Yoga and the Mind
The whole process of yoga is to transcend the limitations of the mind. As long as you are in the mind, you are ruled by the past, because mind is just an accumulation of the past. If you are looking at life only through the mind, then you will make your future just like the past, nothing more, nothing less. Isn’t the world enough proof of that? It does not matter what opportunities come our way through science, technology and many other things, aren’t we repeating the same historical scenes again and again?
If you take a closer look at your own life, you will see the same repetition happening, because as long as you are functioning only through the prism of the mind, you are functioning only with the old data. The past is carried only in your mind. Only because your mind is active, past exists. Suppose all your mind ceases right now, is your past here? There is no past here, only present. The reality is only present, but past exists through our minds. Or in other words, mind is karma. If you transcend the mind, you transcend the karmic bondage altogether. If you want to solve them one by one, it may take a million years. In the process of solving, you are also building new stock of karma.
Your old stock of karma is not the problem at all. You should learn how not to create new stock. That is the main thing. Old stock will wear out by itself; no big things need to be done about it. But the fundamental thing is you learn how not to create new stock. Then, leaving the old stock is very simple.
If you transcend the mind, you transcend the karmic bondage also, completely. You don’t really have to work it out because when you are playing with your karmas, you are playing with the non-existent. It is a trap of the mind. The past does not exist, but you are dealing with the non-existent, going about as if it is a reality. That is the whole illusion. Mind is the basis of this. If you transcend the mind, you transcend everything in one stroke.
The whole effort of spiritual sciences has always been how to transcend the mind, how to look at life beyond the limitations of the mind. Many people have defined yoga in many different ways. People say, “If you become one with the universe, it is yoga.” “If you go beyond yourself, it is yoga.” “If you are no longer subject to the laws of the physical, it is yoga.” All these things are fine and fantastic definitions, there is nothing wrong with them, but in terms of your experience, you cannot relate to them. Someone said, “If you become one with God, you are in yoga.” You don’t know where you are. You don’t know where God is. How to become one?
But Patanjali nailed it this way – “To rise above the modifications of your mind, when you cease your mind, when you cease to be a part of your mind, that is yoga.” All the influences of the world are entering you only through the instrument of the mind. If you can rise beyond the influence of your mind in full awareness, then you are naturally one with everything. The separation – you and me, time and space – has come only because of the mind. It is a bondage of the mind. If you drop the mind, you have dropped time and space. There is no such thing as this and that. There is no such thing as here and there. There is no such thing as now and then. Everything is here and now.
If you rise above all the modifications and manifestations of the mind, then you can play with the mind whichever way you want. You can use your mind with devastating impact in your life, but if you are in it, you will never realize the nature of the mind.
Editor’s Note: Excerpted from Sadhguru’s discourse at the Isha Hatha Yoga School’s 21-week Hatha Yoga Teacher Training program. The program offers an unparalleled opportunity to acquire a profound understanding of the yogic system and the proficiency to teach Hatha Yoga. The next 21-week session begins on July 16 to Dec 11, 2019. For more information, visit www.ishahathayoga.com or mail firstname.lastname@example.org