Teachings of Shri Mahayogi:
The Manifestation of Awakened Ones and Sanatana Dharma
(The Eternal Universal Truth)
The Greatest Blessings in Life
The Mission of The Awakened Ones
Testimonies from Actual Practitioners:
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Teachings of Shri Mahayogi:
The Manifestation of Awakened Ones and
(The Eternal Universal Truth)
The Greatest Blessings in Life
May10, 2008, The Ashrama, Kyoto
Jayadevi says that she first started to attend the MYM classes and was then, naturally, able to meet Shri Mahayogi; however, people in India either dedicate many years to looking for a holy being, or they go on pilgrimages. She wonders if India is exceptional in this respect. She feels that Satsangha inevitably occurs as holy beings manifest, no matter where they are.
Jayadevi: In this modern age, some people may think that they can study the teachings on the internet or in books, without having to be taught by someone. However, people in India know that the Truth must be taught by one who has realized It through experience. Could you please tell us why the difference between these two cases is significant—and what it is that we have forgotten [in the modern age]?
MASTER: Truth, or Satori, is universal, so it is no wonder that it can occur anywhere, East or West, in any era. However, it is actually in the land of India that the realm of spirituality and its seekers blossomed on a grand scale. Therefore, India, compared to other regions or countries, is on record as having more actual cases like the ones you just mentioned…even to this day. That is the spiritual legacy of India. That’s all there is to it, but think of how many people and animals were saved by holy beings manifesting over the course of thousands of years. And how they have cast light upon the Truth of the Soul; that ought to be learned by human beings. The suffering masses have sought salvation through that, and they seek holy beings in order to receive the highest, greatest blessing, or in other words, comfort; and eventually, to prostrate at the feet of those beings will have become their only wish.
At the same time, the holy beings never gathered people through self-promotion or showing off like nowadays, quite the contrary, their principle was to live quietly as if hidden away; therefore it was difficult for seekers to even find the whereabouts of these holy beings. Even so, the seekers rushed to them hoping to receive darshan (one holy gaze) before dying. That was because they knew well that they could not learn it from letters or from books. Even if the holy being was silent, they knew well that if they were even able to prostrate in front of that being, they would be able to receive an incomparable blessing.
Regardless of how advanced libraries or computers become, that will never change. A computer can never perform the role of a guru (master).
August 2, 2014, The Ashrama, Kyoto
Sarani: I treasure the words you spoke to me in response to my question ten years ago, and I would like to ask about that teaching again. I saw a documentary on television about Kumbha Mela. The camera focused on a sannyasin (renunciate) or a practitioner, who had come down from the Himalayas, covered in a cloth, with only a staff and a water pot. “Why are you going to Kumbha Mela?” the man was asked. Then he answered, “To see God.” I wondered why a practitioner, who had been practicing day and night and was in contact with God within his heart, had to go out of his way and walk to Kumbha Mela, to a festival in the external world. I asked Shri Mahayogi at a Satsangha how I should perceive this, and Shri Mahayogi said, “For those who are at the stage of not having realized Satori, they are all in the same [category].” I would like Shri Mahayogi to explain that again, if it is correct to think that catching a glimpse of an avatara (incarnation of God), a God that descends in physical form, is different from meeting God in meditation, or might there be a much deeper significance to it?
MASTER: Satori comes down to clearly and tangibly realizing the Truth that exists within everyone, and actually embodying It. In this way, anyone, without a single exception, can know and realize God and embody That. Because God already exists within you. However, even though this is the Truth, the power of maya (illusion), which covers over the Truth, arises in the mind. Maya is the power that prevents the mind from seeing the Truth, and furthermore, it causes the mind to be attracted to something that is not the Truth, in one word, that is what is called a “pain-bearing obstacle.” The cause of pain-bearing obstacles is ignorance, which means not knowing the Truth; and, being that it is the opposite of the Truth, it means to be deluded into thinking that that which is non-Truth is actually the Truth. From there, the mind attaches to the wrong things and thus creates karma (cause and effect of actions), and eventually, that creates your own suffering. Such is the way that people live their lives in the world. However, through auspicious connections, if one learns about realizing God and practices disciplines to realize That, then God, the Truth within oneself, manifests by itself. The sadhu (practitioners) and sannyasin in the Himalayas, believing in that, have renounced the world and are diligently practicing disciplines.
