Yoga: A spontaneous happening

Fri, 27 October 1970 00:00:00 GMT
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Osho - The Great Challenge
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Question 1:


Man's personality is neither solely physical nor solely mental but both simultaneously. Rather, it would be correct to say that it is psychosomatic. There is no gap between the two, so anything that happens on the physical plane vibrates on the mental plane and vice versa. Philosophers have been in the habit of thinking of man as only body or only mind, or both parallel but separate, but not as one. To me, and to present-day science, they are one.

The visible mind is the body and the invisible body is the mind. These are two polarities of one existence. Mind means something that transcends our senses and is outside the grip of our senses.

Body means something that comes within the grip of our senses. The division between the two is due to the senses and their limitations.

Man's existence is both body and mind simultaneously. Even to say both simultaneously is inadequate. They are the same. The difference is only of vibrations. Body is the gross vibration that can be received through the senses and mind is the subtle vibration that transcends the capacity of the senses.

Why am I saying this? There is a well known theory in Western psychology known as the James- Lange theory. Common sense has always understood that body follows mind: when you are in fear, the body begins to run away; when you are in anger, your body begins to prepare for fight. But the psychologists, James and Lange, proposed quite a contrary view: it is not fear that creates running, but running that creates fear.

According to them the body comes first; mind follows. Their argument is that you cannot be fearful or angry if no corresponding body situation is created. So they have argued that you can only prove that anger is something mental if you can be angry without your body's responding to it. They claim that it is impossible to find anger in you if your eyes are not red and your fists are not ready to fight.

But James and Lange are not right even though their theory seems very plausible. There are body reactions - and without body reactions no mental attitudes can be expressed - but that does not mean that mental attitudes cannot exist without body reactions.

One can show symptoms of anger as far as the body is concerned and yet be without anger - like an actor. An actor can be completely acting anger - and as far as his body is concerned anger is there - but there is no anger within him. In the same way he can show all the symptoms of love by his appearance and yet not feel love. The body can express anything without the mind's feeling it.

The mind can also feel without the body's expressing it, because the gross is within our control whereas the subtle is not. Whenever we observe anger we observe it through the body - not only somebody else's anger but our own as well. The anger still exists in seed form, it is there as a potential, but we cannot even detect it ourselves until it is manifested on the gross plane of the body.

This theory of James-Lange is fifty-percent correct - common sense is always fifty-percent correct - but what James and Lange came to know and propagate has been known to Yoga for centuries. That is why asanas and mudras were developed. Yoga had already come to understand that everything mental has a corresponding situation in the body, and when the mind changes, the body assumes the corresponding postures, mudras, expressions, and is transformed.

Yoga also taught that the contrary is possible: if the body takes a particular posture, the corresponding mental attitude will be produced in the mind. But that is as wrong as the James- Lange theory. You may be just acting: a person can sit in the same posture as Buddha, but that does not mean that Buddha's inner tranquility has been produced. On the other hand, if someone has Buddha's attitude, his body will assume a posture that is similar to Buddha's on its own.

That is why I am against practicing all asanas. They must come by themselves or you must not do them. If you do them, there is no guarantee that the corresponding inner state of mind will follow, and it will become a gesture, an act - that's easy for us. You can sit like Buddha or stand like Mahavira - there is no problem in it - but it is meaningless, nothing is accomplished by it.

Where did these asanas come from? Whenever the state of mind that Buddha had is there, the body follows it with a particular posture. It must follow it, it will have to follow it. This has been known for centuries - that there are particular outward gestures that correspond to particular mental states - so it was surmised that if we create these postures and gestures in the body, the corresponding mental states will definitely follow. That is not necessarily so. On the contrary, it is a very dangerous assumption because you can go on acting and not only will others be deceived, you will also be deceived. That is the real danger.

If you sit in Buddha's posture, the position of the body will create a feeling of tranquility in you. Now you will assume that tranquility has been achieved: you will feel still, silent. But this stillness, this silence, is just a deception. It has not come to you, you have imposed it on yourself; it is not from within but from without. It will feel very good, but it is a created, conditioned stillness that has been produced and projected by the body.

We have been doing this for so many lives; it is the same thing we do in our ordinary, day-to-day life. You just smile without feeling it; it is simply a gesture. But once you smile, a feeling comes.

This feeling is very false, but you yourself are deceived by it. Without feeling any love, you can show love and others will be deceived. But there is every possibility that you will forget it is just a gesture and will be deceived into thinking that you have been loving. Then an authentic love - which is a revolution, which is a death, a total transformation - will never be possible because of your gesture, your imitation.

So I am totally against asanas or mudras; they must not be practiced. If they come, it is alright. They will come, but let them come by themselves; then they will be important indications. Then they will not be deceptions but rather landmarks, symbols which indicate something to you and to others.

But let them come from within, do not impose them from without. If you impose them on yourself, they may not be exactly what is needed or required by your particular individual situation, because they are generalized forms. If you reach buddhahood, a particular asana, a particular gesture, will follow. But it will never be the same asana as Gautam Buddha's, something will be essentially different. It will be like it in a general way, but you are not Gautam Buddha - your whole individuality, the whole mechanism of your mind and body is different - so it will never be exactly the same. If you impose Buddha's posture on yourself, it will not correspond to your individual situation. There are so many asanas, they will not occur to everyone.

Mahavira attained samadhi sitting in a very different position, goduhasan: it looks just like a milkmaid when she is milking a cow. No one else has ever reached samadhi in that position - no one sits like that! But it is possible to sit like that for aeons and aeons. And as far as samadhi is concerned, nothing is in any way irrational or illogical.

Why was Mahavira sitting in that position? Buddha's posture is all right, but Mahavira's posture is very absurd. He was not practicing it; it came. Something happened within him and his body took on a certain posture - although a very absurd posture. If he had been practicing asanas he would have been sitting just like Buddha, because that was the traditional meditation posture. But he was in an attitude of letgo, and samadhi came and created a posture that was particularly required for his body and his individuality.

Everyone will need to express himself individually. No person is like any other and no one can be.

An individual is unique so that everything that flowers in him will flower in an individual and unique way. If you impose something from without, then it will be a generalized conception; it can never be fitting and harmonious to your situation.

So when I say I am against asanas, I am not saying that there is no reason for them, I am not saying that they are absurd; what I am saying is that practicing them is absurd. Let them come - they will come - and when they come by themselves they will have a reason of their own. They will work within your body and through them your body will become attuned to a new situation.

You cannot go to sleep standing on your head. You cannot, because sleep needs a particular body posture. If you lie down it does not necessarily mean that sleep must come, but when sleep comes you will be lying down. What I am saying is just like that. You must not begin from without; the beginning must be from within. The flowering is going to be without, but the roots must begin from the inner core of your existence. You must begin with meditation and let everything else follow.

Whenever a particular asana is required, it will come. And when it is no longer needed, it will go by itself.

Question 2:



Don't think about the difference; just let them come. When they come by themselves in meditation, let them come, and then they will go by themselves. But if they are coming because you are practicing them, then they will never go.

When the need is over, when the need is fulfilled, they will wither away by themselves. So don't think about it. You cannot know beforehand whether they are coming out of habit or not. If they are authentic, then when the need is fulfilled they will go. You will not know this while you are doing the asanas - you will not be able to tell the difference - but by and by the difference will be felt.

When you practice a particular asana it is very different from when it comes to you spontaneously.

The distinction is subtle but it is always there. When you are doing it, it will be a disciplined act following a particular routine, a form, an order. When it comes by itself there will be no discipline in it, there will be no order in it, it will be a chaotic act. And only when it is chaotic is it helpful.

A disciplined act is not helpful because it is always a function of the conscious mind; it never goes deep. Only when an act is chaotic does it become deep, and only then can it reach the unconscious, because the unconscious mind is a chaos, a great chaos.

The unconscious is just like the beginning of the world. Everything exists in a potential form in the unconscious, but it has not as yet taken form and shape; everything is hazy, cloudy, uncertain. If you try to impose some set pattern on it, you will not achieve anything. You will only go on circling around your conscious mind, because the conscious can be forced into discipline while the unconscious can never be forced into discipline. But the unconscious is the root, the unconscious is the source.

