Echo From The Cave: 112

Saturday April 13, 2019 NYC

Report:
Sanatana Dharma Avatara Mela 2019
—The Third Ceremony of the Divine Manifestations—

Puja—Sanatana Dharma Avatara Mela 2019 Sunday April 7

Sanatana Dharma Avatara Mela was held on April 7th at Prema Ashrama, Kyoto Japan.

It began by a Puja, and then eight gurubai offered a speech (worked on over the past 9 months), the focus of which for this year was Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa.

1  Mirabai: The Life of Shri Ramakrishna—the Great Thirst for God and Renunciation, and the Salvation that Follows

2  Chaitanya: The State of Ramakrishna’s Satori—the Blessing and Guidance of Bhavamuka

3  Gopala: Ramakrishna’s Existence and Works—through Vivekananda

4  Anandi: the Servant of God—Latu who was Guided by Ramakrishna

5  Satya: Ramakrishna’s Breathe—the World of the Gospel

6  Sarani: the Blessing of God Incarnate and Its Tool—through M

7  Yogadanda: the Path of Bhakti Yoga

8  Shaci: There is Only Ma

Mirabai, Chaitanya, Gopala, Anandi,
Satya, Sarani, Yogadanda, Shaci

(We will introduce some of the speeches in Pranavadipa Volume 54 that will be published on May 8th, 2019.)

Throughout the entire program, Shri Mahayogi’s face was radiant and his expression was very content. He appeared as if he kept looking far off somewhere, as if immersing himself in the time of Shri Ramakrishna or immersing himself even further into the future, as if to bless the souls of many future generations. In fact, after all the speeches, as if giving us a hint of precisely that, Shri Mahayogi graciously offered a profound message. May we all contemplate deeply the meaning of the message he bestowed upon us and the significance that is beyond time and space of words that are offered by an Avatara.

At the very end of the celebration, all gurubai together offered the Acandalapratihatarayo, the song that Swami Vivekananda created for his Most Beloved Master, Shri Ramakrishna!!!

Sananda and Madhri who served as the MCs

Here we would like to share the words that Sananda, one of the MC’s of the ceremony, spoke after the Puja and speeches had been completed.

And to end, we will share the Master’s words to all.

 

* * *

“We have received such powerful messages from these eight gurubai. Again this year, we have had such a deeply potent and meaningful time. “There is only the Eternal Truth that God is the only Reality!”—hearing these speeches I felt like each and every person was declaring that!

I truly felt that Shri Ramakrishna, the way he lived, his Satori, his teachings, and his workings have surely been communicated to our hearts after a century and a half, and at the same time, I feel that all of this [was made possible] because of Shri Mahayogi’s Existence and Guidance.

One time, Shri Mahayogi mentioned the following words about Shri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda:

‘Because Shri Ramakrishna was so excessively pristine, his workings were also pristine, therefore he performed such enormous works that they are incomparable, paralleled by none. The Existence of Truth travelled throughout the world, and planted seeds that go on eternally. There is … no way to express him but Brahman itself.’

Shri Ramakrishna’s Satori and the way he lived—just as his direct disciples who surely inherited these things, and just like with the Ramakrishna Mission, which serves as their base, may each and every one of us, and this Mahayogi Mission inherit the sacred Satori of our most beloved Master, Shri Mahayogi, and declare Sanatana Dharma throughout the world by taking it upon ourselves to become the tools of God!

On this auspicious day, I humbly offer my everything to the holy feet of all Avatara and of Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa, a great being who guides us through unfathomable divinity, a manifestation of Brahman itself. And I declare that I will do that!”

Sananda

*

 

Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa
at Sanatana Dharma Avatara Mela 2019. 4. 7

 

“Whenever the world is filled with unrighteousness, and the Truth or Justice declines and is forgotten, at that time, I myself appear on this earth in order to annihilate the wicked and to reestablish the principles of Justice (Dharma)”—[these words of Krishna express] a reason for the [incarnation and existence of] the Avatara, the incarnations of God on earth.

