In Yoga: The Science of the Soul, one of the greatest spiritual teachers of the twentieth century presents the history and philosophy of this timeless health practice.
Much of what is known as yoga today emphasizes physical postures and exercises to increase flexibility and help relaxation. But in fact, yoga has its roots in centuries of rigorous investigation and research in the East to develop an understanding of human consciousness and its potential.
In Yoga, Osho explains the meaning ofsome of the most important Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, an early “scientist of the soul” who is credited with being the father of Raja Yoga, or the “royal path” of yoga that uses physical postures and breath primarily as a means to achieve higher states of consciousness. With a fresh translation of these ancient texts, and unique Osho insights into the modern mind and its psychology, Patanjali comes to life on the pages with an approach to using yoga for greaterself-understanding that is absolutely relevant to our times.
An invaluable resource for beginning or experienced yoga practitioners, and for anyone who seeks to better understand the intricate and powerful relationshipthat exists between body and mind.
Osho challenges readers to examine and break free of the conditioned belief systems and prejudices that limit their capacity to enjoy life in all its richness. He has been described by the Sunday Times of London as one of the “1000 Makers of the 20th Century” and by Sunday Mid-Day (India) as one of the ten peoplealong with Gandhi, Nehru, and Buddhawho have changed the destiny of India. Since his death in 1990, the influence of his teachings continues to expand, reaching seekers of all ages invirtually every country of the world.
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About the Author
Osho is the author of The Book of Secrets, Meditation: The First and Last Freedom and Insights for a New way of Living. Beginning in the 1970s he captured the attention of young people from the West who wanted to experience meditation and transformation. More than 20 years after his death, the influence of his teachings continues to expand, reaching seekers of all ages in virtually every country of the world.
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Yoga: The Science of the Soul
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2002 Osho International
All rights reserved.
NOW THE DISCIPLINE OF YOGA
Now the discipline of yoga.
Yoga is the cessation of mind.
Then the witness is established in itself.
In the other states there is identification with the modifications of the mind.
We live in a deep illusion — the illusion of hope, of future, of tomorrow. As man is, man cannot exist without self-deceptions. Nietzsche says somewhere that man cannot live with the true: He needs dreams, he needs illusions, he needs lies in order to exist. And Nietzsche is right. As man is, he cannot exist with the truth. This has to be understood very deeply because without understanding it, there can be no entry into the inquiry that is called yoga.
The mind has to be understood deeply — the mind that needs lies, the mind that needs illusions, the mind that cannot exist with the real, the mind that needs dreams. You are not dreaming only during the night. Even while awake, you are dreaming continuously. You may be looking at me, you may be listening to me, but a dream current goes on within you. Continuously, the mind is creating dreams, images, fantasies.
Now scientists say that a person can live without sleep but not without dreams. In the old days it was understood that sleep is a necessity, but modern research now says sleep is not really a necessity. Sleep is needed only so that you can dream. The dream is the necessity. If you are allowed to sleep but not allowed to dream, you will not feel fresh and alive in the morning. You will feel tired, as if you have not been able to sleep at all.
During the night there are different periods — periods for deep sleep and periods for dreaming. There is a rhythm — just like day and night, there is a rhythm. In the beginning you fall into deep sleep for about forty or forty-five minutes. Then the dream phase comes in; then you dream. Then again dreamless sleep, then again dreaming. The whole night this goes on. If your sleep is disturbed while you are deeply asleep without dreaming, in the morning you will not feel that you have missed anything. But while you are dreaming, if your dream is disturbed, then in the morning you will feel completely tired and exhausted.
Now, this can be known from the outside — if someone is sleeping you can judge whether he is dreaming or asleep. If he is dreaming, his eyes will be moving constantly, as if he is watching something with closed eyes. When he is fast asleep, the eyes will not move; they will remain steady. So if your sleep is disturbed while your eyes are moving, in the morning you will feel tired. While your eyes are not moving, your sleep can be disturbed, and in the morning you will not feel anything is missing.
