The Eight Limbs Of Yoga

And he said, “It came to pass that many times I tried my grandfather’s formula, and by and by anger disappeared” – and not only anger – by and by he became aware that the same technique can be used for other emotions: and everything disappeared. Gurdjieff was one of the highest peaks that has been attained in this age, a buddha. And the whole journey started with a very small step, the promise given to an old man dying. It changed his whole life.

Yam is the bridge between you and others – live consciously; relate with people consciously. Then the second two, niyam and asan – they are concerned with your body. Third, pranayam is again a bridge. As the first, yam, is a bridge between you and others, the second two are a preparation for another bridge – your body is made ready through niyam and asan – then pranayam is the bridge between the body and the mind. Then pratyahar and dharana are the preparation of the mind. Dhyan again, is a bridge between the mind and the soul. And samadhi is the attainment. They are interlinked, a chain; and this is your whole life.

Your relation with others has to be changed. How you relate has to be transformed. If you continue to relate with others in the same way as you have always been doing, there is no possibility to change. You have to change your relationship. Watch how you behave with your wife or with your friend or with your children. Change it. There are a thousand and one things to be changed in your relationship. That is yam, a control – but control, not suppression. Through understanding comes control. Through ignorance one goes on forcing and suppressing. Always do everything with understanding and you never harm yourself or anybody else.

Yam is to create a congenial environment around yourself. If you are inimical to everybody – fighting, hateful, angry – how can you move inwards? All these Things will not allow you to move. You will be so much disturbed on the surface that that inner journey will not be possible. To create a congenial, a friendly, atmosphere around you is yam. When you relate with others beautifully, consciously, they don’t create trouble for you in your inner journey. They become helps; they don’t hinder you. If you love your child, then when you are meditating he will not disturb you. He will say to others, “Keep quiet. Pop is meditating.” But if you don’t love your child, you are simply angry, then when you are meditating he will create all sorts of nuisances. He wants to take revenge – unconsciously. If you love your wife deeply, she will be helpful; otherwise she won’t allow you to pray, she won’t allow you to meditate – you are going beyond her control.

Excerpted From Yoga: A New Direction CH: 5


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