Teachings of Shri Mahayogi
Kyoto, Matsuyama and New York
The Principle of Birth and Death
The Teachings of Buddha
The Truth of Atman
Testimonies from Actual Practitioners
• Inspired Works
Design by Atman: Part 3
The Power of Symbols
November 2022, Kyoto, Japan
* * * * * * * * * *
Teachings of Shri Mahayogi
Translation of Satsangha
The Principle of Birth and Death
The Secret of Death
Monday, March 15, 2004, Matsuyama
MASTER: What brings the greatest suffering and sadness out of all the human experiences may very well be death. When it comes to the suffering minds of one’s relatives and loved ones who are torn apart by death, where does it come from and what will become of it? Death causes suffering due to the mind having too much affection, that is to say, attachment, to that particular person. Even if you replace the other person with yourself, in the case of your fear towards death being so strong, that means that your attachment towards life and being alive is so strong that you become negative towards death, which is what brings that to an end; this is due to not knowing what is there beyond death, what happens after death. This is a big question that has been placed before human beings since ancient times.
In ancient times, it is said that people assumed that when this life ends, they would be able to live the next life on some other planet, and they hoped that their life, which was unfortunate in this lifetime, would start anew and that they would live happier, and in order to ask God for that favor, they offered sacrifices, offered prayers and single-mindedly wished for happiness in the next life. So then, would the wealthy or “the haves,” who could sacrifice their gold, silver and treasures receive that much in return? Or, do the poor really sacrifice some beasts in order to gain a little bit of happiness? Does one’s happiness depend on such things at all? And furthermore, is there such a thing as an afterlife, from which no one has ever come back to report? If it exists, what is that world like? Or does it not exist? Back then, people didn’t know this. Even now, people still don’t know it.
This unknown realm is nothing less than the most urgent issue that human beings who are currently suffering must resolve right now. Yoga begins right at that point. That is to say, Yoga means facing up to one’s own self, and the ancient yogi meditated single-mindedly in an attempt to find the answers to life and death in this world, to illness and aging, and also to various pain-bearing obstacles and attachments that the mind has, and to the various problems that trouble human beings. As a result, all kinds of secrets, or rather, things in this realm that were not able to be seen before, came to be revealed. As you may know, Shakyamuni Buddha, who is regarded as the founder of Buddhism, is like the representative of the practitioners of Yoga. There were also many other yogi, or practitioners of Yoga, although their names are unknown. The teachings of Yoga have been transmitted without interruption to this day. These teachings are what people must learn as the Truth.
It is regrettable that the world has only pursued technology and has only worked hard to acquire that knowledge, rather than trying to learn the most important things. As a result, the comfort of living may surely have increased, but on the other hand, nature has been destroyed, wars are fought incessantly, and the world has never seen a time of peace. Yet only a few, the ones who wanted to know or those who were distressed and filled with suffering, have been learning and diligently practicing, trying to reveal the secrets of ourselves and of human beings, suspecting that there is something more important than just pursuing the pleasures of this world.
The Truth that was realized is that we do not survive only by having this physical body. If you look at the people here today, everyone has a different face and a different shape, respectively. Also, there are male bodies and female bodies, young bodies and old bodies, healthy bodies and injured bodies. Even so, that doesn’t change one from being a human being. These are simply nothing more than physical, surface matters, or matters of physiological function. Take the mind, it also varies from person to person. Even if people say, “I am a man, I am a woman, I am a teacher, I am a student, I am a mother, I am a child, I am wise, I am not wise,” and various other things, it does not change one from being a human being. Then, what is it that shapes a human being? Or rather, what is the essence of a human being? What is the relationship between that essence and the mind and the body? By revealing that and understanding it correctly, the suffering arising from the body or the suffering that the mind creates can be correctly resolved. Our true Substance is neither the body nor the mind, it is the Soul that exists deeper beyond that—to know this Truth and realize it has been the ultimate peak for the entire history of human beings.
Suffering and sadness must be removed. There is no need to hang on to them forever. Even if the body breaks and disappears, that is already a given; it is just a matter of time. Don’t waste your precious Life being at the mercy [of conditions]. The Soul, which is much more precious, as the buddha [or the principal object of worship] exists within. It does not die. It is Immortal. Yoga, and also Buddha, realized this immortal Self through meditation. And, this can be done by anyone. It is not to be searched for elsewhere, for it exists already deep within yourself.
