Shri Mahayogi’s last Satsangha in Taiwan is about to begin. Today is Mother’s Day, and in Taiwan, where family ties are deeply valued, you can sense the importance of this holiday throughout the city.
While the participants are eagerly awaiting Shri Mahayogi’s arrival, Prasadini is holding the mala offering up above her head. When Shri Mahayogi arrives and sits down, she offers the mala with deep reverence. How beautiful Shri Mahayogi looks with the mala around his neck. The fully-blossoming carnations also seem to be filled with joy.
Prasadini greets everyone and says, “Please treasure this time, and ask for teachings from the Holy Being here with us.” Around half of the participants in this final session are people who have never met Shri Mahayogi before.
Ms. Tsu Yi: In the other Satsangha, Shri Mahayogi said that we must create good habits. Creating good habits takes self-determination and effort. What is the difference between this intention to create good habits and attachment?
MASTER: In order to create good habits, a teaching that you should model yourself after is required. In Yoga—this exists not only in Yoga but also across all the various religions such as Buddhism and Christianity—there are teachings about what you must do and what you must not do. There are five things that one especially must not do. The first is that one must not harm or injure others—people, animals, plants, or anything outside of your own self. In Buddhism, this precept is called “non-killing,” because when it comes to harming or doing violence, the worst form of that is to kill. The next one is to be honest. This means, of course, to not lie, but to do everything with all sincerity and to speak with true consideration for others. At times, you could harm others by being honest. When that is the case, then one remains silent. Thus, do not harm others and be honest [at the same time]. [The next is] to not steal anything. This not only includes criminal stealing, but includes the stealing of anything, including ideas. The next is to remain chaste. This refers especially to sex, but the level of observance is different between single Yoga practitioners and householder practitioners. A practitioner who is seriously aiming towards Satori, must eliminate lust—sexual desires, thoughts towards sex, and all such desires. For householders, it may be required in terms of procreation. There are also times that having sexual relations may be necessary to share and heighten the love for one another. However, be careful not to drown in pleasures. The fifth [one] is to not be greedy, do not expand your possessions of this and that. This also includes not receiving or giving gifts. In reality, in this society, one may often give or receive presents in order to deepen friendship or exchange love. [However,] since ancient times, a serious Yoga practitioner traditionally would renounce the household and practice disciplines only under the guidance of a guru, so there were few social interactions of this type. In this current time, there may only be a very few, nay, almost none who are blessed with such an environment. Most people have a household and have societal obligations. So practice this teaching moderately. These were the five main teachings or things that you must not do.
There are another five things that it is better to practice, the must-dos. The first one is to keep one’s body and mind, and one’s environment, clean. And, to know that in order to realize the great goal of Satori, you only need the bare minimum. This means living simply and humbly, and being content with that. Take clothing, there is no need to have many clothes, just a few will suffice. That is called “contentment.” The next one has been translated as “ascetic practices,” but it means to practice in some kind of way that involves the physical body. We often have various dualistic emotions that fluctuate wildly, such as hot and cold, like and dislike, and comfort and discomfort. Eliminate them. This is about persevering through various changing situations. It is about cultivating the power to do that. Then, study the scriptures, that is to say, listen to the teachings of the Truth. In this modern world, we have access to universities, to graduate schools where we can pursue higher education, but no one is teaching the truly essential wisdom—spiritual wisdom—anywhere. (Everyone laughs.) Learn the right and reliable words of Truth. These teachings are not bondage at all. Truth is freedom. As you deepen your learning, the mind will feel more freedom. The fifth is to make an oath towards God. The word “God” here refers not to what is taught in general religion, but to the true Existence. That Truth exists within everyone as their Essence. It exists within everything. Even in the air, only That exists. It truly cannot be named. Nor does it have a form. However, That (emphasis), only That exists as Reality! That is the Truth of God. It will never disappear. It will never change. Because it was never born, it will never die. It is Eternal Existence. It is One without a second. The physical has many various forms—flowers, animals, insects, the universe—however, the Essence within all of them is One. There are not two. You may call it the Soul or God. It is to take an oath to realize that True Existence, and to practice prayer and meditation towards That.
