The whole effort of yoga is to attain to That which cannot be reduced to an object, which remains irreducible, to be just your subjectivity. You cannot see it because it is the seer. You cannot catch hold of it, because all that you can catch hold of is not you. Just because you can catch hold of it it has become separate from you. This consciousness, which is always elusive and always stands back and whatsoever effort you make all efforts fail…to come to this consciousness – how to come to this consciousness – is what yoga is all about.
To be a yogi is to become what you can become. Yoga is the science of stilling what has to be stilled and alerting what can be alerted. Yoga is a science to divide that which is not you and that which is you, to come to a clear-cut division so that you can see yourself in pristine clarity. Once you have a glimpse of your nature, who you are, the whole world changes. Then you can live in the world, and the world will not distract you. Then nothing can distract you; you are centered. Then you can move anywhere you like and you remain unmoving, because you have reached and touched the eternal, which never moves, which is unchanging.
Today we start the third step of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, “Vibhuti Pada.” It is very significant because the last, the fourth, “Kaivalya Pada,” will be just attaining to the fruit. This third. “Vibhuti Pada,” is the ultimate as far as means are concerned, techniques are concerned, methods are concerned. The fourth will be just the outcome of the whole effort. Kaivalya means aloneness, absolute freedom of being alone, no dependence on anybody, on anything – so contented that you are more than enough. This is the goal of yoga. In the fourth part we will be talking only about the fruits, but if you miss the third you will not be able to understand the fourth. The third is the base.
If the fourth chapter of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is destroyed nothing is destroyed, because whosoever will be able to attain to the third will attain to the fourth automatically. The fourth can be dropped. It is in fact, in a way, unnecessary because it talks about the end, the goal. Anyone who follows the path will reach to the goal, there is no need to talk about it. Patanjali talks about it to help you, because your mind would like to know, “Where are you going? What is the goal?” Your mind would like to be convinced, and Patanjali does not believe in trust, in faith, in belief. He is a pure scientist. He simply gives a glimpse of the goal, but the whole basis, the whole fundamental basis is in the third.
Up to now we were getting ready for this Vibhuti Pada, the ultimate in means. Up to now in two chapters we have been discussing means which help, but those means were outer. Patanjali calls them “bahirang.” “on the periphery.” Now these three – dharana, dhyan, samadhi, – concentration, meditation, samadhi – these three he calls “antarang,” “internal.” The first five prepare you, your body, your character – you on the periphery – so that you can move inwards. And Patanjali moves step by step: it is a gradual science. It is not a sudden enlightenment; it is a gradual path. Step by step he leads you.
The first sutra: