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Discipline of Yoga

Each single word has to be understood, because Patanjali will not use a single superfluous word.
Now the discipline of Yoga. First try to under-stand the word "now" is an indication to the state of mind I was just talking to you about.

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, you are in anguish, suffering, not knowing what to do, not knowing where to go, not knowing to whom to turn, just on the verge of madness or suicide or death, your whole pattern of life has suddenly become futile-if this moment has come, Patanjali says, "Now the discipline of yoga". Only now can you 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 theses on it, you can give discourses on 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.

What is discipline? Discipline means what creates an order within you. As you are, you are a chaos, As you are, you are totally disorderly. Gurdjieff used to say- and Gurdjieff is in many ways like Patanjali. He was again trying to make the core of religion a science Gurdjieff said that you are not one, you are a crowd; not even when you say 'I' is there any1. There are many One's in you. Many egos. In the morning One 1, in the afternoon another 1, in the evening a third 1. but you never become aware of this mess-because who will become aware of it. There is not a center that an become aware.

The discipline of yoga means Yoga wants to create a crystallized center in you. As you are a crowd and a crowd has many phenomena. One is that you cannot believe a crowd. Gurdjieff used to say that a 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.

People come to me and they say. Now I will take the vow. I promise to do this. And I tell them. Think twice before you promise something. Are you confident that the next moment the one who promised it will be there. You decided from tomorrow to get up early in the morning at four O'clock and at four O'clock somebody in you says. Don't bother. It is so cold outside. And why are you in such a Hurry. We can do it tomorrow and you fall asleep again. When you get up you repent and you think. This is not good. I should have done it. You decide again. tomorrow I will do it and the same is going to happen tomorrow because at four in the morning the one who promised is no more there, somebody else is in the chair. You are a Rotary Club: the chairman goes on changing and every member becomes a rotary chairman. There is rotation, every moment someone else is the master.

Gurdjieff used to say. This is the chief characteristics of man that he cannot promise. You cannot fulfill a promise. You go on giving promises and you know well that 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 have lived as a chaos, a crowd, yoga means now you will have to be a harmony. You will have to become one. Crystallization is needed, a centering is needed. And useless 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 who has a center can be blissful. 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 the guests are there, the host is always absent- and only the host can be blissful.

Patanjali calls this centering "discipline", anushasanam. The word "discipline" is beautiful. It comes from the same root as the word "disciple". Discipline means capacity to learn, the capacity to know. But you cannot know, you cannot learn unless you have attained the capacity to be.