Teachings of Shri Mahayogi:
The Descent of the Avatara
—The Great Mission and Blessing—
The Establishment of Sanatana Dharma
Testimonies from Actual Practitioner
Teachings of Shri Mahayogi:
The Descent of the Avatara
—The Great Mission and Blessing—
Translation of Satsangha
The Ashrama, Kyoto, April 16, 2005
“When an Avatara, an incarnation of God, descends upon the earth, he comes with a mission: the Salvation of mankind. Another mission is to reveal the most appropriate path—although the path itself is an eternal path that has continued up to this day since ancient times—that is appropriate for each respective era, or for a particular place.”
—Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa
Ambika begins to speak and mentions that in the past Shri Mahayogi has said that the reason why Shri Mahayogi was born in Japan was to prove that Yoga belonged not only to India, but that it was something universal.
Ambika: I also heard that incarnations of God come down according to the needs of the times, or upon the request of the universe. Would you please clarify again the meaning of why you were born in Japan, a century after Shri Ramakrishna?
(Shri Mahayogi starts to speak slowly, with great intention placed on each and every word.)
MASTER: Shri Ramakrishna lived in the middle of the 19th century. This era marked the beginning of a period in which there was more intimate contact between the East and the West. This took place mostly through the invasion or the colonization of the East by the West. Although it may have seemed to be a trivial aspect of this contact, the great history, traditions and cultures of the East were introduced to the West. What shone especially brightly was the area of religious philosophy, or religious thought. Eastern wisdom may have come as quite a shock to Western culture, which had been devoted solely to Christianity. Just as history had always repeated itself up until then, such was the case within the realm of religion as well, as religions were mutually exclusive and did not accept other religions. However, what India had been declaring for millennia was thus:
“The Truth is One. The seers call it by various names.”
Upon accepting all of them, one must realize the real, ultimate Truth. Just as when rivers with various names flow into the ocean, they lose their names and turn into the one ocean. This was taught before the time of Buddha, Buddha taught the same, and in the 19th century there was a need to boldly declare it again. That was the reason for Shri Ramakrishna’s descent. That light was spread across the West by his beloved disciple, Vivekananda.
Afterwards, the Western countries headed straight into the era of chaos and war and, in turn, that caused people to stray further away from religion. At that point, the wisdom of the East quenched people’s thirst and satiated the masses. This is because in the wisdom of the East it is recognized that religion belongs to each person, and that God abides within each and every person. Actually, Yoga too was first introduced to the West around this time. But it may have only been introduced in the literal sense, through words. Actual practice came later.
Some time passed, and in the latter half of the twentieth century people finally began to actually practice Yoga. The fervor for Yoga is becoming stronger and stronger, because the blessings of Yoga are so tremendous. One can fulfill one’s worldly wishes and also receive the relief that comes from hoping for heaven. And, ultimately, Satori is there. However, the current trends in Yoga are also simultaneously creating confusion about what Yoga is. We have arrived at a time when we must correct the position of Yoga [within society, as well as how it is commonly understood].
When Jesus Christ appeared two thousand years ago, it is said that he spoke thusly: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Religion [or the Prophets]; I have not come to abolish but to fulfill them.”1 And, although it wasn’t expressed in the same words, Buddha’s appearance had the same meaning. The Eternal Truth had almost been forgotten among the brahmin (the priesthood caste) and other various practitioners and philosophers. But because of Buddha’s appearance, the course was corrected, just as it says in the phrase from the Bhagavad Gita:
“Whensoever there is the fading of the Dharma and the rising of unrighteousness, then I loose myself forth into birth.”2
“For the deliverance of the good, for the destruction of the evil-doers, for the enthroning of the Righteous, I am born from age to age.”3
By “evil-doers”, he means those practicing incorrect teachings.
When we look at history, you can see that when there is great prosperity, there is always turmoil as its shadow. People get lured by the brightly-lit shiny lights and enter into a labyrinth. In these times, a self-luminous source of light, like the Sun, is needed. In front of the shining Sun, no other lights are necessary. The Avatara is such an existence.
The Avatara is always an Eternal, Perfect Existence. If people want to see God, they must see the Avatara. However, the beast of ignorance that is nesting within people’s minds forgets that after some time; therefore, it is necessary for the Avatara to appear time and time again. That is the order of the entire universe.