Meditation means going into the unconscious: diving into it, being in it. It is to be chaotic in the chaos. It is to be without form within the formless. It is to let go of oneself, to float in the clouds, untethered; to let oneself move into an unmapped territory, an uncharted sea. Don't go into it with a disciplined mind or you will never go.

You move in circles in your conscious mind: you go on repeating and it becomes a habit; you have just aligned yourself with your conscious mind. A disciplined mind is always a poor mind because it will never greet chaos. It has never been outside the limits of the conscious, it never transcends the conscious; it is not concerned with the infinite.

A man with a disciplined mind may be a great man, like Gandhi, but he will have a small mind because his total concern is with the conscious mind and with discipline. He will never move into the undisciplined - he will never touch it.

The conscious mind is just like a garden growing beside your house, it is never like a forest. And the unconscious is like a dense forest that has no boundary. You can never know the boundaries of the unconscious, so there is every possibility of being lost. To remain in the conscious mind is safe; there is no risk. To move into the unconscious is risky. Courage is needed.

So do not discipline your body and do not discipline your mind. Live with the undisciplined, live with the chaotic, live with danger. That is what meditation means to me: to live in insecurity, to live in chaos, to live in the limitless.

But that does not mean that a discipline will not come to you. It will come, but it will come as freedom. It will be an alive discipline from within: always touching the unlimited, always potentially chaotic, always explosive, always in the unknown - a moment-to-moment discipline. It will seem very inconsistent without but it will have its own consistency, there will be an inner consistency running through it.

If you discipline yourself from without, there is every possibility that you will never come to know the unconscious. And the conscious mind is no mind at all, it is not life at all. It is just a utilitarian instrument developed because of society; it is not you. But because we have to live with others, we need certain things that can be known about us and can be relied upon: discipline, a particular character. The conscious mind exists because of the relationship between you and others. It is just a link between you and all those with whom you are related, but it does not help you in relating to yourself, in knowing yourself.

I remember a story. King Ashoka sent his son to Ceylon to take them the message of Buddha. He met the king of Ceylon and asked him a question: "There are people in the world to whom you are related and others to whom you are not related. These are the two categories. Is anyone left who is not in one of these two categories?"

The king said, "I am left."

Ashoka's son said, "Now the message can be delivered to you. You are an intelligent person, so something can be said to you. I asked this question to find out if you know that there is something else besides the related and the unrelated or whether you think everything belongs to one of these two categories."

This third - which is neither related to you nor unrelated to you - is the unconscious part of your existence; it is the realm of meditation. The conscious mind is a help as far as your relationship or nonrelationship to the world is concerned, but it can never be a help as far as you are concerned.

Meditation does not mean a conscious implementation; it means an effortless jump into yourself.

With discipline you can go step by step, but you can never discipline a jump. The first three steps of Dynamic Meditation are not steps of meditation at all, but steps that lead you to the place where you can jump.

Real meditation is a jump - a jump into the unknown. So do not discipline your body; let it go where it wants to go. Allow yourself to move into the unknown. Things will happen, asanas will be there, but only those which are required by you. Now asanas may come to you - asanas which are not normally depicted, which have not been described so far - because the possibilities are infinite and the asana descriptions we have are only of the more commonly experienced postures. There are also infinite mudras. They too will follow.

Let the asanas come and go; don't practice them and don't cling to them. Let them come by themselves, let them go by themselves; don't be concerned with them at all. That is what I mean when I say I am against all asanas: you should not be concerned with them at all.

One thing more: asanas have a cathartic value. Ordinarily, our mind works only in relation to someone or some situation. That means our mind only reacts to things, it never acts. And if a person begins to act without a stimulus we put him in a madhouse, because his actions seem absurd, nonsensical. If he begins to act, that means he is not acting in relation to any situation, he is acting from within.

So much is suppressed in us because we cannot act, we always have to wait for situations to react to. If you are angry, you cannot just be angry, you have to wait for the proper situation to arise - someone must create a situation which you can react to. If you begin to be angry without provocation, you will be called mad. Even when you are reacting you look mad, and if you are reacting to something that has happened, then you are justified to yourself and others. But if your action is not a reaction, then there seems to be no justification for it; you simply look mad.

