Periphery and Center




Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Yoga Yoga Sutras of Patanjali



Book 1, Sutra 40


Book 1, Sutra 41


WHAT IS MIND? Mind is not a thing, but an event. A thing has substance in it, an event is just a process. A thing is like the rock; an event is like the wave: it exists, but is not substantial. It is just the event between the wind and the ocean; a process, a phenomenon.

This is the first thing to be understood: that mind is a process, like a wave or like a river, but it has no substance in it. If it has substance, then it can not be dissolved. If it has no substance it can disappear without leaving a single trace behind. When a wave disappears into the ocean, what is left behind? Nothing, not even a trace. So those who have known, they say mind is like a bird flying into the sky -- no footprints are left behind, not even a trace. The bird flies but leaves no path, no footprints.

The mind is just a process. In fact, mind doesn't exist, only thoughts, thoughts moving so fast that you think and feel that something is existing there in continuity. One thought comes, another thought comes, another, and they go on. The gap is so small you cannot see the gap between one thought and another. So two thoughts become joined, they become a continuity, and because of that continuity you think there is a mind. There are thoughts -- no mind -- just as there are electrons, no matter. Thought is the electron of the mind. Just like a crowd... a crowd exists in a sense, doesn't exist in another; only individuals exist. But many individuals together give the feeling as if they are one. A nation exists and exists not; only individuals are there. Individuals are the electrons of a nation, of a community, of a crowd.

Thoughts exist, mind doesn't exist. Mind is just the appearance. And when you look into the mind deeper, it disappears. Then there are thoughts, but when the mind has disappeared and individual thoughts exist, many things are immediately solved. First thing: immediately you come to know that thoughts are like clouds -- they come and go -- and you are the sky. When there is no mind, immediately the perception comes that you are no more involved in the thoughts. Thoughts are there, passing through you like clouds passing through the sky, or the wind passing through the trees. Thoughts are passing through you, and they can pass because you are a vast emptiness. There is no hindrance, no obstacle. No wall exists to prevent them.

You are not a walled pheneomenon. Your sky is the infinitely open; thoughts come and go. And once you start feeling taht thoughts come and go and you are the watcher, the witness, the mind is in control.

Mind cannot be controlled. In the first place, because it is not, how can you control it? In the second place, who will control the mind? Because nobody exists beyond the mind. and when I say nobody exists, I mean that nobody exists beyond the mind -- a nothingness. Who will control the mind? If somebody is controlling the mind, then it will be only a part, fragment of the mind controlling another fragment of the mind. That is what the ego is.

Mind cannot be controlled in that way. It is not, and there is nobody to control it. The inner emptiness can see, but cannot control. It can look, but cannot control. But the very look is the control, the very phenomenon of observation, of witnessing, becomes the control because the mind disappears. It is just like in a dark night, you are running fast because you have become afraid of somebody following you, and that somebody is nobody but your own shadow. and the more you run, the more the shadow is closer to you. Howsoever fast you run makes no difference; the shadow is there. whenever you look back, the shadow is there. That is not the way to escape from it, and that is not the way to control it. You will have to look deeper into the shadow. Stand still and look deeper into the shadow; the shadow disappears because the shadow is not; it is just an absence of light. Mind is nothing but the absence of your presence. When you sit silently, when you look deep in the mind, mind simply disappears. Thoughts will remain, they are existential, but mind will not be found.

But when the mind is gone then a second perception becomes possible: you can see thoughts are not yours. Of course they come, and sometimes they rest a little while in you, and then they go. You may be a resting place, but they don't originate in you. Have you ever watched that not even a single thought has arisen out of you? Not a single thought has come through your being. They always come from the outside. They don't belong to you. Rootless, homeless they hover. Sometimes they rest in you, that's all; a cloud resting on top of a hill. Then they will move on their own; you need not do anything. If you simply watch, control is attained.

The word control is not very good, because words cannot be very good. Words belong to the mind, to the world of thoughts. Words cannot be very, very penetrating; they are shallow. The word control is not good because there is nobody to control and there is nobody to be controlled. But tentatively, it helps to understand a certain thing which happens. When you look deeply, mind is controlled. Suddenly you have become the master. Thoughts are there but they are no more masters of you, they cannot do anything to you; they simply come and go. You remain untouched just like a lotus flower amidst rainfall: drops of water fall on the petals but they go on slipping, they don't even touch. The lotus remains untouched.