1 Paraphrase of Matthew 5:17
2 Bhagavad Gita 4:7
3 Bhagavad Gita 4:8
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November 13, 2004, The Ashrama, Kyoto
The conflicts and trials between religions in the Middle East have been strained; the topic of Satsangha has been centered around the chaotic state of the world. Shri Mahayogi spoke:
MASTER: Regardless of the era, the earth has always been filled with sadness. However, throughout history great Awakened Beings have appeared to save humanity from these crises. In ancient times, it was Buddha. He preached the Eternal Truth and accomplished a great feat: he guided the masses toward Satori. At the time, India was in its own warring states period, where small kingdoms were struggling against one another. It is recorded that even Buddha’s home kingdom, a small country, was also destroyed by an enemy state while he was still alive. Regardless, Buddha only wished peace upon all things until the end of his life. That teaching was kept alive through King Ashoka, whose kingdom also eventually fell, but it is said that it did have a brief moment of peaceful prosperity.
In more recent history, the great Awakened Being was Shri Ramakrishna, whom everyone here is familiar with. He also taught not the separation of religions but a message of the Universal Religion of Oneness, which is the same message as that of Buddha. This message and the work were carried on by Vivekananda, and then later, by Gandhi in the midst of a terrifying war. Gandhi even referred to himself as a disciple of Vivekananda. What Vivekananda spoke of and what Ramana Maharshi spoke of are also the same.
If everyone can proceed toward and reach the ultimate goal, rather than stopping half way, then there is only One Existence, without any differentiation whatsoever. Once you reach that Satori, then you no longer have enemies or allies—everything becomes your fellowship. Even if there are more troubles or fewer troubles; in other words, even if there are waves and winds created by individual karma (the mechanism of cause and effect of all actions), one can avoid the worst-case tragedies.
Advaita, that is, that everything is Atman, everything is a manifestation of God—this is what you must realize. This is called Yoga.
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September 21, 2013, The Ashrama, Kyoto
Sanatana mentions that everything about Buddha’s teaching and practice was radical at the time, and when people only knew about asceticism and the rituals of the brahmin, he declared these practices to be too extreme and taught the middle path, to walk the correct path.
Sanatana: As Buddha himself mentioned, even though he knew that this Truth was too subtle for people to understand, he taught it for several decades nonetheless, and even then it still seemed like his disciples may not have completely understood it… Even so, his teachings still remain in a relatively pure form. He may have been frustrated by how little his teachings were understood, but still, the fact is that his teachings were so utterly triumphant over other practices that nowadays we have no idea [or record of] what other ascetics of that time practiced, so it’s easy to say that Truth wins in the end, but I can imagine that there was an extraordinary amount of his effort that went into it. What does Shri Mahayogi think about the reasons for that—what did Buddha do for people in order to leave behind such a stable legacy?
MASTER: It is exactly as Sanatana described. If we look at what the main factor was, it would be that it was necessitated by the order of the entire universe, looking at it in hindsight. In India, it would be considered that it is the existence and the role that makes an Avatara an Avatara. On the other hand, the stubborn persistence of karma and ignorance is so unfathomable, therefore it is quite an extraordinary feat to leave behind the truly subtle, pure wisdom of Satori. Yet even though it is true that the mind of the masses, or ignorance, is reigning [in this world], its essence unmistakably consists of Pure Wisdom, rather than ignorance. That Pure Wisdom cannot be lost or destroyed.
As Buddha aptly proclaimed, even if [the Truth] is lost temporarily, eventually the ancient path will be found and revived again—that too can be considered to be the order of the universe—that [is what] sends an Avatara. Truly, we are obliged to think that the earth is the kind of place [that is covered in ignorance], however, because Buddha was not a so-called pessimist at all, and quite the contrary, he was a proponent of Nirvana, the Eternal Bliss—it was necessary to have a kind of pure catalyst for those who had ears to hear and eyes to see, and he was such an Existence. Perhaps I did not quite answer your question.
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January 19, 2013, The Ashrama, Kyoto
“Narendra (later Vivekananda), the beloved disciple of Ramakrishna, not only attained mastery of Yoga, of course, but also realized the one Truth of all other religions as well. Then, boldly, he went forth declaring it in the dead center of the Christian world. At that time, what dwelled in his heart was not the type of holy being that adheres to his own small realization or teachings, but Buddha, who gave his whole self to the entire universe and all beings and things.
India, nay, the entire world, hopes for salvation. It is Liberation, and salvation. The person who accomplished this is Buddha himself. This means sacrificing everything of oneself for others. Of course, since this is based on the Truth, it isn’t something weak, quite the contrary, it is the most powerful, indestructible thing there is. Thus, it was from there that infinite compassion, infinite love, sprang forth.”
—Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa
Haridas: It’s often been perceived that the motivation for Swami Vivekananda was the ardor he felt towards Shri Ramakrishna, as well as the tragic condition of his countrymen. At times, I wonder if that is true. I think that he worked like an Avatara, summoned by the needs of the times, having such energy for his duty at a time when virtue was fading.
