After contentment, Patanjali says “austerity,” tapa. This is really something to be understood, very delicate and subtle. You can be austere before contentment; then your austerity will be through desire. Then through your austerities also you will be desiring moksha – liberation – heaven, God. Then your austerity will also be a means. That’s why Patanjali first puts contentment and then austerity. When you are content then austerity is not a means; it is just a simple, beautiful way of living. Then it is not a question of having a few things or more – that is not the problem then. Then it is not the question at all, having or not having. Then it is a simple way of living, not a complex way of living.
And this is difficult to understand: if without contentment you try to be austere, your austerity will be complex.
It happened once, Osho was travelling in a first-class compartment with another sannyasi. He didn’t know him, and sannyasi didn’t know him, but they were the only two passengers in the compartment. Many people at a certain station came to pay their respects to him; he must have been a very well-known man. He had nothing, just a small bag, maybe one or two dresses, and just a small lunghi, just covering up to the knees; and he was almost naked. And that lunghi was also made of the most inexpensive cloth possible.
Then, when they travelled together, by and by, Osho became aware of his complexities; he was a simple man as far as the outward appearance is concerned. When the station passed and the people had gone and the train started and he saw that Osho was dozing, Osho had closed his eyes, immediately, he pulled something out of his bag. Osho was not asleep. Osho looked – he was counting notes, somebody may have presented to him. Not many notes, must not have been more than a hundred rupees, but the way he was counting – with such gusto, such lust that Osho couldn’t believe.
Seeing that Osho was seeing, he immediately pushed the notes inside the bag and sat in a Buddha-posture again on the seat. Now this is complexity. If you are counting you are counting. What does it matter if anyone sees or not? Why hide it? Why feel guilty about it? If you are enjoying counting notes, nothing is wrong – innocent, harmless. But no, he felt guilty: that a sannyasi should not touch notes, and he has been caught.
Then, he was to get down at a station which was to come in the early morning, six o’clock. Wherever the train would stop, he was again and again asking – two o’clock in the night and he would lean out of the window and ask – which station it is. He was disturbing Osho’s sleep so much that Osho told him, “Don’t be worried. It is not going to come before six o’clock. And this train does not go further than that station – so you need not worry. Even if you are fast asleep you cannot miss the station – that is going to be the last stop.” But he couldn’t sleep the whole night.
He was so tense; and Osho could not understand what was the restlessness.
In the morning, when the station was coming nearer, Osho saw him standing before the mirror. Nothing to arrange, just one small lunghi, but he was binding it again and again and looking in the mirror and watching whether it looks good or not.
Then he again found Osho looking. He was shocked. When Osho would close his eyes then he would do something else; if Osho would open his eyes he would immediately stop it. So guilty about everything.
This man has not attained contentment, and he has done austerity. He remains an ordinary man of desire. I’m not saying there is anything wrong in looking in the mirror – nothing is wrong. The wrong happens only when somebody else is looking – why you are shocked. It is beautiful, you can look – it is your face. You can look in the mirror. You are authorized, at least for your own face. And nothing is wrong in it. One should enjoy – that face is also God’s face. But he is guilty: he is an ordinary man posing, trying to be a saint.
Without contentment you can pose, you can suffer, you can be austere, you can become “simple” – you can leave the house and clothes and become naked; but in your nakedness there will be complexity, there cannot be simplicity. Simplicity comes only as a shadow of contentment; then you can live in a palace and you can be simple. Simplicity has nothing to do with what you have: simplicity has something to do with the quality of the mind.
So restless just for a station, how can this man be restful when death will be reaching? So afraid of Osho’s seeing him, how much afraid would he not be if God were seeing him, and how much afraid will he not be when he will have to face the creator? He will not be able. He is playing a game with himself: nobody else is deceived.
Austerity is simplicity: to live a simple life. What is a simple life? It is like that of a child – you enjoy everything, but you don’t cling.