Learn the Truth in such a way, and correctly understand this. Doing so should bring you peace. If you are at peace, you will be able to look at, not only yourself, but others who have gone already, those who are about to leave, and all things, with tenderness and preciousness.
Saturday, June 4, 2011, Kyoto
MASTER: As one of the five great pain-bearing obstacles that the teachings of Yoga recognize, there is the desire for life, which is the clinging or attachment to survival. Conversely, there is the fear of death. Even though we have repeated countless births and deaths, since we have forgotten what that is, we cannot help but fear death, or as the opposite of this, attach to survival or life every time we are born. Nevertheless, in Yoga, while learning what the meaning of living is and what is beyond death, through having cultivated the correct understanding of them, one removes the fear of death as well as the attachment toward survival.
Since ancient times, the lay people called the practitioners of Yoga (Yogi), “those who are dead while alive.” That is, the meaning of “living,” in the way that it is usually considered in the world, in the mundane sense, and the way that it is viewed by the practitioners of Yoga, are completely different. Usually, this understanding is exclusive to the physical body, living is understood only through attaching to the physical body; such an understanding through that context goes to the extent that one eats delicious things, devours pleasures, and has as much enjoyment as possible, and eventually dies, which is inevitably how life is—that is the level of what it is. Whereas the practitioners of Yoga regard that such things cannot be considered “living,” and that it is better to die than live in such a way, for it is meaningless. What does it mean, truly, to live? If you delve a little further, this leads to the question of, “Who is it that is living?” Everyone will answer, “I am living.” Then, who is that “I”? Is the physical body that “I”? Even the physical body can get damaged, and parts can go missing or get broken. It can get sick, and it becomes infirm. Regardless of the condition of the physical body, the “I” is the “I.” Then, is “I” the mind? The mind thinks about, wishes for, and wants to enjoy various things. However, even if these things are absent, for example, during sleep, the “I” continues to exist. What is the true identity of the “I”? How is the “I” connected to living? That is the most pressing issue for everyone, for it relates to one’s true identity, the identity of nobody else but the “I.”
Then, as the mind is liberated from various desires and attachments, and when the mind truly becomes transparent, as if void, then the true Self emerges. It is the Existence that is already there to begin with, constantly and always. It is hidden deep within, behind the body and the mind. That is the only Existence, the Subject that can truly be called the “I.” Once you know it [by experiencing it], then there is no life nor death for this Existence, the “I”; and, there is neither any change whatsoever, nor is there any suffering, of course. It is the Eternal Existence that exists always, and It is filled with Bliss. It is as if the mind, which is attempting to fulfill this Bliss—which originally exists within everyone, deep within—with fake substitutes, and every time it stumbles, it ends in suffering. That is precisely why practicing to make the mind lighter and removing attachments and obsessions will lead to realizing the true Self.
What will die is only the physical body, that Existence was never born in the first place and it will never die. It has no second or third in this world, and there is only That—One without a second. Within everyone, every animal, every plant, every mineral, within everything in this universe, only That Exists. More than anything else, It Exists in the body, which is the closest to you and at the core. Originally, that was how it was; however, at some point in time, the mind began to have incorrect thoughts in this world, and began to attach to various things, and put on layers of clothing as if hiding the Truth more and more. These are karma, cause and effect. Working to remove these things is precisely the journey of returning to the origin.
Saturday, December 6, 2008, Kyoto
(A woman, who is participating with her six-year-old son, asks on behalf of her son about life, why there are differences in the longevity of little bugs and that of human beings. Shri Mahayogi crouches down so that he is at the eye level of the child who is sitting near him and begins to speak slowly.)
Life, to be living, means that each and every being is playing its respective role, having been born. Within each role, each lifespan has a different length. It appears to be that human beings live longer and bugs live shorter, but for bugs, that length is a sufficient length for them. Cicadas and earthworms, they are all living their lives to the fullest. So, the length of time, whether long or short, doesn’t really matter much.
And, that’s only the life that is visible. But there is also invisible Life, and It never dies, and It never disappears. That Eternal Life is continuing all the time. From It, sometimes It manifests as a human, or as bugs, or flowers, or animals—and it is like It changes shape and aspect to play different roles. So, it is a very good thing to cherish the life that you can see. Bugs and flowers and animals, each one is living to the fullest, so you can get along with them, take care of them, and play with them as your friends.
