Teachings of Shri Mahayogi
Kyoto and Matsuyama
The Form of Love
True Freedom and Strength
Testimonies from Actual Practitioners
• Inspired Works
Design by Atman: Part 2
Reflections on the Play “Amrita—Immortality”
September 2022, Kyoto, Japan
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Teachings of Shri Mahayogi
Translation of Satsangha
The Form of Love
Learn to Love Without Seeking Anything in Return
Saturday, August 30, 2014, Kyoto
MASTER: When it comes to the love experienced by most people in this relative world, whether it be between lovers or spouses, although love may arise temporarily, someday they might fall out of love, and at times, what might result is the opposite of love. So, how can you sustain that love that was experienced in the beginning for the rest of your life? You have to learn what love itself is, and it has to be nurtured in one another more and more. What is true Love? It is love that seeks nothing in return, which should be called God’s Love. If both spouses can devote themselves and give themselves to one another, then the love between them will carry on eternally. In that sense, it is all about learning what love itself is; however, the quantity and the quality of what can be learned about Love from experience alone, even over the course of a lifetime, is limited. But through learning the Truth, you can rapidly shorten the time it takes.
There is a similar story in the teaching of Buddha as well. There was an old couple, and naturally there was little time left in their lives. Because they loved each other, they asked Buddha, if they were to be born again, what they could do so that they could love one another and become husband and wife again. Buddha taught them to align their ideal and their faith. Of course, by “ideal,” Buddha meant Satori, or true Love—that is, Happiness—and by faith, he meant the faith toward That, and that faith implies a ceaseless process of lifelong thought and action.
Saturday, May 2, 2009, Kyoto
Q: Humans have strong attachments to love. How can we overcome that?
MASTER: To love is one form of attachment.
Q: Is being loved a form of attachment too?
MASTER: That is another attachment. And also, an illusion can arise in which one makes it absolute or sanctifies love, confining that idea to the word “love.” However, realistically, that form of love is not necessarily always devoted or self-sacrificial. Conversely, there is self-love, which seeks to sacrifice others for one’s own sake, even at the expense of others. Either way, whenever you refer to “love,” there is hatred and sadness behind it. That is why it is ideal to grow “love” into pure love.
Pure love is to devote oneself to others. In that, there is not even a thought of loving or wanting to be loved, rather these thoughts actually get in the way. Once there are no longer any thoughts of love, true Love is born.
Q: There is a thought in me of, “I love my mother or my friend so much, but how dare they treat me like this?”—so then that’s not love?
MASTER: It’s best not to think that way, because if you do, then hate arises from that. When things don’t go the way you expect, love flips upside down. Because of some causal connection, she becomes your mother or you are her child, so in such a situation, think that you are in contact with one particular soul and dedicate yourself to it as much as you can. That is the best form of love.
Q: There was a time when I was taught about nursing my aging mother: “Words are not needed. Love is not needed. Just simply serve.” I thought that service had love as its precondition. Please teach me more about this.
MASTER: The word “love” is but a mere word. The form of that love, the concrete form of that, is service, right?
Q: Does that mean that no matter how much we say “love,” it’s just a word?
MASTER: Right—it’s meaningless. Even if you don’t say the word “love,” you can be kind to people and be of service. Through devoted actions, that will come to be filled with love.
Q: I thought that it was “love” because you have feelings or emotions around it, but does that mean that those emotions are unnecessary?
MASTER: Why do you think about love so calculatingly? You don’t have to say love is this or that, just act. You all may think the word “love” is such a great word, but that is an illusion. It’s a trick of words. Without the word “love,” you can conduct acts of love, and that is rather authentic. Is it something that you need in order to act, to say that this is “love”? In this world, as long as you are saying “love,” there is hatred lurking behind it. Therefore, if you want to get rid of hatred, you must also get rid of love. If you do so, unconditional love will be born, for the Truth is Love Itself. Therefore, words are not needed in fact. Nothing whatsoever is needed.
Saturday, January 24, 2004, Kyoto
MASTER: Love should always be directed towards others, and that cannot happen unless you respect others. And, this is about really cherishing and loving others. It has nothing to do with liking or disliking, but it is to love dearly, to treasure and to respect others—that is what love is. Therefore, toward that end, you treat them with care, and act on that—that will express itself as kindness.
Q: My ideal is to become nothing but love and joy, and I wish to eliminate the feeling of wanting to be loved, and to simply love whoever is in front of me. However, it’s quite difficult to become that way, and I often fail at this, especially with my husband. How should I proceed on this path?
