Teachings of Shri Mahayogi:
• By Directing the Will Towards Realizing Satori Alone,
All Else Falls Away and the True Self is Unveiled
Testimonies from Actual Practitioners:
• The Search for True Life—The Meaning of Life
Part 4: Live Not for the Sake of Something, But Because of the Truth
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Teachings of Shri Mahayogi:
Translation of Satsangha
February 9, 2002
The Ashrama, Kyoto
Using the Power of the Will to Break Away from Samskara
Masa (Haridas): In order to break away from samskara, that is, the habits of the mind, another type of awareness, or [rather] the willpower that can stop the mind from going in whatever direction it wants to go, is applied. For example, until now these samskara have powered the tendency of the mind’s thoughts to flow in a certain direction, and that is a part of the mind’s activity. So, if the exercising of one’s will is also an activity of the mind, how should we understand the power that the will has to break away from the continuous nature of samskara? Is it just another thought, or is it a different type of objectivity? I’m not quite sure.
MASTER: Indeed, that willpower is a type of thought. When it comes to that [willpower], a picture comes to mind. It can be likened to a ship. Whether it is on a river or an ocean, a ship sails forth according to the tides, the current, or the wind, to one extent or another. If a ship moves, even if it is just floating, it is just like when samskara automatically propels someone according to the circumstances in which one is placed. At that moment, a captain may have a particular direction he would like to go. In other words, in order to control and prevent the samskara in the mind from making us veer off course, it is first required to have the will to do so. That is the will of the captain. In order to get there, reliable knowledge and some technique on how to control it is required so that one can understand how to do it. Knowledge, of course, is also the goal of steering it in a particular direction. If that will becomes firm, where is it transmitted to? It is transmitted to the ship’s rudder. By moving the rudder, the ship is steered toward the direction the captain intends to go, which is in accordance with his will. So that determination must be based on correct knowledge, and it is through this systematic technique that a rudder can be firmly directed towards the correct course. That means we can say that this system must be firm and unwavering. – And it is thereby that control over one’s samskara will be established.
Therefore, it can be understood that the will becomes the power of motivation, or a type of directional power, for one’s activities and actions.
Masa (Haridas): If one of the destinations of that ship is Yoga, or the state that is aimed toward by Yoga, then the will of the captain who is steering the ship is working correctly, and that ship will arrive at the correct destination. At the same time, the knowledge, and even the method of navigation, will change depending on what destination is aimed for by using one’s willpower. In terms of willpower, whether it is average, or if one excels at controlling oneself, or if one is trained to be that way—whether it be by coercion, for example, an athlete may function with these powers of intention—that strength of willpower may be used in different ways, meaning the method of steering, the level of intensity, individual characteristics, or even the type of rudder, depending on its purpose. Is willpower the same, regardless of what the goal is? Then, does it differ according to what motivates it or where it is coming from?
MASTER: Yes, [it differs]. Also, the attachment to the goal, as well as any differences in expectations, will affect the power or the intensity of that willpower somewhat.
(Today was the beginning of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Masa is impressed by the strength of will of the athletes, and he thinks they would make amazing yogi if they were to aim for that. He wishes to have the strength of will that these athletes have, but laments how weak he is.)
Masa (Haridas): Lately, I’ve been thinking about how important the power of one’s will is. Isn’t it so?
MASTER: The will is very important. That is normally called manas. When analyzing the mind, the mind all together is generally called chitta. As you analyze it in greater detail, there is buddhi, the intellect that distinguishes [one thing from another], ahamkara, the ego-consciousness, and manas, which includes thinking, feeling, and determining an intention—for the most part this constitutes what we normally call the functions of the mind.
The practice of Yoga, that is sadhana, is performed with the mind of course, and it is performed especially using that manas, or the power of manas. In this case, manas refers mostly to the power of the will. So willpower is a large part of the activity of the mind. Of course, everyone has it.
Masa (Haridas): When we refer simply to the control of the mind, for example, it means to not be attached, and to consider how much we can remain unattached. Because of that there is a perception that the activities of the mind themselves are bad. That is, the mind equals ego, thoughts equal ego. But, that activity of the mind itself, as you mentioned just now, can be used to control ahamkara by utilizing the power of manas.
