Osho on Satsang
NOW THE DISCIPLINE OF YOGA. Each and single word has to be understood because Patanjali will not use a single superfluous word.
NOW THE DISCIPLINE OF YOGA.
First try to understand the word “now”. This “now” indicates 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. If you are in anguish, suffering, not knowing what to do, not knowing where to go, not knowing to whom to look, just on the verge of madness or suicide or death, your whole pattern of life suddenly has become futile. If this moment has come, Patanjali says, NOW THE DISCIPLINE OF YOGA. Only now you can 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 upon it, you can give discourses upon 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 philosophic speculation. It is deeper than that. It is a question of life and death.
If the moment has come where you feel that all directions have become confused, all roads have disappeared; the future is dark, and every desire has become bitter, and through every desire you have known only disappointment; all movement into hopes and dreams has ceased:
NOW THE DISCIPLINE OF YOGA.
This “now” may not have come. Then I may go on talking about yoga but you will not listen. You can listen only if the moment is present in you. Are you really dissatisfied? Everybody will say “yes”, but that dissatisfaction is not real. You are dissatisfied with this, you may be dissatisfied with that, but you are not totally dissatisfied. You are still hoping. You are dissatisfied because of your past hopes, but for the future you are still hoping. Your dissatisfaction is not total. You are still hankering for some satisfaction somewhere, for some gratification somewhere.
Sometimes you feel hopeless, but that hopelessness is not true. You feel hopeless because certain hopes have not been achieved, certain hopes have fallen. But hoping is still there: hoping has not fallen. You will still hope. You are dissatisfied with this hope, that hope, but you are not dissatisfied with hope as such. If with hope as such you are disappointed, the moment has come and then you can enter yoga. And then this entry will not be entering into a mental, speculative phenomenon. This entry will be an entry into a discipline. What is discipline? Discipline means creating 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 says that you are not one, you are a crowd, not even when you say “I”, there is any “I”. There are many “I’s” in you, many egos. In the morning, one “I”; in the afternoon, another “I”; in the evening, a third “I”, but you never become aware of this mess because who will become aware of it? There is not a center who can become aware.
“Yoga is discipline” means yoga wants to create a crystallized center in you. As you are, you are a crowd and a crowd has many phenomena. One is, you cannot believe a crowd…Gurdjieff used to say, “This is the chief characteristic of man, that he cannot promise.” You cannot fulfill a promise. You go on giving promises, and you know well you cannot fulfill, because you are not one: 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 you have lived as a chaos, a crowd.
Yoga means now you will have to be a harmony, you will have to become one. A crystallization is needed; a centering is needed. And unless 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 can be blissful who has got a center.
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 guests are there, the host is always absent. And only the host can be blissful. This centering Patanjali calls discipline — ANUSHASANAM. The word “discipline” is beautiful. It comes from the same root from where the word “disciple” comes. “Discipline” means the capacity to learn, the capacity to know. But you cannot know, you cannot learn, unless you have attained the capacity to be.
One man once came to Buddha and he said… He must have been a social reformer, a revolutionary. He said to Buddha, “The world is in misery. I agree with you.” Buddha has never said that the world is in misery. Buddha says, “You are the misery,” not the world. “Life is misery,” not the world. “Man is misery,” not the world. “Mind is misery,” not the world. But that revolutionary said, “The world is in misery. I agree with you. Now tell me, what I can do? I have a deep compassion, and I want to serve humanity.”
Service must have been his motto. Buddha looked at him and remained silent. Buddha’s disciple, Ananda, said, “This man seems to be sincere. Guide him. Why you are silent?” Then Buddha said to that revolutionary, “You want to serve the world, but where are you? I don’t see anyone inside. I look in you, there is no one.
“You don’t have any center, and unless you are centered whatsoever you do will create more mischief.” All of your social reformers, your revolutionaries, your leaders, they are the great mischief creators, mischief-mongers. The world will be better if there were no leaders. But they cannot help. They must do something because the world is in misery. And they are not centered, so whatsoever they do they create more misery. Only compassion will not help, only service will not help. Compassion through a centered being is something totally different. Compassion through a crowd is mischief. That compassion is poison.
NOW THE DISCIPLINE OF YOGA.
Discipline means the capacity to be, the capacity to know, the capacity to learn. We must understand these three things. The capacity to be. All the yoga postures are not really concerned with the body, they are concerned with the capacity to be.
Patanjali says if you can sit silently without moving your body for few hours, you are growing in the capacity to be. Why you move? You cannot sit without moving even for few seconds. Your body starts moving. Somewhere you feel itching; the legs go dead; many things start happening. These are just excuses for you to move. You are not a master. You cannot say to the body, “Now for one hour I will not move.” The body will revolt immediately. Immediately it will force you to move, to do something, and it will give reasons: “You have to move because an insect is biting.” You may not find the insect when you look. You are not a being, you are a trembling — a continuous hectic activity.
Patanjali’s asanas, postures, are concerned not really with any kind of physiological training, but an inner training of being, just to be — without doing anything, without any movement, without any activity, just remain. That remaining will help centering.
If you can remain in one posture, the body will become a slave; it will follow you. And the more the body follows you, you will have a greater being within you, a stronger being within you.
