Teachings of Shri Mahayogi:
• From Hatha Yoga to Raja Yoga:
The Truth of the Teaching of Asana
That Comes Directly From the Experience of Shri Mahayogi
Testimonies from Actual Practitioners
Teachings of Shri Mahayogi:
Translation of Satsangha
The Ashrama, Kyoto, April 12, 2017
Shri Mahayogi comes up the steep stairs from the first floor, and sits beside the shoji screen. As soon as the Satsangha begins, Anandamali delightedly expresses gratitude to have this opportunity today, and the quiet but somewhat nervous energy of the room becomes cheerful at once. The attendees are very international today. Sadhya, who is a member of the Mission in New York, is in attendance, and this is her first time visiting Japan. Also attending are Prasadini and Ms. Ayano from Taiwan. They all came to attend the first Sanatana Dharma Avatara Mela held on April 8th. Ms. Ayano, who has been practicing with Prasadini in Taipei, had never met Shri Mahayogi before this visit. Prasadini will return to Taipei the following day. Sadhya and Ms. Ayano will leave after attending the Master Class (Asana and Meditation) directed by Shri Mahayogi on Saturday. Gopala and Ramdas, whose house, Shanti Kutira, is hosting Prasadini and Ms. Ayano, are also present, as well as Anandamali, who is interpreting for the Satsangha.
Promptly Sadhya begins to ask questions.
From Hatha Yoga to Raja Yoga:
The Truth of the Teaching of Asana
That Comes Directly From the Experience of Shri Mahayogi
Sadhya: Thank you Shri Mahayogi for allowing me to be here. I would like to ask about something that Anandamali spoke about in one of her messages to you for Jayanti, about how this is the first time that the authentic asana has been introduced. I am wondering what that means, because she said that that even includes ancient times.
MASTER: The first time that the word asana appears in the scriptures is in the ancient Upanishad, and the next time is in the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali. In the Upanishad, it only stated that, “Asana is to sit with a straight back, putting the head on top of the spine.” According to the Yoga Sutra, it is written that “Asana must be steady and comfortable.” Neither one of them mentions anything beyond just the physical body. Later on, hatha yoga came to be developed. In the 12th or 13th century, Gaurakshanatha wrote a scripture called Hatha Yoga, but that scripture no longer remains. The guru of Gorakshanatha was Matsyendranatha. He is the Matsyendra of matsyendrasana (laughing). The guru of Matsyendranatha is Shiva. Gorakshanatha’s Hatha Yoga is not in existence any longer; however the scripture that was written based on that one is the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. One theory supposes that Svatmarama Yogi was a disciple of Gorakshanatha, and it was he who wrote the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. In the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, there is more elucidation about the purpose of asana, but this description of the effects of asana still remains centralized around the physical or physiological effects. But at least they had already experienced that the control of the physical body eventually leads to the control of the prana. And that the control of the prana leads to the control of the mind. The ultimate state in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and in Hatha Yoga is samadhi, and that is exactly the same as raja yoga, that is, what is taught in the Yoga Sutra. In that sense, hatha yoga is included in raja yoga. The content that I myself discovered is that asana is not limited only to the physical realm—of course asana does purify the physical body too—but more about [the fact] that asana really affects the prana and the mind. In this sense, it is probably the first time that such things are taught very clearly to disciples. Of course, it is certainly difficult to lead people to Satori only through the technique of asana, because, and it goes without saying, the right guru and the right teachings are essential. This was the gist of what I meant. (after some pause) So even though it is asana, I teach that it is directly connected to the realization of the Truth.
Sadhya: So, the other day when we were speaking with Yogadanda, he spoke about padmasana as a symbol, and that made me think that when I asked you before about asana and mudra you mentioned that all the asana that you teach are mudra.