And there is another reason, “There is no duty for me to act [in the world],” nor do I have anything to gain or attain—that means he does not have karma, therefore there is nothing that he must do in the world—“yet, I am engaged in action so that all will follow my example”—[as these words of Krishna express], the Avatara, taking on human form, demonstrate concretely the way people should live through the actions they take in their own lives.

During Buddha’s time, the ideal way of living [for the realization of the Truth] that he taught was to become a monk. However, times have changed, and in this current time, becoming a monk is not easy. Nay, it is rather not even necessary to distinguish between monks and householders anymore. A complete renunciate in ancient India lived in solitude on a mountain or in a forest, nearly naked, so this is not how it is in Japan, where becoming a monk means living in a temple where everything [you need to live comfortably] is already provided. The condition in the present age is such that there is no longer any meaning in becoming a monk. Therefore, there is no need to distinguish between monks and householders. Each respective person, in each respective situation, can realize the Truth! Because the Truth already exists here. It is not something that you go somewhere to acquire. What you have to do is simply get rid of the obstacles, the activities of the mind, that are slightly (smiling) covering the Truth. That is what Shri Ramakrishna referred to as discrimination and renunciation. If they are practiced, pure faith is born naturally [in you], and then that will lead to that faith getting closer and closer to the Truth; and then [eventually], you will become one with the Truth and all the actions performed for the rest of life, that is to say, the way you live, will become exemplary. That is what Krishna refers to as actions without any intentions or attachments. And also, there is a secret hidden within the flow of change of the era, and an example is discreetly set for the future.  Because everything is True Existence, in other words, the Truth of God, and Its manifestation. The mantra that expressed That straightforwardly is ‘Om Tat Sat Om’.”

Then Shri Mahayogi, with a smile and light tone of voice, said, “Now, everyone together.” Joyful laughter arose from all.

 Disciples: Om Tat Sat Om.

Shri Mahayogi: One more time.

Disciples: Om Tat Sat Om!

 

With Our Eternal Gratitude and Commitment,
Jai Sanatana Dharma!
Jai Satguru Avatara!
Jai Satrugu Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa!

Jai Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa!

Om Tat Sat, Om!

There is only That!

 

***

A tour to the Prema Ashrama through the Ninnaji Temple guided by Mr. Takahashi, wearing a formal and traditional Japanese style Kimono

Gopala leading a tour through the cherry blossoms

Inside the Ashrama, the music has already begun

Thinking of Shri Ramakrishna, viewing the Map of the Kali temple in Dakshineswar

Reading of The Gospel of Shri Ramakrishna, Hare Rama was sung by all, Anandamali and Prapatti from NY were present

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Hare Rama Hare Rama~!

Tears, Laughter and, Joy Joy Joy


Om Tat Sat, Om!

Echo From The Cave: 111

Sunday April 7, 2019 NYC

Celebration:
Sanatana Dharma Avatara Mela 2019
—The Third Ceremony of the Divine Manifestations—

“Whenever there is a decline in righteousness and an increase in unrighteousness,
at that time I manifest myself on earth.”
—Bhagavad Gita 4:7

“To protect the righteous, to annihilate the wicked,
and to reestablish the principles of Dharma,
I appear on this earth, age after age.”
—Bhagavad Gita 4:8

“There is no duty for me to do in all the three worlds,
nor do I have anything to gain or attain.
Yet, I am engaged in prescribed duties.”

—Bhagavad Gita 3:22

“For if I did not carefully perform the prescribed duties,
all men would follow my path in all respects.”

—Bhagavad Gita 3:23

“If I ceased to perform prescribed actions,
all these worlds would perish.
I would be responsible for the pandemonium that would prevail,
and would thereby destroy the peace of the human race.”

—Bhagavad Gita 3:24

“As ignorant people perform their duties with attachment to the results,
so should the wise act without attachment,
for the sake of leading people on the right path.”

