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The Vigyana Bhairava Tantra vol one

the book of the secrets : a new commentary :
talks given from 01/10/1972 pm to 01/03/1973 pm




When desire grips you, you are disturbed. Of course, that is natural. Desire grips you, then your mind starts wavering and many ripples go on, on the surface. The desire pulls you somewhere into the future; the past pushes you somewhere in the future. You are disturbed, you are not at ease. Desire is, therefore, a "dis-ease."

This sutra says,

But how to be undisturbed? Desire means disturbance, so how to be undisturbed -- and in extreme moments of desire? You will have to do certain experiments; only then will you understand what it means. You are in anger, anger grips you, you are temporarily mad, possessed, you are no more in your senses. Suddenly remember to be undisturbed -- as if you are undressing. Inside, become naked, naked from the anger, undressed. Anger will be there, but now you have a point within you which is not disturbed.

You will know that anger is there on the periphery. Like fever, it is there. The periphery is wavering; the periphery is disturbed. But you can look at it. If you can look at it, you will be undisturbed. Become a witness to it, and you will be undisturbed. This undisturbed point is your original mind. The original mind cannot be disturbed; it is never disturbed -- but you have never looked at it. When anger is there, you become identified with the anger. You forget that anger is something other than you. You become one with it, and you start acting through it, you start doing something through it.

Two things can be done. In anger you will be violent to someone, to the object of your anger. Then you have moved to the other. Anger is just in between you and the other. Here I am, then there is anger, and there you are -- the object of my anger. From anger I can travel in two dimensions: either I can travel to you; then you become my center of consciousness, the object of my anger. Then my mind becomes focused on you, the one who has insulted me. This is one way how you can travel from anger. There is another way: you can travel to yourself. You don't move to the person whom you feel has caused the anger. You move to the person who feels to be angry; you move to the subject and not to the object.

Ordinarily, we go on moving to the object. If you move to the object, the dust part of your mind is disturbed, and you will feel, "'l' am disturbed." If you move within to the center of your own being, you will be able to witness the dust part; you will be able to see that the dust part of the mind is disturbed, but "I am not disturbed." And you can experiment upon this with any desire, any disturbance.

A sexual desire comes to your mind; your whole body is taken by it. You can move to the sexual object, the object of your desire. The object may be there, it may not be there. You can move to the object in imagination also. But then you will get more and more disturbed. The further you go away from your center, the more you will be disturbed. Really, the distance and disturbance are always in proportion. The more distant you are from your center, the more you are disturbed; the nearer you are to the center, the less you are disturbed. If you are just at the center, there is no disturbance.

In a cyclone, there is a center which is undisturbed -- in the cyclone of anger, the cyclone of sex, the cyclone of any desire. Just in the center there is no cyclone, and a cyclone cannot exist without a silent center. The anger also cannot exist without something within you which is beyond anger.

Remember this: nothing can exist without its opposite. The opposite is needed there. Without it, there is no possibility of it existing. If there were no center within you which remains unmoved, no movement would be possible there. If there were no center within you which remains undisturbed, no disturbance could happen to you. Analyze this and observe this. If there were no center of absolute undisturbance in you, how could you feel that you are disturbed? You need a comparison. You need two points to compare.

Suppose a person is ill: he feels illness because somewhere within him, a point, a center of absolute health exists. That is why he can compare. You say that your head is aching. How is it that you know about this ache, this headache? If you were the headache, you could not know it. You must be someone else, something else -- the observer, the witness, who can say, "My head is aching."

This ache can be felt only by something which is not the ache. If you are ill, you are feverish, you can feel it because you are not the fever. The fever cannot feel that there is fever; someone is needed who is beyond it. A polarity is needed. When you are in anger, and if you feel you are in anger, it means that a point exists within you which is still undisturbed and which can be a witness. You may not look at that point, that is another thing. You may not see yourself at that point, that is another thing. But it is there always in its pristine purity; it is there.

This sutra says,

What can you do? This technique is not for suppression. This technique is not saying that when there is anger suppress it and remain undisturbed -- no! If you suppress, you will create more disturbance. If the anger is there and an effort to suppress is there, it will double the disturbance. When anger is there, close your doors, meditate on the anger, allow the anger to be. You remain undisturbed, and don't suppress it.

It is easy to suppress; it is easy to express. We do both. We express if the situation allows, and if it is convenient and not dangerous for you. If you can harm the other and the other cannot harm you, you will express the anger. If it is dangerous, if the other can harm you more, if your boss or whoever you are angry at is more strong, you will suppress it.

Expression and suppression are easy, witnessing is difficult. Witnessing is neither; it is not suppressing, it is not expressing. It is not expressing because you are not expressing it to the object of anger. It is not being suppressed either. You are allowing it to be expressed -- expressed in a vacuum. You are meditating on it.

