pain, either in the consequences, or in apprehension, or in attitude caused by impressions, also on account of the counter action of qualities.
The Yogis say that the man who has discriminating powers, the man of good sense, sees through all these various things, which are called pleasure and pain, and knows that they are always equally distributed, and that one follows the other, and melts into the other; he sees that men are following an ignis fatuus all their lives, and never succeed in fulfilling their desires. There was never a love in this world which did not know decay. The great king Yudisthira once said that the most wonderful thing in life is that every moment we see people dying around us, and yet we think we shall never die. Surrounded by fools on every side, we think we are the only exceptions, the only learned men. Surrounded by all sorts of experiences of fickleness, we think our love is the only lasting love. How can that be? Even love is selfish, and the Yogi says that, in the end, we shall find that even the love of husbands and wives, and children and friends, slowly decays. Decadence seizes everything in this life. It is only when everything, even love, fails, that, with a flash, man finds out how vain, how dream-like is this world. Then he catches a glimpse of Vairagyam (renunciation), catches a glimpse of the beyond. It is only by giving up this world that the other comes; never through building on to this one. Never yet was there a great soul who had not to reject sense pleasures and enjoyments to become such. The cause of misery is the clash between difference forces of nature, one dragging one way, and another dragging another, rendering permanent happiness impossible.
16.The misery which is not yet come is to be avoided.
Some Karma we have worked out already, some we are working out now in the present, and some is waiting to bear fruit in the future. That which we have worked out already is past and gone.
That which we are experiencing now we will have to work out, and it is only that which is waiting to bear fruit in the future that we can conquer and control, so all our forces should be directed towards the control of that Karma which has not yet borne fruit. That is meant in the previous aphorism, when Patanjali says that these various Samskaras are to be controlled by counteracting waves.
17.The cause of that which is to be avoided is the junction of the seer and the seen.
Who is the seer? The Self of Man, the Purusa. What is the seen? The whole of nature, beginning with the mind, down to gross matter. All this pleasure and pain arises from the junction between this Purusa and the mind. The Purusa, you must remember, according to this philosophy, is pure; it is when it is joined to nature, and by reflection, that it appears to feel either pleasure or pain.
18.The experienced is composed of elements and organs, is of the nature of illumination, action and intertia, and is for the purpose of experience and release (of the experiencer).
The experienced, that is nature, is composed of elements and organs—the elements gross and fine which compose the whole of nature, and the organs of the senses, mind, etc., and is of the nature of illumination, action, and intertia. These are what in Sanskrit are called Sattva (illumination), Rajas (action), and Tamas (darkness); each is for the purpose of experience and relase. What is the purpose of the whole of nature? That the Purusa may gain experience. The Purusa has, as it were, forgotten its mighty, godly, nature. There is a story that the king of the gods, Indra, once became a pig, wallowing in mire; he had a she pig, and a lot of baby pigs, and was very happy. Then some other angels saw his plight, and came to him, and told him, "You are the king of the gods, you have all the gods command. Why are you here?" But Indra said, "Let me be; I am all right here; I do not care for the heavens, while I have this sow and these little pigs." The poor gods were at their wits' end what to do. After a time they decided to slowly come and slay one of the little pigs, and then another, until they had slain all the pigs, and the sow too. When all were dead Indra began to weep and mourn. Then the gods ripped his pig body open and he came out of it, and began to laugh when he realised what a hideous dream he had had; he, the king of the gods, to have become a pig, and to think that the pig-life was the only life! Not only so, but to have wanted the whole universe to come into the pig life! The Purusa, when it identifies itself with nature, forgets that it is pure and infinite. The Purusa does not live; it is life itself. It does not exist; it is existence itself. The Soul does not know; it is knowledge itself. It is an entire mistake to say that the Soul lives, or knows, or loves. Love and existence are not the qualities of the Purusa, but its essence. When they get reflected upon something you may call them the qualities of that something. But they are not the qualities of the Purusa, but the essence of this great Atman, this Infinite Being, without birth or death, Who is established in His own glory, but appears as if become degenerate until if you approach to tell Him, "You are not a pig," he begins to squeal and bite. Thus with us all in this Maya, this dream world, where it is all misery, weeping, and crying, where a few golden balls are rolled, and the world scrambles after them. You were never bound by laws, Nature never had a bond for you. That is what the Yogi tells you; have patience to learn it. And the Yogi shows how, by junction with this nature, and identifying itself with the mind and the world, the Purusa thinks itself miserable. Then the Yogi goes on to show that the way out is through experience. You have to get all this experience, but finish it quickly. We have placed ourselves in this net, and will have to get out. We have got ourselves caught in the trap, and we will have to work out our freedom. So get this experience of husbands and wives, and friends, and little loves, and you will get through them safely if you never forget what you really are. Never forget this is only a momentary state, and that we have to pass through it. Experience is the one great teacher—experiences of pleasure and pain—but know they are only experiences, and will all lead, step by step, to that state when all these things will become small, and the Purusa will be so great that this whole universe will be as a drop in the ocean, and will fall off by its own nothingness. We have to go through these experiences, but let us never forget the ideal.
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