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Introduction To Yoga


Now the discipline of yoga.

Yoga is the cessation of mind.

Then the witness is established in itself.

In the other states there is identification with the modifications of the mind.


We live in a deep illusion - the illusion of hope, of future, of tomorrow. As man is, man cannot exist without self—deceptions. Nietzsche says some where that man cannot live with the true: he needs dreams, he needs illusions, he needs lies to exist. And Nietzsche is true. As man is he cannot exist with the truth. This has to be understood very deeply because without understanding it, there can be no entry into the inquiry which is called yoga.

The mind has to be understood deeply — the mind which needs lies, the mind which needs illusions, the mind which cannot exist with the real, the mind which needs dreams. You are not dreaming only in the night. Even while awake, you are dreaming continuously. You may be looking at me, you may be listening to me, but a dream current goes on within you. Continuously, the mind is creating dreams, images, fantasies.

Now scientists say that a man can live without sleep, but he cannot live without dreams. In old days it was understood that sleep is a necessity, but now modern research says sleep is not really a necessity. Sleep is needed only so that you can dream. Dream is the necessity. If you are not allowed to dream and allowed to sleep, you will not feel in the morning fresh, alive. You will feel tired, as if you have not been able to sleep at all.

In the night there are periods — periods for deep sleep and periods for dreaming. There is a rhythm — just like day and night, there is a rhythm. In the beginning you fall into deep sleep for nearabout forty, forty-five minutes. Then the dream phase comes in, then you dream. Then again dreamless sleep, then again dreaming. The whole night this goes on. If your sleep is disturbed while you are deeply asleep without dreaming, in the morning you will not feel that you have missed anything. But while you are dreaming, if your dream is disturbed then in the morning you will feel completely tired and exhausted.

Now this can be known from the outside. If someone is sleeping you can judge whether he is dreaming or asleep. If he is dreaming, his eyes will be moving continuously — as if he is seeing something with closed eyes. When he is fast asleep, eyes will not move; they will remain steady. So while your eyes are moving, if your sleep is disturbed in the morning you will feel tired. While your eyes are not moving, sleep can be disturbed, in the morning you will not feel anything missing.

Many researchers have proved that human mind feeds on dreams, dream is a necessity, and dream is total autodeception. And this is not only so in the night: while awake also the same pattern follows; even in the day you can notice. Sometimes there will be dream floating in the mind, sometimes there will be no dreams.

When there are dreams you will be doing something, but you will be absent. Inside you are occupied. For example, you are here. If your mind is passing through a dream state, you will listen to me without listening at all, because your mind will be occupied within. If you are not in a dreaming state, only then you can listen to me.

Day, night, mind goes on moving from no-dream to dream, then from dream to no-dream again. This is an inner rhythm. Not only that we continuously dream, in life also we project hopes into the future.

The present is almost always a hell. You can prolong it only because of the hope that you have projected into the future. You can live today because of the tomorrow. You are hoping something is going to happen tomorrow—some doors of paradise will open tomorrow. They never open today, and when tomorrow will come it will not come as a tomorrow, it will come as today, but by the time your mind has moved again. You go on moving ahead of you: this is what dreaming means. You are not one with the real, that which is nearby, that which is here and now, you are somewhere else — moving ahead, jumping ahead.

And that tomorrow, that future, you have named it in so many ways. People call it heaven, some people call it moksha, but it is always in the future. Somebody is thinking in terms of wealth, but that wealth is going to be in the future. And somebody is thinking in terms of paradise, and that paradise is going to be after you are dead — far away into the future. You waste your present for that which is not: this is what dreaming means. You cannot be here and now. That seems to be arduous, to be just in the moment.

You can be in the past because again that is dreaming— memories, remembrance of things which are no more. Or you can be in the future, which is projection, which is again creating something out of the past. The future is nothing but past projected again — more colorful, more beautiful, more pleasant, but it is past refined.

You cannot think anything else than the past. Future is nothing but past projected again, and both are not. The present is, but you are never in the present. This is what dreaming means. And Nietzsche is right when he says that man cannot live with the truth. He needs lies; he lives through lies. Nietzsche says that we go on saying that we want the truth, but no one wants it. Our so-called truths are nothing but lies, beautiful lies. No one is ready to see the naked reality.

This mind cannot enter on the path of yoga because yoga means a methodology to reveal the truth. Yoga is a method to come to a non-dreaming mind. Yoga is the science to be in the here and now. Yoga means now you are ready not to move into the future. Yoga means you are ready now not to hope, not to jump ahead of your being. Yoga means to encounter the reality as it is.

