Teachings of Shri Mahayogi
Testimonies from Actual Practitioners
Teachings of Shri Mahayogi
Translation of Satsangha
January 14, 2017
The Mahayogi Ashrama, Kyoto
For the first Satsangha of the year, it is snowing in Kyoto.
With their exhalations crystallizing visibly in the cold air, the visitors enter the Ashrama, where they are greeted by a floral arrangement of five-needle pine, Japanese all spice, and an ornamental cabbage, celebrating the new year in a bamboo cylinder vase. Kadomatsu (a new year’s entrance display made of pine, bamboo and plum) warmly welcomes the visitors.
There are many attendees for the Satsangha today, totaling 43 participants, including people from Tokyo and Matsuyama. There are two new attendees, Ms. Arai (Tokyo) and Ms. Nara (Kyoto).
Direct Intuitive Knowledge, the Purification
of the Mind, and Its Essential Practices
Haridas: I’ve witnessed Shri Mahayogi’s direct intuitive knowledge at work at various times, but I feel like there is a difference between the direct intuitive knowledge that arises when the waves on the lake come to a standstill and the moon is reflected, and the direct intuitive knowledge of Shri Mahayogi. My guess is that samadhi is basically the state where you become the moon that has shifted from the state in which it was reflected on the lake. I think that there is a huge difference between Shri Mahayogi coming down from samadhi and activating direct intuitive knowledge, versus when my direct intuitive knowledge becomes activated; so what should we do to shift from the moon that is reflected on the surface of the lake to the actual moon itself?
MASTER: I assume that you all have already learned about the term samadhi and its content through scriptures and such. [Although many things are lumped together and referred to as “meditation,” meditation actually contains concrete objects. These objects are the Truth, in other words, the true Self, which is [your] real Self, or God, which is the Pure Existence, or the various teachings of the Truth. Regardless of which one of these, pick an object that is that which is indubitable, that which is the Truth, and concentrate and meditate upon it [as an object of meditation]. Once that is deepened, [in other words,] when meditation is deepening further, then meditation becomes the state of samadhi, where the object of meditation and the mind become united as if they are one—in other words, it is the state in which it is as if the mind merges with the object of meditation. This state is called samadhi. What it means, (with emphasis) is that since you are becoming the object itself, “becoming the object itself” indicates that you will be able to understand it in its true sense for the first time. As I mentioned in the beginning, since the object of meditation is Truth, you then realize the Truth itself, so you can say that you become it yourself. However, even to get to that state, there are many levels of samadhi. Just as there are various kinds of meditation, there are consequently various samadhi. What Haridas just mentioned was about [the cases] in which there are times that such deep meditation or something like the experience of samadhi might happen on a one-off basis, even while there are a few unclear or unresolved parts remaining within the mind—and at these times, direct intuitive knowledge can happen as well. As the mind’s purification progresses, and as more ignorance and pain-bearing obstacles are eliminated, the direct intuitive knowledge itself can also transform into one that is even more keen, deeper, bigger, and into one that is more unmistakable. In its ultimate state, the mind stays fixed within the Truth, and it is that [state] that is what has been commonly referred to as “Satori [or Awakening].” Sometimes the preliminary steps are referred to as “small satori [awakenings],” but these are merely relative terms.
Now, regarding what you are anticipating most (laughs)—in order to make it happen, it boils down to nothing more than making your own mind completely transparent. To make your own mind transparent (emphasizing), means to get rid of every single attachment. Every attachment inevitably has some kind of pain-bearing obstacle or ignorance as its cause, so to say it another way, it means that if there are attachments, then that indicates that there is still ignorance within the mind. So, in that sense you have to come to grips with the gross attachments and remove them. By doing this, continuously make the mind more and more transparent—that is one discipline [that inevitably must be fulfilled]. Another discipline that inevitably must be fulfilled is, sure enough, ardent concentration and meditation on the Truth. Through practicing these [disciplines], the mind becomes truly unfettered, like emptiness, and at the same time you will realize the truth of emptiness, that is Existence—you will awaken to It. [The only option] is to practice these attentively and ardently.
Haridas: So, once you’re united as one with the object, then I suppose that you will experience It, and that is what is beyond words.
MASTER: It will be beyond words, but it is the only Existence. It is what is most definite, as Reality.
Haridas: Then, that means that the phrase, “I Exist,” is the most appropriate to use?
Haridas: Once one reaches that state… When one speaks using words…as in the case of Shri Mahayogi, it is not like he has read scriptures and remembers them. Even so, he’s absorbed into the whole content of the scripture comprehensively and exhaustively. From the point of view of general logic, this knowledge is taken in from outside. However, with Shri Mahayogi, he did not study, but rather [he first experienced what is written, then] the scriptures came afterwards. Because of this fact, I wonder if reading scriptures is necessary, or if we go directly, then this knowledge is something that will naturally emerge?