MASTER: Well, then think of your husband as God and serve him as a matter of course. That will be the solution for all issues that arise—because love and joy, truly, are the Soul, or in other words, God. Everyone is That; nevertheless, it seems to be the nature of the human world to think that the people closest to you, in particular your family, spouse, parents, and siblings, may appear to be the most devilish. Therefore, once again, also in order to remind yourself that they are actually God, serve them through taking action without unnecessary thoughts.
Saturday, January 19, 2013, Kyoto
Q: Although Shri Mahayogi has said that giving love is the true Love, I think that there are times when giving to one’s child can become spoiling, or pampering. In that kind of situation, what should I give?
MASTER: What is imagined in the word “give” is not necessarily only material things, it implies that the person on the other side is receiving something. Therefore, it boils down to what would be best for the person on the other side to be given, and for the giver, what would be best to give to that person who is on the other side.
For instance, there is a teaching about a lion’s parent pushing its cubs down to the bottom of a ravine. That, too, is an act of giving. That is a metaphor to show that if you love your child, send your child out into the world, for a pampered child learns little; the best education is to be forced out into the world. The action of pushing a child down to the bottom of a ravine, or making a child who is living without any inconvenience travel, in other words, creating an inconvenience for them, is for the benefit of the child as well, because the parents are confident it will bring about a very positive result; therefore, parents think that such a thing may be the best thing that they can give. With that in mind, when you give, you should consider what ought to be given.
Saturday, February 20, 2011, Kyoto
Q: I dance, and when I dance, or as I meet various people, I’m always trying to find ways to communicate love through it. Would you please offer me advice for that?
MASTER: The word “love” and the act of love, since ancient times, are workings that are like a divine mandate of heaven, which is inherent not only to humans, but also to animals, even to insects, to all and everything. When one is a child, one might fall in love with some trifle or become engrossed in something, and when one reaches puberty, one might fall in love with the opposite sex, then someday one loves one’s own child, one’s friends, and everything else. Despite the fact that these are such simple thoughts and actions, in this world love can very often go wrong and bring suffering, or bring about sadness. Looking into why this error occurs, there is in fact self-love that lies beneath those acts of love. Your own thoughts, your dreams, your desires, your attachments—such that as the consequence of forgetting the love for others due to loving yourself, sad things occur. Love is surely the biggest lesson that humans must learn in their lifetimes.
The essence of love is to give. It is to give one’s own self for others. It is to give one’s own self, not only to humans, but also to animals and to other living beings, and, to this environment called Earth, to the universe, to all and everything. To put it more clearly, it is self-sacrifice. It is to act for others’ happiness even at the cost of your own life—I think that that is True Love. As one continues to learn Yoga, one will come to recognize the attachment towards desire that belongs to the ego and the pain-bearing obstacles, and will work on removing them—that is the main content of Yoga. Love, too, will shift naturally from self-love to love for others, and consequently, one will get closer to True Love.
Dance to your heart’s content, sending out your passion and Life to the fullest in that way, and sacrifice yourself fully.
True Freedom and Strength
MASTER: I often say that the mind is like a hand. When you have grasped too many things, they will become obstacles once you wish to grasp other things. That is because when you have grabbed onto something, it appears that you have autonomy, but in actuality, you are bound by the object you have grasped. This hand, in other words, the mind, becomes the slave of the object. Therefore, the mind becomes unable to do anything else.
If you let go of grasping onto the attachment, then you can do anything. Because the mind will be empty, you will have sufficient power to do anything. That means freedom. You will no longer be a slave because you will not be bound by anything. You can freely handle anything, not as a slave, but as a master. That is how the mechanism of the mind works.
Saturday, January 27, 2007, Kyoto
Q: When it comes to enjoying things, I feel like I’m doing so in a very half-baked way. I think that perhaps this is due to ignorance, or having an intention or some kind of designed plan for something, or I think that perhaps I’m unable to enjoy because I’m not concentrating on the thing itself, and if I start thinking about such matters, I’ll enjoy the thing even less. What can I do to enjoy all kinds of things?
MASTER: Become a fool (laughter from all).
Q: Am I pretending to be clever?
MASTER: You’re not pretending, you are clever. There is a word you used, “to have an intention or some kind of designed plan”; although the following has its own particular nuance in the Kansai district area1 of Japan, anyhow, it all comes down to becoming a fool.
Q: What can I do to become a fool (everyone bursts into laughter)?
MASTER: Having an intention or worrying about various things, which is also a type of designed plan, prevents you from being a fool. Therefore, to become a fool is to become empty, and if the given situation is enjoyable, then you can just behave accordingly in that given moment.
