29. Living is Life’s only Purpose
What does it mean to fail in Yoga? Who is a failure in Yoga (yoga
It is only a question of incompletion. He who could not complete his
Yoga for some reason
called failed in Yoga. Such failure is only temporary, for there can
be no defeat in Yoga.
battle is always won, for it is a battle between the true and the
false. The false has
Who fails? The person (vyakti) or the self (vyakta)?
The question is wrongly put. There is no question of failure, neither
in the short run nor in the
It is like travelling a long and arduous road in an unknown country.
Of all the innumerable
there is only the last which brings you to your destination. Yet you
will not consider all
steps as failures. Each brought you nearer to your goal, even when you
had to turn
to by-pass an obstacle. In reality each step brings you to your goal,
because to be
on the move, learning, discovering, unfolding, is your eternal
destiny. Living is life's
purpose. The self does not identify itself with success or failure --
the very idea
becoming this or that is unthinkable. The self understands that
success and failure are
and related, that they are the very warp and weft of life. Learn from
both and go
If you have not learnt, repeat.
What am I to learn?
To live without self-concern. For this you must know your own true
being (swarupa) as
fearless, ever victorious. Once you know with absolute certainty that
you but your own imagination, you come to disregard your desires and
and ideas and live by truth alone.
What may be the reason that some people succeed and others fail in
Yoga? Is it destiny or
or just accident?
Nobody ever fails in Yoga. It is all a matter of the rate of progress.
It is slow in the beginning
rapid in the end. When one is fully matured, realisation is explosive.
It takes place
or at the slightest hint. The quick is not better than the slow. Slow
rapid flowering alternate. Both are natural and right.
all this is so in the mind only. As I see it, there is really nothing
of the kind. In the great
of consciousness images arise and disappear and only memory gives them
memory is material -- destructible, perishable, transient. On such
build a sense of personal existence -- vague, intermittent, dreamlike.
'I-am-so-and-so' obscures the changeless state of pure awareness and
believe that we are born to suffer and to die.
Just as a child cannot help growing, so does a man, compelled by
nature, make progress. Why
oneself? Where is the need of Yoga?
There is progress all the time. Everything contributes to progress.
But this is the progress of
The circles of ignorance may be ever widening, yet it remains a
bondage all the
In due course a Guru appears to teach and inspire us to practise Yoga
and a ripening
place as a result of which the immemorial night of ignorance dissolves
before the rising
of wisdom. But in reality nothing happened. The sun is always there,
there is no night to it;
mind blinded by the 'I am the body' idea spins out endlessly its
thread of illusion.
If all is a part of a natural process, where is the need of effort?
Even effort is a part of it. When ignorance becomes obstinate and hard
and the character gets
effort and the pain of it become inevitable. In complete obedience to
nature there is
effort. The seed of spiritual life grows in silence and in darkness
until its appointed hour.
We come across some great people, who, in their old age, become
childish, petty, quarrelsome
spiteful. How could they deteriorate so much?
They were not perfect Yogis, having their bodies under complete
control. Or, they might not
cared to protect their bodies from the natural decay. One must not
draw conclusions without
all the factors. Above all, one must not make judgements of
inferiority or superiority.
is more a matter of vitality (prana) than of wisdom (jnana) .
One may get old, but why should one lose all alertness and
Consciousness and unconsciousness, while in the body depend on the
condition of the brain.
the self is beyond both, beyond the brain, beyond the mind. The fault
of the instrument is no
on its user.
I was told that a realised man will never do anything unseemly. He
will always behave in an
Who sets the example? Why should a liberated man necessarily follow
he becomes predictable, he cannot be free. His freedom lies in his
being free to fulfil the
of the moment, to obey the necessity of the situation. Freedom to do
what one likes is really
while being free to do what one must, what is right, is real freedom.
Still there must be some way of making out who has realised and who
has not. If one is
from the other, of what use is he?
He who knows himself has no doubts about it. Nor does he care whether
others recognise his
or not. Rare is the realised man who discloses his realisation and
fortunate are those who
met him, for he does it for their abiding welfare.
When one looks round, one is appalled by the volume of unnecessary
suffering that is going
People who should be helped are not getting help. Imagine a big
hospital ward full of incurables,
and moaning. Were you given the authority to kill them all and end
their torture, would you
I would leave it to them to decide.
But if their destiny is to suffer? How can you interfere with destiny?
Their destiny is what happens. There is no thwarting of destiny. You
mean to say everybody's
is totally determined at his birth? What a strange idea! Were it so,
the power that determines
see to it that nobody should suffer.