That can surely be realized without a doubt; however, in order for the realization to be perfected quickly, the right teachings and the right practices of the right disciplines must be given. And a guide who leads the way to reaching That is indispensable. Of course, the ones who have perfected That before others, will eventually become guru and guide the disciples, and that will happen Out of these gurus, the ones who are exceptional beings are called avatara, which refers to a being that manifests in this world as God having a physical body and lives his or her entire lifetime solely for the salvation of mankind.
From the perspective of learning and practicing the disciplines, the slight difference between guru and avatara is in their purity. In the Yoga Sutra, the Existence called Ishvara is explained. Ishvara has been translated as the self-existing God, meaning the manifestation of a perfect God, independent and self-existing. The Ishvara is the pure Existence, never tainted by any pain-bearing obstacles. So it can be interpreted as Truth itself, that is, 100% God itself, manifesting into a human form. From this perspective, the appearance of an avatara and having the opportunity to connect with It creates an unfathomably, incomparably sublime relationship.
And Kumbha Mela is the biggest festival that has been going on for thousands of years in India. It happens every twelve years, but it seems that there are smaller, regional ones every four years. The special thing about this festival is that anyone can participate, and it provides an opportunity for practitioners, those in the middle of the path, and perfected ones, to mingle all at once. Throughout the history of India, in order to realize the Truth, which has also been described in other words as being true happiness or true freedom, many people would gather at Kumbha Mela hoping for bliss, that is, happiness that can never be destroyed again, or in order to sense and experience God itself, that is, Truth. It is mentioned in Paramahana Yogananda’s autobiography, and I’m sure you all know that.
Gurudas: If we go to Kumbha Mela, is it true that we can feel God there?
MASTER: Everyone goes there for That, although it depends on the person whether it is possible or not. There is no guarantee. However, it presents a great opportunity.
Gurudas: Don’t people go there to meet an Awakened Being?
MASTER: For thousands of years of history in India, if the mind of religious awakening arises, which is the urge to seek Satori, the urge to know the Truth, it is said that this urge will become such an overwhelmingly large wish, so overwhelming that you won’t to go back to performing any worldly tasks. When that happens, you may read scriptures or ask for teachings from monks or swami nearby or senior yogi; however, that can’t satisfy the urge. So then you leave your home, leaving everything behind, solely for the purpose of seeking out the true guru, who can lead you to Satori, whose whereabouts you do not know, whose identity you do not know—this is a common thing. Kumbha Mela creates the opportunity out in the open, in public, for anyone to find a guru. Nevertheless, at the same time, the auspicious connection between guru and disciple is special, so it does not necessarily mean that you can find a guru at Kumbha Mela just because you attended it.
Sananda: Does the Satguru (True Master) know where his disciples exist?
MASTER: Yes, it’s somewhat known.
Sananda: So after that, it’s only a matter of time for them to be connected.
Sarani: When I heard this early on, around the time I just began Yoga, I was really impacted by it. I could not forget Shri Mahayogi’s words in the Satsangha and the Sadhu from that day on. I thought that that passion has an enormous power.
MASTER: Yes, indeed. It is probably because it resonates with nothing other than your own true Existence. The mind cannot know it, however, the true Existence, that dwells deep within the heart—which exists in everyone—is God-like, or God itself, Eternal Existence; it is never born and never dies, it can never hurt or suffer. Such Existence, filled with bliss or the Eternal Existence, is the Truth that dwells within everyone.
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The Mission of The Awakened Ones
February 9, 2008, The Ashrama, Kyoto
Yuko (Jayadevi): The avatara descends into the world in a condition of not having any karma, but even so, does the avatara have to reaffirm his own mission later on?
MASTER: Yes, he does, because when an avatara, an incarnation of God, descends to the world, he has the mission of saving humanity. And there is another mission: to clarify and reveal an appropriate path—even though it is in fact an eternal path that has continued since ancient times—appropriate for the era, or the characteristics of the location accordingly. So, inevitably, the avatara will recognize and understand [that mission] within the time and the space [of being on the earth].
