Unidentified Existence – In Gita Verse 17.17 This threefold austerity, performed with transcendental faith by men not expecting material benefits but engaged only for the sake of the Supreme, is called austerity in goodness.

For Krishna austerity is meditation for our inner transformation. Love and compassion are the natural expression of this transformation.

In my Bhagavad Gita Verse 2.61, blog I wrote – austerity is a simple life, a life of understanding. You need not move into a hut, you need not go naked. You can live simply in life, with understanding. Poverty will not help but understanding will.

To understand Austerity first we need to understand the Mechanism of Mind.

The past is not dynamic at all: it is totally dead. But still it has a weight – a dead weight. That dead weight works; it is not dynamic at all. Why the dead weight works has to be understood.

The past is so forceful because it is the known, the experienced, and mind always feels fearful of the unknown, the un-experienced. And how can you desire the unknown? You cannot desire the unknown. Only the known can be desired. So desires are always repetitious. They repeat, they are circular. You always move in the same pattern, in the same circle. The mind becomes just a groove of repetitions, and the more you repeat a particular thing, the more weighty it becomes, because the groove goes deep.

So the past is important not because it is dynamic; it forces you to do something and to desire not because it is forceful, powerful, alive – but only because it is a dead groove. And the past has been repeated so many times that to repeat it has become easy and automatic. The more you repeat a particular thing the more convenient and easier it becomes. The basic convenience is this: that if you are repeating a thing, you need not be aware.

Awareness is the most inconvenient thing. If you are repeating a particular thing, then you need not be aware. You can be just deep asleep, and the thing can be repeated automatically, mechanically. So it is convenient to repeat the past because you need not be aware. You can go on sleeping, and the mind will repeat itself.

That’s why those who say that desirelessness is the state of bliss also say that desirelessness is synonymous with awareness. You cannot be desireless unless you are totally aware. Or, if you are aware you will find that you are desireless, because desires can have a repetitive force upon the mind only when you are not aware. So the more asleep the mind is, the more repetitive and the more mechanical. So the past has the grip only because it is a repetition – and because it is the known. How can you desire the unknown?

For the unknown there can be no desire. The unknown is inconceivable. That’s why, even when we begin to desire God, we are not desiring the unknown. By “God” we must mean something which I know. So go deep: what do you mean by “God”? – Particularly your God. What do you mean by it? You will find under the garb of “God” something known, something experienced.

It may be eternal pleasure. So the so-called religious persons go on saying, “Why are you wasting your life in desires which are momentary? Come to us! Here is the fulfillment; here is the possibility to achieve permanent, eternal pleasure.” The language can be understood. You know the momentary pleasure, so you can desire permanent pleasure – but under the garb of God there is pleasure.

You may be seeking God only because you are fearful of death. Then, under the garb of God, you are really asking for immortality, not to die ever, an eternal life. You know this life – that is your experience – now you want to make it eternal. So whenever we talk about God, the Divine, Liberation, moksha, don’t be deceived by the words because the words may be hiding something totally different. And they are hiding it – because how can you desire the unknown? How can you conceive of it? How can you ask for it?

Really, the phenomenon is quite different. When you are not in desire, the unknown comes to you – you cannot desire it. When you are desireless the unknown comes to you. You cannot desire it! The state of desirelessness is the opening for the unknown to come. You cannot desire it because the very desire will become the hindrance.

So mind goes on repeating; it is a mechanical thing. So the dynamism is not in the mind – mind is just a dead, mechanical thing – the dynamism is in your consciousness, and if your consciousness is identified with the mind then the dead mind becomes dynamic. The dynamism belongs to your energy; it is not part of your mind. You are the dynamism behind it. If you are identified with the mind, if you think that you are the mind, then the mind begins to be dynamic. If you are not identified with the mind, then the mind is just dead – just a dead weight, just a mechanical accumulation.

It is a long accumulation – millennia of evolution, many, many, many lives are accumulated there. It is not only that your mind belongs to this life – it belongs to life as such. It has evolved, so it has deep grooves. It is not only that you fall in love: your father and mother have fallen in love before you; their fathers and their mothers and theirs and theirs – they have all fallen in love. The mind has a deep groove of falling in love, so when you fall in love don’t be deceived that you are falling in love. The whole humanity is behind you; the whole humanity has made the groove. It is in your bones, it is in your cells, it is in your very metabolism. Every cell has a sex part in it, and every cell has a groove, and every cell has a mind, memory – long memories, beginningless memories. So if you are identified with this mind, it becomes a force – a dynamic force. You give the energy, but the dead machine begins to move. You pedal it.

So remember: energy belongs to you; dynamism belongs to you. Mind is a mechanical thing produced by millennia of evolution, but it has deep grooves. And if you are identified, then you will have to flow through those grooves. There is no escape then.

So the first thing is how not to identify, how to remember constantly that mind is one thing and you are something else. It is difficult, it is arduous – but it is possible. It is not impossible. And once, if you have even a moment’s glimpse of unidentified Existence, then you will never be the same again. Once you come to know that the mind is not the force: “I am the force, the vitality comes from me,” if even for a single moment you have the glimpse of your mastery, then the mind will never be a master again. And only then can you move into the unknown.

Mind cannot move into the unknown: it is produced by the known. It is a product of the known, so it cannot move into the unknown. That’s why the mind can never know what Truth is, what God is.  Mind can never know what freedom is, the mind can never know what life is – because intrinsically the mind is dead. It is dead: dust accumulated through centuries and centuries – just dust, memory dust.

It seems that the mind forces you. It doesn’t force you really; it only gives you the easiest grooves.

Krishna says mind supplies to you only the repeated routine tracks, and you fall victim to convenience – because to break a new route and to create a new track and to move in a new groove is very difficult and inconvenient. That is what is meant by tapa – austerity. If you begin to move in some new grooves which are created not by the mind but created by consciousness, then you are in tapascharya – in austerity. It is arduous.

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