So much inside you needs expression and is never expressed because no situation arises for it to be expressed. You go on suppressing what is inside you, fighting against it. You cannot express love to the empty air, so when the opportunity to love is not there, love is suppressed. Then a curious phenomenon begins to happen. You are full of love but you cannot express it to the air. Then someone comes along to whom you can be loving but with whom you are not in love and you begin to act. The real is suppressed and the unreal is acted upon. In this way your whole life becomes a confusion.

Catharsis is needed in meditation because of two things. One: your suppressed vibrations, attitudes, moods, actions, and mudras must be released - not as reactions but as autonomous actions; not related to anybody else but as overflowing energy. In Dynamic Meditation they can be released, unaddressed....

You begin to cry, you begin to laugh. Only when it is unaddressed can the expression be total. Then you do not need any justification for it: it is its own justification. Whatever you are expressing you can express totally; there is no need to suppress it. Now you are talking to the sky, loving the air; you are angry with the gods. Unrelated, unaddressed. Then you become totally expressive and the suppressed mind is lost. This is catharsis. You need to be able to express without situations, because the human mind is so suppressed that if you only express when there are situations for it you will never be rid of suppression.

Two: if catharsis is allowed you will stop acting, because acting is a substitute, part and parcel of suppression. Your circumstances and your needs do not coincide. When the need is there the circumstance is unfavorable, and when the circumstances are favorable your need has long since passed. You are forced to be inauthentic, forced to act.

When catharsis takes place in meditation, you will begin to feel a new life surging within you. You will never be able to act again. Now you will be bold enough to laugh without reason and bold enough to be angry without there being any person, any situation, present. Then a second boldness will follow:

you will be bold enough not to act. That is one of the greatest signs of courage: not to act. Then your personality begins to be authentic. And this authenticity can only come to you after catharsis.

Real asanas and mudras are a catharsis, an expression, an overflowing. And the more they overflow, the more weightless you begin to be. Then a day comes when you are completely weightless; a moment comes when you are not bound by gravity. Weightless! Only in this weightlessness does the flight of the alone to the alone take place.

If you practice asanas there will be no catharsis, only suppression. That is the basic difference: if you practice asanas they will be suppressive, but if they come to you spontaneously they will be expressive, there will be a catharsis.

If you impose asanas on yourself, the action is just part and parcel of your total suppressive routine. If you impose asanas which your mind is not ready for, you will force your body into a particular posture and the body will have to follow your will. This type of exercise, if done to its logical conclusion, will create a split in the personality. Then you will become two: the one who is suppressed and the one who is suppressing.

Yoga, to me, means becoming one, not two. It is integration, not splitting. I call an asana yogasana only when it comes automatically. If it is imposed, then it is not concerned with Yoga at all. Yogic exercises are gymnastics, not Yoga. That is why I have not used the word Yoga but have been using the word asana.

Yogasana is an asana which has come to you, which has happened to you; otherwise an asana is no different from anything else that is imposed on you, any physical discipline. It may prove health- giving but it can never prove spiritual; it can never help to integrate you. The health benefits that you derive will be at a very high cost because your personality will be splitting in two. The whole nature of the experience of those people who practice asanas begins to be less and less spiritual and more and more physical.

And this is a curious phenomenon: these asanas seem to be meditation-oriented - they are supposed to be - yet all over the world, wherever asanas are talked about, dhyana, meditation, is the least talked about subject. Now the whole thing has become topsy-turvy: they teach meditation along with asanas as if meditation were only another asana. It is not an asana at all. Meditation is the ground, it is the base, it is the seed. Everything must be meditation-oriented, because meditation is first, and everything else follows.

Question 3:


As time goes on, you will begin to have more depth. You will be able to go deeper and deeper, just like a person who is digging a well. He goes on digging with the same implements, with the same speed, with the same method. By and by all the earth is removed and the well goes deep, deep, deep - until a moment comes when the waters rush forth.

The eternal waters are there - you have only to remove the layers of earth completely. Go on digging in the same way, with the same method, with the same implements. Don't bother about any changes, the layers of earth are the same; just remove them completely. The water is there deep within, waiting for you, the water of the deep unconscious. Between you and your unconscious mind is a layer of earth, a great layer of suppressed vibrations, suppressed thoughts created by you as a barrier against the insecurities and aggression of the unconscious. You yourself have created this barrier, so you have to go on digging.