That's why in the East lotus became so much significant, became so much symbolic. The greatest symbol that has come out of the East is the lotus. It carries the whole meaning of the eastern consciousness. It says, "Be like a lotus, that's all. Remain untouched, and you are in control. Remain untouched and you are the master."

Few things more about the mind before we can enter Patanjali's sutras. From one standpoint, mind is like waves -- a disturbance. When the ocean is calm and quiet, undisturbed, the waves are not there. When the ocean is disturbed in a tide or strong wind, when tremendous waves arise and whole surface is just a chaos, mind from one standpoint... These are all metaphors just to help you to understand certain quality inside which cannot be said through words. These metaphors are poetic. If you try to understand them with sympathy, you will attain to an understanding. But if you try to understand them logically, you will miss the point. They are metaphors.

Mind is a disturbance of consciousness, just like an ocean with waves is a disturbance. Something foreign has entered -- the wind. Something from the outside has happened to the ocean, or to the consciousness -- the thoughts, or the wind, and there is a chaos. But the chaos is always on the surface. The waves are always on the surface. There are no waves in the depth -- cannot be because in the depth the wind cannot enter. So everything is just on the surface. If you move inwards, control is attained. If you move inwards from the surface you go to the center; suddenly, the surface may still be disturbed but you are not disturbed.

The whole yoga is nothing but centering, moving towards the center, getting rooted there, abiding there. And from there the whole perspective changes. Now still the waves may be there, but they don't reach you. And now you can see they don't belong to you, just a conflict on the surface with something foreign. And from the center, when you look, by and by, the conflict ceases. By and by, you relax. By and by, you accept that of course there is strong wind and waves will arise; you are not worried, and when you are not worried even waves can be enjoyed. Nothing is wrong in them. The problem arises because you are also on the surface. You are in a small boat on the surface and strong wind comes and it is tide, and the whole ocean goes mad. Of course, you are worried; you are scared to death. You are in danger. Any moment the waves can throw your small boat; any moment death can occur. What you can do with your small boat? How can you control? If you start fighting with the waves you will be defeated. Fight won't help. You will have to accept the waves. In fact, if you can accept the waves and let your boat, howsoever small, move with them not against them, then there is no danger.

That is the meaning of Tilopa -- "loose and natural". Waves are there; you simply allow. You simply allow yourself to move with them, not against them. You become part of them. Then tremendous happiness happens. That is the whole art of surfing: moving with the waves -- not against, with them -- so much so that you are not different from them. Surfing can become a great meditation. It can give you glimpses of the inner because it is not a fight, it is a let-go. Once you know that even waves can be enjoyed -- and that can be known when you look the whole phenomenon from the center.

Just like you are a traveler and clouds have gathered, and there is much lightning, and you have forgotten where you are moving; you have forgotten the path and you are hurrying towards home. This is what is happening on the surface: a traveler lost; many clouds, much lightning... Soon, there will be tremendous rain. You are seeking home, the safety of the home. Then suddenly you reach home. Now you sit inside, now you wait for the rains, now you can enjoy. Now the lightning has a beauty of its own. It was not so when you were outside, lost in a forest. But now, sitting inside the house the whole phenomenon is tremendously beautiful. Now the rain comes and you enjoy. Now the lightning is there and you enjoy, and great thunder in the clouds, and you enjoy, because now you are safe inside. Once you reach to the center, you start enjoying whatsoever happens on the surface. So the whole thing is not to fight on the surface, but rather slip into the center. Then there is a control, and a control which has not been forced, a control which happens spontaneously when you are centered.

Centering in consciousness is the control of the mind. So don't try to control the mind. The language can mislead you. Nobody can control, and those who try to control, they will go mad; they will simply go neurotic, because trying to control the mind is nothing but a part of the mind trying to control another part of the mind.

Who are you who is trying to control? You are also a wave, a religious wave of course, trying to control. And there are irreligious waves. There is sex and there is anger and there is jealousy and possessiveness and hatred, and millions of waves, irreligious. And then there are religious waves: meditation, love, compassion. But these are all on the surface of the surface. And on the surface, religious, irreligious doesn't make any difference.

