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Chapter 12: Discipline, Devotion and Krishna

And one can deviate from samyama in only two ways: one way is indulgence and the other is renunciation. Either you get attached to a thing, you cling to it, or you get repelled by it. Have you watched a wall clock with a pendulum? Its pendulum is constantly swinging from one side to the other; it never stops in the middle. It swings from the left side to the right and back; it does not stop at the center. Another significant thing about the pendulum is that when it is moving toward the right, it only seems so; in reality it is gathering momentum to move toward the left. And when it is moving toward the left, it is really gathering momentum to move toward the right.

We are exactly like this pendulum. When one is fasting he is in fact, preparing himself for feasting, and similarly when he is feasting he is preparing to go on a fast. One who is running after attachments and addictions will soon get tired and will pursue renunciation and asceticism. Both extremes are joined together; they are two sides of the same thing.

Only when the pendulum stops in the middle, swinging in neither direction, it is balanced. And it is such a pendulum that can symbolize samyama. So long as one pursues indulgence or asceticism, he is unbalanced, he is an asamyami. One can be called a rightist kind of asamyami and the other a leftist kind.

To be steadied in the middle is samyama in terms of Krishna. It can have no other meaning as far as Krishna is concerned. To be balanced is samyama.

Let us look at samyama in the context of real life. In the context of real life, in the sense of the interiority of life, a person of samyama has two connotations. Such a person is neither an ascetic nor a hedonist - or he is both. Such a person is a renunciate and a hedonist together. His indulgence is blended with renunciation and his renunciation mixed with indulgence.

But none of the old traditions of renunciation will agree with this definition of samyama. To these traditions samyama means aversion to enjoyment and asamyama, imbalance, means addiction to enjoyments. One who gives up his attachments and takes to asceticism is a samyami in the eyes of the traditionalists.

Krishna is neither a renunciate nor a hedonist. If we have to place him somewhere, he will be midway between Charvaka and Mahavira. In indulgence he will equal Charvaka, and in renunciation he will not lag behind Mahavira. If we can have a blending of Charvaka and Mahavira, it will be Krishna.

So in terms of Krishna, all such words as samyama and asamyama will undergo a transformation. The words will be the same, but their meanings will be radically different. The meanings will stem from Krishna’s own being.

The second part of your question is: “What is Krishna’s sadhana or spiritual discipline? What is his way of worship?” There is nothing like sadhana - or spiritual discipline in the life of Krishna. There cannot be. The basic element of spiritual discipline is effort; without effort sadhana is not possible. And the second inescapable element of sadhana is ego; without the ego, the “?”, spiritual discipline falls apart. Who will discipline himself? Effort implies a doer; there has to be somebody to make the effort. Effort ceases if there is no doer.

If we go into the matter deeply we will know that sadhana is an invention of the godless people, people who don’t accept God. Those who deny God and accept only the soul believe in sadhana or spiritual discipline. They believe the soul has to make efforts to uncover itself, to be itself.

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