MASTER: Yes, that is the truth of the content of the asana that I teach. There are four parts in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. The first part is about asana. The second is about pranayama. The third is about mudra. The fourth part is about raja yoga—that means samadhi. In this scripture, as I mentioned just before, the teachings about asana are only within the physical realm. The next part, pranayama, is about controlling the prana and bringing the breath to a stop. Mudra is a way to create that condition, and this leads to samadhi. That is to say, mudra is to create a specific position, like in asana, and then to control the breath, pranayama, at that point. In the scriptures, there are only 10 simple forms of mudra that are listed. However, if you can control the breath, pranayama, in any one of these countless asana, it can become mudra. In this sense, if you practice asana under my guidance, at first you may feel the physical benefit much more than any other things, yet without knowing it, the control of the breath is taking place naturally, and if you go further and further, your practice will enter into the realm of mudra.
Gopala: When looking only at the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, asana, pranayama, mudra and raja yoga are independent and do not have links to each other. (Master: Well, they are steps that go in order.)
MASTER: Well, there might be some others who have found this too; however, we cannot know because it has not been conveyed.
Anandamali: (in Japanese) In short, with Shri Mahayogi’s asana we do not need to go through each step in order, but if we can practice correctly, all of them happen at once as a result. (Shri Mahayogi: Yes, yes, yes.)
Anandamali: (to attendees in English) The conclusion is that… Gopala said that the Hatha Yoga Pradipika is written in four different parts, and Shri Mahayogi said that they are written in order, the steps that lead toward raja yoga. In a way, with Shri Mahayogi’s methods, the way he teaches is so direct. So if you practice correctly, if you have the right teaching under the right teacher, or guru, if you practice asana the way he teaches, if you go deeper, it will lead to the control of the breath naturally, meaning that it will lead to the condition of mudra naturally, and therefore it will lead to samadhi, without having to go through the process of practicing them separately. So it is very compact. So you can reach it.
Sadhya: So that is a part, and then I feel that there… Well, I have been thinking about symbols, and that there is also a mystical part of asana…. … … I have to formulate my question…
I guess my question is, is it the case that also the asana itself is a symbol and maybe the subtlety of each asana is a little bit different, but by trying to become that symbol it even takes you… …
(Anandamali: Are you talking about the one big symbol and the small symbols, or understanding each symbol or what do you mean by that?) It could be just one asana, but by trying to really gather everything, then by trying to understand that symbol, and then going beyond the body.
MASTER: Not any asana. It needs to be specific asana. Namely these are padmasana and siddhasana.
Sadhya: Regarding these two, I am curious to know what the differences are between padmasana and siddhasana.
MASTER: Just the positions—the way to put the legs is different but the content or the essence is the same. In these positions in particular, if you can sit “steadily and comfortably,” as it is written in the Yoga Sutra, then you do not need to breathe anymore. And apana, which is usually working downward, transforms to the upward direction, and through that, kundalini activates and, at the same time, you [will be able to] maintain the non-breathing state. And it is in siddhasana or padmasana that that is most apt to happen. All other asana are done for the completion of these two asana.
Anandamali: (to Sadhya in English) Didn’t you say that you also feel a similar sensation in other asana?
Sadhya: Well, I would say that I feel like I need to understand much more deeply siddhasana or padmasana. I feel like I do not really understand siddhasana or padmasana.
(Anandamali told Shri Mahayogi about what Sadhya said just now and also Sadhya’s response to the question from Yogadanda after the group meditation on Monday at Yoga Vihara.)
MASTER: That is wonderful.
Anandamali: (to Sadhya) I mentioned that you said that not necessarily with padmasana or siddhasana, but with any asana, you almost feel that the boundary of the body disappears and expands, and that that can happen in any asana.
MASTER: The reason why I mentioned siddhasana or padmasana is because it is more ideal and easier for this to happen in these asana, but it can happen in any asana.
Sadhya: Shri Mahayogi spoke about the activation of kundalini, and also apana and how the prana changes direction—is that part of something that pulls the spine straight in padmasana or siddhasana, just naturally?