MASTER: Scriptures are like maps. But what you actually need to do is to move your body to get to the destination. You can go nowhere if you just look at a map or stay in a room. (Everyone laughs.) So, then it’s meaningless, no matter how detailed the map is, [unless you actually use it to go to your destination].
Haridas: It has no point unless we use the map to actually go to our destination.
MASTER: No matter how much you memorize the map, unless the body remembers it, it’s meaningless. (Everyone laughs.) What is needed here is the right map. The right map is the one that is most appropriate for each person—that means the one that can take that person to the destination in the shortest distance, both safely and quickly. Each person’s map may look different more or less. What is needed is the right map and a Guru who has the ability to give the accurate and necessary guidance to a disciple. If one doesn’t have that, then one won’t know which map to choose—if you go to the bookstores, there are mountains of them. (Everyone bursts into laugher.) And you get lost. It’s not about choosing the most expensive one either. The fact is that it isn’t always the case that the thicker the book, the better [service or quality] the book can offer. So then simple is clearly the best choice, and it boils down to inevitably having a Guru who can accurately provide ways to get to the goal. So, in this sense, the efficacy of the map depends on how it’s used. In one way, the map is not needed, yet there are times that a map is useful if you have it on hand, of course. In that way, [you should study and use] the scriptures appropriately and in the proper amount, and (clearly speaking to the disciples) the Guru is accurately showing the ways to get to the destination.
Haridas: (immediately) You have been doing that for me, and thank you so very much. (Everyone laughs loudly.)
MASTER: All that’s left is to truly, enthusiastically, keep moving your feet one in front of the other—this is crucial. What I mean by “moving your feet” is to use your mind to discriminate [between the thoughts in your mind and the Truth], and practice meditation diligently. [Through practicing this way, you will be able to awaken,] because the Truth is already within everyone.
The Subtle Practice of Discrimination Within Your Mind
Yohei (Gopala): I have set my goal for this year as self-realization, so I have been concentrating on Atman, which is the true Self, but I feel that to stabilize the mind truly at one single point takes incredible power of concentration, and that this is a practice that is within a very subtle realm. I’ve been trying this, but often times I can’t quite bring it there even though I intend to. I thought that my daily actions were reflected as one of the causes of this condition. I feel that the things that I see or hear remain in the mind very subtly, and even if I think I am not attached to them much they stand subtly in the way. I would like to have guidance on what is important during daily life when we intend to concentrate on one single object steadily.
MASTER: You can say that the condition of the mind is such that it is affected by something regardless of what it is, which indicates that there is a factor within the mind that attracts these things. These factors are subtle, so it may be difficult to pinpoint exactly what it is. Nevertheless, even if you don’t know exactly what they are, you can remove the unseen causes through using the power of discrimination. Through practicing this way, as you practice to get to the bottom of the issue of whether it is Truth or not, you simultaneously practice to create a condition of non-attachment in the mind, in which the mind is not attached to anything. As I often say, the mind constantly and inevitably becomes dependent on something. These are the things that bring excitement, anxiety, or joy, or a variety of things to the mind—regardless of what they are, you can say that there is a cause within the mind itself that attracts these things. So, if you can completely eliminate all of these causes themselves, then no matter what is happening in front of you, you are no longer hooked by it, and these things simply pass by. The key is that you need to firmly establish such a condition of the mind through practicing discrimination.
Yohei (Gopala): I practiced discrimination over the past year and the year before, and I think that even though it is still rough, I was able to resolve my larger issues to a degree that I am now confident that I don’t have to revisit them anymore, and this has led me to come to the point where my mindset has shifted to wanting to concentrate on Atman. But it means that, even so, I still need to have practiced discrimination thoroughly on things that trouble my mind subtly.
MASTER: Indeed. Another aspect of the mind is its habitual nature as well as its memories. Therefore, as long as these memories and habits continue to create subtle vibrations in the mind, you will continue to be tangled into unnecessary obstacles.
Yohei (Gopala): So, above all discrimination is important.
MASTER: That includes discrimination towards subtle, minute things.
Yohei (Gopala): Besides practicing that, how are we supposed to handle our daily actions?
MASTER: We are required to be in action in our daily living and at work, but it’s fine as long as these actions are done simply without being attached. There is no need to worry or think about them more than that. Just perform your tasks, simply.
Yohei (Gopala): Lately, my situation is that people have been asking me for advice at work increasingly. Consequently, the time that I have to think about work, even outside of work, has increased. Before, I was thinking simply about work during work only. I guess that it is better to not get too deeply involved, isn’t it?