What I just spoke of now, the five things you must not do, are called yama, and the things you must do are called niyama. As a guiding principle for your daily actions, bear in mind what I just told you and refer to it as you perform your daily duties. That is a concrete example of creating good habits. As you do so, the mind will continue to get purified. Since these teachings on taking such actions were born out of Truth, ignorance is eliminated [through practicing them]. Most attachments of the mind are based on pain-bearing obstacles, that is to say, they are born out of ignorance. That is why they will be eliminated.
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Ms. Jing Xuan: Today, I am here with my daughter. I raised my daughter alone. It was challenging and I went through hardship. In this cruel world, we have to face the competition. The springtime of youth is very limited. But then, when a young person like her joins a group like this (the Mission’s Yoga activities), what will happen? My daughter is excellent but she is wasting so much time in studying Yoga and participating in related activities. Time is money. She has a great future ahead of her, but she is relinquishing her duties. She is a very kind person but gullible. I am very worried about her. She may hate me for saying this, but I think that I must say this. It hurts my heart. I respect you, teacher, but what should I do?
(She spoke excitedly to Shri Mahayogi, bombarding him with all her frustrations, as if to corner him all at once.)
MASTER: What is happiness for humans? No matter how vast the wealth you are accumulating, no matter how big the job that you are getting, these things will disappear in an instant. The larger the possession, the larger the suffering grows. Mother, you may be suffering from making your dreams too big.
Ms. Jing Xuan: (immediately) No, society is cruel. My daughter may not be able to support her life in the future—she is using too much time on this Yoga.
(The atmosphere is filled with tension. Everyone listens intently to their interaction, and wonders about the outcome. Meanwhile, Shri Mahayogi shifts from the prior calm mood, and begins to speak in a firm, stern attitude.)
MASTER: No. Your daughter is seeking true happiness. That is not material. Yet, she is seeking bliss that will never end, that will never change. That is gained neither from knowledge nor from some technique. Where does it exist? It exists within everyone’s heart. Once this is found and realized, then nothing else is needed. People have reincarnated countless times. To where will this limitless journey of suffering continue? Until one reaches Satori.
There are mainly two paths in life: the path of karma and path of Yoga. If one chooses to go forward on the path of karma, suffering will continue to increase further. If one can go forth on the path of Yoga, then karma is eliminated, suffering is eliminated, and it becomes the path of Joy. This teaching of Yoga is not biased at all. It is the core of all religion. However, there is no need to especially call it a religion, because the Truth is Universal, Eternal, and that is a given.
This is my first visit to Taiwan. And this Satsangha is the fourth one. It is a very precious opportunity. Therefore, your daughter might have been very busy for its preparation. I will return the day after tomorrow. So a peaceful time will be back again for her. (Everyone laughs.)
(Ms. Jing Xuan seemed to have calmed down a little, but she continues to plead with him.)
Ms. Jing Xuan: Thank you for your words. But even besides this time period, she uses too much time for Yoga always. Please persuade her not to.
MASTER: The teaching of Yoga is very simple. It is incorrect to not know the Eternal Truth, to think that this world is eternal and to try to establish happiness through material things in this world. The ego in the mind is not your true Self. The true Self is the Pure Consciousness that is witnessing the mind. That is what I mentioned, the Eternal Existence. Whereas this world is not eternal. Having that incorrect understanding is called ignorance. It is a mistake to not know the Truth, and to think as if the false ideas are the Truth. Because of that, various desires are born one after another, and then attachments toward them are born. In the end, through the various experiences in which one gains these things and [then] loses them, one ends up suffering as a result. It would have been much easier if you didn’t possess anything from the beginning, but inevitably, the mind was born already possessing various things. That is called karma. The karma was created by oneself in one’s past incarnations. In this lifetime, one may create additional new causes for karma. Then, after eventually dying, one will be born again in the next life according to the [accrued] karma. If one does not know the Truth, then this repetition continues without end. That is why one must know the Truth. Even if one does not perfect it in this lifetime, this wisdom is never lost. One will never go back to the path of karma.
Long ago in India, seekers left home without a single thread on them and devoted themselves to the practice of disciplines. However, in the modern world, everyone is a part of society and has a family. However, it is possible to learn and realize Yoga. You eliminate ego and eliminate attachment to incorrect things—that means to purify the mind. Once the mind is pure, then empathy or compassion toward the people who are around you who are in pain and suffering will arise. Then concrete, devoted actions, without expecting anything in return, will arise. (The mother involuntary says in a small voice, “Thank you very much.”) If we can all act upon this teaching of Truth, then what a wonderful heaven this world will be! Yet, this world consists of each individual human, each individual animal and plant. So even just one person at a time—even if it is just one person, even if it is just two people, that walk on this path and realize It.
