This is a matchless mantra for meditation! Understand it.
Said the master to Daya:
Take the vow of the tortoise…
The master said, “Daya, become like a tortoise.” The tortoise has one special quality: it can draw all its senses in upon itself. The senses are the doors through which you go out. If you open your eyes, you will look outside yourself; if you use your ears, you will hear the sounds outside yourself; if you spread your hands, you will touch something. The senses go out. The hand cannot go inside you, the eye cannot see inside you. The eye that sees within you is another eye: it has no connection with your two eyes. That’s why the wise talk about the third eye; they are speaking of a different eye, not related to these two at all.
And bear this in mind: the wise say there are two eyes for looking outwards and one eye for looking inwards. This too is very symbolic. Duality lies outside of you, nonduality inside you. You don’t need two eyes to see within: if you use two eyes it will cause a duality, a conflict; the world will be born within you. You need two eyes to look out and one to look within; two ears to hear outside and one to hear inside.
The third ear has not been talked about in the same way that the third eye has been, but it should be. Just as we have two hands to reach out, so we have one hand to reach in. The Zen masters have talked about that one hand: they say, “Clap with one hand.” They ask their disciples to sit down and hear the sound of one hand clapping. Now how can one hand clap? It takes two hands to clap. But they ask their disciples to search for the sound made by one hand clapping. That hand is the inner hand.
There is one door to go in and two doors to go out. There are many senses for going outwards – there are eyes, ears, the nose, the hands…all the five senses. When you go inwards, the two eyes become one and your ears also merge into this one. Your hands and nose also merge into this one – everything becomes one.
Somewhere Kabir says that when he went inside himself he was utterly bewildered; he started hearing through his eyes! His ears could see, his hands could smell, he could touch things through his nose! People think that these are the paradoxical statements of some mystic – but they are not paradoxical statements, this is how it is, because inside you only the one remains, all your senses merge into one. This sutra is wonderful – pointing towards that one.