—Bhagavad Gita 3:25

 

The Sanatana Dharma Avatara Mela ceremony is set to begin at 2pm in Kyoto, which is 1am in New York time. Today is the day that we contemplate upon the existence of the Avatara, with gratitude for their having descended onto this earth to lead us to Eternal Life, our true nature, our true Self—God.

If you would like to know the meaning of this special ceremony click here for Echo 76, published last year. And to read more about the focus of this year’s ceremony, Shri Ramakrishna, click here for Echo 109.

Jai SANATANA DHARMA!!!
Jai SATGURU SHRI RAMAKRISHNA PARAMAHANSA!!!
JAI SATGURU SHRI MAHAYOGI PARAMAHANSA!!!

 

Echo From The Cave: 110

Tuesday Mar 26, 2019 NYC

Learnings from Satsangha and the Study in Practice Program:
The Teaching of Tapas

 

To hear the words of Truth is a great gift. Yet, no matter how beautiful the words of Truth are when we hear them, no matter how they may reach through and touch our hearts, if we only hear them we cannot truly understand. Understanding comes through experience and experience comes through actual practice. In order to put the words of Truth into actual practice, we must first study them, think about them in relation to our own life and apply them.

Here we would like to introduce the efforts of one practitioner from New York who has come to understand exactly that, and is striving to put the teaching into action. In the following writing, Karuna shares her learnings from a recent Satsangha (published in Pranavadipa, Vol. 52) and her first time attending the NY Study in Practice Program. Her example is truly practical and easy for anyone to relate to and thereby learn from and apply for themselves.

*

Mind

The Teaching of Tapas
In Shri Mahayogi’s first Satsangha in New York this year, there were a few prevalent themes. One that stood out for me was tapas, which came from the opening question “How does one create tapas?” It was very useful to hear Shri Mahayogi’s definition of tapas: Tapas is born out of the pain of the mind.” Then, the Master explained that when the mind is in conflict with the teachings of Truth, the mind experiences pain, “then tapas arises.”  Shri Mahayogi very simply and directly described tapas as akin to having a power, “the power to burn away the impurity within the mind.” It did not take long for me to feel that I was being pushed face to face with the resistance of my own mind to go through tapas. And that ironically, this avoidance of the discomfort of tapas has been a cause of suffering in and of itself! It took a bit of calming the mind down before I could confront the Truth of this teaching and begin to see how it affects me.

After hearing this teaching in Satsangha and calming down a little, internalizing it required me to sort through ideas and to look into the processes that my mind tends to go through on a daily basis. First, I realized that I have to accept that my mind is in a state of suffering most of the time because it is involved in constant acrobatics to try to avoid the discomfort of tapas. Secondly, I realized that my mind has a choice to make at every moment: to follow the teachings of the Truth (the gradual training of the mind toward selflessness), or to follow the way of karma (the way that pleases the mind and body temporarily, in other words, sensory or intellectual satisfaction). This is what Shri Mahayogi has called the “fork in the road.” In this decisive instant, which happens at multiple moments of the day, is when tapas (heat) has the potential to arise.

Reflecting on my process, if I choose to follow karma (the way of the senses and the ego-based intellect), I usually experience some temporary relief from the discomfort or anxiety caused by a particular want, desire or longing of some sort. It can be as simple as wanting a dessert or a snack, an intellectually or emotionally stimulating conversation, reading intriguing information, doing random web searches, buying something, harboring emotions, developing life plans…regardless of the situation and the particular agitation that I may be trying to appease or deal with, it seems that I have to come to terms with the understanding that any distraction, excitement, enjoyment, satisfaction, or fulfillment that arises from the way of karma does not actually fulfill or end the wants of my mind. I asked myself why that is so, and suspected that it may be because fulfilling a desire actually gives rise to more desires, and therefore the idea of permanently satisfying a desire must be a paradox or a non-Truth to begin with.  I sense that my mind is aware of this paradox, and suffers too from realizing the futility of its endless aspirations.