As time passes you may not feel that you are progressing, because you can feel it only when the water has been reached, only when the inner sources explode. Otherwise you will still be digging the dry earth. And yet it is not the same earth, for what you have dug up and thrown away is no longer there. But there is still more earth that has to be dug up.

This digging only concerns you and your meditation; it is not concerned with the explosion itself.

Explosion comes as the climax, it comes in a single moment. It explodes in you, you explode with it.

It is a happening beyond time.

So just go on digging. The job will be boring and monotonous. When there is something to be achieved at each step the work is never boring - you are getting results, so your ambition urges you on so that more and more can be achieved. But up to a certain point in meditation everything is a bore, everything is monotonous. It seems to be the same, although it is not the same. You are going deeper and deeper every moment, but you can never judge what depths you have gone to until the depths explode within you.

When that happens, within that moment you will know that the process is complete. Until then you are just groping in the dark, hoping against hope, while nothing seems to be coming out of it. Then it comes all at once. Depth is not achieved step by step as far as meditation itself is concerned. Either it is there, or it is not.

So you will have to be patient with it. And, naturally, with every individual seeker the time it takes will be different. No one knows how much earth you have accumulated between you and your depths.

It may be that the layer is very thin and only one attempt will break it open. It may be that the layer is dense and you have spent lives and lives building it up. So it will depend with each individual.

But one thing is important: patience - patience and work without hoping for results. Work without hoping for results means patience. If you long for results, if you hanker after them, then the goal is lost. It is really impatience which asks for a result. But if you go on practicing the meditation technique patiently, that in itself will bring about the change. Perseverance without any expectation is a great transformation in itself. Even if meditation is not achieved you will change, because to be patient and to do something without asking for results requires great stamina, a great power of endurance. This stamina will gradually gain in strength.

Because of the whole layer of suppression that exists between you and your innermost depths, time will be needed before the explosion can happen. If you are not totally patient and strong in your determination, you will not be able to bear the shock of explosion. The explosion of bliss is so intense that it requires a deep capacity to contain it; it requires a strong inner will.

A very powerful will is required, so even if the layer between you and your depths is thin it will take time in order for your will to strengthen. A person who can bear to live without results becomes capable of achieving great results; otherwise he is not qualified for the great moment. If bliss comes to you when you are unprepared for it, it will be unbearable. You will go mad and lose your balance forever. It is a great phenomenon, it is a cosmic phenomenon. It is the sea pouring into a drop! You must be prepared for it, and this preparation comes when you labor patiently, ceaselessly.

Ask for no results; wait patiently. That is what is really meant by shraddha. It is not faith in any particular thing, it is faith in oneself. It is not belief in somebody else but belief in oneself.

As time goes by, you will go deep. This is not because time has passed but because of your patience - because you have persevered in spite of the monotony, expecting no results. With nothing gained, you still kept on going, you still kept on with unflagging zeal. This creates will, and this makes you capable of bearing the explosion when it comes. To be impregnated with the cosmic, a particular maturity is needed - just as a certain maturity is needed for pregnancy. In this spiritual impregnation the cosmic comes to you: it is the rebirth of yourself.

In India they say that the brahmin, the kshatriya and the vaishya are twice-born and the sudra is once-born. I say: he who is once-born is a sudra; a person who has not achieved a second birth, a rebirth, is a sudra. So we are all sudras, untouchables, because the divine has not touched us. But this rebirth will come if you are patient and sincere. Wait for it, pray for it, hope for it, but do not be in a hurry.

Question 4:


No, it is not necessary to pass through psychic realms. But that does not mean that you will not pass through them. You can pass through them with such speed that you do not notice them or you can pass through them slowly, taking each and every possible step in the psychic world. You have to pass through the psychic realms because they lie between you and your innermost depths - between you as you are and you as you will be. But you can pass through them with such jet speed that you never experience them or you can pass through them at a bullock cart's pace. If you want to see the landscape it is better to ride in a bullock cart.

There are bullock cart methods and there are jet methods. The method I am talking about, Dynamic Meditation, is a jet method: you will pass through these realms and not know it because you will be going at such great speed.