Religion is at the center and in the perspective that happens through the center. Sitting inside your horn you look at your own surface. Everything changes b cause your perspective is new. Suddenly you are control. In fact, you are so much in control that you c leave the surface uncontrolled. This is subtle. You are much in control, so much rooted, not worried about I surface... In fact you would like the waves and I tides and the storm -- it is beautiful, it gives energy, it a strength -- there is nothing to be worried about it; on weaklings worry about thoughts. Only weaklings worry about the mind. Stronger people simply absorb, the whole, and they are richer for it. Stronger people simply never reject anything. Rejection is out of weakness -- you are afraid. Stronger people would like to ab sorb everything that life gives. Religious, irreligious moral, immoral, divine, devil -- makes no difference; stronger person absorbs everything, and he is richer fo it. He has a totally different depth Ordinary religious people cannot have; they are poor and shallow.

Watch ordinary religious people going to the temple and to the mosque and to the church. You will always find very, very shallow people with no depth. Because they have rejected parts of themselves, they have be come crippled. They are in a certain way paralyzed.

Nothing is wrong in the mind, nothing is wrong the thoughts. If anything is wrong, it is remaining on the surface, because then you don't know the whole and unnecessarily suffer because of the part and the part perception. A whole perception is needed, and that possible only from the center, because from the center you can look all around in all dimensions, all direction the whole periphery of your being. And it is vast. I] fact, it is the same as the periphery of existence. Once you are centered, by and by you become wider and wider and bigger and bigger, and you end with being brahman, not less than that.

From another standpoint, mind is like dust a traveller gathers on his clothes. And you have been traveling, and traveling and traveling for millions of lives and never taken a bath. Much dust has collected, naturally  -- nothing wrong in it; has to be so -- layers of dust and you think those layers are your personality. You have become so much identified with them, you have lived with those layers of dust so long they look like your skin. You have become identified.

Mind is the past, the memory, the dust. Everybody has to gather it. If you travel you will gather dust. But no need to be identified with it, no need to become one with it, because if you become one, then you will be in trouble because you are not the dust, you are consciousness. Says Omar Khayyam, "Dust unto dust". When a man dies, what happens? -- dust returns unto dust. If you are just dust, then everything will return to the dust, nothing will be left behind. But are you just dust, layers of dust, or is something inside you which is not dust at all, not of the earth at all? That's your consciousness, your awareness.

Awareness is your being, consciousness is your being, and the dust that awareness collects around it is your mind. There are two ways to deal with this dust. The ordinary religious way is to clean the clothes, rub your body hard. But those methods cannot help much. Howsoever you clean your clothes, the clothes have become so dirty they are beyond redemption; you cannot clean them. On the contrary, whatsoever you do may make them more unclean.

It happened: Mulla Nasruddin came once to me, and he is a drunkard. His hands shake eating, drinking tea; everything falls on his clothes, so all his clothes were stained with tea and pan, and this and that. So I told Nasruddin, "Why don't you go to the chemist and find something? There are solutions and these stains can be washed."

So he went. After seven days he came back; his clothes were in a worse condition, worse than before. I asked, 'What is the matter? Didn't you go to the chemist?" He said, "I went. And that chemical solution wonderful -- it works. All the stains of tea and pan gone. Now I need another solution because that solution has left its own stains."

Religious people supply you soaps and chemical solutions how to wipe, how to wash the dirt, but then those solutions leave their own stains. That's why an immoral person can become moral, but remains dirty, now in moral way, but remains dirty. Even sometimes the situation is worse than before.

An immoral man is in many ways innocent, less egoistic. A moral man has all the immorality inside the mind. And new things that he has gathered: those are the moralistic, the puritan, egoistic attitudes. He feels superior. He feels he is the chosen one and everybody else is condemned to hell. Only he is going to heaven. And all the immorality remains inside, because you cannot control mind from the surface -- there is no way. It simply doesn't happen that way. Only one control exists, and that is the perception from the center.

Mind is like a dust gathered through millions journeys. The real religious standpoint, the radical religious standpoint against the ordinary, is to simply throw the clothes. Don't bother to wash them, the cannot be washed. Simply move like a snake out of his old skin and don't even look back. This is what exactly yoga is: how to get rid of your personalities. Those personalities are the clothes.

