PATANJALI IS THE GREATEST scientist of the inner. His approach is that of a scientific mind: he is not a poet. And in that way he is very rare, because those who enter into the inner world are almost always poets, those who enter into the outer world are always almost scientists.

Patanjali is a rare flower. He has a scientific mind, but his journey is inner. That’s why he became the first and the last word: he is the alpha and the omega. For five thousand years nobody could improve upon him. It seems he cannot be improved upon. He will remain the last word – because the very combination is impossible. To have a scientific attitude and to enter into the inner is almost an impossible possibility. He talks like a mathematician, a logician. He talks like Aristotle and he is a Heraclitus.

Try to understand – his each word. It will be difficult: it will be difficult because his terms will be those of logic, reasoning, but his indication is towards love, towards ecstasy, towards God. His terminology is that of the man who works in a scientific lab, but his lab is of the inner being. So don’t be misguided by his terminology, and retain the feeling that he is a mathematician of the ultimate poetry. He is a paradox, but he never uses paradoxical language. He cannot. He retains to the very firm logical background. He analyzes, dissects, but his aim is synthesis. He analyzes only to synthesize.

So always remember the goal – don’t be misguided by the path – reaching to the ultimate through a scientific approach. That’s why Patanjali has impressed the western mind very much. Patanjali has always been an influence. Wherever his name has reached, he has been an influence because you can understand him easily; but to understand him is not enough. To understand him is as easy as to understand an Einstein. He talks to the intellect, but his aim, his target, is the heart. This you have to remember.

We will be moving on a dangerous terrain. If you forget that he is a poet also, you will be misguided. Then you become too much attached to his terminology, language, reasoning, and you forget his goal. He wants you to go beyond reasoning, but through reasoning. That is a possibility. You can exhaust reasoning so deeply that you transcend. You go through reasoning; you don’t avoid it. You use reason to go beyond it as a step. Now listen to his words. Each word has to be analyzed.

He divides samadhi, the ultimate, in two steps. The ultimate cannot be divided. It is indivisible, and there are no steps, in fact. But just to help the mind, the seeker, he divides it first into two. The first step he calls samprajnata samadhi – A samadhi in which the mind is retained in its purity.

This first step, mind has to be refined and purified. You simply cannot drop it, Patanjali says – it is impossible to drop it because impurities have a tendency to cling. You can drop only when the mind is absolutely pure – so refined, so subtle, that it has no tendency to cling.

He does not say that “Drop the mind,” as Zen Masters say. He says that is impossible; you are talking nonsense. You are saying the truth, but that’s not possible because an impure mind has a weight. Like a stone, it hangs. And an impure mind has desires – millions of desires, unfulfilled, hankering to be fulfilled, asking to be fulfilled, millions of thoughts incomplete in it. How can you drop? – Because the incomplete always tries to be completed.

Remember, says Patanjali, you can drop a thing only when it is complete. Have you watched? If you are a painter and you are painting, unless the painting becomes complete you cannot forget it. It continues, haunts you. You cannot sleep well; it is there. In the mind it has an undercurrent. It moves; it asks to be completed. Once it is completed, it is finished. You can forget about it. Mind has a tendency towards completion. Mind is a perfectionist, and so whatsoever is incomplete is a tension on the mind. Patanjali says you cannot drop thinking unless thinking is so perfect that now there is nothing to be done about it. You can simply drop it and forget.

This is completely the diametrically opposite way from Zen, from Heraclitus. First samadhi, which is samadhi only for name’s sake, is samprajnata – samadhi with a subtle purified mind. Second samadhi is asamprajnata – samadhi with no mind. But Patanjali says that when the mind disappears, then too there are no thoughts, then, too, subtle seeds of the past are retained by the unconscious.

The conscious mind is divided in two. First, samprajnata – mind with purified state, just like purified butter. It has a beauty of its own, but it is there. And howsoever beautiful, the mind is ugly. Howsoever pure and silent, the very phenomenon of mind is impure. You cannot purify a poison. It remains poison. On the contrary, the more you purify it, the more poisonous it becomes. It may look very, very beautiful. It may have its own color, shades, but it is still impure.

First you purify; then you drop. But then too the journey is not complete because this is all in the conscious mind. What will you do with the unconscious? Just behind the layers of the conscious mind is a vast continent of unconscious. There are seeds of all your past lives in the unconscious.

Then Patanjali divides the unconscious into two. He says sabeej samadhi – when the unconscious is there and the mind has been dropped consciously, it is a samadhi with seeds – sabeej. When those seeds are also burned, then you attain the perfect – the nir-beej samadhi: samadhi without seeds.

So conscious into two steps, then unconscious into two steps. And when nir-beej samadhi, the ultimate ecstasy, without any seeds within you to sprout and to flower and to take you on further journeys into existence… then you disappear.

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