Chapter 7: Death to the Limited
There are moments when you are tired of life. There are moments when you would like to die. But dying is an art; it has to be learned. And to be weary of life does not really mean that deep down the lust for life has disappeared. You may be weary of a particular life, but you are not weary of life as such. Everybody becomes tired of a particular life - the dead routine, the weary round, the same thing again and again, a repetition - but you are not weary of life itself. And if Death comes you will do the same as the woodcutter did. He behaved perfectly humanly. Don’t laugh at him. Many times you have also thought to be finished with all this nonsense that goes on. For what to continue it? But if Death suddenly appears? You will not be ready.
Only a yogi can be ready to die, because only a yogi knows that through a voluntary death, a willing death, the infinite life is attained. Only a yogi knows that death is a door; it is not the end. In fact it is the beginning. In fact beyond it open the infinities of God. In fact beyond it you are for the first time really, authentically alive. Not only your physical part of the heart throbs, you throb. Not only are you excited by outer things, you are made ecstatic by the inner being. The life abundant, the life eternal, is entered through the door of death.
Everybody dies, but then death is not voluntary; then death is forced on you. You are unwilling: you resist, you cry, you weep; you would like to linger a little longer on this earth in this body. You are afraid. You can’t see anything except darkness, except the end. Everybody dies unwillingly, but then death is not a door. Then you close your eyes in fear.
For the people who are on the path of yoga, death is a willing phenomenon; they will it. They are not suicidal. They are not against life: they are for greater life. They sacrifice their life for a greater life. They sacrifice their ego for a greater self. They sacrifice their self, also, for the supreme self. They go on sacrificing the limited for the unlimited. And this is what growth is all about: to go on sacrificing that which you have for that which becomes possible only when you are empty, when you don’t have anything.
Patanjali’s whole art is of how to attain to the state where you can die willingly, surrender willingly, with no resistance. These sutras are a preparation, a preparation to die and a preparation to a greater life.
Sthir sukham asanam
Posture should be steady and comfortable.
Patanjali’s yoga has been very much misunderstood, misinterpreted. Patanjali is not a gymnast, but yoga looks like it is a gymnastics of the body. Patanjali is not against the body. He is not a teacher to teach you contortions of the body. He teaches you the grace of the body, because he knows only in a graceful body a graceful mind exists; and only in a graceful mind a graceful self becomes possible; and only in a graceful self, the God.
Step by step, deeper and higher grace has to be attained. Grace of the body is what he calls asana, posture. He’s not a masochist. He is not teaching you to torture your body. He is not a bit against the body. How can he be? He knows the body is going to be the very foundation-stone. He knows if you miss the body, if you don’t train the body, then higher training will not be possible.