So one can enter yoga, or the path of yoga, only when he is totally frustrated with his own mind as it is. If you are still hoping that you can gain something through your mind, yoga is not for you. A total frustration is needed — the revelation that this mind which projects is futile, the mind that hopes is nonsense, it leads nowhere. It simply closes your eyes; it intoxicates you; it never allows reality to be revealed to you. It protects you against reality.

Your mind is a drug. It is against that which is. So unless you are totally frustrated with your mind, with your way of being, the way you have existed up to now, if you can drop it unconditionally, then you can enter on the path.

So many become interested, but very few enter because your interest may be just because of your mind. You may be hoping now, through yoga, that you may gain something, but the achieving motive is there — you may become perfect through yoga, you may reach to the blissful state of perfect being, you may become one with the Brahman, you may achieve the satchitananda. This may be the cause why you are interested in yoga. If this is the cause then there can be no meeting between you and the path which is yoga. Then you are totally against it, moving in a totally opposite dimension.

Yoga means that now there is no hope, now there is no future, now there are no desires. One is ready to know what is. One is not interested in what can be, what should be, what ought to be. One is not interested! One is interested only in that which is, because only the real can free you, only the reality can become liberation.

Total despair is needed. That despair is called dukkha by Buddha. And if you are really in misery, don't hope, because your hope will only prolong the misery. Your hope is a drug. It can help you to reach death only and nowhere else. All your hopes can lead you only to death. They are leading.

Become totally hopeless — no future, no hope. Difficult. Needs courage to face the real. But such a moment comes to everyone, some time or other. A moment comes to every human being when he feels total hopelessness. Absolute meaninglessness happens to him. When he becomes aware that whatsoever he is doing is useless, wheresoever he is going, he is going to nowhere, all life is meaningless — suddenly hopes drop, future drops, and for the first time you are in tune with the present, for the first time you are face to face with reality.

Unless this moment comes to you... You can go on doing asanas, postures; that is not yoga. Yoga is an inward turning. It is a total about-turn. When you are not moving into the future, not moving toward the past, then you start moving within yourself — because your being is here and now, it is not in the future. You are present here and now, you can enter this reality. But then mind has to be here.

This moment is indicated by the first sutra of Patanjali. Before we talk about the first sutra, a few other things have to be understood. First, yoga is not a religion—remember that. Yoga is not Hindu, it is not Mohammedan. Yoga is a pure science just like mathematics, physics or chemistry. Physics is not Christian, physics is not Buddhist. If Christians have discovered the laws of physics, then too physics is not Christian. It is just accidental that Christians have come to discover the laws of physics. But physics remains just a science. Yoga is a science — it is just an accident that Hindus discovered it. It is not Hindu. It is a pure mathematics of the inner being. So a Mohammedan can be a yogi, a Christian can be a yogi, a Jain, a Bauddha can be a yogi.

Yoga is pure science, and Patanjali is the greatest name as far as the world of yoga is concerned. This man is rare. There is no other name comparable to Patanjali. For the first time in the history of humanity, this man brought religion to the state of a science: he made religion a science, bare laws; no belief is needed.

Because so-called religions need beliefs. There is no other difference between one religion and another; the difference is only of beliefs. A Mohammedan has certain beliefs, a Hindu certain others, a Christian certain others. The difference is of beliefs. Yoga has nothing as far as belief is concerned; yoga doesn't say to believe in anything. Yoga says experience. Just like science says experiment, yoga says experience. Experiment and ex perience are both the same, their directions are differ ent. Experiment means something you can do outside; expenence means something you can do inside. Experience is an inside experiment.

Science says: Don't believe, doubt as much as you can. But also, don't disbelieve, because disbelief is again a sort of belief. You can believe in God, you can believe in the concept of no-God. You can say God is, with a fanatic attitude; you can say the quite reverse, that God is not with the same fanaticism. Atheists, theists, are all believers, and belief is not the realm for science. Science means experience something, that which is; no belief is needed. So the second thing to remember: Yoga is existential, experiential, experimental. No belief is required, no faith is needed — only courage to experience. And that's what's lacking. You can believe easily because in belief you are not going to be transformed. Belief is something added to you, something superficial. Your being is not changed; you are not passing through some mutation. You may be a Hindu, you can become Christian the next day. Simply, you change: you change Gita for a Bible. You can change it for a Koran, but the man who was holding Gita and is now holding the Bible, remains the same. He has changed his beliefs.

Beliefs are like clothes. Nothing substantial is transformed; you remain the same. Dissect a Hindu, dissect a Mohammedan, inside they are the same. He goes to a temple; the Mohammedan hates the temple. The Mohammedan goes to the mosque and the Hindu hates the mosque, but inside they are the same human beings.