Q: I am a fool, but I am not a fool—that is quite the difficult part. (Laughter from all)
MASTER: Everyone is clever, or rather to say, various feelings underlying these designs or intentions are what react to various things.
Q: To become innocent…to become simple and guileless.
MASTER: Yes, that is what is meant by “becoming a fool.”
Q: …but, even though I’m a fool, I’m not able to be a fool, which is really foolish (everyone breaks out into roaring laughter).
MASTER: If you understand that, then you can truly become a fool, can’t you?
 Osaka, Kyoto and their surroundings
May 22, 2016, Matsuyama
Q: I wish to enjoy my job and my housework and so forth, from now on and for the rest of my life. What is the secret to enjoying them?
MASTER: There is one. You cannot enjoy alone. In order to enjoy, you’d better have another person. Then, do whatever it is that brings joy to that person.
Saturday, December 8, 2007, Kyoto
Q: How do I avoid becoming self-deprecating?
MASTER: Self-deprecation arises as a result of being affected by societal values, ideas, and concepts. In order to eliminate such things, forget about the ideas of what are considered to be the social standards of value, called common sense or conventional wisdom, and then, by learning the Truth, adopt instead a perspective based on what the teachings of the Truth say. If you do so, such emotions as that sense of inferiority or self-deprecation will not arise. These thoughts are an illusion of an illusion arising out of illusion.
Another thing you ought to do when that happens is to be humble. The door of humility might be right next to the door of self-deprecation. To be humble, you have to be pure. Otherwise, it becomes self-deprecation.
MASTER: Humility means to humble oneself. If you have a thought that you are not quite there yet, that you are incomplete, then be amenable and continue to make an effort while respecting what must be respected, simply and straightforwardly, without objection. This also means accepting yourself; then you can proceed on a completely different course, away from inferiority.
Truly, it is important to have humility. Humility will be acquired by reflecting on the light of Truth, in which there is no superiority or inferiority among all things and although in society there are various things like titles or definitions of what you are, such as a person of higher or lower position, this status or that status, in actuality there is no such thing—when it comes to the preciousness of existence, as the essence, everything is the same, the One.
Saturday, October 6, 2004, Kyoto
MASTER: Don’t rigidly define yourself, saying, “I’m like this or like that.” These things also change.
Preconceived ideas are like a type of delusion. Even these delusions change too. Because it was something that got created at some point, it will eventually disappear at some point, and change. So, bring in a different preconceived idea, the idea of not thinking about these things.
Saturday, September 26, 2009, Kyoto
MASTER: It’s an enormous illusion to think that complaining relieves stress. That’s not the case. The fact is that the mind has been stained by creating such habits. Therefore, once it gets into a habit, the mind thinks it wants to complain all the time. The mind itself gets tainted with complaints. The content of the mind itself becomes complaints. Nevertheless, even if you say such a thing logically, it is not easy to shift the mind through intellectual understanding alone. If you want to transform the mind, transform the breath. In order to transform the breath, it is easier to do so by conditioning the body through practicing asana.
Saturday, September 16, 2006, Kyoto
(A woman who has not healed from the wounds of childhood abuse from her relatives pleads for help since she is suffering from past memories and emotions of hate.)
MASTER: Not only in Yoga but in anything, you certainly cannot correct or change things that have happened in the past. You must understand that regardless of whether you feel hatred or anger over what happened, that will only make your own mind suffer more. That is, as long as you have these emotions, it will never be resolved at all. Also, it may be an illusion to think that family members ought to truly be understood by one another. In other words, whether it’s a parent, a child or a sibling, since each person has been living with their individual karma, though it’s not impossible that a truly well-rounded harmony arises in a family, it may be rare. If you think that way, you will come to understand that you mustn’t be bound by past experiences, for only you yourself, who is the one bound by those past experiences, will continue to suffer more and more.
The issue is about restraining the emotions that are tortured by these memories. In order to do that, there is no other way but to stick to the practice of not looking at the past and looking only towards the future instead—because looking at the future means looking at the now. The best way to resolve that is if your memory is about to get out of control, even a little, then make an effort to forget that memory, and conversely, focus on practicing what needs to be discriminated at that moment, or focus thoroughly on whatever is actually happening in front of you.
What’s important is how you want to be. If you are seriously wishing to be liberated from these things, to be freer, then only look in that direction, and don’t look to the side.
Q: So then, if I want to be liberated, it’s better to make an effort to forget about them. Previously, I had thought that I had to carefully confront these memories and do something about them.