MASTER: After all, it is about purifying the entire mind. Purification means eliminating the egoism, ego-consciousness, which is called ahamkara. And the aggregate of all the various cognitions, which are produced by buddhi and manas, are dormant in the memory as samskara. These will all be purified in this step.
Masa (Haridas): So, when using the power of the will to purify them, it ends up acting as a filtering machine. So the power of the will is the generator in the machine, and the function of the filter is discrimination or [the utilization of] the power of knowledge.
Masa (Haridas): So, then some scriptures or some [words of] inspiration from Shri Mahayogi, these could be considered to be the filtering mechanism.
MASTER: Yes. Exactly. Therefore, the power of the will plays the role of a rudder. It is the power that gives direction to it.
Masa (Haridas): In order to give direction, and correctly filter.
MASTER: Yes, yes, that is it. So just as you mentioned now, denying the mind entirely is difficult, indeed. However, you can purify it.
Masa (Haridas): That is true. And there is one more thing. Just as with the phrase, “Be still and know that I am God,” when the mind’s waves are calm, your own essence shines forth. That is the same as the saying, “When the ripples on the surface of a lake become still, the moon reflects upon it.” Unless the master-servant relationship of the mind and its subject are reversed, the mind does not become still. For example, it is very commonly experienced that when one’s stomach is full, the mind is calm. But it is only on the surface that the mind is calm because it is satisfied temporarily, so it’s a delusion that makes one feel calm. As soon as the switch is triggered, the waves come raging right back. Similarly, even when we practice meditation, the breath has already been controlled through the asana and pranayama that are done right beforehand, one is in a state in which the mind’s waves appear to be calm, and because of this you may experience various insights. Yet in a state of normal consciousness, when the five senses are still functioning outwardly, this is not the case. So I feel like even in this everyday state, I must reverse the master and servant relationship between the mind and the subject. Otherwise, in my case, I’ll never be able to even come close to the essence.
So, as I mentioned to Shri Mahayogi long ago, when I wake up in the morning, it is like a wrestling match begins. It might be against small, trifling matters, yet it is important for me to approach it like that because I must undertake the practice of altering my samskara—the tendencies that, left to their own devices, will continue on their course—through my own willpower. But, it just won’t change in one fell swoop. That is where willpower comes in. Is it OK to use these methods of cutting off my own habitual tendencies in my case?
MASTER: That is an important practice as well. Since you have studied the path of the tea, you know that, besides its philosophy, it teaches the way to conduct oneself. There is no need for you to have knowledge of any kind beforehand, yet they incessantly teach the minute physical details, for example, walk a certain number of steps here and there, move just like this and that, right? However, as one continuously practices that one same form, unknowingly, it will have the effect of calming down the body, the breath, and even the mind. From there, I think it’s up to the teacher of the path of the tea if the student can be led to real meditation according to Zen (laughing). Anyway, that and what was just said are similar, I think.
Masa (Haridas): I think that initially one practices using one’s willpower by taking the attitude of the winner or the loser against [one’s opponent in the match]. Every day, triumphing over oneself is a moment-to-moment battle. Earlier, you mentioned that it’s like taking a sharp blade to the mind. I suppose that as we continue to battle against ourselves with utmost seriousness, it eventually becomes natural, and we’ll be able to do it smoothly one day, as Shri Mahayogi mentioned, and that at that point, there will be a transformation within.
MASTER: Right. And in order to do that, it is important to at least understand the words of Truth, even if they have not yet been perfectly realized. There are many [“Words of Truth”] but each one has its respective role. For example, the Existence of “I” is Atman, and that Atman is neither the body nor the mind, it is the Absolute Existence that is completely unrelated to these things and the only True Existence. That is the true “I” —all beings and things, and everything is That. If one understands that Truth, then as soon as one wakes up in the morning, everyone you see—your wife, your kids, your neighbors, the strangers you pass by at the train station—they are all Atman. Of course, their outer appearances are different. Men, women, small, big, aged. But these outer appearances do not matter. Only Atman is there as that Existence. It is the same at your store, your customers are That. It’s not only people, all and everything is That.
