Written by Ma Prem Naina, published in Assam Times, India, on June 13, 2015.
In the year 1974, Osho, the enlightened mystic of modern time spoke of techniques such as Yoga, Zen, Sufi, Tantra; for human transformation which will become more and more important for the modern man.
In his volume of talks on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Osho says Patanjali was a great scientist and Yoga a supreme science. Yoga is a device, but only in the hands of the masters. Yoga is not just an exercise, it is not for the body; yes, the body is used, but it is to realize something beyond the body.
When Patanjali was working, a totally different quality of man existed in the world – very simple, primitive, unrepressed, with no neurosis, no enforced pattern; natural, more spontaneous, more in tune with nature. Trust was easy, doubt was difficult. Now just the opposite has happened. Trust is almost impossible, doubt is as natural as breathing. The whole energy is repressed. Man is no more a flow, but frozen; many limbs are completely cut or paralysed.
In the past, people in India never used chairs. Chairs change the body posture in particular ways, a certain posture is created and by and by it becomes a fixed part. This needs to be changed, so that one becomes more natural again.
“Yoga is significant, but many more things have to be added to it.”
“The discipline is very ancient and man has changed a lot. It is one of the most ancient things in the world, but the discipline was created for a certain type of man who no more exists. Tremendous change has happened – not only in the mind of man, but in the biology, in the physiology of man – and Yoga has to keep pace with it. So, many more things have to be added to it. Many people try Yoga but few succeed. At the most it can become a sort of exercise. It is good as far as it goes. It gives you a certain health, a certain well-being, but that was not the aim of Yoga.”
“It is as if you have an aeroplane and you are using it as a truck. You can use it as a truck and it is good as far as it goes, but you could have flown in it. So Yoga is just a means towards the ultimate. The physiological part is not the most essential part, but it has become the most essential. Many people are lost in it. For their whole life they go on practising in the body and they feel good. But to feel good is not enough. Unless you feel God, to feel good is not enough. Unless you become a god, nothing is enough.”
Yoga is pure science, and Patanjali is the greatest name as far as the world of yoga is concerned. For the first time in the history of humanity, he brought religion to the state of a science: he made religion a science, bare laws; no belief is needed.
“There is no other difference between one religion and another; the difference is only 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 both the same, their directions are different. Experiment means something you can do outside; experience means something you can do inside. Experience is an inside experiment. You can learn all the yoga exercises and that is not going to make you a yogi. It will give you a better physique, better health. It is not going to give you a better soul. That is a totally different matter. It has nothing to do with body postures. It has something to do with the inner alchemy. Your consciousness has to grow higher, you have to become more aware.”
Patanjali can become more and more significant because he is like an Einstein in the world of Buddhas. He is a phenomenon.
The modern mind is constantly obsessed with the future, with the result, not with the here and now. It is time when this mind can be taught yoga because this future orientation is leading nowhere. It is creating constant misery and hell. Yoga can become very meaningful and significant for the modern mind because yoga can save.
Illustration by Osho News