Many things are implied and have to be understood. One, the indulgence in sensual pleasures. Why do you ask for sensuous pleasures? Why does the mind constantly think about indulgence? Why do you move again and again in the same pattern of indulgences?

For Patanjali and for all those who have known, the reason is that you are not blissful inwardly; hence, the desire for pleasure. The pleasure-oriented mind means that as you are, in yourself, you are unhappy. That’s why you go on seeking happiness somewhere else. A person who is unhappy is bound to move into desires. Desires are the way of the unhappy mind to seek happiness. Of course, nowhere this mind can find happiness. At the most he can find a few glimpses. Those glimpses appear as pleasure. Pleasure means glimpses of happiness. And the fallacy is that this pleasure – seeking mind thinks that these glimpses and pleasure is coming from somewhere else. It always comes from within.

Let us try to understand. You are in love with a person. You move into sex. Sex gives you a glimpse of pleasure; it gives you a glimpse of happiness. For a single moment you feel at ease. All the miseries have disappeared; all the mental agony is no more. For a single moment you are here and now, you have forgotten all. For a single moment there is no past and no future. Because of this – there is no past and no future, and for a single moment you are here and now – from within you the energy flows. Your inner self flows in this moment, and you have a glimpse of happiness.

But you think that the glimpse is coming from the partner, from the woman or from the man. It is not coming from the man or from the woman. It is coming from you! The other has simply helped you to fall into the present, to fall out of future and past. The other has simply helped you, to bring you to the nowness of this moment.

If you can come to this nowness without sex, sex, by and by will become useless, it will disappear. It will not be a desire then. If you want to move in it you can move into it as fun, but not as a desire. Then there is no obsession in it because you are not dependent on it.

Sit under a tree some day – just in the morning when the sun has not arisen, because with the sun arising your body is disturbed, and it is difficult to be at peace within. That is why the East has always been meditating before the sunrise. they have called it brahmamuhurta – The moments of the divine. And they are right, because with the sun, energies rise and they start flowing in the old pattern that you have created.

Just in the morning, the sun has not yet come on the horizon, everything is silent and nature is fast asleep – the trees are asleep, the birds are asleep, the whole world is asleep; your body also inside is asleep – you have come to sit under a tree. Everything is silent. Just try to be here in – this moment. Don’t do anything; don’t even meditate. Don’t make any effort. Just close your eyes, remain silent, in this silence of nature. Suddenly you will have the same glimpse which has been coming to you through sex or even greater, deeper. Suddenly you will feel a rush of energy flowing from within. And now you cannot be deceived because there is no other; it is certainly coming from you. It is certainly flowing from within. Nobody else is giving it to you; you are giving it to yourself.

But the situation is needed – a silence, energy not in excitement. You are not doing anything, just being there under a tree, and you will have the glimpse. And this will not really be the pleasure, it will be the happiness, because now you are looking at the right source, the right direction. Once you know it, then through sex you will immediately recognize that the other was just a mirror; you were just reflected in him or in her. And you were the mirror for the other. You were helping each other to fall into the present, to move away from the thinking mind to a non-thinking state of being.

The more mind is filled with chattering, more sex has appeal. In the East, sex was never such an obsession as it has become an obsession in the West. Films, stories, novels, poetry, magazines, everything has become sexual. You cannot sell anything unless you can create a sex appeal. If you have to sell a car you can sell it only as a sex object. If you want to sell toothpaste, you can sell only through some sex appeal. Nothing can be sold without sex. It seems that only sex has the market, nothing else – a significance.

Every significance comes through sex. The whole mind is obsessed with sex. Why? Why has this never happened before? This is something new in human history. And the reason is now West is totally absorbed in thoughts – no possibility of being here and now, except sex. Sex has remained the only possibility, and even that is going.

For the modern man even this has become possible – that while making love he can think of other things. And once you become so capable that while making love you go on thinking of something – of your accounts in the bank, or you go on talking with a friend, or you go on being somewhere else while making love here – sex will also be finished. Then it will just be boring, frustrating, because sex was not the thing. The thing was only this – that because sexual energy moving so fast, your mind comes to a stop; the sex takes over. The energy flows so fast, so vitally, that your ordinary patterns of thinking stop.

I have heard: Once it happened that Mulla Nasrudin was passing through a forest. He came upon a skull. Just curious, as he always was, he asked the skull, “What brought you here, sir?” And he was amazed because the skull said, “Talking brought me here, sir.” He couldn’t believe it, but he had heard it so he ran to the court of the king. He told the king that “I have seen a miracle! A skull, a talking skull, lying just near our village in the forest.”

