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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Question on different comprehensions of yoga

I would like to ask a question about the image of yoga. Because I notice that we are now going through some kind of yoga-mania, and everyone has to say something about yoga. But I’ve noticed that yoga is most positioned like something, like an escape from this chaotic and exhausting world, people leave this world and they go and sit for meditation, this is the image.
On the other hand, yoga’s also like a medicine to be much more successful human doing, like you say in your talks.
How do you look, feel about all this?

That’s a very beautiful way you presented the question. Yes, yoga has taken multi-forms, expressions. People are doing anything in the name of yoga. That’s the reason why there is one good thing and one bad thing.
The good thing about this is- at least people started recognizing and learning about yoga. If not today, another two years, three years. They would like to inquire into what are the texts which talk about yoga, where the ideas of yoga come from. So you start investigating into it, and the moment you start investigating into it, you will come to the right understanding about yoga. A little bit of inquiry tells us what is right, what is wrong. So I have no doubt- let the whole world take yoga and everybody start looking at what exactly is the idea of yoga, where is it coming from, and they will come to the right understanding.
The bad thing about this is that we who have taken to yoga, let us investigate into it and see that logically the texts which give us yoga, the concepts that talk about yoga, you can easily get the right information, what exactly yoga is all about. So that way, people are running away from the work. People are trying to become meditative and this and that, they would like to run away from the work, people have a fear that people takes me away from the work. Yoga does not take you away from your useful work. Yoga brings about an awareness- one of the most important contributions of yoga is to bring about awareness, and the moment you develop awareness you start inquiring into whether what you are doing is useful or not. See.
Like a simple thing is gossip- like two four? Persons are gossiping. They get annoyed by how the time flies. Why? Because you don’t have the awareness. But the moment you become aware then you start thinking ‘hey, I can do much better work than spending time in gossip’. The awareness brings about the correctness. So this is how basically, people who are spending their time otherwise in the not useful means, the moment that they do yoga, their awareness brings them back into rightness. In fact it is said- if you are telling a lie, if you are aware, you cannot tell a lie. If you are doing harm, if you are hurting somebody, if you just become aware you cannot hurt somebody, once you become conscious of it. So this awareness will put you in the right path. So the people who are otherwise spending their time in wasteful ways, they start saying that why this man, this woman, is withdrawing from the group? Yes, it’s important that we need to withdraw from the group, because we should show that this is something much better than all of the things that we are doing. You know, how much time, money, things like that, we are wasting?
Once I happened to go to Las Vegas. And it is a place where I had a habit of getting up early morning at 4:30 – 5:00, and 5:00 Las Vegas goes to sleep. Whereas I got up and came outside, I was going for long walks, it is a beautiful city. And after long walk I come back around 8:00 I found that in one of those casinos there were coin machines, and there were two elderly women sitting there and putting the coins and pulling the lever. I was so surprised- they were 80 years and sitting there and putting the coins. So I said let me develop an interesting conversation with them. I went to those ladies and said ‘good morning’.
They said ‘yes good morning, how are you doing?’
and I said ‘you know, we have a saying in India that ‘early morning luck is very good luck. So it seems that you are trying your early morning luck’.
Then she said, ‘ah well, no luck, no nothing. We were not getting sleep, that’s why we came out. And you ask us making money? No, nothing. We are killing time’.
I said ‘you know, they give you this time, the medical community is doing so much research, spending millions of dollars, so much research to see that your age is extended by ½ hour, half a month, half a year. They are very happy, proud of it, you know? And that research, spent money, and all the research that has given you that time, and you are killing that time? What is the use of doing all that research?’
This is what happens. We are unnecessarily killing our time in so many other things whereas the moment you start doing yoga, I’m sure that your time will be usefully spent. But once again, when the time is usefully spent does not mean that you have to increase your productivity. You know that productivity, material progress, has an inherent defect in it. The inherent defect is- we think that the happiness is there in the object outside. The object gives me happiness, more money gives me happiness, better production gives me happiness, my profits which touch millions of dollars give me happiness. Closely watch, is it really giving you happiness. No. We are completely hypnotized into that idea. Whereas, happiness is our nature. I don’t say that you do not produce, you produce wonderful. But produce so that more and more people will be happy, not because that your happiness will increase. So basically, we should never get into the paradigm that the objects give me happiness. If that is going to give me happiness- look at what happened to your grandfathers... Were they not happy? They did not have all these things. They never knew computers. They were so very happy because neither computers were there, nor computer viruses!
When we did not have all these riches, we were happy. Objects are not contributing to our happiness, but objects are giving us some conveniences. Just making life a little more easier. When we used to use a lamp, now we just switch a light on, that’s all. It’s a little bit more convenient but not an addition to happiness. If you are like that, then you do not go unnecessary fighting and struggling and stress.


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