Teachings of Shri Mahayogi:
Testimonials from Actual Practitioners
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Teachings of Shri Mahayogi:
Translation of Satsangha
November 30, 1995
A Yoga Center in Matsuyama, Japan
Liberation and Freedom
Question: What is liberation?1
MASTER: Liberation is the condition in which one becomes released, when one is freed from being bound by anything at all. So, what is it that is binding whom? At first, one realizes that one is being bound by something. But by what? By the actualization of one’s thoughts and the [resulting] satisfaction one experiences, because a lack thereof creates dissatisfaction, or a sense of not being free—bondage. When you want something, for example, or if you want to go somewhere, but you cannot get that thing or cannot go to that place, then you feel a lack of freedom—that is bondage. [On the contrary,] when you actualize your wishes and thoughts—that is freedom, the absence of bondage. This is the most general example [of what freedom and bondage are].
In Yoga, we use this as a clue to go deeper within the mind. That is to say, we seek out what it is that is binding whom. Everything inevitably has a cause. To begin with, there is the first cause, and that is the mind. And then there is the next cause, which is that ‘the mind desires.’ And then further, you will find the concrete cause, which is the object of its desire. These concrete causes can vary, and even within one individual human being this activity is repeated again and again without end.
So what is this all for? Why do we do that? That’s the next question. Then you will notice that it’s all about fulfilling your wish to gain some sense of happiness, or fulfillment, or satisfaction through these desires. That means that these desires are symbols of happiness that were conceived within the mind. Everyone pursues some sense of happiness regardless of what might be within the mind. And so, the object [of your desire to gain all these things] is replaced with some event or some thing. During the time in which you cannot achieve it, you suffer a great deal, and when you do achieve it, you become very happy. Everyone experiences this on a daily basis. Of course, this doesn’t just end with one event, but rather it repeats itself over and over again throughout the course one’s lifetime, for decades on end. In sum, that means that this experience continues until one realizes that happiness cannot be attained by getting this or that.2
Now, there is a law of the universe called karma. It has to do with cause and effect. Every result inevitably has a cause, and all causes inevitably produce results—it is just a very physical, scientific law of this universe. There is no mystical significance here. If we make an effort to work hard, we succeed. If we become lax, we fail. There is no secret beyond that. Then, as I mentioned before, people desire happiness from the depths of their minds, so when that happiness connects to an object, whatever in this world it may be, you can only find it within the cycle of karma. Because that karma is limitless and operates based on the laws of physics, you can see that that happiness is not eternal, that is to say, it is not real.
Let us go back to the initial question, asking “to whom” this is occurring. When we apply it to this case now, [the answer is] the mind—that is the protagonist. Everyone most likely thinks that their “I” is the mind, and that it defines their own personality. Yoga practitioners are not necessarily skeptical, but they inquire within, “Is this really true?”
Observing our daily lives, we wake up in the morning, then get involved with and act in various kinds of events and activities, then go back to sleep at night. About one-third of that might be spent dreaming during sleep. And there is also deep sleep, when one is not dreaming. Whether one notices it or not, everyone, without exception, experiences it. The mind, while it is awake, is united with or collaborating with the objects of the external world; the mind experiences various activities. And there, within this, the protagonist is very clear and apparent. It is the same with dreaming. While dreaming, there is a sense of “self-consciousness” or “ego-consciousness” as well. However, [certain scenes] may appear to be more fantastic than those in the waking-world. During deep sleep, even the “ego consciousness” is gone. So then where did it go?
Actually, there is another consciousness: the fourth consciousness, which knows the other three. Right now, in practical terms, you recognize the activities of the mind—that your mind is sensing something: what the mind is thinking about, listening to, [and so on]. That consciousness is [the fourth consciousness]. It is the consciousness that simply witnesses. It is similar to light, which exists simply as pure light. Light simply shines upon something, but the objects that are illuminated may change. Then the various experiences occur within those particular times and events. That [which experiences] is the mind. The mind is the experiential subject that experiences something. And the mind itself is also being witnessed. The mind is always known by the fourth consciousness, which seems as though it exists one layer deeper within. The mind is [always] witnessed. This “witnessing”—this consciousness, only is. Please notice this consciousness, which seems as though it is observing the mind. That is the Pure Consciousness, the Fourth Consciousness, the Super Consciousness that has been sought after since ancient times in India.
It is impossible for the mind to recognize or understand itself. [Even though it might appear as though the mind recognizes or understands itself,] it is only an illusion based on conditions arising through a gap or a rift in time and space. The truth is different [from the illusion].
