Yukti: I have heard that a person who is in the state of para bhakti (the culmination of loving God in bhakti) is not bothered by the ego even if it remains, because one is oblivious to all else but God. I would like to ask about whether that [remnant of] ego has a different quality than the ego of people in general, and about whether it is necessary to burn away that remnant of ego or not. Also, if the ego that is still there must be burned away, then whether it is possible to burn it away with one’s passionate love for God, until it is no more, or must we add discrimination in order to eliminate it?
MASTER: If you look at what constitutes the mind, the three main components are: buddhi, which is the intellect or the ability to judge; ego, which distinguishes between oneself and others in relative terms, along with the individual awareness (ahamkara), that is, the stronger sense of self or ego, or the consciousness of “I”; and manas, which is the conceptual part that thinks and feels. Of course, memories are included in there as well, and it is within the continuum of memory that buddhi, ahamkara, and manas—intellect, individual ego, and thoughts—can be active. This is a very yogic psychological analysis. As karma (the cause and effect of actions), which is the ingredient from which memory is made, attaches to the respective actions [of each of the three components of the mind], samskara (subconscious potential impressions), additional karma, or ego will be further strengthened. If you trace [samskara, karma and ego] back to their original cause, because of ignorance, even though ahamkara, that is, the individual self or the ego, is not the true Self, it appears to be firmly established in the sense of self. Regardless of the type of yoga, by eliminating this very ignorance, the mind ends up powerless or transparent. When ignorance is eliminated, the ego will no longer assert itself, and it will simply function as the awareness that distinguishes between one’s self and others—it will no longer negatively affect karma or samskara.
Through completely surrendering one’s mind to God, or loving God, one eliminates ignorance and ego, or makes the mind transparent and unaffected by ignorance—this is how the process of bhakti works. Para bhakti has been translated as the ultimate bhakti, absolute bhakti, or supreme bhakti—it is the climax of bhakti. However, even in this state, there is bhakti—God and the one who loves God—there is this small sense of distinction that still remains; therefore, this is the state in which only the joy of loving God, or the bliss and joy of feeling God’s love, remains. Once the ego is eliminated completely, even that taste [for God] no longer remains, so the culmination of bhakti, the state of para bhakti, has this characteristic that only the bare minimum sense of distinction between God and self slightly remains. At that point, ignorance has already been eradicated from the ego, so the ego has a totally different quality from the previous ego. [The bhakta] only sees God as others, [that is, as everything outside of the self], and only hears God, and only speaks of God. In that sense, it is as if one is already experiencing oneness with God, yet the joy of loving God still remains. Therefore, this state is like the exact opposite of the quiet state of Sat Chit Ananda (Existence-Consciousness-Bliss) experienced in the nirvikalpa samadhi (samadhi without any cognition) of jnana yoga (yoga of knowledge); and it is really quite active and dynamic, even though it is still as if one is in [the state of] complete oneness. Therefore, the ego is no longer the ego at all—it is that kind of ego.
Yukti: Does that mean that there is not even a need to eliminate the ego?
MASTER: Yes. There is no longer anything to worry about or to be concerned about. In a way, it is as if God becomes [your] ego (laughs). It’s just like that.
Sananda: Are there also equivalent states in jnana yoga, karma yoga (yoga of action) or any other yoga?
MASTER: No. When it comes to the equivalent state in karma yoga, then [that state] would be the state called para bhakti. In the case of jnana yoga, [the equivalent state] would be the state without cognition, where there is no longer any of these at all.
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Ms. Takeda: I go to the doctor every three months, but as soon as the results are bad or the doctor mentions cirrhosis, I feel fear and become agitated. Please teach us how to get rid of the fear of disease and death.
(Shri Mahayogi raises his voice and speaks slowly so that Ms. Takeda, who is sitting all the way in the back, can hear his voice.)
MASTER: As long as you identify the self as the body, the fear will not disappear. The true Self is neither the body nor the mind, but Atman—the soul that resides deep within the mind, that is by another name called God. That actually exists eternally, as Existence! That is your very Self! So meditate on that every day, understand it fully, and realize it. Then, even if the body is sick, or even when you are faced with death some day, fear will have vanished.
Everyone dies eventually. However, only the body dies; the true Self never dies. It is immortal. That is the Truth. Learn that part well, and meditate on that.
Ms. Takeda (happily): Yes. Thank you very much.
