And Patanjali says if you bring your samyama – that is your dharana, concentration; your contemplation dhyan; and your samadhi if you bring all these three – one-pointed – on any sound uttered by any living being – animal, bird – you will understand the meaning of it.

In the West there are stories about St. Francis that he would talk to animals. He would even talk to donkeys and say, “Brother Donkey.” He would move into the forest and talk to the birds, and birds would come to him. Once, he called from the bank of the river, “Sisters.” as he used to call the fish, and thousands of fish took their heads up all over the river to listen to him. These are records which have been witnessed by many people.

It is said about Lukman, who created the unani system of medicine, that he would go to the trees and ask their properties – “For what disease can you be used, sir?” – and the tree would answer. In fact he has reported so many medicines that modern scientists are simply bewildered because methods were not there: experiment was not possible. Only just now are we becoming capable of entering into the hidden properties of things, but Lukman has talked about them.

Patanjali says this too is not a miracle. If you concentrate – you become one and you listen to the sound without any thought – the very sound will reveal to you the truth behind it. It is not a question of understanding the language; it is a question of understanding the silence. If you are in silence you can understand silence. Ordinarily, if you know English you can understand English, if you know French you can understand French. The same is true if you are silent you can understand silence. That is the language of the whole.

In one-pointedness one becomes absolutely silent. In that absolute silence everything is revealed – but not a miracle. Patanjali does not like the word “miracle.” He is a man of science. There is nothing magic-like in it; it is simple.

I was at Mulla Nasrudin’s house one day. Mulla Nasrudin and his wife were in the kitchen washing the dishes. Me and Fajalu, Nasrudin’s little son, were in the living room watching television. Suddenly there was a crash of falling dishes. I and Fajalu listened but heard nothing more.

“It was Mother who dropped them,” little Fajalu announced, finally.

I was amazed. “How do you know?” I asked him.

“Because she is not saying anything.”

There is a way of understanding when nothing is said – because that says something. Silence is not just empty. Silence has its own messages. Because you are much too filled with thoughts, you cannot understand, you cannot hear, that small, still voice within.

Just listen to a cuckoo, the cuckoo’s song. Patanjali says listen so meditatively that your thoughts disappear – nirodh comes. Not in gaps showers on you like samadhi. No thoughts interfere, no distraction one-pointedness arises. Suddenly you are one with the cuckoo, you understand why she is calling, because we are part of one whole. Behind that sound there is a hidden meaning in the cuckoo’s heart: if you are silent you will be able to understand it.

Patanjali says, “The sound and the purpose and idea behind it are together in the mind in a confused state. By performing samyama on the sound, separation happens and there arises comprehension of the meaning of sounds made by any living being.”

Mulla Nasrudin stood in an auction room all afternoon waiting for lot 455 which was a South American parrot in a chromium cage. Finally his chance came and the parrot was put up for sale. Mulla bought it, but it cost him far more money then he had expected to spend on it. Still, his wife badly wanted one just like it.

As the assistant came down to him to get his name and address he said, “You have got yourself a nice bird there, sir.”

The Mulla said, “I know. He is a beauty. Just one thing, I forgot to ask if that parrot can talk.”

The assistant’s eyebrows went up. “Talk?” he said, “Hell, he was bidding against you for the last five minutes!” But we are so occupied in our own thoughts, who listens? Who listens to a parrot? People don’t listen to their lovers. Who listens to the wife? Who listens to the husband? Who listens to the father, or who listens to the child? People are so occupied, preoccupied in their heads – hung up – there is no possibility for listening. Listening needs silence. Listening needs attentiveness. Listening needs a deep passivity, a receptivity. It is not absent-mindedness – it is full of attention, full of awareness, full of light: but passive.


And when you become silent – what Patanjali calls ekagrata parinam, the transformation that brings you one-pointedness of consciousness – when that arises you can look into your past impressions. You can move backwards and you can go to your past lives. And that is very, very significant, because once you can look into your past lives you will instantly become different. It is because you have forgotten all that you have lived before, you go on repeating the old nonsense again and again.

If you can see back and you can see again the same pattern, again the same pattern… that you were jealous, that you were possessive, that you were full of hate and anger, that you were greedy, that you were trying to become powerful in the world, trying to attain to riches, success, ambition, that you were an egoist again and again and always you failed and always death came and all that you were doing was disrupted, and again you started the same game again…. If you go back and you can see millions of lives spread all over eternity, can you be the same? Can you still move into greed when you see the frustration that it has been bringing to you?

But we forget. The past is absorbed by ignorance; it moves into a dark night. An oblivion falls, a curtain, and you cannot move back.

The proprietor of an art gallery in Bombay showing pictures to a customer who did not know what he liked, tried out a landscape, a still life, a portrait, and a floral piece, all without results.

“Would you be interested in a nude?” the proprietor of the gallery asked in desperation. “Would you be interested in a nude?”

“Good heavens, no,” said the visitor, “I am a gynecologist.”

If you are a gynecologist, how can you be interested in a nude? In fact it is impossible to be interested in the body. The more you know, the less the fascination. The more you know, the less the obsession. The more you know, the more the futility.