MASTER: That is so. At times, some things may be necessary as a part of your job, but even at those times, reach a resolution quickly by using the power of intuition cultivated from Yoga, or the power of Yoga (laughing), and then just forget about the matter afterwards.
Yohei (Gopala): I understand.
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The Direct Route to Satori
Madhavi: When we were having conversations with participants of the class in Osaka, there was a question about how Shri Mahayogi started practicing asana in junior high school. Then Shaci-san asked Shri Mahayogi about it, and shared what Shri Mahayogi answered with the class. One of the phrases that Shaci-san shared from what Shri Mahayogi said was, “Asana is directly connected to Satori.” I would like to ask you to teach us in more detail about this.
MASTER: What I meant by direct connection, is not that one will instantly get Satori from asana, or that Satori will result directly from asana, but rather, it means that asana exists as the flow or the route, and at its ultimate end is where Satori is. Therefore, you still need the part that is beyond asana: you still need the practice of discrimination, you still need to observe the teachings of the Guru, (everyone laughs) you must also bring all your various thoughts and words into accordance with your actions—and it is indispensable to actually practice the various teachings, including all the above as a part of the teachings too. So, this means that by doing that, asana can become a direct route.
Ms. Morioka (Sati): When I participate in Shri Mahayogi’s class, I might realize something during the practice of asana. Is it okay to recall that sensation and concentrate on it during meditation?
MASTER: Yes, that is fine. It may not exactly be a direct route, as just mentioned, Yoga asana was originally one of the routes towards Satori. However, unfortunately, the things that are part of the trend called “yoga” in the world nowadays, are completely different from that, as they may be simply a means for relaxation, or for the aim of attaining health and beauty. And since these [trendy forms of “yoga”] have completely strayed away from the route of Satori, the content of what is trending in the world is quite poor. And also, the founders of those schools are completely worldly, therefore they are hopeless charlatans who have nothing to do with Yoga, so there is absolutely no relation to real spiritual things. However, take the asana we practice here, it is on the legitimate, direct path (laughs), so even if the forms of asana may be similar, the content is totally different. Therefore, it is so natural that the change of the breath, and the transformation of the mind from this practice differ from others’. I am sure that everyone must have had a positive experience here, even just with asana.
Mirabai: There was a conversation about the direct route, and I think that right now, we’re in the middle of the route, being taught directly by Shri Mahayogi. But, the way I understand it is that I have an impression that the world we are in and where we have started to work diligently, and the world of Satori, are rather not connected as if they are on the same extended route, but rather the world of Satori is completely breaking off from the route, existing completely separately, on its own over a gap, and that there is only That. Even so, we must continue to practice what we are supposed to, and as you said earlier, we must continue purifying our minds and also meditating enthusiastically—I can understand somewhat that we get closer to it by doing these things, yet there are times that I feel that it is impossible to transcend the gap to reach the other side only by doing these things…[in other words there are times] that I wonder [that if it is not the same extended route,] where or how is it possible to transcend the gap to reach the other side if we continue along only as is. I think there may need to be a completely different kind of step?
MASTER: From olden times, the world or the state of Satori has been expressed as the “other shore.” On the other hand, the world of the mind has been referred to as “this shore.” There is a big divide between this shore and the other shore, such as a big river or an ocean, and to get to the other shore, is Satori. But, in order to get to that other shore, or the state of that other shore, there are obstacles that stand before It. They are the pain-bearing obstacles and ignorance, and surely enough, without removing them you are not able to reach It. And even though the expression used is “direct route,” as if they are connected to each other, in fact, there is no connection like that of a road in this material world. What does it mean? This shore and the other, the mundane and the holy, ignorance and Truth, both sides are merely the creations of the mind. So then when one awakens to the state of Satori, both this shore and the other shore disappear. In that state, there is no shore coming or going, there is only That, and only That exists. So, It is nothing like the paradise you imagined when you were on this shore (laughing). In this sense, as Mirabai just mentioned, it may not be a “direct route,” however, you can also say that unless you have prepared yourself through these practices you can’t reach it. When does the moment come? Surely, it all comes down to the attitudes that are within the mind at all times—that means that the mind has been well prepared and the condition in which ignorance and pain-bearing obstacles have been removed is essential. Having that state of the mind, suddenly Satori will be revealed, in a flash, as if waking up in the morning, or in other words you will come to awaken into Being in that Truth. So there is no need to turn it over and over in your mind.
Mr. Takahashi: After that moment, it will just continue?
MASTER: Of course. Because only That exists.
Haridas: According to Hakuin [a Zen master from Japan’s middle age], there were expressions of small satori, medium satori, and large Satori; but people still reverted even after the large Satori. So, in that sense, the state of Satori according to Hakuin is, strictly speaking… If you eventually return from it, then it means…
MASTER: If you return, it shows that that’s still a small satori within the large Satori (laughing).