I would like to add one more thing: Yoga does not deny society or work at all. It teaches kindness in one’s way of being and acting towards one’s family! It teaches doing the best one can do for the work that is given, without aiming for money or status! By doing so, one is sure to be recognized for it as a result. So do not worry. Please believe in your daughter.
(Truly, it was like the roar of a lion! A roar that breaks through people’s ignorance in an instant! The prana and voice emanating from Shri Mahayogi sounded like loud and powerful thunder from heaven, and it was as if even the Earth was shaken by that mighty power. The teachings given by Buddha or Vivekananda long ago must have been like this! To a mother whose attitude was that of challenging Shri Mahayogi, he taught the teachings of Truth straightforwardly and majestically with a fully dignified voice and countenance. Not only that, as she began to change her mind, he copiously poured tender words and expressions upon her.)
Ms. Jing Xuan: Thank you. I came here today because I wanted to meet you no matter what. Since my daughter has started learning Yoga, I have always had this worry within my mind for the past two to three years. I will take what you have told me today and make an effort to understand it. I am already sixty-five years old.
MASTER: Well, today is Mother’s Day, so it has become a great gift.
Ms. Jing Xuan: Her father passed away [a while back]. I have been worried about my daughter all the time. Thank you.
MASTER: (gently whispering) Thank you. Please feel at ease and do not worry about her, and just continue to watch her grow quietly.
(Her daughter, sitting next to her, who has been silently listening to Shri Mahayogi, is now blushing and shedding tears.)
(In front of the existence of Truth, everyone can’t help but simply bow down and pay respects. Her doubts were cleared, and she sat with such a gentle expression, like a different person. Everyone is just utterly overwhelmed.)
Bruce: Master, do you try to not see the evils and falsehoods of this world, or do you try to improve them and act upon them?
MASTER: It’s the latter. I act, from the intention of making things better.
Bruce: I get into action too.
MASTER: That’s good. (laughs)
Shin Yun: There is something that’s been troubling me for a while. Simply put, my father hates my boyfriend. We have been together for years and he wants to get married. But my father hates him and he has not spoken to me for over a year. What should I do based on the teachings of Yoga?
MASTER: As a parent, the parent has a duty to raise his or her child. However, once the child grows up, then there is no need to be attached to the child. As a child, one must have gratitude towards one’s parents for having been raised by them, and respect them. If possible, children should strive to make parents happy. However, once the child is an adult, then they are equal, individual human beings. Each one must individually find their own livelihood and happiness. Many times, like in your case, the ideals of parents and children differ. It would be better to try to resolve this as amicably as possible. To do that, you and your boyfriend must relate to your parents with integrity. Establish true happiness between the two of you, and show your parents that. And, it would be ideal if the love deepens between you two, and between you and your parents.
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Jordan: I have been practicing meditation for the past three years or so. My recent theme has been self-centeredness. Before, when I accomplished something good, arrogance would rise up within me. However, now that I have been practicing Yoga and meditation, when people praise me, that arrogance has been replaced with fear. Also, when I receive criticism, I’ve gradually become able to accept it with more humility. And I can now look at both praise and criticism the same way. However, at the same time, there is fear of both of them, and I sometimes want to run away from both. I’m a bit confused and not sure if this is the right procedure. Is it better to practice being indifferent? Please teach me.
MASTER: Yes. Whatever it is, if you react to others’ words or critiques, then there still remains a cause for that reaction. To be completely unattached and indifferent means that the cause itself is eliminated. As in this example, there is a large part of the mind that is not visible. The part of the mind that is known by the mind is only the tip of the iceberg. Under the surface of the ocean, there is more than ten times more of that iceberg. Indeed, the karma that appears is only a small part of it. That means that there is something called sanskara, which creates karma. It lays dormant deep within the mind, in a form that is something like that of memories. (Pointing at the vase of flowers next to Shri Mahayogi) If you liken it to a plant, you can see it today, but at one point, it was underground as a seed and not visible. This seed condition is the sanskara. With time and the appropriate conditions, it blossoms into this world. The cause of sanskara is ignorance. To eliminate all of them is perfect non-attachment. That task is called Yoga. In one scripture of Yoga, the Yoga Sutra, which was compiled about two thousand years ago, there is a phrase, “To restrain the activities of the mind is Yoga. At that time, the seer abides in its original state.” That means that when the mind seems to be completely gone, then the true Self, that is, the “Seer,” appears. All teachings and practices exist for the realization of this. Meditation is the especially important pillar. It is good that you are continuing to practice it now. Continue to do so with patience from now on too.
