The process of prati-prasav


“It is the process of reabsorbing back to the cause, bringing effect back to the cause; the process of involution.”

Osho in garden with red hat

Patanjali says: The sources of the five afflictions, kleshas, can be abolished by resolving them backwards to their origin.

Prati-prasav: this is a very, very significant process, the process of prati-prasav. It is the process of reabsorbing back to the cause, bringing effect back to the cause; the process of involution. You must have heard the name of Janov, the man who has rediscovered Primal Therapy. Primal Therapy is part of prati-prasav. It is one of the oldest techniques of Patanjali. In Primal Therapy, Janov teaches people to go back to their childhood. If there is something, some trouble, some problem, then you go back to the original source from where it started. Because you can go on trying to solve the problem, but unless you go to the roots, it cannot be solved. Effects cannot be solved; they have to be forced back to the cause. It is just as if a tree is there and you don’t want the tree, but you go on cutting the branches, the leaves, and again more branches sprout. You cut one leaf, three leaves come. You have to go to the roots.

For example, a man comes who is afraid of women. Many people come to me. They say that they are afraid of women, very afraid. Because of that fear, they cannot make a meaningful relationship, they cannot relate; the fear is always there. When you are in fear, the relationship will be contaminated by the fear. You will not be able to move totally. You will relate halfheartedly, always afraid: the fear of being rejected, the fear that the woman may say no. And there are other fears. If this man goes on trying Émile Coué-type methods, if he goes on repeating, ‘I am not afraid of women, and every day I am getting better,’ if he tries such things he can suppress the fear temporarily, but the fear will be there and will come again and again and again.

In Primal Therapy, he has to be thrown back. A man who is afraid of women shows that he must have had some experience with the mother which has caused fear, because the mother is the first woman. Your whole life you may be related with many women as wife, as mistress, as daughter, as friend, but the image of mother will persist. That is your first experience. Your whole structure of relationship with women will be based on that foundation, and that foundation is your relationship with your mother. So if a man is afraid of women, he has to be led back, he has to step backwards in memory, he has to go back and find the primal source from where the fear started. It may be an ordinary incident, very minor, he may have completely forgotten it. But if he goes back, he will find the wound somewhere.

You wanted to be loved by the mother, as every child wants, but the mother was not interested. She was a busy woman. She had to attend many associations, clubs, this and that. She was not willing to give the breast to you because she wanted a more proportioned body. She wanted her breasts to be intact and not destroyed by you. She wanted her breasts to be always young so she denied the breast to you. Or, there may have been other problems in her mind. You were not an accepted child; like a burden you have come, never wanted in the first place. But the pill didn’t work and you were born. Or, she hated the husband and you had the face of the husband – a deep hatred, or something or other. But you have to go back and you have to become a child again.

Remember, no stage of life is ever lost. Your child is still within you. It is not that the child becomes the young man, no. The child remains inside, the young man is imposed over it, then the old man is superimposed over the young man, layer by layer. The child never becomes the young man. The child remains there, a layer of young man comes over it. The young man never becomes the old; another layer, of old age, comes over it. You become like an onion – many layers – and if you penetrate, all the layers are still there, intact.

In Primal Therapy Janov helps people to go backwards and become children again. They kick, they cry, they weep, they scream, and the scream is no more of the present. It doesn’t belong to the man right now, it belongs to the child who is hidden behind. When that scream, that primal scream comes, many things are immediately transformed.

This is one part of the method of prati-prasav. Janov may not be aware that Patanjali, almost five thousand years ago, taught a system in which every effect had to be led to the cause. Only the cause can be resolved. You can cut the roots, and then the tree will die. But you cannot cut the branches and hope that the tree will die. The tree will thrive more.

‘Prati-prasav’ is a beautiful word; ‘prasav’ means birth. When a child is born it is prasav. Prati-prasav means you are again born in the memory, you go back to the very birth, the trauma when you were born, and you live it again. Remember, you don’t remember it, you live it, you relive it again.

Remembering is different. You can remember, you can sit silently, but you remain the man you are: you remember that you were a child and your mother hit you hard. That wound is there, but this is remembrance. You are remembering an incident as if it happened to somebody else. To relive it is prati-prasav. To relive it means that you become the child again. Not that you remember; you become the child again, you live it again. The mother is hitting you not in your memory, the mother hits you again right now: the wound, the anger, the antagonism, your shrinking back, the rejection, and your reaction, as if the whole thing is happening again. This is prati-prasav. And this is not only as Primal Therapy, but as a methodology for every seeker who is in search of the life abundant, of truth.

Osho, Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 4, Ch 5, Book 2, Sutra 10

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