The Teachings of Buddha
Q: Please teach us about the very first step of the Eightfold Right Path, Right View.
MASTER: It is written [in Kanji characters,] as “Rightly” and “Viewing.” It has the meaning of seeing things correctly and correctly understanding them. Now, the point is about what we are seeing here. These are what must be known and understood as the prerequisites before moving on to the Eightfold Right Path—they are called the Four Truths, or the Four Noble Truths: the four Truths are Suffering, its Causes, its Cessation, and the Path. Right View means understanding this first, then viewing [all things] correctly, understanding them correctly.
Through the Four Noble Truths—Suffering, its Causes, its Cessation, and the Path [to its Cessation, Nirvana]—everything about this world is expressed. The first is Suffering, that is, “Everything is suffering.” As the common phrase [in Japanese], “The Four Sufferings, The Eight Sufferings,” [which means “struggling,”] is derived from this: birth, aging, illness and death are the four great sufferings; no one can avoid them. Furthermore, four other sufferings, which most people will probably experience over the course of their lives follow: Separation from loved ones—this is the suffering that comes when you experience separation from lovers, family, friends, animals or any of your loved ones. Conversely, even without intending to, one has to be with people one hates; this too is one of the sufferings that often arises on a daily basis amongst family members, coworkers, or within society. And there is also the suffering that is experienced when you are not able to get what you wish, not having the world be at your disposal. Furthermore, the body and the mind that constitute this human existence are impure; there is a kind of pain-bearing obstacle called sanskara, which is inherited from the past, and which actually becomes karma—and because the mind holds this as a latent memory, one inevitably encounters the results of that (karma), which is the experience of suffering. Therefore, everything is suffering—everything boils down to “all is suffering.”
And these sufferings have causes that produce them. That is the “Cause”—[in kanji,] we write the word “gather” or “to gather.” The original word is tanha [in Pali], which is the characteristic of the mind to desire, to crave one thing after another, and to become attached to those things just like a thirsty throat incessantly seeks water. That is the cause, which is to say, that is what can be summarized as the pain-bearing obstacles or ignorance.
On the other hand, there is the original state of Bliss, of Tranquility, which is not disturbed by ignorance or pain-bearing obstacles. That is “Extinguishment” [in kanji]—that is the translation of Nirvana. It is the state of Freedom, liberation from all suffering, the state of tranquility where one is no longer bothered by anything, the state of original Truth.
And to reach that state, there is the way, meaning there is the Path—that is the Eightfold Right Path.
Therefore, to clearly and thoroughly understand Suffering, its Causes, its Cessation, and the Path, which are called the Four Noble Truths, is the Right View, that is, the beginning of the Eightfold Right Path.
Then, as you reflect on yourself, you can find that there are sufferings experienced in this world, and there you find the causes of suffering, which are the pain-bearing obstacles or ignorance, deep within the mind. “Since the original Existence is nothing like these things, but rather the state of tranquility, then I must reach that.” Having this right way of viewing and understanding—that is the determination to be on the path to Satori, so to speak—to have this recognition firmly in place is Right View, the first important thought. “I will end suffering and eliminate the cause of suffering, and reach Nirvana, Extinguishment. I must do that”—to give yourself direction like that is also Right View.
If you look at the Four Noble Truths in another way, it can be said thusly: suffering can be likened to a sickness. Since sickness always has a cause, that is “Causes.” So then, what is “Extinguishment” in this case? It is the original state of health. [As we write it in Japanese] as “the original state” of “ki, [energy or prana,]” originally, you are healthy. However, due to certain causes, you are sick now, so then you are in suffering. In order to regain the original health, you need medication, medicine needs to be taken; that is the Path, the Eightfold Right Path, the way to recovery.
Then, if you are equipped with this determination, which is Right View, and the correct way of viewing and understanding the Four Noble Truths, then next, you are able to maintain your thoughts—Right Thought—in a way that is unshakable; in order for you not to forget in your thoughts, in the aspect of the mind, the view that you grasped in Right View, you must work to establish it. Furthermore, you must heighten the intention, the determination to go towards Nirvana. By doing that, next, it leads you to utter the right words that suit those thoughts, [which are based on Right View,] that is, Right Speech, and every action will come to be rightly adjusted—that is called Right Action. Karma in kanji characters is “action.” That then involves the entirety of one’s daily life. The involvement in the whole of living is Right Livelihood, or you may say, lifestyle, or it is about the sum total of all of your actions, that is, daily life; so you adjust all your actions in daily life to be right. Then, from there further effort is required; that is Right Effort; that is a great effort—technically, of course, it also includes meditation. Then, Right Intentness—this is the word we also use [while adding the word “point or place” in Japanese,] for “a critical moment, the time for making a decision, the showdown.” The “intent” [that is used in kanji] means strong awareness or strong thoughts, and it indicates when one puts strong awareness or strong thoughts into the deeper part of the mind. That means to have unshakable eagerness towards Satori, and be thorough with the removal of obstacles that prevent Satori, in other words, to eliminate pain-bearing obstacles and ignorance.
