Yoga is a much greater, much vaster understanding of word and the effect it can produce in the psychology of human beings. I would like you to read two or three sentences on page number 3. “Yogic methods have something of the same relation to the customary psychological workings of man as has the scientific handling of the natural force of electricity or of steam to their normal operations in Nature.” There are normal operations of steam and electricity but when you scientifically deal with them the uses of steam and electricity have a tremendous impact. Similarly there are psychological workings in man and these working, if you study them — these workings which seem to be very small, almost ineffective, but if you know how to handle them scientifically tremendous consequences can be produced. Take for example a simple handling of psychological working. It happens sometimes when suddenly your mind stops thinking. Sometimes suddenly the mind stops thinking. You find for example when you are falling asleep the mind begins to stop thinking. The result however is that when the mind stops thinking your body relaxes and when you get up next morning you are refreshed. This is the minimum little thing that we see. If the mind stops thinking what happens? Secondly when mind stops thinking very often you begin to have dreams. This is also a psychological effect. We normally do not give much importance to all this. But if you make a scientific study and see what happens if you can stop thinking without going to sleep. It is a scientific study: don’t go to sleep and yet stop thinking and if you can do that it is a scientific handling. You find that things which are not known can be known. You gain a great experience. Now, what are the conditions in which the mind can stop thinking? That also has to be learnt. Of course when you are very tired then your mind stops thinking for a short while. When you are extremely happy your thinking stops. When you deeply admire somebody, thinking stops. You notice a beautiful scene, the thinking stops. A great explosion takes place; you are stunned, thinking stops. These are the normal ways by which thinking stops. But this stoppage of thinking is only for a short while. If you make a scientific study, you can ask the question: Is it possible to stop thinking for a long time?
Yogis are like scientists, practical psychologists. They made a great study and they said that we have in our consciousness many elements — elements of thought, elements of will, elements of emotions, traits of your personality, your normal psychological likings and dislikings, your attractions, yours repulsions. There are so many elements in our psychology. You make a scientific study of them and see how you can recombine them. In our own psychology there is one kind of combination, -- your thinking, your emotion, your willing. These three are the basic operations of the mind and many subordinate operations. In every individual you find a different combination. Every human being has a special way of combining his thinking, willing and feeling. If your thought becomes very powerful, feeling becomes diminishes. Therefore, very often the thinkers don’t have heart. They have a big mind but they have not very much heart. Those who have a big heart very often they don’t have mind, the power of thinking is very limited. Those who think a lot very often you find that in practical life they are great failures. This is true of many many good thinkers. When they come to apply something in life they are totally incapable. They can give long lectures but when they come to life, application of knowledge, they are very poor. These are different combinations and there are millions of combinations, not one or two. Every human being has a certain kind of combination.
Yoga therefore asks you to study your particular combination. It says first you study your own combination. How much is your thought power, how much is your will power, and how much is your feeling power. Having known this you begin to apply true knowledge, how to combine, how to recombine. You become like a medical doctor, you become an alchemist, a chemist. This is what has been done in Raja Yoga. And Raja Yoga tells you that if you want to stop your mind it is not first of all an easy thing. First proposition: do not think; stopping of your thinking — remaining conscious is an easy thing. While falling asleep of course you can stop your thinking. But this has not much result excepting refreshing your body, it does not have many more effects. They found out that if you can remain conscious and yet you can stop your thinking it has tremendous effects. It is like steam pushing on the lid of your kettle and a steam which can push a huge train. If you know how to stop thinking without falling asleep then your power of consciousness will be so great that any knowledge that you want to posses can be possessed. This is the great connection with mind stopping and attaining the knowledge, because knowledge already exists — this was the discovery of the yogis. Knowledge already exists but if knowledge is not already working in you now it is because of a blockage and this blockage is caused by a constant movement of your thought. It is vibrating so it does not allow the knowledge to come to the surface. So they pointed out that if you want to stop thinking without falling asleep then you can recombine your consciousness in various ways. It takes a long time but you can do it. It is not a dogma that you must believe, no. You can practically do it. You can arrive at a real concentration of consciousness, at a real stoppage of thought and you can increase the time during which you can remain quiet.
Sri Aurobindo says: “Rajayoga, for instance, depends on this perception and experience that our inner elements, combinations, functions, forces, can be separated or dissolved, can be new-combined and set to novel and formerly impossible workings or can be transformed and resolved into a new general synthesis by fixed internal processes.” (Page: 3 of The Synthesis of Yoga) You do some internal processes by which you can recombine; you can even change your entire mentality. You become a new person. Similarly in Hatha Yoga: “Hatha Yoga similarly depends on this perception and experience that the vital forces and functions to which our life is normally subjected and whose ordinary operations seem set and indispensable, can be mastered and the operations changed or suspended with results that would otherwise be impossible and that seem miraculous to those who have not seized the rationale of their process.” The Hatha yogis have proved that you can live without breathing for hours and hours and hours that you can survive even when the heart beat stops.