Ms. Lara: How can I erase the sanskara that have not sprouted yet?
MASTER: That is a very difficult task, however they can be eliminated through meditation. The image of this is not like you are digging in the dirt of the mind, but rather that you are eliminating the cause that creates the seeds themselves. That is ignorance. If you eliminate ignorance, then sanskara is eliminated. Practice this process through meditation. Sanskara will be eliminated for sure.
Ms. Lara: What is the concrete method?
MASTER: The concrete method is to learn the Truth, at the same time.
Ms. Lara: There are many ways to do that, right? For example, there may be step 1, then one moves on to step 2, then to step 3.
MASTER: In that case, let me explain a little further. (Everyone laughs.) Karma and sanskara are created from three conditions. One is a vessel called the mind, and its activity. This includes memories and ideas. Another is ignorance. Through ignorance, various information and attachments become sanskara. What activates them is prana, or chi. Therefore, if you can eliminate one of these three, then the sanskara disappear. As I mentioned earlier, stopping the activities of the mind is one method. To study the Truth and to have faith towards God, which is the Truth, is another method. There is also another way, and that is to eliminate the mind through controlling the prana. Concretely—let me be more concrete—(everyone laughs) the mind and breath have a very intimate connection. When one is excited or becomes very emotional, then the breath gets agitated. When one is in bliss and feels very happy, the breath is calm. Because these are autonomic functions, it is not easy to control them. However, controlling the breath is easier than controlling the mind right away. What is even easier than controlling the breath is to control the body. Therefore, asana exists to control the body. Going further, from practicing asana, the channel through which prana can flow is created [as confirmed in the subtle physiology of Yoga]. That in turn concretely controls the breath. Once the breath is controlled, then the mind becomes immobile. Meditating with that power, one will be able to control sanskara, as I mentioned earlier.
Ms. Lara: Through pranayama (breath control), the mind does indeed calm down, yet old habits still sprout again. For example, even after reaching samadhi, it goes back. That is because there is still a seed, correct?
MASTER: Yes. It is a truly arduous undertaking. It’s a lifetime’s work. Because you are resolving countless lifetimes’ worth [of karma]. Nevertheless, if you come to know the authentic, right teaching, and practice it diligently, then Satori will definitely be realized in this lifetime!
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Peter: First, I would like to express my gratitude to Shri Mahayogi. In the past two years, I have received your teachings through reading Satori and The Universal Gospel of Yoga in the classes. I would like to ask about meditation. The object of meditation should be God, Truth, or the true Self. However, when I meditate on God, I remain at a certain impression and cannot go deeper than that. And when I meditate on Truth or the true Self, then I keep analyzing it in my head intellectually, so I feel like it is not meditation. Please advise me.
MASTER: Indeed, the truth of God is that God has no form, just like the true Self or the Truth. However, God sometimes mercifully manifests in a human form. That may apply to the gods of mythology, but what is more tangible is an Awakened Being. Buddha, Jesus Christ, and in recent years, people like Shri Ramakrishna and Ramana Maharishi—they all walked upon this earth with a human body just like ours. However, they were perfect and pure. If you want to see God, you have to see them. Have such a God [one that is manifest in human form] as your ideal God in the form you prefer. Then God will be closer and easier to meditate upon. In the language of India, it is called an ishta, an ideal God or deity. You can choose the God whom you like.
Ms. Shu Shu: It is said that one is blind if one sees God in humans. What does Shri Mahayogi think?
MASTER: I think that [seeing God in humans] means one’s true eyes are open.
Ms. Shu Shu: For example, when someone thinks Shri Mahayogi is God, then others think that that’s wrong. What does Shri Mahayogi think?
MASTER: I think that everything is God. In short, who really knows about God? If one knows the real God, then there is nothing that exists but God. One understands that only God exists. In actuality, words don’t matter. Whether you call it God, Soul or Truth, it doesn’t matter. However, that Existence, only That exists. There is no need to dress up that Existence any more than that.
