Is not Vairagya, Non-Attachment or Desirelessness, enough in itself to free one from worldly bondage? What is then the use of the Yogic discipline, Abhyasa?

Vairagya is enough, desirelessness is enough. Then no discipline is needed. But where is that desirelessness? It is not there. To help it discipline is needed. Discipline is needed only because that desirelessness is not in its wholeness within you.

If desirelessness is there, then there is no question of practicing anything: no discipline is needed. You will not come to listen to an enlightened person; you will not go to read Patanjali’s sutras. If desirelessness is complete, Patanjali is useless. Why waste your time with Patanjali’s sutras? Enlightened person is useless, why go to them?

You are in search of a discipline. You are moving in search of some discipline which can transform you. You are a disciple, and “disciple” means a person who is in search of a discipline. And don’t deceive yourself. 

Desirelessness is not there, so you are in suffering. And nobody likes to suffer, and everybody wants to transcend suffering. How to transcend it? This is what discipline will help you to do. Discipline only means: to make you ready for the jump, for the jump of desirelessness. Discipline means training.

You are not yet ready. You have a very gross mechanism. Your body, your mind, they are gross. They cannot receive the subtle. You are not tuned. To receive the subtle you will have to be tuned. Your grossness has to disappear. Remember this – to receive the subtle you will have to become subtle. As you are, the divine may be around you, but you cannot be in touch with it.

It is just like a radio lying down here in this room but not functioning. Some wires are wrongly connected or some wires are broken or some knob is missing. The radio is here, the radio waves are continuously passing, but the radio is not tuned. And it cannot become receptive.

You are just like a radio, not in the state where it can function. Many things are missing, many things are wrongly joined. A “discipline” means to make your radio functioning, receptive, tuned. The divine waves are all around you. Once you are tuned they become manifest. And they can become manifest only through you, and unless they become manifest through you, you cannot know them. They may have become manifest through an enlightened person, but that cannot become your transformation.

You cannot really know what is happening in a Krishnamurti, in a Gurdjieff – what is happening inside, what type of tuning is happening, how their mechanism has become so subtle that it receives the subtlest message of the universe, the existence starts manifesting itself through it.

Discipline means to change your mechanism, to tune it, to make it a fit instrument to be expressive, receptive. Sometimes without discipline also, this can accidentally happen. The radio can fall from the table. Just by falling, just by accident, some wires may get connected or disconnected. Just by falling, the radio may get connected to a station. Then it will start expressing something, but it will be chaos.

It has happened many times. Sometimes through accidents people have come to know the divine and feel the divine. But then they go mad because they are not disciplined to receive such a great phenomenon. They are not ready. They are so small, and such a great ocean falls in them. This has happened. In the Sufi system they call such persons madmen of the God – masts, they call.

Many people, sometimes without discipline – through some accident, through some Master, through the grace of some Master or just through the presence of some Master – get tuned. Their whole mechanism is not ready, but a part starts functioning. Then they are out of order. Then you will feel they are mad, because they will start saying things which look irrelevant. And they can also feel that they are irrelevant, but they cannot do anything. Something has begun in them; they cannot stop it.

They feel a certain happiness. That’s why they are called masts, the happy ones. But they are not Buddhalike, they are not enlightened. And it is said that for masts, for these happy ones who have gone mad, a very great Master is needed because now they cannot do anything with themselves. They are just in confusion – happily in it, but they are a mess. They cannot do anything on their own.

In this century only Meher Baba has done that work – a great work of its own type, a rare work. Continuously, for many years, he was traveling all over India, and the places he was visiting were madhouses, because in madhouses many masts are living. But you cannot make any distinction, who is mad and who is mast; they both are mad. Who is really mad and who is mad just because of a divine accident – because of some tuning that has happened through some accident! You cannot make any distinction.

Many masts are there. Meher Baba traveled and he will live in madhouses, and he will help and serve the masts, the mad ones. And many of them came out of their madness and started their journey toward enlightenment.

But Patanjali has created such a subtle system that there is no need for any accident. The discipline is so scientific that if you pass through this discipline you will reach Buddhahood without getting mad on the path. It is a complete system.