Belief is easy because you are not required really to do anything — just a superficial dressing, a decoration, something which you can put aside any moment you like. Yoga is not belief. That's why it is difficult, arduous, and sometimes it seems impossible. It is an existential approach. You will come to the truth, but not through belief, but through your own experience, through your own realization. That means you will have to be totally changed. Your viewpoints, your way of life, your mind, your psyche has to be shattered completely as it is. Something new has to be created. Only with that new will you come in contact with the reality.

So yoga is both a death and a new life. As you are you will have to die, and unless you die the new cannot be born. The new is hidden in you. You are just a seed for it, and the seed must fall down, absorbed by the earth. The seed must die; only then the new will arise out of you. Your death will become your new life. Yoga is both a death and a new birth. Unless you are ready to die, you cannot be reborn. So it is not a question of changing beliefs.

Yoga is not a philosophy. I say it is not a religion; I say it is not a philosophy. It is not something you can think about. It is something you will have to be; thinking won't do. Thinking goes on in your head. It is not really deep into the roots of your being; it is not your totality. It is just a part, a functional part; it can be trained. And you can argue logically, you can think rationally, but your heart will remain the same. Your heart is your deepest center, your head is just a branch. You can be without the head, but you cannot be without the heart. Your head is not basic.

Yoga is concerned with your total being, with your roots. It is not philosophical. So with Patanjali we will not be thinking, speculating. With Patanjali we will be trying to know the ultimate laws of being: the laws of its transformation, the laws of how to die and how to be reborn again, the laws of a new order of being. That is why I call it a science.

Patanjali is rare. He is an enlightened person like Buddha, like Krishna, like Christ, like Mahavira, Mohammed, Zarathustra, but he is different in one way. Buddha, Krishna, Mahavira, Zarathustra, Mohammed, no one has a scientific attitude. They are great founders of religions. They have changed the whole pattern of human mind and its structure, but their approach is not scientific.

Patanjali is like an Einstein in the word of Buddhas. He is a phenomenon. He could have easily been a Nobel Prize winner like an Einstein or Bohr or Max Planck, Heisenberg. He has the same attitude, the same approach of a rigorous scientific mind. He is not a poet; Krishna is a poet. He is not a moralist; Mahavira is a moralist. He is basically a scientist, thinking in terms of laws. And he has come to deduce absolute laws of human being, the ultimate working structure of human mind and reality.

And if you follow Patanjali, you will come to know that he is as exact as any mathematical formula. Simply do what he says and the result will happen. The result is bound to happen; it is just like two plus two, they become four. It is just like you heat water up to one hundred degrees and it evaporates. No belief is needed: you simply do it and know. It is something to be done and known. That's why I say there is no comparison. On this earth, never a man has existed like Patanjali.

You can find in Buddha's utterances, poetry—bound to be there. Many times while Buddha is expressing himself, he becomes poetic. The realm of ecstasy, the realm of ultimate knowing, is so beautiful, the temptation is so much to become poetic, the beauty is such, the benediction is such, the bliss is such, one starts talking in poetic language.

But Patanjali resists that. It is very difficult. No one has been able to resist. Jesus, Krishna, Buddha - they all become poetic. The splendor, the beauty, when it explodes within you, you will start dancing, you will start singing. In that state you are just like a lover who has fallen in love with the whole universe.

Patanjali resists that. He will not use poetry; he will not use a single poetic symbol even. He will not do anything with poetry; he will not talk in terms of beauty. He will talk in terms of mathematics. He will be exact, and he will give you maxims. Those maxims are just indications what is to be done. He will not explode into ecstasy; he will not say things that cannot be said; he will not try the impossible. He will just put down the foundation, and if you follow the foundation you will reach the peak which is beyond. He is a rigorous mathematician— remember this.

The first sutra:

Now the discipline of yoga:
Athayoganushasanam.

Now the discipline of yoga. Each and single word has to be understood because Patanjali will not use a single superfluous word.

Now the discipline of yoga.

First try to understand the word "now". This "now" indicates to the state of mind I was just talking to you about.

If you are disillusioned, if you are hopeless, if you have completely become aware of the futility of all desires, if you see your life as meaningless — whatsoever you have been doing up to now has simply fallen dead, nothing remains in the future, you are in absolute despair—what Kierkegaard calls anguish. If you are in anguish, suffering, not knowing what to do, not knowing where to go, not knowing to whom to look, just on the verge of madness or suicide or death, your whole pattern of life suddenly has become futile. If this moment has come, Patanjali says, Now the discipline of yoga. Only now you can understand the science of yoga, the discipline of yoga.

