Extremist – In Gita Verse 6.16 There is no possibility of one’s becoming a yogī, O Arjuna, if one eats too much or eats too little, sleeps too much or does not sleep enough.
Krishna says that the person who is extremist or masochist cannot become yogi.
In my Bhagavad Gita Verse 2.61, I wrote how Masochists have converted Austerity into Self-Torture. In this verse I will be writing on Extremist.
The real man is completely without any attitude. It is very easy if you have been a pessimist for long: one day you realize that you are unnecessarily being unhappy, miserable, so you change the role. You slip into the role of an optimist. But now you have moved from one extreme to the other.
Through the example of rosebush let me explain to you how everything is joined together. Then we will have understanding of there is no need to move on the extreme, but to go beyond.
The rosebush is both the thorn and the rose; they are both joined together. They are not against, they are not enemies. In fact the thorns protect the flower. They are part of the whole organic being of the rosebush. And so is life. Good and bad are joined together; sinners and saints are joined together; birth and death are joined together. A real understanding happens when you have understood this, this polarity. And by understanding it, you have gone beyond it. Then you become tranquil – because there is nothing to be happy about and there is nothing to be unhappy about.
What Krishna says that extremists are the people who will be moving from one extreme to another. This kind of people they cannot turn towards themselves, towards meditation. The real man is completely without any attitude – they accept everything, they don’t go towards any extreme, they go beyond.
Remember, if you are happy, somewhere deep in the unconscious you are still carrying the possibility of unhappiness, because you can be happy only if you can be unhappy. Both possibilities exist together. They cannot be separated, they are two aspects of the same coin. So if you throw away one aspect, the other is also thrown. If you keep one aspect the other is also kept. If you become a pessimist in the conscious mind, you will be an optimist in the unconscious. If you are an optimist in the conscious mind, you will be a pessimist in the unconscious. One can become yogi only if he is ready to throw away both the possibility and ready to live in the middle. Who knew from his own experience happiness, unhappiness, exist together.
What Krishna is saying – Once you understand this subtle mechanism, that mind tends to be always moving towards extremes, you stop cooperating with the mind. Pessimist or an optimist, both are within the mind, and the real man of understanding is beyond it.
Every man is born with both possibilities. Unless he goes beyond it; and see the futility of both. Then only you will know what silence is: it is the complete absence of duality. So please avoid being extremists. Excess should always be avoided, because excess is the root of all untruth. In fact, there are no lies in the world, only half-truths and truth. All half-truths are lies; and the truth is not half, it is whole.
The mind tends to be always moving towards the extreme – so you are moving towards the height, then you are moving towards the valley, going up then coming down. Like a yo-yo you go on, and you never become aware that both are useless. Like a pendulum of an old clock you move from one extreme to another. Once the pendulum stops in the middle, the clock stops. Once you stop in the middle, time disappears. Then you are no more part of this world. The clock stops…then you are part of eternity. Watch the pendulum moving from left to right, from right to left. A very strange thing is happening. When the pendulum is going to the right, you see it as going to the right.
Ask the mechanic: he will say that when the pendulum is going to the right it is gaining momentum to go to the left; when it is going to the left it is gaining momentum to go to the right. So when you are unhappy, you are gaining momentum to be happy. When you are happy, you are gaining momentum to be unhappy. When you are loving you are gaining momentum to be hateful, and when you are hateful you are gaining momentum to be loving.
Once you understand this subtle mechanism, that mind tends to be always moving towards extremes, you stop cooperating with the mind. Pessimist or an optimist, both are within the mind, and the real man of understanding is beyond it.