The final one is correct meditation, that is, samadhi. For Right Samadhi, the translation of samadhi in kanji [in this context] is “fixity.” Through Right Samadhi, in other words, through the right meditation and samadhi, Nirvana is realized.
Friday, August 20, 2004, NY
MASTER: Nirvana literally means the state in which the flame has been blown out. The flame indicates our lives and minds, which, while they are in nature, are burning and becoming restless, eventually coming to an end. The mind can be likened to a flame. When the restlessness of desire caused by ignorance is blown out, that perfectly tranquil state is Nirvana. In modern Yoga, you may often have understood it as the word “nirvikalpa samadhi (samadhi without cognition).” It is the state of Truth, beyond duality. And, it is the Essence of each and every one of us, and it is the Truth. It is there that Freedom and Bliss exist.
The Truth of Atman
MASTER: The essence of human beings is the Eternal Existence itself. It can neither be named nor does it have form. Since ancient times, it has simply been referred to with words such as Brahman, Atman (true Self), God or the Truth. However, everyone can experience It.
If you can awaken into this True Existence, no suffering will ever be able to touch you. Though the world may fall into turmoil, change, and then disappear, not even that would be cause for fear. Because that very same existence, exists eternally, beyond the material world. That is the truth of everyone’s Existence, Atman. Yoga is for the purpose of realizing this.
Saturday, January 24, 2004, Kyoto
MASTER: There are some words of Truth from a certain scripture that I’d like you to keep in mind. They were spoken by a rishi:
“It is not for the sake of the husband that the husband is dear, but for the sake of the Atman within the husband that the husband is dear. It is not for the sake of the wife that the wife is dear, but for the sake of the Atman within the wife that the wife is dear. It is not for the sake of the child that the child is dear, but for the sake of the Atman within the child that the child is dear. It is not because the monks are great that they should be revered. It is because Atman is to be revered, that monks are to be revered.”
In that way, all professions, all living beings, even all wealth, all and everything in this world is not important because of their surface appearances, but because of their essence, which is Atman—Atman means the Existence of Truth. That is our Truth, and that is the Truth that dwells as the essence of all and everything. For the sake of That alone, only That is dear, and that is why everything is dear.
That is why Satori in Yoga is for one to become awakened into Atman, which is the Truth, that is to say, to realize Satori. When one realizes the Truth, when one awakens, even though everything has various shapes—humans, animals, adults, children, men, women, strong people, weak people—the external appearances are irrelevant, they are the same in essence, for it is simply the Truth called Atman that abides in them; therefore, one will no longer be swayed by or be attached to external appearances, everything becomes Atman, everything becomes God. Whether poor or rich, that too is irrelevant, it’s all the same Atman.
Our five senses distinguish the various forms of this world, and through that the activities of our daily lives are formed. However, that is only a matter of surface appearances, and when looking at the mind, there is joy or there is sadness, and even if the experiences are different, the emotions felt can be similar. But if one can transcend even that mind, and see only the essence deep within, then one is not able to see that there are any differences. There is only One True Substance, indistinguishable, indiscriminate. And, as a matter of fact, we ourselves are That. I am That, you are That, all and everything is That; there is only That. The word “exist” may not quite describe it, but it indicates the Immortal Existence. This body was born, will break down one day and disappear. The mind bears various emotions and keeps changing. Joy and pain are all fleeting occurrences. These are not eternal existence. However, there is Consciousness, which is as if It knows or simply sees all this, deeper within. Only That exists.
Therefore, for those in whom that substance abides, because Atman is dear, they are dear, and one must cherish them. Since there is only That, there is not even such a relationship as “me and others.” To realize this, which is the ultimate, or rather, the simple Truth, is Yoga. Learn that fact, understand that, and awaken into That.
