The Third – In Gita Verse 6.46 A yogī is greater than the ascetic, greater than the empiricist and greater than the fruitive worker. Therefore, O Arjuna, in all circumstances, be a yogī.
Krishna is saying that yogi is greater than the ascetic as he used the yoga as practice to go beyond the body and mind and enters into meditations. So be yogi, go beyond body and mind.
In my Bhagavad Gita Verse 6.18, blog I wrote Yoga Science Of Union. I also wrote that according to Patanjali the first part belongs to the body. But he was not clearly aware that millions of people would remain entangled with the first part. Hence yoga has become synonymous with yoga postures: people standing on their heads and doing all sorts of contortions. That has become synonymous with yoga.
When yogi has gone beyond the body and beyond the mind, then the third, meditation, happens.
The first layer: the body
There are many possibilities within you, layer upon layer. The first layer is of the body. If you get identified with the body, you are getting identified with the temporal, the momentary. Then there is bound to be fear of death.
The body is a flux, like a river – continuously changing, moving. It has nothing of the eternal in it. Each moment the body is changing. In fact, the body is dying every moment. It is not that after seventy years suddenly one day you die. The body dies every day. Death continues for seventy years; it is a process.
Death is not an event; it is a long process. By and by, by and by, the body comes to a point where it cannot hold itself. It disintegrates. If you are identified with the body, of course the fear will be constantly there that death is approaching. You can live, but you can live only in fear. And what type of life is possible when one’s foundations are constantly shaking and one is sitting on a volcano and death is possible at any moment?
The second layer: the mind
Then there is a second layer within you: that of the mind – which is even more temporal and more fleeting than the body. Mind is also continuously disintegrating. Mind is the inner part of the body and the body is the outer part of the mind. These are not two things. Mind and body is not a right expression. The right expression is mind-body. You are psychosomatic. Not that the body exists and the mind exists. The body is the gross mind, and the mind is the subtle body… aspects of the same coin – one outer, the second inner.
…Real life is beyond both body and mind. You are in the body, you are in the mind, but you are neither. The body is your outer shell, the mind is your inner shell, but you are beyond both. This insight is the beginning of real life. How to start this insight? That’s what meditation is all about.
To move beyond body and mind, we can start from sickness and health….
Start witnessing. Sometimes the body is healthy; sometimes the body is ill. Watch, just watch, and suddenly you will have a sense of a totally different quality of being. You are not the body. The body is ill, of course, but you are not ill. The body is healthy, but it has nothing to do with you. You are a witness, a watcher on the hills… far beyond. Of course, tethered to the body, but not identified with the body; rooted in the body, but always beyond and transcending.
The first meditation is to separate yourself from the body. And by and by, when you become more acute in your observation of the body, start observing the thoughts that continuously go on within your mind. But first watch the body; because it is gross it can be observed more easily and will not need much awareness. Once you become attuned, then start watching the mind. Whatsoever can be watched becomes separate from you. Whatsoever you can witness, you are not it. You are the witnessing consciousness. The witnessed is the object; you are the subjectivity.
The body, and the mind also, remain far away when you become a witness. Suddenly you are there – with no body and no mind… a pure consciousness, just simple sheer purity, innocence, a mirror. In this innocence, for the first time you know who you are. In this purity, for the first time existence becomes life. For the first time you are. Before it, you were simply asleep, dreaming; now you are. And when you are, then there is no death. Then you know that you will be witnessing your death also.
One who has become capable of witnessing life has become capable of witnessing death…because death is not the end of life; it is the very culmination of it. It is the very pinnacle of it. Life comes to its peak in death.
Krishna says the ascetic people stop at body and mind but Yogi knows that Yoga is Science Of Union. So be Yogi.
Patanjali is rare. He is an enlightened person like Buddha, like Krishna, like Christ, like Mahavira, Mohammed, Zarathustra, but he is different in one way.
Patanjali is like an Einstein in the world of buddhas. He is a phenomenon. He could easily have been a Nobel Prize winner like an Einstein or Bohr or Max Planck or Heisenberg. He has the same attitude, the same approach as a rigorous, scientific mind. He is not a poet; He is not a moralist. He is basically a scientist who is thinking in terms of laws. And he has come to deduce absolute laws of the human being, the ultimate working structure of the human mind and of reality.
And if you follow Patanjali you will come to know that he is as exact as any mathematical formula. Simply do what he says and the result will happen. The result is bound to happen – it is just like two plus two become four; it is just like you heat water up to one hundred degrees and it evaporates. No belief is needed, you simply do it and know. It is something to be done and known. Never again has a man existed on this Earth like Patanjali.