This sutra is very significant for a sadhak, for a seeker.
Knowing is the fruit of non-attachment.
Desirelessness is the perfect knowledge. And the peace that flows from this experience of inner bliss is the proof of Desirelessness.
That which doesn’t happen in succession from among the above-mentioned steps indicates that the step preceding it has been fruitless.
To shun the objects of enjoyment is the highest contentment, and the bliss of self is itself incomparable.
Many things have to be understood – and not only to be understood, but to be lived. The first is that knowledge is not knowing.
Knowledge and knowing are different dimensions. Knowledge is information. You can collect it, you can accumulate it; you can become a man of great knowledge, but that will not lead you to knowing.
Knowing is experience.
Knowledge is information. For example, you can know everything about God that has been said anywhere, anytime, by anyone. You can collect information about God through Krishna, Christ, Mohammed, Mahavira, Confucius, Lao Tzu, and thousands of others. You can collect in your mind all the scriptures of the world. You can become The Bible, you can become a Gita, you can become the Vedas, but you will remain the same. This knowledge is not going to affect you at all; you will remain unaffected. Knowledge will become something in the head, and nothing in the heart. The head will go on becoming bigger and bigger, but the heart will remain the same. And it may happen – unfortunately it happens – that as the head grows bigger, the heart is forgotten completely.
The heart is the center of knowing; the head is the center for knowledge. You know through the heart; you become a man of knowledge through the head. The head-oriented personality can know much without knowing anything. You know everything about God, but that doesn’t mean you know God. Because to know God, one has to die first – but to know about God, no transformation is needed, no inner transformation is needed. To know about God, you can know as you are – but to enter knowing you will have to be transformed first. You will not do as you are, you cannot be accepted as you are.
Knowing needs a deep transformation first.
Your totality will have to be rearranged; only then you enter knowing. You can know about love – poets have written, and generally those poets who have not known love at all, because their writing is just a substitute. If you know love, it is one thing; if you have not known love, it is different – the quality is different. The difference is not quantitative, it is qualitative.
Poets have written about love – you can collect all that knowledge. You can go on singing about love, you can become a master of the knowledge about love, you can write a Ph.D. thesis about love – but that doesn’t mean that you know love. To know love, libraries are not needed. To know love, a loving heart is needed; scriptures won’t do, a loving heart is needed.
This sutra says: Knowledge is not knowing. Don’t be deceived by knowledge; remember: Knowledge is not knowing. If you want to enter knowing, throw away all knowledge.
But how does one enter knowing? To enter knowledge is easy: there are schools, colleges, universities – the whole mechanism of knowledge is there. How to enter knowing?
Knowing is an individual effort; knowledge, a social effort. Society needs knowledge, because every generation which is dying has to impart knowledge to the coming generation. Teachers are the link; they go on giving knowledge to new generations, and knowledge goes on accumulating more and more. Society needs knowledge because society cannot function without knowledge.
The individual needs knowing, because the individual can never reach bliss unless he knows through his heart. Society is not interested in knowing. You will have to make an individual effort. What is that effort? These are the steps . . .
Knowing is the fruit of non-attachment. This looks absurd – “Knowing is the fruit of non-attachment” – vairagya.
This is a very beautiful Sanskrit word, vairagya. The word “non-attachment” carries the meaning, but just so-so. Vairagya means one who has turned away from the world, one who has known the futility of the world, one who has come to understand that you cannot achieve bliss through senses. Vairagya means: the outward search is futile; you have come to conclude this as your experience.
This conclusion cannot be transferred to you. If someone else is saying, “This world is futile,” this conclusion cannot become your conclusion. You will have to pass through experience, fully aware. Whenever you feel desire, move into desire fully aware and when you reach the fulfillment of the desire, know well what has happened – whether any hope has been fulfilled or just frustrated. Go on moving in desire, alert, and then you will come to understand that all desire is futile, all attachment is meaningless; it creates misery, it never creates any bliss. Vairagya means this conclusion reached through awareness, reached through experiencing – and knowing is the fruit of vairagya, of nonattachment.