Umeda (Madhuri): I remember that Shri Mahayogi mentioned that some time ago he was not interested in teaching people, and that it was sufficient for him to just be a yogi. I understand that people probably began to seek teachings from Shri Mahayogi [and that’s why he began teaching], but please tell us what caused you to come to know your mission.
MASTER: It wasn’t based on a specific occurrence. For me, it’s the same whether I am being a yogi alone somewhere in an obscure corner of town, or being together with you like this (gently smiles). Regardless, that great mission is going to be accomplished. Irrespective of [this specific mission], events similar to these have been recurring in this world again and again.
Ambika: : Is that because those who become awakened are so few?
MASTER: That is nothing new, but another important point is the era in which this occurs.
For example, Jesus said, “Think not that I have come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I have not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”1 These are exactly the same words as Shri Krishna, only the expression is different. He said, “When Truth declines and non-truth arises, I manifest myself. To save the good, remove the wicked, and establish the Truth, I appear from age to age.” That is the same situation with Buddha. During the time of Buddha, there was a similar ‘spiritual trend’ to what is happening nowadays, where various ideologies and philosophies, or practices became fashionable. It was such a chaotic state that people had no idea what was right. That is why Buddha had to appear in that era.
It was the same with Shri Ramakrishna—the era sought him out. With the coming contact of East and West and the expansion of globalization, he came to definitively declare what the Eternal and Universal Truth is. Of course, the Eternal Truth is the same—unchangeable—during Krishna’s time, Buddha’s time, and Shri Ramakrishna’s time. Each era required it, respectively.
Nowadays, too, Yoga is trendy and people all over the world are drawn to it. However, its Truth is not fully understood. That is what is meant by, “history repeats itself.”
1 Matthew 5:17, King James Bible
June 17, 2006, The Ashrama, Kyoto
Ambika: Your Mission is being fulfilled in Kyoto and New York, but would it be possible to tell us what the spiritual needs of the world are and the spiritual level of the present time?
MASTER: I never specifically thought about it, so my answer is vague, but Yoga came about from the most ancient times, and it has continued to be transmitted in India even to this day. However, in a way, its influence went through Buddha and was conveyed to the East as Buddhism—it has been about two thousand years since then. During these times, East and West have not quite established a close relationship, especially in terms of religions. In the West, Christianity has prospered, while in the Middle East and Africa, Islam has spread.
Shri Ramakrishna’s appearance came with the great role of proving that the Truth is One across religions, harmonizing all world religions in a positive manner. The one who laid the foundation for that was Vivekananda. And the first stone was cast in the United States, and after that, its sibling, Europe. If you look at the history of the past few millennia, the past hundred years has just been the beginning. In that sense, I, as well as the ones who are to appear in the future, our mission can be understood as being the same.
The nineteenth century was characterized by the emergence of a chaotic transitional period. In the twentieth century, that chaos has worsened to the point of utter destruction. While we are in the twenty-first century, the chaos from the twentieth century has not subsided, in fact it even seems to have worsened. The competition caused by materialistic turmoil that is called modern civilization is one cause; and the stagnation of religion, which has gotten worse than in the nineteenth century, is another cause. Right now, both East and West are reeling from chaos.
Indeed, Japan has surely become a place where you can live comfortably, nevertheless, what we have lost is sizeable. The way things are going now, it might be fortunate if we go back to the ways we had a hundred years ago. If we look at it from a bird’s eye view, then this sense of being trapped will continue to grow. That is why I wish to cement the “corner stone” that Shri Ramakrishna and Vivekananda laid.
October 3, 2015, The Ashrama, Kyoto
Yohei: I feel that Vivekananda was trying to bring the world or humanity together by applying the understanding of Yoga that you become one with the Truth through controlling the mind, and although peoples’ minds vary, and nations and religions come in many forms, Yoga unites them all into one. Is that so?
MASTER: Yes. He pointed out that, especially towards the end of the nineteenth century, all existing world religions, such as Hinduism, Christianity and Buddhism, have all come to a standstill, and that they have lost the state of Satori, which is the original, ultimate state of religion; and he thereby brought forth a great message that it is possible to restore it through the means of Yoga.
