with it. Man is a vagabond, a wanderer. If there were no women there would have been no homes in the world -- at the most, tents -- because man is a wanderer. He would not like to live in the same place for ever and ever. He would not create stone palaces and marble palaces, no; that is too static. He will have a vagabond's tent so any moment he can remove it, move somewhere else.
There would have been no men if there were no women. Home exists because of the women. In fact the whole civilization exists because of the women. Man would have remained a nomad, moving. And that remains his mind still: even though he lives in the home, his being goes on moving. He cannot contain; he has no capacity to become a womb.
That's why this has been my feeling: that women can move in meditation more easily than men. It is difficult for a man; his mind wavers more, tricks him into new traps, always is on the move, always thinking of going to the Himalayas, to Goa, to Nepal, to Kabul -- somewhere. A woman can settle down; she can remain in one place. There is no inner urgency to move.
And then the mind becomes fit to become a womb -- because only through that womb a new being is to be born to you. You are going to be born to yourself; you have to carry yourself in your womb. Concentration is part of it. It is beautiful to learn concentration. If you can remain with one idea for long, you become capable of the higher possibility of remaining one and the same for a long period -- because if you cannot remain one and the same for a long period, you will be distracted by the objects: one car, then another car; one house, then another house; one woman, then another woman; this post, then another post. You will be distracted by objects. You will not be able to come back home.
When no object distracts you, only then is the return possible. A mind which can remain in deep patience, like a mother, can wait, can remain unmoving, only that mind can come to know one's own divinity.
Unless you can renounce the distractions of the outside objects, you cannot move withinward, because they will go on calling you again and again and again. It is just like you are meditating, but in the meditation room you are keeping your phone also. It goes on ringing again and again and again -- how can you meditate? You have to put your phone off the hook.
And it is not a question of one telephone. There are millions of objects around you -- millions of telephones ringing continuously when you are trying to meditate. A part of your mind says, "What are you doing? This is the time to go to the market, because this is the time the richest customer is to come. Why are you wasting your time sitting here doing nothing?" Another part of the mind says something else -- and there are a thousand and one pieces and fragments in the mind. They all go on ringing continuously to attract your attention. If this continues, pratyahar is not possible. How will you be able to go withinwards?
One has to drop the periphery interests, the distractions, only then return becomes possible.
"The fifth constituent of yoga, pratyahar -- returning to the source -- is the restoration of the mind's ability to control the senses by renouncing the distractions of outside objects." "By renouncing the distractions": how does one renounce the distractions? Can you simply take a vow that "Now I renounce my interest in riches," or, "my interest in women," "men"? Just by taking a vow it is not possible. In fact just the opposite will happen if you take a vow. If you say, "I renounce all my interest in women," then your mind will be much too filled with the pictures of women; you will visualize more. In fact, if you renounce by the will, you will be more in the mess. Many people have been doing that.
When old sannyasins come to me they always say, "What to do with sex? It goes on hammering in the mind, and it hammers more than before. And we have renounced, so what to do now?" The more you renounce, without understanding, just by the willpower, the more you will be in trouble.
Understanding is needed; will is not needed. Will is part of the ego.
And if you try to will something, you are already divided in two -- you start fighting. If you say,"I will not be interested in women," why are you saying it? If you are not really interested -- finished. What is the point of saying it? Why do you go in public to take a vow in some temple before some guru in a public ceremony? What is the point? If you are no longer interested you are no longer interested. Finished. Why make a show of it? Why be an exhibitionist? No, the need is different. You are not finished yet; in fact, you are deeply attracted.
But you are frustrated also. Every time you were in relationship you were frustrated. Frustration is there, attraction is there -- both are there, that is the misery. Now you are seeking some shelter where you can renounce it: you seek the society. If you renounce the interest in women before a big crowd, then your ego will say,"Now it is not good to move in that direction," because the whole society knows that you have taken a vow of brahmacharya. Now it is against your ego; now you have to fight for it.
And with whom are you fighting? -- your own sex, your will against your own sex. It is as if your left hand is fighting with your right hand. It is foolish; it is stupid. You will never be able to be victorious.
Then how does one renounce? One renounces by understanding, one renounces by experiencing, one renounces by maturity -- not by a vow. If you want to renounce anything, live it through and through. Don't be afraid and scared.
Move to the deepest point in it, so that you understand. Once a thing is understood, it can be dropped without any effort on the part of the will. If will is involved you will be in trouble. Never renounce anything willfully, with will.
Never use willpower to do anything; otherwise you will be in trouble. Will is one of the most misery-creating phenomenon in you.
Just by a tacit understanding know well that life is a school to be passed through, and don't be in a hurry. If still you feel that a lingering desire is there for money, it is better not to pray. Go, and accumulate money and be finished with it. It is nonsense, so if you have intelligence you will be finished soon. If you don't have intelligence enough then you will take a little more time: experience will give you intelligence. Experience is the only way; there is no other shortcut. It may take a long time, but nothing can be done -- man is helpless. He has to attain to intelligence through experience. And all that you know well can be dropped. In fact to say that it is dropped is not right: it drops by itself.
