Chapter 1: Mastery over the Five Elements
The power of contacting the state of consciousness
which is outside the mental body
and therefore inconceivable
is called mahavideha.
Through this power
the covering of the light is destroyed.
Performing samyama on their gross, constant,
subtle, all-pervading, and functional state
brings mastery over the panchabhutas -
the five elements.
From this follows the attainment of anima, etcetera,
perfection of the body, and
the removal of the elements’ power to obstruct the body.
Beauty, grace, strength, and adamantine hardness
constitute the perfect body.
The yoga system of Patanjali is not a philosophical system. It is empirical; it is a tool to work with - but still it has a philosophy. That too, is just to give an intellectual understanding of where you are moving, what you are seeking. The philosophy is arbitrary, utilitarian, just to give a comprehensive picture of the territory you are going to discover; but the philosophy has to be understood.
The first thing about the philosophy of Patanjali: He divides human personality into five seeds, five bodies. He says you don’t have one body; you have layers upon layers of bodies; and they are five..
The first body he calls annamay kosh - the food body, the earth body, which is made of earth and is constantly to be nourished by food. Food comes from earth. If you stop taking food, your annamay kosh will wither away. So one has to be very alert to what one is eating because that makes you and it will affect you in millions of ways. Sooner or later your food is not just food - it becomes blood, your bones, your very marrow. It circulates in your being and goes on affecting you. So the purity of food creates a pure annamay kosh - the pure food body.
And if the first body is pure, light, not heavy, then it is easy to enter into the second body; otherwise it will be difficult, you will be loaded. Have you watched when you have eaten too much, and heavy foods.? Immediately you start feeling a sort of sleep, a sort of lethargy. You would like to go to sleep; awareness immediately starts disappearing. When the first body is loaded it is difficult to create great awareness. Hence fasting became so much important in all the religions. But fasting is a science and one should not fool around with it.
Just the other night one sannyasin came and she told me that she has been fasting and now her whole body, her whole being, is disturbed - tremendously disturbed. Now the stomach is not functioning well, and when the stomach is not functioning well, everything is weakened, the vitality is lost, and you cannot be alive. You become more and more insensitive and dead.