Why? Why is knowing the fruit of non-attachment? Because when you are not attached to the world, suddenly you are thrown inside. There is nowhere to move; all outer directions have been stopped by that non-attachment. Now there is no dimension to move out – you cannot move without, so your consciousness for the first time returns home. It moves inside.
The Upanishads say there are eleven directions. Eight directions we know: north, east, west, et cetera, eight directions. The Upanishads say there are eleven directions: the eight directions we know; and two directions of going up and down, so they become ten. The Upanishads say there are eleven directions: ten going out; one coming in. When these ten directions have become futile, this is vairagya – but the energy has to move. Energy means movement; energy cannot be static. Ten directions – in which energy was moving and moving for millenia – have become futile; this is vairagya. Now you don’t want to move out. Suddenly the whole energy which was being dissipated without, begins to move within. And the more within it moves, the nearer the center, the energy becomes more and more one.
Make one circle, and then start from the circumference to move towards the center. You can draw many lines from the circumference to the center. Two lines drawn from this periphery, this circumference, to the center . . . as they come nearer the center, they will come closer and closer. They will come nearer and nearer, and at the center they will meet. When this energy which has been dissipated in ten directions, begins to move towards the center, all this energy goes in; all the flowing currents of energy come nearer and nearer. And at the center they meet and crystallize. That crystallization becomes a flame – that crystallization, that intense crystallization becomes a flame.
That flame is known as knowing.
By that flame, for the first time your world is enlightened.
Now there is no more darkness.
Now you move in light; now you have light inside.
Concentrated energy becomes light. Concentrated energy, crystallized energy, becomes inner light. That is known as knowing.
And desirelessness is the fruit of knowledge. The Sanskrit word is beautiful again: the word is uparati. Uparati means total relaxation. Knowledge is the fruit of vairagya. Knowing is the fruit of non-attachment, of energy not moving without. Knowing is the fruit of energy not moving without.
If there is no knowing, and you don’t attain the inner flame, then know well that your non-attachment has been false, pseudo. Knowledge, the flame, is inevitable if non-attachment has been real, authentic – not borrowed.
I say to you that knowing comes through non-attachment. So you can force yourself to be nonattached – that will be borrowed, and then knowing will not follow. Life is an authentic process; you cannot borrow anything from anyone. You have to live, you have to pass through, you have to move into experiences and attain. I say to you, “Knowing comes through vairagya.” So you try to be non-attached – that effort will not help. You will become a vairagi – you will become a “nonattached man,” but there will be no knowledge, no knowing. Your Vairagya, your non-attachment is a borrowed thing; it is not a conclusion in your life. It is just foreign to you… someone has said, it has entered into your mind, but your mind has not come to conclude it by itself.
So this sutra says that if knowledge is not following, then know well that the first step has been futile and pseudo, unauthentic. If knowledge comes, if the flame of knowing is there, then you will feel a deep relaxation. This is uparati – deep relaxation, existential, not physical, not mental – existential, total relaxation. What is meant by total relaxation, uparati? It means, energy moving nowhere – not even within.
First the energy was moving outward in ten directions. Then energy began to move inwards in one direction – but it was moving. Movement cannot be relaxed; movement creates its own strain, effort, struggle – any movement is a struggle. When this inner moving energy becomes a flame, there is no movement; all motivation is lost. Energy is for the first time not moving but just is. You are – going nowhere.
First the ten directions became futile; now the eleventh also has become futile. You are neither moving out nor in; you are not moving at all. This is total relaxation, this is uparati. Your existence has become relaxed. For the first time you are simply existence, nothing more – simply existence. If uparati, this total relaxation, does not follow knowing, then know well that the knowing was pseudo, false. Then you must have deceived yourself, you must have quoted scriptures. You must have borrowed knowledge and you must have deceived yourself that this was your knowledge.
