Yoga has nothing to do with Islam, Hinduism, Jainism or any other religion. But Jesus or Mohammed or Zarathustra or Buddha or Mahavira or anyone who has realized the truth, has not realized it without passing through Yoga. Except for Yoga, there is no way for life to rise to the state of inner paradise. The so-called religions are nothing but belief systems. Yoga is a systematic methodology of scientific experiments done in the search for the truth of life, and not for belief systems.
[Note: This is a translation from the Hindi Neo-Yoga Sutras, which is in the process of being edited. It is for research only.]
Hence, the first thing that I would like to say to you is that Yoga is a science, not a belief. For experiencing Yoga, one need not have faith of any kind. To experiment with yoga, superstitious belief of any kind is not needed. An atheist can enter into its experiments as much as a theist can. Yoga does not bother whether you are an atheist or a theist.
Science does not depend on your concepts. On the contrary, you have to change your concepts because of science. Science does not expect you to have any kind of prior reasoning or any accepted beliefs, it only expects you to experiment. Science says, do and see. Because scientific truths are real truths, they do not need any faith whatsoever. Two and two make four, it is not an assumption. And if someone does not accept it, he will be in trouble himself — it is not that the truth of two and two making four will be in trouble.
Science does not begin with assumptions, it begins with investigation. In the same way, Yoga does not begin with assumptions, it begins with search, quest and investigation. Hence, all that is required is the capability to experiment. Only the capacity to experiment is needed; only courage to search is needed, nothing else.
When I say Yoga is a science, I would like to talk to you about some sutras that are the fundamental basis for the science of Yoga. These sutras have nothing to do with any religion, because without them no religion can stay alive. These sutras do not need the support of any religion, but without their support religion cannot exist even for a moment.
The first sutra of Yoga is that life is energy.
For a long time science did not agree with this, but now it does. For a long time science used to think that the universe is matter. But those who declared thousands of years before the discoveries of science that matter is an untruth, a lie, an illusion — did not mean that it does not exist — by illusion they meant that it is not as it appears, or it does not appear to be what it is.
But in the last thirty years, science in its every single step has been in accord with Yoga. In the eighteenth century, the declaration of the scientists was that God is dead, soul has no existence, matter is all that there is. But in the past thirty years, the situation is reversed. Science has had to say that matter does not exist, it only appears to exist; energy alone is the truth. It is due to the fast movement of the energy that matter appears to be.
The walls are visible, and if someone tries to pass through them, his head will get broken — how to say then that the walls are illusions? They are clearly visible. There is ground underneath your feet. If there is not then how are you standing on it? No, science is not saying in this sense that matter does not exist. Science says so in the sense that things are not as they are appear to us. If we run an electric fan very fast, its three blades will stop appearing to be three because the blades will run so fast that the empty space between the blades will be filled before it can be noticed by our eyes. If the fan is run very fast, separate blades will not be seen, only a circle will be noticed that is revolving. You won’t be able to count and say how many blades there are. If the fan can be run even faster, you cannot throw a stone through the gaps. The stone will fall back on the thrower’s side. If the fan can be run even faster, as fast as atoms are moving, then you will be able to sit on the fan comfortably. Neither will you feel the gaps nor will you fall, nor will you notice that underneath you the blades are running. Because the time taken by the blade to fill the gap will be less than the time taken by your brain to register the gap. Before your feet can inform your brain that a blade has left a gap behind, the next blade comes and fills the gap. Thus if the gap can be bridged before it really exists for you, you can happily stand on it.
In the same way we are standing on surfaces. The electrons in the atoms are revolving at such tremendous speed that things seem to be static. But nothing in existence is static, the objects that seem to be static, are all moving. Had there been only objects moving, even then there would be no difficulty. But as science went on breaking things down, it came to know that after the atom there remains no matter — only energy particles, electric particles remain. Even to call them particles is not right, because particle again gives the idea of matter. Hence a new word ‘quanta’ had to be coined in the English language. Quanta means particles and no-particle at the same time — particle and a wave simultaneously. There can only be waves of electricity, not particles. Energy can have only waves, not particles. But because of our old language we go on calling them particles. There is nothing like a particle. In the eyes of science, the whole universe is an expansion of energy, electrical energy. And this is the first sutra of Yoga: Life is energy.
Source: Sun of Consciousness
Chapter 2 – The Universe — A Family
The evolution of life is to become more and more conscious, but the consciousness is always other oriented: you are conscious of some thing, some object. Yoga means to be evolving in the dimension where there is no object and only consciousness remains. Yoga is the method of evolving toward pure consciousness; not being conscious of something, but being consciousness itself.
