The first question:
You said last night that total despair, frustration and hopelessness is the beginning ground for Yoga. This gives Yoga a pessimistic look. Is this pessimistic state really necessary to begin the path of Yoga? Can an optimist also begin with the path of Yoga?
It is neither: it is not pessimistic, it is not optimistic, because pessimism and optimism are two aspects of the same coin. A pessimist means one who was an optimist in the past; an optimist means one who will be a pessimist in the future. All optimism leads to pessimism because every hope leads to hopelessness.
If you are still hoping then Yoga is not for you. The desire is there, hope is there; sansar, the world is there. Your desire is the world, your hope is the bondage, because hope will not allow you to be in the present. It will go on forcing you towards the future; it will not allow you to be centered. It will pull and push but it will not allow you to remain in a restful moment, in a state of stillness. It will not allow you.
So when I say total hopelessness I mean that hope has failed and hopelessness also has become futile. Then it is total hopelessness. Total hopelessness means even hopelessness is not there, because when you feel hopeless a subtle hope is there. Otherwise why should you feel hopeless? Hope is there, you are still clinging to it, hence the hopelessness.
Total hopelessness means now there is no hope. And when there is no hope there cannot be hopelessness. You have simply dropped the whole phenomenon. Both aspects have been thrown, the whole coin has been dropped. In this state of mind you can enter the path of Yoga, never before. Then there is no possibility: hope is against Yoga.
Yoga is not pessimistic. You may be optimistic or pessimistic; Yoga is neither. If you are pessimistic you cannot enter on the path of Yoga because a pessimist clings to his miseries. He will not allow his miseries to disappear. An optimist clings to his hopes and a pessimist clings to his miseries, to his hopelessness. That hopelessness has become the companion. Yoga is for the one who is neither, who has become so totally hopeless that even to feel hopelessness is futile.
The opposite can be felt only if you go on clinging with the positive somewhere deep down. If you cling to hope you can feel hopelessness. If you cling to expectation you can feel frustration. If you simply come to realize that there is no possibility to expect anything, then where is the frustration? Then this is the nature of existence, that there is no possibility to expect anything, there is no possibility for hope. When this becomes a certainty, how can you feel hopeless? Then both have disappeared.