Saturday, November 3, 2007, Kyoto
Q: How does the world currently being felt through the five senses look when one recognizes Atman within oneself and within everything in one’s surroundings?
MASTER: There will only be Atman; that is because even if the mind is still active and the five senses are functioning, without being swayed by or attached to the external surfaces, you will come to see only Atman, you will come to know only Atman. When you remove the form and name of all and everything, what remains there? You will realize the words, “what is there is only Atman.”
Q: Not even joy is there anymore?
MASTER: Joy in a relative sense will vanish; at the same time sadness and suffering will vanish. And the Bliss that is inherent to the Existence Itself is realized. Above and below heaven, only Atman is precious—That itself is Bliss. When one completely becomes Bliss Itself, there is no way even to be able to perceive Bliss in a relative manner anymore; It becomes only That—and that precisely is Bliss. And at the same time, because this world with form is only That, everything becomes dear, everything becomes precious, everything becomes Bliss.
Saturday, April 14, 2012, Kyoto
MASTER: There is a word that describes Atman: “Sat-Chit-Ananda.” Sat means Existence, the Existence, it means the only Reality. It also means Truth. Because It Exists, It is the Truth. In other words, because It is the Truth, It Exists. Therefore, the Truth and Existence are synonyms. What knows That is the Consciousness—that is called Chit. That is the Pure Consciousness that exists behind the mind, that knows everything. And Ananda is translated as Bliss. That also means pure, ceaseless Joy; It is Existence and It is Truth and That, Itself, is the Self and everything—knowing that itself is Joy. That is Ananda; and that is completely different from any sort of pleasure.
And there is another teaching: Once upon a time, Atman was alone. Because there is only Atman, it was alone even before heaven and earth were born, and before the beginning of the universe. However, since Atman could not enjoy being alone, It divided Itself into two. Atman was shaped just like a man and woman in an embrace. There, males and females were born, and all things, as all species were born, thus the universe began to have form. There is a hint here—in order for Atman Itself, which is Sat–Chit–Ananda, that is, Joy Itself, to enjoy, It manifests Itself into this universe, into all things. That is the actual state of the world seen from the view of the Truth.
However, despite that, there are so few people and beings living in joy. Why is there so much pain, and sorrow, and misery in this world? Looking at the cause of this, one arrives at karma, the attachments to desire that produce karma, and what are called pain-bearing obstacles, which are the incorrect thoughts rooted in ignorance unfold into this ugly world. Therefore, this world’s conditions, which have developed due to mistakes, ought to become filled with Joy by correcting these mistakes.
Truly, God Himself is manifesting into all things and playing—that is Lila. Indeed, there, it is just that the act of Joy for the sake of Joy is being carried out, and there is no superiority or inferiority of work, nor is there any superiority or inferiority of happiness or of misfortune. Simply, all that exists there is nothing other than Pure Joy.
* * *
Design by Atman: Part 3
The Power of Symbols
November 2022, Kyoto, Japan
The sahasrara chakra, which has been used as somewhat of a symbol for the Mahayogi Mission since a tapestry commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Mission was created with that motif, has become a motif for various other designs, such as for Satori, for the book cover of the new editions of The Universal Gospel of Yoga, for calendars, websites, furoshiki (a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth), class flyers, class cards, etc. etc.
In this article, I will delve into the power of symbols, while sharing episodes around the design of the sahasrara chakra, which is a symbol of Enlightenment.
In spring 2008, Satori, the compilation of the precious teachings of Shri Mahayogi, was published. Shri Mahayogi himself selected and extracted the content from the recordings of questions and answers from Satsangha, and was devotedly engaged in every task throughout the entire operation of the publication—planning, compiling, editing and book design—thus the book reached its completion. And, it was the first time that Shri Mahayogi’s book came to be on the shelves of bookstores nationwide in Japan. Shooting straight to the point, the title Satori consists of two letters in Japanese. In order for people to truly awaken to this profound state, this book will be disseminated widely! During the time of year when various lifeforms begin to sprout all at once, this joyous occasion of a much-anticipated publication took place—our morale was uplifted.
In coordination with the book cover design of Satori, we created posters and business cards for promotional activities; we also decided to renew the website at this occasion. And, in commemoration of the publication, a new tapestry was created as well.