MASTER: After all, what is reacting to these memories is the world of the current mind, isn’t it? However, if you progress in Yoga, the mind itself will change. If it changes, then the reaction toward these memories changes; it is certainly so.
Saturday, May 12, 2007, Kyoto
Q: How should I clear up the mistakes I’ve made in the past?
MASTER: There is no need to recall the past. Forget everything. What’s important is now—this moment called the now. Since, by practicing to live in the now, the future will come to change, if you cherish living in the now, it will result in making up for any negatives from the past. No matter how much you succeed or fail, nothing from the past matters whatsoever. The mind is always sentimentally clinging to the past—that is a pain-bearing obstacle. Thinking that the past was this way or that way, whether it was good or bad, is clinging sentimentally to the past. These things can cause karma to be produced.
Saturday, June 3, 2000, Kyoto
MASTER: Every instant, moment by moment, becomes the past. In the Yoga Sutra, there is a verse: “Future pain is that which is to be avoided.”1 The suffering in the past has already happened—there is nothing you can do about it. What must be done is to eliminate the future suffering, which we can control. The present is in charge of that. What’s necessary is to plant that idea thoroughly in your mind. That is the key resolution of a yogi, nay, not only in Yoga, but in living life itself.
 Yoga Sutra 2:16
Saturday, December 11, 2004, Kyoto
Q: When I am in a situation where I want to run away, should I not run away?
MASTER: Persevere, face it, and make an effort [to resolve it]. Regardless of whether it goes well or not, either way, you can accomplish overcoming something. Running away is good for nothing.
Although, truly, our minds are greatly perplexed by good or bad outcomes, practically, it’s the same either way. The outcome is not the point in any case. All that’s needed is to face these things and situations seriously and act. That strengthens the mind and eventually cultivates fortitude, that is, you’ll come to recognize that that brings about the greatest outcome, namely, being able to overcome.
Saturday, June 19, 2004, Kyoto
MASTER: The fearful mind comes from worrying about what others think about you, being afraid of attacks or reactions from various people…and, viewing it from the other side, it comes from wanting to protect yourself, or not wanting to be influenced by various things from others, wanting to remain free, or not wanting to be hurt—these sorts of different perceptions depend on the angle from which you view it, in other words, the hidden things will come out.
Once the true identity of these things is revealed, then you will come to understand that they are utterly insignificant. You’ll understand it even more as you study Yoga, of course—it won’t matter anymore how others perceive you, and you won’t need to fear anymore, because you’ll be able to work on ending the cause of the fear that arises from each respective point of view, and you will eliminate those causes. Naturally, for example, you will come to see that even the egoistic things such as making yourself appear to be better, or wanting others to think positively about you, are not good because these things are simply the ego’s talk. Then, those things that you had been reacting to as fear, those shackles come to be removed one by one and disappear without a trace, as if they were like a haze.
Saturday, September 13, 2003, Kyoto
Q: I’ve always felt lonely, even when there were a lot of people around me; however, according to the teaching of Yoga, everyone is actually One, am I correct? I’ve been lonely lately, and I’ve been thinking about why I think I’m lonely. There is a part of me that doesn’t open up my heart easily to others, but will that sense of loneliness go away as I continue to practice asana and meditation?
MASTER: In order to get rid of that feeling, you must thoroughly perform viveka on that issue. Asana won’t be useful. Even meditation can’t reach it.
For example, what you just mentioned contains a contradiction. You say, “I feel lonely amongst people” on one hand, and then say, “I cannot open my heart to others”—that is a contradiction. In other words, you want to be coddled by and depend on people who are favorable to you, yet you can’t open up your heart to people who are unfavorable to you—there is like and dislike and a dependency on going easy on yourself. Unless you eliminate these tendencies, the sense of loneliness will not disappear.
Q: Why is that?
MASTER: Because the world does not go the way you expect it to. That is just how the world is; nonetheless, the mind experiences this feeling as if it has been betrayed. Then, the sense of ostracism or isolation increasingly arises, as if you feel like you do not understand others nor are you understood by others. To practice viveka is to inquire into who you are, the fundamental question of “Who am I?”; and while learning about that, eliminating such things as these false feelings of dependency and the way you see these illusory things, is viveka. As you learn, contemplate it thoroughly within yourself, then meditate.
Just as you say with words, “Everyone is actually One, am I correct?” even if you may know this fundamental Truth in words, you do not yet understand it. In fact, you may still be having positive and negative impressions toward various things in the world or have something that you are seeking all the time. These become dependencies and indulgences.
