Resources of the Himalayan Yoga Tradition


Article Index

It's like the analogy of a donkey. You take a donkey and tie a carrot on a long bamboo pole. You want to make a donkey run. You tie a carrot at the end of a bamboo pole and tie that bamboo pole in back of the donkey with the carrot dangling about a foot away from the donkey's mouth. So now the donkey is going to run to get that carrot. How long does the donkey have to run to get to that carrot? How long? How far does it have to go to get to that carrot?

How far do we have to run from condition to condition to condition to condition before we realize that freedom, that goal, that image, that dream that all the great philosophers have talked about as the ultimate goal of human existence – freedom? Where is that freedom? Whether you live in a capitalist country or a communist country or a neutral country, or under a dictatorship or under a democracy, each one of us, how free do we feel? We're seeking freedom from that and running after that carrot dangling right there.
What we are saying here is that the true freedom, the essence of that freedom, is in the essence of your own being which is a being of life, being called the Consciousness-force, ever pure, ever wise, ever free. No impurity touches it. No ignorance is its condition. No bondage ever accrues to that being. And it is not that that being is in you; that being is you covered with the sheath of the personalities and the condition and the identities with which you have misidentified yourself. Seek that. Find that. This Atman, the Self, is not touched by any impurity, not by any ignorance, not by any bondage.

"Prisoner, who bound you? Who put these chains around your hands?"

"I, myself, did that. I forged these chains, and as I was forging these chains, I said, 'I shall bind all of my enemies with these chains.' When the chains were complete, I found them shackling my own wrists."

"Prisoner, who put you inside these four walls?"

"I, myself, put myself inside these four walls. I sat in the middle, and built these walls and said, 'When I'm done, I will take all my enemies and I'll put them inside these four walls.' And when the four walls were complete, they were around me. I was in the center. I have put myself inside the four walls."

That is why we say, "Not that, not that. Soham, I am That!" 
It is my inner beauty I seek to reflect in all the things beautiful. The worth of this immortal, infinite force, Life-force, the Consciousness-force, I see reflected in all things.

We have a saying in the ancient Sanskrit text. There's a beautiful woman seen by three beings in three different ways. She walks in the woods, and a wolf sees her and says, "What delicious flesh to eat!" The same woman walks in the street of a town and another kind of wolf sees her and says, "What beautiful flesh to ravish!" But a yogi sees her and says, "A walking corpse."

Shavasana, the position in which we lie for relaxation is called shavasana, the corpse posture. "But look at the beauty, the light, the life of that one, because of which the eyes sparkle, the cheeks glow, the hair is silken. I would like to see that one because of which that which would ordinarily be a corpse has eyes like gems, hair like silk." And when that silken hair is removed from the touch of that one, it's nothing but sweepings on a barber's floor, because it has been removed from the proximity of that Life-force, the force called Consciousness.

"I am That!" This is the seeking of a true meditator:

to know That,
to be That,
to walk from That,
to speak from That,
to be joyful from That,
to be contented from That,
to be free from within That.