If one can move back into the past impressions of past lives… And that is simple, just one-pointedness is needed. Buddha has told his past-life stories, the JATAK STORIES; they are a treasure. Never before had anybody done that. Each story is significant – because that is the story of all humanity, all humanness, the stupidity of man, the greed, the jealousy, the anger, the compassion, the love. If you can see back, that very vision will change your future. You will not be the same again.

A gentleman in the seventies got his nerve together and took a flight in an airplane. As he climbed out after the ride he turned to the pilot and said, “Sir, I wish to thank you for both of those rides.”

“What are you talking about?” said the pilot, “You had only one ride.”

“No, sir,” said the passenger, “I had two – my first and my last.”

Experience transforms, but to transform you the experience needs to be conscious. Unconscious experience cannot change you. You have lived the same pattern that you are living now – many times – but you go on forgetting about it. Then again you start the same rut, as if something new is being started. Many times you have fallen in love and many times you were frustrated. Again you are seeking the old ways.

Your body may be new: your mind is not new. Your body is just like a new bottle, and your mind is very old wine. The bottles go on changing and the wine goes on remaining the same.

Patanjali says that if you become one-pointed – and you can become because there is no secret in it; just effort, perseverance, patience is needed – you will be able to see all that you have been before. Just the vision of it, and your pattern will collapse. No miracle in it; it is a simple, natural law.

The problem arises because you are unconscious. The problem arises because you have been dying and being born again and again, but each time, somehow, a curtain falls and your own past is hidden from you. You are like an iceberg, only a small part on the surface and the major part is under the surface. Your personality right now is just a small part protruding out of the surface. All your past is just underneath, underneath the surface. Once you become aware of it, nothing else is needed. That very awareness becomes a revolution.

Quizzing a bunch of recruits, the Marine sergeant asked, “Jones, when you clean a rifle what is the first thing you do?”

“Look at the number,” the man replied promptly.

“Now, what on earth has that got to do with cleaning a rifle?” the sergeant demanded.

“Just want to make sure,” replied Jones, “that I am cleaning my own.”

That is the point where everybody goes on missing. You don’t know who you are; you don’t know what is your number; you don’t know what you have been doing all along. You have become very clever in forgetting things. Now psychoanalysts say that whatsoever is painful, man tends to forget it. Not that you really forget – it remains part of your unconscious. In deep hypnosis it comes up, bubbles up. In deep hypnosis everything comes back.

For example, if I ask you what you did on the first of January, 1961, you cannot remember. You were, of course, there. The first of January, 1961, you were alive, all of you were there, but what you did from the morning till the evening you don’t remember. Then go to a hypnotist and allow yourself to be hypnotized. In deep hypnosis he will ask, “What did you do on the first of January, 1961?” And you will relate everything, even the minute details – that you went for a walk in the morning and it was beautiful, and there was dew on the grass, and you can still remember the coldness of the morning, and the hedges were being cut in the garden and you can still remember, you can almost smell again, the fragrance of the new hedges being cut, and the sun rising…. And small details, minute details, and the whole day as if you again live it. When you are brought out of hypnosis you have forgotten again.

It seems that to remember all will be too much for you, it will become too much of a burden, so you go on throwing it in the basement of the consciousness. The basement has to be searched because there are hidden treasures also, and the basements have to be searched because only searching through it will you become aware of your foolishness that you have been repeating continuously.

You can go beyond it only when you have understood it. A basement understood becomes the passage for a higher story of your being.

Modern psychology says there are two divisions of consciousness: the conscious and the unconscious. Yoga psychology says there is one more division: the superconscious. You live on the ground floor, that is consciousness. Beneath it is a great basement, the unconscious – the whole accumulated past. And when I say the whole accumulated past I mean all your lives as man, all your lives as animals, all your lives as birds, all your lives as trees, plants, all your lives as rocks, metals – from the very beginning, if there was any beginning, or from the very beginningless beginning. All that has happened to you, all transformations, they are all accumulated in the basement. One has to go through it.

The very understanding will give you the key of the staircase from where you can go to the superconscious.

Patanjali says it happens according to a simple law. All miracles happen according to a simple law, the law when you become one-pointed. There is only one miracle, and that is the miracle of becoming one-pointed.

These sutras are the very base for a future science to develop, one day or the other.

Now the basic work has started in the West. Much is being done as far as the supersensible is concerned; much is being done for the paranormal. But still everything is in the dark; people are groping. When things become more clear, Patanjali is going to take his right place in the history of human consciousness.

He is incomparable – the first scientist who does not believe in any superstition, in any miracle, and who reduces everything to a scientific law.

“By observing past impressions, knowledge of previous birth is obtained.” In Osho Commune Primal Therapy you do a little work on these lines; you go a little backward, up to your birth in this life. That is just spadework. If you succeed in that then you can be helped more deeply you can be helped to remember the days in the womb. He said that – I am going to start a new therapy, Hypnotherapy. Soon, when you have done Primal and you have succeeded in it, then Hypnotherapy can help you to go deeper, to remember the days in the womb; then go still deeper and to remember your last life, when you died; then go still deeper into your last life’s details.

If you can go in one life’s detail then you have the key, then you can open all the past doors.

But why open the past doors? Because in the past, the future is hidden. If you know your past you will not repeat it in the future. If you don’t know it you will go on repeating it again and again and again. The very knowledge of the past becomes a guarantee that now you will not repeat it in the future; in the future you are going to be a totally new man; Yoga is the science of the new man.


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