This word "personality" is very interesting. It come from a Greek root persona. It means the mask that actors used in ancient Greece, in drama, to hide the face. That mask is called persona, and you have personality out of it. Personality is the mask, not you. Personality a false face, to show it to others. And through man lives and many experiences you have created many personalities, clothes; they have all become dirty. You have used them too much, and because of them the original face is completely lost.

You don't know what is your original face. You are deceiving others and you have become a victim of your own deceptions. Drop all personalities, because if you cling to the personality you will remain on the surface. Drop all personalities and be just natural, and then you can flow towards the center. And once from the center you look then there is no mind. In the beginning thoughts continue, but by and by, without your cooperation, they come less and less. And when your all cooperation is lost, when you simply don't cooperate with them, they stop coming to you. Not that they are no more; they are there, but they don't come to you.

Thoughts come only as invited guests. They never come uninvited, remember this. Sometimes you think, "This thought I never invited," but you must be wrong. In some way, sometime -- you may have forgotten about it completely -- you must have invited it. Thoughts never come uninvited. You first invite them; only then they come. When you don't invite, sometimes just because of old habit, because you have been an old friend, they may knock at your door. But if you don't cooperate, by and by they forget about you, they don't come to you. And when thoughts stop coming on their own, this is the control. Not that you control thoughts  -- simply you reach to an inner shrine of your being, and thoughts are controlled by themselves.

From still another standpoint, mind is the past, the memory, all the experiences accumulated, in a sense: all that you have done, all that you have thought, all that you desired, all that you dreamed -- everything, your total past, your memory. Memory is mind. And unless you get rid of memory, you will not be able to control mind.

How to get rid of memory? It is always there following you. In fact, you are the memory, so how to get rid of it? Who are you except your memories? When I ask, "Who are you?" you tell me your name. That is your memory. Your parents gave you that name some time back. I ask you, "Who are you?" and you tell about your family: your father, your mother. That is a memory. I ask you, "Who are you?" and you tell me about your education, your degrees: that you have done the degree of Master of Arts, or you are a Ph.D., or you are an engineer or an architect. That is a memory.

When I ask you, "Who are you?" if really you look inside, your only answer can be, "I don't know." Whatsoever you will say will be the memory, not you. The only real authentic answer can be, "I don't know," because to know oneself is the last thing. I can answer who I am, but I will not answer. You cannot answer, "Who are you?" but you are ready with the answer.

Those who know, they keep silent about this. Because if all the memory is discarded, and all the language is discarded, then who I am cannot be said. I can look into you, I can give you a gesture; I can be with you with my total being -- that is my answer. But the answer cannot be given in words because whatsoever is given in words will be part of memory, part of mind, not of consciousness.

How to get rid of the memories? Watch them, witness them. And always remember that, "This has happened to me, but this is not me. Of course you were born in a certain family, but this is not you; it has happened to you, an event outside of you. Of course somebody has given a name to you. It has its utility but the name is not you. Of course, you have a form, but the form is not you. The form is just the house you happen to be in. The form is just the body that you happen to be in. And the body is given to you by your parents. It is a gift, but not you.

Watch and discriminate. This is what in the East they call vivek, discrimination: you discriminate continuously. Keep on discriminating -- a moment comes when you have eliminated all that you are not. Suddenly, in that state, you for the first time face yourself, you encounter your own being. Go on cutting all identities that you are not: the family, the body, the mind. In that emptiness, when everything that was not you has been thrown out, suddenly your being surfaces. For the first time you encounter yourself, and that encounter becomes the control.

The "control" word is really ugly. I would not like to use it, but I cannot do anything because Patanjali uses it -- because in the very word it seems somebody is controlling somebody else. Patanjali knows, and later on he will say that you attain to real samadhi only when there is no control and no controller. Now we should enter into the sutras.


When the activity of the mind is under control... Now you understand what I mean by "under control": that you are at the center and you look at the mind from there; that you are sitting inside the house and you look at the clouds, and the thunder, and the lightning and the rain from there; that you have dropped all your clothes  -- dusty clothes and dirty clothes -- because in fact there are no clothes, only layers of dirt, so you cannot clean them. You have thrown them out, thrown them away. You are simply naked and nude in your being. Or, you have eliminated all that with which you have become identified. Now you don't say who you are: form, name, family, body, mind, everything has been eliminated. Only that is there which cannot be eliminated.