Yoga is to truly look into your own mind. The mind is constantly changing, so is each individual. However, the causes behind the activities of the mind are based on the experiences that have been cultivated so far, just like how the world of each individuals’ mind is expressed differently, respectively. However, that is still an imperfect state. From the view of the Truth, they are based on causes that are mistaken and erroneous.
By learning the Truth, find how the errors are underlying what’s in your own mind and correct these errors—that is the central task of Yoga. Accomplishing that task requires an enormous strength of will and physical strength. In order to carry it out, practicing asana too is necessary, and attention to other activities in daily life is required.
Saturday, February16, 2002, Kyoto
Q: Where does the sense of loneliness arise from?
MASTER: As a characteristic of the mind itself, it derives from something fundamental. The foundation of the mind is namely the ego-consciousness. Ego-consciousness is like an outline that distinguishes oneself from others. The mind cannot stand on its own; the characteristic of the mind is that by depending on something else, the mind gets satisfaction for the first time. However, that never lasts forever, and therefore it has to constantly switch the object of dependency from one thing to the next. The cause of that dependency is desire or pleasure, but that is because in fact you must be seeking pleasure as the content of desire. However, they can never be true Existence; they can neither be eternal nor perfect. Changing the object [of dependency] doesn’t solve the issue either. Although even when you seek joy and desires, and until the moment you obtain them, you are excited and are feeling good, immediately afterwards, what comes about is a heightened sense of loneliness. That all boils down to suffering. Therefore, the cause of loneliness is dependency, and the ignorance to seek that which is not true Existence is the fundamental cause.
Since, as is usual with the world, the way of the world is that if you expect something, you will always be betrayed, as a reaction to that, loneliness in a general sense, or loneliness, which is a weakness, comes as suffering. That means that we can infer that as long as there is a wish to depend on something or to seek something in the mind, there is always loneliness lurking behind it.
You have to be seeking the Truth alone. Seeking the Truth is different from the feeling of seeking something material, or of expecting something. That is because the Truth exists as that which is a given, that which is only natural.
Q: How should I practice in order to cultivate fortitude of the mind?
MASTER: First, you have to eliminate the belief that your mind is weak, because that is, so to speak, a delusion.
In addition, where do weaknesses derive from? They come from the contradictions between body, mouth and mind (deeds, words and thoughts). Once these are unified, the flaw called weakness will not appear.
Saturday, November 27, 2006, Kyoto
Q: Is it okay to lie if it is for the good of others, rather than for one’s own benefit?
MASTER: “A lie may be a means if the ends justifiy it,” [is a Japanese proverb]—it is a very useful saying; yet, the sole criteria for this is that under certain circumstances it would be good for others. However, it’s best to minimize its use as much as possible. It may be best to remain silent rather than honestly tell someone, who is not long for the world, that there is only a certain amount of time left, and sometimes, it may be used expediently. In such an extraordinary emergency, it may be unavoidable, however, it’s best not to make a habit of expedient lies in one’s everyday life. Being honest, and having integrity [are some of the main tenets of Yoga]—these are also important virtues in Yoga, so put them into practice.
In the [Buddhist scripture] called the Lotus Sutra, there is the following parable. While some children are playing in a house, the house catches on fire. Although the father, who realized it, tries to help the children, they are so engrossed in playing, that they do not come out. So, the father says, “Come outside, there is something more fun out here,” and in that way saves their lives by luring them out of the house—this story relates to the origin of the saying, “A lie may be a means if the ends justify it.” This parable is commonly referred to as the “House Fire.” What is symbolized by the burning house is actually the mind. The mind is ablaze with various things, such as pain-bearing obstacles, desire, anger, envy, jealousy, as if there is a huge fire raging in the mind. You cannot leave a child, an innocent soul, inside such a place. This is a teaching telling you that, first, you must evacuate, meaning you must remove these pain-bearing obstacles. That may be how a white lie can be used at times.
Saturday, August 12, 2006, Kyoto
Q: Even though there are things I’ve heard from others or things others have recommended to me, and even if, intellectually, I know that they would be beneficial for me, what is preventing me from being able to take action? And, what should I do in order to shift and be able to take action?
MASTER: Why can’t you take action? The reason for not being able to—that is because you already have a reaction of not allowing yourself to be able to do that. You simply keep reacting by saying that you cannot do it. What is lacking in you is guilelessness, courage, and action—these three things.
What you need to do is, when you hear beneficial things from anyone and your mind acknowledges that and wishes to be like that, then accept it simply and guilelessly. Next, get rid of the habit of the mind that is slothful, that obstructs that change, and have courage to step up and act, making it real action.
Q: Please teach me a little more concretely about removing the mind that is obstructing that.
