IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE MIND TO KNOW ITSELF AND ANY OTHER OBJECT AT THE SAME TIME.
These sutras are all about witnessing. Patanjali is saying, step by step, that it is impossible for the mind to do two things: to be perceived and to be the perceiver. Either it can be the perceiver or it can be the perceived. So when you can witness your mind, that proves absolutely that the mind is not the perceiver. You are the perceiver. You are not the body; you are not even the mind. The whole emphasis is: how to help you to discriminate from that which you are not.
IF IT WERE ASSUMED THAT A SECOND MIND ILLUMINATES THE FIRST, COGNITION OF COGNITION WOULD HAVE TO BE ASSUMED, AND A CONFUSION OF MEMORIES.
But there have been philosophers who say that there is no need to assume a witness; we can assume another mind: mind one is perceived by mind two. That’s what psychologists will also agree to, because why bring something absolutely unknown into account? – The mind is observed by the mind itself, by a subtle mind. But Patanjali gives a very logical refutation of this attitude. He says, “If you assume that mind one is perceived by mind two, then who perceives mind two? Then mind three; then who perceives mind three?” He says, “Then this will create confusion. It will be an infinite regress. Then you can go on, ad absurdum; and again, even if you say ‘the mind one thousand’, the problem remains the same. Then you have to again assume a mind behind mine one thousand: one thousand and one – and this will go on and on.
No, one has to understand something absolutely inside, behind which there is nothing. Otherwise there is a confusion of memories, otherwise, a chaos. Body, mind, and the witnesser: the witnesser is absolute. But who perceives the witnesser? Who knows the witnesser? And then we come to one of the most important hypotheses of yoga.
KNOWLEDGE OF ITS OWN NATURE THROUGH SELF-COGNITION IS OBTAINED WHEN CONSCIOUSNESS ASSUMES THAT FORM IN WHICH IT DOES NOT PASS FROM PLACE TO PLACE.
Yoga believes that the witness is a self-illuminating phenomenon. It is just like a light. You have a small candle in your room – the candle illuminates the room, the furniture, the walls, the painting on the wall. Who illuminates the candle? You don’t need another candle to find this candle; the candle is self-illuminating. It illuminates other things, and simultaneously it illuminates itself. Svabuddhi- samvidhanam: innermost consciousness is self-illuminating. It is of the nature of light. The sun illuminates everything in the solar system – at the same time it illuminates itself. The witnesser witnesses everything that goes on around in the five seeds and in the world, and at the same time it illuminates itself. This seems to be perfectly logical. Somewhere, we have to come to the rock bottom. Otherwise, we go on and on – and that will not help, and the problem remains the same.
KNOWLEDGE OF ITS OWN NATURE THROUGH SELF-COGNITION – SVABUDDHI- SAMVIDHANAM – IS OBTAINED WHEN CONSCIOUSNESS ASSUMES THAT FORM IN WHICH IT DOES NOT PASS FROM PLACE TO PLACE.
When your inner consciousness has come to a moment of no movement, when it has become deeply centered and rooted, when it is unwavering, when it has become a constant flame of awareness, then it illuminates itself.
WHEN THE MIND IS COLORED BY THE KNOWER AND THE KNOWN, IT IS ALL – APPREHENDING.
The mind is just between you and the world. The mind is the bridge between you and the world, between the witnesser and the witnessed. The mind is a bridge, and if the mind is colored by things, and also by the witness, it becomes all-comprehending. It becomes a tremendous instrument of knowledge. But two types of coloring are needed; one: it should be colored by the things it sees, and, it should be colored by – the witnesser. The witnesser should pour down its energy into the mind; then only can the mind know things.
For example: a scientist is working. He has dissected the body of a man and he is looking very minutely, as minutely as scientific instruments make available. He is searching for the soul, and he cannot find any soul, just matter, matter. At the most, he can find something belonging to the world of physics or to the world of chemistry, but nothing belonging to the world of consciousness. And he comes out of the lab, and he says, “There is no consciousness.” Now, he has missed one thing.
Who was looking in the dead body? He has completely forgotten himself. The scientist is watching the object but is completely oblivious of his own being. The scientist is trying to find consciousness outside, but has forgotten completely that the one who is trying is consciousness. The seeker is; the sought. He has become too much, focused on the object, and the subject is forgotten.
Science is too focused on the object, and so-called religions are too focused on the subject. But yoga says, “There is no need to become lopsided. Remember the world is there, and also remember that you are.” Let your remembrance be total and whole, of the object and the subject both. When your mind is infused with your consciousness, and also infused with the objective world there happens apprehension.
And Patanjali says, WHEN THE MIND IS COLORED BY THE KNOWER AND THE KNOWN, IT IS ALL-APPREHENDING.
