FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What About Yoga?
Yoga means union, the science of union... [and] meditation is the suprememost phenomenon as far as union with reality is concerned. Meditation is the god of yoga. But yoga has fallen into wrong hands, and not only recently -- for centuries it has been in the wrong hands.
The original fault must go to the founder, Patanjali himself. Patanjali has divided yoga into eight parts. His division is clear-cut, very scientific, but he was not really aware of human stupidity. He started with the body -- and that's the right way to start. The first part of yoga must be physiological because man lives on the circumference, in the body, so the work has to start there, only then can it reach the mind. And when one has gone beyond the body and beyond the mind, then the third, meditation, happens.
So according to Patanjali the first part belongs to the body. But he was not clearly aware that millions of people would remain entangled with the first part. Hence yoga has become synonymous with yoga postures: people standing on their heads and doing all sorts of contortions -- that has become synonymous with yoga.
It is not a true yoga, it is just the preface, the introductory part; and the person who thinks the introduction is the whole book is
But Patanjali did not warn people. If he had warned people it would have been better. People like Patanjali believe in others' intelligence -- which is not there! They trust. Their trust is immense, their trust is as immense as people's stupidity is! They respect people's intelligence. So he did not warn people, but the warning was absolutely necessary: "Don't get entangled in the physiological
A few people, only very few -- if a hundred people become interested in yoga then only one person will get out of physiological entanglement. And that one person will become entangled in the psychological. If a hundred persons are entangled in the psychological then only one person gets out of it -- and only when you get out of the mind does the real yoga begin.
The physiological part of yoga will give you great physiological powers; it can make you live a really long, healthy life. But what are you going to do with a long life? If you are idiotic, instead of being idiotic for seventy years you will be idiotic for two hundred years. It is not going to help anybody, it will be a calamity.
There was a man called Nadir Shah -- one of the most notorious, murderous men in the whole history of humanity. He invaded India at least one hundred and eight times. He killed more people in India than anybody else. And he had his own ways of torturing: he would put the whole town on fire and surround the town with his army so nobody could escape -- and he would enjoy it! This man asked an astrologer, because he had heard of his fame, "What do you say? What is your advice? -- should a man live long, very long, or should one live only the average, seventy years?"
The astrologer must have really a wise man. He said, "It all depends. If a man like you lives long, it is bad, it is unfortunate. In the first place a man like you should not be born; and in the second place, if he is born, then he should die immediately. And in the third place, if he manages to live somehow, then the sooner he dies, the better."
Nadir Shah was very angry. This was the first man who had not bothered about his murderous attitude, this was the first man who had said the truth as it was. Nadir Shah said "I will kill you." The astrologer said "That doesn't matter, you can kill me, but I have to tell the truth. The truth is that if men like you do live, they should sleep twenty-four hours a day and drink as much as they can!"
Nadir Shah was so shocked but the man was so truthful that even Nadir Shah had to leave him alone. Even he could not gather courage to kill such a man. He felt shaken and he remembered him again and again: "What a man! Almost a dragon! He made me tremble -- the way he looked at me and the way he said things. I had never expected anybody would have such courage." But he respected the astrologer.
Yoga can make a person live long, but what will you do? That physiological part should not be paid so much attention. Yes, a little bit is good to keep physically fit, but just a little bit; otherwise it is a vast jungle: one can be lost in its subtleties, in its complexities.
And the second part is even vaster than the physiological. If you get into it you can have many psychic powers, you can read people's thoughts -- but what is the point? Your own rubbish is so much, what is the point of reading somebody else's rubbish? He is tortured by his rubbish and you are reading his thoughts -- and you think you are doing something
The real thing is to get rid of thoughts, not to read them. One even has to get rid of one's own thoughts; what is the point of reading other people's thoughts? And what is there? You can stand by the side of the road and you can see a man is walking along and thinking of his dog -- so
If you listen to people's thoughts, what will you find? Somebody is thinking of his cow, somebody is thinking of his buffalo, somebody is thinking of his wife, somebody is thinking of somebody else's
wife! And you are thinking what they are thinking! Maybe the other person is also a yogi and is reading somebody else's thoughts... then things become very complicated!
The physiological part is ordinary, the psychological part is ordinary. Both can give power, but power is not the goal of meditation. Power is politics, all kinds of power is politics. And power corrupts -- all kinds of power -- it corrupts unconditionally and absolutely; it always corrupts.
Hence I say the only essential thing, the real core of all religion, of all yoga, of all methods of search, is meditation. One should put aside everything non-essential. You can use things as stepping stones, but not more than that -- just like jumping boards. You need not bother too much about them. Your whole concern should be one-pointed; you should move like an arrow towards meditation, only then in this small life, with so little time, power and energy available and with so many problems surrounding you, can you hope that the arrow will reach the target.
And the moment you know something of meditation -- not about it, but the very taste of it -- a great release comes. a great relief comes. Suddenly all tensions disappear: anxieties, anguishes, are found no more. Even if you want them just for a change, you cannot find them. I have tried and failed! Sometimes I try very hard to find some anxiety but I cannot, it simply does not work. I have tried all possible ways, from this side and that side, but I come to the same end: it does not work.
Once you have tasted meditation it is impossible for you to be in any misery. Bliss becomes inevitable, a natural showering, and it goes on showering like flowers showering from the
-from an unpublished transcript of initiation talks