MASTER: (after some silence) Usually it is the opposite, when the spine is straight, the activation happens.
Sadhya: I feel like what happens is that when I am concentrating on God or trying to meditate, that happens without control, like straightening.
MASTER: That can happen too.
Sadhya: So it comes either away?
MASTER: Yes, either way.
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Ms. Ayano: During the last Satsangha, Shri Mahayogi suggested to me to do every action in Yoga. But I did not really understand devotion or proactive actions, these kinds of things. By staying here with so many gurubhai, and also by staying this week in Shanti Kutira with Ramdas-san and Gopala-san, and also in the company of Prasadini-san, I have started to understand it. And it really drove me a lot, and it let me see my past practice from this perspective, meaning that I tried to practice Yoga by myself, but something was missing and not linked, but now it is linked.
Anandamali: (to Ms. Ayano) So, then what is your question?
Ms. Ayano: I just wanted to say thank you.
(Everyone was concentrating intently on the words of Ms. Ayano, but suddenly upon hearing her words of gratitude, everyone bursts into joyous laughter.)
Ms. Ayano: (in Japanese) Next comes the question. (in English) When in Taiwan, during Mirabai’s Satsangha, I was suffering from emotions, especially from depression and fear. And also the worst part would be from suicidal thoughts. I felt that these emotions I experienced fully, they penetrated into my body, into every cell. And so I asked Mirabai-san, “What is it that the emotions do?” (Ms. Ayano asked Mirabai at the Satsangha in Taipei in Japanese, “What is emotion?”) Her answer was, “emotion is just for you to understand other people. It transfers into universal emotion.” So just like that, I just let it go, let the emotions that bothered me go by [hearing] the right teaching. So, I was wondering, is it necessary for us to experience emotions fully, with even the body having to experience it in order to really understand it? Or if I have the right view, the right teaching, can I right away let go of it?
MASTER: Most likely emotion is indicated as things such as anger or fear, which are the workings of the mind. When we look at one specific thing, if there are two people, it does not mean that the exact same emotion towards that thing arises within them for certain. If there are ten people, there are ten different results that occur from one situation. This indicates that (emphasizing) the cause that creates the basic emotion in the mind is different in each individual person. The cause of emotions such as anger, happiness or fear, is the pain-bearing obstacles. Their original root is ignorance. Ignorance is, from the viewpoint of the Truth, an erroneous thing, and therefore it must be removed. If ignorance is removed, then that particular cause that the mind attached to will disappear, and individual or personal emotions will not arise anymore—however, in a broader sense, sympathy for all living beings becomes greater. I think that this is what Mirabai was trying to say (smiling).
Ms. Ayano: The other day, Ramdas taught me that you have to live the teaching, to do the Yoga practice—and the first step is, you have to deepen your own practice. And the second step is to feel others with the heart. So, I sometimes see people who are suffering, but because I am very much a beginner, I just observe them. And also, I learned that if they don’t ask for advice, I shouldn’t say anything. I really want to get closer to the heart of others. So, for now, how do I practice this?
MASTER: If you see people who are suffering, you should take action in whatever way you can to make them happy. These simple actions, too, become Yoga, and they are called karma yoga.
(Shri Mahayogi asks Ramdas how long Prasadini and Ms. Ayano have been staying at Shanti Kutira, and Ramdas answers that they have been staying since the day after Sanatana Dharma Avatara Mela, and that Ms. Ayano will be staying until Sunday, while Prasadini will be going back to Taiwan the next day. Ramdas reports that both of them are really proactively participating in cleaning and cooking as a part of their own sadhana, and upon hearing this Shri Mahayogi smiles. Ramdas shared that Priya, who speaks Japanese well and who has already returned to Taiwan, said one day through tears, “I did not understand why I was learning Japanese, but then after I met Shri Mahayogi, I understood that it was to meet Shri Mahayogi,” and that Ms. Ayano, who also learned Japanese prior to meeting Shri Mahayogi, also said, “Me, too.” Hearing this story, everyone joyfully laughs with Shri Mahayogi.)