If, on the other hand, I choose to follow the way of the Truth, I have to be willing to put my mind through another type of struggle; I have to put my effort to convince the mind that there is no real need or possibility to fulfill a particular want. And, this “convincing” or “proving the mind wrong” can only happen, as Shri Mahayogi and senior practitioners express, through the intentional and tireless practice of discrimination, which does take effort and perseverance, but is the very practice that generates the necessary heat of tapas. And, I also came to realize that in order to go through this, the firmness of my understanding of the teachings of Truth and my faith in Shri Mahayogi as my inner guide and light toward Satori, must firmly support discrimination and tapas. This aspect was confirmed and reinforced in the NY sangha Study in Practice group, a program that aims at guiding us to transform ourselves by putting the teaching of Yoga into concrete action. I had finally become ready to join the program and had just begun attending for the first time a week after Shri Mahayogi returned to Japan. Coincidentally, in that first meeting, the topic was Kriya Yoga, presented through a visual chart that read: Vital Daily Practice: Minimize the pain-bearing obstacles to prepare the mind to attain the Truth. On the chart, tapas was described and illustrated as one of three components of this “vital daily practice.” It also put into words this powerful statement in the first person about the relationship to tapas: “I accept and welcome this opportunity because it purifies me and helps me overcome the obstacles to reach my goal.” On that day, I understood that all the contents of Kriya Yoga are necessary and are the most practical support for the mind through the process of purification.

Since then, I have reflected, “I experience heat when the mind is in pain. And, the mind can be in pain because it is craving to fulfill a desire based on a non-Truth, or, on the contrary, because it is being pushed to accept the Truth. Both scenarios can generate pain and heat, but one of them gradually results in what Shri Mahayogi described in Sastsangha as ‘becoming free from the various relative dualistic constraints.’ This is what I experience as the painful contradictions that follow the wild horse of emotions, opinions and thoughts: a state of ignorance.” The intense push that came from the teaching about tapas during Satsangha, followed by the clarity of visual breakdown that was provided in the study group, led me to realize that I have no alternative but to admit that running away from tapas only delays the purification of my mind and keeps me “bound” by the whims and shifts of an untamed force.

The most valuable learning which I received from the Satsangha was that I have an absolute need for tapas. It also opened me up to finally recognize the precious and life-changing choice that is in front of me every instant. It is certain that if I am practicing under Shri Mahayogi and if I want to experience any significant progress toward Yoga, I have to conjure up the strength, or at least take a chance to face my mind’s ignorance, endure the heat of practice and put my faith in Yoga, not “as if” my life depended on it, but because experiencing the real purpose of my life completely depends on it. Right away, I would like to change my attitude from resisting tapas to being grateful for this heat that can “burn” ignorance away, and begin by trying it every day with a little more courage and conviction until it becomes an integral part of my daily practice.

Karuna, March 2019

 

Echo From The Cave: 109

Saturday Mar 23, 2019 NYC

ANNOUNCEMENT:
Sanatana Dharma Avatara Mela
Ceremony in Celebration of the Divine Incarnations
on 
Sunday, April 7, Kyoto

 

Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa

—Do you believe in God, Sir?
Yes, I do.
—Can you prove to me that he exists, Sir?
Yes.
—Why are you so sure you will be able to convince me?
Because at this moment I see him more clearly than I see you.

(The words of Shri Ramakrishna in answer to Narendra,
later known as Swami Vivekananda)

 

God exists! In the 19th century, there appeared on earth a God-man, Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, to put an end to the prolonged age of spiritual and religious chaos in India, as well as in the world at large, and to lead mankind beyond the particularities of religions or sects to the universal religion—Eternal Truth, Sanatana Dharma. His gospel rang out gloriously in the land of India, and its vibration spread out across the world as the immortal vibration.

Sanatana Dharma Avatara Mela is the Celebration that we initiated in Kyoto in 2017 for the purpose of celebrating Sanatana Dharma (the Eternal Truth), which has been in existence continuously without break since ancient times, as well as the incarnations of the various Avatara, who are considered to be the embodiment of God.

