The Purity Of Yoga

Fourth Question




Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Yoga Yoga Sutras of Patanjali


The fourth question:

Question 4


No, Patanjali's YOGA SUTRAS are absolutely pure. No one has ever interpolated anything in them. There are reasons it cannot be done. First, Patanjali's YOGA SUTRAS is not a popular scripture. It is not a gita, it is not a ramayana, it is not a Bible. Common masses have never been interested in it. When common masses are interested in something, they make it impure. It is bound to be so because then the scripture has to be dragged down to their level. Patanjali's YOGA SUTRAS has remained only for experts. Only a few chosen ones will get interested in them. Everybody is not going to be interested. And if, by chance, you happen accidentally to have Patanjali's YOGA SUTRAS, you can read only a few pages and then you will throw it away. It is not for you. It is not a story, it is not a drama, it is not an allegory. It is a simple, scientific treatise -- only for few.

And the way it has been written is such that those who are not ready for it will turn their back automatically. A similar case has happened in this century with Gurdjieff. For thirty years continuously, he was preparing one book. A man of the caliber of Gurdjieff can do that work in three days. Even three days may be more than enough. Lao Tzu had done it: in three days the whole TAO TEH CHING was written. Gurdjieff can do it in three days; there is no difficulty. But for thirty years he was writing his first book. And what he was doing? He will write one chapter, and then he will allow it to be read before his disciples. Disciples will be listening to the chapter, and he will be looking to the disciples. If they can understand, he will change it. That was the condition: if they can understand, he will change it. If he sees that they are following it, then it is wrong. Continuously, for thirty years, every chapter was read a thousand and one times, and every time he was watching. When the book became completely impossible, that no one can read and understand it...

Even a very intelligent person will have to read it at least seven times; then glimpses of meaning will start coming. And that too will be just glimpses. If he wants to penetrate more, then he will have to practice whatsoever he has said, and through practice meanings will become clear. And it will take at least one's whole life to come to the total understanding what he has written.

This type of book cannot be interpolated. Really, his first book, it is said that very few people have read it completely. It is difficult -- one thousand pages. So when the first edition was published, he published it with a condition: only hundred pages, the introductory part, were cut. All other pages were not cut; they were uncut. Only hundred pages were cut, and a note was given on the book that "If you can read the first hundred pages and still think to read ahead, then cut other pages. Otherwise, return the book to the publisher and take your money back."

It is said that there are very few people alive who have read the whole book completely. It is written in such a way that you will get fed up. Reading twenty, twenty-five pages, it is enough; and this man seems to be mad.

These are sutras, Patanjali's sutras. Everything has been condensed in a seed. Somebody was asking me that, "Patanjali has condensed sutras..." Just the other day somebody came and asked me, "... and you speak so much on those sutras." I have to, because he has made a tree a seed, and I have to make the seed again a tree.

Each sutra is condensed, totally condensed. You cannot do anything in it, and no one is interested to. Just to keep the book always pure, this was one of the methods. And for many thousands of years the book was not written, it was just memorized by disciples; it was given from one to other just as a memory. It was not written, so nobody can do anything to it. It was a sacred memory, preserved. And even when the book was written, it was written in such a way that if you put something in it, it will be found immediately.

Unless a person of the caliber of Patanjali tries that, you cannot do it. Just think, if you had one Einstein formula, what can you do to it? If you do anything, it will be immediately caught. Unless a mind like Einstein tries to play with it, you cannot do anything. The formula is complete -- nothing can be added; nothing can be deleted. In itself, it is a unit. Whatsoever you do, you will be caught.

These are seed formulas. If you add a single word, anyone who is working on the path of yoga will immediately come to know that this is wrong.

I will tell you one anecdote. It happened just in this century. One of the greatest poets of India, Rabindranath Tagore, translated his own book, GITANJALI, from Bengali to English. He himself translated it, and then he was a little hesitant whether the translation is okay or not. So he asked C. F. Andrews, one of the friends and disciples of Mahatma Gandhi that, "Just go through it. How the translation has come to be?" C.F. Andrews was not a poet, he was an Englishman-well educated, knowing the language, the grammar and everything -- but he was not a poet.