Ms. Shu Shu: How should we look upon Shri Mahayogi?
MASTER: Think of me as yourself.
(As soon as Ms. Shu Shu heard that, tears gushed out of her eyes, and she continued to keep her palms together towards Shri Mahayogi.)
Ms. Jing Xuan: The Bible has been passed down for thousands of years. It is clearly written in it that it is forbidden to see God in humans, and that the Father is the only, absolute God. That contradicts what you have just told us. Which one is correct, the Bible or your words?
MASTER: There are various levels in the teachings of the Bible. God is placed in heaven and makes people’s minds follow that—this is the lowest level. The next one: Jesus said, “You will go to God through me.” The meaning of this is to have a heart like that of Jesus, that is to say, to have a pure mind, and through that, one can connect to God. Then Jesus also said, “The Father and I are One.” That means they are the same. Until then people referred to him as “the Son of God.” But Jesus did not refer to himself like that. “The Father and I are One” that is what he said. There is no word “God” here. Instead, he called It “Father.”
Ms. Jing Xuan: In the Bible, it is written that the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost are one.
MASTER: Yes. “The Father” means, so to say, God. “The Son” means the Soul. And the “Holy Ghost” is the pure mind. When they all become equal, then it becomes One. Therefore there is no contradiction in it.
Ms. Jing Xuan: There is a contradiction. In the Bible, because Eve ate the forbidden fruit, humans are born into sin. If someone has sin, he cannot be called God. We must respect each other, but it is incorrect to see God in humans.
MASTER: In the world, there are many religions. And there are various teachings. Even within one religion, there are many levels. The varieties exist so that as many people can understand it as possible. No child can suddenly understand a class in graduate school. One must learn about the Truth gradually. It is not about comparing what is superior or inferior. Every faith is sacred. There are as many faiths as there are people. It is fine that each person has a faith that he or she believes in respectively. When it comes to God, too, each should believe in what they have faith in. Yet, if you want to know the real God, then you must see God. Nay, going further, you must become God. Then you will understand what God really is. “My Father and I are One”—these words came from Jesus’s own experience. Mother, you too have faith. Please cherish and deepen your faith.
Ms. Jing Xuan: I am suffering myself, but regardless, I help many others.
MASTER: Yes, that is wonderful. That is very good thing.
Ms. Jing Xuan: Thank you.
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Rita: Someone has been telling me that as long as we are clearly aware throughout the day, whatever it might be, then that too is a state of meditation. Then, even if one is not meditating in sitting, one can meditate while being in any action. (Shri Mahayogi: Yes, it is so.) I can’t quite decide on what meditation method I should use. Is it better to meditate while sitting, or is it possible to meditate while being in action?
MASTER: I suggest that you do both. (Everyone laughs.)
Rita: There are various meditation methods in the world, for example, a way of meditation through sensing one’s own body, body awareness methods, or meditating while dancing. There are so many methods that I don’t know which one to use anymore. I usually choose what I feel like doing that day, but I do not usually meditate in sitting.
MASTER: (immediately and powerfully) Meditation has a clear purpose. It is to realize the Truth. Or, to realize the true Self, or to know the true God. Everything else is merely preparation. Various “meditations” that are trends in the world today are mere relaxation techniques! To be clear, they are not meditation! If you do that, then it’s better to just sleep. (Everyone laughs.) If you seriously want the answer to these three questions, then you can meditate, whether you are sitting or whatever you are doing. Because that is the central issue of your own Life. There is nothing else more urgent. Once you are possessed by this issue, once it fills up your mind, everything else will be insignificant.
Mr. Wei Heng: Please excuse me for this may be a rude question, but what is the object of Shri Mahayogi’s meditation?
MASTER: (humorously) I no longer do such things as meditation. (Everyone laughs.)
(whispering) I am always the same.
Victor: I am so busy, my head too is busy, and I always keep thinking about work. Because even during meditation, I continue to think about work, I no longer meditate. One time, when I was taking a different type of asana class elsewhere, and due to the vigorous movement, my head became completely blank. At that time, I had my eyes closed in savasana, but I clearly felt that the mind was witnessing something. In that instant. I felt myself permeating the space. That savasana was only for 15 minutes, but afterwards, I felt so refreshed, as if I had a very good sleep. I would like to restore myself well after such a short period of time, and I would like to taste that sensation of myself permeating the space once again. One teacher told me that that is a dangerous condition, that I may not be able to come back if I enter such a state again. So I would like to ask if it is appropriate for me to practice meditation in such a way.