(Ramdas explains the conversations that have taken place between Ms. Ayano and himself, and the motivation behind Ms. Ayano’s last question to Shri Mahayogi: “I really want to get closer to the heart of others. So, for now, how do I practice this?” It was that he had shared with Ms. Ayano that during the conversation after the group meditation last Monday night, upon being asked by someone what was the last teaching that she received from Shri Mahayogi, Sadhya answered: “Deepen your own practice and that will reflect on others.” He also shared with Ms. Ayano that he remembered that in the past Sanatana and Mirabai asked Shri Mahayogi about how they should think about the balance of their own sadhana and the practice of service, and that Shri Mahayogi’s answer was, “If you heighten the passion within yourself, that fire will affect others, so by doing that the people around you will be greatly influenced naturally.”)
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Concentration Without Tension
Prasadini: During Sanatana Dharma Avatara Mela, it was actually during that day, I saw Anandamali, the joy inside… yes, this pure joy, and I was so moved. And then I said to her that I really wanted to realize what that is. So, I feel that she helped me through the silence of mind, to taste it; and the other day, somehow during breakfast, a vast experience just came to me—there were no thoughts, and I did not know where I was, and I felt distanced from the world—there was no sadness, there was only joy, and the tears came out so beautifully. And then we had meditation, a two-hour meditation, and during the meditation I remember that I also had that kind of experience when I am with Yogi-san, and also when I meditate on Yogi-san. So, in that meditation I tried to concentrate on Yogi-san. But it wasn’t… my face was… the muscle was so tensed, and I tried to focus on Yogi-san but nothing happened. So, the question is, what should I do? Because I remember that Shri Ramakrishna, he said to long for God, if you want to get close to God—but this also brings me some tension. So please guide me.
MASTER: That can happen sometimes, however, if you keep trying, keep trying, keep trying (Anandamali said this three times as she translated, and that made Shri Mahayogi and everyone laugh loudly and joyously), surely, concentration without tension will happen one day. At that time, meditation will succeed. Surely it will come. Just like when you had that experience right after breakfast, there may be a time when it happens suddenly, when you are not really thinking about concentration.
Prasadini: I feel that it was given to me.
MASTER: Yes, you may feel that way, but in fact, it comes from you. (smiles) Well, it was good that you had a good experience.
(Shri Mahayogi told her tenderly that she does not need to worry about it and that he is glad that she had a good experience.)
Sadhya: I have a question about meditation. Sometimes in meditation, I feel that suddenly Kali comes, and becomes very present, almost like in a very fierce way. And I feel almost like…I don’t know all the symbols of Kali, but I feel like all of her arms are going into each and every cell as if to destroy something. And then, at other times, and this may happen during the day, I may think of Shiva, something like the eyes of Shiva, or the cobra, and then I feel so much passion… and I know that Shri Mahayogi speaks of Shiva and Shakti, and that the two come together. How do I bring them together?
MASTER: The differences are simply external appearances, however if you remove the external, in essence they are exactly the same One. So even though you may see the fierce aspect of Kali or the form of Shiva, if you go further and dive into the heart of them, you will surely experience the essence.
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The Practice of Discrimination:
Act in Complete Alignment With Atman
Ramdas: I have been continuously meditating on “Who am I?” and trying to abide in the consciousness of the Seer, or trying to abide in who the doer is. Recently, the thought arose that if I can experience that directly, I don’t mind if I die at any moment—but then I deny that even that thought is the true Self, and I feel like there is a repetition of this process. And when I suddenly come out of this tensed condition, and become objective and realistic, I begin to think and question myself on whether I am making sufficient effort to arrive at the actualization of the true Self. Then recently I’ve been very much feeling that I need to understand the law of karma. Shri Mahayogi says that discrimination and going closer toward the ideal are two wheels. So, then my question is that if I only practice the path of jnana yoga, that is, self-inquiry, during the process of practicing it, will I naturally understand the law of karma, or should I practice discrimination separately?