Masa (Haridas): So it is something that we experience without any rationalization.
MASTER: Yes. And even if viewed logically, it cannot be denied or doubted.
Masa (Haridas): So, if you were to understand it logically, while also experiencing this intuitively, that logic becomes one with the experience and it exists along with the experience all at the same time, or…
MASTER: Within [the realm of] experience, “That Is.”
Masa (Haridas): I’m sure it’s possible to logically figure this out. Intellectually and logically sorting out that, “this is not this or that, therefore, this is such and such” through logic. That is a very intellectual part of it.
MASTER: No, what I’m saying is that even with logic, it is indubitable. It’s not about proving it. Rather than being about logical evidence, it is about faith. Faith is established instead. I just used the word Atman, but that can be replaced with the words “God,” or the “Singular,” or “the Only One.” Then, such words take on the nuance of a personal deity, so the word “faith” would be more in line with this. Go beyond intellectual argumentation, and believe it.
Masa (Haridas): Is it good to repeat continuously, for example, “Everything is Atman” within myself like a magic spell, in other words, to make myself believe that way…?
MASTER: It’s not like brainwashing or hypnotism. Because, as I just said, it is [that which is] proven through contemplation and meditation, so then there is no need to repeat it in the mind anymore. However, when you come in contact with all beings and things in nature—things that you see, hear, touch, and savor through the five senses—it is more practical and concrete to remember the Truth of them and not forget it. Since that is the Truth, when you are meditating alone, at times it can also lead you into deeper meditation. Because it is the Truth, even if non-truth remains in the mind as samskara, the Truth has the power to purify it.
Masa (Haridas): I see, that makes sense. So it’s like our earlier conversation, like the workings of a filtering mechanism.
MASTER: That is so. Therefore, if you can continue to do this thoroughly, then it can be said that you have strong willpower.
Masa (Haridas): Aha, yes, that’s right…So just repeating, “Everything is Atman” like a magic spell, will have no effect? Or will it work a little bit?
MASTER: Well, to be precise, it has no effect. Rather, it is meaningless if it cannot lead to meditation. However, if one practices feeling it, practically and concretely, and comprehending it as such, then it will be like an actual meditation.
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By Directing the Will Towards Realizing Satori Alone,
All Else Falls Away and the True Self is Unveiled
(Masa says that he feels that it is hard to make time for meditation in modern society, and most people are so tired from work that they go straight to sleep. He feels that there is no other way but to meditate while one is in action.)
MASTER: If one has not found one’s goal in life, or has various goals and is aiming towards them, then the ship’s helm moves in various directions. That means that if you add one other helmsman, and that helmsman is seeking Atman, then you have no idea where that ship will head (laughs). That is why we need to have an understanding about the various things in life—why we are born, why we work.
(Masa continues to talk about the impressions he got from traveling to India with Sanatana, how Japan may be a developed nation when it comes to material things, but not in spirituality, and how rich the people in India are in their hearts. He feels so fortunate to have met Shri Mahayogi, but his ego keeps moving about, wanting to do this and that. And he is frustrated with himself and asking, “What is the matter with me—why would I want anything else?” And he thinks that if he can take things as Shri Mahayogi mentions—simply being happy if something positive happens, and then simply working to improve the situation if something is not going well, then how joyful it would be, even in the absence of material possessions.)
MASTER: In the path of the tea, contentment—knowing what is enough—is taught as something that is vital. What does it mean to have enough and be satisfied? In this life, since realizing the Truth is the greatest good, it is invaluable beyond all else. It must be pursued continuously, or achieved, and It must be realized; therefore this life that we are born with, must be cherished. In order to sustain this life, there are a few bare minimum necessities such as clothing and food. Be convinced [of what is truly necessary to sustain life], and be content with that. Know that you are content already, and there is nothing else that is needed. Of course, that is one of the main pillars of niyama in Yoga.