So on four spots, on four points, he told Rabindranath to change certain words: "They are ungrammatical, and English people will not follow them." So Rabindranath simply changed whatsoever Andrews suggested. Four words in all he changed in his translation. Then he went to London, and for the first time, in a poet's gathering... One of the English poets of his time, Yeats, has arranged that gathering. It was read for the first time, the translation.

When the whole translation was read, everybody listened, and Rabindranath asked, "Have you any suggestions? Because this is just a translation and English is not my mother tongue.

And it is very difficult to translate poetry. Yeats, who was a poet of the same caliber of Rabindranath, he said, "Only at four points something is wrong." And exactly those were the four words Andrews has suggested!

Rabindranath couldn't believe it. He said, "How, how you could find? Because these are the four words I have not translated. Andrews suggested and I have put them." Yeats said, "The whole poetry is a flow; only these four are like stones. The flow is broken. It seems somebody else has done the work. Your language may not be grammatical, your language is not hundred percent right. It cannot be; that we can understand. But it is hundred percent poetry. These four words have come from a school master. Grammar has become right, but poetry has gone wrong."

With Patanjali you cannot do anything. Anyone who is working on yoga will find it immediately that someone else who doesn't know anything has interpolated something. There are very few books which are still pure, and the purity has been retained. This is one of them. Nothing has been changed, not a single word. Nothing has been added; it is as Patanjali meant it to be.

This is a work of objective art. When I say, "a work of objective art" I mean a certain thing. Every precaution has been taken. While these sutras were condensed every precaution has been taken so that they could not be destroyed. They have been constructed in such a way that anything foreign, any foreign element will become a jarring note. But I say if a man like Patanjali tries, he can do that.

But a man like Patanjali will never try such a thing. Only lesser minds always try to interpolate. And lesser minds can try that, and the thing can continue, interpolated, only when it becomes a mass thing. Masses are not aware, cannot be aware. Only Yeats became aware that something is wrong. There were many others present in the gathering; no one was aware.

This is a secret cult, a secret heritage. And even the book is written, but the book form has not been thought to be reliable. There are still persons alive who have got Patanjali's sutras directly from their Master, not from the book. And the tradition has remained alive yet, and it will continue because books are not reliable. Sometimes books can be lost. Many things can go wrong with books.

So a secret tradition is there. And that tradition has been maintained, and continuously those who know through words of their Master go on checking whether in the book form something is wrong or whether something has been changed.

This has not been maintained for other scriptures. Bible has too much interpolations, that if Jesus comes back, he will not be able to understand what has happened, how these things have come in. Because for two hundred years when Jesus died... After two hundred years, for the first time, the Bible was recorded. In these two hundred years many things disappeared. Even his disciples have different stories to tell.

Buddha died. After five hundred years, after his death, his words were recorded. There are many schools, many scriptures, and no one can say which is true and which is false. But Buddha was talking to the masses, so he is not condensed like Patanjali. He was talking to the masses, to the ordinary common people. He was elaborating things in detail. In those details many things can be added, many things can be deleted, and no one will become aware that something has been done.

But Patanjali was not talking to the masses. He was talking to a very select few, a group -- a group of very few persons, just like Gurdjieff. Gurdjieff never talked before the masses. A very selected group of his disciples was able to listen to him, and that too with many conditions. No meeting was ever declared before. If he was going to talk this night, eight-thirty, then nearabout eight o'clock you will get the indication that somewhere Gurdjieff is going to talk. And you have to reach immediately because at eight-thirty the doors will be closed. And these thirty minutes were never enough. And when you reach, you may find that he has cancelled. Next day, again...

Once he cancelled for seven days continuously. The first day four hundred people had come, the last day only fourteen. By and by they got discouraged. And then it seemed impossible that he is going to talk. The last day, only fourteen people... when he looked, he said, "Now the right amount of people is left. And you could wait for seven days and you were not discouraged, so now you have earned it. Now I will speak, and only these fourteen will be able to listen to this series. Now no one is to be informed that I have started speaking."

This type of work is different. Patanjali worked with a very closed circle. That's why no religion has come out of it, no organization. Patanjali has no sect. Such a tremendous force, but he remained closed within a small group. And he worked it out in such a way that the purity should be maintained. It has maintained up to now.


Next: Chapter 6, The Purity Of Yoga: Last Question


Energy Enhancement Enlightened Texts Yoga Yoga Sutras of Patanjali







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