What about cause and effect?
Each moment contains the whole of the past and creates the whole of
But past and future exist?
In the mind only. Time is in the mind, space is in the mind. The law
of cause and effect is also a
of thinking. In reality all is here and now and all is one.
Multiplicity and diversity are in the mind
Still, you are in favour of relieving suffering, even through
destruction of the incurably diseased
Again, you look from outside while I look from within. I do not see a
sufferer, I am the sufferer. I
him from within and do what is right spontaneously and effortlessly. I
follow no rules nor lay
rules. I flow with life -- faithfully and irresistibly.
Still you seem to be a very practical man in full control of your
What else do you expect me to be? A misfit?
Yet you cannot help another much.
Surely, I can help. You too can help. Everybody can help. But the
suffering is all the time
Man alone can destroy in himself the roots of pain. Others can only
help with the pain,
not with its cause, which is the abysmal stupidity of mankind.
Will this stupidity ever come to an end?
In man -- of course. Any moment. In humanity -- as we know it -- after
very many years. In
-- never, for creation itself is rooted in ignorance; matter itself is
ignorance. Not to know,
not to know that one does not know, is the cause of endless suffering.
We are told of the great avatars, the saviours of the world.
Did they save? They have come and gone -- and the world plods on. Of
course, they did a lot
opened new dimensions in the human mind. But to talk of saving the
world is an exaggeration.
Is there no salvation for the world?
Which world do you want to save? The world of your own projection?
Save it yourself. My
Show me my world and I shall deal with it. I am not aware of any world
which I am free to save or not to save. What business have you with
saving the world,
all the world needs is to be saved from you? Get out of the picture
and see whether
is anything left to save.
You seem to stress the point that without you your world would not
have existed and therefore
only thing you can do for it is to wind up the show. This is not a way
out. Even if the world were
my own creation, this knowledge does not save it. It only explains it.
The question remains: why
I create such a wretched world and what can I do to change it? You
seem to say: forget it all and
your own glory. Surely, you don't mean it. The description of a
disease and its causes does
cure it. What we need is the right medicine.
The description and causation are the remedy for a disease caused by
Just like a deficiency disease is cured through the supply of the
missing factor, so are the
of living cured by a good dose of intelligent detachment.
You cannot save the world by preaching counsels of perfection. People
are as they are. Must
As long as they are as they are, there is no escape from suffering.
Remove the sense of
and there will be no conflict.
A message in print may be paper and ink only. It is the text that
matters. By analysing the world
elements and qualities we miss the most important -- its meaning. Your
reduction of everything
dream disregards the difference between the dream of an insect and the
dream of a poet. All is
granted. But not all are equal.
The dreams are not equal, but the dreamer is one. I am the insect. I
am the poet -- in dream.
in reality I am neither. I am beyond all dreams. I am the light in
which all dreams appear and
I am both inside and outside the dream. Just as a man having headache
knows the ache
also knows that he is not the ache, so do I know the dream, myself
dreaming and myself not
-- all at the same time. I am what I am before, during and after the
dream. But what I see
dream, l am not.
It is all a matter of imagination. One imagines that one is dreaming,
another imagines one is not
Are not both the same?
The same and not the same. Not dreaming, as an interval between two
dreams, is of course, a
of dreaming. Not dreaming as a steady hold on, and timeless abidance
in reality has nothing to
with dreaming. In that sense I never dream, nor ever shall.
If both dream and escape from dream are imaginings, what is the way
There is no need of a way out! Don't you see that a way out is also a
part of the dream? All you
to do is to see the dream as dream.
If I start the practice of dismissing everything as a dream where will
it lead me?
Wherever it leads you, it will be a dream. The very idea of going
beyond the dream is illusory.
go anywhere? Just realise that you are dreaming a dream you call the
world, and stop looking
ways out. The dream is not your problem. Your problem is that you like
one part of your dream
not another. Love all, or none of it, and stop complaining. When you
have seen the dream as a
you have done all that needs be done.
Is dreaming caused by thinking?
Everything is a play of ideas. In the state free from ideation
(nirvikalpa samadhi) nothing is
The root idea is: 'I am'. It shatters the state of pure consciousness
and is followed by the
sensations and perceptions, feeling and ideas which in their totality
constitute God and
world. The 'I am' remains as the witness, but it is by the will of God
that everything happens.
Why not by my will?
Again you have split yourself -- into God and witness. Both are one.