We go on deceiving. Pundits are the great deceivers. But by repetition, continuously reading, they begin to feel that they know. They have not known, but they begin to feel that they know. This is auto-hypnosis. If you go on reading the Gita, The Bible, the Koran – go on, go on, go on for lives together – that constant repetition creates an auto-hypnosis. You begin to feel that you know. Really, you know too much! So it is bound to happen – this deception, this feeling that you know. You know everything! – really, if a Jesus is there to compete with you in an examination, he cannot compete. If Krishna himself is there to compete with a pundit, he is bound to be a failure; because a Krishna cannot repeat the same Gita again; it is impossible. Only a pundit can repeat it exactly as it is. For a Krishna, repetition is impossible. If he is going to say something, it will become another Gita, but the same Gita can never be repeated. He cannot remember what he said in Kurushetra to Arjuna, but a pundit can repeat it.
Knowing is not repetitive; knowledge is repetitive. Knowledge is mechanical repetition.
Knowing is existential experiencing.
So if your knowledge is not knowing but just knowledge, information, then uparati, total relaxation, will not follow. So, if total relaxation is there – if you find a person of knowing – he will be totally relaxed, like a child, totally. Even a child is not totally relaxed. He is like a flower – but even a flower is not totally relaxed, because a flower is moving, the energy is moving; a child is moving. Total relaxation is incomparable, unique. You cannot find any comparison.
And inner silence, inner peace, is the fruit of total relaxation. Inner silence – shanti – inner peace, is the fruit of total relaxation.
One who is totally relaxed becomes silent. Nothing happens in him now. There is no happening, because every happening is noise, every happening has its own noise. Now there is no experience inside, because every experience disturbs silence.
The man of total relaxation is absolutely silent.
Now nothing happens in him.
He is; simply he is. No experiences now – no experiences, remember this.
You will not have visions, because visions are a disturbance. You will not see light, you will not hear sound; you will not be taking an interview with God. No experience. Silence means no experience now. Everything has fallen. You have become just existence – no knower, no known, no experiencer, no experience.
This is what is meant by silence.
If silence doesn’t follow total relaxation, uparati, then know well that the relaxation must have been a deception; it was not total. It may have been physical relaxation, it may have been psychological relaxation, but it was not total.
The relaxation was not spontaneous; you must have forced it.
We can force even relaxation. We can go on forcing things upon ourselves. We can force silence: you can sit like a buddha, like a buddha statue with closed eyes, just like stone – but you remain the same stupid man inside, it makes no difference. Forced, stupidity cannot go; you cannot force it out because who will force it out? The same stupid mind forcing itself; it becomes a vicious circle.
So you can find many stupid minds; particularly in India you can find them sitting like buddhas. They have just forced it, they have become like statues, but inside nothing has happened, because the silence is not there which is an inevitable consequence of total relaxation.
I am reminded . . .
Rinzai, one of the greatest Zen masters, used to ask whenever someone would come to him to be accepted as a disciple, “What do you want? For what have you come to me?” Generally, those seekers would reply, “We want to be like Gautam Buddha, Shakyamuni. We want to be like that.” So he would say, “Go away immediately, because we have one thousand stone Buddhas in our temple and we need no more. Go away immediately. Don’t come again. The house, this temple is already too crowded with Buddhas – one thousand.”
Rinzai lived in a temple where there were one thousand stone Buddhas. He would say, “Go away. There is no room, it is already crowded.” And he was a lover of Buddha; he revered Buddha like anything, but he said, “Just by sitting like a Buddha you will not become a Buddha. You can force yourself, but the spontaneous flame will not come that way. So try to be yourself; don’t try to be a Buddha.”
You can try to be a Buddha, but how can you try to be yourself?
Leave all effort, leave all trying to be someone else.
Then you will be yourself – and that being yourself is relaxation.
If you want to be a Buddha or a Jesus or a Krishna, you can never attain relaxation. The very effort to be someone else is strain, tension, anguish, conflict.
So if silence doesn’t follow, then know well your relaxation has been forced.
To shun the objects of enjoyment is the highest contentment. And the bliss of self is itself incomparable.
If you go through these four steps: vairagya, gyan, uparati, shanti – non-attachment, knowing, total relaxation, and the ultimate silence – then you achieve the incomparable self, the unique self that you are.
From That Art Thou, Discourse #42
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