Is Yoga Necessary?

D.: Is yoga necessary?

M.: It is a sadhana. It will not be necessary after jnana is attained. All the sadhanas are called yogas, e.g., Karma yoga; Bhakti yoga; Jnana yoga; Ashtanga yoga. What is yoga? Yoga means ‘union’. Yoga is possible only when there is ‘viyoga’ (separation). The person is now under the delusion of viyoga. This delusion must be removed. The method of removing it is called yoga.

D.: Which method is the best?

M.: It depends upon the temperament of the individual. Every person is born with the samskaras of past lives. One of the methods will be found easy for one person and another method for another. There is no definiteness about it.

D.: How is one to meditate?

M.: What is meditation? It is commonly understood to be concentration on a single thought. Other thoughts are kept out at that time. The single thought also must vanish at the right time. Thought-free consciousness is the goal.

D.: How is the ego to be got rid of?

M.: The ego must be held in order to get rid of it. Hold it first and the rest will be easy.

D.: How is that to be held?

M.: Do you mean to say that there is one ego to hold another ego or to eliminate the other? Are there two egos?

D.: How shall I pray to God?

M.: There-must be ‘I’ who prays to God. ‘I’ is certainly immediate and intimate, whereas God is not thought so. Find out that which is more intimate and then the other may be ascertained and prayed to if necessary.

Extract from Talks with Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, Talk 580

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