That is the method of the Upanishads. They call it neti-neti. They say, "I am not this, nor that," and they go on and on and on... A moment comes when only the witness has remained, and the witness cannot be denied. That is the last stratum of your being, the very core of it. You cannot deny it because who will deny i Now two doesn't exist, only one. Then there is control Then the activity of the mind is under control.

So it is not like a small child forced by the parents i the corner and they have told, "Sit there silently" -- looks under control, but he is not. He looks under control, but he is restless, forced, but inside -- great turmoil.

A small child was forced by the mother. He was running all around, and then three times she told him to sit silently. Then for the fourth time -- the last ultimate -- she said, "Now you sit silently or should I come and beat you?" -- and children understand when the mother really means. So he understood. He sat there, but he told her that, "I am sitting outsidedly, but inside I am still running."

You can force your mind to sit outwardly; inside it will go on running. In fact, it will run faster because mind resists control. Everybody resists control. No, that is not the way. You can kill yourself in that way but you cannot attain to the eternal life. That is a sort of crippling. When Buddha is sitting silently there is no inward running, no. In fact, inside he has become silent, and that silence has overflown to his outside, not the reverse.

You try to force yourself to be silent on the outside, and you think that by silencing the outside, the inner will become silent. You simply don't understand the science of silence. Inside if you are silent, the outside will be overflowed by it. It simply follows the inside. The periphery follows the center, but you cannot make th center follow the periphery -- that is impossible. So always remember the whole religious search is from the inside towards the outside, and not vice-versa.


When there is perfect silence, you are rooted and centered inside, just watching whatsoever is happening. The birds are singing, the noise will be heard; the traffic is there on the road, the noise will be heard. And just the same, your inner traffic of the mind is there -- words, thoughts, an inner talk. The traffic will be heard but you sit silently, not doing anything -- a subtle indifference. You just look indifferently. You don't bother this way or that; whether thoughts come or not, it is the same for you. You are neither interested for nor interested against. You simply sit and the traffic of the mind goes on. If you can sit indifferently... will be difficult, will take time -- but once you know the knack of being indifferent... It is not a technique, it is a knack. A technique can be learned, a knack cannot be learned. You have simply to sit and feel it. A technique can be taught, a knack cannot be taught; you have simply to sit and feel. Someday in the right moment when you are silent, suddenly you know how it happened, how you became indifferent. Even for a single moment the traffic was there and you were indifferent, and suddenly the distance was vast between you and your mind. The mind was at the other end of the world. That distance shows that you were at the center at that moment. If you have come to feel the knack, then anytime, anywhere, you can simply slip out to the center. You can drop in and immediately an indifference, a vast indifference surrounds you. In that indifference you remain untouched by the mind. You become the master.

Indifference is the way to become the master, and the mind is controlled. Then what happens? When you are at the center, the confusion of the mind disappears. The confusion is because you are at the periphery. Mind is not really the confusion; mind plus you at the periphery is the confusion. When you move inwards, by and by, you see that mind is losing its confusion. Things are settling, things are falling in line. A certain order arises.


All the disturbance, confusion, criss-crossing thought currents, they all settle. This is very difficult to understand that because of you at the periphery is the whole confusion. And you, in your wisdom, are trying to settle the confusion by remaining there at the periphery.

I have been talking about a small story many times: Buddha is moving on a road and it is noon and it is very hot and he feels thirsty. And he says to his disciple Ananda that, "You go back. We crossed a small stream just two, three miles back. You bring some water for me." So Buddha rests under a tree, Ananda goes to the stream. But now it is difficult because just when he was reaching near it, few bullock carts passed across the stream. The stream is very shallow and small. Because of the bullock carts passing it, it has become dirty. All the dirt that was settled underneath has surfaced -- old dry leaves, and every type of dirt is there. The water is not drinkable. Ananda tries the same as you would try -- he entered the stream and tried to settle things so that the water can become clean again. He dirtied it more. What to do? He came back and he said, "That water is not drinkable, and I know a certain river ahead. I will go and fetch water from there." But Buddha insisted; he said, "You go back. I want the water from that stream." When Buddha insists, what Ananda can do? Reluctantly he went again. Suddenly he understood the point, because by the time he reached half the dirt has settled again. Without anybody trying to settle it, on its own accord it has settled. He understood the point.