Nowadays, when people think of religion, they tend to think of something big and vague, a huge group like the vast organizations such as Christianity with the Vatican at its pinnacle, or Buddhist, Hindu, or Islamic organizations. But if you look at the starting point of these organizations, there was simply one Awakened Being and that’s all it was. And all that these founders did was teach their disciples individually the way to actualize and experience the same state that they were in. But in the past two thousand years, that purest, original starting point of religion, disappeared somewhere, and instead a monster called religion took form. That’s what it seems like. During times like the end of the nineteenth century, the words of Swami Vivekananda must have roared across the universe like thunder.
Yohei: To restore religion—what Vivekananda tried to accomplish through Yoga was the restoration of the actual practice of discipline? Since Yoga equips the practitioner with the means of the actual practice of disciplines and the wisdom to attain It, will Yoga be the key to connecting everything?
MASTER: It has the same significance, just as Shri Krishna said, he is like the thread that connects all the pearls. It can be said that that thread is Yoga and each pearl is the soul of each and every person, as well as each and every religion.
Yogadanda: Perhaps, there is a disadvantage to having religions spread, and perhaps, Yoga practitioners knew this and taught it quietly without it being known. On the other hand, did Vivekananda boldly go beyond these frontiers to spread the teaching?
MASTER: Indeed. Yoga does not need to don the cloth of religion, because just like science, the content of Yoga is universal. So Yoga can be learned and applied into actual practice very straightforwardly as a matter of course, beyond barriers such as race, language, or even differences in religions. It has a very scientific aspect in that sense. Furthermore, the Truth does not change, regardless of the changing world or changing religions. It is one without a second.
Vivekananda said at one point said that he welcomed the fact that the number of atheists has increased nowadays. Because they do not need to go through the unnecessary religious zealotry and brainwashing. However, if one experiments and validates it like science, one will surely be able to reach the Truth. Yoga provides such universality.
There was no need to use the word Yoga, but it’s difficult to indicate it without any word, so he indicated It by using the word ‘Yoga’ out of necessity. Most likely, that was the very first time that the word ‘Yoga’ had been introduced to Western countries, so Vivekananda probably used that word without hesitation. However, the word ‘Yoga’ did not contain any prejudiced meaning that would only apply to one religion exclusively. He must have used it as a word that has universal meaning.
April 11, 2009, The Ashrama, Kyoto
Haridas asks if, since in the case of Shri Mahayogi he actualized the various paths of yoga alone, under circumstances which did not include a guide, then how did intense bhakti (devotion towards God) or passion, at a level like that of Shri Ramakrishna, exist within Shri Mahayogi.
MASTER: For me, it was around elementary school, it may have existed either before or after the experience, but my proposition was: When that Awakening experience occurred, all of the universe vanished. That is to say, I dove into the formless Brahman, or awoke to It. But when my life was preserved and I came back to this world, I wondered what this world was. If I denied this world as something imperfect, then it would simply be nihilism. That formless Brahman is indubitable, yet it must be manifesting through all of the manifestations and the world at the same time. (With a strong tone) Otherwise, it would make no rational sense. (With further emphasis) Otherwise, it wouldn’t be necessary.
(Shri Mahayogi gently looks around at everyone and continues.)
Therefore, there is no need for you all to do everything I did. Just take the most effective parts, and do them quickly, and that will be enough for you.
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Testimonies from Actual Practitioners:
What is Yoga? Part 8: The Guru (Master) is Everything
Translation of the article by Norio Shimada1
May 2015 Kyoto, Japan
Since ancient times, Yoga has been handed down from Guru to disciple. And it is only through One who has realized the Truth that the living teachings have been transmitted. If Yoga could be transmitted through intellectual knowledge, then it would be possible for it to be transmitted via the Internet or even through a correspondence course without a Guru.
The Guru—it is the existence that embodies the most important “Truth” to us Yoga practitioners. If parents are responsible for providing food, clothing, and shelter for a newborn baby and raising that child with unconditional love until he or she becomes independent, then it is the Guru that is the sole and absolute existence who bestows the teachings that are essential for that person to reach the goal of Satori as they fulfill the original purpose for which each human being is born—“for spiritual growth.” For example, when we begin to learn about Yoga, we are taught about the task of breaking down the fundamental cause of all the issues we face in life, such as anxiety, suffering, sadness, and dissatisfaction, to the point where there is nothing left that can be broken down. Even in the example of this single method of discrimination, the one who explains the procedures, corrects the wrongs, clarifies any confusion, and provides the motivation and actual energy needed to persevere and practice daily is the Guru.
