VBT – Meditation 23.5

Yoga Remains Constant

Buddha says, “There is no body, there is no soul,” but he cannot say, “There is no yoga.” Mahavira says, “There is no body, but there is a soul,” but he cannot say, “There is no yoga.” Hinduism says, “There is body, there is soul – and there is yoga.” Yoga remains constant. Even Christianity cannot deny it; even Mohammedanism cannot deny it.

In fact, even someone who is totally atheistically oriented cannot deny yoga because yoga doesn’t make it a precondition to believe in God. Yoga has no preconditions; yoga is absolutely experiential.

When the concept of God is mentioned – and in the most ancient yoga books it was never mentioned at all – it is mentioned only as a method. It can be used as a hypothesis – if it is helpful to someone it can be used – but it is not an absolute condition. That is why Buddha can be a yogi without God, without the Vedas, without any belief. Without any faith, any so-called faith, he can be a yogi.

So for theists, or even for an atheist, yoga can become a common ground. It can become a bridge between science and religion. It is rational and irrational simultaneously. The methodology is totally rational, but through the methodology you move deep into the mystery of the irrational. The whole process is so rational – every step is so rational, so scientific, it is so logical – that you just have to do it and everything else follows.

With yoga, you have to proceed rationally, but only in order to jump into the irrational. The end is bound to be irrational. That which you can understand – the rational – cannot be the source because it is finite. The source must be greater than you. The source from which you have come, from which everything has come, the whole universe has come – and where it goes down and disappears again – must be more than this. The manifestation must be less than the source. A rational mind can feel and understand the manifested, but the unmanifested remains behind.

Yoga does not insist that one must be rational. It says, “It is rational to conceive of something irrational. It is rational, really, to conceive of the boundaries of the rational.” A true, authentic mind always knows the limitations of reason, always knows that reason ends somewhere. Anyone who is authentically rational has to come to a point where the irrational is felt. If you proceed with reason toward the ultimate, the boundary will be felt.

Einstein felt it; Wittgenstein felt it. Wittgenstein’s TRACTATUS is one of the most rational books ever written; he is one of the most rationalistic minds. He goes on talking about existence in a very logical way, a very rational way. His expressions – words, language, everything – are rational, but then he says, “There are some things about which, there is a point beyond which, nothing can be said, and I must remain silent about it.” Then he writes, “That which cannot be said must not be said.”

The whole edifice falls: the whole edifice! Wittgenstein was trying to be rational about the entire phenomenon of life and existence, and then suddenly a point comes and he says, “Now, beyond this point, nothing can be said.” This says something – something very significant. Something is there now and nothing can be said about it. Now there is a point that cannot be defined, where all definitions simply fall down.


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