Then he sat under a tree and watched the stream flow by because half the dirt is still there, few dry leaves are still on the surface. He waited. He waited and watched and he did nothing, and soon the water was crystal clear, the dead leaves have gone and the dirt has gone back to the bottom. He came running and dancing. He fell in Buddha's feet and he said, "I understood -- and that's what I have been doing with my mind my whole life. Now I will just sit under a tree and let the stream of mind pass by, let it settle itself. Now I will not jump in the stream and try to make things... try to bring an order."

Nobody can bring order to the mind. The very bringing of the order creates chaos. If you can watch and wait, and you can look indifferently, things settle by themselves. There is a certain law: things cannot remain unsettled for a long time. This law you have to remember. It is one of the foundations, very fundamental, that things cannot remain unsettled in a state for long because unsettled state is not natural. It is unnatural. A settled state of things is natural; an unsettled state of things is not natural. So the unnatural can happen for a time being, but it cannot remain forever. In your hurry, in your impatience, you may make things worse.

In Japan they have a certain method, in Zen monasteries, for treating mad people. In the West they have not yet been able to find anything. They are still groping in the dark. Even ordinary crazy people seem to be beyond help. And psychoanalysis takes three years, five years, seven years. And then too, nothing much comes out of it. You dig the whole Himalaya and you don't find even a mouse coming out of it. So only very rich people can afford it, as a luxury. Psychoanalysis is a luxury. People brag about it, that they have been psychoanalyzed by a very great psychoanalyst -- for five years continuously they were psychoanalyzed, as if it is something of an attainment -- and nothing happens. People go from one psychoanalyst to another.

In Japan they have a very simple method. If somebody goes mad he is brought to the monastery. They have a very small cottage separate from the monastery, in a corner. The man is left there. Nobody takes much interest in him -- never take much interest in a madman, because interest becomes the food -- a madman wants the attention of the whole world; that's why he is mad. In the first place, he is mad because he demands attention. That has led him to madness.

So nobody takes much... They care, but they don't give attention. They give him food and they make him comfortable, but nobody goes to talk to him. Even the people who will bring food and other needs will not talk to him. He is not allowed to talk because mad people like talking. In fact, too much talking has led them to this state.

It is just the opposite of psychoanalysis: psychoanalyst goes on talking and he allows the patient to talk for hours, and the mad people enjoy it very much -- and somebody so attentively listening -- it is beautiful!

Nobody talks in the Zen monastery to the madman. Nobody pays any attention, any special attention. In a subtle indifference, they take care, that's all. For three weeks nobody talks to him, and because nobody talks he can talk to himself, that's all. And he relaxes, sits or silently lies down on the bed, and does nothing -- no treatment in fact -- and within three weeks he is completely okay.

Now the western psychoanalysts have become interested, because this is impossible -- just leaving the madman to himself. But this is the Buddhist attitude, the attitude of the yogis: to leave things, because nothing can remain unsettled for long if you leave it to itself. If you don't leave it, it can remain unsettled for long because you will be continuously unsettling it again and again.

Nature abhors chaos. Nature loves order. Nature is all for order, so chaos can only be a temporary state. If you can understand this, then don't do anything with the mind. Let this mad mind be left to itself. You simply watch. Don't pay any attention. Remember: in watching and in paying attention there is a difference. When you pay attention, you are too much interested. When you simply watch, you are indifferent.

Upeksha, Buddha calls: indifference -- absolute total indifference. Just sitting by the side, and the river flows by and things settle and dirt goes back to the bottom i, and the dry leaves have flown. Suddenly, the stream is crystal clear.

This is what Patanjali says:


And when the mind becomes like pure crystal, three things are reflected in it.


... the object, the subject, and the relation between the two.

When the mind is perfectly clear, has become an order, is no more a confusion, things have settled, three things are reflected in it. It becomes a mirror, a three dimensional mirror. The outside world, the world of objects is reflected. The inside world, the world of subjectivity, consciousness, is reflected. And the relationship -- and between the two, the perception... and without distortion.

