Chapter 9: The Seer Is Not Seen
Patanjali says that these three are against each other and that creates trouble. And all three are in you. The element of laziness is there, otherwise you would not be able to sleep. People who suffer from insomnia suffer because the tamas element is not in them in enough quantity. That’s why tranquilizers help, because a tranquilizer is a tamas creating chemical. It creates tamas in you, laziness. If people are too rajas, too full of vigor and energy, they cannot sleep. That’s why in the West insomnia has now become a universal problem. In the West there is too much of rajas, the energy element. That’s why the West has ruled all over the world. A small country like England continued to rule half the world. They must have been very rajas. A country like India with sixty crores of people now remains poor; there are so many people doing nothing. They become more and more burdensome. They are not assets, they are burdens on the country. There is too much tamas, laziness. And then there is sattwa which is against both. These three elements constitute you. And they are all going in three different dimensions. They are needed, they are all needed in their oppositeness because through their tension you exist. If their tension were lost, if they became harmonious, death would happen. Hindus say that when these three elements are in tension, existence exists, there is creation; when these three elements come to a harmony, existence dissolves, there is pralaya, there is de-creation. Your death is nothing but these three elements coming to a harmony in the body - then you die. If the very tension is not there, how can you live?
This is the problem: you cannot live without these three tensions - you will die. And you cannot live with them because they are opposite and they pull you in different directions. You must have felt many times that you are being pulled in different directions. One part of you says, “Be ambitious”; another part says, “Ambition will create anxiety. Rather, meditate, pray, become a sannyasin.” One part says that sin is beautiful, sin has an attraction, a magnetic force in it: “Enjoy, because sooner or later death will take over. Dust goes unto dust and nothing remains. Enjoy before death takes over, don’t miss.” One part of you says this and another part of you says, “Death is coming, everything is futile. What is the point of enjoying?” These are not the same parts of you speaking. You have three parts in you. In fact there are three egos, three individuals in you.
Patanjali says, as Mahavira says, that man is polypsychic. You don’t have one psyche, you have three minds; and three minds can become three thousand through permutations, combinations. You have many minds, you are polypsychic; each mind is pulling you somewhere else. You are a crowd. Of course, how can you be at ease, how can you be blissful? You are like a bullock cart which is being pulled in different directions by many bullocks, one yoked to the north, one yoked to the west, and one yoked to the south simultaneously. It cannot go any where. It will create much noise and, finally, a collapse, but it cannot reach anywhere. That’s why your life remains a life of emptiness. These three are in conflict, and then modifications of the mind, vrittis, are in conflict with the gunas.
For example, I know a man who is a very lazy man. And he was always telling me, “If I had no wife, I would have rested. I had enough money, but this wife would go on forcing me to work. It was never enough for her.” Then the wife died. So I told the man, “You must be happy. Why are you crying? You be happy! You are finished with the wife, and now you can rest.” But he was crying and weeping like a child. He said, “Now I feel lonely. And it has become a habit.” Wives and husbands become habits. He said, “Now it has become a habit. Now I cannot sleep without a woman.” I told him, “Now don’t be foolish! Don’t try to get remarried, because your whole life you have suffered, and another woman is going to be again a woman - and she will force you. Again, your money will not be enough.”