MASTER: It is undisputed that what caused Vivekananda to travel to the West was his having witnessed the tragic condition of Indian citizens. I think that it was this that propelled him to go to the West. As he mentioned himself, in India at the end of the 19th century, with the millennia of negligence, or with the pervasive discrimination of the caste system saturating society, people’s minds had withered. In order to stir them, he concluded that what they needed was bread, not the wisdom of holy men. In order to provide that, he wanted to apply the knowledge and technology proclaimed by the prosperous West. At the same time, the West, where materialistic civilization was becoming rampant, needed spirituality. He himself said clearly that it was because of that that he was bringing spirituality to the West. I think that was the initial motivation. If he had not gone to the West with the idea of bringing aid to India from the West, he probably would have stayed in India working for the poor and the suffering. However, the dharma (order) of the universe did not allow him to stay at that level, but rather, debuted him on the global stage. Also, it was probably inevitable in order for the East and West to begin their close relationship, as well as for the world to be unified as one Earth.
Haridas: Can we see Swami Vivekananda’s feats as lila (divine play), and if so, how should we look at it?
MASTER: Vivekananda’s life is simply summed up as the salvation of the masses. However, it can be seen as lila, as a big lila. Many of the types of salvation he performed were completely identical to those of Buddha, such as ignoring the caste system and acknowledging the equality and sanctity of everything. It is thus that they can be considered to be the same. What was extraordinary was his ability to get into action—and that was unprecedented. In a way, it could be said that the first Buddha since the [historical] Buddha had appeared.
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January 12, 2002, The Ashrama, Kyoto
“From my perspective, in the past fifty years, various false things that call themselves ‘yoga’ have become rampant. I want to destroy them! I think they must be destroyed! There is a need to establish the real Yoga! My feeling is the same as it was fifty years ago even now. It may almost be an eternal issue in this world.
If you look outside of Yoga, the entire world is filled with non-virtue. Yogi are not powerless against these non-virtues. Not only that, they are confronting them head-on. It’s just that the shape of the weapons and the approach are different.
I think that the words of Buddha, Krishna’s words from the Bhagavad Gita, and my thoughts, are all the same, and I think all of your thoughts are probably the same too.”
—Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa
Ms. Nagaishi (Ambika) read the conversation between Shri Mahayogi and Anandamali in the “Anandamala” article in Paramahamsa (No. 29, when Shri Mahayogi first visited the US in 1996)4. It had a big impact on her.
Ms. Nagaishi (Ambika): (so overwhelmed, the words do not come out smoothly) Part of the article described your answer to the question, “Why did such a great Yogi as yourself decide to leave his body during the second visit to India?”; and Shri Mahayogi explained the reason for his being born in Japan. …I feel grateful for being able to meet with you like this… May I ask, was that decision based on having a bad illness?
MASTER: No, I was very healthy.
Ms. Nagaishi (Ambika): So, what does that mean to leave your body…?
MASTER: Actually, I was thinking about not publishing that part when the Paramahamsa team was in the process of editing the article, since it was not something everyone knew… However, right before then, everyone had graciously celebrated Jayanti and since Anandamali knew about it, I accepted leaving that in.
My feeling at the time was that there were people coming and going for about ten years, but nobody seemed responsive; I felt that no one seemed to really be receiving [my teachings]. As you know, I woke up to Yoga when I was very young, and no one knew about Yoga in Japan during that time. I understood that this was inevitable. But it was too early. Then when I was 23, I went to India and I got the answer, or confirmation, and felt at ease that everything was correct and unmistakable. So, I continued on and people eventually started to come. But, by the time I was slightly over twenty, I was done and it was enough, for me at least (laughs). However, I also understood various customs and superstitions, and Japanese conservative prejudices. So I tried to minimize my visibility in the world and refrained from going out.
Moving back and forth in time, eventually people started coming, and after about a decade, there was a feeling in my chest, or rather, in my soul, that had become so big that it couldn’t be contained anymore. No one was receiving it, and so it was not released by going outward. It felt like I was going to explode. So, I felt that if no one was seeking it outside of India, then there is no need—and that could be one of the ways of how things go. In that sense, I decided to let the wind carry me and do nothing to resist. I thought India would be well-suited for that, so I went. That was 1986, and it was in the middle of the 150th Anniversary of Ramakrishna’s birth. I went to Calcutta (now Kolkata), and visited [Ramakrishna Mission]. After spending several days there, the condition of the body became unwell. It had never happened before. I thought that I could not trouble the people there to take care of me, so I decided to come back to Japan. That was how it went.
After that moment in time, as it was written in that article, I had to rally myself yet again to make the effort, and then 2-3 years later, Sananda came. Afterwards, I started feeling some response, gradually, a little at a time. Not everyone knows this. I don’t think I have talked about it much.
(Turns to Sanatana who is in his twenties) Vivekananda was already dealing with the world in his twenties.