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* * *
Ms. Mitsui: In Chetaka’s article in Paramahamsa newsletter, “The Path of a Practitioner,” there is a scene in which Anandamali expresses to Shri Mahayogi that she would like to practice pranayama, and Shri Mahayogi replies, “I have practiced it for you, so there is no need.” This scene made a strong impression on me. Is practicing “on behalf of someone” something that Shri Mahayogi can do because he is a Guru?
MASTER: Yes (smiles).
Ms. Mitsui: Am I able to do Yoga for someone in the future?
MASTER (filled with absolute conviction): Yes, you can.
Ms. Mitsui: Is it by thinking of that person in my mind?
MASTER: Whether you think or not, it happens automatically.
Ms. Mitsui (sighing): Ah.... I see. Thank you very much.
Ms. Morioka: Is that because a Yoga practitioner can affect his or her surroundings by filling them with good prana?
MASTER: Well, it is even much more than that.
Ms. Morioka: Is that because a Yoga practitioner can affect his or her surroundings by filling them with good prana?
MASTER: Well, it is even much more than that.
Sanatana: It is often said that if a holy being attains Satori in a cave, even without anyone else knowing it, it still permeates the entire world. At that moment, there aren’t any direct physical effects or any transmission of the teachings, or any thoughts or ideas, yet I really believe that if one person attains Satori, it greatly affects the world and influences the course of history. Does that have something to do with some dynamic or law regarding the power of the human mind that has not yet been discovered? Or even, whether something like that exists or not. How does Shri Mahayogi understand this [phenomena]?
MASTER: Indeed, science is evolving daily, with remarkable new discoveries and inventions being made. However, in terms of the science of the mind, they have not reached the realm that Yoga has long since known and realized. All discovery is simply a re-discovery by humans of later ages, rather than something that is newly generated; it is something that has already been there since before. Even though the effects that an Awakened being has have still perhaps not been verified by science, it can be said that they surely do exist. I, too, totally believe that as well.
Recent discoveries in physics suggest that subtler, finer things exert more power than grosser things. For example (pointing to his arm), the atomic energy created by the power of the atom is far greater than the power of this muscle, or the arm’s power. But if things even subtler than atomic energy exist, then that power will be much greater than atomic power, beyond anything we can imagine. The holy beings naturally emanate that type of power. That is comparable to the power emitted by the state of Satori, the Existence that is the embodiment of Truth, and the power of its effects go beyond time and space.
Sanatana: Internally, we should deepen the practice of Yoga and go closer towards Satori, or Awakening, while externally we should serve [others] concretely as [a form of] karma yoga, or by using our heads and our limbs to serve others. Since it is easy to see and recognize the physical aspects of helping others, or it is easy to imagine that service is the contribution we make, or the devotion we have in these areas, we are still caught up in seeing it from a physical viewpoint, passing judgment or believing that concretely serving in a physical way is doing [service], whereas not engaging in service in a physical way is not engaging in [service] at all. I feel, however, that if we are genuinely able to have the faith to believe in the much larger scale of the immense power of the invisible, we will be able to serve more correctly and more purely.
MASTER: Yes, that is so. I agree.
Sanatana: I understand that, and I believe that, but I feel that I need to know it more.
MASTER: This is about truly getting closer to the state of Satori, and becoming That, and as a consequence [such power will] emanate. Therefore, unraveling the logic or the theory doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be practiced, nor does it mean that it is invalid. It is the power that is possessed by the actual existence itself.
Yogadanda: If we continue to practice, and attain Satori, I think we may come to be called guru, but it is said that Ishvara, the original Guru, possesses the power to create universes and worlds unlike the ordinary guru. Where does the difference in regarding Ishvara as the only one who has that power come from?
MASTER: Ishvara is the Guru of the guru, the original Guru, the first Guru among all that are together called guru. Ishvara does not have a guru; It began as the Guru itself. The reason is that there is an expression that Ishvara has never been taken over by any karma or ignorance whatsoever, but was pure from the absolute beginning; it is God itself. So what about any other guru? Yogadanda just said that eventually, when you become a guru—which means that there once was a state where you were not a guru, perhaps there might be a little bit of karma and ignorance, that is to say, a bit of dirt existed before then. There is a big difference between the two. The difference in their ability is distinguished by the fact that the One is pure and perfect from the beginning, and the other eventually becomes pure and perfect.