Here, too, what is important is what the aim is. If one can aim to definitively realize Satori, that is, find the great goal of clarifying what the Truth is, then one will give it such weight as to be willing to exchange one’s life for it. However, this is something that is very much spurned [by most people nowadays]. Even the word “religion” seems to be almost dead [in Japan] (bitter laugh) and it’s getting to be a nonsensical or comical word.
Masa (Haridas): It is sad. Here, people think that you are a dangerous zealot if you use words like religion, faith, God, Truth, or Om. No other country is as pathetic as this one.
MASTER: Indeed. But there is no use debating them. What you can do is get closer to the Truth. And if you become That, that would be best. That’s all it takes.
(Looks around to everyone.) That is your naked Self, that is the inherent nature within you, your pure and untainted Self; therefore all you have to do is simply get rid of everything that is covering it up.
Masa (Haridas): That covering is ignorance.
MASTER: Yes. [Get rid of] the various thoughts and intentions within the mind. That way, while learning the Truth, you use and exercise your mind exhaustively. Knowledge, reading books, contemplating, meditating—all of these are a part of it. But, what is that for? It is not about cramming the knowledge in. Although some may think they gain a great deal of knowledge, equal to [putting] many thick dictionaries worth of books into their heads, it’s not about cramming, rather it is for the purpose of eliminating something that was there beforehand. Therefore, you must practice getting rid of all of those new things that have been added.
Masa (Haridas): What? The new things [that have been] added?
MASTER: Yes, by that I mean knowledge.
Masa (Haridas): Of Yoga?
MASTER: Regardless of what it is. It is like using a splinter to take out another splinter, to use a simple metaphor.
Masa (Haridas): [That means that] until then, knowledge is needed.
MASTER: Yes. That is right. That is why the mind can be used for various purposes, such as understanding words and knowledge, and for meditating.
Masa (Haridas): These are necessary.
MASTER: Right. But once they have served their purpose, you do not need to keep them in your inventory (laughs). You can throw them away.
Masa (Haridas): What is considered to be fulfilling their purpose, concretely speaking?
MASTER: Concretely speaking, since these preconceived notions and concepts formed by added conditions are imperfect to begin with, their value cannot be equal to the Truth, which underlies everything.
Masa (Haridas): So once you make sure of that, then they are no longer needed.
MASTER: Right, they will be renounced; they fall away naturally, automatically. Natural renunciation will occur.
Masa (Haridas): Fall away naturally…
MASTER: Yes. Fall away naturally. Then, the mind will become even more transparent, or actually, you can say that because it is transparent, these things fall away. These processes are very subtle. Because it is transparent, you no longer need them and they fall away, or because they fell away, then it becomes more transparent—it is extremely subtle, and that process occurs repeatedly.
Masa (Haridas): At that point, what are the main things that we must do? For example, up until then, we practice meditation by adding [meaning, that is, applying] discrimination using the intellect. But how is one supposed to practice meditation after clearly seeing the truth of the world of relativity?
MASTER: At that point, the condition is approaching the almost natural state of being empty and not having anything. So it is best to maintain that. There is a term for samadhi called nirvichara samadhi. Another one is nirvitarka samadhi. Since meditating by concentrating on something involves an object of meditation, these are considered to be “with vichara (reflective)” or “with vitarka (concept).” And the state where these things are gone, as if there is nothing, is considered to be “without concept” or “nirvichara”.
Masa (Haridas): So one should abide in that.
MASTER: Abide there. From that point on, there is nothing that you can do, because any intention or efforts become quite a nuisance. You cannot even make the mind work. And once progress is made up to that point, then, nirvikalpa samadhi is extremely near. In other words, the realization and self-awareness of Truth that comes in nirvikalpa samadhi is inherently already there to begin with. (Looking at Ms. Endo) Really it’s already there. It’s not something that arises anew, or something to be acquired. It’s already there from the beginning. And it is as if the mind veils it with all of these layers.
Masa (Haridas): Like an onion.