MASTER: (immediately) I have told you several times before—(sternly) your discrimination is dull! You speak of karma, but whose karma is that? Then everyone answers that it is “my” karma. So then who is that “I”? Atman does not have karma. That is the mind, which is the false self. That is not the true Self!—that is not the Atman, and therefore it does not exist to begin with. (with a stern tone) If there is not a false self, karma, which is supposedly derived from it, cannot possibly exist! If the false self does not exist, how can that karma exist? You need to discriminate that—“The non-true self does not exist, therefore karma does not exist”—and that is how you need to discriminate. However, as long as your physical body exists, you must keep acting. So, who is the doer of the action? Since there is no mind, (with great emphasis) there is only Atman that exists. Atman is the master, and takes the action of the Atman. (with emphasis) Act in complete alignment with this. All other words beyond this are ignorance, they are all creations of the mind. So, then there is no need to think or feel. There is only Atman. Atman never thinks nor feels.
Ramdas: Please excuse myself—I am speaking right now, (smiling) just to confirm.
MASTER: (smiling) Who is saying what? (Attendees laugh.) Do you understand?
Ramdas: Yes, sir. Discrimination in this means… or ignoring it is the discrimination.
MASTER: (quickly) Ignoring is the result of the discrimination. Discrimination—I told you just now about it—it is to discern whether it is false or the Truth.
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Daily Practice: Practice Without Having Any Careless Moments
(A hush falls over the attendees, overwhelmed by the way Shri Mahayogi responds towards Ramdas so sternly, intensely and powerfully, just as a father teaches his son with love.)
(After some silence, Gopala asks a question.)
Gopala: I noticed that in the case of Shri Yukteswara he doesn’t have a single careless moment. When I thought about why, I feel that it is because he abides in the Seer, he was constantly watching over himself. Shri Yukteswara and Babaji met twice, and it was probably the second time that, upon the appearance of Babaji, Yukteswara thought that he had to make an offering to him, but when he offered something, Babaji disappeared. Then Babaji told him that, “Your spiritual eyes are still not completely transparent, so you need to discipline and deepen yourself.” When he was told this by Babaji, he took it to heart, and then continued to practice it very severely. I felt that this was the base of his practice and it led him to perfection. What would Shri Mahayogi say about this?
MASTER: Well, it might be so. (Because of the plain reaction of Shri Mahayogi, Gopala and everyone laugh.)
Gopala: Would you offer me advice on how I can practice without having any careless moments?
MASTER: There is nothing else but to concretely put what I have just mentioned to Ramdas into action.
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Daily Practice: The Understanding of Family;
All Living Beings are One Without a Second
Ms. Ayano: I would like to ask about the parent-child relationship. I understand the preciousness of human birth. Because of our parents we have a body to do our practice. Also, with my mother, I saw myself in her; I can see myself in my mother. I learn a lot of practice from her, so I know that parents are very important. So, I would like to know what Shri Mahayogi’s view is toward the relationship between parent and child.
MASTER: (decisively) There is no such a thing. There are no parents, no child, no siblings. The only thing that exists is Atman, which is the Truth, that is to say, the only thing that exists is God. That is your essence and the truth of the person that you believe is your mother. All living beings are One without a second. This is the correct understanding through the view of the Truth. To attach to all of these conditions, such as the body of the parents and child, the siblings, the races, is wrong. (Ms. Ayano nods.) But, you must not forget the gratitude that they gave birth to your body and that they raised you. (Ms. Ayano smiles.) If you have the opportunity to serve Atman in your parents, Atman serving Atman, that would be enough.
Ms. Ayano: (in Japanese) I understand.
