Patanjali in this sutra says: when your awareness has become perfect, when vivek, discrimination has been achieved, when you have become a witness, a pure witness of whatsoever happens, outside you, inside you… You are no longer a doer, you are simply watching; the birds are singing outside…you watch; the blood is circulating inside…you watch; the thoughts are moving inside…you watch – you never get identified anywhere. You don’t say, “I am the body”; you don’t say, “I am the mind”; you don’t say anything. You simply go on watching without being identified with any object. You remain a pure subject; you simply remember one thing: that you are the watcher, the witness – when this witnessing is established, then the desire to be disappears.
And the moment the desire to be disappears, death also disappears. Death exists because you want to persist. Death exists because you don’t want to die. Death exists because you are struggling against the whole. The moment you are ready to die, death is meaningless; it cannot be possible now. When you are ready to die, how can you die? In the very readiness of dying, disappearing, all possibility of death is overcome. This is the paradox of religion.
Jesus says, “If you are going to cling to yourself, you will lose yourself. If you want to attain yourself, don’t cling.” Those who try to be are destroyed. Not that somebody is there destroying you; your very effort to be is destructive because the moment the idea arises, “I should persist,” you are moving against the whole. It is as if a wave is trying to be against the ocean. Now the very effort is going to create worry and misery, and one moment will come when the wave will have to disappear. But now, because the wave was fighting against the ocean, the disappearance will look like death. If the wave was ready, and the wave was aware that: “I’m nothing but the ocean, so what is the point in persisting? I have been always and I will be always, because the ocean has always been there and will be always there. I may not exist as a wave – wave is just the form I have taken for the moment. The form will disappear, but not my content. I may not exist like this wave; I may exist like another wave, or I may not exist as a wave as such. I may become the very depth of the ocean where no waves arise …’
But the innermost reality is going to remain because the whole has penetrated you. You are nothing but the whole, an expression of the whole. Once awareness is established, Patanjali says, “When one has seen this distinction, that “I am neither this nor that”, when one has become aware and is not identified with anything whatsoever, there is a cessation of desire for dwelling in the atma, the self.” Then the last desire disappears, and the last is the fundamental. Hence, Buddha says, “You can drop desiring money, wealth, power, prestige – that’s nothing. You can stop desiring the world – that’s nothing – because those are secondary desires. The basic desire is to be.” So people who renounce the world start desiring liberation, but liberation is also their liberation – they will remain in moksha, in a liberated state. They desire that pain should not be there. They desire that misery should not be there. They will be in absolute bliss, but they will be. The insistence is that they must be there.
That’s why Buddha could not get roots into this country which thinks itself very religious. The most religious man who was born on this earth could not get roots into this religious country. What happened? He said, he insisted on dropping the basic desire of being: he said, “Be a non-being.” He said, “Don’t be.” He said, “Don’t ask for liberation because freedom is not for you. Freedom is going to be freedom from you; not for you, but from you.”