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Chapter 3: Yoga: A Spontaneous Happening

So I am totally against asanas or mudras; they must not be practiced. If they come, it is alright. They will come, but let them come by themselves; then they will be important indications. Then they will not be deceptions but rather landmarks, symbols which indicate something to you and to others.

But let them come from within, do not impose them from without. If you impose them on yourself, they may not be exactly what is needed or required by your particular individual situation, because they are generalized forms. If you reach buddhahood, a particular asana, a particular gesture, will follow. But it will never be the same asana as Gautam Buddha’s, something will be essentially different. It will be like it in a general way, but you are not Gautam Buddha - your whole individuality, the whole mechanism of your mind and body is different - so it will never be exactly the same. If you impose Buddha’s posture on yourself, it will not correspond to your individual situation. There are so many asanas, they will not occur to everyone.

Mahavira attained samadhi sitting in a very different position, goduhasan: it looks just like a milkmaid when she is milking a cow. No one else has ever reached samadhi in that position - no one sits like that! But it is possible to sit like that for eons and eons. And as far as samadhi is concerned, nothing is in any way irrational or illogical.

Why was Mahavira sitting in that position? Buddha’s posture is all right, but Mahavira’s posture is very absurd. He was not practicing it; it came. Something happened within him and his body took on a certain posture - although a very absurd posture. If he had been practicing asanas he would have been sitting just like Buddha, because that was the traditional meditation posture. But he was in an attitude of let-go, and samadhi came and created a posture that was particularly required for his body and his individuality.

Everyone will need to express himself individually. No person is like any other and no one can be. An individual is unique so that everything that flowers in him will flower in an individual and unique way. If you impose something from without, then it will be a generalized conception; it can never be fitting and harmonious to your situation.

So when I say I am against asanas, I am not saying that there is no reason for them, I am not saying that they are absurd; what I am saying is that practicing them is absurd. Let them come - they will come - and when they come by themselves they will have a reason of their own. They will work within your body and through them your body will become attuned to a new situation.

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