Stand before a mirror and express your anger -- and be a witness to it. You are alone, so you can meditate on it. Do whatsoever you want to do, but in a vacuum. If you want to beat someone, beat the empty sky. If you want to be angry, be angry; if you want to scream, scream. But do it alone, and remember yourself as a point which is seeing all this, this drama. Then it becomes a psychodrama, and you can laugh at it and it will be a deep catharsis for you. Afterwards you will feel relieved of it -- and not only relieved of it, you will have gained something through it. You will have matured; a growth will have come to you. And now you will know that even while you were in anger there was a center within you which was undisturbed. Now try to uncover this center more and more, and it is easy to uncover it in desire.

That is why tantra is not against desire. It says be in desire, but remember the center which is undisturbed. So tantra says that even sex can be used. Move in sex, but remain undisturbed. Be a witness. Go on being a deep observer. Whatsoever is happening, is happening on the periphery; you are just an onlooker, a spectator.

This technique can be very useful, and much benefit can happen to you through it. But it will be difficult because when you become disturbed, you forget everything. You may forget that you have to meditate. Then try it in this way: don't wait for the moment when anger happens to you. Don't wait for the moment! Just close your room, and think of some past experience of anger when you went mad. Remember it, and re-enact it. That will be easy for you. Re-enact it again, do it again, relive it. Do not just remember it, relive it. Remember that someone had insulted you and what was said and how you reacted to him. React again, replay it.

You may not know that mind is just a tape-recording device. And now scientists say, now it is a scientific fact, that if your memory centers are touched with electrodes, they start replaying. For example, you were once angry: the incident is recorded, in the same sequence as it happened, just as if on a tape-recording in your brain. If it is touched by an electrode, it mill start replaying. You will have the same feeling again. Your eyes will go red, your body will start trembling and will become feverish, the whole thing will be re-enacted. The moment the electrode is put away, it stops. If you give it energy again, it starts from the very beginning again.

Now they say that mind is a recording machine, and you can re-enact anything. But don't just remember: relive. Start feeling the experience again, and the mind will get the idea. The incident will come to you; you will relive it. In reliving it, remain undisturbed. Start from the past. This is easy because now it is a play, the actual situation is not there. And if you become capable of doing this, then you will be able to do it when the situation for anger is really there, when a real situation is there. And this can be done with every desire, and it is to be done with every desire.

This re-enacting something from the past will do much. Everyone has scars in his mind; unhealed wounds are there. If you re-enact them, you will be unburdened. If you can go to your past and do something which has remained incomplete, you will be unburdened from your past. Your mind will become fresher; the dust will be thrown away. Remember in your past something which you feel has remained suspended. You wanted to kill someone, you wanted to love someone, you wanted this and that, and that has remained incomplete.

That incomplete thing goes on hovering on the mind like a cloud. It influences everything that you are and that you are doing. That cloud has to be dispersed. Move back on the time track and bring back desires which have remained incomplete, and relive the wounds which are still green. They will be healed. You will become more whole, and through this you will have the knack of how to remain undisturbed in a situation which is disturbed.


Gurdjieff used this technique very much. He created situations, but to create situations a school is needed. You cannot do that alone. Gurdjieff had a small school in Fontainebleau, and he was a taskmaster. He knew how to create situations. You would enter the room, and a group would be sitting there. You would enter the room where a group was sitting, and something would be done so that you would get angry. And it would be done so naturally that you could never imagine that some situation was being created for you. But it was a device. Someone would insult you by saying something, and you would get disturbed. Then everyone would help the disturbance and you would become mad. And when you were right at the point where you could explode, Gurdjieff would shout, "Remember! Remain undisturbed!"

A situation can be created, but only in a school where many persons are working on themselves. And when Gurdjieff would shout, "Remember! Remain undisturbed," now you would know that this was a created situation. The disturbance cannot disappear so suddenly, so immediately, because it has physical roots. Your glands had thrown poison in the blood; your body had become affected.

Anger cannot disappear so immediately. Even now that you had come to know that you had been deceived, that no one was insulting you and no one meant anything by it, it would be difficult to do anything. The anger is there, your body is filled with it -- but suddenly your temperature cools down. Only on the body, on the periphery, does the anger remain. At the center you suddenly cool down, and you know that a point exists within you which is undisturbed. You start laughing. Your eyes are red with anger; your face is violent, animal-like, but you start laughing. You know two things now -- a point which is undisturbed and a periphery which is disturbed.

You can help. Your family can become a school; you can help each other. Friends can become a school and they can help each other. You can decide with your family... the whole family can decide that now a situation has to be created for the father or for the mother, and then the whole family works to create the situation. When the father or mother goes completely mad, then everyone starts laughing and says, "Remain completely undisturbed." You can help each other, and the experience is simply wonderful. Once you know a cool center within you in a hot situation, you cannot forget it, and then in any hot situation you can remember it, reclaim it, regain it.