In the article “Anandamala”, Anandamali had written about some topics from her diary at the beginning of Shri Mahayogi’s first visit. She had heard from Shri Mahayogi for the first time about his intention when he went to India when she had an intimate moment with Shri Mahayogi during her visit to Shri Mahayogi in Japan prior to that. One night in NY, she asked about it again, and this time further.
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November 17, 2009, The Ashrama, Kyoto
Ms. Nagaishi (Ambika): In India, the true Guru descended as an Avatara, so naturally Jayanti was celebrated for their coming. I think its form came about as a result of everyone’s thoughts and what naturally emerged from everyone, but are there any traditions around Jayanti?
MASTER: The appearance of an Avatara meant blessings and salvation granted to all. The appearance of the Avatara is not limited in time, the Avatara exists eternally beyond time, it is auspicious joy.
Examples of contemporary Jayanti for the Avatara include celebrations such as the April 8th Festival of Flowers for Buddha, and I think that recent ones have been celebrated for Shri Ramakrishna and Ramana Maharishi.
Either way, the meaning of Jayanti is that the Avatara brings salvation and blessings to all living beings. So, people immerse themselves in that joy and celebrate Jayanti. There may be various forms based on certain traditions, but the spirit flowing at the foundation simply boils down to that.
When I went to India, coincidentally, the celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Ramakrishna’s birth was taking place. I saw that many people from all over India, I guess, were in Dakshineswar, as well as various sites related to Shri Ramakrishna in Calcutta. They were all barefoot, and many of them were walking around in crowds even late into the night. In Dakshineswar and other sites, magnificent rituals were performed, and it was the scene of endless blessings to the gathered pilgrims. There were kirtan (love songs that tie God and soul together) offered by the top singers, there was prasad 5, and it was massive.
* * *
(The incarnation of the Guru is so precious and rare. It is way beyond the understanding of our minds, but we wish that we could somehow feel our Master’s intentions and his vast, majestic mission within our hearts.)
5 Things that have previously been offered to God with the understanding that everything is provided by God. One receives prasad as something that is filled with divine blessings.
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The Establishment of Sanatana Dharma
December 6, 2008, The Ashrama, Kyoto
Mr. Takahashi: Shri Mahayogi, we read the Jayanti message from Anandamali-san (in the “Testimonial” section below) about the mission of the Mission. May I ask, what is the first item—The establishment of Sanatana Dharma—about?
MASTER: (after some silence) The Truth is Eternal, Immortal and Indestructible Existence. There are various correct teachings attached to this Truth. Furthermore, in the area of so-called religions, in the teachings that were given according to the times or the situation, there often is included a morsel of Truth. However, if one cannot realize the ultimate Truth, in other words, even if you know the branch, but do not know the trunk or the root of this foundational tree, it is meaningless. That foundation is called Sanatana Dharma. This means that it is the Eternal Truth.
It’s not that complicated. The Essence, the Substance of all things, is that Eternal Existence, that Immortal Existence. This world is the temporary form taken on by that formless Existence. That is why this world is limited by time and restricted by space. The conditions in various situations produce causal relationships, since the mind acts as if it were the protagonist, as many worlds as there are minds are created. That is the cause of confusion and suffering. As the mind is deluded and creates incorrect thoughts, the dream-like, illusory world keeps creating and expanding. Ultimately, it all ends in suffering. If one can discard the mistakes and get back to the Truth, then one awakens to the bliss-filled Immortal Existence itself, free from any suffering whatsoever. The substance, which is called God, is also this Existence. To confirm Sanatana Dharma, that is, to realize It—that is what is meant by the establishment of Sanatana Dharma.
This Satori can neither be acquired through knowledge, nor realized through thinking or thoughts. Once all of these disappear, it emerges for the first time. “Yoga is to eliminate the activities of the mind”; this is the famous definition of Yoga. The mind is not the master, but the real master is that Existence, which is Atman, or That which is called God. At that time, the mind itself will be led to come to terms with its own essence. The mind will be forced to reckon with the fact that it is not the master, but rather a subject, a servant or a tool—which is its real lot in life.
Even looking back in history, this realization of Sanatana Dharma is something experienced by very few. That’s how rare and precious it is. That is why realizing Sanatana Dharma is our, the Mission’s, calling. I think that is the intention with which Anandamali sent the message.
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Testimonies from Actual Practitioners:
The following message was delivered to Sri Mahayogi by Anandamali
as part of the Jayanti celebration of 2008.