And, remember, if the body is not moving your mind cannot move, because mind and body are not two things. They are two poles of one phenomenon. You are not body and mind, you are body-mind. Your personality is psychosomatic — body-mind both. The mind is the most subtle part of the body. Or you can say the reverse, that body is the most gross part of the mind. So whatsoever happens in the body happens in the mind, and the vice versa: whatsoever happens in the mind happens in the body. If the body is non-moving and you can attain a posture, if you can say to the body “Keep quiet,” the mind will remain silent. Really, the mind starts moving and tries to move the body, because if the body moves then the mind can move. In a nonmoving body, the mind cannot move; it needs a moving body. If the body is non-moving, the mind is non-moving, you are centered. This non-moving posture is not a physiological training only. It is just to create a situation in which centering can happen, in which you can become disciplined. When you are, when you have become centered, when you know what it means to be, then you can learn, because then you will be humble. Then you can surrender. Then no false ego will cling to you because once centered you know all egos are false. Then you can bow down. Then a disciple is born. A disciple is a great achievement. Only through discipline you will become a disciple. Only through being centered you will become humble, you will become receptive, you will become empty, and the guru, the Master, can pour himself into you. In your emptiness, in your silence, he can come and reach to you. Communication becomes possible.
A disciple means one who is centered, humble, receptive, open, ready, alert, waiting, prayerful. In yoga, the Master is very, very important, absolutely important, because only when you are in a close proximity of a being who is centered your own centering will happen. That is the meaning of SATSANG. You have heard the word SATSANG. It is totally wrongly used.
Satsang means in close proximity of the truth; it means near the truth, it means near a Master who has become one with the truth — just being near him, open, receptive and waiting. If your waiting has become deep, intense, a deep communion will happen. The Master is not going to do anything. He is simply there, available. If you are open, he will flow within you. This flowing is called SATSANG. With a Master you need not learn anything else. If you can learn satsang, that’s enough — if you can just be near him without asking, without thinking, without arguing: just present there, available, so the being of the Master can flow in you. And being can flow. It is already flowing. Whenever a person achieves integrity, his being becomes a radiation. He is flowing. Whether you are there to receive or not, that is not the point. He flows like a river. If you are empty like a vessel, ready, open, he will flow in you.
A disciple means one who is ready to receive, who has become a womb — the Master can penetrate into him. This is the meaning of the word satsang.
It is not basically a discourse; satsang is not a discourse. Discourse may be there, but discourse is just an excuse. You are here and I will talk on Patanjali’s sutras. That is just an excuse. If you are really here, then the discourse, the talk, becomes just an excuse for your being here, for you to be here. And if you are really here, satsang starts. I can flow, and that flow is deeper than any talk, any communication through language, than any intellectual meeting with you. While your mind is engaged, if you are a disciple, if you are a disciplined being, your mind is engaged in listening to me, your being can be in SATSANG. Then your head is occupied, your heart is open. Then on a deeper level, a meeting happens. That meeting is satsang, and everything else is just an excuse, just to find ways to be close to the Master…
To be close means now no territory of your own. To be close means to be vulnerable, to be close means whatsoever happens you are not thinking in terms of security. A disciple can be close for two reasons. One: he is a centered one; he is trying to be centered. A person who is trying even to be centered becomes unafraid; he becomes fearless. He has something which cannot be killed. You don’t have anything, hence the fear. You are a crowd. The crowd can disperse any moment. You don’t have something like a rock which will be there whatsoever happens. Without a rock, without a foundation you are existing — a house of cards, bound to be always in fear. Any wind, any breeze even, can destroy you, so you have to protect yourself.
Because of this constant protection, you cannot love, you cannot trust, you cannot be friendly. You may have many friends but there is no friendship, because friendship needs closeness. You may have wives and husbands and so-called lovers, but there is no love, because love needs closeness, love needs trust. You may have gurus, Masters, but there is no disciplehood because you cannot allow yourself to be totally given to somebody’s being, nearness to his being, closeness to his being, so that he can overpower you, overflood you.
A disciple means a seeker who is not a crowd, who is trying to be centered and crystallized, at least trying, making efforts, sincere efforts to become individual, to feel his being, to become his own master. All discipline of yoga is an effort to make you a master of yourself.
As you are, you are just a slave of many, many desires. Many, many masters are there, and you are just a slave — and pulled in many directions.
NOW THE DISCIPLINE OF YOGA.
Yoga is discipline. It is an effort on your part to change yourself. Many other things have to be understood.
Yoga is not a therapy. In the West many psychological therapies are prevalent now, and many western psychologists think that yoga is also a therapy. It is not! It is a discipline. And what is the difference? This is the difference: a therapy is needed if you are ill, a therapy is needed if you are diseased, a therapy is needed if you are pathological. A discipline is needed even when you are healthy. Really, when you are healthy only a discipline can help then. It is not for pathological cases. Yoga is for those who are completely healthy as far as medical science is concerned, normal.
They are not schizophrenic; they are not mad they are not neurotic. They are normal people, healthy people with no particular pathology. Still, they become aware that whatsoever is called normality is futile, whatsoever is called health is of no use. Something more is needed, something greater is needed, something holier and whole is needed. Therapies are for ill people. Therapies can help you to come to yoga, but yoga is not a therapy. Yoga is for a higher order of health, a different order of health — a different type of being and wholeness.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 1
Chapter title:Introduction to the path of Yoga
25 December 1973 pm in
Osho has spoken on ‘Satsang, yoga, communion, discipline, master, disciple’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Beyond Psychology
- The First Principle
- The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty
- From the False to the Truth
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 1, 6
- Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 1, 2, 3
- Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1, 2
- Philosophia Perennis, Vol 1, 2
- The Diamond Sutra
- The Psychology of the Esoteric
- Tantra: The Supreme Understanding
- I Am That
- The New Dawn
- The Search
- Dang Dang Doko Dang