If that moment has not come, you can go on studying yoga, you can become a great scholar, but you will not be a yogi. You can write theses upon it, you can give discourses upon it, but you will not be a yogi. The moment has not come for you. Intellectually you can become interested, through your mind you can be related to yoga, but yoga is nothing if it is not a discipline. Yoga is not a shastra; it is not a scripture. It is a discipline. It is something you have to do. It is not curiosity; it is not philosophic speculation. It is deeper than that. It is a question of life and death.

If the moment has come where you feel that all directions have become confused, all roads have disappeared; the future is dark, and every desire has become bitter, and through every desire you have known only disappointment; all movement into hopes and dreams has ceased:

Now the discipline of yoga.

This "now" may not have come. Then I may go on talking about yoga but you will not listen. You can listen only if the moment is present in you.

Are you really dissatisfied? Everybody will say "yes", but that dissatisfaction is not real. You are dissatisfied with this, you may be dissatisfied with that, but you are not totally dissatisfied. You are still hoping. You are dissatisfied because of your past hopes, but for the future you are still hoping. Your dissatisfaction is not total. You are still hankering for some satisfaction somewhere, for some gratification somewhere.

Sometimes you feel hopeless, but that hopelessness is not true. You feel hopeless because certain hopes have not been achieved, certain hopes have fallen. But hoping is still there: hoping has not fallen. You will still hope. You are dissatisfied with this hope, that hope, but you are not dissatisfied with hope as such. If with hope as such you are disappointed, the moment has come and then you can enter yoga. And then this entry will not be entering into a mental, speculative phenomenon. This entry will be an entry into a discipline.

What is discipline? Discipline means creating an order within you. As you are, you are a chaos. As you are, you are totally disorderly. Gurdjieff used to say— and Gurdjieff is in many ways like Patanjali: he was again trying to make the core of religion a science — Gurdjieff says that you are not one, you are a crowd, not even when you say "I", there is any "I". There are many "I's" in you, many egos. In the morning, one "I"; in the afternoon, another "I"; in the evening, a third "I", but you never become aware of this mess because who will become aware of it? There is not a center who can become aware.

"Yoga is discipline" means yoga wants to create a crystallized center in you. As you are, you are a crowd— and a crowd has many phenomena. One is, you cannot believe a crowd. Gurdjieff used to say that man cannot promise. Who will promise? You are not there. If you promise, who will fulfill the promise? Next morning the one who promised is no more.

People come to me and they say, "Now I will take the vow. I promise to do this." I tell them, "Think twice before you promise something. Are you confident that next moment the one who promised will be there?" You decide to get up early in the morning from tomorrow — at four o'clock. And at four o'clock somebody in you says, "Don't bother. It is so cold outside. And why are you in such a hurry? We can do it tomorrow." And you fall asleep again.

When you get up you repent. And you think, "This is not good. I should have done it." You decide again that "Tomorrow I will do;" and the same is going to happen tomorrow because at four in the morning the one who promised is no more there, somebody else is in the chair. And you are a Rotary Club: the chairman goes on changing. Every member becomes a rotary chairman. Rotation is there. Every moment someone else is the master.

Gurdjieff used to say, "This is the chief characteristic of man, that he cannot promise." You cannot fulfill a promise. You go on giving promises, and you know well you cannot fulfill, because you are not one: you are a disorder, a chaos. Hence, Patanjali says, Now the discipline of yoga. If your life has become an absolute misery, if you have realized that whatsoever you do creates hell, then the moment has come. This moment can change your dimension, your direction of being.

Up until now you have lived as a chaos, a crowd. Yoga means now you will have to be a harmony, you will have to become one. A crystallization is needed; a centering is needed. And unless you attain a center, all that you do is useless. It is wasting life and time. A center is the first necessity, and only a person can be blissful who has got a center. Everybody asks for it, but you cannot ask. You have to earn it! Everybody hankers for a blissful state of being, but only a center can be blissful. A crowd cannot be blissful, a crowd has got no self. There is no atman. Who is going to be blissful?

Bliss means absolute silence, and silence is possible only when there is harmony — when all the discordant fragments have become one, when there is no crowd, but one. When you are alone in the house and nobody else is there, you will be blissful. Right now everybody else is in your house, you are not there. Only guests are there, the host is always absent. And only the host can be blissful.

This centering Patanjali calls discipline — anushasanam. The word "discipline" is beautiful. It comes from the same root from where the word "disciple" comes. "Discipline" means the capacity to learn, the capacity to know. But you cannot know, you cannot learn, unless you have attained the capacity to be.

One man once came to Buddha and he said... He must have been a social reformer, a revolutionary. He said to Buddha, "The world is in misery. I agree with you." Buddha has never said that the world is in misery. Buddha says, "You are the misery," not the world. "Life is misery," not the world. "Man is misery," not the world. "Mind is misery," not the world. But that revolutionary said, "The world is in misery. I agree with you. Now tell me, what I can do? I have a deep compassion, and I want to serve humanity."