MASTER: That is not as difficult as you may think. Remember what I just said, and put it into action each time. This is not something that you think about in your head. Accept it guilelessly and act guilelessly. Just remember that it is very important to make your mind and actions be one. Isn’t that so? When you think straightforwardly, even once, that you would like to be that way, yet if your actions do not reflect it, then isn’t that a contradiction? You need to work on getting rid of these contradictions. For that, you just have to simply train yourself. You need to train yourself to practically take action according to every situation. Through the continuous practice of this, the obstacles will come to be removed.
Saturday, March 2, 2003, Kyoto
(A woman, who has been searching for transformation in herself, says that she has not had much success, and that she is envious of those who have been able to transform themselves. Shri Mahayogi responded in the following way.)
MASTER: I often say, cherish yourself. Only you can either hurt yourself or cherish yourself. When it comes to cherishing oneself, there is a fork in the road right there. That means, you can either spoil yourself or work on cherishing the self that is improved—this is the fork in the road. Of course, spoiling oneself is meaningless, since you end up going in the direction of being self-indulgent and slothful; but, if you are serious about the practice of truly cherishing yourself, then there arises an effort to try to improve the parts of yourself that you don’t like or that are bad. Then, you’ll like yourself more, and you will think about cherishing yourself more. As that gradually grows, then even though you set out to cherish yourself, you may begin to realize you are actually cherishing those around you after all. That might be like a reward that comes along the way; nonetheless, don’t count on it, for that is not the end, but continue the pursuit of improving yourself further.
At certain times, you may find something ideal about your being this way or that way. Even so, that ideal is still nothing but a tiny ideal. If you look further, there must be some bigger, greater ideal. Yet, for the time being, even if this is a small mountain, unless you stand on its peak, you cannot see the peak of the next mountain. However, when you stand on the supreme point, then you can see everything below your eyes and you will come to see clearly that there is no longer any higher mountain. If you are to cherish yourself thoroughly until the very end, then I do not want you to give up on yourself, but to face yourself, and manifest the best part of yourself from within.
Saturday, May 29, 2004, Kyoto
Q: I am constantly anxious about the future. Why is this?
MASTER: Everyone has similar anxieties like you. That is because the future is invisible, unknowable. The mind feels fear towards the unknown. What the most unknown is, is further than the future, after death. It is about, “after I die, where will I go, and what will happen to me?” These might be the biggest anxieties and fears.
Everyone wants to gain happiness in living in this world and living for the future. Through what object is this happiness gained? There may be various objects of happiness, for instance, marrying someone you love and establishing a happy family, succeeding at work, living a comfortable life, and being of service to others, and these are different for each person. However, this world is constantly changing and moving; if you experience life a little bit, then you learn that there are good times and bad times. There are even times when unreasonable things might happen. Therefore, if you wish for true happiness, and practice not to have any anxieties for the future, then you should build fortitude of the mind, and you should make the mind immoveable so that you make yourself able to handle any situation in the same way, whether your surrounding environment is either good or bad. In order to do that, your mind must always be still. Otherwise, the mind gets entangled and struggles, or even bigger anxieties and worries will arise. In order to remove these future disasters, you need to learn the Truth. True Reality is the Truth. Therefore, through learning the Truth, make the mind immoveable.
Concretely speaking, learn the teachings of the Truth, and practice some sort of spiritual disciplines, applying the teachings in action. Yoga really helps you do that. And to make the mind get closer to the Truth, at the same time, eliminate the erroneous thoughts called ignorance, deep within the mind; through that, all anxieties disappear. No matter what situations arise, no matter what type of future one lives in, one will be able to live with absolute confidence.
Saturday, March 15, 2003, Kyoto
Q: With regard to the soul, when a hundred people die, will all of the hundred souls go back into slumber? Will some of them not become wandering souls?
MASTER: That way of thinking denies reincarnation. Commonly, there is a way of saying that a soul is hanging around. However, in reincarnation it is considered that transmigration is repeated almost mechanically according to one’s own karma. No matter how much various negativity, such as envy and jealousy, a person dies with, these issues must be resolved in their next lives. And the time period until being reborn into the next lifetime is like a dreaming period, it is like entering into the world of dream. It is unlikely that more than one person will have the same dream at the same time, for these appear always as an individual’s experience, as phenomena. Then, it is considered that the person who enters that dream state is alone in that dream world.
Q: So then, that means that it is impossible for ghosts to exist.