Yogadanda: Ishvara is expressed by the word Om—it means that it is one with creation, sustainment, and destruction, right?
MASTER: Yes, as the root of creation, sustainment, and destruction; creation, sustainment, and destruction are born out of It.
1 Written in 1998
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* * *
Satya: A while back, I read Nag Mahashaya’s book, and for some reason I thought, “This is not for me,” (everyone laughs) so I couldn’t quite read it. When I re-read it recently, I saw how he so strongly yearned for the Truth, how his desire to attain his ideal was so strong that he couldn’t see anything else but That. So I suddenly grew fond of him (Shri Mahayogi laughs). Lately, when I open this book, the title, “Humble Mind,” draws my attention, because I think that his yearning for God was not humble, but rather greedy, (everyone laughs). So, I am baffled as to why the book would have such a title.
MASTER: Perhaps the reason is that the mind is not humble (smiles). But when one can truly concentrate on God single-mindedly to such a degree, and fill the mind only with God, then the non-humble mind becomes humble. So that title, “Humble Mind,” could be the pure mind, the mind immersed in God, the God-filled mind, if you will. In that way, it expresses the state of mind that is overflowing with pure faith, which is completely different from what people normally have in their minds. Like in the words from the Bible, “Blessed are the poor, for they shall see God.” This word “poor”—I don’t know if it was translated from Latin or not—but the word “poor” is said to also include the meaning of simple or humble mind.
Satya: When we are emulating holy beings, is it correct to try to feel their thoughts and feelings, the intentions behind their actions?
MASTER: Exactly, yes.
Satya: The way that manifests can vary, right?
MASTER: Yes, indeed. It varies depending on the era and situation, so it’s difficult for it to be exactly the same. However, regardless of the era or the situation, the same quality of action can be performed.
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(Ms. Morioka, who has been attending the specialized meditation classes in Osaka, is present. This is her first time attending a satsangha. Shri Mahayogi notices that Ms. Morioka seems to want to ask a question, so he gently urges her, “Please ask.”)
Ms. Morioka: What is it like to trust in God, or to surrender to God?
MASTER: Well, before that, in order to completely surrender, one must get closer and closer to God. It would be wonderful to love God, to get closer to God—to come closer even to the point of touching It, actually touching It—and then to be able to surrender (smiles).
(Shri Mahayogi beams a smile at Ms. Morioka, as if to melt away her nervousness.)
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Satya: Going back to the previous conversation1, what does it mean to become one with the void during meditation?
MASTER: Well, the “void” indicates this cosmic space, so it is difficult to use it as an object for concentration. However, when the mind stops its activity and becomes pure, one may notice oneself within something like a cosmic space, which at times has been called cosmic consciousness; one may experience that. And therefore, in meditation one may at times feel as if oneself is the void, the cosmic consciousness, and that it is oneself that is permeating everything; or one may sense that it is one’s consciousness that is abiding in everything. The mind can really only understand the tiny, tiny world that is locked within this body. The void points to the universal consciousness, in which it is as if the mind has disappeared. Either way, when one has been pursuing meditation, concentrating upon God, the Truth, or Atman, then such experiences of samadhi may come.
Satya: So, at that time, does it feel like only that consciousness exists?
MASTER: Yes. You will understand clearly that only that consciousness exists.
Satya: Is that consciousness the same as the consciousness called Existence?
MASTER: It is some steps before it, strictly speaking. The Truth, being the state in which even that sense disappears, is purely the only Existence that there is.
Satya: Shri Mahayogi is saying that even if one meditates on God, the cosmic consciousness appears or one becomes that cosmic consciousness, right?
MASTER: At times, yes. At times, no—because God itself manifests in everything. Even the essence of the cosmos is God. That is why this occurs.
Satya: That is already [the experience of] samadhi?
MASTER: That is samadhi (laughs). The samadhi that is beyond the end of meditation.
Sanatana: I presume that one assimilates into the cosmic consciousness, and then even that vision disappears, then turns into a state that nears unconsciousness. In order to go even further beyond that point, would the thought that “this is not the goal yet” arise? My understanding is that this is within a deep state of samadhi, but it is not yet the perfect state.
MASTER: That is a very subtle distinction. Because in some cases, one may be deluded into thinking it’s the final stage. That is the very reason why the necessity of having the right guru is spoken about. It’s an area that is fraught with mistakes.
