Before we enter Yoga Sutra 33 let’s understand – misery.

The story is told of Leo Tolstoy, the great Russian novelist, that he was walking in a forest one day when he came upon a clearing and saw a lizard sitting upon a rock sunning itself. Tolstoy began speaking to the lizard, “Your heart is beating.”

He said, “The sun is shining; you are happy.” And after a pause, he added, “But I am not.”

Why are lizards happy and man is not? Why is the whole creation in a celebration and man is not? Why except man is everything beautifully tuned unto itself and tuned with the whole? Why is man an exception? What has happened to man? What misfortune has fallen to him? This has to be understood as deeply as possible because from that very understanding starts the path, from that very understanding you become a seeker, from that very understanding you are no longer part of the human disease. You start transcending it.

A lizard exists in the present. A lizard has no idea of the past, no idea of the future. A lizard is just here-now sunning himself. This moment is enough unto a lizard, but this moment is not enough unto a man and there arises the disease because whenever you will get, you will get only one moment. You will never get two moments together. And wherever you are, you will always be here: and whenever you become aware, you will become aware in the now. The past is no more, the future not yet – and we go on missing that which is for that future which is not yet, for that past which is no more.

To be a lizard on a rock sunning is to be a meditator. Drop the past, drop the future. What does it mean? It means drop thinking because all thoughts either belong to the past or to the future. There is no thought here-now. Thinking has no present tense about it – either it is dead or unborn. It is always unreal – either part of memory or part of imagination. It is never real. The real is never a thought: the real is an experience. The real is an existential experience.

You can dance in the real, you can sun yourself in the real, you can sing in the real, you can love in the real: but you cannot think it, – because thinking is always about it, and in that “about” is hidden the whole misery. In that “about” you go on moving – about and about – and you never come to the point that was always and always available.

The whole point of all meditation is to be a lizard, sunning yourself on a rock, to be here-now, to be part of the whole, not trying to jump ahead in the future, not trying to carry That which is no more. Unburdened, of the past, unconcerned with the future, how can you be miserable? How can Leo Tolstoy be miserable unburdened by the past, unconcerned with the future? Where can misery exist?

Where can I and it hide itself? Suddenly, you explode into a totally different dimension, you go beyond time and you become part of eternity.

But we go on and on like a stuck gramophone record, repeating ourselves endlessly.

I have heard: Two girls were talking in the park and one of them looked so glum, so sad, that the other was feeling very sympathetic. She put her arms around the mink coat of the other gorgeous doll and said, “Angeline, what is troubling you?”

Angeline shrugged and said, “Oh, it is nothing I suppose, but a fortnight ago old Mr. Short dropped dead. You remember him? He was always so good to me. Anyway, he dropped dead and left me fifty thousand rupees. Then last week poor old Mr. Pilkinhouse had a seizure and died and left me sixty thousand rupees. And this week nothing.”

This is the trouble always expecting, always asking for more, for more. And there can be no end for this demand for more. Whatsoever you get you can always imagine more and you can always become miserable.

Poor people are miserable, you can understand, but rich people are also miserable. Those who have are as much as miserable as those who have not. Ill people are miserable, but healthy are also miserable. Misery seems to be somewhere else. Misery does not disappear by wealth, health, or anything of that sort. It continues like an undercurrent.

The misery exists in the demand for the more, and the human mind can always imagine for more. Can you imagine a situation in which you cannot imagine for more? Impossible. Even heaven can be improved upon. Nobody can imagine a situation in which imagination can stop and you cannot imagine more and a better situation. That means you will be miserable wherever you are. Even heaven won’t be enough, so don’t wait for heaven. If you go right now into heaven it won’t be enough. You will be as miserable as here. Maybe even more because here, at least, you can hope – that heaven is there and one day or other you will enter into it. If you enter into it, even that hope is gone.

As you are, you can only be in hell, because hell or heaven are ways of looking at things. They are not physical spaces: they are attitudes, how you look at things.

A lizard is in heaven and Leo Tolstoy is in hell. Even a man like Leo Tolstoy. He was world-famous, more fame you cannot imagine. His name is going to be in the history books. His books will be read forever and forever. He was a genius.

But you cannot imagine a more miserable man. He was rich, one of the richest men in Russia. He belonged to the royal family; he was a prince, married to a very beautiful princess; but you cannot imagine more miserable a man, who was continuously thinking of suicide. He started thinking maybe it is because he is so rich, that’s why he is miserable, so he started living like a poor man, like a peasant; but still the misery continued.

What was troubling him? He was a man of great imagination – a novelist has to be. He was a man of tremendous imagination, so whatsoever was available was always less. More he could imagine, the better he could imagine. That became his misery.

Remember this, that if you are expecting anything from life, you will not get anything. Don’t expect and it is there in all its glory. Don’t expect, don’t ask, and it showers upon you in all its miraculousness. All its magic is there. Just wait a little while without thoughts… but that seems to be impossible.

Not that there are not moments when you are without thoughts. Patanjali says there are. All those who have entered into the inner space of man, they know there are gaps. But you are missing them somehow, because those gaps are in the present. You jump from one thought to another, and in between was the gap. In between was the heaven – you jump from one hell to another.

In between is heaven, but in between you are not. From one thought to another thought you jump you are. Each thought feeds your ego, helps you to be, defines you, gives you a boundary, a shape, a form, an identity. You don’t look in the gap between the two thoughts because to look into that gap is to look into your original face, which has no identity. To look into that gap is to look into eternity, where you are going to be lost.

You have become so afraid of looking into the gap that you have almost managed to forget them.

Between two thoughts there is a gap, but you don’t see it. You see one thought, then you see another thought, then another thought…. Just watch a little. The thoughts are not overlapping. Each thought is separate. In between the two there must be a gap. There is a gap, and that interval is the door. From that door you will enter into existence again. From that door you have been expelled from the garden of Eden. From that door you will enter into the garden of Eden again, you will again become like a lizard sunning on a rock.

I have heard Once a family moved from the country to the city, and his mother gave little Bobby careful instructions about traffic. “Never cross the street until the cars have passed.” She said as he started off to visit a little friend. About an hour later he returned, his eyes brimming with tears. “What has happened?” his mother asked in alarm.

“I could not go,” said Bobby, “I waited and waited, but a car never did come by.”

He was told to wait until the cars have passed by, but never a car did come by.

The road was empty, and he was looking for the cars.

This is the situation inside you. The road is always empty – available – but you are looking for cars, thoughts, and then you become very much worried. So many thoughts. They become multiplied, they echo and reecho in you, and you go on being attentive towards them. Your gestalt is wrong.

Change the gestalt. If you look into the thoughts, you create a mind in yourself. If you look into the gaps, you create meditation into yourself. The accumulation of the gaps is meditation; the accumulation of thoughts is the mind. These are two gestalts, two possibilities of your being either you be through the mind, or you be through the meditation.

Look for the gaps. They are already there, naturally available. Meditation is not something which has to be produced by effort. It is there as much as the mind. In fact more than the mind because the mind is only on the surface, the waves, and the meditation is the depth of the ocean.


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