The cover design of the book is such that the petals of the lotus were placed as if popping out from the cover, also, the posters and websites feature the lotus image in its large and entire form, and on each page of the website, there is a cutout of a cross section of petals. With Shri Mahayogi’s dynamic and free designing, different layouts were born from a single sahasrara chakra. Truly, everything is filled with Satori! It felt like sahasrara was blossoming everywhere.
I heard that Shri Mahayogi envisioned the Taj Mahal when he was designing the tapestry. The building built of white marble is decorated with paisley patterns, and these plants and flowers were inlayed with precious stones. In 1972, Shri Mahayogi visited the Taj Mahal when he first went to India, and he was so moved by the design of the beautiful, minutely detailed mausoleum, that he wanted to reproduce the graceful color tone of the Taj Mahal, so he expressed it by using the colors of the precious stones such as ruby, emerald and sapphire, dabbed onto the tips of the lotus petals.
One day, I showed Shri Mahayogi a proposal for the new design based on the motif of that symbol. “The lotus seems a little dark. It is better to make it more white”—Shri Mahayogi responded. Indeed, the colors were not adjusted well, and the whole thing certainly looked sunken. When the petals got brighter, the impression changed to something much more the quality of sattva. Later I recalled that the basis of the lotus image is the white marble of the Taj Mahal, and the colors of the petals are the colors of brilliant precious stones.
Another time, in order to create a design proposal, we were working on further deforming the line-drawn sahasrara chakra. The task was that the gold lines inside the lotus petals had to be drawn from scratch on a Mac screen, and Shri Mahayogi directed us in truly great detail, and so carefully, to make each particular line longer or shorter, to make it lower or at a higher angle, and such things. Then he said, “These gold lines may look like the veins on the petals, but they express [rays of] light.” In the center of the lotus, there is a golden, shining silhouette of a Yogi, and rays of light are being emitted all around. It was such a natural thing, yet still, I thought that it is not simply just about balancing the composition or filling up negative space, but what is important is to grasp what we are trying to express.
In addition, it is said that the sahasrara chakra itself is something that the Yogi have actually experienced as light, and that since it is difficult to express light, it has traditionally been drawn as lotus flowers. I’ve heard Shri Mahayogi explain that the arrows of light that emit when each chakra is perceived internally, correspond to the number of petals on the lotus flowers for each chakra.
As with the expression of the lotus, with light too, I feel that Shri Mahayogi had quite a clear and elaborate image of it, the way the rays or particles were drawn, and their tone. Although gold (and also silver) were often printed using special inks with metallic particles on publications (including T-shirts), since computer screens cannot replicate them, there is a need to express the gold-ness by combining colors of CMYK (the four main printing ink colors: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) or of RGB (the three main screen colors: red, green and blue, the three primary colors of light). When combining colors to get the gold tone, Shri Mahayogi, focusing intensely on the screen, would instruct us in detail about the subtle tone, saying, “add a little more red” or “this needs to be slightly more yellow.”
It is said that the colors gold and white are symbols of utmost brilliance and purity, and also the gold color implies Immortal Existence. The expression of light has been used from ancient times in traditional art, as the expression of the manifestation of Divine Existence, and I came to feel that this was the sacred vision that Shri Mahayogi beholds within.
By the way, at the establishment of the Ashrama, Shri Mahayogi created the sahasrara chakra thinking to use something that can be a symbol of Yoga. Including Shri Yantra and Kali Yantra, all of these symbols have been utilized since ancient times by Yogi for meditation. When we see these symbols, what powers are at work?
Shri Mahayogi once taught us that symbols are often abstract in content, whereas in figurative painting and realistic art, the more minutely detailed the expression becomes, the longer it takes to see the essence due to the viewer getting caught up in the surface details; since symbols are abstractions of the essence, they have the power to communicate the essence directly.
He explained, for example, if we take a lotus flower, if it is a photograph, or a realistically drawn picture, then one may be fascinated by the details, such as the subtle differences in the colors of the flowers, and it will be perceived as one flower. However, by drawing it abstractly, an image about lotuses [that is held by the viewers] is added to it. That would be the perception people have held about lotuses, such as them being a symbol for Satori, or seeing the lotus blooming fully with pristine large flowers in a muddy swamp, how you can feel the beauty that blooms in such a dignified way without being tainted in this world that has both purity and impurity—the nobility of Enlightenment.
Shri Mahayogi also mentioned that symbols are like things that have crystalized over the span of tens of thousands of years. Anyone can feel deep within their hearts that which symbols vividly express.
(to be continued)