I was a guest in a house. The old man of the house told me that he had taken a vow of celibacy three times. I was amazed. How could he take the vow of celibacy three times? I asked him why he did not take it a fourth time. The old man said, “By taking it three times I experienced that it cannot be fulfilled and therefore I did not take the vow a fourth time.” It had not been fulfilled the third time either.
Every day you get angry, and every day you promise yourself that you won’t, and then what happens the next day when anger comes? Then there is not even a trace left of the promise because there is no trace of you yourself, as to where you are. The one who had taken the vow is asleep.
In the evening a man goes to sleep with the determination that he has to wake up at four o’clock the next day. The alarm bell rings in the morning and this same man turns over in his bed and says, “Leave it. I will do it from tomorrow.” The same man gets up at seven o’clock and repents again: “How did it happen? I had taken a vow to get up at four o’clock.” But actually, the one in him who had taken the vow is asleep. In the morning at seven o’clock he may again take the vow, but the next day at four o’clock he will again miss it.
Our whole life passes in this kind of sleepiness. If we were to look at our acts, we would not be able to say that we did them – because if we were really the doer, many of them could not possibly have been done.
All the courts of the world know that hundreds of criminals have stated in public, “I have not committed this murder,” or “I have not done this theft.” But the judges take it as a lie, the court takes it as a lie, because there are witnesses, there is evidence that the crime has happened. But I say to you that those criminals are not telling lies. When they were stealing, at that moment they were not in their senses. When they murdered they were not in their senses. It is very difficult to commit a murder consciously. It is very difficult to steal consciously. According to me, and according to yoga, a sin is that act of doing for which unconsciousness is a must. Sin means such an act that cannot be done without being unconscious. When you are unconscious, only then can you sin. It is a compulsory condition.
Hence, when we say to someone that he has acted like an animal, it doesn’t mean that animals do such things. No animal commits such acts as man does. No, acting like an animal has a very different meaning. It means that just as the animals are self-unconscious, just as they are unaware of themselves, similarly man is also unaware of himself. It is in this sense that the phrase “acting like an animal” is used. Otherwise, no dog has ever acted like Hitler, nor has any snake ever behaved like Genghis Khan. Has any animal done such terrible things as the animal called man has done? No, no animal ever has. “Animal-like” means only one thing – that a man is doing something in self-forgetfulness, that he is unconscious.