MASTER: Your mind and intellect must have been way too busy. Because of that, a very temporary effect of Yoga arose. Therefore, like what you mentioned, to continue making your head and mind more busy, and have these experiences from time to time is dangerous.
Rather, try to make a gradual, positive change with your body, mind, and breath. To do that, you should reduce your busyness a little bit, and bring in more steady Yoga practice and learning in that space. Then, it is not dangerous, and you will be able to progress in a balanced way.
(Everyone fervently wants to hear more words of Truth from Shri Mahayogi, but the time to end is approaching. Prasadini announces the end and speaks words of gratitude towards Shri Mahayogi.)
Prasadini: (being filled with emotion) Shri Mahayogi, thank you so very much for coming to Taiwan. In the past four days, Shri Mahayogi Paramahamsa guided each individual wandering soul. You have encouraged us many times, that as we continue to study with faith and earnestness, then we will reach true Joy and Freedom. Your teachings have given us strength and courage. We are like infants in the world of Yoga, but you have come to our sides, given us infinite love, and taught us patiently and gently. What a huge blessing that is! Truly, thank you so very much! These four Satsangha have ended at this moment, however, for many people, it is the beginning of their own practice blessed by Shri Mahayogi. Please continue to guide us.
Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa, please come back to Taiwan soon!
MASTER: I am glad to have met all of you. I want to visit again, to meet you all again. I will come back to check on your progress! (Shri Mahayogi and everyone laugh.) Thank you. Xie xie.
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“Whether you can discriminate or not depends on whether the mind has the quality of sattva (lightness) or not.”
This was the answer from Shri Mahayogi in New York when I was asked the difference between the one who can discriminate and the one who cannot.
On the way back from New York, I inadvertently missed my connecting flight in Taiwan and ended up spending a night in Taipei.
“What an idiot I am...” I felt dispirited, and my mind went far from the quality of sattva and instead to tamas. Yet, in spite of that, the gurubhai in Taipei set aside time out of their busy day to meet with me that evening. (tears of gladness)
After having been treated to an authentic Taiwanese feast, I was invited to the base of the Taiwan sangha where Prasadini and Priya live. That small space, tucked away behind a bustling street, was quiet and decorated with a tapestry of Krishna and Radha. In quite a natural manner, I was served some delicious mango and a cup of coffee, and with that I sighed in relief. Then suddenly, due to that sense of relief and a full stomach, jet lag hit me and so I quickly grew very sleepy. My mind went “Oh no...,” but the sleepiness disappeared in an instant as they began to ask me questions with serious gazes: “How can the passion for Yoga be increased within myself as well as in the people who come to class?” “I am only interested in Yoga. What should I do about worldly work?” “I have been trying to practice the meditation of discrimination, but how is it actually done?” Their passion towards Yoga blew away my sleepiness at once.
Three months later, in November, the day after Satguru Jayanti, we had an opportunity at Shanti Kutira, where Ramdas and I live, to meet with the gurubhai from Taiwan in order to promote the brother and sister relationship among sangha. Eight gurubhai came from Taiwan, and since many of us met for the first time, we spent joy-filled moments enjoying the resonance that remained from the day before while introducing ourselves to each other and discussing the Jayanti.
During the meeting, I was washing the dishes and Radha suddenly and quite naturally came to help me.
We chatted while washing dishes, “You were here at Shanti Kutira two years ago?” “Yes.” We did not speak more than that, and we kept washing dishes. And suddenly, I felt strange and did a double take. As I was taken aback, Ramdas also came to help right away. And then, he too was amazed and said: “Radha, you wash dishes extremely fast!”
Through the Spring Celebration and through interacting with gurubhai in Taiwan, I have felt their rapid growth. I knew that they were deepening their learning of Yoga, having study meetings about yama and niyama and doing overnight training in Yoga proactively and voluntarily. But, in that moment, it all came together and made sense to me. I saw and sensed the manifestation of the reason behind all of these things I noticed. The way that mango and coffee were served so smoothly after I arrived at the home of the gurubhai in Taiwan, their passion that blew away my sleepiness—this was all due to their unseen efforts. I sensed that not only do they practice asana and meditation, they also discipline themselves to practice in their daily lives diligently, without neglecting it, by making the study of yama and niyama, which is a foundation of Yoga, central to their lives.