MASTER: Right. They are psychological phenomena of those who have experienced them. Therefore, there is a warning that, whether in Yoga or in the teachings of Buddha, the mind can be molded into anything, so always pay attention to it and watch out. You must not upset the mind, really. You must keep the reins tight on the mind, so that there is no unguarded moment of carelessness. It all boils down to keeping it focused.
Actually, even the joy and suffering we feel are all created by the mind, and the proof of that is that when we are sleeping deeply, we aren’t even aware of them. And, when dreaming, we are engrossed in a different realm. But looking at it objectively, there are a few hours within the 24 hours of the day that are in suffering, and a few hours in dreaming, and a few hours in deep sleep. Which one is the true Reality?
Q: One night, I woke up feeling a presence in the room, I was scared and had palpitations, however, in actuality, there was no one, and that was all just because of my mind.
MASTER: Indeed, once a mind is obsessed by a certain thing, it occupies the mind and it has the power to make the mind believe as if it were real. It can make the mind see or hear various things. That means that rather than your room, (pointing to his chest) you’ll end up having a ghost here within you, you must be careful (laughter).
Saturday, September 30, 2001, Kyoto
MASTER: There is a saying from ancient times: “Holy beings live in the city whereas worldly people hide in the mountains.”
Although in the eyes of a worldly person, they think that the city is soiled with worldly karma and mountains are sacred realms, this is a matter of the mind that is looking at it, and they are all mere illusions.
The beginners often say, an environment [in the mountains] is good, or at the edge of the mountains is good, and they tend to want to go to these places. This symbolizes well the mind of that person. Because one believes one is impure, one’s wish is to go to the realm that seems clean to receive positive influences, which is what takes one to a mountain or a forest. If the mind is already purified, then it doesn’t matter whether one is in a mountain or in a city. To make designs such as distinctions or discriminations is nothing but [the activity of] the mind.
* * *
Design by Atman: Part 2
Reflections on the Play “Amrita—Immortality”
September 2022, Kyoto, Japan
The performance of “Amrita—Immortality” in 2005 became an innovative event that broke new ground for the Mahayogi Mission. Through the various preparations for this performance, many of us may have been able to witness and feel in our bones how Shri Mahayogi works for the first time. Although Shaci-san has already written an article about “Amrita” and the works involved in it [in Paramahansa Vol. 73], in this article I’d like to focus and reflect on the design work and how that particularly left an impression on me.
With the main purpose of disseminating True Yoga far and wide, around the time when the date, location and concrete content and structure of the performance (the sacred play, asana demonstration, and the explanation of it all) had been decided upon, Shri Mahayogi showed us the necessary elements by writing them out by hand before designing the flyer. He clearly wrote down the title, “The Secret of Death,” the tagline, “Where does a man go after he dies? Does he Exist? Or, does he not Exist?” and the contents of each of the three parts. It seemed that everything that must be expressed in the performance was condensed there.
With these words being the material to work with, Shri Mahayogi began the design. The first finished design had an underground feel with a background created using black ink paper marbling (a Japanese traditional technique called suminagashi that has been practiced for more than 1000 years) with the title and tagline written using a printed style of writing in red. When the first design was finished, Shri Mahayogi delivered it directly to the location where the PR meeting was being held. Everyone cheered with delight! And, we were amazed by the novel design that had never been seen in the style of the Mission’s related designs. However, some people said that the word “death” felt heavy, and that the red letters reminded them of blood, so it might be difficult for it to be accepted by the general public.
Listening to the disciples’ opinions with a kind expression, Shri Mahayogi immediately began to think of an alternate design. With a tremendous sense of concentration and speed, two new ideas were completed. In the first one, the title changed from “The Secret of Death” to “Amrita,” and the color of the title changed from red to gold; he explained that if the hidden secret of death is revealed, it arrives at amrita (immortality), so either title is correct, and writing out the Sanskrit word in Japanese katakana1 letters gives a very different impression that may be accepted by a wide audience. Another design was a completely different image, and it was a mystical design, using one of Shaci’s paintings as the background with the color being like that of the deep sea.
When these were completed, Shri Mahayogi said so joyously, “Well! Let’s make it into a competition!” So, the three design proposals, including the first one, were shown to all participants at the Satsangha. That day, the topic of conversation continued to be about “Amrita” (even late into the night). Shri Mahayogi spoke vibrantly about the concept and the original story from the Upanishad that would be dramatized. An incredible, enormous heat and power were imbued into the energy there, so that led us to create the performance, forming a single unit together, and working along with Shri Mahayogi!
Under the naked light bulb hanging from the ceiling of the second floor of the Ashrama, the three designs were laid out. Everyone gathered around them and expressed their thoughts, and Shri Mahayogi listened intently to the disciples’ voices.