However, the Guru is not merely a ‘Yoga teacher’ or a ‘coach.’ Just by sitting in front of the Master, by simply listening to his words, our mind’s troubles immediately disappear, and through contact with that holy energy, the mind comes to be increasingly purified. The words emanating from the Master are not mere language, but revelation itself. Its vibration directly reaches the deepest part of the mind, and one’s own pure consciousness resonates with It. It is very interesting how the reactions to the Guru upon one’s first encounter vary according to each individual. Some become puzzled, some become surprised by their own reactions, some are unable to contain their emotions, and some fall silent in awe. Because the Master was so pure, I remember shrinking in embarrassment—it was as if my vulgarity and impurity became naked and exposed. There are many who experience a physical or mental reaction that is hard to explain in light of their own prior experiences or intellectual knowledge—a phenomenon they don’t often encounter in daily lives.
But the fact is that not everyone encounters a Guru. Not everyone is able to recognize the necessity of a Guru. And also, someone else’s Guru is not necessarily your Guru. It is impossible to fully receive the teachings or salvation if you are in a condition in which you cannot wholeheartedly and completely believe in Yoga and in your Guru.
Only the intense, heartfelt yearning of that soul who wishes to know what it means to have been born into this life can find the Guru. When the Guru hears the cries of that soul, the one that has been struck by every blow in life and has begun to seriously seek true happiness and true freedom, the Guru then appears before such a seeker. For some, the first glance is enough, and immediately they realize, “I have finally found what I sought!” Some may meet without having any particular awareness of the significance of that encounter, but then gradually come to realize what a blessing it is to meet such an existence, and later acknowledge the Guru’s greatness as they meet again and again and the seeker becomes increasingly awe-struck, until finally surrendering everything and prostrating before the Guru. Perhaps, the former may be likened to Paramahamsa Yogananda, while the latter may be exemplified by Swami Vivekananda.
For all of us who have been learning Yoga with the MYM as well, encountering Shri Mahayogi must have its cause in having had an auspicious connection that has been sustained for a very long time. It may have been an epic journey, going back many lifetimes. Since ancient times, The Truth has always been transmitted in this way, and the current, modern era is no different.
To a Yoga practitioner, the Guru is the teacher, the coach, the father, the guide, the hope, and the source of the fire that bestows infinite power…day by day I feel more strongly that the Guru is everything. But I feel ashamed that most of the time this can only be perceived after the fact, upon looking back at some result in hindsight. Through the slightest of gestures or conduct, through the words and facial expressions shown by the Master—even with such small interactions, it is just like a well-written novel in which various storylines are woven together, gathering hints which are to be developed later on to lead the protagonist to a surprise ending, as if millions of small and large interworking cogs are complexly and exquisitely linked and moving together, until finally they all meet at one point, at one single fulcrum—thus far I have been shown through the various events that have occurred during my study of Yoga that it is just like that. I feel that the same power that governs the workings of the stars and planets is directly under the control of Shri Mahayogi.
As Yoga deepens, so does our understanding of the Guru. Will a day arrive when we fully understand what that Existence signifies? Nay, there is no time to be melancholically concerned with such things! Our ultimate goal as yogi and yogini, needless to say, is Satori. In this very lifetime, at this very moment in which we find ourselves, after reincarnating through countless lifetimes, we are finally tackling the matter—Satori—this very moment is a one-in-a-million opportunity. Because we have encountered a Master who can teach us everything that is necessary to realize It. This miraculous encounter is an opportunity that has occurred against astronomical odds. In other words, at that point when the time comes for one to find a Guru, it may be a sign that the goal is just around the corner, after a succession of trillions of complex, strange and narrow paths that singularly lead into one point. If, at this point, you have already accepted the Guru as your Master, then it may be the result of your past lives that created who you are now. However, as this very moment determines the future from this point on, whether you complete this encounter or let it go is up to your own actions in the present. Nonetheless, do not worry. As long as you engage in communicating with your gurubhai under the watchful eyes of the Master, you will be able to catch your mistakes in advance and correct them.
