Chapter 3: The Shadow of Religion
40. When purity is attained there arises in the yogi a disgust for his own body and a disinclination to come in physical contact with others.
41. From mental purity there arises cheerfulness, power of concentration, control of the senses, and a fitness for self-realization.
42. Contentment brings supreme happiness.
Nonviolence, non-possessiveness, no-theft, and authenticity in being give purity. These are not moralistic concepts for Patanjali; this has to be always kept in mind. In the West they have been taught as morals; in the East as inner hygiene, not as morals. In the West they have been taught as altruistic goals; in the East there is nothing of altruism in them - it is absolutely selfish. It is your inner hygiene. They give purity to you, and through purity the impossible becomes possible, the unattainable is attained. Through purity your grossness of being is lost. You become delicate, subtle, and soft. Through purity you become a temple of the divine. Through purity an invitation is sent to the whole to come, and drop in you.and the ocean comes one day, and drops into the drop.
When they are taught as moralistic concepts, as in the West - or in India also, as Mahatma Gandhi has been teaching - their total quality changes. When you say, “You have to be nonviolent because violence hurts others. Don’t hurt anybody. Humanity is one family, and to hurt is to sin,” you have diverted the whole thing to a totally different dimension. Patanjali says, “Be nonviolent: it purifies you. Don’t hurt anybody - don’t even think of hurting anybody, because the moment you start thinking that way you are falling into impurity inside.” The question is not the other, the question is you. Of course, when one is nonviolent others are benefited, but that is not the goal of being nonviolent. That is just a by product, just a shadow.
If you are nonviolent because others should not be hurt, then you are not really nonviolent. Then, you are a good social citizen, civilized, but nothing of religion has happened within your being. Your nonviolence will work as a lubricant between you and others. Your life will be smoother, but not purer, because the goal changes the whole quality. The goal is not to protect the other - the other is protected, that’s another thing - the goal is to become pure so that you can know the ultimate purity.
Eastern religions remain selfish because they know there is no other way to be; and when somebody is selfish others are benefited immensely. In fact all altruism, real authentic altruism, flowers out of deep selfishness. They are not contraries, they are not opposites: the flowers of altruism bloom only in a being who has been deeply selfish. To be selfish is just natural. To force people to be otherwise is to make them unnatural, and whatsoever is unnatural is not the way of God. Whatsoever is unnatural is going to be a suppression; it will not bring purity to you.