Sanatana: If a new ego arises from it, and one becomes a founder of some cult, one will be making a very dangerous mistake. In that individual’s experience, there is no intention to do anything more from there, but if one is to surpass that point or to forge ahead even further, then one will probably come extremely close to uniting with the void and, upon being in a state of unconsciousness, there would no longer be any thoughts or intentions about anything. So from that point, in order to surpass it, being in the state of the near-cessation of passion or intention, does one wait for that state to naturally change through the diminishment of samskara?
MASTER: From the point of view of raja yoga (the royal path of yoga), indeed, it is about completely eliminating the remaining samskara. Another consideration is the power of the blessing of the guru.
Sanatana: So then it’s not about surpassing that state through one’s intentions, or efforts, or with practice, but it is through something like that power that is beyond relativity?
MASTER: Yes. The rest of what you need is pure faith, or to continue progressing further in your sadhana (spiritual practice) and forge ahead with it. That is all.
Sanatana: So then it is just a matter of waiting for it…I think that discrimination is done intentionally, with a subject renouncing it. However, I don’t think that one can find anything to renounce in that state.
MASTER: Right. That is why in the scriptures, there are parts that just say, “Yoga will open the pathway afterwards2." Indeed, it is precisely so.
Ms. Mitsui: So, right now I meditate with the intention to go further. If it deepens, then even that intention will disappear too?
MASTER: It will gradually disappear. It diminishes at first, then eventually disappears. That is the way it goes. [Then] the pure state will be sustained.
Ms. Mitsui: So then while it is still not disappearing, is it fine to continue, with the intention of going deeper?
MASTER: Of course, do so.
Ms. Mitsui: When it disappears, it truly, naturally disappears?
MASTER: Yes, quite naturally.
Madhavi: Earlier, Shri Mahayogi mentioned that in order to reach the pure Existence that is beyond the cosmic consciousness, what is needed is pure faith and forging further with one’s sadhana. What is sadhana like at that point?
MASTER: That is bhakti, to think of God, or to seek the true Self.
1 Pranavadipa Volume 9
2 Paraphrase of sutra 3.6 from the Yoga Sutra Bhashya, an annotation of the Yoga Sutra “Yoga is to be known by the practice of Yoga. Yoga proceeds from Yoga.”
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Mr. Shocho Takahashi: In the state of the consciousness of the void, is it correct to continue to have the awareness of ishvara pranidhana (worship toward the personal God)? Or is that something that will disappear?
MASTER: You cannot do two things at once.
Mr. Shocho Takahashi: When it comes to what I value, I think that ishvara pranidhana is more important than the other.
MASTER: In regards to meditation, when one has a subject upon which to concentrate, that concentration results in the meditation transforming [into the subject itself]. Whereas when the mind is truly transparent, various meditative states can manifest. That means that an unexpected state of meditation or samadhi-like state may come. It’s not a matter of which state is superior or inferior—regardless of what meditative states arise, do not be caught up by the particular state of meditation, so that you can go on to the ultimate destination, Truth.
Satya: You have mentioned “unexpected” experiences, but what causes the difference in whether it is the experience of cosmic consciousness or various other experiences?
MASTER: It is true, I wonder what causes it (laughing)? Well, whether it’s meditation or normal dreams, there must be a proper reason why some sorts of visions are manifested or seen. These visions probably appear as a sort of picture or scene, symbolizing gross and subtle things in the mind, so to speak. Normal dreams—the dreams you have during sleep, reveal a glimpse of various desires or other things in the mind, which are symbolized into stories and visual forms. And when the pain-bearing obstacles are disappearing in that state of mind, then [as a consequence] the scenery becomes symbolized into something more universal. Therefore, the void is, so to speak, the symbol of universality.
Satya: Then, aren’t the differences based on samskara?
MASTER: The samskara is within the dimension of dreams. When samskara is diminished in meditation, as Yoga is progressing, then it will be more like a symbolized vision of the universality of the mind itself.
Satya: Other than the cosmos, what are the other universal symbols?
MASTER: The so-called “Eight Great Siddhi” (supernatural powers)—the body becoming invisible, becoming extremely heavy, heavier than the earth, going through rocks, floating in the air, etc.—these have been said to be the “Eight Great Siddhi” from ancient times. These kinds of visions may occur often. That is to say, the mind becomes transparent, no longer having any boundaries, and wakes up to the cosmos. It is similar to cosmic consciousness, yet a slightly different form of vision.
