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The Yogi's Aim
The Path of Yoga for Realizing the Truth

Translation of an article of Sananda,
MAHAYOGI YOGA MISISON, KYOTO.


Shri Mahayogi always says, The Truth is simple.”

In contrast to the simple, what then is complex. It must be the mind. The mind has immensely complicated conditions.

The following are two very significant teachings in the sacred scripture, YOGA SUTRAS. In these two short phrases, we find intimations of many other teachings:

Yoga is the restraint of the activity of the mind.

Then the Seer remains in Its own natural state.

We can understand “activity of the mind” to denote various mental functions like recognition, misapprehension, presumption, sleep or memory, and that when such complicated activities are restrained and stopped, the Truth or the Seer is realized.

Knowledge is also an activity of the mind, therefore it is impossible to know the Truth through mere knowledge. Thus, I would like us to inquire into and discover how the path of Yoga makes possible the realization of the Truth eternally beyond mind activities.

I am of the opinion that Yoga contains the most succinct and complete philosophical systems. Teachings of the universal Truth, organized by the Sankya and Vedanta philosophies, are timelessly applicable to current modes of thought. Teachings of Yogic philosophies, based on the Realization of ancient Rishis, or Sages, are in fact living, vibrant truths.

I, myself, inspired by these teachings, intended to understand Realization by using philosophical inquiry and thorough logic relentlessly. For example, when I first came across the teaching, “The Truth is immortal,” I reasoned in the following manner:

“This body will perish. The earth also will one day perish. The universe, at the end of the world cycle of great duration, kalpa, will perish, too. Thus, these are not the Truth. The pains or troubles of this mind, this joy or pleasure, they, too, are momentary. Everything in this world then is not the Truth. And to begin with, the mind, which thinks this way, is uncertain, abstract and is not the Truth; therefore, the thoughts that are created by the mind are not the Truth. What then is the Truth that cannot be destroyed?

In this way, I attempted to thoroughly inquire into the nature of the world and the mind. Yet, as the teaching of the YOGA SUTRAS at the beginning of this article states, whatever the mind is capable of comprehending is, after all, a transient reality and is therefore not the Truth. Accordingly, I surmised that the inevitable end result to this type of inquiry is the renunciation of mind-activity itself.

Shri Mahayogi says.

“Inquire until it is impossible to go further; then, after that, surrender to what is beyond words.”

Although direct inquiry results in the restraint of mind activity, there is a more scientific approach. Shri Mahayogi teaches that, “The cause of mind activity is ego-consciousness,” and that if ego-consciousness is extinguished, as a consequence, the mind’s unnecessary intentions come to an end, the mind is stilled, and we are able to realize the Truth.

According to the YOGA SUTRAS, practice and non-attachment are essential to extinguishing ego-consciousness. In the beginning, there are methods one can use to calm the breath through controlling and training the breath. This is a relatively easier task to tackle because it is possible to train the mind through using the body in asana and pranayama practices. The effects of these practices are far-reaching and the imbalances of the mind can quickly be subdued. Next, by applying meditation, control of the mind is practiced. The practice of meditation involves bringing the mind to fully focus on a single object, gathering all the mind’s activities upon it.

We can’t easily bring the mind to focus upon one point because there are causes to the mind’s distractions in the form of impressions, deep within the mind, that arise in meditation disturbing one’s concentration. These impressions are the results of our daily, reinforced experiences of pain and pleasure etched into the mind. Selfish deeds and thoughts result in especially stronger impressions, thus the deeds, words and thoughts of one’s daily life becomes increasingly more important. Without exercising control over one’s mind and actions, maintaining concentration in meditation is very difficult.

Non-attachment is to be unattached to self-serving desires rooted in ego-consciousness. Non-attachment is necessary in order to establish a continuous practice that is firm and unwavering, and practice is needed in order to realize non-attachment.

In this way, in Yoga, we achieve concentration through training the breath, mind and actions, and then we come to calm the mind. The establishment of a calm mind purely means the establishment of the absence of ego-consciousness; that is, as long as ego-consciousness exists, the establishment of the tranquility of mind does not occur. To articulate it clearly: as long as ego-consciousness exists, realization of the Truth is impossible.

In my experience, it is truly this simple and exact.

Now, is it in fact possible to attain the Truth by removing ego-consciousness through the exclusive application of philosophical and/or psychological methods, as mentioned above. There is a crucial element to these methods, which is. If one pursues the Truth through philosophical inquiry, what is absolutely essential for the realization of non-attachment and practice is the amount of passion with which you can pursue and complete the inquiry, and if one pursues the Truth through meditation, how much focus you can bring to the object of meditation. It is essential to have a sincere, intense and motivating force to drive the mind to one-pointedness.

