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Chapter 9: You Are Your Prison

Mind, life-current, desire,
piety and virtue are the five basic knots.
When the embodied soul is identified
with the nature of these five knots,
it cannot become free of them
without self-realization.
As these five afflict the soul like subtle diseases,
then the soul is known as ling sharir,
the identification body.
This is the knot in the heart.
That which illuminates there as the consciousness
is kshetragya, the knower field.

Man’s bondage does not come from outside of himself, his prison is within - it is created by him within himself. It appears to us that we live only on the outside; it appears that happiness exists on the outside, that misery exists on the outside, that all achievement is outside, all defeat and victory are outside, all success and failure are outside - but it only appears to be this way. In fact everything is within: all striving is within, all attainment is also within; our failure is within, the happiness which seems to be on the outside is experienced within and the source of misery which seems to be coming from the outside is also hidden within.

Your beloved may seem to be on the outside but the center of love is within. If the center of love within is destroyed, then no beloved can be seen outside. Gold is outside but the greed for it is within. If there is no greed, then what is the difference between gold and dust? The difference is because of this greed. The expanse of objects is outside, but the seed is within.

The sage describes five basic knots; man’s inner disease has been divided into five categories, as five knots. Try to understand each and every category.

The first knot is the mind and its whole creation. The mind has been called an entanglement, a disease, a sickness. Why?

If we stand on the seashore and there is a storm with high waves and a mighty wind blowing.the ocean itself cannot be seen, the only thing visible is the wild dance of the roaring waves. The ocean is also within these waves and these waves are also a form of the ocean - they are born out of the ocean, they are a shape of the ocean - but still these waves are not the ocean, because the ocean can be without waves. After the storm the sea is tranquil; the waves have gone, but the sea remains.

The opposite can never happen - it is not possible for the ocean to disappear while the waves remain. The waves can disappear but the ocean will remain. The disappearance of the waves doesn’t disturb the existence of the ocean, but if the ocean disappears it won’t be possible to save the waves. So the ocean is the source; the waves appear and disappear.

The ocean of human consciousness is just like that: thoughts are the waves, the patterns rising in it. That is why I told you yesterday that there is no such thing as a peaceful mind. Have you ever seen a peaceful storm? It is meaningless to say “peaceful storm.” If it is a storm it cannot be peaceful, if it is peaceful it cannot be a storm. But we say “silent mind” - it is a linguistic error. As long as the mind is there the disturbance continues, restlessness persists.

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