Service must have been his motto. Buddha looked at him and remained silent. Buddha's disciple, Ananda, said, "This man seems to be sincere. Guide him. Why you are silent?" Then Buddha said to that revolutionary, "You want to serve the world, but where are you? I don't see anyone inside. I look in you, there is no one.

"You don't have any center, and unless you are centered whatsoever you do will create more mischief." All of your social reformers, your revolutionaries, your leaders, they are the great mischief creators, mischief-mongers. The world will be better if there were no leaders. But they cannot help. They must do something because the world is in misery. And they are not centered, so whatsoever they do they create more misery. Only compassion will not help, only service will not help. Compassion through a centered being is something totally different. Compassion through a crowd is mischief. That compassion is poison.

Now the discipline of yoga.

Discipline means the capacity to be, the capacity to know, the capacity to learn. We must understand these three things.

The capacity to be. All the yoga postures are not really concerned with the body, they are concerned with the capacity to be. Patanjali says if you can sit silently without moving your body for few hours, you are growing in the capacity to be. Why you move? You cannot sit without moving even for few seconds. Your body starts moving. Somewhere you feel itching; the legs go dead; many things start happening. These are just excuses for you to move.

You are not a master. You cannot say to the body, "Now for one hour I will not move." The body will revolt immediately. Immediately it will force you to move, to do something, and it will give reasons: "You have to move because an insect is biting." You may not find the insect when you look. You are not a being, you are a trembling—a continuous hectic activity. Patanjali's asanas, postures, are concerned not really with any kind of physiological training, but an inner training of being, just to be — without doing anything, without any movement, without any activity, just remain. That remaining will help centering.

If you can remain in one posture, the body will become a slave; it will follow you. And the more the body follows you, you will have a greater being within you, a stronger being within you. And, remember, if the body is not moving your mind cannot move, because mind and body are not two things. They are two poles of one phenomenon. You are not body and mind, you are body-mind. Your personality is psychosomatic— body-mind both. The mind is the most subtle part of the body. Or you can say the reverse, that body is the most gross part of the mind.

So whatsoever happens in the body happens in the mind, and the vice versa: whatsoever happens in the mind happens in the body. If the body is non-moving and you can attain a posture, if you can say to the body "Keep quiet," the mind will remain silent. Really, the mind starts moving and tries to move the body, because if the body moves then the mind can move. In a non-moving body, the mind cannot move; it needs a moving body.

If the body is non-moving, the mind is non-moving, you are centered. This non-moving posture is not a physiological training only. It is just to create a situation in which centering can happen, in which you can become disciplined. When you are, when you have become centered, when you know what it means to be, then you can learn, because then you will be humble. Then you can surrender. Then no false ego will cling to you because once centered you know all egos are false. Then you can bow down. Then a disciple is born.

A disciple is a great achievement. Only through discipline you will become a disciple. Only through being centered you will become humble, you will become receptive, you will become empty, and the guru, the Master, can pour himself into you. In your emptiness, in your silence, he can come and reach to you. Communication becomes possible.

A disciple means one who is centered, humble, receptive, open, ready, alert, waiting, prayerful. In yoga, the Master is very, very important, absolutely important, because only when you are in a close proximity of a being who is centered your own centering will happen.

That is the meaning of satsang. You have heard the word satsang. It is totally wrongly used. Satsang means in close proximity of the truth; it means near the truth, it means near a Master who has become one with the truth — just being near him, open, receptive and waiting. If your waiting has become deep, intense, a deep communion will happen.

The Master is not going to do anything. He is simply there, available. If you are open, he will flow within you. This flowing is called satsang. With a Master you need not learn anything else. If you can learn satsang, that's enough — if you can just be near him without asking, without thinking, without arguing: just present there, available, so the being of the Master can flow in you. And being can flow. It is already flowing. Whenever a person achieves integrity, his being becomes a radiation. He is flowing. Whether you are there to receive or not, that is not the point. He flows like a river. If you are empty like a vessel, ready, open, he will flow in you.

A disciple means one who is ready to receive, who has become a womb — the Master can penetrate into him. This is the meaning of the word satsang. It is not basically a discourse; satsang is not a discourse. Discourse may be there, but discourse is just an excuse. You are here and I will talk on Patanjali's sutras. That is just an excuse. If you are really here, then the discourse, the talk, becomes just an excuse for your being here, for you to be here. And if you are really here, satsang starts. I can flow, and that flow is deeper than any talk, any communication through language, than any intellectual meeting with you.