Jayanti Speech 2008
November 23, 2008, The Ashrama, Kyoto
My Dearest Beloved, Man of God,
Satguru Sri Mahayogi Paramahansa,
Twelve years have passed since you landed in New York and walked this land for the first time, and began blessing those who come and go upon this land. Many things happened; there has been laughter and there have been tears. I have caused you to worry many times. And I am very sorry that it took me twelve long years to get to this point that now, at long last, there is something that I can offer to you. It is the sangha in New York. These comrades, who are truly ready and willing to stake their own lives, have vowed to live according your teachings. They are my dear sisters and brothers, who have sworn and committed to awakening into the true Self and to selflessly serve others. They are my sisters and brothers who are ready and willing to give positive impetus to one other, to learn from one another, to serve, to help and to reinforce one another, and laugh heartily together. They are my closest friends and, at the same time, my family that I can be proud of from the bottom of my heart.
This Jayanti is the 60th celebration of your descent to earth. To me, it is a very meaningful and special Jayanti, even more so than any other in years past. And that is why I yearned so strongly to be at the Ashrama in Kyoto, after thirteen years of absence, to celebrate the Jayanti here, to share and partake of the joy and the blessings of being able to celebrate our gratitude toward Shri Mahayogi, together with my brothers and sisters, by participating in the preparations leading up to this day. I am already unable to contain my yearning to share that joy with Shri Mahayogi and everyone, just imagining myself being there already.
At the same time, I am so grateful now that I have sisters and brothers in New York who love so devoutly and fervently, and who firmly set their hearts on you. I know now that they are ultimately offered to you, but actually, they are the treasures Shri Mahayogi has bestowed upon me!!! Again, I realized that I always keep receiving from Shri Mahayogi. I am so grateful. I am forever so grateful.
The NY sangha is still a handful of people. But this handful is a powerful lump of diamond. We will strive to grind and polish it even more and make it sparkle. And we eagerly await your next visit, while preserving the sacred flame that you have ignited in our hearts, making it ever bigger and brighter.
Soon, the time will come for us to spread our wings across the world with Shri Mahayogi!!! I am looking forward to being able to sense the Eternal, Immortal Truth—the divinity within all and in everything that exists—with as many people as possible, through all the senses that are given to all living beings.
This past year, we kept moving forward in order to build and cultivate the foundation of New York’s true sangha. While doing that I kept thinking about what it means to have Mahayogi’s sangha, and what role the Ramakrishna Mission has in our modern era. I heard that Vivekananda, after much consideration, understood that in order to complete the enormous task given by Ramakrishna, it could not be contained in one individual vehicle, and therefore he reached the conclusion that the formation of the organization was an inevitable necessity. So, what exactly is the difference between practicing alone and forming an organization? I also ponder upon the reason Vivekananda thought that Buddha’s sangha was ideal. On this occasion, I would like to share what Shri Mahayogi told me then. On this auspicious day, regardless of where you are—Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo, Matsuyama, Imabari, Sendai, or New York—I would like everyone to etch the following charter into their minds, to make an oath, and share it along with all the gurubai of Shri Mahayogi, our Guru.
Dearest Greatest Being, My Beloved, Beloved Paramahansa, Please guide us so that our eyes are only fixed upon you and the Truth, and so that we can live within pure faith, and proceed powerfully forward with gracefulness and agility, and, at the same time, boldness and courage.
* * *
The Most Important Values of Buddha’s Organization and the Ramakrishna Mission:
• Actualize and spread Sanatana Dharma.
• Religious reformation. The establishment of Sanatana Dharma.
• To “establish Sanatana Dharma” means to leave the Truth firmly intact, [in a form] so Pure that it does not break off or fade away.
The Second Important Value:
• To gather those who are up to the task, and guide them to the same state.
The Third Important Value:
• To serve people who are suffering in the world.
• To actualize the selfless service of all humanity with real, concrete actions.
The Fourth Important Value:
• To maintain and sustain the monastic order by appealing to and inspiring householders by disseminating the teachings to them.
• To eliminate the suffering of householders through the application of the Truth, and, at the same time, receive their service and donations.
Anandamali asked Shri Mahayogi then, “Are the philosophies of Ramakrishna Mission and Mahayogi Yoga Mission the same?
Shri Mahayogi answered that, “They are exactly the same.”
The following message was delivered five years later.
Jayanti Message 2013
representing the Mission in New York
November 23, 2013, The Ashrama, Kyoto
During Shri Mahayogi’s visit this year, there were a few striking conversations. When a few disciples were having dinner with Shri Mahahogi, one of the long-time disciples who seems to have not quite understood the meaning of sangha (gathering of disciples), said the following, “I think I am serving others in my current situation. Why do you tell us to serve the Mission? I do not understand why service to the Mission is considered more valuable than service to others?” Shri Mahayogi answered, “It is because [the work for the Mission] is about bringing in new souls and nurturing them [along the path towards Satori].” Through this answer, Shri Mahayogi urged us to renounce our own individual enlightenment, in order to perform the larger task.