But if you are longing for psychic powers, even unconsciously, then even with a jet method you will behave as if you are in a bullock cart. If you have a keen desire to develop psychic powers then as you pass them you will be caught by them.

We have inner longings that we are not even aware of. Our mind is basically power-seeking: whether it seeks power in the outer world or the inner, it is always seeking power. One must be careful not to seek power. The psychic realm is there, and if you are seeking powers then you will be caught in them somewhere.

The outer world cannot give you as much power as the inner world - there is a great potential of power within. In fact there is so much atomic energy within a single human body that if it were to explode and release its total energy the whole world and its population could be destroyed.

Physicists talk about atomic energy, Yogis talk about psychic energy, but the energy is the same - only the approach is different. Physicists approach through the atoms of the body; Yoga approaches through the atoms of the psyche. These approaches are two poles of the same thing.

Yoga approaches from the inner, so the Yogi talks about psychic powers. They are there, but if you seek them you will be caught in them, which will be pathetic, pitiable, because when you reach the psychic you are very near to the cosmic, to absolute bliss. You are near to the flower, but you have shut your hands on it. So one must beware.

In Dynamic Meditation you do not have to become alert to the psychic because it is a jet method:

it goes so fast that you will pass the psychic realm without noticing it. But still, because all that we have read and heard is stored and accumulated in our minds, we must be cautious of psychic powers. They are there, but they are not of much significance in themselves.

The power-seeking mind can never be at ease because the power-seeking mind is basically violent.

Violence needs power: we want to be above others, we want power, prestige, heights. This can happen through atomic energy or psychic energy, by becoming a political leader or a spiritual guide.

But a violent mind can never be spiritual - at its lowest the power will be physical, at its highest it can be psychic. But if one is seeking truth, bliss, if one is seeking the divine, then this power must not be sought. You must deny this power, you must be meek. As Jesus said, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

But you must not be meek so that you will inherit the earth. If that is the reason, if that is your desire, then you will not be meek. A meek person means a humble person; he is not seeking power, he has left that dimension completely. He is poor in this sense: he is no one. Only one who is no one can become one who is everyone. Only one who is no one can become that one who is all.

Power must not be sought, must not be longed for. When it comes your way, just be a witness to it and pass on. Don't linger for a single moment because even that pause, that standing near it, will prove fatal. It corrupts. Power corrupts not because it is bad in itself but because we are after it.

The saying is: "... and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Outer power cannot corrupt as much as inner power can. It is much more absolute in a sense, much more independent of others, so it can prove to be a great stronghold for the ego.

Outer power is always dependent on others. You are never absolute, you are never sovereign; you are always dependent. Someone somewhere far away can be the cause of your fall. Hitler achieved that power which is based entirely on outer forces. Such people build a great pyramid and stand on the peak, but they are completely dependent on the pyramid so they are always fearful. A single brick thrown out of the pyramid... and down they come.

Inner power becomes absolute in the sense that you are not dependent on anybody else. You are the sole master of it so it becomes more egocentric. Outer power has corrupted man, but inner power has corrupted him more. It is not power itself that corrupts, because the divine also is power; rather, it is the seeking, longing ego which corrupts. If we are corrupt, then when power comes our corruption will be exposed. Before that it remains hidden. To be corrupt we need power.

So one must beware of inner psychic forces. They exist, but do not look at them. Just pass them by, just be a witness to them. They will be with you, they will work in you, but they will be like shadows - they will follow you. Things will begin to happen around you but you will not be conscious of them; you will not be strengthening your ego through them.

With this method you will pass through psychic planes, but with much speed. All that is between you and your innermost depths will be there, but just as a shadow following you. There will be siddhis, there will be happenings, things will begin to change, but your power will be felt by others, not by you. If someone says that something has happened to him because of you, you will look up and say, "Because of him, not because of me. I am no one." When Jesus learned from people that they were healed because of his touch, he said, "Not because of me but because of Him. I am no one. I am just a servant, I am just his instrument."

Then there will be powers, but they will not be ego-centered: they will be God-oriented and God- centered. But you must not be concerned with them. When they come, just pass by and bid them farewell.

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