For the Sanatana Dharma Avatara Mela that will be held this spring, our focus will be on the Great Saint, Shri Ramakrishna. The ceremony last year was wonderful, and we felt as if we were mesmerized, as if we were resonating with the heart of the True Awakened Being, Buddha. This year, through Shri Ramakrishna, let us come even closer to Sanatana Dharma.

How awed we were when we first encountered Shri Ramakrishna’s existence and life! The material world that existed as if it was a given, became fleeting, and we came to know that there is a subtle realm that expands beyond it. It must have been unbelievable to see that such a spiritual realm exists! If we had not seen our great teacher, Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa, with our own eyes, we could not have possibly believed it. Alas, we cannot believe unless we see the evidence with our own eyes. Through the connection to the Avatara, how much people’s lives come to be completely transformed from the very foundation, how much the world we see with our own eyes reverses into an entirely different landscape—this we all know well from our own experience. Because our lives have been imbued with spirituality, and our lives have become filled with joy!

The divinity of Shri Ramakrishna that captivates our seeking hearts is beyond space and time! In this grand celebration, we would like to amply taste his divine presence, sense his sacred breath, melt into his genuine, pristine heart, and, upon the feet of this great Avatara, offer to vow ourselves to the Eternal Truth.

Om Tat Sat Om!

 

Echo From The Cave: 108

Monday March 18, 2019 NYC

ANNOUNCEMENT:
Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa will visit Taipei, Taiwan
April 16th – 24th, 2019!

 

Shri Mahayogi will offer 3 Satsangha.

Thurs. April 18th, 2:30-4:10pm
Sat. April 20th, 2:30-4:10pm
Tues. April 23rd. 7:30-9:10pm

Location:   Joyful Living
No. 7, Lane 12, Jinmen Street, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City

If you are in Taiwan, traveling to Taiwan, or know someone in Taiwan, we urge you to take advantage of this precious opportunity to learn and experience the Truth of Yoga firsthand!

Echo From The Cave: 107

Sunday March 17, 2019 NYC

Krishna revealing his cosmic form to Arjuna

Editor’s Note: Pranavadipa Volume 52

In the famous scripture, Bhagavad Gita, the Lord Krishna said that, verily, it is by action alone that men attain perfection.

This month’s issue of Pranavadipa (Vol. 52) features the first of two precious Satsangha that took place in New York, in January 2019 during Shri Mahayogi’s visit to New York.

We were so grateful to have this opportunity to be in the presence of Master, to be able to ask questions and then receive answers. Every moment with the Master is filled with grace and everything about his being stills the waves of our mind, opens our hearts and allows the Truth that is within us, that is within one and all, to resonate more and more strongly.

The Sastsangha began by the question, “How does one create tapas?” Such a question, with its straightforwardness and directness immediately sets the tone of the Satsangha to one of practical action. As the questions unfold, the reader can sense the sincere desire among attendees to further their practice and to overcome the various challenges they have had in deepening in Yoga.

From beginning to end, Shri Mahayogi patiently offers words of encouragement and reassurance to the attendees that practice is possible, speaking about the concrete practice that needs to be applied in order to overcome obstacles and make progress towards realizing the Self. Shri Mahayogi graciously explains again the basic teachings like yama and niyama and emphasizes the importance of not judging one’s own practice regardless of success or failure, but simply practice with perseverance. He then goes on to elaborate on the meditation that comes from acting in service of others as well as the importance of cultivating fortitude within oneself.

Many topics are covered during this Satsangha, but even so, there seems to be a thread that is weaving everything together. And that thread is ACTION. No matter the practice, no matter the obstacle, no matter the teaching, Shri Mahayogi continues to encourage taking action as the key to it all.

And indeed, reading scriptures and hearing the teaching of Truth is a great blessing, but without actually training our minds and bodies by putting the teachings into practice, we can neither experience the transformation nor the depth of understanding that can only come through the experience of actual practice. Yoga is learned through experience alone. Experience comes through taking action based on the teaching.

