What is samyama? That has to be understood. Samyama is the greatest synthesis of human consciousness, the synthesis of three: dharana, dhyan, samadhi.
Ordinarily, your mind is continuously jumping from one object to another. Not for a single moment are you in tune with one object. You go on jumping. Your mind goes on constantly moving; it is like a flux. This moment something is in the focus of the mind, next moment something else, next moment still something else. This is the ordinary state of mind.
The first step out of it is dharana. Dharana means concentration – fixing your whole consciousness on one object, not allowing the object to disappear, bringing again and again your consciousness on the object so that the unconscious habit of the mind of continuous flux can be dropped; because once the habit of continuous change can be dropped, you attain to an integrity, to a crystallization. When there are so many objects moving continuously, you remain so many. Understand it. You remain divided because your objects are divided.
For example, you love one woman today, another woman tomorrow, another woman the third day. That will create a division in you. You cannot be one; you will become many. You will become a crowd. Hence the Eastern insistence to create a love in which you can remain for a longer period, as long as possible. There have been experiments in the East in which a couple has remained a couple for many lives together. Again and again the same woman, the same man: that gives an integrity. Too much change erodes your being, splits you. So if in the West the schizophrenia is becoming almost a normal thing, it is not something to be wondered at. It is not strange; it is natural. Everything is changing.
I have heard that one film actress in Hollywood got married to her eleventh husband. She came home, introduced the new dad to the children. The children brought a register, and they said to the dad, “Please sign it, because today you are here, tomorrow you may be gone; and we are accumulating the signatures, autographs, of all our dads.”
You go on changing houses; you go on changing everything. In America the average limit of a person’s job is three years. The job is also continuously changing. The house – the average limit of a person staying in one town is also three years. And the average limit of marriage is also three years. Somehow three years seems to be very important. It seems if you remain the fourth year with the same woman there is fear that you may get settled. If you remain in the same job more than three years there is fear that you may get settled. So people go on; they have become almost vagabonds. That creates divisions inside you.
In the East we tried to give a job to a person as part of his life. A man was born in a Brahmin house: he remained a Brahmin. That was a great experiment to give stability. A man was born in a shoemaker’s house: he remained a shoemaker. The marriage, the family, the job, the town–people were born in the same town and they would die in the same town. Lao Tzu remembers, “I have heard that in the ancient days people had not gone beyond the river.” They had heard dogs barking on the other side, the other shore. They had inferred that there must be a town because in the evening they had seen smoke rising – people must be cooking. They had heard dogs barking, but they had not bothered to go and see. People were so harmoniously settled.
This constant change simply says that your mind is feverish. You cannot stay longer at anything; then your whole life becomes a life of continuous change – as if a tree is being uprooted again and again and again and never gets the right time to send its roots deep down into the earth. The tree will be alive only for the name’s sake. It will not be able to bloom, not possible, because before flowers come, the roots have to settle.
So, concentration means bringing your consciousness to one object and becoming capable of retaining it there – any object. If you are looking at a rose flower, you continuously look at it. Again and again the mind wanders, goes here and there; you bring it back. You tame the mind – you tame the bull. You bring it back to the rose. The mind goes again; you bring it back. By and by, the mind starts being with the rose for longer periods. Once your mind remains with the rose for a long period, you will be able for the first time to know what a rose is. It is not just a rose: God has flowered in it. The fragrance is not only of the rose; the fragrance is divine. But you never were en rapport with it for long.
Sit with a tree and be with it. Sit with your boyfriend or girlfriend and be with him or her, and bring yourself again and again. Otherwise, what is happening? Even if you are making love to a woman, you are thinking of something else – maybe moving in a totally different world. Even in love you are not focused. You miss much. A door opens, but you are not there to see it. You come back when the door is closed again.
Each moment there are millions of opportunities to see God, but you are not there. He comes and knocks at your doors, but you are not there. You are never found there. You go on roaming around the world. This roaming has to be stopped; that’s what is the meaning of dharana. Dharana is the first step of the great synthesis of samyama.
The second step is dhyan. In dharana, in concentration, you bring your mind to a focus: the object is important. You have to bring again and again the object in your consciousness; you are not to lose track of it. The object is important in dharana. The second step is dhyan, meditation. In meditation the object is not important anymore; it becomes secondary. Now, the flow of consciousness becomes important – the very consciousness which is being poured on the object. Any object will do, but your consciousness should be poured in a continuity; there should not be gaps.
Have you watched? If you pour water from one pot to another, there are gaps. If you pour oil from one pot to another, there are not gaps. Oil has a continuity; water falls discontinuously. Dhyan means, meditation means, your consciousness should be falling on any object of concentration in a continuity. Otherwise it is flickering. It is constantly flickering; it is not a continuous torch. Sometimes it is there, then disappears; then again is there, then disappears; then again is there. In dhyan you have to make it a continuity, an absolute continuity.
When consciousness becomes continuous, you become tremendously strong. For the first time you feel what life is. For the first time, holes in your life disappear. For the first time you are together. Your togetherness means the togetherness of consciousness. If your consciousness is like drops of water and not a continuity, you cannot be really there. Those gaps will be a disturbance. Your life will be very dim and faint; it will not have strength, force, energy. When consciousness flows in a continuous, river like phenomenon, you have become a waterfall of energy.
This is the second step of samyama, the second ingredient; and then is the third ingredient, the ultimate, that is samadhi. In dharana, concentration, the object is important because you have to choose one object amidst millions. In dhyan, meditation, consciousness is important; you have to make consciousness a continuous flow. In samadhi the subject is important: the subject has to be dropped.
You dropped many objects. When there were many objects, you were many subjects, a crowd, a poly-psychic existence – not one mind, many minds. People come to me and they say, “I would like to take sannyas, but….” That “but” brings the second mind. They think they are the same, but the “but” brings another mind. They are not one. They would like to do something and, at the same time, they would not like to do it – two minds. If you watch you will find many minds in you – almost a marketplace.
When there are too many objects, there are too many minds corresponding to them. When there is one object, one mind arises – focused, centered, rooted, grounded. Now this one mind has to be dropped; otherwise you will remain in the ego. The many has been dropped; now drop the one also. In samadhi this one mind has to be dropped. When one mind drops, the one object also disappears because it cannot be there. They always are together.
In samadhi only consciousness remains, as pure space.
These three together are called samyama. Samyama is the greatest synthesis of human Consciousness.
Excerpt from Secrets of Yoga, Discourse #1 (Originally published as Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, V.8).
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