It happened: One of the greatest saints of India was Kabir. He had a son; his name was Kamal. He was an even greater man than the father, but nobody knows about Kamal much because he was really a very, very rare being. Many disciples were there, and much competition, as it happens with disciples. And many people were against Kamal living with Kabir because, they said, “This man is blameworthy.” People would bring many gifts, donations, money, diamonds to Kabir’s feet – he would never take them. And Kamal would be sitting outside, and when they would come back, if they offered, he would take them. So people said, “Your son is greedy.”
Kabir knew him well, that he was not greedy at all; he was a very simple man.
That’s why he used to call him Kamal. Kamal means “a miracle.” He was a man who was really a miracle, and it has to be so: bound to Kabir he had to be a miracle-man. But he was really simple – just like a child. Sometimes he would even ask: somebody’s gift has been refused, Kabir has refused it – someone has brought diamonds to give him and Kabir has refused them – and the man will be taking them away and Kamal will say, “Beautiful stones. Where are you taking them? Bring them to me. If my father cannot accept, I can accept.”
This was bad. So, finally, disciples persuaded Kabir, against his wishes, and Kabir said, “Okay, if you think… then I will throw him out.”
Kamal was thrown out. He didn’t say anything; he simply accepted: a man of contentment. He did not even argue that people who are complaining against him are wrong. no. There is no argument in such a man. He simply left, he made a small hut just alongside; of Kabir, and started living there. Thousands of people would come to Kabir, and nobody would come to Kamal, because he was not known at all; and this was known all over. that Kabir has thrown him out, so this was enough condemnation.
The king of Kashi, who was a devotee of Kabir, once came. and he asked, “Where is Kamal?” Kabir had to tell the story. The king said, “But I have never felt that that boy has any greed in him. He is simple. I would go and see.” So he went to Kamal’s hut with a very, very valuable diamond, the biggest that he had.
Kamal was hungry that day, and no food was there, so he said, “What will I do with this stone? Should I eat it? You should have brought some food because I’m hungry.”
The king thought in his mind, “I was right. Hmm? such a valuable diamond and he simply refuses. So the king took the diamond when he was going back. Kamal said, “If you have understood that this is just a stone, why carry the weight again? You can leave it. In the first place you carried it up to here, that was wrong. Now why commit the same mistake again? It is just a stone.”
Now, the king was puzzled, “Maybe this is just tricky. Maybe this Kamal is interested in the diamond but being clever with me.” But the king thought, “Okay, let us see.” So he said, “Where should I put it?”
Kamal said, “Again, you make the same mistake. If it is a stone, nobody asks about where to put it. You can leave it anywhere; the hut is big enough.”
The king wanted to see the whole thing to the very end, so he put it on the roof of the hut and left, knowing well, “The moment I have gone a little far away this Kamal is going to take that diamond back in the hut.”
After seven days he came back to inquire what happened. He was certain that the diamond must be sold by now. He came, he talked about other things, and then he said, “What happened to the diamond?”
Kamal said, “Again diamond? And I have told you it was a stone. And why should I worry about what happened to it?”
Now the king thought, “He’s really… really cunning. He has sold it or hidden it; now he is saying, ‘Why should I worry about it?’” And then Kamal said, “But you can look wherever you had left it. If somebody has not taken it yet, it may be there.”
And it was there.
This is simplicity. This is austerity. But difficult: a man can live in a palace, and if the palace is not in him, it is austerity. You can live in a hut, and if the hut has entered into your mind, it is not austerity. You can sit on a throne like an emperor, and you may be a sannyasin. You can be a sannyasin and you may be standing naked on the street, and you may not be a sannyasin. Things are not as simple as people think them to be, and appearances should not be believed much – you should look deep down.
Austerity is possible only after contentment, because after contentment your austerity is not going to be a means to some goal; it will simply be an uncomplicated way of living, a simple way of living. And why simple? Because it is happier. The more complex your living, the more unhappy you will be, because you have to manage so many things. Simpler the life, the happier, because there is no management, really. You can simply live like breathing.