What is important is the word “I,” the word we always use as the first person pronoun. There is a very important inquiry, “Who am I?” and the answer lies there in what I just mentioned now. What you think of as the mind is not the true Self, but rather it is the consciousness deeper within that is indeed the true Self. It doesn’t have an individual character. It doesn’t belong to time, space, or even experience, and it’s as if it is separate from them all, and from everything else—it is the Absolute, Eternal, and Immortal Consciousness. It doesn’t matter whether you call it God or the Soul or Spirit. God or the Soul could never be something that can be understood through discussion and debate. When that “I” awakens into the true Self, or in other words, when the mind is no longer entangled in its activities—the experiences of the mind—and when it is released from the bound condition in which it seems as if it has become identified with the mind as the self, thus causing the true Self to be forgotten—thereafter you will know the true Self—that is liberation. That is freedom. That is Eternal and Immortal. Without a doubt, You are That. You are already That. In order to truly, completely and thoroughly awaken to That, various yoga asana, pranayama (breathing methods) and meditation are practiced. All yoga practices exist only for that purpose.
1 Shri Mahayogi does not use the word “liberation” often. Rather, he uses the word “freedom”. They have the same meaning. When the word “liberation” is used, it is based on the pre-existing condition of being bound by something. Of course, the practice of Yoga is to become free from that bondage, but even just the thought that one is bound, in and of itself, is the main culprit of bondage. Liberation and bondage are both one idea created by the mind, and so we must practice to renounce that mind itself.
2 Humans act in order to fulfill their own happiness. We have a tendency to try to seek happiness in something of this mundane world. It could be money, things, a rich lifestyle, a simple or humble lifestyle, or knowledge—it varies from person to person. However, lasting happiness can never be attained in the mundane world. Even if one gets what one desires, the satisfaction gained from that is temporary, and the mind is never satisfied. Surely it will continue to desire the next thing. It concludes that you can never be happy by gaining something in the mundane world. It is the same reason why Buddha told everyone not to be attached. The suffering of not being able to see one’s loved ones, the suffering of losing one’s loved ones…We must thoroughly understand that there is nothing that will make the mind continuously happy in the mundane world.
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Testimonies from Actual Practitioners:
The Goal Of Life
Translation of the article by Sananda
September 1997 Kyoto, Japan
Life—when written in kanji, consists of two characters: “human” and “live.” What do people live for? What really is the purpose of life? This internal, subtle and secret inquiry comes up in everyone’s mind from time to time. I don’t think it is meaningless to think about this question. Compared to living without knowing the meaning of life, one could probably live a far more purposeful life by knowing. And that is the entryway into the journey of seeking oneself.
There are as many ways of life as there are people, and the life of each individual appears to be completely different. However, what is common across all of them is that after we are born into this world, we experience various things—which could be both happiness and suffering—then we all die. In that way, we could say that humans are born in order to go through various experiences.
In the teaching of Yoga, there is the law of karma. It states that one’s actions will inevitably become a cause, and [that cause] produces its fruit (karma), and eventually everyone has to reap the results of that karma. Therefore, in India, it is believed that one reincarnates in order to reap the results from the countless actions of one’s own past lives. If we do good, then good results are brought about, if we do bad, then bad results are brought about. The various experiences we go through are all the results of our own past actions, and we are here to reap the fruit of the seeds we have sown.1
This means that it can be said that the purpose of life is to digest karma. It can also be said that the various dreams and goals, and ideals we have are also caused by karma.
However, if that is the case, then that doesn’t seem like a very positive way to live one’s life. One is merely brought to experience things based on the law of karma. We are practically at the mercy of the mind. That means that life, generally speaking, indicates a collection of various experiences within the realm of the law of karma.
The purpose of all the practices in Yoga is to stop this flow of karma and to live a proactive life. It is to become the ruler of all of your thoughts and actions. That equates to becoming the one who rules over one’s own life. The purpose of Yoga is to put one’s life completely under one’s own reign, rather than compliantly succumbing to life’s fate, or submissively obeying the flow of karma. By doing that, the meaning of life will reveal itself and stand naked before us.
