Question: Is there no sense of strong discipline in Yoga?

Sri Chinmoy: The Zen process demands a strict discipline, almost like military discipline. But the Yoga process is relaxation based upon confidence. It is like a child’s confidence that comes from his oneness with his mother and father. A child does not have a nickel with him. But if his father is very rich, then he feels that he also is very rich. Even if right now he does not have a single dollar, in a few years time he will be able to utilise all his father’s riches. He feels his oneness with his father, with the members of the family. Whatever the members of the family have, he rightly and legitimately claims as his very own. If his father has a car, then immediately he feels that it is his car. He does not think that it is his father’s car or that it belongs to his family. No, he will tell his friends, “Look, this is my car.” He is absolutely right on the strength of his oneness. And a day will come when he is older and he is going to be the one to drive that car.

The child feels that the father is everything for him and a day will come when he will be able to claim everything the father has. Even now he claims it. Since he is a child, he may squander his father’s money, so his father is not giving it to him. But when he is mature, since he has established his oneness with his father, he will be able to get his father’s property and utilise it properly.

In the Yoga process, you just feel that God is yours, that He loves you and you love Him. You feel your oneness with the Almighty. And if you feel your oneness with the Almighty, He is bound to give you what He has and what He is.

In the Zen path you have to prepare yourself. If you do this, then you will get something. But if you are not following strict discipline, then you are not going to get anything. In Zen it is personal effort, personal effort. But in Yoga we believe in grace. We feel that the father will show his affection, love and compassion and the child will reciprocate. When the child gets love from his father, he himself gives love, when the child shows love to his parents, they give him love in return. Always there is give and take, give and take. But with Zen, first you have to become something and then only you will get something. And you become something, you grow into something by following strict discipline. If you follow strict discipline in your own life, if you do this, if you do that, than you become something. Once you become, then naturally you deserve, and illumination takes place.