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 even a nickel, 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 knows that he will be able to utilise all his father's riches. Whatever his father has, 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 when he gets older, he is going to be the one to drive that car. In the yoga process, you feel that God is yours, that He loves you and you love Him. Because you feel your oneness with Him, you know that when the Hour is right, He is bound to give you what He has and what He is.

In the Zen path, you have to prepare yourself. If you follow strict discipline and do this, then you will get something; otherwise, you will not get that thing. In Zen it is all 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 with love, devotion, surrender and gratitude. But with Zen, first you have to become something and then only will you deserve to get something, which is illumination. And to become something you have to follow strict discipline.