Many researchers have proved that the human mind feeds on dreams, that dreaming is a necessity, and that a dream is a total autodeception. And this is not only so in the night: While awake the same pattern also follows; even during the day you can notice it. Sometimes there will be dreams floating in the mind, sometimes there will be no dreams.
When there are dreams, you might be doing something, but you will be absent. Inside you are occupied. For example, you are here. If your mind is passing through a dream state, you will listen to me without listening at all because your mind will be occupied within. If you are not in a dreaming state, only then you can listen to me.
Day and night, the mind goes on moving from no dream to dream, then from dream to no dream again. This is an inner rhythm. Not only do we continuously dream, in life we also project hopes into the future.
The present is almost always a hell. You can endure it only because of the hopes that you have projected into the future. You can live today because of the tomorrow. You are hoping something is going to happen tomorrow, some doors to paradise will open tomorrow. They never open today. And when tomorrow comes, it will not come as a tomorrow, it will come as today — but by that time your mind has moved again. You go on moving ahead of yourself — this is what dreaming means. You are not one with the real, that which is nearby, that which is here and now; you are somewhere else, moving ahead, jumping ahead.
And that tomorrow, that future, you have named in so many ways. People call it "heaven," some people call it moksha, but it is always in the future. Somebody is thinking in terms of wealth — but that wealth is going to be in the future. Somebody is thinking in terms of paradise, and that paradise is going to be after you are dead — far away into the future.
You waste your present for that which is not. This is what dreaming means. You cannot be here and now; that seems to be arduous, to be just in the moment.
You can be in the past because that is again dreaming — memories, remembrance of things that are no more. Or you can be in the future, which is projection, which is again creating something out of the past. The future is nothing but the past projected again — more colorful, more beautiful, more pleasant, but it is the past refined.
You cannot think of anything other than the past. The future is nothing but the past projected again — and both are not! The present is — but you are never in the present. This is what dreaming means. And Nietzsche is right when he says that man cannot live with the truth. He needs lies, he lives through lies. Nietzsche says that we go on saying we want the truth, but no one wants it. Our so-called truths are nothing but lies, beautiful lies. No one is ready to see the naked reality.
This mind cannot enter on the path of yoga because yoga means a methodology to reveal the truth. Yoga is a method to come to a nondreaming mind. Yoga is the science to be in the here and now. Yoga means now you are ready not to move into the future. Yoga means you are ready now not to hope, not to jump ahead of your being. Yoga means to encounter the reality as it is.
So you can enter yoga, or the path of yoga, only when you are totally frustrated with your own mind as it is. If you are still hoping that you can gain something through your mind, yoga is not for you. A total frustration is needed, a revelation that this projecting mind is futile, that the mind that hopes is nonsense and leads nowhere. It simply closes your eyes; it intoxicates you. It never allows reality to be revealed to you. It protects you against reality. Your mind is a drug. It is against that which is. So unless you are totally frustrated with your mind, with your way of being, with the way you have existed up to now — if you can drop it unconditionally, then you can enter on the path.
So many become interested, but very few enter. Your interest may be just because of your mind. You may be hoping that now, through yoga, you may gain something. But the achieving motive is there: You might become perfect through yoga, you might reach the blissful state of perfect being. You might become one with the universal, you might achieve enlightenment — this may be why you are interested in yoga. If this is the cause of your interest, then there can be no meeting between you and the path that is yoga. Then you are totally against it, moving in a totally different dimension.
Yoga means that now there is no hope, now there is no future, now there are no desires. One is ready to know what is. One is not interested in what can be, what should be, what ought to be. One is not interested! One is interested only in that which is because only the real can free you. Only the reality can become liberation.
Total despair is needed. That despair is called dukkha by Buddha. If you are really in misery, don't hope because your hope will only prolong the misery. Your hope is a drug. It can help you to reach only death and nowhere else. All your hopes can lead you only to death — they are leading you.
