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Date Posted: 13:22
Author: Mike - 15 Jul 2001
Subject: Profound message of Sivananda website

When you and I become one in a mystic way ‘communication’ happens. This happens very often between lovers, mother and child or very close friends. We have all communicated like this with someone or other—but we think it is accidental. We are strangers to this communication, because we neglect those few occasions, and they slip through our fingers. For instance, when a boy looks at a girl and smiles there is communication taking place, telepathy taking place—a fantastic thing going on there! We don’t take any notice of it, we have codified and pigeon-holed all this. We are all looking for mental telepathy, but we have completely neglected the study of natural phenomena. We are running after something which looks like natural phenomena.

In this world sometimes counterfeit things have greater value than the original. Here is a nice story to illustrate this:

It is said that a wandering yogi and his disciple were having a discussion, during the course of which the master said, "In this world nobody cares for the genuine article—everybody runs after the imitation". The disciple said, "Sorry, for this once I don’t agree with you." The Master didn’t argue, because no-one helps another by argument.

They continued their wandering and came to a village, outside of which there was a small hut with a banner in front: "Come and see a man grunt like a pig. Two rupee entrance fee". About a hundred people had paid this two rupees. As soon as the room was full a man entered through the back door, went onto the stage, and grunted like a pig. "Oh, marvellous!" Everybody clapped and then walked out. Two rupees gone! The Master and his disciple also saw the entertainment, and the Master made up his mind to teach his disciple in a very practical way.

When on their wanderings they came back again to the same village, he hired the hut and put up a little banner: "The grunting of a pig—the truth. Admission two rupees". Some young men gathered round the hut. The banner seemed to be mysterious! What does it mean? They thought, "We had lovely entertainment last week There may be some more entertainment this time." A few of them bought the two rupee tickets and went in to see if they should all go in. The holy man entered through the back door, leading a real pig. He went onto the stage and twisted its tail—it grunted, as pigs always grunt. The twelve people who were there said, "Oh, is that all! What is so great in it?" They walked away and told all the others, "Don’t go in. It is only a pig."

So a man grunting like a pig is worth something; a pig grunting like itself is worth nothing! The truth is worth nothing; an imitation is worth a lot. Nobody wants to be a yogi, people want to see a yogi. Here again, one can only be.

The truth cannot be conveyed, it can only be communicated when you and I drop our individual personalities and become one. Otherwise we are merely conveyors, just conveying junk—usually secondhand stuff. Communication takes place when we are both on the same level of consciousness. I am at the same level of consciousness as you are when my shoe pinches exactly where yours does. Then I will be able to understand what you are talking about, then it is possible to communicate.

The great Masters communicated their teachings by waiting for the proper disciple to come in the proper spirit, approach the Master with the proper attitude and ask the right question in the right way. The disciples listened and then practised, listened and practised, to arrive at the same wavelength, the same experience where communication may happen. They had to live the life of a yogi, to be yogis all the time. Then the floodgate of knowledge or wisdom was opened—maybe by a look, a word or a smile. Then those words became meanings, because communication was taking place. That is the reason why these terse Sutras or aphorisms were meaningful to those first class students who were ready and looking for it. They didn’t want to learn, they wanted to be. If you want to be a yogi, you can be taught yoga. But if you want to know what yoga is all about, no-one can teach or communicate anything to you, they can only convey. (There is a famous saying in one of the Indian languages, "A donkey may convey a load of sandalwood, but it doesn’t know its fragrance)


Conveying is useless and sometimes harmful, because when I convey an idea we are not on the same wavelength; but yet you hear those words and the words have different meanings to you. The original idea or object is completely lost. It is only then that problems arise.

We cannot solve a problem before it arises, in anticipation. For instance a little girl of ten cannot understand what labour pain means. You can explain with all your scientific knowledge, but it still means nothing. And therefore when yoga is explained thus, "Your ego will merge into Cosmic Consciousness," you are worried. You think, "I’ll get lost, and who wants to get lost? I want to be my miserable self for all time to come. Oh, will my husband still be my husband?" You are trapped in your own utter silliness, because there is no communication. You don’t understand the meaning of these words, you only hear what the words sound like.

