Chapter 3: Witnessing the Inner Astronomy
I have heard, once two friends stayed in a hotel. They were traveling in the mountains and they wanted to go early in the morning - very early, nearabout three o’clock - to the nearest peak to see the sunrise, so they had fixed the alarm. When the alarm rang, one, who was an optimist, said, “Good morning, God.” The other, who was a pessimist, said, “Good God, morning?”
They both used the same words, but with a tremendous difference.
I have heard a Sufi story:
Two disciples of a master were sitting in the garden of the monastery, meditating.
One said, “It would be good if we were allowed smoking.”
The other said, “It will not be possible; the master will never allow it.”
They said, “Why not try? There is nothing to lose. We should ask him.”
The next day they asked the master. To the first he said, “No, absolutely no.” To the other he said, “Yes, certainly yes.”
When they met they could not believe - what type of man is this? Then the one asked, “Please, tell me how you had asked.”
The first, to whom was said no, absolutely no, said, “I asked him, ‘Sir, can I smoke while meditating?’ He said, ‘No, absolutely no!’” Then he asked, “And what had you asked?”
He said, “Now I know. I had asked, ‘Sir, can I meditate while smoking?’ He said, ‘Yes, certainly yes!’”
It makes a lot of difference. Words are whores, and one can go on playing infinitely with words.
I am not an interpreter. Whatsoever I am saying is on my own authority - I am not saying it on the authority of Patanjali. Because my experiences and his experience correspond, that’s why I am speaking on him. But I am not trying to prove the authority of Patanjali. How can I prove that? I am not trying to prove that Patanjali is true. How can I prove that? I can only say something about myself. What am I saying then? - I am saying this: that I have also experienced the same. And Patanjali has given it beautiful language and expression. It is difficult to improve upon Patanjali as far as scientific explanation, scientific expression, is concerned. Remember this.
If he comes back, he will be almost in a state.I was reading one story and I remembered him. It happened on a road:
On a road, three thieves saw a man on a donkey entering the town. Following the donkey was a goat with a tinkling bell around its neck.
One of the thieves said proudly, “I am going to steal his goat.”
The second thief said, “That’s not such a big thing. I am going to steal the donkey he is sitting on.”
The third thief said, “I will steal the clothes he is wearing.”