Chapter 1: The Seeds of Misery
He was neither a sadist nor a masochist. He was a perfectly integrated man with no inner illness, with no psychological problems, with no obsessions. He was healthy, whole, integrated. Whatsoever he has said can be interpreted in three ways. A sadist may come upon it, but that is rare because sadists are not interested in religion. You cannot imagine Mao Zedong, Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin being interested in Patanjali, no. Sadists are not interested, so they have not commented. Masochists are interested in religion, and they have commented and given their own color to Patanjali. There are millions of them, and whatsoever they have said has completely distorted Patanjali’s message, completely destroyed it. Now, after many thousands of years, those commentaries are standing between you and Patanjali. And still, they go on growing.
Patanjali’s yoga sutras are one of the most-commented upon things; they are pregnant with significance, they are very deeply meaningful. But where does one find a Patanjali to comment upon them? Where does one find a man who is not ill in any way? Because illness will color; you cannot help it. When you interpret, you are in your interpretation, you have to be there; there is no other way to interpret. I am going to say things which are not said, and you may find me continually different from all the commentaries.
Remember this fact, because I am neither a masochist nor a sadist. I have not come to religion to torture myself; just the opposite has been the case. In fact, I have never come to religion. I have simply been enjoying myself and religion has happened, just by the way. It has been a consequence. I have never practiced the way religious people practice, I have never been in that type of search. I have simply lived in deep acceptance of whatsoever is. I have accepted existence and myself, and I have never been in any mood to change myself. Suddenly, the more I accepted myself, the more I accepted existence, a deep silence descended upon me, a bliss. In that bliss religion has happened to me. So I am not religious in the ordinary sense of the word. If you want to find a parallel, you will have to seek it somewhere other than in religion.
I feel deep affinity with a man who was born two thousand years ago in Greece. His name was Epicurus. Nobody thinks of him as religious. People think that he was the most atheistic man ever born, the most materialistic ever born; he was just the opposite of the religious man. But that is not my understanding. Epicurus was a naturally religious man. Remember the words “naturally religious”; religion happens to him. That’s why people overlooked him, because he never sought. The proverb “Eat, drink and be merry,” comes from Epicurus. And this has become the attitude of the materialist.
Epicurus lived one of the most austere of lives. He lived as simply as anybody has ever lived. Even a Mahavira or a Buddha were not so simple and austere as Epicurus, because their simplicity was cultivated; they had worked for it, it had been a practice. They had thought about it and they had dropped all that was unnecessary. They had been disciplining themselves to be simple, and whenever there is discipline, there is complexity. There is a fight in the background, and the fight will always be there, in the background. Mahavira was naked, nude; he had renounced all, but he had renounced. It was not natural.