Mr. Cohen, a resident disciple, was speaking of yoga method.
Maharshi remarked: Patanjali’s first sutra is applicable to all systems
of yoga. The aim is the cessation of mental activities. The methods
differ. So long as there is effort made towards that goal it is called
yoga. The effort is the yoga.
The cessation can be brought about in so many ways.
(1) By examining the mind itself. When the mind is examined, its
activities cease automatically. This is the method of jnana. The
pure mind is the Self.
(2) Looking for the source of the mind is another method. The
source may be said to be God or Self or consciousness.
(3) Concentrating upon one thought make all other thoughts
disappear. Finally that thought also disappears; and
(4) Hatha Yoga.
All methods are one and the same inasmuch as they all tend to the
It is necessary to be aware while controlling thoughts. Otherwise
it will lead to sleep. That awareness, the chief factor, is indicated
by the fact of Patanjali emphasising pratyahara, dharana, dhyana,
samadhi even after pranayama. Pranayama makes the mind steady
and suppresses thoughts. Then why develop further? Because
awareness then is the one necessary factor. Such states can be
imitated by taking morphia, chloroform, etc. They do not lead to
Moksha because they lack awareness.