Just as in Raja Yoga the mind stops thinking; in Hatha Yoga even the heart can be stopped and yet one can survive, one can live. These results may seem miraculous but the methods are actually very simple in a certain sense. You should know how to sit; you should know how to breathe — both very simple processes. They discovered that breathing and sitting have a tremendous effect. If you know how to sit properly and breathe you can increase your capacity of breathing and while sitting you can inhale and you can stop your breath, first for a little while and then for a longer time and for a longer time. And what are the results? The breath which has been inhaled can go on circulating in the whole body, and to certain portions of the body which do not received oxygen in our normal breathing, which is very fast, oxygen can reach and regenerate them. Your body becomes very fresh because the oxygen which was not going to those places in the body begins to receive it, so bodily power begins to develop in a way which is normally unimaginable.
Such are all yogic systems you take for example Jnana Yoga: when the intellect ceases to doubt, a new force of consciousness begins to operate. We do not know how much we actually doubt in our life and how much that doubting prevents the full growth of consciousness. Very often you are told not to doubt as a dogma: “Take it for granted, don’t doubt!” That does not have that much effect.
You must really arrive at a destruction of the doubt by a conscious effort. The yogis found out, that if philosophy is pursued, if you study philosophy, with the purpose of destroying doubts, then through that method, when the doubt is finished, the intellect begins to perceive reality. Not only reality of life as we see it but what is called cosmic consciousness can arise suddenly in you. Transcendent consciousness can arise also, simply by destruction of doubt. These are the discoveries of the yogis: Doubt disturbs you so much that your consciousness is limited to a small circle in which it is revolving round and round. And all your energies are wasted. Jnana Yoga says, take the doubt itself into your purpose, –– on what you are doubting concentrate. Study philosophy by means of which the doubt can be resolved. Not by dogma, not by belief, not by creed. You really destroy the doubt by philosophical method, by questioning everything, by doubting fully, exhaust your doubt completely. And when the doubt is exhausted you can see the power of consciousness that rushes out.
Similarly in Karma Yoga. Our activities are so small. Our actions are normally minor actions. We are not capable of what can be called mighty actions. Why? Because there is an obstruction, obstruction on account of desire. Just as doubt is the blockage in the field of intellectual knowledge similarly desire is a big obstruction in the field of action. Because we go on desiring and desiring, our actions become so small and therefore we are incapable of mighty actions. Supposing you want to change the course of history. Not only arranging your household which is a small action but you want to rearrange the whole world, then Karma Yoga tells you that if you give up desires then you will gain such a power by which you can reorganize the world. Sri Aurobindo when he started yoga — it is short story of Sri Aurobindo’s life –– his younger brother, Barin Ghose was suffering from fever. One yogi came to the house of Sri Aurobindo and he saw his younger brother suffering from fever and he simply asked for a glass of water and then he crossed the water symbolically, he recited a mantra and said to Barin “Drink this”. Barin drank the water and was cured. This may look like a miracle. Now what is it that produced these results? Sri Aurobindo seeing this, felt that there was something tremendous in yoga and it was not a belief. Here was an operation done by a yogi and it produced a result. So he came to the conclusion: by yogic method you can gain power. You can gain and produce results. At that time Sri Aurobindo wanted freedom of India. He said, why not to generate the power by which India can become free? He decided to practice that yoga by which India could be free. It was the starting point of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga, to create a power by which all India could be reorganized. To create a mighty will, a mighty power. For example we say that Auroville should be changed. We are complaining, we are grudging, we are under a great stress. But if you apply yoga, as we can now because we are all students of yoga, if you apply a great force, not only can Auroville be reorganized but we can reorganize the whole world on the pattern of Auroville. This is the power available to us. If we can really do this, and we ought to do it, in fact we are there for that, not only for ourselves but also for the whole world. The world is sick. The world is filled with maladies. And if the world is to be changed Auroville should be changed. And if Auroville changes — we are like yogic practitioners here. If you do yoga rightly you can produce such a mighty results that we will also be surprised to see what results it can produce. Karma Yoga for that is necessary and Karma Yoga means you dissolve your desires. If your desires are dissolved then a mighty Will can be produced. There is a mighty will in us, it is potential in us. But that will can be produced if this desire, which is a small little thing constantly whirling around and preventing us from willing, is dissolved. A time must come when you will and it is realised. Not desire, if you desire you sometime achieve a little result after tremendous efforts. But if you dissolve desire — it is a psychological element in us — and Will… There is a very beautiful sentence of The Mother: “Awake and will.” Not desire. Desire is that you want to enjoy the fruits of action. That is desire. You want to enjoy the fruits of action or you want to experience “I did, I am the doer” like the dog under the cart. This is our normal way of desiring and acting. But if these two things are eliminated, the desire for enjoyment of the fruits of action, and secondly the idea that you are the doer, that you did it — you want to prove to the world: “Look I can do it!” Don’t desire this, just will. If you do this you will see the consequences, action will be released, a tremendous force will be released. This is the shastra.