Man is like an iceberg: only a part, a minor part, is visible on the surface; the major part of the whole is hidden beneath. Or, man is like a tree: real life is in the roots, hidden underground; only branches are visible. If you cut the branches, new branches will come up because branches are not the source; but if you cut the roots the tree is destroyed. Only a part of man is visible on the surface; the major part is hidden behind. And if you think that the visible man is all, then you commit a great mistake. Then you miss the whole mystery of man; and then you miss the doors within yourself which can lead you towards the divine.
If you think that by knowing the name of a person, by knowing from which family he comes, by knowing his profession, that he is a doctor or an engineer or a professor, or by knowing his face, his picture, you have known him; you are in great illusion. These are just the appearances on the surface. The real man is far, far away from all these. This way you may be acquainted, but you never know the man. It is enough as far as society is concerned; more is not needed. This skin-deep knowledge is enough for the marketplace, but if you really want to know the man then you have to go deep. And the only way to go deep is to go within yourself first.
Unless you know the unknown within you, you will never be able to know anybody else. The only way to know the mystery that man is, is to know the mystery that you are. There are hidden layers behind hidden layers. Man is infinity.
If you go on diving deep in man you will reach God. Man is just the surface of the ocean, waves. If you dive deep you reach to the very center of existence.
Those who have known God – they have not known him as an object. They have known him as their innermost subjectivity. Those who have known God have not encountered him. They have not seen him as an object; they have seen him as the very seer, as their own consciousness. You cannot encounter God anywhere except within yourself. He is your depth; you are his surface. You are his periphery; he is your center.
And the deeper you move within yourself, the deeper you are moving in the whole existence, in others also, because the center is one. Peripheries are millions, but the center is one. The whole existence is centered on one point – that one point is God. God: that is the deepest depth of being.
It is a great journey, a great pilgrimage to know man. Patanjali’s sutras give you clues, how to enter.
AUSTERITIES DESTROY IMPURITIES, AND WITH THE ENSUING PERFECTION IN THE BODY AND SENSE ORGANS, PHYSICAL AND MENTAL POWERS AWAKEN.
Before you can understand this sutra, many more things have to be understood.
The body has been very much misused. You have mistreated your own body.
You don’t know the mystery of the body itself. It is not just the skin; it is not just the bones; it is not just the blood. It is a great organic unity, a great dynamism.
For centuries man thought that blood filled the body as water fills a container.
Only just three centuries ago, we came to know that blood does not fill the body, that it is not a stagnant thing – blood circulates. Only just three centuries ago, we came to know that blood circulates, it is a dynamic force. It does not fill the body, but it circulates – so silently and so continuously, and the movement is so graceful, without any noise, that we have lived with bodies for millions of lives and we have never come to encounter the reality of the blood, that it circulates.
There are many more mysteries which are hidden. This body is just the first layer of many bodies – in all, seven bodies. If you move deep in this body you will come across new phenomena. Behind this gross body is hidden the subtle body.
Once that subtle body awakes, you become very powerful because you attain certain new dimensional forces. This body can lie down in your bed, and your subtle body can move. For it there is no barrier. The gravitation of the earth does not affect it; there is no barrier of time and space for it. It can move… it can move anywhere. The whole world is open for it. For the gross body that is not possible.
In some of your dreams the subtle body actually leaves your physical body. In some of your deep meditations your subtle body leaves your physical body.
Many of you, deeply meditating, sometimes have become aware that it feels as if you have risen above the earth, a few inches, a few feet. When you open your eyes you are sitting on the earth. You think you have imagined it. It is not so. The subtle body, in deep meditation, can go a little higher than your gross body.
Sometimes that, too, happens – that the gross body also follows the subtle body.
There is a woman in Europe; she has been investigated by all the scientific methods. In deep meditation she rises four feet above the earth; not only in the subtle body, but the gross body also. It has been found to be a fact. This is said in the oldest yoga treatises: that in deep meditation it happens that with the subtle body the gross body can go above the ground – and, exactly, it says it can go four feet very easily.
