You are in the market and somebody tells you, “Your house has caught fire” – you start running. You see many people on the street. A few people say, “Good morning. Where are you going? Why are you in such a hurry? What has happened?” Your eyes go on seeing, your ears go on hearing, but you are not there. Your house has caught fire…your presence is not there, no more. If afterwards you are asked, “Can you remember who had asked you, ‘Where are you going? Why are you in such a hurry?’” you will not be able to remember. You had seen the man, you have heard what he said, but you were not there.
Ears by themselves cannot hear. Eyes by themselves cannot see. Your presence is needed. You may be on the playground playing football, hockey, or volleyball or something: when the play is at the peak you are hit in your feet, blood starts flowing…but you are so deeply involved in the game, you are not aware. It hurts, but you are not there to feel. After half an hour the game stops; suddenly your attention moves to the feet, blood is flowing – now it hurts. For half an hour the blood was flowing but it was not hurting – you were not there.
This has to be deeply understood: that senses by themselves are impotent – unless you cooperate. That’s the whole art of yoga. If you don’t cooperate senses close. If you don’t cooperate conversion starts. If you don’t cooperate, pratyahar comes in. That’s what people who are sitting silently for hours, for years, are doing – they are trying to drop the cooperation between themselves and their senses. When the energy is not obsessed to see, to hear, to touch; the energy starts moving inwards. That is pratyahar: movement towards the source, movement towards the place from where you have come, movement to the center. Now you are no longer moving to the periphery.
This is just the beginning. The end will be in samadhi. Pratyahar is just a beginning of the energy moving towards home. Samadhi is when you have reached home, arrived. The four – yam, niyam, asan, pranayam – are the preparation for pratyahar, the fifth. And pratyahar is the beginning, the turning; samadhi is the end.
Then comes the dispersion of the cover that hides the light.
The last sutra was about pranayam. Pranayam is a way of getting in rhythm with the universe, but you remain outside. You start breathing in such a way, in such a rhythm, that you fall in tune with the whole. Then you are not fighting the whole; you have surrendered. You are no longer an enemy of the whole; you have become a lover. That’s what it means to be a religious man: now he is not in conflict; now he has no private goals to achieve; now he is flowing with existence; now he is in tune with the goal of the whole, if there is any; now he has no individual destiny, the whole’s destiny is his. He is floating with the river, not fighting up current.