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Chapter 15: Witnessing: The Base of All Techniques

Sufis use dancing, dervish dancing. They use dancing as the method. You might have heard the name, whirling dervishes. They move on their heels just like children move sometimes. If you move like that you will get dizzy - just moving on your heels, whirling. They say, “Go on whirling, know that the body is whirling, and remain conscious. Inside, remain aware. Don’t get identified with the whirling body. The body is whirling - don’t get identified, remain conscious. Then the witnessing will happen.”

I think that the Sufi method is more sudden than any, because to witness the thought process is difficult, it is very subtle. To witness breathing is again difficult because breathing is a nonvoluntary process. But whirling you are doing voluntarily. Dancing, whirling round and round and round, the mind gets dizzy. If you remain aware, suddenly you find a center. Then the body becomes a wheel and you become the hub, and the body goes on whirling and the center stands alone, untouched, akshat - uncorrupted So there are hundreds and hundreds of methods, but the sole, the significant, the essential, the foundational thing in all of them, is witnessing.

This sutra says that unless you go to worship with a witnessing nature inside, your going is futile. Unpolished, raw rice will not do. That can be purchased; that is only a symbol, a symbolic thing. Unless you bring something unpolished, untouched by society, uncreated, from your own nature, your worship is just stupid, it is foolish. And you can go on worshipping and you can go on using symbols without knowing what they mean.

Remember this word akshat - uncorrupted, fresh, virgin. What is virgin in you? Find it out and bring it to the divine feet. Only that virginity can be used - only that virginity, that freshness, that constant youngness, can be used for worship.

This witnessing you can understand intellectually, it is not difficult. But that is the difficulty! If you understand it intellectually and think that the work is done - that is the difficulty. You can understand it. Then again it becomes a theory in the mind, then again it becomes a thought in the mind, then again you have made it a part of the accumulation. Then you can discuss it, you can philosophize about it, but then it is still a part of the mind, it is not virgin.

If I say something about witnessing it goes into your mind, becomes part of your mind, but it is not from you; it has come from the outside. If you read this Upanishad and then you are impressed, convinced, and you say inside yourself, “Right, this is the thing,” it becomes a theory. It is not from you, it has come from outside. It is not akshat; it is not virgin. No theory can be virgin, no thought can be virgin. Every thought is borrowed. Thought can never be original, never! The very nature of it is borrowed. No one’s thought is original. It cannot be because language is not original, concepts are not original, you learn them.

Akshat means “the original” - that which you have not learned. The discovery within yourself of something which belongs to you, which is unique to you, individual to you, which has not been given to you.

So intellectual understanding won’t do. Practice it! Only then, some day, something explodes in you and you become aware of a different realm of purity, innocence, bliss.