BY PERFORMING SAMYAMA ON THE POLAR STAR, KNOWLEDGE OF THE MOVEMENT OF THE STARS IS GAINED.
And what is the polar star in your inner being? The polar star is very symbolic. Mythologically, it is thought that the polar star is the only star which is absolutely unmoving. It is not true. It moves, but very slowly. But it is symbolic: something in you has to be found which does not move at all.
Only that can be your nature, only that can be your being: something like a polestar – dhruve – unmoving, absolutely unmoving, because when there is no movement, eternity is there; when there is movement, time.
Movement needs time; no movement needs no time. If you move there will be a beginning and an end. All movement starts and ends; there will be a birth and death. But if there is no movement, then you are beginningless, endless; then there is no birth, no death.
So where is the polestar within you? That’s what yoga calls sakshin, the witness. The witness is the polestar. First bring your samyama on solar energy because that is where you exist ordinarily, biologically. That is where you find yourself. That is already given. Transform it to lunar energy: become more cool, collected, calm. Let the excitement, the feverishness, the heat be gone, dispersed, so that you can watch the inner sky. And then the first thing to find is: who is the watcher.
That is the pole star because the watcher is the only thing which is unmoving within you.
Now let me explain it to you. You are angry, but you cannot remain angry forever. Even the angriest man laughs some. times, has to. It cannot become a permanent state of affairs, being angry.
Even the saddest man smiles; and even the man who laughs continuously sometimes cries and weeps and tears come to his eyes. Emotions cannot be Permanent. That’s why they are called “emotions”; the word comes from “motion,” movement. They move; hence, they are emotions. From one to another you continuously change. This moment you are sad, that moment you are happy; this moment you are angry, that moment you are very compassionate; this moment you are loving, another moment full of hatred; the morning was beautiful, the evening is ugly. This goes on.
This cannot be your nature, because behind all these changes something is needed Like a thread which holds all of them together. Just as in a garland you see flowers, you don’t see the thread; but the thread is the one who is holding all the flowers. So these are all flowers: sometimes anger flowers, sometimes sadness flowers, sometimes happiness, sometimes pain, sometimes anguish.
But these are all flowers, and your whole life is the garland. There must be a thread; otherwise you would have fallen apart long before. You continue as an entity, so what is the thread, the polestar?
What is permanent in you?
That is the whole search of religion: what is permanent in you. If you go on being concerned and engaged with the non permanent, you are in the world. The moment you change your attention towards that which is permanent in you, you are becoming religious.
Sakshin, the witness. You can witness your anger. You can witness your sadness. You can witness your anguish. You can witness your blissfulness. The witness remains the same. Or, for an example, in the night you sleep. The day is gone and the image that you carried the whole day, who you are, is also gone. You may have been a very rich man during the day. In the night, in the dream, you may become a beggar.
Emperors tend to become beggars in their dreams, beggars tend to become emperors in their dreams, because dream is a completion. Even an emperor sometimes feels jealous of beggars because they move on the street so free, unconcerned, as if they have nothing to do and the whole world to enjoy. And he watches them sitting in the sun and enjoying sunlight, sun rays. He cannot do that; he has too many other things to do. He is so occupied. He sees them singing in the night under the stars. He cannot do that; it won’t look good for an emperor. He feels jealous. In the night, emperors dream they have become beggars. Beggars dream they have become emperors because they are jealous. They see the palaces, the riches, the merriment that goes on. They would also like to have it.
So whatsoever is lacking comes into your dreams; your dream is a complementary thing. If you study your dreams, you will know what is lacking in your life. The moment nothing is lacking, dreams disappear. So an enlightened person never dreams; he cannot dream. It is impossible for him to dream because nothing is lacking. He is content, absolutely content. If he is a beggar, he is so content that he is already an emperor in his beggarliness.
Once it happened, a great Sufi mystic, Ibrahim, used to live with a beggar. Ibrahim renounced his throne because he saw the falsity and the foolishness of it, and he was a courageous man. He left his kingdom and he became a beggar. Then one beggar accompanied him for a few days. The beggar would pray every night to God, “God, do something. Why have you made me so poor? The whole world is enjoying it. Just, I am left out of it. Not even bread enough to eat, no clothes to wear, no shelter to live. Do something! Sometimes I start suspecting whether you are there or not because my prayers remain unfulfilled.”
Ibrahim listened to this prayer once, twice, thrice; then one day he said, “Wait. It seems that you got your poverty without paying the price.”
The beggar said, “Price for poverty? What do you mean? What are you talking about? Has poverty also to be paid for!”
Ibrahim said, “Yes, I have paid for it with my whole kingdom, and then I know the beauty of it. You have got it free of charge, so you don’t know what poverty is. You don’t know the freedom that it brings; you don’t know the weightlessness that it brings. You don’t know what poverty is. First you need to suffer like a rich man; then you will know. I have known both… I am content.”
“In fact,” Ibrahim said, “I cannot pray because I cannot find anything to pray for. At the most I can say, ‘Hello, God. Thank you.’ Finished. There is nothing to say. I am so content.”
An enlightened person cannot dream: he is so content. And I say to you he will not even say, “Hello, God. Thank you.” Why disturb him? Or he will say it once, and every day he will say, “Ditto.” What is the point of saying it? And in fact he knows already that your whole heart is saying hello, thank you. What is the point of saying it?
In the night you dream and you forget your image that you carried the whole day. You may be a great scholar in the day; evening you forget. You may be a king, and you forget. Or you may be a great ascetic who has renounced the world, and in dreams beautiful women surround you and you forget that you are an ascetic, a monk, and this is not good. All that is good and bad in the day is gone because you are absolutely someone different. The mood has changed, the climate has changed.