The concept of “What is the purpose of life?” is a creation of the mind. In order to justify its existence, the mind creates this question. Still, this question is like a double-edged sword for the mind, because pursuing this question leads to the truth of the mind being revealed. For example, before this question, another question, “Who am I?” arises. Whose life is this? “Mine.” Then who is that “I”!? All the experiences in one’s life happen to the “I”. The laws of karma also flow in front of the “I”. Things such as personality and characteristics are added much later, and they cannot be the “I” itself. The older we get, the more we see through the various experiences and the changes taking place in our own minds, and we delude ourselves into thinking as if the “I” is changing. However, we can recognize that regardless of how old we get, the consciousness of “I” continues on completely unchanged. We can see, as a matter of fact, that the “I” from childhood and the “I” from adulthood are the same. The essence of this “I” is unchanging. The consciousness, “I”, is pure, and it is the first thought that ever arose.2
Solving the basic question, “Who am I?” will lead to the answers to all the other questions. It cannot be solved through the logical intellect, because all thinking is constituted merely by the thoughts that arise from the mind, which occur only after the thought, “I.” Therefore, by restraining all the other thoughts, or stopping them, only the thought of “I” remains. And further, when even the thought of “I” comes to an end, the true Self is actualized.
Yoga practitioners declare, “Be not conquered by life!” We must conquer life. We must become the conqueror of the mind. We habitually think that the experiences of enjoyment themselves are the purpose of life, even though we have tasted an amount of suffering more than double that. In life, in order to gain a little enjoyment, one must taste suffering many times over. To become the mind’s conqueror also means to renounce this insignificant matter of suffering and enjoyment.
“Such a life absent of all taste is not enjoyable or fun at all!”—this reaction is provoked within the mind. The mind, or more precisely speaking, the selfish mind, is always trying to seek pleasure. It is habitual. First, one must become the conqueror of this selfish mind. The joys and the pains that the mind feels are only thoughts after all, and they shall pass. There is no value in pursuing them. When people feel happiness—they may feel it in various situations—at that time, the mind temporarily quiets down. When the mind is quiet, people feel peace and tranquility. That shows that when the mind is completely still and calm and there is not a single thought, that is the condition in which one is in the most happiness. When one feels that “I’m happy,” this is the step in which the mind expresses that impression as thought. In the middle of experiencing happiness, no thoughts arise. Happiness is not something to be manufactured, it is that which is within us. However, the mind’s thoughts cover and hide it. When the waves of the thoughts become stilled, It emerges.
Everyone’s life’s purpose is to be happy, and this is realized when the selfish mind is completely conquered. The sense of happiness that arises out of satisfying the mind is only temporary. True happiness is our very own essence itself. And our realization of pure happiness is the biggest service we can perform for all of humanity.
These things have been indicated by Holy Beings as Truth since ancient times. Are these the Truth? What do you think?
Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa says:
“There is a person who believes and one who does not believe in God, or there is a person who does believe and one who does not believe this Truth. Who is superior? They are the same. Both must prove what they believe.”
If one believes in [the existence of] God, one must prove it. One must see and touch God. If one does not believe in [the existence of] God, one must prove it. Just because one cannot see God does not mean God does not exist. It is necessary to prove its non-existence. Only then can one say, “God exists,” or “God does not exist.”
Shri Mahayogi continues further:
“There are two types of people in this world. The ones who have realized God, and the ones who have not.”
“To realize Satori is the most important thing.”
“Satori, means to realize ‘Who I am’ and ‘What God is’.”
[To attain] Satori is the most important thing in life. Through Satori, all problems disappear without a trace, and true Happiness—Absolute, Eternal Happiness—is realized. It is your true Essence, beyond your mind. All the practices and disciplines of Yoga, all the teachings of Shri Mahayogi, exist only for the realization of That.
And this path is open to us all. This is a path that anyone, anywhere, can enter. It is the path that begins with the pure question of “What is God really?” “Who am I?” Regardless of how you relate to this world, you cannot escape from your own mind. And you will not be able to escape from your own essence. Eventually, you will turn away from this world and come back to your own Self. At that time, you will realize the Truth.
What were we born for?
Not for “me” but for “you.”
1 Every action and thought comes back to us. Vivekananda said in Raja Yoga, “Every vicious thought will rebound, every thought of hatred which you may have though, in a cave even, is stored up, and will one day come back to you with tremendous power in the form of some misery here. If you project hatred, and jealousy, they will rebound on you with compound interest. No power can avert them; when once you have put them in motion, you will have to bear them. Remembering this will prevent you from doing wicked things. And you must then endure it.”
2 Ramana Maharishi says that when a thought arises in the mind, instead of chasing that thought, ask “To whom does that thought occur?” The answer is of course, “I.” Then one must ask, “Who am I?” Then the mind cannot answer it anymore. By constantly and continuously seeking the “I,” the mind stays in the origin from whence the thoughts arise. Then, even the thought “I” will burn out, and the Infinite Self (Atman) will shine forth. No one ever doubts the existence of “I.” “I” clearly exists. And by inquiring into the essence of that “I,” one can attain Satori.