Before we enter Yoga Sutra 45, let us understand what Authentic means.
THE Chhandogya Upanishad has a beautiful story.
Let us begin with it.
Satyakam asked his mother, Jabala, “Mother, I want to live the life of a student of supreme knowledge. What is my family name? Who is my father?”
“My son,” replied the mother, “I don’t know. In my youth when I went about a great deal as a maidservant I conceived you. I do not know who your father is. I am Jabala and you are Satyakam, so call yourself Satyakam Jabal.”
Then the boy went to Gautama, a great seer of those days, and asked to be accepted as a student. “Of what family are you, my dear?” inquired the sage.
Satyakam replied, “I asked my mother what my family name was, and she answered, ‘I don’t know. In my youth when I went about a great deal as a maidservant I conceived you. I do not know who your father is. I am Jabala and you are Satyakam, so call yourself Satyakam Jabal.’ Sir, I am therefore Satyakam Jabal.” The sage then said to him, “None but a true brahmin, a true seeker of truth, would have spoken thus. You have not swerved from the truth, my dear. I will teach you that supreme knowledge.”
The first quality of the seeker is to be authentic, not to swerve from truth, not to deceive in any way. Because if you deceive others, eventually you are deceived by your own deceptions. If you tell a lie too many times, it almost starts looking like a truth to you.
When others start believing in your lies, you also start believing in them. Belief is infectious.
That’s how we have got into the mess we are in.
The first lie that we have accepted as truth is that “I am a body.” Everybody believes in it.
You are born in a society which believes that we are bodies. Everybody reacts as a body; nobody responds as a soul.
And remember the difference between reaction and response: reaction is mechanical; response is alert, aware, conscious. When you push a button and the fan starts moving, it is a reaction. When you push a button, the fan does not start thinking, “Am I to move or not?” When you put the light on, the electricity does not respond; it reacts. It is mechanical. There is not any gap between your pushing of the button and the electricity’s functioning. There is not a little gap of thought, of awareness, of consciousness.
If you go on reacting in your life – somebody insults you and you become angry, somebody says something and you become sad, somebody says something, you become very happy – if it is a reaction, a push-button reaction, then by and by you will start believing that you are the body.
The body is a mechanism. It is not you. You live in it, it is your abode, but you are not it.
You are totally different.
This is the first lie that cripples life. Then there is another lie: that I am the mind. And this is deeper than the first, obviously, because the mind is closer to you than the body.
You go on thinking thoughts, dreaming dreams, and they move so close to you, almost touching your being, just surrounding you; you start believing in them also. Then you become the mind. The mind also reacts.
You become a soul the moment you start responding. Response means now you are not reacting mechanically. You contemplate, you meditate, you give a gap to your consciousness to decide. You are the deciding factor. Somebody insults you: in reaction he is the deciding factor. You simply react; he manipulates you. In response you are the deciding factor: somebody insults you – that is not primary, that is secondary. You think over it. You decide whether to do this or that. You are not overwhelmed by it. You remain untouched, you remain aloof, you remain a watcher.
These two lies have to be broken. These are fundamental lies. I am not counting the millions of lies that are not fundamental. You go on identifying yourself with a name. A name is just a label, utilitarian. You don’t come with a name, and you don’t go with a name. A name is just used by the society; it will be difficult to exist in a society without a name. Otherwise you are nameless. Then you think you belong to a certain religion, to a certain caste. You think that you belong to a certain man who is your father, a certain woman who is your mother. Yes, you come through them, but you don’t belong to them.
They have been passages, you have travelled through them, but you are different.
In Kahlil Gibran’s masterpiece, THE PROPHET, a woman asks the prophet Almustafa, “Tell us something about our children,” and Almustafa says, “They come through you, but they don’t belong to you. Love them, but don’t give your thoughts to them. Love them, because love gives freedom, but don’t possess them.”
Your innermost core belongs to nobody; it is not anybody’s possession. It is not a thing; it cannot be possessed. Your body can be possessed, your mind can also be possessed.
When you become a Mohammedan, your mind is possessed by people who call themselves Mohammedans. When you become a Hindu, your mind is possessed by people who call themselves Hindus. When you become a communist, you are possessed by DAS KAPITAL. When you become a Christian, you are possessed by the Bible.
When you think of yourself as the body, you think of yourself in terms of white, of black.
Your innermost core is neither Christian nor Hindu, your innermost core is neither white nor black, your innermost core is neither communist nor anticommunist. Your innermost core remains absolutely aloof from the body and the mind. It is higher than the body and higher than the mind. The mind cannot touch it; the body cannot reach it.
Why did Gautama the great sage accept Satyakam Jabal? He was true. He could have deceived; the temptation is easy. To move in the world, saying to people, “I don’t know who my father is,” is very humiliating. And the mother was also true. It is easy to deceive the child because the child has no means to discover whether you are deceiving or not.
When a child asks his mother, “Who created the world?” There is every temptation for the mother to say, “God created the world” – not knowing at all what she is saying.
This is the basic reason why when children grow up they become almost antagonistic towards their parents; they can never forgive them because they lie too much. They lose all respect for them. Parents go on saying, “Why? We loved you. We brought you up. The best we could do we have done. Why don’t children respect us?” You have lost the opportunity because of your lies. Once the child discovers that the mother and the father have been lying, all respect disappears. Deceiving a small helpless child? Saying things they did not know anything about?
That; Jabala was a rare mother. She said, “I don’t know who your father is.” She accepted that when she was young she was moving with many men. She loved many men and was being loved by many men, so she doesn’t know who the father is. A true mother. And the child was also brave. He told it to the Master; he repeated exactly the words that the mother had said.
This truth appealed to Gautama; and he said, “You are a true brahmin.” This is the definition of being a brahmin; a true man is a brahmin. A brahmin has nothing to do with any caste. The very word comes from “Brahman”; it means “a seeker of God,” a true authentic seeker.
Remember, the more you get involved in lies, howsoever paying they appear in the beginning, in the end you will find that they have poisoned your whole being.
Be authentic. If you are authentic, sooner or later you will discover you are not the body.
Because authenticity cannot go on believing in a lie. The clarity dawns, the eyes become more perceptive, and you can see: you are in the body, certainly, but you are not the body. When a hand is broken, you are not broken. When you have a fractured leg, you are not fractured. When there is a headache, you know the headache; you are not the headache itself. When you feel hungry, you know the hunger, but you are not hungry. By and by the basic lie is sabotaged. Then you can enter deeper and can start seeing your thoughts, dreams floating in your consciousness. Then you can distinguish, discriminate – what Patanjali calls vivek – then you can discriminate between what is the cloud and what is the sky.
Thoughts are like clouds moving in empty space. That empty space is the real sky, not the clouds – they come and go. Not the thoughts, but the empty space in which those thoughts appear and disappear.Tags: Patanjali Your Innermost Core