But one thing remains permanent. In the day if you watch your activities – walking on the street, eating the food, going to the office, coming home, being angry, being loving – if you watch, then in the night also you can watch, and you can go on watching that this is a dream. So in a dream I have become an emperor? Good. You can go on watching.
In twenty four hours only one thing can be permanent, and that is the watcher, the witness. That is the pole star inside you.
“By performing samyama on the polar star, knowledge of the movement of the stars is gained.” And remember, first Patanjali says performing samyama on the moon, knowledge of the arrangement of the stars is gained – which star is which, and where. By performing samyama on the polar star, sakshin, the movement of the stars is known. Because the movement can be known only against something which is permanent. If nothing is permanent, movement cannot be known; and if everything is moving and you don’t have a permanent base, unmoving base, how can you know movement?
That’s why you cannot feel the movement of the earth. The earth is moving, as fast as you can imagine. It is a spaceship. It is continuously moving: whirling on its center and, at the same time, running fast around the sun. Day in, day out, year in, year out, it goes on and on and you never feel it – because everything else is running with the same speed: the trees, the houses, you, everything.
It is impossible to feel it because there is no point of contrast. Just think of yourself as if you have a small thing to stand on – the whole earth moves, you are not moving – then you will know. You will get almost dizzy; it is going so fast. Then you will not be able to be in Delhi. Sometimes it is Philadelphia passing, sometimes it is Tokyo passing, sometimes… and continuously the earth is moving, revolving.
It is moving so fast, but to know it, to feel it, you need a non moving base. That’s why man lived for so many centuries on the earth and just three hundred years ago, through Galileo and Copernicus, we came to know that the earth moves. Otherwise, for millennia we had been thinking that the earth is the center, unmoving center, everything else moves in the world – all the stars, the sun and moon – only the earth is unmoving: this is the center.
Inside, also, everything is moving except the sakshin, the witness. Except for your awareness, everything is constantly moving. Once you know this witness you will be able to see how fast everything else is moving.
Now a very complicated thing has to be understood. For example, I talked up to now in terms as if the centers are static. They are not. Sometimes the sex center is in the head, moving. That’s why the mind becomes so sexual. You go on thinking and fantasizing. Sometimes the sex center is in your hands, and you would like to touch a woman. Sometimes the sex center is in your eyes, and whatsoever you see, you turn it into a sexual object. You become pornographic – whatsoever you see, immediately it turns into a sex object. Sometimes the center is in the ears; whatsoever you hear makes you sexual.
It is possible to go to a temple and listen to bhajans, divine, devotional singing, and feel sexual if your center is at that moment in the ears. And you will be very much worried, “What is happening? I am in the temple; I have come as a devotee. And what is happening?”
And sometimes it is possible, you may be sitting by your girlfriend, your wife, and she is available – not only available, welcoming, waiting – and you don’t feel sexual at all: the sex center is not at the sex center where it should be.
Sometimes it happens when you fantasize about sex you enjoy much; when you make love to a woman you enjoy nothing – nothing at all.
What happens? You don’t know where your center is. When one becomes sakshin, one becomes aware of where the center is, and then much is possible.
When it is in your ears, it gives energy to your ears. Those are the moments when you can train the ear and you can become a musician. When it is in your eyes, those are the moments you can become a painter, an artist. Then you look at the trees and they will be greener than they are. Then the rose flowers will have a different blooming quality to them; you will project. When the sex center is on the tongue, you can become a great orator – you can hypnotize people. A single word from you, and it goes to the very heart of your listeners; they are hypnotized. There are right moments….
If your sex center is in your eyes, you can just look at someone and he will be hypnotized. You will become a hypnotizer; you will have hypnotic power. When the sex center is in your hands, touch anything and it becomes gold. Because sex is energy and life.
And the same about the moon.
Up to now I talked about their static locations. Ordinarily, they are found there, but nothing is static.
Everything is revolving.
If your death center is in your hands and you are a physician, give the medicine and the patient will die. Do, whatsoever you will, you will not be able to save your patient. In India they say, “That doctor has the hands of a physician: whatsoever he touches becomes medicine.” And some other doctor? “Don’t go near him: you bring a small disease to him, and he will magnify it and you will come back worse than when you had gone there.”
The yogi becomes alert. In ayurveda, which evolved by the side of yoga in ancient India, a physician had to be a yogi also. Unless you are a yogi you cannot be a real physician. You cannot be a real healer. The physician had to watch his own inner arrangement before he would go to the patient to see and treat him. If the death center is in his hands, he will not go. If the death center is in his eyes, he will not go. The death center should be in the hara and the life center in his hands, then he will go. A right arrangement of things.
Once you know your inner world, many things become possible. You have also observed it sometimes, but you don’t know what is happening. Sometimes you don’t do anything, and you go on being successful. And sometimes you do such hard work, and nothing succeeds; everything fails. Your arrangement is not right. You are functioning through the wrong center.
When a warrior goes to the war, to the war front, he should go when the death center is in his hands.
Then… then he can kill very easily. Then he is death incarnate. That is what is the meaning of an “evil eye”: the man whose death center has got fixed into the eyes. If he looks at you, you will be in trouble. His very look is a curse.
And there are people whose eyes have become fixed with the life center. They look, and you feel a blessing; they look, and you feel blessed. They look at you, and something, something alive showers on you.
“By performing samyama on the polar star, knowledge of the movement of the stars is gained.” Nabhi chakra kaya vyuha gyanam.Tags: Patanjali Yoga Sutra 37 Polar Star