The Sanskrit word for ‘meaning’ is artha. What is the meaning, the artha of the word God? The dictionary says: "Supreme Consciousness; Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Omniscient. God occurs in Genesis Chapter I, verse 2. In this context it means this, in that context it means something else." Just words! Where is the meaning, the artha—not paraphrasing one word with another word, or finding more words for one word. What is the artha, and is it real to you? If it is not, all this is useless.

Can one convey the meaning? If I try to convey the meaning of the word ‘yoga’, you will take it in another sense. For instance, someone started telling me that the only difference between yoga and gymnastics is that in yoga there is breathing! Does it mean that in gymnastics you don’t breathe at all? That is an example of conveying.


In communication this misunderstanding does not take place, because in communication the two become one. They are on the same wavelength and the meaning is transmitted from heart to heart. This is of course the best way to learn yoga and to study the Yoga Sutras.

The next best way is to study as many commentaries as you can get hold of, but all the time watching within yourself, "Is this true, is this real? Does my whole being accept this, approve this, see this as a fact?" If not, then it is not true to you at that stage. You can read it again and again, but you must be honest enough to admit that it is not true to you now. You cannot accept it, you cannot reject it. You would be a hypocrite if you accepted it as true, you would be a fool if you rejected it as untrue. It is there, and you are studying it. It appears to be not quite real. Maybe you need more maturity, maybe the teacher is saying something which communicates nothing to you yet, because you have not risen to his state of consciousness. You must study again. Maybe you have missed some of the lessons that life is teaching you. You must watch life again a little more closely and carefully.

"All human relationships depend upon some gratification or other. This applies in the reverse too." When you hear this statement, first you think, "What is meant by this? Does it mean that there is no love between husband and wife? Is the person who said this so cruel, so cold and calculating?" It doesn’t appeal to you—you think he is mad. But, keep it somewhere in your mind and begin to watch life a bit more closely. You have had a few experiences which seem to corroborate these statements more than your belief. This is interesting. You are firm in your beliefs—this is black and this is white—but he says that between black and white there is a lot of grey. It doesn’t appeal to you, it doesn’t seem real or plausible, but you keep it there—neither accepting, nor rejecting—until you come to that same wavelength. Up till then it is merely conveying, it means nothing what-so-ever to you.

All the yoga that we are talking about is utterly meaningless, until one day you come to the same experience that is described there. That is the meaning, the stuff, the reality of the words, not the dictionary meaning. In an instant it occurs to you, "Hah, that is the truth." At that moment it is no longer a truth that has been conveyed to you by So-and-so, but a truth which you have discovered for yourself, within yourself, through your own experience.

It is only to that limited extent that a study of texts like the Yoga Sutras may be of some relevance to us and to our lives. Depending on your own inner maturity, you derive your own meaning from it.

The Scripture is a closed book, useless and probably dangerous, if one has not arrived at a clear understanding of the foundations. Have you come face to face with the fundamental truth: that ignorance, egoity, likes, dislikes and clinging to life are the roots of sorrow? You must have arrived at this position by a very clear observation of life as it is, where you can quite clearly see that both attachment and aversion (love as opposed to hate) create misery in your life. This you cannot get from a book. If you think, "Patanjali says that attachment is bad, therefore I will not be attached," it is borrowed knowledge. You can be told for ten days that there is sorrow, disease and suffering in your life, that there is sorrow in birth and sorrow in death. If you say, "Is that so? But this chocolate cake is very good. Why does he say everything is sorrow?" your own mind has not arrived at this position. It inwardly rebels. So that there is sorrow, misery and suffering in your life has to be seen by you; it cannot be infused into you by somebody else.

The state of perfection (if there is a state like that) or the culmination of yoga (if yoga has a goal) is said to be the state that is natural, something that is all the time. If it is regarded as a goal, please remember it is returning to the source, where the beginning and the end become one—360 degrees and 0 degrees. When these two become one, that is yoga, oneness. But these are merely words.

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