I have heard a small anecdote: An efficiency expert was checking a government bureau and came to an office where two young men were seated on opposite sides of a desk, neither occupied with work.

“What are your duties?” the expert asked one.

“I have been here six months, and I have not been given any duties yet,” the man replied.

“And your duties?” the efficiency expert asked the other man.

“I too have been here for six months and have not been given any duties yet,” he replied.

“Well, one of you must go,” snubbed the expert, “This is an obvious instance of duplication.”

Two persons doing the same duty – of not doing anything.

The expert always thinks in terms of knowledge. Go to a wise man. He does not think in terms of knowledge. He looks at you through his knowing eyes. The world is ruled by experts too much, and the world has almost forgotten to go to the wise men. And the difference is the expert is as ordinary as you are. The only difference between you and the expert is that he has accumulated some dead information. He knows more than you know, but his information is not his own realization. He has just accumulated it from the outside, and he goes on giving advice to you.

Seek, search for a wise man. That is the search for the guru. In the East people travel for thousands of miles to seek and search for somebody who has really come to know, and to be with him, to be with the man of samyama – one who has attained, who has not cultivated, who has grown, who has flowered in his inner being. The flower is not borrowed from the outside. It is an inner flowering.

Remember, Patanjali’s samyama is not the concept of ordinary cultivation. It is the concept of flowering, of helping and allowing that which is hidden in you to be manifested. You are already carrying the seed. The seed only needs the right soil. A little care, a loving care, and it will sprout, and it will come one day to flower. And the fragrance that was carried by the seed will be spread to the winds, and the winds will carry it to all the directions.

The man of samyama cannot hide himself. He tries. He cannot hide himself, because the winds will continuously carry his fragrance. He can go to a cave in the mountains and sit there, and people will start coming to him there.

Somehow, in some unknown way, those who are growing, those who are intelligent, they will find him. He need not seek them; they will seek him.

Can you watch something similar in your own being, because then it will be easy to understand the sutras? You love somebody, really; and, you show love to somebody. Have you watched the difference? Somebody comes, a guest. You really welcome him. It is a flowering; from your very being you welcome him. It is not only a welcome to your home, it is a welcome to your heart. And then some other guest comes and you welcome him because you have to welcome him. Have you watched the difference between the two?

When you really welcome him, you are one flow – the welcome is total. When you don’t really welcome him and you are simply following etiquette, manners, you are not one flow; and if the guest is perceptive, he will immediately turn back. He will not enter your house. If he is really perceptive, he can immediately see the contradiction in you. Your extended hand for a handshake is not really extended.

The energy in it is not moving towards the guest; the energy is being withheld.

Only a dead hand has been spread out.

You are a contradiction whenever you are following anything outer, just following a discipline. It is not true; you are not in it.

Remember, whatsoever you do – if you are doing it at all – do it totally. If you don’t want to do it at all, then don’t do it – then don’t do it totally. The totalness has to be remembered because that totalness is the most significant thing. If you continuously go on doing things in which you are contradictory, inconsistent, in which a part of you moves and another part doesn’t move, you are destroying your inner flowering. By and by you will become a plastic flower – with no fragrance, with no life.

It happened: Mulla Nasrudin, on leaving a party said to his hostess, “Thank you very much for inviting me. It is the very nicest party I have ever been invited to in all my life.”

And the party was very ordinary.

Somewhat taken aback the hostess exclaimed, “Oh, don’t say that.”

To which the Mulla replied, “But I do say that. I always say that.”

Then it is meaningless. Then it is absolutely meaningless.

Don’t live a life of mere manners, don’t live a life of mere etiquette. Live an authentic life.

I know the life of etiquette, manner, is comfortable, convenient; but it is poisonous. It kills you slowly, slowly. The life of authenticity is not so convenient and comfortable. It is risky, it is dangerous – but it is real, and the danger is worth it. And you will never repent for it. Once you start enjoying real life, the real feeling, the real flow of your energy and you are not divided and split, then you will understand that if everything is to be staked for it, it is worth it. For a single moment of real life, your whole unreal life can be staked, and it is worth – because in that single moment you would have known what life is and its destiny. And your whole long life of a hundred years you will simply live on the surface, always afraid of the depth, and you will miss the whole opportunity.