And the gross body is just the surface body, the skin of other bodies. Then behind the subtle there are subtler bodies – in all, seven bodies. They all belong to seven different planes of being. The more you enter into your own being, the more you become aware that this body is not the all. But you will encounter the second body only if this body has become pure.
Yoga does not believe in torturing the body, it is not a masochistic affair – but it believes in purifying it. And, sometimes, purifying it and torturing it may look alike. A distinction has to be made. A man can fast, and he may be only torturing. He may be just against his own body, suicidal, masochistic. But then another man can fast and he may not be a torturer, and he may not be a masochist, and he may not be trying to destroy the body in any way. Rather, he may be trying to purify it. Because in deep fasting, the body attains to certain purities.
You continuously go on eating every day; you never give any holiday to the body. The body goes on accumulating many dead cells – they become a load.
Not only are they a load and a burden, they are toxins, they are poisonous. They make the body impure. When the body is impure you cannot see the hidden body behind it. This body needs to be clean, transparent, pure; then suddenly you become aware of the second layer, the subtle body. When the subtle body is pure then you become aware of the third body, and the fourth, and so on.
Fasting helps tremendously, but one needs to be very much aware that one is not destroying the body. No condemnation should be in the mind; and there is the problem because almost all religions have condemned the body. Their original founders were not condemners; they were not poisoners. They loved their bodies. They loved the body so much that they always tried to purify it. Their fasting was a purification.
Then came blind followers, unaware of the deep science of fasting. They started fasting, blindly. They enjoyed it, because the mind is violent. It enjoys being violent with others, it enjoys a power, because whenever you are violent with others you feel powerful; but to be violent with others is risky because the other will retaliate. Then there is a simple way: to be violent with your own body. Then there is no risk. The body cannot retaliate. The body cannot harm you. You can go on harming your own body; there is nobody to react. This is simple. You can torture and enjoy power – that now you control your body; the body doesn’t control you.
If this fasting is aggressive, violent, if there is anger and destructiveness; then you miss the point. You are not purifying the body; you are in fact destroying it.
And to clean a mirror is one thing and to destroy the mirror is another. To clean the mirror is totally different, because when the mirror is clean of all dust, pure, you will be able to look into it – it will reflect you. But if you destroy the mirror, then there is no possibility to look into it. If you destroy the gross body you lose all possibility of contact with the second, the subtle body. Purify it, but don’t be destructive.
And how does fasting purify? Because whenever you are on a fast the body has no more work of digestion. In that period the body can work in throwing out dead cells, toxins. It is just as one day, Sunday or Saturday, you are on a holiday and you come home and you clean the whole day. The whole week you were so engaged and so busy you couldn’t clean the house. When the body has nothing to digest, you have not eaten anything, the body starts self cleaning. A process starts spontaneously and the body starts throwing out all that is not needed, which is like a load. Fasting is a method of purification. Once in a while, a fast is beautiful – not doing anything, not eating, just resting. Take as much liquid as possible and just rest, and the body will be cleaned.
Sometimes, if you feel that a longer fast is needed, you can do a longer fast also – but be deep in love with the body. And if you feel the fast is harming the body in any way, stop it. If the fast is helping the body, you will feel more energetic; you will feel more alive; you will feel rejuvenated, vitalized. This should be the criterion: if you start feeling that you are getting weaker, if you start feeling that a subtle trembling is coming into the body, then be aware – now the thing is no longer a purification. It has become destructive. Stop it.
But one should learn the whole science of it. In fact one should do fasting near somebody who has been fasting for long and who knows the whole path very well, who knows all the symptoms: if it becomes destructive what will start happening; if it is not destructive then what will happen. After a real, purifying fast you will feel new, younger, cleaner, weightless, happier; and the body will be functioning better because now it is unloaded. But fasting comes only if you have been eating wrongly. If you have not been eating, wrongly there is no need for fasting. Fasting is needed only when you have already done the wrong with the body – and we all have been eating wrongly.
Man has lost the path. No animal eats like man; every animal has its chosen food.