In the West now one technique, a therapeutic technique, is used; it is called psychodrama. It helps, and it is also based on techniques like this. In psychodrama you just enact, you just play a game. In the beginning it is a game, but sooner or later you become possessed. And when you become possessed your mind starts functioning, because your mind and your body function automatically. They function automatically!

So if you see an actor acting in a psychodrama who, in a situation of anger, really becomes angry, you may think that he is simply acting, but it is not so. He might have really become angry; it may not be acting at all now. He is possessed by the desire, by the disturbance, by the feeling, by the mood, and if he is really possessed, only then does his acting look real.

Your body cannot know whether you are playing or whether you are doing it for real. You may have observed yourself at some time in your life that you were just playing at being angry, and you didn't know when the anger became real, or you were just playing and you were not feeling sexual. You were playing with your wife or with your girlfriend, or with your husband, and then suddenly it became real. The body takes it, and the body can be deceived. The body cannot know whether it is real or unreal, particularly with sex. If you imagine it your body thinks it is real.

Sex is one of the most imaginary centers in the body, so just by imagining, you can have a sexual orgasm. You can deceive the body. In dream, you can have a sexual release; even in dream, the body is deceived. You are not making love to anyone; just in dream, in fantasy, in imagination, you are making love. But the body can release sexual energy, and even a deep orgasm can be felt. What is happening? How is the body deceived? The body cannot know what is real and what is unreal. Once you start doing something, the body thinks it is real and it starts behaving in a real way.

Psychodrama is a technique based on such methods. You are not angry, you are simply acting angry -- and then you get into it. But psychodrama is beautiful because you know that you are simply acting, and then on the periphery anger becomes real, and just behind it you are hidden and looking at it. Now you know that you are not disturbed, but the anger is there, the disturbance is there. The disturbance is there, and yet the disturbance is not.

This feeling of two forces working simultaneously gives you a transcendence, and then in real anger also you can feel it. Once you know how to feel it, you can feel it in real situations also. Use this technique; this will change your total life. Once you know how to remain undisturbed, the world is not misery for you. Then nothing can create any confusion in you, really,.nothing can hurt you. Now there is no suffering for you, and once you know it you can do another thing.

Gurdjieff used to do it. He was able to change his face at any moment. He would be laughing, he would be smiling, he would be looking happy with you, and suddenly he would become angry without any cause. And it is reported about him that he became so proficient at this art that if two persons were sitting near him, one on each side, he could be angry with half of his face and he could be smiling with the other half of his face. Then one person would report, "What a beautiful man Gurdjieff is," and the other would say, "What an ugly man! " He would look at one person from one side smiling, and he would look at the other side angrily.

Once you can detach your center from the periphery, you can do it. Once the center is detached completely, if you can remain undisturbed in anger, in desire, you can play with desires, with anger, with disturbances.

This technique is to create a feeling of two extremes within you. They are there, two polar opposites are there. Once you become aware of this polarity, you become for the first time a master of yourself. Otherwise others are your masters; you are just a slave. Your wife knows, your son knows, your father knows, your friends know, that you can be pushed and pulled. You can be disturbed, you can be made happy and unhappy. If someone else can make you happy and unhappy, you are not a master, you are just a slave. The other has a hold. Just by a single gesture he can make you unhappy; just by a small smile be can make you happy.

So you are just at the mercy of someone else; the other can do anything to you. And if this is the situation, then all your reactions are simply reactions, not actions. You simply react. If someone insults you and you become angry, your anger is not an action, it is a reaction. If someone appreciates you and you start smiling and feeling good, great, this is a reaction, not an action.

Buddha was passing by a village, and some persons gathered there. They were against him, and they insulted him. Buddha listened, and then he said, "I am to reach to the other village in time, so can I go now? If you have said whatsoever you have come to say, if it is finished, then I can move. Or, if you have to say something more to me, while returning I will wait here. You can come and tell me."

Those persons were just surprised. They couldn't understand. They had been insulting him, using bad words, abusing him, so they said, "But we are not saying something to you, we are abusing and insulting you.

" Buddha said, "You can do that, but if you want any reaction from me you have come late. Ten years before, if you had come with such words, I would have reacted. But now I have learned how to act, I am a master of myself now; you cannot force me to do anything. So you will have to go back. You cannot disturb me; nothing can disturb me now because I have known my own center."

This knowledge of the center or this grounding in the center makes you a master. Otherwise you are a slave, and a slave of so many -- not only of one master, but of many. Everything is a master, and you are a slave to the whole universe. Obviously, you will be in trouble. With so many masters pulling you in so many directions and dimensions, you are never together; you are not in a unity, and pulled in so many dimensions, you are in anguish. Only a master of oneself can transcend anguish.



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