NOW THE DISCIPLINE OF YOGA
Each and single word has to be understood because Patanjali will not use a single superfluous word.
First try to understand the word “now”. This “now” indicates the state of mind.
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 thesis 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 philosophical 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.
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.
“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.
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.
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 a few hours, you are growing in the capacity to be. Why do you move? You cannot sit without moving even for a 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.
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 nonmoving 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.
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.
While your mind is engaged, if you are a disciple, if you are a disciplined being, your mind is engaged in listening, 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 are we 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 allowed to enter a certain distance.
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.
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.
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. 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. A therapy can make you normal in the sense that you are adjusted to the society, but the society itself is ill!
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 society, but it is adjustment with existence itself. It is an adjustment with the divine!
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.Tags: Adjustment With Existence Non-Moving Now Order Within You Yoga Is A Discipline