The king also couldn’t believe it, but he was also curious. The whole court followed. They went into the forest. Nasrudin went near the skull and asked again the same question, “What brought you here, sir.” But the skull remained silent. He asked again and again and again, but the skull was dead silent.

The king said, “I knew it before, Nasrudin, that you are a liar. But now this is too much. You have played such a joke that you will have to suffer for it.” He ordered his guard to cut his head and throw the head near the skull for the ants to eat. When everybody went – the king, his court – the skull started talking again. And she asked, “What brought you here, sir?” Nasrudin answered, “Talking brought me here, sir.”

And talking has brought man here – the situation that is today. A constant chattering mind does not allow any happiness, any possibility of happiness, because only a silent mind can look within, only a silent mind can hear the silence, the happiness, that is always bubbling there. But it is so subtle that with the noise of the mind you cannot hear it.

Only in sex the noise sometimes stops. I say “sometimes”. If you have become habitual in sex also, as husbands and wives become, then it never stops. The whole act becomes automatic and the mind goes on its own. Then sex also is a boredom.

Anything has appeal if it can give you a glimpse. The glimpse may appear to be coming from the outside; it always comes from within. The outside can only be just a mirror. When happiness flowing from within is reflected from the outside, it is called pleasure. This is the definition of Patanjali’s – happiness flowing from within, reflected from somewhere in the outside, the outside functioning as a mirror. And if you think that this happiness is coming from the outside, it is called pleasure. We are in search of happiness, not in search of pleasure. So unless you can have glimpses of happiness, you cannot stop your pleasure-seeking efforts. Indulgence means search for pleasure.

A conscious effort is needed. For two things. One: Whenever you feel a moment of pleasure is there, transform it into a meditative situation. Whenever you feel you are feeling pleasure, happy, joyful, close your eyes and look within, and see from where it is coming. Don’t lose this moment; this is precious. If you are not conscious you may continue thinking that it comes from without, and that’s the fallacy of the world.

If you are conscious, meditative, if you search for the real source, sooner or later you will come to know it is flowing from within. Once you know that it always flows from within, it is something that you have already got, indulgence will drop, and this will be the first step of desirelessness. Then you are not seeking, not hankering. You are not killing desires, you are not fighting with desires, you have simply found something greater. Desires don’t look so important now. They wither away.

Remember this: they are not to be killed and destroyed; they wither away. Simply you neglect them because you have a greater source. You are magnetically attracted towards it. Now your whole energy is moving inwards. The desires are simply neglected.

You are not fighting them. If you fight with them you will never win. It is just like you were having some stones, colored stones, in your hand. And now suddenly you have come to know about diamonds, and they are lying about. You throw the colored stones just to create space for the diamonds in your hand. You are not fighting the stones. When diamonds are there you simply drop the stones. They have lost their meaning.

Desires must lose their meaning. If you fight, the meaning is not lost. Or even, on the contrary, just through fighting you may give them more meaning. Then they become more important. This is happening. Those who fight with any desire, that desire becomes their center of the mind. If you fight sex, sex becomes the center. Then, continuously, you are engaged in it, occupied with it. It becomes like a wound. And wherever you look, that wound immediately projects, and whatsoever you see becomes sexual.

Mind has a mechanism, an old survival mechanism, of fight or flight. Two are the ways of the mind: either you can fight with something or you can escape from it. If you are strong, then you fight. If you are weak, then you take flight, then you simply escape. But in both the ways the other is important, the other is the center. You can fight or you can escape from the world – from the world where desires are possible; you can go to the Himalayas. That too is a fight, the fight of the weak.

I have heard: Once Mulla Nasrudin was shopping in a village. He left his donkey on the street and went into a shop to purchase something. When he came out he was furious. Someone has painted his donkey completely red, bright red. So he was furious, and he inquired, “Who has done this? I will kill that man!”

A small boy was standing there. He said, “One man has done this, and that man just has gone inside the pub.” So Nasrudin went there, rushed there, angry, mad. He said, “Who has done this? Who the hell has painted my donkey?”

A very big man, very strong, stood and he said, “I did. What about it?” So Nasrudin said, “Thank you, sir. You have done such a beautiful job. I just came to tell you that the first coat is dry.”

If you are strong, then you are ready to fight. If you are weak, then you are ready to fly, to take flight. But in both the cases, you are not becoming stronger. In both cases the other has become the center of your mind. These are the two attitudes fight or flight – and both are wrong because through both the mind is strengthened.

Patanjali says there is a third possibility: don’t fight and don’t escape. Just be alert. Just be conscious. Whatsoever is the case, just be a witness. Conscious effort means, one: searching for the inner source of happiness, and, second: witnessing the old pattern of habits – not fighting it, just witnessing it.

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