It can know all that can be known. It can know everything that can be known. Then nothing is hidden from that mind. A religious mind – let us call him an introvert – by and by, knows only his subjectivity and starts saying that the world is illusion, maya, a dream, made of the same stuff as dreams are. A scientist who is too focused on objects starts believing in the objective world and says that only the material exists; consciousness is just poetry, a talk of the dreamers: good, romantic, but not real.
The scientist says that consciousness is illusory. The extrovert says that consciousness is illusory; the introvert says that the world is illusory.
But yoga is the supreme science. Patanjali says, “Both are real.” Reality has two sides to it: the outside and the inside. And remember, how can the inside happen, how can it exist without an outside? Can you conceive that only the inside exists and the outside is illusory? If the outside is illusory, the inside will become illusory automatically. If the inside of your house is real, and the outside of the house is unreal, where will you demarcate? Where does reality stop and illusion start? And how can an outside which is illusory have a real inside? An unreal body will have an unreal mind; an unreal mind will have an unreal consciousness. A real consciousness needs a real mind; a real mind needs a real body; a real body needs a real world.
Yoga does not deny anything. Yoga is absolutely pragmatic, empirical. It is more scientific than science, and more religious than religions, because it makes the greater synthesis of the inner and the outer.
THOUGH VARIEGATED BY INNUMERABLE DESIRES, THE MIND ACTS FOR ANOTHER, FOR IT ACTS IN ASSOCIATION.
The mind goes on working, but it is not working for itself. It has a managerial post; the master is hidden behind. It cooperates with the master. Now, this has to be deeply understood.
If the mind cooperates with the master, you are healthy and whole. If the mind goes astray, against the master, you are unhealthy and ill. If the servant follows the master like a shadow, everything is okay. If the master says, “Go to the left,” and the servant goes to the right, then something has gone wrong. If you want your body to run and the body says, “I cannot run,” then you are paralyzed. If you want to do something and the body and the mind say, “No,” or they go on doing something which you don’t want to do, then you are in great confusion. This is how humanity is.
Yoga has this as the goal: that your mind should function according to your lord, the innermost soul.
Your body should function according to the mind, and you should create a world around you which is in cooperation. When everything is in cooperation – the lower is always in cooperation with the higher, and the higher is in cooperation with the highest, and the highest is in cooperation with the utterly ultimate – then you have a life of harmony. Then you are a yogin. Then you become one, but not in the sense that only one exists: now you have become one in the sense of unison. You have become one in the sense of an orchestra – many instruments, but the music is one; many bodies, millions of objects, desires, ambitions, mood, ups and downs, failures and successes, a great variety, but everything in unison, in harmony. You have become an orchestra. Everything is cooperating with everything else, and everything finally is cooperating with the very center of your being.
That’s why in India we are called sannyasins swamis. ‘Swami’ means: the lord. You become a swami only when you have attained to this harmony that Patanjali is talking about. Patanjali is not against anything whatsoever. He is in favor of harmony. He’s against discord. He is not against anything: he’s not against the body, he’s not an antibody man; he’s not against the world, he’s not anti-life; he absorbs everything. And through that absorption he creates a higher synthesis. And the ultimate synthesis is when everything is in cooperation, when there is not even a single jarring note.
I have heard an anecdote: The baby baboon was five years old but had not spoken a word since birth. Its parents were convinced that their offspring was dumb until one night when the little baboon was eating a banana. It suddenly looked up at its mother and spoke clearly: “What is the idea of feeding me a rotten banana?” The mother baboon was overjoyed and asked her baby why he had never spoken before. “Well,” said the little baboon, “the food has been okay up to now.”
If you are in harmony, you will not complain about the world. You will not complain about anything. The complaining mind is simply indicative that things are not in harmony inside. When everything is in harmony, then there is no complaint. Now, you go to your so-called saints: everybody is complaining – complaining of the world, complaining of desires, complaining of the body, complaining of this and that. Everybody lives in complaints; something is jarring. A perfect man is one who has no complaints. That man is a God-man who has accepted everything, absorbed everything and become a cosmos, is no more a chaos.
Another anecdote: The sweet little old lady was proud of the way she had trained her talking parrot, and was showing him off to the vicar. “If you pull his left leg, he says the Lord’s Prayer, and if you pull his right leg, he repeats the Psalms,” she explained.
“What if you pull both legs at once?” asked the vicar.
“I would fall flat on my behind, you stupid old coot!” retorted the parrot.
And this is what has happened to man. If you pull one leg it is okay; if you pull the other leg, that too is okay; but if you pull both legs, everything is bound to topple down. That’s what has happened to man. His whole being has been pulled down. Religions have been trying to pull his body. They are much too afraid of the body, too guilty. They have been continuously trying to destroy and poison the body. They would like you to be like ghosts, without bodies. Their idea is that the body is intrinsically wrong, that body is the body of sin. So you should be like spirits – without bodies, disembodied.Tags: Patanjali Yoga Sutra 49 Both Are Real