Chapter 3: Witnessing the Inner Astronomy
Then there is the third type, the disciple. A disciple is one who is ready to discipline his life, who is ready to transform his whole being in an experiment, who is courageous enough to go on this inner adventure - which is the greatest, which is the most daring, because nobody knows where one is moving. One is moving into the unknowable. One is moving into the abyss. One is moving into the uncharted. Yoga is for the disciple; the disciple will be able to get in tune with Patanjali.
Then there is the fourth state, or the fourth type; I will call it the devotee. The disciple is ready to change himself, but still not ready to sacrifice himself. The devotee is ready to sacrifice himself. The disciple will go far enough with Patanjali, but not to the very end, unless he becomes a devotee also, unless he comes to recognize that the transformation that religion is concerned about is not a modification. It is not just modifying you, making you better and better; it is a death, and one has to sacrifice oneself totally. It is a discontinuity with your past.
When the disciple is ready, not only to transform himself but to die, he becomes a devotee. But a disciple can go far enough, and if he goes, one day or other he will become a devotee. If he becomes a devotee, only then will he understand the whole of Patanjali, the whole beauty of it, the whole grandeur of it, the tremendous door that Patanjali opens into the unknown.
But, many people who were just curious have written many books about Patanjali. Many people who were just students have created great tomes of learning, scholarship, and they have done much harm. They have interpreted and reinterpreted Patanjali these five thousand years. Not only that, there are interpretations of interpretations of interpretations. The whole thing has become almost like a jungle and it is very difficult to find where Patanjali is.
This calamity has happened in India to everybody who has brought any truth to human consciousness. People have been continuously interpreting, and they create more clouds than clarity, because in the first place they are not disciples. And even if they are disciples, they are not in that state of mind where they can rightly interpret. Only a devotee.but devotees ordinarily don’t bother.
Hence, I have taken Patanjali to talk about. The man needs great attention because there are very, very rare people who can be compared to the height of Patanjali, to his scientific attitude. He has made religion almost a science. He has brought religion out of all mystifications, but the interpretations have been trying to force all his sutras back again into the world of mystifications. That is a vested interest. If Patanjali comes back and looks at the interpretations that have been done on his sutras, he will not be able to believe it.
And words are very dangerous things. You can play with them very easily. And words are like whores; you can use them but you can never trust them. And they change meaning with every new interpreter - just a slight change, just a comma from here to there. And Sanskrit is a very poetic language - each word has many meanings, so it is very easy to mystify a thing, very easy.