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* * *
Testimonies from Actual Practitioners:
Congratulatory Speech at Shri Mahayogi’s Jayanti, 2018
“Will even someone as unworthy as myself be useful to others?”
To my first question, Shri Mahayogi, you answered me in a very tender expression,
“If you act through pure faith, that is possible.”
The word “faith” was very difficult for me to accept at that time. Yet even though I was feeling resistance, I found myself trying to accept the words that Shri Mahayogi said. “Come here again”—these must be the magic words for many of us, as I too was drawn by them, and I started to commute to Kyoto in 2008 and have been commuting to Kyoto ever since.
My problems were piling up high. “Everything will be okay”—Shri Mahayogi said this to me again and again. I had been accustomed to using this common phrase and have heard it many times, but when Shri Mahayogi said it, the same words at times wrapped me up warmly, and at other times gently pushed me forward, giving me an unprecedented sense of security. To me, it was a ray of light that shone through the darkness. Because of these words, “everything will be okay,” my suffering was gone, and at each opportunity and in every moment I felt, “I’m truly so glad to have encountered Yoga!”
However, after five years of practicing Yoga, I started to have days when nothing went well. I was thinking, “why is it that I end up in these situations even though I have been practicing daily…?” I kept seeing only the incompetent and negative parts of myself, and by doing so, I drove myself into a corner. This state continued on for some time. One day I felt, “If I continue to live like this, then there is no meaning in my life!” At that very moment I intuited strongly, “I can no longer believe myself! I can only believe Shri Mahayogi! There is no one else but Shri Mahayogi alone!” Then I found that I could not feel suffering anywhere anymore, as if I had only been dreaming it up. There was only Shri Mahayogi, within and without.
Afterwards, when I spoke to Shri Mahayogi about this chain of events and asked what it was all about, he answered, “That is meditation.” Hearing these words, my preconceived notions of how things were supposed to be, as if they were my duty, fell off instantly. I realized that suffering and all of my notions about things, these all arose from within me.
This incident finally made me truly understand what it means to put Yoga into practice and to follow Shri Mahayogi’s example. [Since then my discipline is] to put the words of Shri Mahayogi into action. As soon as I find myself start to fall into the habit of thinking, analyzing and worrying about this and that, I concentrate on Shri Mahayogi right away. Particularly when I am working with patients at work [as an acupuncturist], I make an effort to eliminate the sense that I am the doer: seeing the patients with Shri Mahayogi’s eyes; hearing the patients’ words with Shri Mahayogi’s ears; touching them with Shri Mahayogi’s hands. If I perform actions concentrating on Shri Mahayogi alone, then they become the same actions as Shri Mahayogi’s; Shri Mahayogi is actually doing them. I make an effort to keep remembering this—what he taught me—and to keep drilling this concept into myself.
As I continue, naturally I have stopped having to remind myself to concentrate on Shri Mahayogi. Shri Mahayogi is always within me. It has nothing to do with whether I am aware of it or not. When I need to concentrate, or when my physical exhaustion is getting beyond its limit, the Shri Mahayogi within me becomes bigger and stronger, and both my mind and body become light and at ease.
Anyways, Shri Mahayogi is here.
“Within and without, only Shri Mahayogi exists”—this sensation that arose within me from the moment I felt it, became certain. Shri Mahayogi became “The Absolute” to me. Then, Yoga to me became everything in my life.
Within everyone, Shri Mahayogi, God exists.
By the light that is Shri Mahayogi shining upon me, I have become able to believe in that.
By the light that is Shri Mahayogi guiding me, I have started living my own Life.
I want to become a person who can say, “Everything will be okay,” just like Shri Mahayogi says it.
I want to become a light for someone who is unable to see anything due to suffering.
Even if it’s a small light, I want to be able to become a light that creates a catalyst for someone to know why they were born, what the meaning of life is.
We have sangha in Tokyo as the place where we can serve. I am so grateful to be granted the opportunity to be able to participate in its activities as a member.
Tokyo is the biggest city in Japan. It is the place that is inundated with information, stimulus, and so-called “yoga,” so it’s not easy to disseminate true Yoga there.
However, because it is such a city, I’m sure there are many souls that are meant to find Shri Mahayogi.
I have gone through a lot, and I may continue to go through a lot more in the future. But, I will never give up. If I don’t give up, then most things can be overcome. And in fact, the challenges make it even more interesting and worth doing.
I will continue working so that I can deliver the intense light that is Shri Mahayogi to as many souls as possible.
The meaning of the name Harshani is “One who bestows joy (every happiness).”
From Shri Mahayogi, I was endowed with every happiness.
I will live up to this name—because it is the mission given to me by Shri Mahayogi.
Shri Mahayogi, please do continue to guide me.
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