MASTER: Yes, exactly like that. Then, through study and through various actions, works, and bhakti—it is removed one layer at a time. These are the knowledge and so on that I mentioned earlier, the ones that must be renounced. And when nothing remains, then the original Truth awakens, or rather, it emerges. It’s just like that. So the role of willpower, and what the mind must do, is to take you to that point.
Masa (Haridas): So then I should consider that to be one of its functions.
MASTER: That is so. The mind created these veils by itself, so much so that one must drag oneself to that destination. In order to get rid of these layers, the mind must be taken to that place.
Masa (Haridas): Once the destination is reached, then willpower has served its purpose and is not needed anymore.
MASTER: That is correct.
Masa (Haridas): So then, from that point on, willpower may continue as something else, with a different quality, in which I do not know if we may even be able to call it the will or not. Once we get there, willpower, which was used as the means to an end, is no longer needed and shuts down right then and there, or will it transform and meld into something else, like a bigger willpower, or something that is not willpower at all?
MASTER: No, it will just disappear. Once the end has been reached.
Masa (Haridas): Well, we must get there first. (Shri Mahayogi laughs.) Just asking what is going to happen, will not make it happen.
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Testimonies from Actual Practitioners:
The Search for True Life—The Meaning of Life
Part 4: Live Not for the Sake of Something, But Because of the Truth
Translation of the article by Sanatana
January 2000 Kyoto, Japan
What is it that we live for? What should we do in order to live for our own self-interest? Our suffering arises as a result of our attempts to keep possessing impermanent things such as our own lives and various objects. Truly, the most favorable thing we can do for ourselves is to eliminate the ego-consciousness that is the root cause [of our desire to possess things] and remain firmly fixed in the true Self. This naturally leads us to the practice of diminishing the selfish mind and devotedly serving others. What should we do, then, in order to live for the sake of others? If we truly want to be of benefit to others, we must train ourselves to eliminate the thought that, “I am doing this for you,” while thoroughly and continuously devoting ourselves to performing actions solely for the sake of others. In the end, one will become oblivious even to the original purpose of acting “for others.” Then, when the distinction between “the self” and “the other” ceases to exist, what is left for us to live for? A thing exists for the sake of something else, but once the boundaries dividing these two disappear, the separation between them no longer exists, and only One remains; then what will become of the “I,” the “you” and this world of various forms? How would a person who has realized this Oneness live? And how should those who have not yet realized It live? In Part 4, while I investigate the ultimate condition in which there are no relative conditions at all—“something existing for the sake of something else”—I would like to present my thoughts on the True Life, which is the actual application of the practice of striving to live in that ultimate condition [of Oneness] while living in this world of relativity.
Living for Nothing At All
As I mentioned at the end of Part 3, the meaning of life is to exist for the sake of something or someone else. When we consider the questions, “What is it that we exist for?” “What is it that we live for?” self-satisfaction or self-sufficiency are not definitive enough. We can answer with, “I live to earn my bread,” but there is no need to eat if you are not alive to begin with; therefore, that cannot be the reason for which we were born; that cannot be why we continue to live. Behind the inquiry of, “What for?” we intuit that, “It must be for something besides my own self.” Although we may say, “As long as I am happy, I do not care about those around me or anything else,” we have no option but to accept that view as being meaningless. We can find significance in our lives by living for the sake of someone else or by living for some purpose. We cannot be satisfied merely living out our natural lifespan. We want to seek out the ultimate meaning of life in something beyond sensory pleasures and our own interests, status and fame, or what we believe we ought to be. Life itself is also for the sake of others, not merely for survival. If you live simply to live, there is no meaning in that. It is just killing time for a brief moment. Life exists for something beyond life itself. That Supreme Existence itself—which is beyond the body and the mind, is life’s ultimate aim. “From Brahman to a blade of green grass, all is for Atman.” This old proverb expresses That. “The entire universe, all things living and non-living, exists only for God or the Supreme Being. In scientific terms, everything complex is for the Singular, or only for the sake of the Other. This “other” ultimately means God, the Singular”1（Shri Mahayogi). This ultimate “Other” is the true Self, which includes ourselves, others, animals, plants, and inanimate things, and it is the only One that exists, and it is the only immutable Existence. If that One alone exists, “something that exists for something else” cannot be. The motivation to benefit oneself or others, or to succeed at something, all of these things melt into the One. It exists for nothing; it acts for nothing; it simply Exists because it is the Truth. At this point, all relations, and all reasonings, too, come to an end. Because it is the Truth, Truth exists as Truth. And here is where words no longer serve any purpose.