And as I washed dishes with Radha, not only did I notice her velocity, I also noticed one more thing in particular.
Last month, I asked Shri Mahayogi, “In order to deepen para-bhakti what should I do?”
Shri Mahayogi answered in one word:
“Mauna (spiritual silence).”
When Radha was washing the dishes with astonishing speed, not only did I notice the velocity, but I felt mauna from her. She was concentrating solely on washing the dishes, without blinking. She taught me that the ability to move quickly in a light footed way equals silence in the mind. When asked about it, she said that for the past two years, she has been training herself to wash dishes and put them away in an organized way and with promptness.
It may be a minor thing, but I felt so moved by her humility and intent attitude. And the reason why she is able to train herself and act in such way...
Alas, I could not help but feel the presence of “The Supreme Beloved” Krishna.
Such a fortunate miracle has occurred for me. I can’t believe that I was able to meet Shri Mahayogi in this world filled with so many people. I have learned much from Shri Mahayogi, I am overflowing with the blessings that have been given to me, and I have begun to walk on the path of Yoga, one step at a time. The yearning to do as much as I can for the Mahayogi Mission and to dedicate myself, has been gradually burning within me. I have determined in my mind that Yoga is the only thing I want to do, and that Yoga is the center of my life.
Since I encountered Yoga, my work and life have transformed radically and I have progressed. That is why, for the first time, I keenly sensed that the “world continues to change.” If I had not had such an experience, I would not understand the truth behind it. This became a big motivating factor for me, and it stirred up my willingness to apply and practice the teachings of Yoga. At the same time, I strongly and further affirmed that Yoga is the only thing that is worth my time and effort.
I became so eager to do more and more of the work of the sangha in Taiwan, but each time the opportunity arose, the ego would begin to rebel fiercely and so unexpectedly. There were two voices in my mind, and there was a big contradiction between the two. If I continued to prioritize the ego, then I clearly saw that I would not be able to offer the best service possible.
One time, Shri Mahayogi said that a true designer does not have ego-consciousness, and purely acts only for others. Shri Mahayogi himself worked as a designer at some point. When he spoke those words, the light emanating from him was so brilliant, I was stunned speechless. Always, wherever he is, whatever he does, Shri Mahayogi is unchanging, always thinking of others and acting solely for others. This is beyond my imagination. That shock kept me thinking again and again.
If I wanted to become a true yogini, then I must eliminate the ego and change it into “you” and “all of you.” And, I must make the tasks and the work that appears in front of me, my life, everything, into my own practice of this discipline.
For the sake of this One and Only Truth, I will stake my life and renounce this overreaching ego, and through my actions I will prove my determination!
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To be honest, I went to Japan as if I was going to join the military.1
There were several meetings before going to Japan, and at the time, Prasadini told us repeatedly and carefully, “Please consider this trip as a precious opportunity. Especially those of you who are attending the Jayanti for the first time (which included me), please have a serious and sincere attitude and manner, put your heart into it, focus on every moment and every second of it, and learn.” That reminded me of when I joined the military, when I felt as if I was giving all of myself up for [something]—that is, to renounce my usual daily habits and to accept the unknown.
Since I had no idea what was going to happen or what I was going to experience, I departed for Kyoto with a mixed sense of anxiety, excitement, expectations, and nervousness.
Each day, we stayed together as a group, and the schedule was filled to the point where there wasn’t much personal time. As we went through the schedule of meetings with gurubhai and practicing asana and meditation, the purpose of this trip to Japan gradually became more clear. Whenever we moved from one place to another, while we all were walking together, we exchanged our own experiences and thoughts with excitement.
The blessed Joy we would feel with so many participants during Jayanti, the way the fog would suddenly clear during Satsangha, or feeling the strong prana flowing in the asana class directly taught by Shri Mahayogi—I imagined them somewhat before departing, yet when I actually experienced these things, I was struck with awe. And what I was most impressed with and what took me by surprise during this trip was something that happened during the time I spent with the senior gurubhai.
