Thoughts & Ideas

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Yoga Revisited

I wrote a blog on Yoga more than a year ago. However, there were some misgivings about the concept in my mind which I could not verbalise at that time.

I recently read Nehruji's Discovery of India where at one point he discusses the philosophy of Yoga which clarified and concretised my views on the subject. I am giving excerpts from his book below:

"Some people learning odd tricks of the body presume to become authorities on the subject . . . and impress and exploit the credulous and the seekers after the sensational. The system is much more than these devices and is based on the psychological conception that by proper training of the mind certain higher levels of consciousness can be reached. It is meant to be a method for finding out things for oneself rather than a preconceived metaphysical theory of reality or of the universe.

The later stages of Yoga are supposed to lead to some kind of intuitive insight or to a condition of ecstasy, such as the mystics speak of. Whether this is some kind of higher mental state, opening the door to further knowledge, or is merely a kind of self hypnosis, I do not know. Even if the former is possible, the latter certainly also happens, and it is well known that unregulated Yoga has sometimes led to unfortunate consequences so far as the mind of the person is concerned."

Isn't this what Baba Ramdev's brand of Yoga doing with the general public?


I have many a times listened to Osho's discourses. They are pleasant and comforting to hear, the logic generally appears unassailable, various topics are covered.

However, they have never really come up close to my heart. There has always been something missing, something hollow and phony, which I have never been able to put my finger to. Until today.

I have just finished reading Harold Pinter's Nobel Prize acceptance speech which verbalises (apart from other thoughts) beautifully the link which I was missing while listening to Osho's speeches. I will directly quote Mr. Pinter to bring forward the point.

"Language is actually employed to keep thought at bay. . . . You don't need to think. Just lie back on the cushion. The cushion may be suffocating your intelligence and your critical faculties but it's very comfortable. "

Osho in his discourses does exactly this and all of us escapists desperately looking for ways of escape fall into the trap with out eyes open but with mind closed. Osho has the answers to all your problems and misgivings (and some more), and offers them to you decently and beautifully wrapped up in his discourses.

But why should I single out only Osho for this honourable position. Don't most of our god men do that? Maybe the exceptions could be counted out with the fingers of one hand.

I also read Arundhati Subramanium's book on Buddha a little while ago. What a difference. Buddha expects you to find the answers of all your problems on your own. Is the difference between Buddha and Osho the difference between 6th century BC and 20th century AD. I don't think so. Human sufferings and solace is the same across, societies and ages.