But it is surprising that you also feel respect for these people who are torturing their bodies, as if they are doing something great! Nothing great is being done – it simply means that you don’t even know that it is not the body that is holding you, it is you who are holding the body. It is just as if you beat up your car because it is taking you to the wrong place. How can a car take you anywhere? You are putting the gas into it, you are decorating it, you are steering it and it goes wherever you want it to go. Although you are sitting in the car, the car is following you, you are not following the car.
This Upanishad says that the body is like a chariot, a car that you are sitting inside and driving. So if you are going towards sin don’t think that the body is taking you there; this is utter stupidity. If you want to sin the body supports you: if you drive your car towards the red-light district the car will go there. The car is not concerned about where you are going, it just goes wherever you take it. If you want to take it to a temple it will stop at the entrance to the temple. But when it stops at the door of a brothel and then you start kicking the car, you are just being stupid.
It is not only you, but people that are widely respected have behaved like this. Some saints have destroyed their eyes because they say the eyes have created lust in them. They have cut off their hands because their hands have done some evil act. How can the hands do any evil? How can the eyes create lust? You are hidden behind the eyes, the eyes go wherever you take them. You are the driving force behind your eyes. You yourself are the culprit – who are you punishing by destroying your eyes?
Some saints have cut out their tongues, have cut off their sex organs…this is sheer insanity! You don’t understand that the body is only a mechanism; it has no consciousness. You are the consciousness. You are responsible for your good and bad deeds. It is you who create your hell and it is you who create your heaven. One who blames the body is totally unintelligent.
Now that you have understood this concept of the Upanishads, let us enter this sutra.
“The human body is a pur, a city. It is a city of the divine with eleven gates. The divine is simple. It is never born, it is pure consciousness.”