When you are conscious of something, you are not conscious of being conscious. Your consciousness has become focused on something; your attention is not at the source of consciousness itself. In yoga the effort is to become conscious of both the object and the source. The consciousness becomes double arrowed. You must be aware of the object, and you must be simultaneously aware of the subject. Consciousness must become a double arrowed bridge. The subject must not be lost, it must not become forgotten when you are focused on the object.
This is the first step in yoga. The second step is to drop both the subject and the object and just be conscious. This pure consciousness is the aim of yoga.
Even without yoga man grows toward becoming more and more conscious, but yoga adds something, contributes something, to this evolution of consciousness. It changes many things and transforms many things. The first transformation is a double-arrowed awareness, remembering yourself at the very moment that there is something else to be conscious of.
The dilemma is this: either you are conscious of some object or you are unconscious. If there are no outside objects, you fall into a sleep; objects are needed in order for you to be conscious. When you are totally unoccupied you feel sleepy — you need some object to be conscious of — but when you have too many objects to be conscious of, you may feel a certain sleeplessness. That is why a person who is too obsessed with thoughts cannot go into sleep. Objects continue to be there, thoughts continue to be there. He cannot become unconscious; thoughts go on demanding his attention. And this is how we exist.
With new objects you become more conscious. That is why there is a lust for the new, a longing for the new. The old becomes boring. The moment you have lived with some object for a while, you become unconscious of it. You have accepted it, now your attention is not needed; you become bored. For example, you may not have been conscious of your wife for years because you have taken her for granted. You no longer see her face, you can’t remember the color of her eyes; for years you have not really been attentive. Only when she dies will you again become aware that she was there. That is why wives and husbands become bored. Any object that is not calling your attention continuously creates boredom.
In the same way, a mantra, a repeated sound vibration, causes deep sleep. When a particular mantra is being repeated continuously, you are bored. There is nothing mysterious about it. Constantly repeating a particular word bores you, you cannot live with it anymore. Now you will begin to feel sleepy, you will go into a sort of sleep; you will become unconscious. The whole method of hypnosis, in fact, depends upon boredom. If your mind can be bored with something then you go into a sleep, sleep can be induced.
Our whole consciousness depends on new objects. That is why there is so much longing for the new — for new sensations, a new dress, a new house — for anything that is new, even if it is not better. With something different, you feel a sudden upsurge of consciousness.
Because life is an evolution of consciousness — this is good. As far as life is concerned, it is good. If a society is longing for new sensations, life progresses, but if it settles down with the old, not asking for the new, it becomes dead; consciousness cannot evolve.
Source: OSHO, Meditation: The Art of Ecstasy
PRACTICES OF YOGA – ASANAS, PRANAYAMAS, MUDRAS AND BANDHAS — WERE DISCOVERED IN THE STATE OF MEDITATION
IN DIFFERENT STATES OF MEDITATION, DIFFERENT POSTURES ARE FORMED BY THE BODY FROM WHICH THE DEPTH OF MEDITATION OF THE MEDITATOR COULD BE TOLD. CONVERSELY, CAN THE SAME INNER STATE BE BROUGHT ABOUT BY FORMING THE NECESSARY POSTURES? IN THAT CASE, CAN MEDITATION BE ATTAINED BY THE USE OF VARIOUS ASANAS, PRANAYAMAS, MUDRAS AND BANDHAS? WHAT IS THEIR USE AND SIGNIFICANCE?
First came the experience of meditation. With the experience of meditation it was found that the body assumed many postures. Actually, whenever the mind is in a particular state the body takes an appropriate corresponding posture. For instance, when you are filled with love your face, your expression, is one way, and when you are angry your expression becomes altogether different. In anger you grind your teeth and clench your fists and the body is ready for fight or flight. When you are in a forgiving mood the eyes are soft and the palms of the hand open. When a man is filled with forgiveness his fists will never clench. Just as clenching the fist is a preparation to fight, opening the fist and spreading out the palm is an indication of freedom from the urge to fight; it is an assurance of protection. To clench the fist is to frighten the other person.
The nature of the body is that it works in accordance with the state of mind. The body follows the mind: it always follows behind. So ordinarily we know what a man will do in anger and what he will do in love — also what he will do in a state of trust. But we do not know how he will react to the deeper states of mind.
When deep states are created within the mind a great deal takes place in the body also. Various mudras, gestures, and also many asanas, postures happen that tell of the changes within. In fact, the asanas are formed at the time of preparation for particular inner states. Mudras are formed later and they give information about a person’s inner state.