“Be Present and Yoga Begins”
“Patanjali Yoga Darshan”. That’s what we are going to talk about now. Who is Maharishi Patanjali? He is not an ordinary person. He is an extraordinary person. He is a master of masters of yoga. What he is giving to us, to the mankind is a complete science.
Can we say that what Patanjali is saying is more philosophy? What he says is completely scientific: “Do like this, it will happen like that.” His thoughts, his teachings, his philosophy are completely scientific which is very rare. His entire teaching to us is very clear, straightforward, to the point.
When people talk about spirituality they give us some dreams. Do like this, you will go to heaven or do like that, you will go to hell… But actually no one knows who is going to hell and who is going to heaven. On the contrary, we see a world where people do everything for their own being, for making big money, for enjoying themselves… So the falling into dream on spirituality is sometimes not very clear. It is an unclear field. But when we are talking about yoga, it is very clear. Yoga is not saying about dreams. You are not going to say something that is not going to happen now. It is happening now. That is what Maharishi Patanjali teaches. He has given in total 195 formulas, 195 sutras. In these 195 formulas divided in four chapters, he has given the name of chapters as “pada”. “Pada” means step. In four steps, he has covered the complete science of yoga. To realize that we have to understand each formula in real sense, very clearly. Then we will understand what the meaning of yoga is.
What is yoga? Whether we do asana, pranayama or pratyahara, whatever we are practicing, whatever we are teaching if we do not understand Patanjali our understanding of entire yoga is incomplete. So we have to realize and understand in depth what Patanjali teaches us.
So what we are given in chapter number one: Samadhi Pada. It is straightaway enlightenment. Now, to whom will he talk about this? To anybody who has never done yoga, will he talk this? Such a person will not understand what enlightenment is, what samadhi means. He will say “Oh, that is a different belief, we don’t believe in that, we have another belief.” For who has he started with Samadhi Pada? Samadhi Pada is taught for people who are already practicing yoga. This is not taught to the ordinary people. This is for people who are going little bit through yoga. How it happens that is what he is teaching, how one can attend enlightenment. Patanjali is teaching how one can achieve the total yoga, the total solution.
“Samadhi” is a very beautiful word in Sanskrit which refers to the total solution or total insight. Now there is no question at all, it is the complete enlightenment. Chapter one deals with the steps in Samadhi. It describes yoga, witnessing the five modifications of thoughts, uncoloring thoughts, the twin principle of practice and non-attachment, the stages of Samadhi, efforts and commitments, obstacles and solutions, and the means and results of stilling the mind.
In this chapter, one starts with the beautiful Sanskrit word: atha
Atha means in Sanskrit “now”.
You know the meaning of yog: union. Yoga means the union, yoga means the practice, yoga means oneness, yoga means the ultimate oneness.
Anuśāsanam means discipline. So, what is the meaning of that?
Now, the discipline of yoga.
What is yoga, what is discipline, what does it mean “now”? How can you explain the word “now”?
Now is very important. If you are searching the definition of “now” in your memory, that means you are not in now. Whenever you are going in the past, you are not in now, you are not present. Whenever you are making some planning of future then you are not in now. Whenever that thing is happening still you are not in now. “Now” means total now where there is no movement, no sound. When the sound is coming and we call it “sound” from our past experience that means that we are not in now.
If we like or dislike that means that we are still in the mind level. Beyond mind is only happening when there is no like or dislike. When there is no like or dislike, then it is now. The moment you come to that, yoga starts. The present, the moment, what you have, in which you are is yoga. If you understand the word “now”, your work is done. You understand yoga.
So, atha means “now”. Atha yog-anuśāsanam: Now, the discipline of yoga. What is discipline? And what is not discipline? How will you define discipline? The word discipline comes from the beautiful word “disciple”. Disciple means one who is ready to follow a system according to guidance.
What is inside our mind, what is going in our life, there is no system at all. Anybody can come in our mind anytime. Any thought can come in our mind anytime. We are sitting somewhere, some other thoughts from the past may come, we are sitting here and thoughts from thousand miles away may come. All systems which we are within right now they are chaotic. They are irregular, unstable. They are just cluster and crowd, uncontrollable crowd. If that crowd is in a systematic line, it becomes discipline.
Let’s say we go to theater and we want to buy a ticket. There is a crowd there, everyone is rushing to buy the ticket, how do we call it? “There is no discipline.” And when everybody is waiting in line, we will call is as discipline. The same thing is going in our mind. When there is discipline inside of our mind, we are ready to receive. What do you receive at the window? You receive the ticket, you are the receiver. The disciple is the receiver. When everybody run and rush to receive the ticket, what will happen? No one gets the ticket.
That is the level of mind. Disciple is the one who is ready to receive. Whenever our mind is running, we do not listen, we cannot receive anything. When our mind is stable, receiving starts.
That’s what Patanjali is saying in a very simple way: Now, the discipline of yoga. Beginning of discipline, yoga begins. Be present, yoga begins. Now, present is going to lead you towards the yoga. Yoga is not something of past because whenever you are not in now you are in the mind level.
Many times, some people say that this world is sorrow, this world is suffering. Is it a world of sorrow, a world of suffering? No. The world is neither sorrow nor suffering. It is the mind which is suffering. If mind is suffering, body will be suffering. The body is just a reflector. When mind is stable, body will be stable. Body is not moving, mind is moving. When mind is disciplined, body is disciplined. Even if you are doing asana without discipline, asana will not happen. If the mind is sad, full of questions and you are doing asana, nothing will happen.
Patanjali is saying that if you understand what sorrow is, if you are in now, then yoga begins. And yoga is not sorrow, yoga is not suffering. When there is no discipline sufferings will happen, crush will happen, accidents will happen. So Patanjali’s formula is very clear, very straightforward: atha yog-anuśāsanam, now, discipline of yoga.
Immediately after that, Patanjali said another formula:
When you are disciplined, what will happen? The movements of mind will disappear because the mind’s movements happen only when you are in the past or you are in the future. “This is good, this is not good, I am going to do this, I am not going to do that…” Either the past or the future, mind is there. When you are in the present, mind is not there. And the moment mind disappear, yoga happens. That is why many times it is said that no mind is yoga. Mind is dead. The cessation of movements of mind is yoga. Going beyond the movements of mind is yoga. And only through the mind you are going to go beyond mind.
And what is mind? This is another important question…
to be continued…
About Dr. Omanand (Guruji):
Dr. Omanand (Guruji) is a chief disciple of HH Swami Paramanandgiriji Maharaj. He is a scholar of various ancient and modern scriptures. He started practicing yoga and meditation at the age of 6 under the guidance of Anna Sahib. For hours, he would meditate either in ancient meditation caves in Ujjain or in holy waters of Kshipra, ancient Shiva Temple, Mahakaleshwar or selected sacred places in Ujjain, MP India. He knows 6 languages & has traveled to 53 countries. He guides and inspires powerful meditation and transformation techniques from small to large gatherings in many universities, colleges and society. Today, his students are teachings Yoga & Meditation in 48 Countries. He guides profound Chidshakti Prakriya (Consciousness Awakening Technique) which has more than 147 benefits. For more information visit www.paramyoga.org