When I told the story of Satyakama to a group of people, one person asked me, ‘Maybe these techniques are for highly evolved souls. In that story, the disciple gets enlightened when the master just blesses him. He must have been a highly evolved soul for that to happen. I told that person, ‘No, it is not for highly evolved souls. It is for highly innocent souls!’ Understand this. Highly evolved people don’t need techniques. It is like how I was telling you the other day.
You can be either cunning or intelligent, never both at the same time
In sage Patanjali’s teaching of Ashtanga yoga, the eight techniques described are to be practiced all at once. It is not that if you finish the first technique you are one step higher and ready for the second one. No! Even the first technique is so strong that if you are able to master it and move to the second, you don’t even need the second because you are already done! The first step is yama, which is about codes of behavior. If you are able to master this alone, then you don’t need the remaining steps. You don’t need any further yoga or breath control! So understand this. All eight techniques are individually fulfilling techniques for the sincere seeker. They are not sequential steps. Similarly, techniques such as those given to Satyakama are given to innocent people who are tired of being cunning.
Understand these words, ‘tired of being cunning’. What is cunningness? It is the opposite of intelligence. You can be either cunning or intelligent, never both at the same time. Cunningness is also the opposite of vulnerability. When you are cunning, you cannot be vulnerable. When you are vulnerable, you are pure like a child. A child can be intelligent and innocent at the same time. Over time, his intelligence grows but the innocence invariably takes a turn to become cunningness. Then he is no more pure like a child. Societal conditioning causes the innocence in the intelligence to take the turn into cunningness. Children if left to themselves remain innocent. But we teach them so many things that they become social animals. We hold a great responsibility in bringing up children without making them cunning.
Calculation is alright for arithmetic, not for the being
The poet Khalil Gibran says beautifully about children:
You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.
The problem is that we know only to divide and look. We never know to look as a whole. If you watch a baby, it will look at each of its toys as a whole. It will just try to push it in as a whole into its mouth! Sometimes it will push the larger part of the toy first into the mouth where it won’t even fit. It doesn’t know what toy it is or what its parts are or whether it is appropriate to put it into its mouth. Its eyes know only to see as whole, never divided. The moment you teach the child to divide and look, you sow cunningness in him. Cunningness is division. It is a constant calculation. It hinders free and innocent expression. It knows to express only through calculation. Calculation is alright for arithmetic, not for the being. We calculate for the wrong reasons.
Do we ever calculate our blessings? No, never!
They are just taken for granted. Cunningness starts with division of the whole. Innocence is lost when the mind is taught to divide. Once it picks up the thread, the mind continues and moves far away from its original innocence.
Two babies were in a pram next to each other in a mall.
One of them turn-ed to the other and asked, ‘Are you a girl or a boy?’ ‘I don’t know,’ the baby replied.
The first one said, ‘I can tell.’ And he dived beneath the clothes and came out and said, ‘You are a girl and I am a boy.’ The baby girl was surprised and asked, ‘How did you know?’
Pat came the reply, ‘That’s easy. You are wearing pink booties and I am wearing blue ones!’
From a very early stage, the child is taught division by people who are themselves struggling with cunningness. The child unconsciously trades his innocence for cunningness. The danger with cunningness is that it grows roots in many directions and solidifies as the very nature of the individual. The person will not even know he is cunning. He won’t even know that his struggle with himself is because of his cunningness.
Unless you are tired of being cunning, you can’t be helped. No technique can help you because your cunningness knows how to escape from every single technique.
One person came to me and started telling me, ‘Swamiji, I have extramarital relationships.’ I asked, ‘Do you feel it is wrong?’
He said, ‘Yes, I know it is wrong, and I am very clear that I am doing something wrong.’
I told him, ‘Then stop it.’
He said, ‘No, only you can stop it.’
I told him, ‘Hey, I am not the one having the relationship to stop it! You are the one having it, so it is you who is supposed to decide and stop!’
He stood silent.
I asked him, ‘What do you mean by I should stop? Do you mean that I should take your car keys and not allow you to go there? What do you mean by I should stop?’
This is cunningness.
He told me, ‘No, I have surrendered myself to you, so you should take care of it.’
I told him it was a good story!
Then I told him, ‘You told just now you have surrendered everything to me. Alright then, just sit here and meditate.’ He asked, ‘What are you saying Swamiji?’ I told him, ‘You were the one who said just now that you have surrendered everything to me! Then just do whatever I say. Don’t move from here, just sit.’
That he was not ready to do!
A small story:
The rivers one day gathered together and made a complaint against the sea. They asked the sea, ‘Why is that when we enter your waters fresh and fit to drink, you make us salty and undrinkable?’ The sea hearing itself being blamed replied, ‘Don’t come. Then you won’t turn salty.’
If you are not ready for the simple solution, then be assured that you are playing a cunning game! Unless you are tired of being cunning, you can’t be helped. No technique can help you because your cunningness knows how to escape from every single technique.
People come and tell me, ‘Whatever you are saying is correct, but…’ Understand this. The moment you say ‘but’ to me, you have missed! The moment you say ‘but’, it is over. You are trying to escape with your cunningness.
source: Living Enlightenment