Sadhya: Shri Mahayogi, in New York, I think not just there, but other places too, there is a growing focus or tension put on these separations, these categories like races or sexual identities, or so many different groups like this. And it almost feels like… in school I feel it very much, because people are speaking this way or relating this way. Sometimes it feels so overwhelmingly impenetrable to start to break that apart because the ideas are so strong. And based on what Shri Mahayogi said, how can I go about introducing the Truth to those that do not even know it exists, when these are such delicate situations.
MASTER: Well, that is so difficult because this is like talking to a person who is having a dream. So, the most certain way is to wake them up from the dream. (Everyone laughs.) But no matter how you shake them, it seems that they might be having such a good dream, (everyone laughs very hard) that nobody seems to wake up. [Though] there might be some who are almost starting to get tired of dreaming. When they wake up a little, if you teach them Yoga correctly, then they will surely go forward.
Sadhya: I suppose that that also goes back to intensifying our own fire, in order to light many fires.
MASTER: Exactly. And if you have more gurubhai, then the fire will get bigger and bigger.
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Sanatana Dharma and Its Establishment
Sadhya: Shri Mahayogi, I am trying to understand a little bit better about Sanatana Dharma, our responsibility as gurubhai, and also as an organization. And there is something that Anandamali spoke about, I think in the message at Sanatana Dharma Avatara Mela. There is a need to support the seeker of the Truth—I feel that there is a reciprocal relationship among many things happening, and perhaps it has to do with everything being Atman, everything is really One, but it seems that in order to grow, or in order to really establish Sanatana Dharma, that we need to create or build that awareness that it is here and that it is worthwhile for people to support it, and we need that. For example, if I support Anandamali, Anandamali supports Shri Mahayogi, and the more each deepens, that coming back, everything is coming back from Shri Mahayogi. Is that the correct understanding? If we would like to establish Sanatana Dharma, as all encompassing? (to Anandamali) Can you say again about supporting the seeker?
Anandamali: (to Sadhya) The souls of those who seek Satori or Sanatana Dharma are so precious. That needs to be understood. They need to be supported.
Sadhya: (to Anandamali) I guess my… I am trying to understand how all these things come together…
Anandamali: (to Sadhya) So you are talking about “how to cultivate the society that can understand that”?
Sadhya: (to Anandamali) Yes.
Anandamali: Society may not necessarily understand Sanatana Dharma. Even we, disciples of Shri Mahayogi, how much or to what depth do we really understand it, that is another thing. How will society start to understand the preciousness of the seeker of the Truth, and their significance? Of course, Shri Mahayogi is in existence here (on earth), and of course, his existence is precious—there is no question about that. Then come the seekers. And these seekers become guru eventually. And this is the way the Truth is conveyed to the future. Not only guru—in a way the importance of the guru is understood—but also there is a need to understand how precious the seekers are, and to support them financially and in many different ways—without that, it is extremely difficult to convey the Truth. This is a part of my speech at Sanatana Dharma Avatara Mela. So, there is a need for an understanding of the preciousness of the seekers, and therefore the need for an understanding of the importance of them being supported by many. So what is the process? How will this understanding be born in society?
MASTER: That is actually the biggest issue in human history. Buddha, Jesus, they did these [kinds of] reformations. Also, Chaitanya, Shri Ramakrishna, they too made reformations. And this is what we have been doing as well. I am thinking of doing this through all possible means, by mobilizing everything at our disposal. In order to do that, we need more seekers, and we need siddha (the ones who have mastered the teaching), who preach that—Yogi and Yogini. All of my direct disciples will act on that. And we will manifest That through all possible expressions.
Sadhya: “That” means Sanatana Dharma?
MASTER: Yes. Of course, there can be the form of teaching—the publication of books, or kirtan, or sometimes it may be a divine play. Unless people see a sign like that, people cannot understand it, so we should show all possible signs. Last year, exactly a year ago, we were able to obtain the Prema Ashrama, where you (Anandamali and Sadhya) are staying right now. It will be great if we can find places where we can see the visible signs like that in Taiwan and in New York—I would be so pleased. The best sign though is each disciple’s physical body. (Shri Mahayogi smiles.)