By renouncing the distractions of outside objects one becomes capable of pratyahar, returning home. Now there is no longer any interest in the outside world, so you don't move in a thousand and one directions. Now you would like to know yourself; the desire to know oneself replaces all other desires. Only one desire is left now: to know oneself.
Tatah parama vashyate indriyanam.
When you are returning home, inwards, suddenly you become the master. This is the beauty of the process. If you are moving outwards you remain a slave -- and a slave to millions of things. Your slavery is infinite, because infinite are the objects of your desire.
It happened: I was a teacher in a university. Just next to me a professor used to live. I have never come across such a miserly man; he was really extraordinary.
He had enough money; his father had left much. He and his wife lived alone.
Enough money, a big house, everything -- but he used such a bicycle that it was known all over the town.
That bicycle was something of a miracle. Nobody else could use it: it was in such a ruin it was impossible to use it. It was known all over the town that he never locked the bicycle, because there was no need -- nobody could steal it. People had tried, and returned it. He would go to the theater; he would leave the bicycle outside. He would not put it on the stand, because one anna would have to be paid. He would leave it anywhere, and after three hours when he would come, he would always find it there. It had no mudguards, no horn, no chain cover, and it made such a noise that you could hear from one mile that that professor was coming.
By and by, he became friendly with me. I suggested to him, "This is too much, and everybody laughs about your cycle. Why don't you get rid of it?"
He said, "What to do? I have been trying to sell it, but nobody is ready to purchase it."
"Nobody is ready to purchase it because it is not worth anything. You simply go and throw it in the river -- and thank God if somebody doesn't bring it back!" He said, "I will think about it." But he couldn't.
So, his next birthday was coming and I purchased a new cycle, the best that was available, and presented it to him. He was very happy. The next day I was waiting to see him on the new bicycle but he was again on the old. So I asked, "What is the matter?"
He said, "The cycle you have given to me is so beautiful, I cannot use it."
It became a worship object. He would clean it every day; I would see that he was cleaning it. He would clean it and polish it and do and.... Always it was there in his house as a showpiece, and he was running on his bicycle -- four, five miles going to the college; four, five miles coming to the market -- the whole day. It was impossible to persuade him to use it. He would say, "Today it is raining," "Today it is too hot," and, "I have just polished it. And you know how the students are -- they are mischievous -- somebody may scratch it. I will have to leave it outside the college, and somebody may scratch it and destroy it."
He never used it, and as far as I know he must be still worshipping it. There are people who are worshipping objects. I told that professor, "You are not the master of the cycle, the cycle has become master of you. In fact, I was thinking that I have given you a present of a cycle -- now I can say to the cycle,'I have given you the present of this professor.' " The cycle is the master.
If you desire things you are never the master, and that is the difference: you can be in a palace, but if you use it, it doesn't matter. You may be in a hut, but if you don't use it and the hut uses you, you may look poor to the people from the outside, but you are not: you are obsessed with possessions. A man can live in a palace and be a hermit; and a man can live in a hut and not be a hermit. The quality of being a hermit depends on the quality of your mastery. If you use things, it is good; but if you are used, you are behaving very stupidly.
Patanjali says, "Then comes the complete mastery over all the senses" -- and the objects of senses... only through pratyahar, when you become the most important thing in your life. Nothing is comparable to it. When everything can be sacrificed to your own self-knowledge, your being, when kingdoms are worthless -- if you have to choose between your inner kingdom and the kingdom of the outside you will choose your inner kingdom -- at that moment, for the first time, you are no longer a slave: you have become a master. In India for sannyasins, we have been using the word swami -- swami means "the master," the master of the senses.
Otherwise, you are all slaves -- and slaves of dead things, slaves of the material world.
And unless you become a master, you will not be beautiful. You will be ugly, you will remain ugly. Unless you become a master you will remain in hell. To be master of oneself is to enter heaven. That is the only paradise there is.
Pratyahar makes you that master. Pratyahar means: now you are not moving after the things, not chasing, hunting things. The same energy that was moving in the world is now moving towards the center. When the energy falls to the center, revelations upon revelations reveal. You become for the first time manifested to yourself -- you know who you are. And that knowledge, who I am, makes you a god.
Shakespeare's Hamlet is right when he says about man, "How godlike." Pavlov is wrong when he says about man, "How doglike." But, if you are chasing things, Pavlov is true, Hamlet wrong. If you are chasing things then Skinner is true, Lewis is wrong.
Let me repeat: "Man is being abolished," says C. S. Lewis. "Good riddance," says B. F. Skinner. "How like a god," says Shakespeare's Hamlet. "How like a dog," says Pavlov. It is for you to choose what you would like to be. If you go inward, you become a god. If you go outwards, Pavlov is true.