The various sensations I feel when I am next to Shri Mahayogi are proof that I have been able to reset myself day by day, noticing my own mind’s tendencies by being in touch with pure Existence.
In order to receive 100%, one must completely trust, obey, and surrender. Hesitation will not take you far.
“Validate this with thorough discrimination, have a pure mind, be unbiased and prepare your mind to make everything your responsibility—then be resolved and dive in!! Most of the objects of your fears are based on you trying to live your life in a way that is convenient for you, which means you are still within the realm of the mind after all. That is only an extension of karma!!” I always repeat these words to myself. Without pure faith, there is no complete renunciation. Without faith, there is no guidance from the Guru. It doesn’t matter if your pace is slow, but gradually let go! There are senior disciples who have been practicing renunciation. I admire their lightness from not having any sense of possessiveness. It is a very comforting example.
“With love, with brimming compassion, You awaken to the Truth that is Eternal, and That is within everyone.”
Because He sees each individual as the same manifestation, He bestows deep love and guidance upon each of us, as disciples who are seekers on the path aiming for Satori, and who have the resolution to continue forward with the teachings. That is the root cause of the Guru’s work. In the actions of the Guru you cannot see that there is any reward gained for himself. He only loves.
Even someone like myself could find such an existence called “Guru.” I have received a promise which has been handed to me from the Master. The Master has guided me accordingly and given me what I need based on my abilities and temperament. Now, all that is left to do is for me to continue putting the teachings into practice. I will take care of my part, so you should take care or yours. You all should or will have your own individual covenant with the Guru. It is in between you and the Guru. To persist with that covenant, to observe it and to be true to it in order to fulfill it—that is the relationship between the Guru and each respective disciple. The organization that advances together, which is made up of disciples who are united hand-in-hand as brothers and sisters under the same Guru, is called the sangha. The more the number of members of the sangha grows, the more the number of tools available to the Guru grows. No matter how small the tool, there must be something you can do. There is no need to compare between brothers and sisters, because the Guru guides the right tools to the right places. How can you ask for anything more, if you and your Guru are truly bound together?
Everyone tries to capture the Guru through one’s own filter. “He was kind,” “He was strict,” “He was cold,” “He didn’t look me eye-to-eye,” “I couldn’t see him for days, etc.”
However, the authentic deepening of love toward the Guru—bhakti, is beyond these feelings. Through thinking only about God, no matter how lonely or far away, and through continuously thinking only of God, even if there is no reaction there—and even if we don’t understand the greatness of the Guru or the enormousness of God’s existence, I think that by continuously walking on the edge of the ocean, one can feel a small part of that infinite Existence. Even such a great Saint like Ramakrishna said that the vastness of God cannot be measured. One cannot understand the Guru or God by oneself. I think that there is no need to understand. So it might be natural to feel a sense of separation or abandonment. It might be a test, a form of training to continue having that love and faith towards God. When even these thoughts disappear, one may be able to become one with God.
Up until recently, I may have been very rude to my Master. My understanding of ‘Guru’ deepened only after I was allowed to be near him. When I think back to my words and actions back then, I feel ashamed because I may have done many offensive things. It may still be ongoing, but I have already revealed everything about myself, so I have no choice but to be naked and stay close. I feel that surrender begins out of such a mindset. I was taught that to love means to sacrifice oneself for others.
Existence that is Only Love. What can you do for an existence that does not ask for anything in return and keeps on giving? What can you offer? I cannot give or offer anything except to persistently practice diligently, applying what you have taught me, so that I can acquire and master it one day.
Shri Mahayogi does not tell us, “Worry about it and suffer.” He says, “Let’s play together.” As long as one is happy or sad being tossed about by various events in one’s daily life, it is maya. But, if we can see these phenomena from the same perspective as Shri Mahayogi, all manifestations must be seen as the moment-to-moment sparks of Eternal Existence. We fulfill our roles according to each one that is assigned in this epic play written by God. Continuously gazing at Shri Mahayogi’s eyes, without missing a single step, without missing a beat—this is what I want. Indeed, I want to sing, to dance and to go crazy together with the Guru.
Jai Gurudeva Om!!
1 Mr. Shimada is a devoted disciple of Shri Mahayogi in Japan who has practiced with MYM since 2010. He is a single father to a teenage son and works a full-time job.