Gopala: I just realized that I misinterpreted the saying of Jesus, “If you do not see the sign, you do not believe it.” I thought that he was simply speaking about miracles. But it was not only the sense of the word miracle.
Anandamali: But, no. In a way, this is a miracle. This itself is a miracle. Shri Mahayogi’s existence Itself is the miracle. So, his disciples are the miracle too.
Gopala: Oh… (Everyone burst into laughter.)
Prasadini: Yes, his disciples are the miracle!
Anandamali: This is what I was talking to you about the other night. This is really, again, the “impossible is possible.”
(With a feeling of the vastness of this, silence ensues.)
(After that, attendees bow down in gratitude, and then leave the Mahayogi Ashrama for the class in Nagaokakyo-city.)
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Testimonies from Actual Practitioners:
Shri Mahayogi’s First Visit to Taiwan!!!
by Priya, May 2017
by Priya, May 2017
Shri Mahayogi visited Taiwan for the first time in May 2017, in response to the fervent requests of Prasadini (Lynn Lin, who first met Shri Mahayogi in 2013 when she was participating in a tutoring program through a Yoga School in New York) and other disciples who have been active in disseminating the teachings of the Master! In Taiwan, so many people had the opportunity to meet Shri Mahayogi, and there were wonderful and enriching Satsanghas held day after day!!
This is an article from Priya (Lu Pei-Jyun, the cousin of Prasadini, who first met Shri Mahayogi in March 2014 when she began a one year stay in Japan for a University exchange program). She served as the Japanese to Chinese interpreter.
We welcomed Shri Mahayogi for the first time in Taipei, from May 10th to 16th, 2017. He stayed for only one week, but there were four Satsangha held over the course of four consecutive days, during which more than a hundred people met with Shri Mahayogi.
In every Satsangha, participants eagerly asked questions and listened intently to Shri Mahayogi’s answers. Moreover, each Satsangha had a different atmosphere, and if you were to ask the participants, surely all of them would unanimously agree that each Satsangha was wonderful!
You may be curious to hear what the contents of these four Satsangha were. I will share a summary here.
Many people gathered for the first Satsangha. There were 56 attendees, so the room was very full. Since this was their first time meeting with Shri Mahayogi, everyone was extremely curious and looking forward to meeting the legendary Awakened Being. When Satsangha began, it was as lively as a quiz show, and as soon as Shri Mahayogi finished answering one question, two or three other people would raise their hands at the same time. Various questions came up, ranging from the Big Bang, the origin of the universe, to questions regarding Shri Mahayogi’s experience of entering into Samadhi at the age of eight, and from questions about the karma of human beings, to mundane questions like how to combat laziness. Shri Mahayogi answered every question brilliantly with simple and easy-to-understand words. We were all drawn into his words, which were full of wisdom, and at times we would be rolling with laugher at Shri Mahayogi’s sense of humor. From hearing the reactions of the attendees afterwards and through the survey they filled out, there were many who said things like, “He was so friendly,” and “What a cute smile he has!” (It seems that up until then, many thought Awakened Beings were solemn and reclusive. So many were truly taken by surprise when they actually met Shri Mahayogi at how much of a gap there was between what they had originally imagined and what they experienced.)
