Osho on Patanjali Yoga Sutra - "Yoga is the Cessation of Mind"
Osho - This is the definition of yoga, the
best. In many ways yoga has been defined; there are many definitions.
Some say yoga is the meeting of the mind with the divine; hence, it is
called yoga -- yoga means meeting, joining together. Some say that yoga
means dropping the ego: ego is the barrier; the moment you drop the ego
you are joined to the divine. You were already joined, only because of
the ego it appeared that you were disjoined. And there are many, but Patanjali's is the most scientific. He says,
What is the mind? What the mind is doing there? What
it is? Ordinarily we think that mind is something substantial there
inside the head. Patanjali doesn't agree -- and no one who has ever
known the insides of the mind will agree. Modern science also doesn't
agree. Mind is not something substantial inside the head. Mind is just a
function, just an activity.
Mind is also activity, but because of the word "mind", it appears as if something substantial is there. It is better to call it "minding" -- just like "walking". Mind means "minding", mind means thinking. It is an activity."
I have been quoting again and again
Bodhidharma said, "You don't do anything. First you bring your mind to
me." The emperor could not follow he said, "What do you mean?" He said,
"Come in the morning at four o'clock when nobody is there. Come alone,
and remember to bring your mind with you."
So he reached, and Bodhidharma was sitting with his big staff. He said,
"So you have come? Where is your mind? Have you brought it or not?"
So the emperor closed his eyes, tried and tried, looked and looked. The more he looked, the more he became aware there is no mind, mind is an activity. It is not something there so you can pinpoint it. But the moment he realized that it is not something, then the absurdity of his quest became exposed to himself. If it is not something, nothing can be done about it. If it is an activity, then don't do the activity; that's all. If it is like walking, don't walk.
He opened his eyes. He bowed down to Bodhidharma and said, "There is no
mind to be found." Bodhidharma said, "Then I have put it at peace. And
whenever you feel that you are uneasy, just look within, where that
uneasiness is." The very look is anti-mind, because look is not a
thinking. And if you look intensely your whole energy becomes a look,
and the same energy becomes movement and thinking.
Because the basic thing to be understood is: when the activity of
thinking is not there, you are there; when the activity of the mind is
not there, when thoughts have disappeared, they are just like clouds,
when they have disappeared, your being, just like the sky, is uncovered.
It is always there -- only covered with the clouds, covered with
The root is dhyana. Dhyana means no-mind, so the whole training of Zen in Japan is of nothing but how to stop minding, how to be a no-mind, how to be simply without thinking. Try it! When I say try it, it will look contradictory, because there is no other way to say it. Because if you try, the very try, the effort is coming from the mind. You can sit in a posture and you can try some japa chanting, mantra -- or you can just try to sit silently, not to think. But then not to think becomes a thinking. Then you go on saying, "I am not to think; don't think; stop thinking," but this is all thinking.
Try to understand. When Patanjali says, no-mind, cessation of mind, he means complete cessation. He will not allow you to make a japa, "Ram-Ram-Ram." He will say that this is not cessation; you are using the mind. He will say, "Simply stop!" but you will ask, "How? How to simply stop?" The mind continues. Even if you sit, the mind continues. Even if you don't do, it goes on doing.
Patanjali says just look. Let mind go, let mind do whatsoever it is doing. You just look. You don't interfere. You just be a witness, you just be an onlooker not concerned, as if the mind doesn't belong to you, as if it is not your business, not your concern. Don't be concerned! Just look and let the mind flow. It is flowing because of past momentum, because you have always helped it to flow. The activity has taken its own momentum, so it is flowing. You just don't cooperate Look, and let the mind flow.
For many, many lives, million lives maybe, you have cooperated with it,
you have helped it, you have given your energy to it. The river will
flow awhile. If you don't cooperate, if you just look unconcerned --
Buddha's word is indifference, upeksha: looking without any concern,
just looking, not doing anything in any way -- the mind will flow for a
while and it will stop by itself When the momentum is lost, when the
energy has flowed, the mind will stop. When the mind stops, you are in
yoga: you have attained the discipline. This is the definition: YOGA IS
THE CESSATION OF MIND.
THEN THE WITNESS IS ESTABLISHED IN ITSELF.
When there is no mind, you are established in your witnessing. Then you have become a witness -- just a seer-a drashta, a sakchhi. Then you are not a doer, then you are not a thinker. Then you are simply being pure being, purest of being. Then the witness is established in itself.
Source - Osho Book "Yoga : The Alpha and the Omega, Vol1"
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