Chapter 1: Introduction to the Path of Yoga
Belief is easy because you are not really required to do anything, just a superficial dressing, a decoration, something which you can put aside any moment you like. Yoga is not belief; that’s why it is difficult, arduous - and sometimes it seems impossible. It is an existential approach. You will come to the truth not through belief but through your own experience, through your own realization. That means you will have to be totally changed - your viewpoints, your way of life, your mind; your psyche as it is has to be shattered completely. Something new has to be created. Only with that new will you come in contact with the reality.
So Yoga is both a death and a new life. As you are you will have to die, and unless you die the new cannot be born. The new is hidden in you. You are just a seed for it and the seed must fall down, be absorbed by the earth. The seed must die, only then will the new arise out of you. Your death will become your new life. Yoga is both a death and a new birth. Unless you are ready to die you cannot be reborn. So it is not a question of changing beliefs.
Yoga is not a philosophy. I say it is not a religion and I say it is not a philosophy. It is not something you can think about. It is something you will have to be; thinking won’t do. Thinking goes on in your head. It is not really deep into the roots of your being, it is not your totality. It is just a part, a functional part. It can be trained and you can argue logically, you can think rationally, but your heart will remain the same. Your heart is your deepest center, your head is just a branch. You can be without the head but you cannot be without the heart. Your head is not basic.
Yoga is concerned with your total being, with your roots. It is not philosophical. So with Patanjali we will not be thinking, speculating. With Patanjali we will be trying to know the ultimate laws of being, the laws for its transformation, the laws of how to die and how to be reborn again, the laws for a new order of being. That is why I call it a science.
Patanjali is rare. He is an enlightened person like Buddha, like Krishna, like Christ, like Mahavira, Mohammed, Zarathustra, but he is different in one way. Buddha, Krishna, Mahavira, Zarathustra, Mohammed - none of them has a scientific attitude. They are great founders of religions. They have changed the whole pattern of the human mind and its structure, but their approach is not scientific.
Patanjali is like an Einstein in the world of buddhas. He is a phenomenon. He could easily have been a Nobel Prize winner like an Einstein or Bohr or Max Planck or Heisenberg. He has the same attitude, the same approach as a rigorous, scientific mind. He is not a poet; Krishna is a poet. He is not a moralist; Mahavira is a moralist. He is basically a scientist who is thinking in terms of laws. And he has come to deduce absolute laws of the human being, the ultimate working structure of the human mind and of reality.
And if you follow Patanjali you will come to know that he is as exact as any mathematical formula. Simply do what he says and the result will happen. The result is bound to happen - it is just like two plus two become four; it is just like you heat water up to one hundred degrees and it evaporates. No belief is needed, you simply do it and know. It is something to be done and known. That’s why I say there is no comparison: never again has a man existed on this Earth like Patanjali.