And unless you transcend this life, this mode of existence, you will not know what bliss is. But Buddha or Patanjali, they will not talk much about bliss just because they have a deep compassion for you. If they start talking about bliss you again create a hope. You are incurable: you again create a hope. You say, “Okay! Then we can leave this life. If a more abundant life, a richer life is possible, then we can leave desires. If through leaving desires the deepest desire of reaching to the ultimate, the peak of bliss, is possible, then we can leave desires. But we can leave only for a greater desire.”
Then where are you leaving? You are not leaving at all. You are simply substituting a different desire for the old one. And the new desire will be more dangerous than the old because you are already frustrated with the old. To get frustrated with the new you may again take even a few lives to come to a point where you can say God is useless, where you can say heaven is foolish, where you can say all future is nonsense.
It is not a question of worldly desires, it is a question of desire as such. Desiring must cease. Only then you become ready, only then you gather courage, only then the door opens and you can enter into the unknown. Hence, Patanjali’s first sutra: Now the discipline of Yoga.
The second question:
It is said that Yoga is an atheistic system. Do you agree with this?
Again, Yoga is neither. It is a simple science. It is neither theistic nor atheistic. Patanjali really is superb, a miracle of a man. He never talks about God. And even if he mentions God once, then too he says it is just one of the methods of reaching the ultimate. The belief in God is just a method to reach the ultimate – there is no God. To believe in God is just a technique, because through believing in God prayer becomes possible; through believing in God surrender becomes possible. The significance is of surrender and prayer, not of God.
Patanjali is really unbelievable! He said God – the belief in God, the concept of God – is also one of the methods among many methods to reach the truth. Ishwara pranidhan – to believe in God is just a path. But it is not a necessity. You can choose something else. Buddha reaches to that ultimate reality without believing in God. He chooses a different path where God is not needed.
You have come to my house, you have passed through a certain street – that street was not the goal, it was just instrumental. You could have reached to the same house through some other street; others have reached through other streets. On your street there may be green trees, big trees, on other streets there are not. So God is just one path. Remember the distinction: God is not the goal. God is just one of the paths.
Patanjali never denies, he never assumes. He is absolutely scientific. It is difficult for Christians to think how Buddha could attain the ultimate truth, because he never believed in God. It is difficult for Hindus to believe how Mahavira could attain liberation; he never believed in God.