“If you see the world through the mind, the world is various. If you see the world through the True Eye, the world is One” (Shri Mahayogi). Because it is the Truth, the Truth exists—how will this varying world be perceived when we confirm this through the eye of Truth? The Enlightened Ones say that this world is like a dream, it is maya (dream-like illusion). There is a metaphor for it. “At twilight, a man jumped at seeing a snake on the street. He alerted everybody and then looked at the snake carefully, and trembling with fear he realized that it was not a snake at all, but a rope. People found the Truth, and then their fear was gone entirely.” There is no need to pretend that a snake is a rope because we are afraid of snakes, and it is also unnecessary to bluff by saying that we are not afraid of snakes. It was a rope all along. Similarly, it is not necessary for us to change the world by gaining immense abilities, while [at the same time] enduring and suppressing fear while we live in the world. What we must do is simply remove the ignorance which mistakenly perceives it, and, instead, realize the fact as it is. “Just as you wake up and laugh at yourselves for over-reacting in your dream, when you awaken to the True Reality, you realize that the world you had thought to be real was only a dream, an illusion. Realization is the Awakening to the true Self—Absolute Immortal Existence, Pure Consciousness” (Shri Mahayogi). Simply wake up—the world is nothing but a dream-like illusion. A dream exists as a dream, and we sometimes struggle in it. However, no matter how hard the struggle might be, a dream is just a dream. Once we wake up, it is no longer real to us and there is no reason to be concerned. Then we can laugh about it. This world, which is full of misery and troubles, has no substance, just like a dream; therefore, it is unnecessary to get caught up and suffer from it. Once we realize that the immutable Immortal Existence is the true Self, the suffering ends. What we thought to be the self or others in the dream are actually only the One, the true Self of all beings. In That there are no distinctions, just as if all the events and all the various characters were illusions played out by one self alone.
Lila—The Divine Play of God
This world, like a dream, does not really exist. So, can we then laugh off various sufferings and tragic events because they are just part of a dream? If we perceive that every single person, animal, plant, even down to a stone strewn on a path, are nothing but our very own self, can we really disregard their sufferings? Doesn’t the pain of sufferers, animals who are hurt, plants or even inanimate objects who cannot speak, their cries, their writhing in agony, resonate within our hearts? Do we not hear them? Everything is a manifestation of That which is God, the One Ultimate Existence, the true Self.
Truth exists simply because it is the Truth—when life comes to be about not living for anything, it is completely transformed into the opposite, and one’s way of life becomes love itself, taking on all the sufferings of all beings and things, and embracing them through the unlimited love of God. Where do these mere illusions of the world and its various forms come from? Every single thing comes from God. This world is the dream of God; however, gods cannot recognize it as a dream and, therefore, they suffer. This world is not an existence to be abandoned; it is the manifestation of that which is God—this is the ultimate meaning of living. If all beings and things are dreams and illusions which have no substance, that can be used as an excuse for neglecting others who are God. We may try to rationalize laziness and lack of effort, saying that, after all, this world is just a dream. If we truly comprehend that this world is the manifestation of God, the various forms of which are only one Sacred Existence, such egoistic thoughts can never arise. To view this world as maya is something that can only be held by those who have wholeheartedly realized and discerned that their true enemy is not the people around them; rather it is nothing other than their own ego-consciousness. This realization may sometimes cause us to fall into the trap of nihilistic thinking. As opposed to this view, understanding this world as a manifestation of God, the divine play of God (Lila), will accelerate the elimination of ego-consciousness and our practice of devoted service for others, and our advancement toward Oneness will be propelled proactively rather than by denial or negation.