Satya: That is fascinating.
MASTER: It is fascinating. More interesting than any movie (everyone laughs). I don’t know if nowadays they call it SFX, but it is more interesting than that. Before I became a teenager, when I was a primary school student, I was enjoying this almost daily.
Mr. Shocho Takahashi: If it were a movie, we would have nothing to do with the scenes going on there, but in the case of meditation, we were involved with those scenes...
MASTER: Of course. You yourself experience that.
Ms. Uchiyama: Regarding Shri Mahayogi’s experiences, does that mean that such experiences came not only during the times when your eyes were closed, but even when you were moving around?
MASTER: No, in my case, most of the time it would be right before going to sleep. (Some disciples grunt, nodding.) It was clearly not a dream. Before going to sleep, this entertainment theater (everyone burst out laughing) would unfold without any prompting.
Sarani: So it would be when you were already in bed, transitioning into sleep.
MASTER: Yes, right before [falling asleep]. But it was clearly understood that they were completely different from dreams. At that time, I believed that everyone enjoyed this every day just like me. (Everyone laughs.)
Sananda: Didn’t you ask your friends about it?
MASTER: No. I had no doubt about it.
Madhavi: How did you realize that it was not the case for everyone?
MASTER: As I got older, in my teens.
Madhavi: Is that because you didn’t hear anything like that from others?
MASTER: That’s right. But at times, I have heard people say, “I’ve experienced something like that.”
Satya: From children?
MASTER: No, I have even heard it from some people after they became adults. But, perhaps everyone has forgotten [these experiences] (laughs).
Sarani: The reason why we tend to recognize something important at the moment just before sleep, is that at those times the mind is calm, is that right?
MASTER: I think so. I’ve heard that Dr. Yukawa, who was the first Japanese person to win the Nobel prize, always put a notepad by his pillow so that he could take notes when inspiration came to him just before falling asleep. So, there might be a great possibility, still unknown to all, that a very sattvic state comes at the moment just before falling sleep.
Madhuri: Did these experiences come only when you were a child?
MASTER: Yes, during elementary school.
Madhuri: I wonder why it stopped?
MASTER: From around the time I became a junior high student, various things in the world began to enter in, like [different] stimuli and questions, I suppose.
Madhavi: In that case, we should cherish the moment before going to sleep, shouldn’t we?
MASTER: That’s right. Cherish it.
Madhavi: That means that instead of falling asleep the moment after we lie down, it is better to have some leeway (laughs).
MASTER: Even for just a moment is fine, rather than just passing out (everyone laughs). But if you are tired that doesn’t work. So you need to have conditioned yourself to not tire yourself out in daily life, and in order to have that condition established within you, you must diligently practice Yoga every day. In this way you will not get tired anymore, so that will be taken care of.
Yogadanda: Shri Mahayogi, you entered into a state of meditation before falling asleep when you were an elementary school student, and you were meditating in a café when you were a high school student. So, in a way, you weren’t really engaged in sitting down to meditate...?
MASTER: Indeed, not much. It does not sound like very good manners, or rather, it sounds like bad manners. (Everyone laughs.)
(Ms. Mitsui begins to whisper. She has been sitting right in front of Shri Mahayogi and seems to be overwhelmed by his presence, blushing from beginning to end.)
Ms. Mitsui: Shri Mahayogi, please let me express my feelings. Seeing you now after one year, and being able to sit in front of you like this, is nothing less than tasting sweet ambrosia. I am so glad to be able to come here. Thank you very much.
MASTER: That is wonderful. Please take enough home with you to account for the past one year. (Everyone laughs.)
Yukti: Then let me express my feelings too. (Everyone laughs.)
MASTER: Sure, it’s been a while.
(Yukti has been living and working as a nurse in Minamisoma, in Fukushima, since last April. She speaks about how the disaster recovery has been progressing, but that there is still a lot of noticeable damage and destruction that has been caused by the earthquake and tsunami. The city of Kyoto seems nostalgic to her and she was happy to see it. But, on the other hand, she did not feel the sense of nostalgia toward the Ashrama; instead, her feelings toward it remain constantly the same, even when she is far away.)