While the conversations continued, there was another conversation I had with Shri Mahayogi during this visit that came to mind. We heard that there was someone who has known Shri Mahayogi for a long time and was saying, “There is a saint who hugs devotees for free, and gives them blessings. Spiritual teachings should be free, but why are the Mission’s and Shri Mahayogi’s programs not free?” When I told Shri Mahayogi this, he answered, “That saint is blessing people by hugging them, however, it doesn’t mean that that saint can give them Satori. I am trying to awaken souls—because these souls will eventually awaken future souls. That is a big difference.”
Then the topic of conversation during dinner that day turned to the meaning of sangha. One of the participants was Shantipada. He started to say that a few years after getting married to Nadisha, he had a powerful dream:
“In this dream, it was raining outside. Nadisha and Shantipada were inside the house, but Anandamali was outside, getting wet from the rain.
That dream was powerful, even thinking about it now. I would like to do something about housing for the Mahayogi Yoga Mission. What can we do about the house of Mahayogi Yoga Mission, Anandamali?” Shri Mahayogi answered:
“It’s been seventeen years since I first came to New York. But in these seventeen years, most disciples who came early on are no longer around, and there are very few people who have continued. Therefore, I myself have been shown how difficult this task is. Nevertheless, resolute aspirants are still gathering here today. Of course, it is not only us, there are a few others who are not here today who share the same aspiration. Time is flowing rapidly within this world. Therefore, it goes without saying that we must deepen our Satori in this short time, and if one has to leave the body during that process, then one must be born again. So, when that time comes, in order to continue the sadhana you are doing now and make it possible to realize Satori, you will wish for, and there needs to be, a similar organization in the future. So, to leave something tangible behind is not only for the children of the future, but actually for you yourselves as well. So, I think that it is about time for us to plan such works and concretely create this. To do so requires the cooperation of as many people as possible. In Japan, the disciples are finally starting to realize that doing this is their responsibility. So, I am sure that the sangha in New York can do the same. How wonderful it would be if that could be accomplished while I still have this physical body! (laughs) That dream that Shantipada had is quite powerful indeed. It is filled with implications [for the future].”
Right now, right here, we must come together and stake our lives on one single purpose. There is no time or energy to think about one’s individual concerns. We, who have been fortunate enough to receive the teachings directly from Shri Mahayogi, have the obligation and duty to prove Shri Mahayogi’s Satori, to engrain within ourselves the meaning of why Shri Mahayogi appeared and why he is in this world among us right now, and to continue Shri Mahayogi’s Satori using our entire being to pass it on to future generations—these are the tasks that rest upon our shoulders. We cannot let Satori end in just one generation. We can’t just let future generations postulate that there may have possibly been someone like Shri Mahayogi. Shri Mahayogi has many unique aspects—which are like a multitude of plays—that are different from past Awakened beings. He is infinte—so unfathomably huge. We cannot possibly transmit all of this individually and alone. But, even so, please allow us to continue passing on this sacred Satori. May all of us become one petal of the thousand-petaled lotus and reflect Shri Mahayogi, even if only a little.
Currently in New York, a handful of staff members are working on re-translating The Universal Gospel of Yoga, and we are entering the final stages of editing. Through the process of this work, once again I have recognized all over again and become keenly aware of the awe-inspiring state which Shri Mahayogi embodies and the perfection of the words that Shri Mahayogi speaks, constantly chosen from a permanent state of razor-sharp, absolute discrimination that is beyond even time and space. His words always issue forth from the Truth, and if we try to understand them from the mind’s perspective, the meaning is misconstrued in a way that is convenient for the mind. May we be ever vigilant in protecting your Pranava at all costs. The words of Truth uttered by the Awakened Ones are truly alive. The words themselves are breathing and glistening with life. Unless the seeker knocks on the door, and then faces the test that awaits as we examine ourselves and gauge our seriousness, unless the seeker seriously seeks for It, and unless the seeker dives into the depths of the ocean to find the precious pearls for themselves, the teachings of Truth will not be revealed. Yoga, in its original form, can only begin after one’s mind is prepared for religious awakening. The same can be said of the internal initiation Shri Mahayogi assents to give to his disciples. In the words given by Shri Mahayogi, even though they may not appear to be direct answers, there is a meaning that is hidden within them that we need to dive and penetrate into in order to uncover. Conversion requires determination that is unshakable and absolute. It means staking one’s life on Satori. Without a doubt, every single task in Yoga ought to be carried out with the same indomitable spirit. In undertaking this work, the completion of the third edition, I feel that the quality of the translation of The Universal Gospel of Yoga has finally reached an acceptable level. Although it is only a small handful of members, I am so grateful to inform you that I have been tackling this project with a team of marvelous comrades who share with me this sublime ideal of leaving behind these records of the teachings of Shri Mahayogi, my Beloved. With our guiding belief that the task in which we are engaged will yield a book that will serve as a Bible that will be read by a massive number of people for many generations to come, we carry out this work with a great sense of responsibility. Perhaps, ten years from now, when our understanding has deepened and we find ourselves in a different state, then further depth might be revealed, but I believe that the work we have done is of the highest quality that we are able to bring forth at this stage. I feel that at this moment, we are getting ready to send out your dear child, whom You have graciously bestowed upon us to raise, and who has now grown up and is getting to the point where this dear child can walk by itself toward the light. One day, when we are all gone, Your words, which will have been translated for all, will continue to shine on forever.