Let us all persevere and continue to act, moment to moment, on the teaching so that the content beyond the words that Shri Mahayogi is offering us in this Satsangha will be revealed!

*

This month’s Testimony, written by Sadhya, is the experience of one of the asana taught by Shri Mahayogi, simhasana (the lion pose), and what is being revealed through its practice. Just like with the words offered by Shri Mahayogi, the content of the asana that he teaches may be well beyond what we might at first think, or can even imagine when we first begin. But through steady and continuous practice, driven by the fervor to learn the Truth, we can all begin to experience the depth that is contained within.

There is much we can learn from this article: Sadhya’s proactive attitude to learn is remarkable—she continuously devotes to trying to understand the meaning behind what we can see. And this is what leads to that meaning being revealed—the blessings and grace of Shri Mahayogi come with her practice.

 

Echo From The Cave: 106

Friday March 8, 2019 NYC

Shri Mahayogi’s Words of Truth Resound in NY:
March 3rd Sadhana Program with Shri Mahayogi
&
Gratitude for Shri Mahayogi’s Visit to New York

 

Pranam to the Great Master, the Great Paramahansa!

The immeasurable grace of your presence has brought the light of Truth concretely into our hearts and into our lives for the past one and a half months while visiting New York. The swift return of Shri Mahayogi has served to strengthen the golden thread that is ever-connecting our heart to yours and this strength has allowed us to carry on with our seeking and practicing to become one with the Truth. In your presence, all else pales in comparison. In your presence, our worldly afflictions mysteriously dissipate. In your presence, we are lifted out of darkness, as if you are lifting an incredible weight off of our shoulders. In your presence, your grace is all pervading and undeniable. We cannot find words enough to express our gratitude.

During this visit, that strengthened presence of Shri Mahayogi in New York has seemingly settled into not only our own hearts, but also the hearts of several of the attendees who have faithfully come to Shri Mahayogi’s programs, strongly pulling them towards the path of Truth. One such attendee is Dheeraj, who offered flowers to Shri Mahayogi on behalf of the NY sangha during the last program of the visit. To witness the kindling of sincerity and devotion to the Guru within those who come to see Shri Mahayogi is indeed one of the most beautiful and precious things to witness on this path. It is the workings of Shri Mahayogi’s purity and grace concretized right before our eyes.

Here we would like to share the speeches of gratitude offered by three members of the sangha at the end of the Sadhana Program with Shri Mahayogi.

And of course, we would like to share the words of Shri Mahayogi, the simple yet invaluable message he left for us all.

 

*

Dheeraj, who for this special occasion had changed into a traditional orange-colored kurta, approaches the Master with a bright and cheerful bouquet of flowers to offer from the NY sangha, and begins to express his gratitude.

Dheeraj:

Dearest Guruji, Shri Mahayogi, on behalf of the NY sangha, I would like to offer you these flowers as a token of our appreciation and gratitude. (offers flowers)

It is truly a blessing to be in your presence. You have removed many obstacles in my life. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Guruji, I realize the value of a true Master, a true Guru, for everyone seeking the Truth. You are the hope and light that dispels the darkness of ignorance and ego.

Thank you Guruji.

Once again on behalf of everyone in the New York sangha, we would like to have you back in New York (joyful laughter from all).

Thank you Guruji.

Aniruddha:

Shri Mahayogi, the NY sangha would like to thank you very much and share our gratitude for hosting you this visit. Even though the length was only a month and a half, its shortness reminds us of how precious it is to take advantage of every opportunity.

You’ve shown us that there is a lot of work to be done in NY. Many new seekers have come before you to learn, and we as individuals, especially me, do know that there is much more that we can do, and we shouldn’t be afraid or ashamed to speak your Truth to others. And until you return we hope and want to grow ourselves as individuals, to keep our faith, and to strengthen sangha. And we hope to have you back soon with us.