Although there are people who are drawn to know the Truth so much so that their torment can “burn,” intellectual desire and striving to reach the greatest, most unimaginable Truth is not enough. Even in the path of meditation, it is not merely having a somber practice to restrain the mind that makes true concentration possible: what is essentialis an intense passion for Enlightenment.

Shri Ramakrishna in order to realize a vision of his Beloved Kali, with desperate longing meditated throughout the night without sleep, and in the end, revealed the degree of his mad passion in so much as he was on the verge of plunging a knife into his own throat.

How then do we cultivate our passion. Shri Ramakrishna bestowed us with the following teaching:

“Love God, and surrender everything to God completely."

Shri Ramakrishna made known that by having faith and by offering pure love with boundless devotion to a personalized god, surrendering everything of ourselves with total and complete fullness, real concentration is achieved. The emotion of love is the most intense emotion the human mind can have. Love can change the course of any direction and even transform hatred, but beyond this, it is known that with proper control and direction, love can cause a true nobleness to take place, that of giving up one’s own life for the sake of love. Such a degree of love directed towards God promises to allow one to experience the highest concentration without difficulty.

Truth cannot be pictured in the mind; but God can be pictured in the mind. God is Truth, but God is most near the human being. Shri Ramakrishna benevolently explained for us the light of this by saying:

“God is manifested the most, more than anything, in the human being.”

Truth is omnipresent and abides in all things as the real essence. However, this is not what is being said in the above teaching, “God is manifested the most…in the human being. I understand these words of Shri Ramakrishna to specifically acknowledge the existence of those real beings who have realized the Absolute. It is only the living presence of Enlightened Saints who have realized the Truth that can vividly show us how the Truth is truly real, and make it possible for us to aspire towards it. Enlightened Saints are the Truth, and they can indeed be understood to be God Itself.

When we meet the sacred, infinite kindness and true love of such Saints, the love asleep in our inner depths awakens.

God is the source of infinite love. Swami Vivekananda taught that all the forces in the universe move by love. He said that the love shared between humans, the power that holds together atoms, the force of gravity upon the planets, all are by love. Our hearts awaken with the touch of eternal love that emanates freely from Saints, becoming joyously drunk with love’s overflow, and through the potency of this rapid stream of love, we are naturally carried to focus intensely upon God, the Love itself. By love, the mind’s activities are pulled into One.

Because of this grace, we are able to see the Truth, which is not something grasped by the mind but understood and experienced through love. By a love that is truly inexhaustible, the mind comes to restraint and comes to behold the most Divine. The mind’s activities that toil to investigate and reason upon God or Truth finally cease, and the mind is conquered by love. When there is only love, there is nothing else: all of the mind’s intentions and speculations evaporate, absorbed into selfless love. From the beginning, to have faith in God directly and to practice devotion is the faster way, because in the end, all philosophical understandings and workings of the mind are left behind.

By going through this process of love, ego-consciousness subsides naturally and quickly. And what happens next. Love grows even deeper and wider. Love is omnipresent. We learn that the ones who awaken to love inevitably come to see the Beloved –Truth – everywhere. Such beings come to see God, the universal Truth, within all humans and all things. I suppose this means that everything is seen through the genuine purity of a transparent mind. And that everything is given to others devotedly, and through self-sacrificing actions the ego consciousness lessens, and eventually disappears.

Now, we may ask, what changes have such yogis undergone from the start point to the end. To conclude, there is nothing yogis gain. They only discard the unnecessary. What remains after the abandonment of all that is unnecessary is the Truth, our True Self, which in no way is removable. It is the indestructible and impossible to be named that Shri Mahayogi calls, “the Simple Truth."

Yoga is categorized into four main paths, and although we practice each path according to our own temperaments, a common course does run through them. 

In this writing, I emphasized both the Yoga practice of the Gurubhai, the brother and sister disciples of our Guru, and what I felt about my own approaches to Yoga practice. Certainly, the ways we respond the Truth and the practices and realizations each one of us has are different, but what we do have in common is one Saint, Shri Mahayogi, at the root. Each of us experiences the Truth through Shri Mahayogi. 

One day, Shri Mahayogi said:

“You say ‘Truth, ‘Truth,’ but it is just a word that can’t be grasped. It is necessary to aspire to a Saint who is the embodiment of Truth as your Ideal, and to have faith in Him or Her.”  

What I want is to walk, with faith, the path that leads to my true Ideal, surrendering everything.

 

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