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The Yoga-Sûtra of Patañjali

posted Mar 22, 2012, 9:08 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Apr 1, 2012, 7:16 AM by Abhijna Yoga ]

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It looks absurd, it looks illogical, but existence is absurd and existence is illogical. The sky is infinite, but it can be reflected in a very tiny pool; the infinite sky can be reflected in a small mirror. Of course the whole of it will not be reflected; it cannot be reflected. But the part is also the whole and the part also belongs to the sky.

Human mind is just a mirror. If it is pure then the infinite can have the reflection in it. The reflection
will not be the infinite, it will be just a part, a glimpse. But that glimpse becomes the door. Then by
and by, you can leave the mirror behind and enter into the infinite, leave the reflection behind and
enter into the real.

Out of your window, a small frame of the window, the infinite sky is there. You can look through
the window, you will not see the whole sky, of course, but whatsoever you see is the sky. So the
only thing to remember is don’t think that whatsoever you have seen is the infinite. It may be of the i
nfinite, it is not the infinite. So whatsoever human mind can conceive may be divine, but it is just a part of it, a glimpse. If you continuously remember that, then there is no fallacy. Then by and by, destroy the frame; by and by, destroy the mind completely so the mirror is no more there and you are freed from the reflection and you enter the reality.

On the surface it looks absurd. How, in such a tiny mind, there can be any contact with the eternal, with the infinite, with the endless? Second thing has also to be understood. This tiny mind is not tiny really, because it is also part of the infinite. It looks tiny because of you; it looks finite because of you. You have created the boundaries. The boundaries are false. Even your tiny mind belongs to the infinite; it is part of it.

And there are many things to be understood. One of the most paradoxical things about the infinite is this: that the part is always equal to the whole – because you cannot divide the infinite. All divisions are false. It may be utilitarian to divide it. I can say that the sky on my house, on my terrace, is my sky as India says the sky on the Indian continent is Indian sky. What do you mean? You cannot divide the sky. It cannot be Indian or Chinese, it is an undivided expanse. It begins nowhere, it ends nowhere

Just the same has happened with the mind. You call it your mind; that ”your” is false. The mind is part of the infinite. Just as matter is part of the infinite, mind is part of the infinite. Your soul is also part of the infinite.

When the ”my” is lost, you are the infinite. So if you appear finite, it is an illusion. Finiteness is not a reality; finiteness is just a conception, an illusion. And because of your conception you are confined in it. And whatsoever you think, you become. Buddha has said – and he was repeating it continuously for forty years – that whatsoever you think you become. Thinking makes you whatsoever you are. If you are finite, it is a standpoint that you have taken. Drop the standpoint and you become infinite.
And the whole process of yoga is how to drop – how to drop the frame, how to destroy the mirror,
how to move from the reflection to the reality, how to go beyond the boundaries.
Boundaries are self-created; they are not really there. They are just thoughts. That’s why, whenever there is no thought in the mind, you are not. A thoughtless mind is egoless; a thoughtless mind is boundary-less, a thoughtless mind is already the infinite. Even for a single moment, if there is no thought, you are the infinite – because without thought there can be no boundary; without thought you disappear and the divine descends.

To be in thought is to be human; to be below thought is to be animal; to be beyond thought is to be divine. But the logical mind will raise questions. The logical mind will say, ”How the part can be equal to the whole? The part must be less than the whole. It cannot be the equal. 
Ouspensky writes, in one of the best, in one of the few best books in the world, TERTIUM ORGANUM, that the part can not only be the equal to the whole, it can be even greater than the whole. But he calls it a higher mathematics. That mathematics belongs to the Upanishads. In ishavasya it is said, ”You can take out the whole from the whole, and still the whole remains behind.
You can put the whole into the whole, and still the whole remains the whole.”

It is absurd. If you like to call it absurd, you can call it absurd, but, really, it is a higher mathematics where boundaries are lost and the drop becomes the ocean. And the ocean is nothing but a drop. Logic raises questions; it goes on raising. That is the nature of the logical mind, to raise questions.

And if you go on following those questions, you can go on ad infinitum. Put aside the mind – its
logic, its reasoning and for few moments try to be without thought. Even for a single moment if you can achieve that state of non-thought, you will come to realize that the part is equal to the whole,because suddenly you will see all the boundaries have disappeared. They were dream boundaries.

All the divisions have disappeared, and you and the whole have become one. This can be an experience; this cannot be a logical inference. But when I say that Patanjali is logical, what do I mean? In the conclusions, nobody can be logical as far as the inner, the spiritual, the ultimate experience is concerned. But on the path you can be. As far as the ultimate result of yoga is concerned, Patanjali also cannot be logical; nobody can be. But to reach that goal you can
follow a logical path.

In that sense Patanjali is logical and rational, mathematical, scientific. He does not ask any faith. He asks only courage to experiment, courage to move, courage to take a jump into the unknown. He does not say, ”Believe, and then you will experience.” He says, ”Experience, and then you will
And he has made a structure how to proceed step by step. His path is not haphazard; it is not like a labyrinth, it is like a super-highway. Everything is clear and the shortest possible route. But you have to follow it in every detail; otherwise you will move out of the path and in the wilderness. That’s why I say he is logical, and you will see how he is logical. He starts from the body because you are rooted in the body. He starts and works with your breathing because your breathing is your life. First he works on the body; then he works on the prana – the second layer of existence – your breathing; then he starts working on thoughts.
There are many methods which start directly with the thought. They are not so logical and scientific because the man you are working with is rooted in the body. He is a soma, a body. A scientific approach must start with the body. Your body must be changed first. When your body changes, then your breathing can be changed. When your breathing changes, then your thoughts can be changed. And when your thoughts change, then you can be changed.

You may not have observed that you are a close-knit system of many layers. If you are running, then your breathing changes because more oxygen is needed. When you are running your breathing changes, and when your breathing changes your thoughts immediately change.