What’s The Difference Between Stillness And Stagnation?
Summary: Though physically they may appear the same, but qualitatively stillness and stagnation are poles apart. Someone who doesn't know may think that meditation and sleeping are the same! Stagnation to stillness is like moving from ignorance to enlightenment. To know this qualitative difference, one needs an unshakeable resolve; sankalpa.
article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org
From Stagnation to Stillness
Sadhguru : Stagnation is a certain disease; it is anti-life. Stillness is a tremendous amount of life not manifesting itself in any way. It is just there – potent. That is God. God is stillness, not stagnation. The mind is stagnation. Sadhana is a force which moves you from stagnation to stillness. But between stagnation and stillness, when they are together, there seems to be very little difference since your logical mind only understands in terms of moving and not moving.
Physically, stillness and stagnation could be seen as about the same, but qualitatively they are worlds apart. A person who is meditating and a person who is sleeping may look about the same. One is sitting and sleeping, another is lying down and sleeping, that is all. For a person who does not know the difference, that is all he sees. Have you seen with how much sarcasm those so-called dynamic people of the world look at meditation? They think it is for people who do not even know how to sleep. Externally, there may be no difference between stillness and stagnation, but internally there is a tremendous difference. From stagnation to stillness, from ignorance to enlightenment, that is the difference. In a way, it is the same thing, only the quality has to change.
An Unshakeable Resolve
It is not that the path is difficult; it is just that you make it difficult. The path is very simple. If you are simple, it is very simple. If you are all wound up, the path is very winding.
But how can you know the qualitative difference when you are drowned in ignorance? This is why the movement of sadhana has to go full circle. Depending on how stupid a person is, that is how long the sadhana has to be. Physically, mentally and emotionally push yourself to the limit and see what is there. If you stop for every little discomfort, you will never know what it is. Just push yourself to the limit. You have pushed to the point of discomfort, but do not let up; push it up one more point and yet another point. It has to be pushed to the ultimate, to the optimum. Only then can the mind dissolve by itself. You do not have to do any other sadhana. This is the only sadhana needed. All other activity in the form of sadhana is just to get this one thing done. One should be in such a way that your sankalpa (resolve) is unshakeable.
Why someone is asked to go and live in the Himalayas for 12 years is not because if they live in the Himalayas the rocks could give them enlightenment. It is because he is even willing to waste his life for 12 years, with all kinds of hardship, just to seek Truth. If that kind of sankalpa has come, that man is very close. In a way, it is like literally wasting your life. When the whole world is eating well, drinking well and enjoying themselves, you are sitting there in the cold and chanting, “Shiva, Shiva, Shiva,” knowing nothing might happen. Shiva probably will not come and bail you out. When you are hungry, you are plain hungry. When you are cold, you are just cold. You know it may turn out to be hopeless being there. In spite of that you stay, because the most important thing in your life is something else. When that sankalpa comes, it does not take 12 years. In one moment, it can happen. Nobody needs to wait for 12 years. This can be the moment. It is because you do not use this moment that you have to wait for the next one. This is always the moment. Are you going to tighten it up, or every time discomfort comes, will you think, “This is not for me.” It is definitely not for you if this is so. It is not that the path is difficult; it is just that you make it difficult. The path is very simple. If you are simple, it is very simple. If you are all wound up, the path is very winding.
What you have created in the past is enough. Many lifetimes of opportunities have been wasted, but this one need not go waste too.
When you are very simple and at ease, life is very simple. When you are wound up, just see how complicated it is. So one should not become all wound up. There is enough nerve-racking past in you, which is already in knots. Do not create new knots now. The old knots are already causing a lot of pain, causing a deep pit inside, which is eating you up in many ways. Some human beings have become aware of this, and some are yet to become aware of that, but it is there in every human being. There is one empty pit within you which just eats you from inside. What you have created in the past is enough. Many lifetimes of opportunities have been wasted, but this one need not go waste too.