Yukti: In Minamisoma, I meditate upon Mother Theresa. When I saw Shri Mahayogi today, the feeling of that dear, loving sensation that I felt from Shri Mahayogi and from Mother Theresa was completely the same, so I can go home now after reaffirming that there is no difference in the essence of the holy beings. (Everyone laughs.)
(Receiving in its entirety the overflowing blessing of the guru, the disciples’ faces shine even more radiantly. Regardless of where one is, if one engages in sadhana with pure faith, the results of meditation will definitely be realized. This satsangha revealed the seriousness and dedicated passion of those disciples who diligently practice the teachings while living far away. They have staked everything to spend a short moment with the guru.)
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Today, I, Endo1, am going to make a speech (chuckles).
Shri Mahayogi, Happy Jayanti. And, as always…(holding back tears) thank you very much for your unconditional love and great blessings.
As most everyone attending here already knows, this September we had the opportunity to make an offering of kirtan at the Shinpu-kan auditorium in Kyoto. Fortunately, I was able to participate as well. Since the moment this project was first launched, everything progressed under the blessing of Shri Mahayogi; he completed everything needed to set up the event perfectly and at an astonishingly rapid speed. I feel as though we had simply boarded a great, giant ship and were being carried upon it, with Shri Mahayogi at the helm.
If I may use Shri Mahayogi’s words, kirtan is “a love song that connects God and the soul.” (chuckles) Many of them consist of very simple phrases, simply repeating God’s names. Throughout the process of putting on this event, I have been blessed with so many insights.
That is to say, the name of God is filled with power, brimming with love and joy, and it expresses everything, and fills everything. For the first time, I was able to be touched by the great, tender love of God. (speaking breathlessly) It was so direct that it did not require any words, any procedures, or any reasoning whatsoever.
After the final performance, only bliss remained. Shri Mahayogi was dwelling in my heart continuously.
At first, I thought, “I’m just excited on my own account.” I had never had such an experience, and I was thinking that unfortunately, “within a few days, I will probably go back to being the usual Endo.” (chuckles) However, I feel that through the many darshan I received from Shri Mahayogi afterwards, it has permeated into my depths.
Shri Mahayogi, (as if whispering) when Endo goes on stage wearing make-up, as soon as the lights come on, people often say in jest, “That’s somebody else up there!” or, “Your guna have changed.” (Everyone roars with laughter.) But, (laughs) I am actually a very shy person (everyone laughs).
But today, I wanted to tell you this at least—
(sweetly, gently) “Shri Mahayogi, I love you very much.”
Up until recently, I always tried to suppress my emotions. But lately, it’s a bit impossible (everyone laughs loudly). When I think of Shri Mahayogi, I am so joyful, so happy, my heart flutters, and, in spite of myself, I have to shout (everyone laughs loudly). And when I look at your photo hanging on my altar, I find that I am grinning to myself (everyone laughs).
My five senses are a bit out of control like an untamed horse right now (laughs).
My eyes want to behold the beautiful form of Shri Mahayogi sitting in perfect siddhasana at the Ashrama, and like the other day at Shinpu-kan, to behold Shri Mahayogi outside of the Ashrama, wearing a pair of linen pants and a panama hat (everyone laughs), so smoothly and in such a cool way, and more than anything, to see his warm gaze and smile. The ears long to hear his words of wisdom, and at times, to hear him say (imitating Shri Mahayogi’s voice) “Gargi2,” in his sweet voice. And the nose wants to smell the coffee together with Shri Mahayogi, who from time to time has coffee at Seva Kutira3, even though Endo still cannot drink it without having to add milk to it (laughs). And when Shri Mahayogi is not around, at least to smell the same incense [that burns in the] Ashrama and meet Shri Mahayogi in meditation. And the tongue wants to taste the sweet nectar-like water. And the skin wants to feel, for those of you who know, the soft hands of Shri Mahayogi (everyone laughs).
When I think of Shri Mahayogi, I am filled with this love. Shri Mahayogi is my joy, the perfect God that I have been longing for.
I celebrate everything about Shri Mahayogi.
I praise everything about Shri Mahayogi.
Eternal victory and all glories to Shri Mahayogi.
1 Ms. Ayako Endo, later named Gargi, and then Mirabai
2 At the occasion of Jayanti in 2006, disciples in Kyoto offered a play from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. In this play, Ms. Endo played as Gargi.