Sadhya:
Shri Mahayogi, again, on behalf of the NY sangha we would like to extend our sincere gratitude for coming so soon after being here just this summer. Your quick return, your presence among us and your grace have brought gurubhai, helped bring us together, and helped keep the connection between the gurubai. Thank you.

And to everyone here: Yoga is almost unknown, and Shri Mahayogi is almost unknown too, so it is a great blessing that all of us have found Shri Mahayogi. So please, everyone continue, and discover for yourself who Shri Mahayogi really is, by persevering and actually practicing by putting his teaching into action. I have no doubt that as we practice, our understanding will deepen, and that what we receive from Shri Mahayogi will only become greater and greater and greater. So, let’s please all experience this together.

And to gurubai: we have much work to do in NY. And we cannot rely on Shri Mahayogi visiting to help bring us together. So, we need action, moment to moment action, to practice and grow for real. I hear that this weekend, next Saturday, there are over 70 people waiting to take the class with Shri Mahayogi in Japan, traveling from all over. We, as disciples, have the responsibility to prove that Yoga can be attained, to prove Shri Mahayogi’s teaching and his existence. We need to become the body of Shri Mahayogi everywhere, living and breathing his teaching, so that others can also find Shri Mahayogi and find the Truth. So, I encourage the gurubai to feel the responsibility of this more and more.

And again, Shri Mahayogi, thank you very much for coming, and we just cannot wait until this summer when you return. Please come with the warm weather.


Then Shri Mahayogi spoke:

“I would very much love to return to New York right away, but in April there is an event we hold in Kyoto called Sanatana Dharma Avatara Mela (The Grand Ceremony of the Manifestations of Divinity). That will be held on April 8th, the date that is said to be the day that Buddha was born. It is very good weather in Japan, it is the spring season and it is when the cherries are in full blossom. And then, after that I will visit Taipei for a little while. The one who is leading the group in Taiwan, is Prasadini, who actually used to come to take this class here [in New York, though she is originally from Taiwan]. I heard that the group there is already growing into about 50 students. And then I have another appointment in May as well. (smiling) So please forgive me, but my visit to New York will have to be after that.

 But [I would like you to remember that] the Truth within me is also the Truth within you all. More precisely, I am You. Remember that always, continue your practice and don’t neglect to study the scriptures.

 And let us look forward to meeting each other again. All right, then.”

 

 

Our greatest Master, Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa, You are our father, You are our mother, You are our best friend, You are the Hope, You are the Light, You are the embodiment of Truth, You are our Dearest Beloved, You are my Beloved, Your are Love.

Oh my Love, You are everything…


Jai Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa Ki, Jai!!!

 

*


    

Jai Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa Ki, Jai!!!

 

ディラージからのスピーチ (日本語訳)
最も親愛なるグルジ、シュリー・マハーヨーギー、ニューヨーク・サンガを代表して、貴方への 感謝の証としてこの花束を捧げさせて頂きたく思います。

こうして貴方の存在の下にいられることは、本当に祝福です。貴方は沢山の障害物を私の人生から取り除いてくださいました。貴方なしではそれをすることは私にはできませんでした。

道を求める誰もにとって、真の師、本当のグルがいかに重要であるのかということを知りました。貴方は、無知とエゴの闇 を払いのける希望であり、光です。

ありがとうございます、グルジ。

もう一度、ニューヨークの弟子の代表として、ニューヨークにどうかお戻りくださいますようお願い申し上げます。

ありがとうございます、グルジ。

アニルッダのスピーチ (日本語訳)
ニューヨーク・サンガを代表してこの度のご訪問への感謝の気持ちを述べたいと思います。期間はたった一カ月半でしたが、短いからこそすべての機会が本当に貴重なものであり、最大限にそこから学ばなければいけないということを身を以て感じております。貴方はニューヨークのサンガには沢山のやらなければならない課題があるということを見せてくださいました。多くの新しい求道者たちが貴方から学ぶために来ました。そして我々個々人は、特に私自身は、自分たちにできることはもっとあるということ、そして人に真実を伝えることを恐れるべきでも恥ずかしく思うべきでもないということを確信しています。貴方がお戻りになられるまでに、我々一人一人が成長し、信仰をもち続け、サンガが強くなることを願い、求めます。そして我々は貴方がすぐまた我々の元にお戻りになってくださることを願います。