Actual Practice of Truth
Buddha aimed solely to detach from personal emotions, remove all the pain-bearing obstacles and attachments, and further, to ultimately extinguish the mind and the sense of “I.” However, after the realization of his aim, he became the embodiment of compassion. “‘It is inhuman to be without emotions’—that very mindset is ignorance. Emotions come from the mind’s pain-bearing obstacles. As your discipline deepens, emotions will be transformed into vast compassion. They will no longer be identified as personal emotions. Transform those egoistic emotions into the universal emotion” (Shri Mahayogi). When we direct our minds to the universal true Self, while eliminating the “me” and “mine” based on ego-consciousness and possessiveness, all our actions will be done for the sake of others. When we forget even the intention of acting for others, our actions transform into compassion. There is no longer any purpose or reason why. It is because of the Truth that “We are One” that an act of compassion is performed. Jnana yoga, in which we inquire into the meaning of “for the self” or karma yoga, in which “for the other” is thoroughly practiced, are practical means of attaining the Truth. There is an aim or purpose underlying them. However, with the Awakened Ones, in their compassion and in their actualization of the Truth, there is not even the slightest motive. It can be said that, “Because it is the Truth,” their acts of compassion continue naturally, spontaneously and effortlessly.
The Life of Truth
Now, even though we have not attained Truth, can we really say that, “we cannot act according to the Truth since we have not yet attained Satori”? Truth is not limited only to those who have realized It. It is called Truth because it is realized here and now. Whether we have realized the Truth or not, whether it is possible or impossible to act, in light of the Truth all these words are mere words that come from the mind, which is non-truth. If we follow the voices in our minds while neglecting the declarations of the Awakened Ones, can we say that we respect the Truth or correctly appreciate it? Our personal inner notions of possible or impossible are the trap of maya. “If you think you are weak, this is the only weakness. If you think you are a sinner, this is the only sin. The old religion said that he was an atheist who did not believe in God. The new religion will say that he is an atheist who does not believe in himself, that he is an atheist who does not believe in this God eternally blessed” (Swami Vivekananda). If we do not help God, variously manifest as other beings, can we say that we believe in the Eternal and Universal God within all things and beings? The truth as a mere matter of theology or philosophy, or the truth we sense in meditation; these are only sensory objects. They are within the sphere of personal emotion or thought. The demonstration of Truth in our way of living—even if it may not be smooth or perfect, the practice of actualizing the Truth with the utmost effort we can muster is what is required. What is the use of lamenting that we cannot see God in others or that we cannot perceive God within our own selves? There is no longer an option to think such thoughts as, “I cannot do it because it’s impossible and difficult.” Even if we consider our own benefit, or the benefit of others, there is no other way but to simply and diligently practice actualizing the Truth and practicing compassion from moment to moment as much as we possibly can, with the sole aim of attaining the perfect realization of Truth. Truth should not be a matter of intellect, it has to be embodied in our own selves, in this very world. I consider that alone to be the True Life. The purpose of our lives is to thoroughly manifest and embody the Truth in this life. That will be for the self, that will be for others, and at the same time, it is for nothing but the Truth. Jnana yoga, karma yoga and the other various yoga or religions are for realizing That. They are not for their own sake. Where do these practical means of attaining the Truth come from? They come from the way the Awakened Ones lived. The Awakened Ones know the true Self. The Awakened Ones cast themselves aside for others. The Awakened Ones always shine the light of tranquility without doing injury to any other being. Such Beings never feel greed, nor do they chase desires; they are free of attachment. Our practice of disciplines and methods are about aligning ourselves and our lives to that state. This is not a technique, but rather it is about being Awakened, abiding in the true Self. It is about embodying the true Self and uniting with everything into One by bringing ourselves into accordance with the Awakened Ones, their way of being and the way they live. Just as the mind becomes gathered when we fold our hands in prayer even though we do not know why, if we practice demonstrating the way of the Awakened One within our own way of being, it will naturally lead to the One. Of this I am certain.
1 From The Universal Gospel of Yoga—“Atman: All is for It”