And then comes “self-study,” swadhyaya. A man who has attained purity, contentment, austerity, only he can study the self; because now all the rubbish is thrown, all the rot is thrown away. Otherwise self-study will not be possible. You have so much rubbish in you, if you go to study the self it will not be self-study, because all that rubbish will have to be studied. It may become a Freudian psychoanalysis, this is the difference between swadhyaya and Freudian psychoanalysis.
Freud’s psychoanalysis can continue for years – five years, three years – and then too nothing is finished; the rubbish goes on coming. You can go on and on and on… the rubbish is endless, because it is self-creating: today you throw the rubbish, tomorrow you come again for the analysis; in twenty-four hours, again, the rubbish has gathered there; again you throw it, again it gathers. Unless your whole base of life changes, you will go on accumulating rubbish. Rubbish is not the point – you accumulate it. Your way of life is such that you attract it, accumulate it; you cling to it. Unless that is broken. Unless that style of life is changed, you cannot study self. You are a crowd and your self is lost in the crowd.
Patanjali moves very, very scientifically. After austerity, when you have become very simple, no rubbish accumulates, when you have become so contented that no desire lives in you, when you have become so innocent and pure that no heaviness exists, you have become like fragrance, weightless, on the wings, in the air, riding on the air – then self-study. Now, you can study the self.
Self-study is not self-analysis; it is just looking into the self. It is meditating on the self.
And after self-study comes the last step in the second stage. that is “surrender to God.” Really wonderful, the way Patanjali moves. He must have considered every step for years because exactly it is so. When you have studied the self, only then can you surrender. Because what will you surrender otherwise? The self is to be surrendered. If you know it well, only then you can surrender. Otherwise how will you surrender?
People come to me and they say, “We would like to surrender,” but what will you surrender to me? You don’t have anything right now. It is an empty thing you are calling surrender. You have to be there to be surrendered. In the first place, an integrated self is needed to be surrendered. Just by saying, surrender cannot happen: you have to be capable of it; it has to be earned. After self-study, when the self arises like a pillar of light within you and you have understood it, and all that was unessential has been cut and thrown, you have passed through the surgery, now only the self exists in its pristine purity and beauty – now, you can surrender it to God.
And Patanjali has one more, very rare thing to say, and that is that it is not important whether God exists or not. God is not a theory for Patanjali; God is not to be proved. Patanjali says God is nothing but an excuse to surrender.
Otherwise where will you surrender? If you can surrender without God, it is okay, for Patanjali there is no trouble. He doesn’t insist that God has to be believed in. He is so scientific that he says God is not a necessity, it is just a way to surrender. Otherwise you will be in difficulty where to surrender. “To whom to surrender?” you will ask.
There have been people like Buddha and Mahavir who have surrendered without God, but those are rare phenomena, because your mind will always ask.
If I tell you, “Love,” you will ask, “Whom?” – because you cannot love without the object of love. If I ask you to write a letter you will ask, “To what address?”
You cannot just write the letter without the address because that will look too foolish. Your mind: in the end if there is no God and it is said to you, “Surrender,” you will say. “To whom?”
Just to give you an address – God is just an address to help you. God is not the goal and God is not a person. For Patanjali God is just a help on the way – the last help. In the name of God, surrender becomes easy. In the name of God, your mind is not in a puzzle where to surrender: you have a place to surrender: you have a space to surrender. God is that space, not a person.
And Patanjali says if you can surrender without God, we are not insisting on it.
Surrender is the thing, not God. If you really understand what I am saying, then, surrender IS God. To surrender is to become divine, to surrender is to reach the divine. But you have to disappear. So first you have to find yourself so that you can disappear, first you have to integrate yourself so you can go to the shrine and surrender yourself into the divine feet, pour yourself into the ocean, and disappear.
“Purity, contentment, austerity, self-study, and surrender to God are the laws to be observed.” These are laws for growth. They do not prohibit; they help. They are not restrictive; they are creative.Tags: Patanjali Yoga Sutra 25.1 Austerity Self-Study And Surrender