Become totally hopeless — no future, no hope. It is difficult. It needs courage to face the real. But such a moment comes to everyone at some time or other. A moment comes to every human being when he feels total hopelessness. Absolute meaninglessness happens to him — when he becomes aware that whatever he is doing is useless, wherever he is going, he is going nowhere; all life is meaningless. Suddenly hope drops, future drops, and for the first time you are in tune with the present. For the first time you are face to face with reality. Unless this moment comes to you ...
You can go on doing asanas, postures; that is not yoga. Yoga is an inward turning. It is a total about-face. When you are not moving into the future, not moving toward the past, then you start moving within yourself — because your being is here and now, it is not in the future. You are present here and now, you can enter this reality. But then the mind has to be here also. This moment is indicated by this sutra, this verse of Patanjali.
Before we talk about this first sutra, a few other things have to be understood.
First, yoga is not a religion — remember that. Yoga is not Hindu, it is not Mohammedan. Yoga is a pure science just like mathematics, physics, or chemistry. Physics is not Christian, physics is not Buddhist. Even if Christians have discovered the laws of physics, physics is not Christian. It is just accidental that Christians came to discover the laws of physics; physics is just a science. Yoga is a science — it is just an accident that Hindus discovered it. It is not Hindu; it is a pure mathematics of the inner being. So a Mohammedan can be a yogi, a Christian can be a yogi, a Jain or a Buddhist can be a yogi.
Yoga is pure science, and Patanjali is the greatest name as far as the world of yoga is concerned. This man is rare. There is no other name comparable to Patanjali. For the first time in the history of humanity, this man brought religion to the state of a science; he made religion a science, bare laws.
For yoga, no belief is needed. So-called religions need beliefs. There is no other difference between one religion and another; the difference is only of beliefs. A Mohammedan has certain beliefs, a Hindu certain others, a Christian certain others; the difference is of beliefs. Yoga has nothing as far as belief is concerned; yoga doesn't say to believe in anything. Yoga says, "Experience." Just like science says experiment, yoga says experience. Experiment and experience are the same; just their directions are different. Experiment is something you can do outside; experience is something you can do inside. Experience is an inside experiment.
Science says, "Don't believe; doubt as much as you can. But also, don't disbelieve because disbelief is again a sort of belief." You can believe in God, or you can believe in the concept of "no-God." You can say God exists, with a fanatical attitude, or you can say quite the reverse, that God does not exist — with the same fanaticism! Atheists, theists — all are believers, and belief is not the realm for science. Science means the experience of something, of that which is. No belief is needed.
So the second thing to remember is that yoga is existential, experiential, experimental. No belief is required, no faith is needed — only courage to experience. And that's what is lacking. You can believe easily because in belief you are not going to be transformed. Belief is something added to you, something superficial. Your being is not changed, you are not passing through some mutation. You may be a Hindu, and you can become Christian the next day. Simply, you change: You exchange the Gita for a Bible; you can exchange it for a Koran. But the man who was holding a Gita and is now holding the Bible remains the same. He has changed his beliefs.
Beliefs are like clothes. Nothing substantial is transformed; you remain the same. Dissect a Hindu, dissect a Mohammedan, and inside they are the same. The Hindu goes to a temple, and the Mohammedan hates the temple. The Mohammedan goes to the mosque, and the Hindu hates the mosque. But inside they are the same human beings.
Belief is easy because you are not required to really do anything — just a superficial dressing, a decoration, something that you can put aside at any moment you like. Yoga is not belief. That's why it is difficult, arduous, and sometimes it seems impossible. It is an existential approach. You will come to the truth not through belief but through your own experience, through your own realization. That means you will have to be totally changed. Your viewpoints, your way of life, your mind, your psyche has to be shattered completely as it is. Something new has to be created. Only with that "new" will you come in contact with the reality.