For the second Satsangha, attendees arrived earlier and sat quietly, waiting for the arrival of Shri Mahayogi. It set the mood for Satsangha to begin quietly and peacefully. After a few initial questions, a woman spoke up and asked a question. With Shri Mahayogi gently gazing upon her, she began to speak tearfully about a fear that she had held onto for a long time. With her bold confession, another attendee courageously followed, revealing his own secret anxieties. How many people suffer in this world, struggling in the darkness? With supreme love and compassion, Shri Mahayogi accepts everything and gently consoles us: “The essence of the ‘I’ is a precious, eternal and immortal Existence. Regardless of what situation you find yourself in, there is no need to disrespect yourself. If one continues with the study and actual practice of Yoga, then it is possible for anyone to reach true Bliss and Freedom. It is not difficult, because it exists already deep within your heart.” Upon receiving these kind words from Shri Mahayogi, the heavy, hardened clots within our hearts suddenly melted as if lit up by the sun, and our dried-up minds were irrigated. I couldn’t help but think, “Oh, how much the world has fervently longed for these words of Truth! How eagerly have we waited for Shri Mahayogi’s arrival on this earth!”
The third Satsangha had a completely different atmosphere. During this Satsangha, it began to rain and purify the world, and it seemed to even wash our minds. I have no idea why, but the sound of the rain from outside, and the husky attractive voice of Shri Mahayogi resounded throughout the room, and the atmosphere gradually became quite romantic. One attendee asked, “How should we continue to learn as disciples who live far away from the Guru?” First, Shri Mahayogi explained the teachings of Buddha during his lifetime, and the relationship between a Guru and a disciple. Then he concluded with these words, “I will try to keep my body visible to you as much as possible (smiling).” Wow! In that moment, everyone’s hearts were stolen and everyone became intoxicated with Shri Mahayogi’s charm! What a sweet mood it is that is created in the exchange between the One who steals people’s hearts and the people whose hearts are stolen—just like the beautiful love story of Krishna and the gopi!
The fourth Satsangha was held on a Sunday, which happened to be Mother’s Day, and a very appropriate question and answer arose that day. The mother of one of the attendees was also present. As soon as the Satsangha began, this mother stated, without any prompting and in a sudden expression of love, that she cannot accept her daughter’s recent enthusiasm and faith in Yoga, and, at the same time, as a mother she is very concerned about her daughter’s future and wants her to live a much better life. Even though the mother was being confrontational, Shri Mahayogi was completely unshaken and answered powerfully and firmly, with an attitude of fortitude: “The happiness of the world disappears quickly. Rather, the more material happiness one possesses, the greater the suffering. Yoga is the middle path. It is not unbalanced. Yoga teaches that we must deal with people with kindness, that we must do the best in each situation that comes at us, and that we must seek true happiness that is eternally unchanging. Isn’t that the most ideal way to live?” In that moment, the sun suddenly shone through the window and spotlighted Shri Mahayogi. He shone like a light, and at the same time, he taught the Truth with a powerful tone—these words pierced everyone’s mind. With such a bold and unshakable attitude, while at the same time being both powerful yet unfathomably tender—how cool Shri Mahayogi was at that moment! (Postscript: We heard afterwards that this mother told her daughter that she had completely misunderstood Yoga, and that from then on she wanted to study Yoga. What a mysterious power Shri Mahayogi has!)
After that Satsangha, many attendees mentioned that they had received an enormous power from Shri Mahayogi, and that they would be able to walk upon the path of Yoga with more courage and self-confidence.
It is said that in order to grow crops, one must prepare the field. This means that the weeds must be pulled out, rocks must be removed, and the soil must be plowed—then one can finally grow something. What Prasadini has done in Taiwan is the work of preparing the soil, and gradually as more people have begun to join in this task, the field is now finally getting ready to be planted. This time Shri Mahayogi visited Taiwan and sowed the seeds of Truth in everyone’s minds. When will they sprout? How might they possibly grow? From now on, we who reside in Taiwan, with the great blessing that we have graciously received, must make an effort in both the task of plowing and in our own actual practice.
I am grateful for all the participants and staff. And during Shri Mahayogi’s stay, Mirabai supported with so many various matters, and I am filled with gratitude for this.
In conclusion, I would like to offer my utmost gratitude and respect to Shri Mahayogi. Because of Shri Mahayogi, we were able to gather together in joy. I hope that my beloved may visit Taiwan again!
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