While your mind is engaged, if you are a disciple, if you are a disciplined being, your mind is engaged in listening to me, your being can be in satsang. Then your head is occupied, your heart is open. Then on a deeper level, a meeting happens. That meeting is satsang, and everything else is just an excuse, just to find ways to be close to the Master.

Closeness is all, but only a disciple can be close. Anybody and everybody cannot be close. Closeness means a loving trust. Why we are not close? Because there is fear. Too close may be dangerous, too open may be dangerous, because you become vulnerable and then it will be difficult to defend. So just as a security measure we keep everybody, never allow to enter a certain distance.

Everybody has a territory around him. Whenever somebody enters your territory you become afraid. Everybody has a space to protect. You are sitting alone in your room. A stranger enters in the room. Just watch when you become really scared. There is a point. If he enters that point, beyond that point, you will become scared, you will be afraid. A sudden trembling will be felt. Beyond a certain territory he can move.

To be close means now no territory of your own. To be close means to be vulnerable, to be close means whatsoever happens you are not thinking in terms of security.

A disciple can be close for two reasons. One: he is a centered one; he is trying to be centered. A person who is trying even to be centered becomes unafraid; he becomes fearless. He has something which cannot be killed. You don't have anything, hence the fear. You are a crowd. The crowd can disperse any moment. You don't have something like a rock which will be there whatsoever happens. Without a rock, without a foundation you are existing — a house of cards, bound to be always in fear. Any wind, any breeze even, can destroy you, so you have to protect yourself.

Because of this constant protection, you cannot love, you cannot trust, you cannot be friendly. You may have many friends but there is no friendship, because friendship needs closeness. You may have wives and husbands and so-called lovers, but there is no love, because love needs closeness, love needs trust. You may have gurus, Masters, but there is no disciplehood because you can not allow yourself to be totally given to somebody's being, nearness to his being, closeness to his being, so that he can overpower you, overflood you.

A disciple means a seeker who is not a crowd, who is trying to be centered and crystallized, at least trying, making efforts, sincere efforts to become individual, to feel his being, to become his own master. All discipline of yoga is an effort to make you a master of yourself. As you are, you are just a slave of many, many desires. Many, many masters are there, and you are just a slave—and pulled in many directions.

Now the discipline of yoga.

Yoga is discipline. It is an effort on your part to change yourself. Many other things have to be understood. Yoga is not a therapy. In the West many psychological therapies are prevalent now, and many western psychologists think that yoga is also a therapy. It is not! It is a discipline. And what is the difference? This is the difference: a therapy is needed if you are ill, a therapy is needed if you are diseased, a therapy is needed if you are pathological. A discipline is needed even when you are healthy. Really, when you are healthy only a discipline can help then.

It is not for pathological cases. Yoga is for those who are completely healthy as far as medical science is concerned, normal. They are not schizophrenic; they are not mad; they are not neurotic. They are normal people, healthy people with no particular pathology. Still, they become aware that whatsoever is called normality is futile, whatsoever is called health is of no use. Something more is needed, something greater is needed, something holier and whole is needed.

Therapies are for ill people. Therapies can help you to come to yoga, but yoga is not a therapy. Yoga is for a higher order of health, a different order of health — a different type of being and wholeness. Therapy can, at the most, make you adjusted. Freud says we cannot do more. We can make you an adjusted, normal member of the society — but if the society itself is pathological, then? And it is! The society itself is ill. A therapy can make you normal in the sense that you are adjusted to the society, but the society itself is ill!

So sometimes it happens that in an ill society a healthy person is thought to be ill. A Jesus is thought to be ill, and every effort is done to make him adjusted. And when it is found that he is a hopeless case, then he is crucified. When it is found nothing can be done, this man is incurable, then he is crucified. The society is ill itself because society is nothing but your collective. If all the members are ill, the society is ill, and every member has to be adjusted to it.

Yoga is not therapy; yoga is not trying in any way to make you adjusted to the society. If you want to define yoga in terms of adjustment, then it is not adjustment with the society, but it is adjustment with existence itself. It is adjustment with the divine!

So it may happen that a perfect yogi may appear mad to you. He may look out of his senses, out of his mind, because now he is in touch with the greater, with a higher mind, higher order of things. He is in touch with the universal mind. It has happened always so: a Buddha, a Jesus, a Krishna, they always look somehow eccentric. They don't belong to us; they seem to be outsiders.

That's why we call them avatars, outsiders. They have come as if from some other planet; they don't belong to us. They may be higher, they may be good, they may be divine, but they don't belong to us. They come from somewhere else. They are not part and parcel of our being, mankind. The feeling has persisted that they are outsiders; they are not. They are the real insiders because they have touched the innermost core of existence. But to us they appear.

Now the discipline of yoga.