But that is not all. The teachings and words of Truth from all Awakened Ones are the same; however, it is our mission to tell the future generations how Shri Mahayogi breathes, how he looks at the beautiful Krishna-colored sky at dusk in New York City, how he dotes upon the dog Tavia, how he speaks to the disciples, visitors, and neighbors, and how he always makes every conversation blossom and be enjoyable, how cool he is, what a great designer and artist he is, how he laughes, how he runs up the stairs, how he is loved by everyone and how much he loves us. This secret is hidden between Shri Mahayogi’s words of Truth. Those of us who are involved in Shri Mahayogi’s work should work to leave as many hints as possible for future generations to know and feel Shri Mahayogi. I will do the best I can. There are many ways to do this, so I ask this of everyone here too.
Several years ago, Shri Mahayogi urged us to translate his teachings into as many languages as possible. Currently, translations are in progress for Spanish, Italian, and Romanian. Mandarin will perhaps begin soon.
In addition, not only in these printed words, but eventually with Shri Mahayogi, I wish to be able to do this project [that my heart has been set on] since before the time when I first met you. I was aspiring to express something sacred, the Truth beyond words, in an immersive, environmental project that can be perceived through all sensory organs. Shri Mahayogi, please play with us more and more. I want to play with Shri Mahayogi more and more. I want to feel Shri Mahayogi more and more.
We will all come together to create the Ashrama as soon as possible. Please show us the space that the Awakened Being Shri Mahayogi designed. If I could enter this space, what would happen to me?
To my Beloved Shri Mahayogi,
Lastly, here are the words that Shri Mahayogi has said many times during this visit to New York:
“‘It is better to live one day knowing the Truth, than to live a hundred years not knowing the Truth.’ This is what Buddha said. [Interestingly enough], a hundred years ago, Vivekananda too said exactly the same thing. Truly, it all comes down to these words.”
We want to live just like that.
The following message was delivered three years later.
Jayanti Message 2016
representing the Mission in New York
November 23, 2016, The Ashrama, Kyoto
Oh Great Yogi, Shri Mahayogi, Babaji!
You are the only person who knows Yoga.
Great Luminous Awakened Being, Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa,
On the most holy day of your Jayanti,
We worship at your feet,
We dedicate inexpressible gratitude and respect, faith and selfless service,
For descending upon this bleak era
For continuing to stay with us on Earth
For endlessly blessing people, through both visible and invisible forms
For giving hope and confidence in Satori
For making us crazy for the One, and guiding us toward It.
Our gratefulness is His for the grace in which we have received the opportunity to be alive while you are on this earth.
In this year during Shri Mahayogi’s visit to New York, I had an opportunity to visit Chicago together with Shri Mahayogi again after 18 years. From Karuna’s wish to have as many people as possible come to know Shri Mahayogi, the arrangement was made to visit the Ramakrishna Mission Chicago branch to meet with the Swami who is the director of the center, and so we went there straight from the airport. However, unfortunately, it did not seem that the Swami saw Shri Mahayogi with his heart, or felt that Shri Ramakrishna in a different form was visiting him, and it was also dubious as to how he understood Yoga. In front of Shri Mahayogi, the Swami told us (Shri Mahayogi’s disciples) many times, “He (Shri Mahayogi) doesn’t need it anymore, but people like you and I still need methods,” and he kept asking us what our methods were, and he kept talking about the Truth that he had learned. I couldn’t resist asking him, “How do you understand and perform Vivekananda’s work?” To answer this question, he kept speaking about their charitable activities, but I am afraid that I could not feel any living inspiration from his words.
Late one night in Chicago, I was so dissatisfied with this visit that I spoke to Shri Mahayogi about my frustration. “What would Vivekananda think if he were here now? I wonder if there is anyone who really understands him there.” Then Shri Mahayogi answered, “It’s impossible to understand Vivekananda.” …I was at a loss for words. Indeed, Vivekananda is too huge…to the extent that there is nothing that can be done about it. Even if that was the case, where is Satori in the organization, or the disciples of his who were supposed to carry on his mission? What happened to their mission, which is supposed to have inherited his intentions? What happened to Satori? From what the Swami said, it seems that they are so attached to formality…! Shri Mahayogi said, “[The Swami] did not understand Yoga at all.” I then said, “What was the point of all that Vivekananda did in the West if the current state is as it is?”
