Nischal gyanam asanam
is asana – the posture.
Man is neither a body nor a mind alone – he is both. Even to say that he is both is wrong in a way because body and mind are separate only as two words. Existence is one. Body is nothing but the outermost core of your consciousness, the grossest expression of consciousness, and consciousness, on the other hand, is nothing more than the subtlest body, the most refined part of the body. You exist in between.
These are not two things, but two ends of one thing. So whenever knowing becomes nonwavering, the body is also affected; nonwavering knowing creates a nonwavering body. But vice versa is not true. You can impose nonwavering on the body, but the knowing will not become nonwavering. It can help – a very little. It can be helpful, but not much.
Body posture became very important because we are body-oriented. Even those who say that we are not bodies think in terms of body. Even those who say, “We are not bodies,” their thinking, their mind, remains tethered to the body. Even they begin with body postures. Asana means giving your body a posture in which the body becomes nonwavering, still. It is supposed that if the body is still, then the mind will go into stillness.
This is not true – the contrary is true. If the mind becomes still, then the body becomes still. And then a very mysterious phenomenon happens: if the mind is still, you can go on dancing but your body will remain still. If your mind is not still, you can be just dead but still the body will be wavering, because the mind wavering creates subtle vibrations which come to the body and the body goes on wavering inside. Try it: you can sit just like a statue – dead, stone-like. Close your eyes and feel. Outwardly, no one can say that your body is wavering, but inwardly you will know that it is. A subtle trembling is there. Even if it cannot be detected from the outside you can feel it from the inside.
If your mind is totally still, then even if you are dancing you will feel from inside that the body is still. A buddha is still even when he is walking, and a non-buddha is not still even when he is dead. The vibrations come from your center, they originate from you, and then they spread towards the body. The body is not the originator, it is not the source, so you cannot stop them from the periphery. You can impose, you can practice, but inside there will be turmoil – and this imposing will create more conflict than stillness.
So this sutra says that to practice meditation, a posture, a still posture, is needed. But what do we mean by a posture? This sutra says that a nonwavering knowing is the posture. If the mind is nonwavering, then you are in the right posture. In that right posture everything can happen.