It is because of you meddling too much in the mind the distortion comes in. What is the distortion? Mind is a simple mechanism, just like the eyes; you look through the eyes and the world is reflected. But the eyes have only one dimension: they can reflect only the world, they cannot reflect you. The mind is a very three dimensional phenomenon, very deep. It reflects all, and without distortion. Ordinarily it distorts. Whenever you see a thing, if you are not different from the mind the thing will be distorted. You will see something else. You will mix your perception in it, your ideas. You will not look at it in a purity of vision. You will look with the ideas, and your ideas will become projected on it.

In an African tribe if you are born, you think that thin lips are not beautiful; thick... In many African tribes they go on making lips thicker and thicker. They make all devices to make the lips thicker and thicker, particularly women, because thick lips are beautiful that is the idea. In the whole history of the race they have maintained it. If a girl is born with a thin lip, she feels inferior.

In India they love thin lips. If they are a little thicker you are thought ugly. And these ideas go inside the mind, and these ideas become so deep-rooted that they distort your vision. Neither thin lips nor thick lips are beautiful nor ugly. Beautiful and ugly are in fact distortions. They are your ideas, and then you mix them in the reality.

There have existed tribes which don't value gold at all. When they don't value gold at all, they are not gold-obsessed. Then the whole world is there, gold-obsessed: just the idea and the gold becomes very valuable

In the world of things, reality, nothing is more valuable or less valuable. Valuation is brought by the mind, by you. Nothing is beautiful, nothing is ugly. Things are as they are. In their suchness they exist. But when you are on the surface and get mixed with the ideas, and you start saying, This is my idea of beauty. This is my idea of truth" -- then everything is distorted.

When you move to the center and the mind is left alone, and you watch from the center at the mind, you are no more identified with it. By and by, all ideas disappear. Mind becomes crystal clear. And in the mirror three dimensional mirror of the mind, the whole is reflected: the object, the subject, and the perception, the perceiver, the perception, and the perceived.



There are two types of samadhis: one Patanjali calls savitarka, the other he calls nirvikalpa, or nirvitarka. These are two states. First one achieves savitarka samadhi, that is, the logical mind is still functioning -- samadhi, yet based on the rational attitude -- the reason is still functioning, you are making discriminations. This is not the highest samadhi, just the first step. But that too is very, very difficult because that too will need a little going towards the center.

Just for example: the periphery is there, where you are right now, and the center is there, where I am right now, and between the two, just in the middle, is savitarka samadhi. It means you have moved away from the surface, but you have not reached the center yet. You have moved away from the surface, but still the center is far away. Just in the middle you are; still something of the old is functioning, and something of the new has entered -- halfway. And what will be the situation of this halfway state of consciousness?


He will not be able yet to differentiate what is real because the real can be known only from the center. There is no other way to know it. He cannot know what is real knowledge. Something of the real is filtering in, because he has moved from the surface, has come closer to the center, not yet centered, yet has come closer. Something of the center is filtering in -- some perceptions, some glimpses of the center, but the old mind still is there, not completely gone. A distance is there but the old mind still goes on functioning. The yogi is still unable to differentiate between the real knowledge...

Real knowledge is that knowledge when the mind does not distort at all, when the mind has completely disappeared in a sense. It has become so transparent that whether it is there or not makes no difference. Ir t e mid-state, the yogi is in a very deep confusion. The confusion comes: something from the real, something from his knowledge that he has gathered in the past from words, scriptures, teachers -- that too there. Something from his own reasoning what is right and what is wrong, what is true and what is false, and something from his sense perceptions -- eyes, ears, nose -- everything Is there, mixed.

This is the state where the yogi can go mad. If there is nobody to take care in this state, the yogi can go mad because so many dimensions meeting and such a great confusion and chaos... It is a greater chaos than he was ever in when he was on the surface, because something new has come in.

From the center now some glimpses are coming towards him, and he cannot know whether it is coming from the knowledge that he has gathered from the scriptures. Sometimes he suddenly feels aham brahamasmi "I am God." Now he is unable to differentiate whether this is coming from the Upanishad that he has been reading, or he himself has reasoned it out. It is a rational conclusion that, "I am part of the whole and the whole is God, so of course I am God"... whether it is a logical syllogism or it is coming from sense perceptions.