Patanjali follows no religion, he follows only truth. He will not make any compromise with Hinduism or Mohammedanism or any ism. He follows the scientific truth. Sufis had to make a compromise, and they had to. Because there were some Sufis who tried not to make any compromise; for example, Bayazid of Bistham, or Al-Hillaj Mansoor they didn’t make any compromise; then they were killed, they were murdered.

So Sufis went into hiding. They made their science completely secret, and they will allow only fragments to be known, only those fragments which fit with Islam and its pattern. All other fragments were hidden. So the whole system is not known; it is not working. So many people, through fragments, get mad.

Patanjali’s system is complete, and discipline is needed. Before you move into this unknown world of the within, a deep discipline is needed so no accident is possible. If you move without discipline, then many things are possible.

Vairagya is enough, but that “enough” vairagya is not there in your heart. If it is there, then there is no question. Then close Patanjali’s book and bum it. It is absolutely unnecessary. But that “enough” vairagya is not there. It is better to move on a disciplined path, step by step, so you don’t become a victim of any accident. Accidents… the possibility is there.

Many systems are working in the world, but there is no system so perfect as Patanjali’s because no country has worked for so long. And Patanjali is not the originator of this system, he is only the systematizer. Before Patanjali, for thousands of years, the system was developed. Many people worked. Patanjali has given just the essence of thousands of years of work.

But he has made it in such a way that you can move safely. Just because you are moving inwards, don’t think that you are moving in a safe world. It can be unsafe. It is dangerous also; you can be lost in it. And if you are lost in it, you will be mad. That’s why teachers like Krishnamurti who insist that no teacher is needed are dangerous, because people who are uninitiated may take their standpoint and may start working on their own.

Remember, even if your wristwatch goes wrong, you have the tendency and the curiosity – because it comes from the monkeys – to open it and do something. It is difficult to resist it. You cannot believe that you don’t know anything about it. You may be the owner. Just by being the owner of the watch doesn’t mean you know anything. Don’t open it! It is better to take it to a right person who knows about these things. And a watch is a simple mechanism; the mind is such a complex mechanism. Never open it on your own because whatsoever you do will be wrong.

Sometimes it happens that your watch has gone wrong – you just shake it and it starts. But that is not a science. Sometimes it happens that something you do, and just by luck, accident, you feel something happening. But you have not become a Master. And if it has happened once don’t try it again, because if you next shake your watch it may stop. This is not a science.

Don’t move by accident. Discipline is only a safeguard. Don’t move by accident! Move with a Master who knows what he is doing, and he knows if something goes wrong he can bring it to the right path, who is aware of your past and who is also aware of your future, and who can join together your past and future.

Hence, so much emphasis on Masters in Indian teachings. And they knew, and they meant it, because there is no mechanism so complex as the human mind, no computer so complex as the human mind.

Don’t do anything just because of curiosity or just because others are doing it. Get initiated, and move with someone who knows the path well. Otherwise madness can be the result. And it has happened before; it is happening to many people right now.

Patanjali doesn’t believe in accidents. He believes in a scientific order. So he has given one-by-one step. These two he makes his base: vairagya, desirelessness and abhyasa, constant, conscious inner practice. Abhyasa is the means and vairagya is the goal. Desirelessness is the goal, and constant, conscious inner practice is the means.

But the goal starts from the very beginning and the ends are hidden in the beginning. The tree is hidden in the seed, so the beginning implies the end. That’s why he says desirelessness is needed in the beginning also. The beginning has the end in it and the end will also have the beginning in it.

So when even a Master has become complete, total, he continues practicing. This will look absurd to you. You have to practice because you are in the beginning and the goal has not been achieved, but when the goal is achieved even then the practice continues. It becomes – now spontaneous, but it continues. It never stops. It cannot, because the end and the beginning are not two things. If the tree is in the seed, then in the tree again will come seeds.

Someone asked Buddha – one of his disciples, Purnakashyap – he asked, “We see, bhante, you still follow a certain discipline.”

Buddha, still following a certain discipline. He moves in a certain way, he sits in a certain way, he remains alert, he eats certain things, he behaves, everything seems to be disciplined.

So Purnakashyap says that, “You have become enlightened, but we feel that you still have a certain discipline.” Buddha says, “It has become so ingrained that now I am not following it, it is following me. It has become a shadow. I need not think about it. It is there, always there. It has become a shadow.”


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