“If you look at them objectively, stillness and stagnation are about the same. Physically they could be seen as about the same, but qualitatively they are worlds apart.”
Stagnation is a certain disease. It is anti-life. Stillness is a tremendous amount of life, not manifesting itself in any way. It is just there – potent. That is God. God is stillness, not stagnation. The mind is stagnation. “Sadhana” is a force that moves you from stagnation to stillness, but between stagnation and stillness, when they are together, there seems to be very little difference, since your logical mind only understands in terms of moving and not moving. Not moving is stagnation, but stillness is also not moving. This nonmovement, you may call it stillness or stagnation because it’s purely subjective.
If you look at them objectively, stillness and stagnation are about the same. Physically they could be seen as about the same, but qualitatively they are worlds apart. A person who is meditating and a person who is sleeping may look about the same. One is sitting and sleeping, another is lying down and sleeping, that is all. For a person who doesn’t know the difference, that’s all he sees. Have you seen with how much sarcasm people look at meditation, those so-called dynamic people of the world? They think it’s for people who don’t even know how to sleep.
Externally there may be no difference between stillness and stagnation. Internally there is a tremendous difference. From stagnation to stillness, from ignorance to enlightenment, that’s the difference. In a way, it is the same thing, only the quality has changed, that’s all.
But how can you know the qualitative difference when you’re drowned in ignorance? This is why the movement of sadhana has to go in full circle. Depending on how ignorant a person is, that is how long the sadhana has to be. Physically and mentally, push yourself to the limit and see what is there. If you stop for every little discomfort, you will never know what it is. Just push yourself to the limit. Physically, mentally, emotionally, in every way push yourself to the last point. You will either go mad or you will become enlightened, that’s all there is; and we will not allow you to go mad, don’t worry.
That is why I keep asking you, “What is your priority? What is it? You have to increase it.” Every time I ask that question, you have to push it up one more notch. To the point of discomfort you have pushed, but don’t let up, push it up one more point and yet another point. It has to be pushed to the ultimate, to the optimum. Only then can the mind dissolve itself. You don’t have to do any other sadhana. This is the only sadhana needed. All other activity in the form of sadhana is just to get this one thing done. Make it in such a way that your sankalpa (resolution) is unshakeable.
If someone is asked to go and live in the Himalayas for twelve years, it is not because if he lives in the Himalayas, the rocks will give him enlightenment. It is because he is even willing to waste his life for twelve years, with all kinds of hardship, just to seek Truth. If that kind of sankalpa has come, that man is very close. In a way, it is like literally wasting your life. When the whole world is eating well, drinking well and enjoying themselves, you are sitting there in the cold and chanting, “Shiva, Shiva, Shiva,” knowing nothing might happen.
If you live there long enough, you may come to know. Shiva probably will not come and bail you out. When you’re hungry, you’re plain hungry. When you’re cold, you’re just cold. You know it may turn out to be hopeless being there. In spite of that you stay, because the most important thing in your life is something else. When that sankalpa comes, it does not take twelve years. In one moment, it can happen. Nobody needs to wait for twelve years. This can be the moment. It is because you don’t use this moment that you have to wait for the next one. This is always the moment. Are you going to tighten it up, or every time discomfort comes, will you think, “Oh, this is not for me?” It is definitely not for you if this is so. I am not saying the path is difficult, it’s just that you make it difficult. The path is not difficult, it’s very simple. If you are simple, it’s very simple. If you are all wound up, the path is very, very winding. That’s all it is.
This moment, when you’re very simple and at ease, life is very simple, isn’t it? When you’re wound up, just see how complicated it is. Don’t become all wound up. There is enough nerve-racking past in you, which is already in knots. Don’t create new knots now. The old knots are already causing a lot of pain, causing a deep pit inside, which is eating you up in many ways. Some of you have become aware of this, and some are yet to become aware of that, but it is there in every human being. There is one empty pit within you which just eats you from inside. That is enough, isn’t it? Don’t create more now.
What you have created in the past is enough. Many lifetimes of opportunities have been wasted, but this one need not go to waste too.
“Physically and mentally, push yourself to the limit and see what is there. If you stop for every little discomfort, you will never know what it is. Just push yourself to the limit.”
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is a spiritual master for whom yoga is not an esoteric discipline from the past but a contemporary science. Founder of Isha Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to well-being, he is widely sought after by prestigious global forums to address issues as diverse as human rights, business values, social, environmental and existential issues. isha.sadhguru.org