I AM NOT A DEVOTEE of yoga, but I was reading
something Swami Satchidananda said and it struck me as nothing
more than an example of believing what leads to bliss. If you
have no other basis for knowledge (as you wouldn't back a few
thousand years when yoga was invented), that would probably be
the sanest criteria for what to believe: What leads to a happier
life? If it leads to greater tranquility and a happier life,
let us declare it true. If it leads to sadness, anger, or fear,
let us declare it false.
Even today, that's not a bad criteria for
judging the merit of a proposition. Of course, now it's probably
not a good idea to use that as the only criteria. It should
also and most importantly be tested against real evidence. But
if it doesn't contradict any scientific knowledge, and if it
doesn't hurt anyone or yourself, and it leads to bliss, what
would be the harm in accepting it (assuming you're not going
to then make war against those who don't accept it)?
Here's what Satchidananda wrote:
"You are not even breathing by yourself.
Try stopping the air coming into the lungs again for awhile.
No, it is being forced into you. That means, Somebody is interested
in keeping you alive, to do Somebody's job. So you are living
That's a different way of looking at things,
isn't it? It really doesn't contradict anything known in science.
A scientist may explain the phenomenon differently, but this
doesn't contradict, and it doesn't hurt anyone. And it may lead
to a more blissful life to think that the great Ocean of which
we are all a wave is making you breath, keeping you alive to
fulfill Its mission. I think if you consider that, you will feel
yourself relax. You will feel better. Warmer.
It's kind of a silly belief in a way, and
you don't have to become a believer or try to get others to believe
it. That wouldn't lead to tranquillity and bliss anyway. But
to think of it that way, even once in awhile, leads to greater
calm and contentment.