In spite of all the yoga and meditation you do, samskaras are something which remain dormant in sleep, and they are there even in the state usually called samadhi.
Unless we come to grips with this samskara, we have done nothing at all in yoga – we are only experts in bringing about a change in the bookshelf. You can re-organise your life – which is outside. You can re-organise the thought pattern – also outside, you can re-organise your memory by saying, I will not remember this, I will remember only that. If you have very carefully followed the ground that we have covered so far, it looks terribly easy to re-organise that part of it. But how does one bring about a change in the samskara – not in the memory bank, thoughts or pattern of thinking, but in the thinker, the one who thinks.
Samskara is the cell of your cell, the soul of your soul, the very spirit which has been assimilated into you, become you. Therefore, it is so strong that it is almost impossible to alter it; and unless it is altered there is no yoga!
It is not the samskaras or the actions in themselves that matter, but the experiencer and the doer of action that mysteriously springs up when the samskaras are there. Even to recognise their existence is already a big step. The only way to deal with them is through eternal vigilance.
If one is alert and vigilant, all experiences – whether they are called pleasure or pain – can be used to trigger self-observation or meditation. When the process of meditation we have been discussing is applied to these samskaras, there is a serious curiosity. Why do I behave in this manner? Why is it that someone else behaves in a different way? What is it that predisposes me to this conduct, whether that conduct is socially acceptable or unacceptable?
Here you are directly observing not only the samskaras but the bed, the source, the field in which they grow, as it were. The rays of the mind, which were flowing away from the center, seem to tum upon their own source. During that process, there is a stillness and a dropping of effort. The mind, the attention, and awareness, are still there, and there is this sudden movement, which is not movement, but a tremendous dynamic stillness. It is comparable to the candle flame which is steady, although we know that every moment millions of sparks flow along that flame.
In that dynamic stillness there is very dear awareness of observation itself, without an observer. There is tremendous inner stillness and peace. You may call it bliss, God, or consciousness – whatever you wish. When this happens, the coloring of the mind, and the play of the latent predispositions or samskaras are seen. In this there is no effort. The effort ceases, because the moment you make an effort, the effort becomes the doer, who says, I practise meditation. In the state where there is no effort, there is not even the feeling that you are practising meditation.
When the process of meditation we have been discussing is applied to these samskaras, there is a serious curiosity. Why do I behave in this manner? Why is it that someone else behaves in a different way? What is it that predisposes me to this conduct, whether that conduct is socially acceptable or unacceptable. That is what we want to know. Here you are directly observing not only the samskaras, but the bed, the fountain source, the field in which these samskaras grow as it were.
So, the yogi looks at the thoughts, feelings, and emotions, with some sort of wonder, and suddenly realises that they are all composed of the one substance. What is the content of any of your thoughts? Thought! Can this observation without an observer – which is meditation – see through all this, right down to the bed of samskaras, the content of the thoughts and emotions? At that level, the samskaras cease to be. A thought ceases to be a thought, and emotions cease to be emotions, because you have crossed the level of these labels.