Because sometimes, when you are very quiet and the doors of the senses are clear, this feeling arises of being a go. Listening to music, suddenly you are no more a human being. If your ears are ready and if you have the musical perception, suddenly you are elevated to a different plane. Making love to a woman you love -- suddenly, in the peak of the orgasm, you feel you have become a god. It can happen through sense perceptions It can happen through reasoning. It may be coming from the Upanishads, from the scriptures you have been reading, or it may be coming from the center. And the man who is in the middle doesn't know from where it is coming. From all the directions millions of things are happening -- strange, unknown, known. One can be in a real mess.

That's why schools are needed where many people are working. Because these are not the only three points. Between the periphery and the center, there are many. A school means where many people of many categories live together. Just a school: the first grade people are there, the second grade people are there, the third grade people are there; the primary school, the middle school, the high school, then the university. A perfect school is from the kindergarten to the university. Somebody exists there at the very end, on the center, who becomes the center of the school.

And then many people, because they can be helpful... you can help somebody who is just behind you. A person from the high school can come to the primary school and teach. A small boy from the primary school can go to the kindergarten and help. A school means: from the periphery to the center, there are many stages, many points. A school means: where all types of people exist together in a deep harmony, as a family from the very first to the very last, from the beginning to the very end, from the alpha to the omega. Much help is possible that way, because you can help somebody who is behind you. You can say to him, "Don't be worried. Just go on. This comes and settles by itself. Don't get too much involved in it. Remain indifferent. It comes and it goes -- somebody to stretch a hand to help you. And a Master is needed who can look through all the stages, from the very top to the very valley, who can have a total perception of all the possibilities.

Otherwise, in this stage of savitarka samadhi, many become mad. Or, many become so scared they run away from the center and start clinging to the periphery, because there is at least some type of order. At least the unknown doesn't enter there, the strange doesn't come there. You are familiar; strangers don't knock at your door.

But one who has reached to savitarka samadhi if he goes back to the periphery, nothing will be solved never he can be the same again; never he can belong to the periphery now, so that is not of much help. He will never be a part of the periphery. And he will be there more and more confused, because once you have known something, how can you help yourself not to know it? Once you have known, you have known. You can avoid, you can close your eyes, but it is still there and it will haunt you your whole life.

If the school is not there and a Master is not there you will become a very problematic case. In the world you cannot belong, the market doesn't make any sense to you; and beyond the world you are afraid to move.


Nirvitarka samadhi is reaching to the center: logic disappears, scriptures are no more meaningful, sense perceptions cannot deceive you. When you are at the center, suddenly everything is self-evidently true. This word has to be understood -- "self-evidently true". Truths are there on the periphery, but they are never self-evident. Some proof is needed, some reasoning is needed. If you say something, you have to prove it. If on the periphery you say "God is," you will have to prove it, to yourself, to others. On the center God is, self-evidently. You don't need any proof. What proof is needed when your eyes are open and you can see the sun rising? But for a man who is blind, proof is needed. What proof is needed when you are in love? You know it is there; it is self-evident. Others may demand proof. How can you give them any proof? The man at the center becomes the proof; he doesn't give any proof. Whatsoever he knows is self-evident. It is so. He has not reached towards it as a conclusion of a reasoning. It is not a syllogism, he has not concluded; simply it is so. He has known.

That's why in Upanishads there are no proofs, in Patanjali there are no proofs. Patanjali simply describes, gives no proof. This is the difference: when a man knows, he simply describes; when a man doesn't know, first he proves that it is so. Those who have known, they simply give the description of that unknown. They don't give any proofs.

In the West, Christian saints have given proofs for God. In the East, we laugh about it because it is ridiculous. Man trying to prove God is ridiculous. How can you prove? And when you prove something like God, you invite people to disprove it. And because of these Christian saints who try to prove God, the whole West became by and by anti-God, because people always can disprove. Logic is a double-edged sword; it cuts both the ways. If you prove anything, it can be disproved, it can be argued against. Because of Christian saints who try to prove God, the whole West has become atheistic. In the East, we have never tried, we have never given any proof. Look at the Upanishads -- not a single proof exists. They simply say, "God is." If you want to know, you can know. If you don't want to know, it is your choice. But there is no proof for it.

That state is nirvitarka samadhi, samadhi without any reasoning. That samadhi becomes for the first time existential. But that also is not the last. One more final step exists. We will be talking about it later on.


Next: Chapter 4, The un-minding of being: First Question


Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Yoga Yoga Sutras of Patanjali




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