The utility of Yoga and methods of Meditation

Acharya Prashant
5 min readMay 7, 2020

Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Questioner: Why do people practice techniques like ‘Yoga’ and ‘Meditation’? Do you think they are necessary?

Acharya Prashant: They have their own place. But one should be very clear about the place that they have.

What you usually call as ‘Yoga’, the kind of yoga that is prevalent in this city (Rishikesh), is good for the body, but do not take it as a means to salvation. If it is being sold as something Mystical, or Spiritual, then it is not. In fact, to try to achieve salvation through yoga, is just an exhibition of the ego. The ego is saying, “By doing this or that, or by stretching my limbs, or sitting in a particular posture, I will reach God.” You sit in whatever posture you like, you do whatever you want to do with the breath or the body, you will not get God.

Q: But as I can see, one can calm the mind by doing these asanas, these postures?

AP: You can calm the mind, and believe that ‘you’ calmed the mind, and in the process cause greater agitation to yourself.

There is no method, except ‘Surrender’ — direct, unconditional Surrender.

If you know that your mind is calm because the body is feeling better, and ‘you’ are the one who did something to make the body feel better, then that is just an extension of the ego.

The Real happens, never due to your planning, or your effort, because the Real never ‘happens’; it is already there. It does not need to ‘happen’. It is the only ‘happening’, how can it happen anymore?

But we are all intent upon somehow making the Real happen (emphasizing the word ‘happen’). “I will go and try so hard that I get the Truth.” Is Truth an apple or something? You don’t often get even apples due to your efforts. You can’t even get apples when you want, how will you get the Truth?

But yes, it has a certain value. When the body is fit, there is no doubt that the mind does not have to think about it. So, in that space it has a certain value.

Q: Does it mean that it is out of man’s control — the matter of Truth?