3 “The house of service” is the residence of three disciples of Shri Mahayogi in Kyoto. It is the main workplace of the Mission in Kyoto.
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“Bhakta yearn for the eternal lover, God, to be deeply in love with God, to go mad for God, and to become one with God. The formless God takes on a form and appears before the bhakta. Love itself is the most noble. As the love becomes more pure, it will fill one with unimaginable power and spirit. In that moment, for the first time, one realizes that God is Love.”
Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa
Shri Mahayogi, thank you very much for taking on a physical body like us and appearing before us. Only through Shri Mahayogi’s existence, can we know that God actually exists. Shri Mahayogi’s existence is our joy, our path of living, our life itself. To understand how holy and precious that is, I myself will need to progress further. However, I would like to share what I felt through this year’s kirtan activities, however immature my feelings may be.
This summer, I continued the kirtan activities together with the members of the Shakti group, by the Kamo River. Previously, we were doing the gathering for kirtan at Yoga Vihara4. As we continued to study Yoga under Shri Mahayogi, we began to want to burst out into the world, rather than confining ourselves by staying inside. That is how this activity started. Of course, there was also a strong wish to be able to offer kirtan—seeing only God—regardless of when or where we were, in the same way that we offer kirtan to Shri Mahayogi. And Shri Mahayogi was very happy about this activity and always supported it. As we ventured outside, even though we have yet to become a feature of Kyoto, we were able to create the opportunities for others to experience kirtan or Yoga, even if it was just a little, and as a result, it was not many, but there were some who came to classes and satsangha. Also, each member of Shakti experienced various insights, such as the experience of being able to feel God more closely, and of having to face the question of how serious each individual’s own commitment toward Yoga was. It was a continuation of deep learning and practice for me as well.
As soon as we began the activities at Kamogawa River, Shri Mahayogi went to the US. It was between July and September again, exactly when our activities reached their peak. The lack of his presence was very painful for us. While he was in the US, the pangs of yearning became stronger daily. I strongly yearned to see him sooner, to behold Shri Mahayogi’s beautiful, radiant form right at that moment, with my own eyes. And I wished that I could dedicate every kirtan, each and every moment, to Shri Mahayogi. At those times, Shri Mahayogi was always right by us, watching us, and answering to our calls.
And finally, I realized something. I could not offer a kirtan to Shri Mahayogi. No matter how much we want to offer, how strongly we yearn for it, Shri Mahayogi bestows upon us an infinitely greater love, returning it, transforming it into blessings for us. Shri Mahayogi is always only giving.
Before that time, I used to think that kirtan was born out of someone yearning for God so much so that she spontaneously keeps repeating the name of God. But in truth, I don’t think that’s the case. Kirtan is the Word of God. In kirtan, there manifests a perfect world filled only with the glory of God, and there is not even an opportunity for the tiny me to insert any thoughts about God. Kirtan is to become God, to be God—I have found. In kirtan, there is no offering, no thoughts folded into song, just God, that is, Love, manifesting. Only when God is realized, does kirtan become real for the first time. And it is from the emanation of the word God, that kirtan is born. Each of us, the members of Shakti, must realize that. As Shri Mahayogi’s disciples, we must show it in the way we live our lives. Only then, perhaps, will something that we can offer to Shri Mahayogi arise for the first time.
In order to fulfill that, not only when we are singing kirtan but in each moment of our lives, we must live longing seriously for God alone. To be loving Shri Mahayogi always—that is all I wish for. And to strive to deepen myself is not in question, but Shakti has another important role. That is, to work more and more so that Shri Mahayogi, who is Shiva, manifests even more in the world! And I treasure the precious time that we can spend with Shri Mahayogi, and I strive to be the concrete proof that Shri Mahayogi lived in this world.
Shri Mahayogi, please stay with us from now on too. And please play with us forever, so that this true love story never ends.
4 Refuge of Yoga
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Thank you very much for allowing me to participate in Jayanti again this year. For Shri Mahayogi, who is beyond time and space, any time and any place may always be the same, but to us, we are very happy to be able to behold your form and be allowed to share the same time together. For the members of Shakti, the opportunity to be able to offer kirtan directly to Sri Mahayogi brings us immense joy. That is because, like last year, you were gone this summer, and summer is the season for street-marching kirtan.
Lord Krishna went into hiding in order to give blessings to the gopi.