Towards the end of Jayanti, the participants all received one package of black soy bean rice. We went to visit the house where the senior disciples live carrying that package. There were about ten of us, sitting around a table in a simple, clean space. We initially spoke about what the catalyst was for us to start practicing Yoga, then the topic naturally shifted to how to put the daily practice of Yoga into action, and we asked the senior disciples for advice. After conversing for a while, just before we were going to eat the prasad, which was the black soy bean rice, one of the senior disciples spoke about the information of the ingredients.
The rice was made by an acquaintance of the senior disciple. The sesame seeds on top of the rice, each and every one of them, were made by another senior disciple who is studying farming. Etc. etc. When the explanation went into the harvest of sesame, and how difficult it is to separate them afterwards, I suddenly had goosebumps—How many people’s love and hearts were contained within this one package of rice? How long did this take, what long distance did it travel, how carefully it must have been cooked, to then arrive in my hands? In that moment, I clearly recognized something as if I had suddenly woken up.
How, in this lifetime, I have been able to survive up to this moment, because of being supported by countless people’s love! It may sound like an exaggeration, but at that moment, I truly felt it. It is embarrassing to admit, but until I felt it then, I took everything I owned for granted, and failed to see the intangible value behind the things and matters in my life, the traces of care and preparation that people put into the objects. When I thought about that, I began to feel and be convinced that I must handle whatever or whomever appears in front of me with the utmost care and seriousness, whilst having deep gratitude, and sense and receive the True Value of every single thing.
From interacting with the gurubhai for a few days, I felt their attitude in daily life—how humbly and deeply they handle people, things and matters, their clearness in proceeding to go forward on the path of Yoga, unshakably and without any doubt. And further, even in the lightest of conversations, they often naturally touched upon the teachings of Shri Mahayogi. I realized that it was because the teachings were already permeated within their words and actions. Then, I thought about Shri Mahayogi’s words from the special Satsangha back in May.
“Before he passed away, the Buddha said, “Those who merely see my body are not my disciples. Those who live my teachings are my true disciples.”
The senior disciples are living the teachings of Shri Mahayogi, their existences are the testimony to the application of the teachings, and to the Truth. The reason why it felt so good to interact with the senior disciples is perhaps because we felt the joy that arises from actually practicing the Truth.
That joy filled every day of this journey. On the last evening, we participated in Asana and Meditation class directly taught by Shri Mahayogi. At the end of the class, Shri Mahayogi, with a smile, told us to come visit Kyoto again. In that moment, the fact hit me that we are leaving Japan and going back to Taiwan the next day, and I felt a reluctance to leave, a separation anxiety deep within my heart. However, if I etch the feeling I had for the past few days in my heart and continue to practice the teachings surely and diligently, then I believe that we will be able to reconnect intimately again even with Shri Mahayogi and the senior disciples in Kyoto, as if a gap of space and time were not possible.
On the flight back, I recalled the words of Prasadini again. In fact, not only should these words be applied to the trip to Kyoto, but to the journey of my life. I ought to cherish this precious journey, focus on every second to deepen my learning, and to face every day with an earnest attitude. By doing so, I think that I will be able to take one more step forward, and I will be able to understand the purpose of Yoga and the purpose of life. I’m not saying that everything should have a purpose, but if we understand the purpose, then we will be able to live much more consciously, and proceed straightforwardly, without getting easily drowned in the chaos of the world. That is the life I want to realize the most, right now.
Zhao Yuan (Taiwan)
1 Taiwan has a draft system. It is the duty of all young male citizens to join the military for a few months.
When I encountered Yoga, I realized that I had actually been living at the bottom of a well all this time.
When I heard the teachings of Truth by Shri Mahayogi during my first class, even if I didn’t understand the language, I clearly felt a ray of light shine into my tiny well. Through that tender light, I have gradually begun to see the relationship of Truth between myself and this actual real world.
This March, Shri Mahayogi came to Taiwan once again, and I was so very glad. All of us in Taiwan cherish the time we can learn from Shri Mahayogi. What I learned from the Satsangha within this visit is that not only did the teaching of Truth shine a ray of light into my well, but it sent a rope down to me. This rope is concrete and strong, it is the rope of unbreakable wisdom. What amazed me is that this rope was right in front of my eyes, and I could touch it if I extended my hand. I could even climb it, and get out of this dark, small bottom of the well. So I carefully told myself—let’s hold onto this rope of Truth, study well, and keep making an effort to climb up. And let’s leave the dark well one step at a time, direct towards the light and go to the realm of Truth!