This is the hopelessness that we have created all around us living and not living at all, doing things we never intended to do, being in relationships we never wanted to be, following a profession which has never been a call to you. Being false in a thousand and one ways, and how do you expect that out of this falsity.

Layer upon layer, you can know what life is? It is because of your falsity you are missing it. It is because of your falsity you cannot make the contact with the living stream of life.

And sometimes, when you become aware of it, a second problem arises.

Whenever people become aware of the falsity of life, they immediately move to the opposite extreme. That is another trap of the mind because if you move from one falsity to the exact opposite, you will move to another falsity again.

Somewhere in between, somewhere between the two opposites is the real.

Samyama means balance. It means absolute balance not moving to the extremes, remaining just in the middle. When you are neither a rightist nor a leftist, when you are neither a socialist nor an individualist, when you are neither this nor that, suddenly, in between, the flowering, the flowering of samyama.

It happened that Mulla Nasrudin was suffering from a very deep-rooted fear. It had almost become an obsession. I advised him to go to a psychiatrist. Then one day, after a few weeks, when I saw him I asked, “I understand that you have been going to the psychiatrist I suggested to you. Do you think it has helped you?”

“Certainly it has. Only a few weeks ago, when the phone rang I was deadly afraid to answer it.”

That was his fear always. The ringing of the phone, and he will start trembling.

Who knows what is the message? Who knows who is calling him? “Only a few weeks ago, when the phone rang I was deadly afraid to answer it.”

“And now?” I asked.

He said, “And now? I go right ahead and answer it – whether it rings or not.”

You can move from one extreme to another, from one falsity to another falsity, from one fear to another fear. You can move from the marketplace to the monastery. Those are the polarities. The people who live in the marketplace are unbalanced, and the people who live in the monasteries are also unbalanced on the other extreme, but both are lopsided.

Samyama means balance. That’s what I mean by sannyas to be balanced, to be in the marketplace and yet not be of it, to be in the bazaar but to not allow the bazaar to be in you. If your mind can remain free from the marketplace, you can be in the marketplace and there is no problem, you can move to the monastery and live alone; but if the bazaar follows inside you…. Which is bound to follow because the bazaar is not really outside – it is in the buzzing thoughts, in the inner traffic noise of the thoughts. It is going to follow you. How can you leave yourself here and escape somewhere else? You will go with yourself, and wherever you go you will be the same.

So don’t try to escape from situations. Rather, try to become more and more aware. Change the inner climate and don’t be worried about the outer situations.

Insist continuously on it, because the cheaper is always alluring. It says, “Because you are worried in the market, escape to the monastery and all worries will disappear: because worries are because of the business, because of the market, because of the relationship.” No, worries are not because of the market, worries are not because of the family, worries are not because of the relationship: worries are because of you. These are just excuses. If you go to the monastery, these worries will find some new objects to hang to, but the worries will continue.

Just look at your mind, in what a mess it is. And this mess is not created by the situation. This mess is in you. Situations, at the most, work as excuses.

Sometimes, do one experiment. You think people make you angry, then go for a twenty-one-day silence. Remain silent and you will suddenly become aware that many times in the day, for no reason at all – because now there is nobody to make you angry – you become angry. You think because you come across a beautiful woman or a man that’s why you become sexual? You are wrong. Go for a twenty-one-day silence. Remain alone and you will find many times, suddenly for no reason at all sexuality arises. It is within you.

Two women were talking. I have simply overheard them; excuse my trespass.

Mistress Brown, very annoyed: “Look here, Mistress Green. Mistress Gray told me that you told her the secret I told you not to tell her.”

Mistress Green: “Oh! The mean creature. And I told her not to tell you that I told her.”

Mistress Brown: “Well. Look here, don’t tell her that I told you she told me.”

This is the traffic noise that goes on continuously in the mind. This has to be stilled, not by any force but by understanding.

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