If your mind has come to realize that whatsoever you have been doing up to now was just senseless, it was a nightmare at the worst or a beautiful dream at the best, then the path of discipline opens before you. What is that path?

The basic definition is,

Yoga is the cessation of mind
chittavrittinirodha.

I told you that Patanjali is just mathematical. In a single sentence, Now the discipline of yoga, he is finished with you. This is the only sentence that has been used for you. Now he takes it for granted that you are interested in yoga, not as a hope, but as a discipline, as a transformation right here and now. He proceeds to define:

Yoga is the cessation of mind.

This is the definition of yoga, the best. In many ways yoga has been defined; there are many definitions. Some say yoga is the meeting of the mind with the divine; hence, it is called yoga — yoga means meeting, joining together. Some say that yoga means dropping the ego: ego is the barrier; the moment you drop the ego you are joined to the divine. You were already joined, only because of the ego it appeared that you were disjoined. And there are many, but Patanjali's is the most scientific. He says,

Yoga is the cessation of mind.

Yoga is the state of no-mind. The word "mind" covers all — your egos, your desires, your hopes, your philosophies, your religions, your scriptures. "Mind" covers all. Whatsoever you can think is mind. All that is known, all that can be known, all that is knowable, is within mind. Cessation of the mind means cessation of the known, cessation of the knowable. It is a jump into the unknown. When there is no mind, you are in the unknown. Yoga is a jump into the unknown. It will not be right to say "unknown"; rather, "unknowable".

What is the mind? What the mind is doing there? What it is? Ordinarily we think that mind is something substantial there inside the head. Patanjali doesn't agree— and no one who has ever known the insides of the mind will agree. Modern science also doesn't agree. Mind is not something substantial inside the head. Mind is just a function, just an activity.

You walk and I say you are walking. What is walking? If you stop, where is walking? If you sit down, where the walking has gone? Walking is nothing substantial; it is an activity. So while you are sitting, no one can ask, "Where you have put your walking? Just now you were walking, so where the walking has gone?" You will laugh. You will say, "Walking is not something substantial; it is just an activity. I can walk! I can again walk and I can stop. It is activity."

Mind is also activity, but because of the word "mind", it appears as if something substantial is there. It is better to call it "minding" — just like "walking". Mind means "minding", mind means thinking. It is an activity.

I have been quoting again and again Bodhidharma. He went to China, and the emperor of China went to see him. And the emperor said, "My mind is very uneasy, very disturbed. You are a great sage, and I have been waiting for you. Tell me what I should do to put my mind at peace.

Bodhidharma said, "You don't do anything. First you bring your mind to me." The emperor could not follow; he said, "What do you mean?" He said, "Come in the morning at four o'clock when nobody is there. Come alone, and remember to bring your mind with you."

The emperor couldn't sleep the whole night. Many times he cancelled the whole idea: "This man seems to be mad. What does he mean, 'Come with your mind; don't forget?'" The man was so enchanting, so charismatic, that he couldn't cancel the appointment. As if a magnet was pulling him, at four o'clock he jumped out of the bed and said, "Whatsoever happens, I must go. This man may have something; his eyes say that he has something. Looks a little crazy, but still I must go and see what can happen."

So he reached, and Bodhidharma was sitting with his big staff. He said, "So you have come? Where is your mind? Have you brought it or not?"

The emperor said, "You talk nonsense. When I am here my mind is here, and it is not something which I can forget somewhere. It is in me." So Bodhidharma said, "Okay. So the first thing is decided — that the mind is within you." The emperor said, "Okay, the mind is within me." Bodhidharma said, "Now close your eyes and find out where it is. And if you can find out where it is, immediately indicate to me. I will put it at peace."

So the emperor closed his eyes, tried and tried, looked and looked. The more he looked, the more he became aware there is no mind, mind is an activity. It is not something there so you can pinpoint it. But the moment he realized that it is not something, then the absurdity of his quest became exposed to himself. If it is not something, nothing can be done about it. If it is an activity, then don't do the activity; that's all. If it is like walking, don't walk.

He opened his eyes. He bowed down to Bodhidharma and said, "There is no mind to be found." Bodhidharma said, "Then I have put it at peace. And whenever you feel that you are uneasy, just look within, where that uneasiness is." The very look is anti-mind, because look is not a thinking. And if you look intensely your whole energy becomes a look, and the same energy becomes movement and thinking.

Yoga is the cessation of mind.

This is Patanjali's definition. When there is no mind, you are in yoga; when there is mind you are not in yoga. So you may do all the postures, but if the mind goes on functioning, if you go on thinking, you are not in yoga. Yoga is the state of no-mind. If you can be without the mind without doing any posture, you have become a perfect yogi. It has happened to many without doing any postures, and it has not happened to many who have been doing postures for many lives.