Then Shri Mahayogi said—
“The influence of his work has not yet been recognized, but it will eventually be revealed.”
When I heard that, I was shocked like never before and could only gaze off into space. How vast!… The scale of the vision [of these Awakened Beings] is beyond imaginable… Vivekananda and Shri Mahayogi, all Awakened Beings only see the Eternal. They simply live within Truth. This, indeed, this is what the Eternal Task is!
The day before his return to Japan, Shri Mahayogi said at the Cave, “The reason why I had the word “Yoga” in the name of the organization is because it was necessary to let True Yoga be known.” It was his first time speaking about such things to his disciples in the U.S., as far as I could remember. And this time, upon official acceptance as a religious organization in Japan, Shri Mahayogi intentionally chose to omit the word “Yoga” from the organization name. Since I know for a fact that Shri Mahayogi loves Yoga more than anybody does, and he knows the original essence of Yoga more than anyone else does, how gravely he must feel about the current state of Yoga—I can’t even imagine that… Nevertheless, he gave us a guiding principle as a mission of free and great Yogi, who are in no way to be relegated to ideas or forms, who are in no way to be understood through forms, and who can never by caught by maya’s forms—Mahayogi Mission. Regardless of the means or method, “To guide souls to the true Self and Satori”—that is what Shri Mahayogi asks us to look after, as the mission of each and every disciple.
The New York Mission celebrated its twentieth anniversary this year. After twenty years, there is something that I came to be fully convinced of. That is the importance of truly ardent disciples. It is said that to find a True Guru is as rare and hard as finding a diamond in the sand. Similarly, it shows the rarity of being able to find a soul that can truly receive the teachings from the Guru, and who seriously stakes their life on Satori.
“It’s impossible to understand Vivekanda.” Truly, we may not be able to completely understand the vastness of Shri Mahayogi either. However, even so, those of us who were given the grace of having encountered Shri Mahayogi, and who consider ourselves to be disciples, have the duty to disseminate Shri Mahayogi’s Mission—no matter what, even if only a sliver—by reaching closer to and attaining perfection, by finding other souls who are ready, by having the determination to seriously embark on this with persistence and an indomitable spirit, by purifying ourselves to enable Shri Mahayogi to project the power of light within ourselves, and by finding as many such souls as possible, even if only a few, to guide them to It.
Shri Mahayogi has told me that the truth of the asana he teaches is that this is actually the first time that authentic asana is revealed, even including during the ancient time of the rishi. It means that Shri Mahayogi is the first one to reveal it. It is such an enormous joy for me that a soul such as Sadhya, who has been endowed with the inherent quality to transmit true, authentic asana to the future generations with certainty, has arrived.
A few years ago, while I was visiting MYM in Kyoto, Sadhya was practicing asana in a New York class. After the class she perplexedly asked, “Who was the person doing asana in the orange robe behind me?” Since she was concentrating on asana, she was not able to confirm it beyond just his existence. When she asked everyone else, no one had seen this orange-robed person. When I asked Shri Mahayogi about it, he said, “Perhaps, a practitioner came to practice asana together.” When I asked him about it again in Chicago, he said, “Probably Babaji?”
Babaji is watching over…
Shri Mahayogi, if that was Babaji, then was it Shri Mahayogi himself?
May such souls who can master Shri Mahayogi’s asana and get closer to a True Yogi internally arrive to Shri Mahayogi as soon as possible!!! We are all given different skills and talents, but may we all get closer and closer to our own mission, and use our skills and talents in the best way possible!!! May we expand Mahayogi’s Mission and continue on to the future!!!
“The influence of his work has not yet been recognized, but it will eventually be revealed.”
My beloved Shri Mahayogi, your body is not made of this material world, but you pretend as if you are one of us, eating, speaking, laughing, and walking down the street. At times, you will play pranks, and draw us into a roaring laughter. Because you have hidden this secret so well, no matter how much we think and feel how precious and irreplaceable Existence is, our recognition and understanding regarding the preciousness and sanctity of how you have descended upon this earth and shown your form in front of our eyes might be too far away from the truth. Please do not let us waste any second of this time together with you, beloved Shri Mahayogi.
And please, continue to remain in the physical body on this earth and stay with us. We will make sure you can enjoy your play.
To see Shri Mahayogi joyful is my only wish.
To be able to see Shri Mahayogi enjoying and playing, is my ultimate joy and honor.
I yearn to be One with you, and play with you eternally.
Being with YOU, my Dearest Beloved, forever,
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