You can, by force of identity, you can so identify yourself with the object of the play that for a moment you are so much engaged in the identity that you forget yourself by force of Tapas. You concentrate upon the object so much that you become completely identify with the object. Of course next moment you can again recover and you know that it is you who are identify with it. But this power exists: this is the power of Tapas.
This is what happens even in our experiment of drama. You take the role of Portia in The Merchant of Venice and you act as a judge. When Bassanio comes and Antonio comes, Shylock is before you and you identify yourself with Portia so much that for a moment you forget that your are X, or Y, or Z. You are no more Deepti acting as Portia: it is Portia herself. Afterwards again you come back and say ‘Well, I acted as Portia’, but it is a force of concentration by which you forget: in fact it is by forgetting that you really become a good actress; so long as you remember that you are X, or Y, or Z, acting does not become so powerful.
So, this power of forgetting is a power of knowledge, power of activity, power of identity, power of experience, of a tremendous identity. So, if you really want to be very powerfully experiencing your object, you deliberately act in such a way that you forget. This act of forgetting is actually fact of ignoring; you ignore that you are X, or Y, or Z and you stretch yourself towards the object of the play and identify with the object of the play (for the time being): this ‘ignoring’ is an act of ignorance. You ignore what you are and you identify with the object of the play, these two things happening simultaneously is the origin of ignorance.
Comment: Now it is very clear that ‘Ignorance’ came from Tapas.
This is the origin of ignorance: the act of forgetting and the act of identifying yourself with the object of the play for the time being; but ‘for the time being’ may be quite long. We are all in that long process. Our true individual which is capable of all that I have told you, of universality, of playing with the Supreme, of identifying completely with the supreme Silence and with hundreds and multiple forms, instead of doing all this, one of the play was ‘this’, a possibility, and we decided to enter into it, saying: “let us experience this identity, let me embrace the object of the play so much that I forget myself, I enter into it and then see what happens”. So, tato rātryajāyata, ‘then arose Ignorance’.
And then what happens? If you go on identifying fully, and fully, and more fully, a stage comes when you forget totally everything, even that you identify, even that is gone. There is only embrace, but not even the knowledge that there is an embrace because even that knowledge does not give you that fullness of joy of that identity. There is so much of an embrace with the object of the play; that is the tataḥ samudro araṇavaḥ, complete darkness; there is only the experience of identity. There is not even awareness that there is an experience.
That is the opposite side, it is opposite side.
This is misdirected Tapas, we have to redirect it
You can call it ‘misdirect it’; it is only…an essay, experiencing what happens: “supposing you do ‘this’ what happens”. All of us having reached that point are reversing from that: we have reached half the way now. Our present condition is one in which we have reached the half; but we are still not become aware that we had already plunged into this embrace. We are already in the state of an embrace; then we have to gradually become aware, that is why ‘Yoga’ is called ‘a process of reversal’. We ‘reverse’, realise what we are within: detach yourself.
I said earlier that Bhagavad Gita does not give you the answer as to what is the origin of the ignorance; it is not entirely true. Sri Krishna says: all this happens because of jiva(‘s) āsakti. The answer is given: “jiva(‘s) āsakti”;āsakti means what? We call it merely ‘attachment’, but it is not really attachment: the experience of ‘identifying with the object of the play’ is “āsakti”;“anāsakti” is what? Withdrawing of that experience of identity: it is anāsakti. So, the cause of ignorance is āsakti, therefore the cause of the liberation from the ignorance is anāsakti. Then the whole process of Yoga becomes so easy and so simple. Why do we need to meditate, why do we need to go inward? And why do we discover when we go inward? Because within there is already so much play going on, if it was not going on, we would not find anything inside: we would find only blankness inside. But when we go inward, why do we discover that we discover the Divine’s play inside? Because it is already taking place: it is there. It is our identification, our ignorance, we are ignoring it; therefore, we are not aware that we are already dancing with Sri Krishna: but this dance is constantly going on, it has not stopped. Only in one portion of our being this has happened.
I think we will stop here today.
It was āsaktito the Supreme; it was āsaktiin this form who was leading to Ignorance.
This also is ignorance. When you have complete āsaktiwith the Divine, this is also ignoring. So, that is why those who are absorbed entirely in the ‘immobility’ is also called ‘ignorance’. That is why the Isha Upanishad says that “Those who go only to knowledge, they enter into a greater darkness” (Isha U. 9). The real fullness, the plenitude is: jñāna vijñāna, both you combine together and then you have the full play: you can experience the Divine’s identity; you can experience the dependence on the Divine; you can experience your universality; you can experience your specificity; you can experience any other interchange with any other specificity, and multiple interchanges. That is the fullness and richness: that is the Gnostic life. We return to that actually.
But the process, while we are going through the process each attachment to the Divine at the time when we are completely immerged in that and you cannot feel it and?unclear question?
No, but the Divine Himself is moving in the universal, so you are where the Divine is; so you also come to the Universal, you are completely one with the Divine, so how can you do something else? If Divine is in the Universe, and He is the Universe, so you are also in the Universe: wherever the Divine is, then you are there.
But this āsaktiand anāsakti is completely different from the ??? of Duryodhana.
No, that is also identity. Basically, psychologically, it is the same: āsaktiis nothing but ‘process of identification’. There can be degrees of this identity but fundamentally psychology is the same. Even Dhritharashtra can come out of this āsaktiwhen he withdraws from it. It may take many, many births for doing so, but it is possible.
So Arjuna’s āsaktiwith Krishna is also the same?
You can say āsaktiby itself is not wrong, it is not bad: it is ‘exclusive identity’ that is the cause of ignorance. You can have āsakti, you can identify with the Supreme: at the same time you can identify with ‘all the forms’ of the Divine. If in that case you have identified with ‘all aspects’ of the Divine, it is called: ‘integral concentration’. Ignorance is called: ‘exclusive concentration’ in which all the rest is excluded. But when you concentrate upon the Divine, since the Divine is all, it cannot be ‘exclusive concentration’: you are already concentrated with everybody; so āsaktiwith Sri Krishna is the best, because then you can have integral concentration and identification, everything. This is where we are going towards. Instead of exclusive concentration of consciousness, we reverse it.