Shri Mahayogi visits the US to guide seekers in Yoga—this is also a blessing for Shakti.
Because we then yearn for your form and love you even more.
Shakti marched on the streets of Kyoto yet again this summer. No matter where we were, our thoughts were fixed on one thing—wanting to offer the kirtan to Shri Mahayogi and continuously yearning to embrace Shri Mahayogi in our hearts. We never confirmed it with one another, but it was always felt amongst ourselves, beyond words. It felt so reassuring to be among like-minded company, and at times I felt the presence of Shri Mahayogi within them. After the march, we often held puja by the riverbank. Puja is worship. It is to worship God or Buddha. I learned that it is to bow one’s head and pray for something or to implore. I am sure that all of us who participated in the kirtan were motivated to do so by our own various feelings. At times, it might have been to pray for something, perhaps a moment when the mind was going through conflict, or it might have been solely out of yearning for God, the object for whom kirtan is dedicated.
If I can speak about myself, throughout this summer I often thought about “living”—“life and Yoga.”
Shri Mahayogi often says, “God already dwells within everyone.”
You also say, “To know this is the purpose of life.” However, when I look around at my tiny surroundings, there are almost none who are aware of this radiant declaration. It seemed to me that people were forgetting to even have an ideal for which to live—that they were losing all hope for living. If everybody is a divine existence, we all have the right to simply feel at ease, accepting these words. Yet Yoga, Shri Mahayogi, has not reached many people—not at all. Devastated by this fact, I was thinking day in and day out about whether the puja we had been performing were merely prayers for ourselves, for our own satisfaction, and about how kirtan activities might be able to contribute more meaningfully.
Shri Mahayogi has said before, “The highest level of puja is devoted service to humanity.” He said: “There is nothing else superior to this. This service is not only for humanity, but for all beings and things.” He says that helping someone in need, giving food to the hungry, or even a kind smile, can be considered devoted service. [In life,] we seek different things one after the other according to our own situation. But often, when we come to a turning point in which we are compelled to face and reflect upon our own lives, we begin to seek the spiritual path and renounce the way we have lived up to that point.
In my case, I discovered the meaning of life by meeting Shri Mahayogi. More precisely, I rejected the meaning of life [as an idea] and I was able to know what it means to truly live and live a true life. As one who had been struggling, unable to find anything I could absolutely rely on in this unstable world, it was a ray of light for me. That is what Shri Mahayogi, or God, performs toward all beings—devoted service itself. I hope that our kirtan work will linger in the minds of people who are seeking something at some point in their lives, and that they will know that what they are seeking is actually to find the path to God. And that they will find that That is where the absolute answer exists—this is my wish.
It is only due to receiving Shri Mahayogi’s words that I thought of all of this.
Shri Mahayogi is always pleased with our activities, and says that even if not many people can understand our mission at the moment, there will definitely be more people who will come to recognize and appreciate it in the future. Shri Mahayogi has been leading the souls who will be born in the future. And we strive to be of service in this work, hoping to become a better instrument for Shri Mahayogi.
But… but Shri Mahayogi, when I see you in front of my eyes, my feelings are shaken… because I want as many people who are living now to meet you as possible. Because you are here now! God is here right now! Meeting God is a miracle, and there is nothing more important than this in one’s life. At the occasion of last year’s Jayanti, I was given the opportunity to give a speech. Shri Mahayogi was sitting right there just like right now. I, too, sat here. When I sat in front of you, at that moment, everything around me froze, and I saw only Shri Mahayogi’s great breath. I breathed with Shri Mahayogi, and I took in that breath. It became amrita (the nectar of immortality) and penetrated my entire body, and that supported me and sustained me to go on living this year. It was probably not only this past year, but also since ancient times and from now on, eternally, we are given life by Shri Mahayogi’s existence, by his every breath. Everything is conditioned around that, and even this life itself is given to us. So, then what we must do is already very clear and certain. It is to use the life that has been given to us entirely for Shri Mahayogi. It is to realize God, to realize Satori within, and completely and thoroughly live within That. This is why we were born, and thankfully, this is why Shri Mahayogi is here now. Only then can, not only the activities of kirtan, but every activity of the Mission become the greatest puja, filled with divine vibration. On this auspicious day, the day of Jayanti, I once again etch into my heart the significance of Shri Mahayogi being here now, and I devote myself to strive for the realization of God ever more.