If you bring buffaloes in the garden and leave them, they will eat only a particular grass. They will not go on eating everything and anything – they are very choosy. They have a certain feeling about their food. Man is completely lost, has no feeling about his food. He goes on eating everything and anything. In fact you cannot find anything which is not eaten somewhere or other by man. In some places, ants are eaten. In some places, snakes are eaten. In some places, dogs are eaten. Man has eaten everything. Man is simply mad. He does not know what is in resonance with his body and what is not. He is completely confused.
Man, naturally, should be a vegetarian, because the whole body is made for vegetarian food. Even scientists concede to the fact that the whole structure of the human body shows that man should not be a nonvegetarian. Man comes from the monkeys. Monkeys are vegetarians – absolute vegetarians. If Darwin is true then man should be a vegetarian. Now there are ways to judge whether a certain species of animal is vegetarian or nonvegetarian: it depends on the intestine, the length of the intestine. Nonvegetarian animals have a very small intestine. Tigers, lions – they have a very small intestine, because meat is already a digested food. It does not need a long intestine to digest it. The work of digestion has been done by the animal. Now you are eating the animal’s meat. It is already digested – no long intestine is needed. Man has one of the longest intestines: that means man is a vegetarian. A long digestion is needed, and much excreta will be there which has to be thrown out.
If man is not a nonvegetarian and he goes on eating meat, the body is burdened.
In the East, all the great meditators – Buddha, Mahavir, they have emphasized the fact. Not because of any concept of nonviolence – that is a secondary thing – but because if you really want to move in deep meditation your body needs to be weightless, natural, flowing. Your body needs to be unloaded; and a nonvegetarian’s body is very much loaded.
Just watch what happens when you eat meat: when you kill an animal what happens to the animal when he is killed? Of course, nobody wants to be killed.
Life wants to prolong itself; the animal is not dying willingly. If somebody kills you, you will not die willingly. If a lion jumps on you and kills you, what will happen to your mind? The same happens when you kill a lion. Agony, fear, death, anguish, anxiety, anger, violence, sadness – all these things happen to the animal. All over his body – violence, anguish, agony spreads. The whole body becomes full of toxins, poisons. All the body glands release poisons because the animal is dying very unwillingly. And then you eat the meat – that meat carries all the poisons that the animal has released. The whole energy is poisonous. Then those poisons are carried in your body.
And that meat which you are eating belonged to an animal body. It had a specific purpose there. A specific type of consciousness existed in the animal’s body. You are on a higher plane than the animal’s consciousness, and when you eat the animal’s meat your body goes to the lowest plane, to the lower plane of the animal. Then there exists a gap between your consciousness and your body, and a tension arises, and anxiety arises.
One should eat things which are natural – natural for you. Fruits, nuts, vegetables – eat as much as you can. And the beauty is that you cannot eat these things more than is needed. Whatsoever is natural always gives you satisfaction, because it satiates your body, saturates you. You feel fulfilled. If something is unnatural it never gives you a feeling of fulfillment. Go on eating ice cream: you never feel that you are satiated. In fact the more you eat, the more you feel like eating. It is not a food. Your mind is being tricked. Now you are not eating according to the body need; you are eating just to taste it. The tongue has become the controller.
The tongue should not be the controller. It does not know anything about the stomach. It does not know anything about the body. The tongue has a specific purpose to fulfill: to taste food. Naturally, the tongue has to judge, that is the only thing, which food is for the body – for my body – and which food is not for my body. It is just a watchman on the door; it is not the master. And if the watchman on the door becomes the master, then everything will be confused.
Now advertisers know well that the tongue can be tricked, the nose can be tricked. And they are not the masters. You may not be aware: much food research goes on in the world, and they say if your nose is closed completely, and your eyes closed, and then you are given an onion to eat, you cannot tell what you are eating. You cannot tell onion from apple if the nose is closed completely because half of the taste comes from the smell, is decided by the nose, and half is decided by the tongue – and these two have become the controllers. Now they know: whether ice cream is nutritious or not is not the point. It can carry a flavor, it can carry some chemicals which fulfill the tongue but are not needed for the body.Tags: Patanjali Yoga Sutra 28 A Great Pilgrimage