Because the basic thing to be understood is: when the activity of thinking is not there, you are there; when the activity of the mind is not there, when thoughts have disappeared, they are just like clouds, when they have disappeared, your being, just like the sky, is uncovered. It is always there — only covered with the clouds, covered with thoughts.

Yoga is the cessation of mind.

In the West now, there is much appeal for Zen — a Japanese method of yoga. The word "zen" comes from dhyana. Bodhidharma introduced this word dhyana in China. In China the word dhyana became jhan and then chan and then the word traveled to Japan and became zen.

The root is dhyana. Dhyana means no-mind, so the whole training of Zen in Japan is of nothing but how to stop minding, how to be a no-mind, how to be simply without thinking. Try it! When I say try it, it will look contradictory, because there is no other way to say it. Because if you try, the very try, the effort is coming from the mind. You can sit in a posture and you can try some japa — chanting, mantra — or you can just try to sit silently, not to think. But then not to think becomes a thinking. Then you go on saying, "I am not to think; don't think; stop thinking," but this is all thinking.

Try to understand. When Patanjali says, no-mind, cessation of mind, he means complete cessation. He will not allow you to make a japa, "Ram-Ram-Ram." He will say that this is not cessation; you are using the mind. He will say, "Simply stop!" but you will ask, "How? How to simply stop?" The mind continues. Even if you sit, the mind continues. Even if you don't do, it goes on doing.

Patanjali says just look. Let mind go, let mind do whatsoever it is doing. You just look. You don't interfere. You just be a witness, you just be an onlooker, not concerned, as if the mind doesn't belong to you, as if it is not your business, not your concern. Don't be concerned! Just look and let the mind flow. It is flowing because of past momentum, because you have always helped it to flow. The activity has taken its own momentum, so it is flowing. You just don't cooperate. Look, and let the mind flow.

For many, many lives, million lives maybe, you have cooperated with it, you have helped it, you have given your energy to it. The river will flow awhile. If you don't cooperate, if you just look unconcerned — Buddha's word is indifference, upeksha: looking without any concern, just looking, not doing anything in any way — the mind will flow for a while and it will stop by itself. When the momentum is lost, when the energy has flowed, the mind will stop. When the mind stops, you are in yoga: you have attained the discipline. This is the definition: Yoga is the cessation of mind.

Then the witness is established in itself.

When the mind ceases, the witness is established in itself.

When you can simply look without being identified with the mind, without judging, without appreciating, condemning, without choosing — you simply look and the mind flows, a time comes when by itself, of itself, the mind stops.

When there is no mind, you are established in your witnessing. Then you have become a witness — just a seer — a drashta, a sakch hi. Then you are not a doer, then you are not a thinker. Then you are simply being— pure being, purest of being. Then the witness is established in itself.

In the other states there is identification with the modifications of the mind.

Except witnessing, in all states, you are identified with the mind. You become one with the flow of thoughts, you become one with the clouds: sometimes with the white cloud, sometimes with the black cloud, sometimes with a rain-filled cloud, sometimes with a vacant, empty cloud, but whatsoever, you become one with the thought, you become one with the cloud, and you miss your purity of the sky, the purity of space. You become clouded, and this clouding happens because you get identified, you become one.

A thought comes. You are hungry, and the thought flashes in the mind. The thought is simply that there is hunger, that the stomach is feeling hunger. Immediately you get identified; you say, "I am hungry." The mind was just filled with a thought that hunger is there; you have become identified and you say, "I am hungry." This is the identification.

Buddha also feels hunger, Patanjali also feels hunger, but Patanjali will never say that, "I am hungry." He will say "The body is hungry"; he will say, "My stomach is feeling hungry"; he will say "There is hunger. I am a witness. I have come to witness this thought, which has been flashed by the belly in the brain, that 'I am hungry.'" The belly is hungry; Patanjali will remain a witness. You become identified, you become one with the thought.

Then the witness is established in itself.

In the other states there is identification with the modifications of the mind.

This is the definition:

Yoga is the cessation of mind.

When mind ceases, you are established in your witnessing self. In other states, except this, there are identifications. And all identifications constitute the samsar; they are the world. If you are in the identifications, you are in the world, in the misery. If you have transcended the identifications, you are liberated. You have become a siddha, you are in nirvana. You have transcended this world of misery and entered the world of bliss.

And that world is here and now — right now, this very moment! You need not wait for it a single moment even. Just become a witness of the mind, and you have entered. Get identified with the mind, and you have missed. This is the basic definition.

Remember everything, because later on, in other sutras, we will enter details — what is to be done, how it is to be done — but always keep in the mind this is the foundation.

One has to achieve a state of no-mind: that is the goal.