So yoga is both a death and a new life. As you are, you will have to die; and unless you die, the new cannot be born. The new is hidden in you. You are just a seed for it, and the seed must fall down and be absorbed by the earth. The seed must die; only then will the new arise out of you. Your death will become your new life. Yoga is both a death and a new birth. Unless you are ready to die, you cannot be reborn. So it is not a question of changing beliefs.
Yoga is not a philosophy. I say it is not a religion, and I say it is not a philosophy. It is not something you can think about. It is something you will have to be; thinking won't do. Thinking goes on in your head; it is not really deep into the roots of your being. It is not your totality. It is just a part, a functional part; it can be trained. And you can argue logically, you can think rationally, but your heart will remain the same. Your heart is your deepest center; your head is just a branch. You can be without the head, but you cannot be without the heart. Your head is not basic.
Yoga is concerned with your total being, with your roots. It is not philosophical. So with Patanjali we will not be thinking, speculating. With Patanjali we will be trying to know the ultimate laws of being — the laws of its transformation, the laws of how to die and how to be reborn again, the laws of a new order of being. That is why I call it a science.
Patanjali is rare. He is an enlightened person like Buddha, like Krishna, like Christ, like Mahavira, Mohammed, Zarathustra. But he is different in one way. Buddha, Krishna, Mahavira, Zarathustra, Mohammed — none of them has a scientific attitude. They are great founders of religions, they have changed the whole pattern of the human mind and its structure, but their approach is not scientific.
Patanjali is like an Einstein in the world of Buddhas. He is a phenomenon. He could have easily been a Nobel Prize winner like an Einstein or Bohr or Max Planck, a Heisenberg. He has the same attitude, the same rigorous, scientific approach. He is not a poet; Krishna is a poet. He is not a moralist; Mahavira is a moralist. He is basically a scientist thinking in terms of laws. And he has come to deduce absolute laws of the human being, the ultimate working structure of human mind and reality.
And if you follow Patanjali, you will come to know that he is as exact as any mathematical formula. Simply do what he says, and the result will happen. The result is bound to happen; it is just like two plus two, they become four. It is just like heating water up to the boiling point and it evaporates. No belief is needed; you simply do it, and you know. It is something to be done and known. That's why I say there is no comparison. On this earth, never has a man existed like Patanjali.
You can find poetry in Buddha's utterances — they are bound to be there. Many times while Buddha is expressing himself, he becomes poetic. The realm of ecstasy, the realm of ultimate knowing, is so beautiful, the temptation is so great to become poetic. The beauty is such, the benediction is such, the bliss is such that one starts talking in poetic language.
But Patanjali resists that. It is very difficult — no one has been able to resist. Jesus, Krishna, Buddha — they all become poetic. The splendor, the beauty — when it explodes within you, you will start dancing, you will start singing. In that state you are just like a lover who has fallen in love with the whole universe.
Patanjali resists that. He will not use poetry; he will not use even a single poetic symbol. He will not do anything with poetry; he will not talk in terms of beauty. He will talk in terms of mathematics. He will be exact, and he will give you maxims. Those maxims are just indications of what is to be done. He will not explode into ecstasy; he will not say things that cannot be said; he will not try the impossible. He will just put down the foundation, and if you follow the foundation, you will reach the peak that is beyond. He is a rigorous mathematician — remember this.
Excerpted from Yoga: The Science of the Soul by Osho. Copyright © 2002 Osho International. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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Table of Contents
1. NOW THE DISCIPLINE OF YOGA,
2. THE FIVE MODIFICATIONS OF THE MIND,
3. CONSTANT EFFORT IS THE KEY,
4. THE EIGHT STEPS,
5. POSTURE AND BREATH,
6. YOGA IN THE FAST LANE: Responses to Questions,
Meditation Resort: Osho Meditation Resort,
Other Titles in this Series,
Also by Osho,
About the Author,