What left an impression on me in that moment were the words of Shri Mahayogi: “The color of blood, for me, does not symbolize death, but the color indicates life.” “As torii (gates to Shinto shrines) for shrines are painted in vermillion red, red is not the symbol of death, but of life.” Because we tend to look at the word “death” negatively, we try to avoid it, or we tend to be terrified by the color red, conjuring up the image of blood. Life instead of death. Even in the perception of a single color, Shri Mahayogi has the complete opposite sensibility from us. I was startled to learn that even if it seems off-putting at first glance, it actually has a sacred meaning. I strongly felt that I must destroy the preconceived ideas binding me, and that I must grasp the essence.
Continuing on, Shri Mahayogi ceaselessly worked without rest, and the design of the flyer kept evolving as it kept changing again and again. It was decided that we needed to take a photo of an image for the flyer, and a photoshoot of the performers was done with Shri Mahayogi’s instruction, under halogen lights set up in the Ashrama. The design that was completed at last was the one on top of the suminagashi (paper marbling with india ink) background that was as if there was a dragon-like form emerging from it, and there was the title and the tag lines, with the photo having a triangular silhouette laid out with Shakti (the goddess) surrounding the protagonist, Nachiketas.
Shri Mahayogi told us that he had an inspiration to use the suminagashi, thinking that since the setting of the play is the underworld (world of death), that was a way to exude an image of something that is otherworldly. He taught us that that was one among many dozens of suminagashi that he created, and there unintentionally emerged an image of a dragon, which is a symbol of water and air, and that suminagashi have patterns that are created randomly, through the movement of nature, namely water and air.
The poster for “Amrita” was also created in a landscape format, and it was displayed all over Kyoto including the train station. Mr. Nakano, one of the first students at Mahayogi Ashrama, and the president of Kobido Printing Company, provided the posters free of charge.
Through “Amrita,” receiving the blessed opportunity to be exposed to Shri Mahayogi’s design work has become my irreplaceable treasure. With consistency, Shri Mahayogi was utterly serious, yet innocently and purely enjoying the design process. After deep contemplation, he even changed the most crucial title, and many times he even broke things that were once perfectly complete without the slightest hesitation and remade them anew, thus leading them to the ultimate perfection. Many times, I was awed by his ability to pivot and change his thinking, as well as the boldness of his ideas. He never had anything that “absolutely had to be a certain way”; and through his tolerant generosity and flexibility, he respected and valued our immature opinions. Based on his conduct, I came to realize that Shri Mahayogi was only thinking about what should be expressed in a better form, and that he was carefully and thoroughly considering how the viewer would receive it, and what would be evoked in them.
In “Amrita,” Shri Mahayogi supervised all kinds of roles, including performers and stage crews, and each person was placed in the necessary position. All and everything that was involved in the performance was like a work of art that Shri Mahayogi had designed in its entirety.
Various scenes devised by Shri Mahayogi were sprinkled throughout the entire play: a scene where young Nachiketas walks around the stage three and a half times on his journey to the underworld; the scene of Satori, that was expressed as Shri Yantra2 three dimensionally and dynamically by Shakti, who surrounded the meditating Nachiketas, turning into a form of lotus petals—there were many scenes that left a deep impression.
A few years after the performance, I had the opportunity to watch the video of the play. I felt that the symbolic scenes directed by Shri Mahayogi captivate the viewers and have a power that give a very intense, visual impact, to make the audience intuit the Truth. And, I thought that the significance of why this piece was performed and recorded must be so grand, to the degree that it is impossible for us now to imagine.
At the time of this performance, I had only begun to learn Yoga three years prior, and everything was a new challenge for me. It felt to me that in order to keep up with Shri Mahayogi, who was graciously supervising everything, we all ran around desperately and feverishly. Later, I was able to begin to sense, even if just a little, the greatness of the remarkable work that Shri Mahayogi had done. This story from the Upanishad, where the word “Yoga” was first recorded in a scripture in history—was first staged in the world—in the country of Japan. And this is precisely the verification of the universality of Yoga and its secret, that is, the essence of Yoga is not only revealed to those who were involved in the performance and the audience back in 2005, but to all of humanity, in the future, and for all eternity…
(to be continued)
 One component of the Japanese writing system along with Hiragana and Kanji.
 *Shri Yantra: A geometric form of a diagram expressing Yogic philosophy. The evolution of the universe is expressed from the principle of creation (union of Shiva and Shakti) as countless overlapping triangles. On the outer rim, lotus flowers are drawn.