サーディヤーのスピーチ (日本語訳)
シュリー・マハーヨーギー、私からもニューヨーク・サンガを代表して、この夏にお越しいただいてからこんなにも早く訪問してくださったことへの心からの感謝を表明させていただきたく思います。すぐに戻ってくださったこと、私たちと共にいてくださったこと、貴方の恩寵は、グルバイを増やし、グルバイをまとめ、またグルバイ同士の絆が維持されるのを助けてくださいました。ありがとうございます。

ここにいる皆さん、ヨーガは殆んど知られていません。シュリー・マハーヨーギーも殆ど知られていません。だから、こうして私たちがシュリー・マハーヨーギーを見つけたということは、本当に大きな祝福なのです。どうか皆さん続けてください、そしてシュリー・マハーヨーギーが本当にどなたであるかということを、皆さんが自分で見つけて、発見してください、忍耐強くシュリー・マハーヨーギーの教えを、行動を通して実践することによって。修行を続けていけば、私たちの理解が深まっていくということを、そして、私たちがシュリー・マハーヨーギーから頂くものは、より大きくなるばかりであるということを私は全く疑いません。だから、みんなでそれを一緒に体験しようではありませんか。

グルバイの皆さん、私たちはニューヨークでやるべきことが沢山あります。私たちが団結して一丸となることをシュリー・マハーヨーギーのご訪問に頼っているわけにはいきません。行動が、一瞬一瞬 の行動が、真の修行と成長が必要です。

今週末の土曜日、日本でのシュリー・マハーヨーギーのクラスを受けるために日本中から集まる七十人以上もの方たちが、その日を待ち望んでいると聞いています。私たち弟子たちは、ヨーガが達成可能であるということを証明し、シュリー・マハーヨーギーの教えとご存在を証明する義務があります。私たちは、どこにいてもシュリー・マハーヨーギーの体となって、彼の教えを生き、そして生きたものにする必要があります。教えを広げていく、そして教えを生きていくべきです、そうすれば、他の人たちもシュリー・マハーヨーギーを見つけ、また真理を見つけることができるからです。グルバイたちは、もっともっとこのことに責任を感じていってください。

再度申し上げます。シュリー・マハーヨーギー、お越し頂きありがとうございます。この夏にお戻りになってくださる時がとても待ち遠しいです。暖かい気候 の時期にお越しくださいますように。


シュリー・マハーヨーギーのお言葉 (原文)

「すぐにでも帰ってきたい気持ちは山々ですが、四月には京都でサナータナ・ダルマ アヴァターラ メーラーというお祭りをします。ちょうど四月八日は、かのブッダが生まれたと言われた日です。そして日本の気候はちょうど春の桜がキレーイに満開になる頃です。そうしてその後、台北の方に少し行きます。台湾のグループをリードしているのは、かつてこのクラスに来ていたプラサーディニー。今ではもう五十人前後の生徒たちが集まっているそうです。そして、五月もちょっと予定が一つ決まっている。(笑)ごめんなさい、ニューヨークに来るのはその後になります。

でも、私の真実はあなた自身の真実でもあります。もっとはっきりと言えば、私はあなたです。いつもそれを忘れないで、プラクティスを、そして少しばかり聖典の勉強を怠らないでください。

そして次に会うことを楽しみにしましょう。それでは」

ジャイ・サッドグル・シュリー・マハーヨーギー・パラマハンサ・キ・ジャイ!!!

Echo From The Cave: 105

Saturday March 2, 2019 NYC

Shri Mahayogi’s Words of Truth Resound in NY:
February 24th Sadhana Program with Shri Mahayogi

In the western world, Yoga is often used to refer to the physical postures, called asana, which make up a small part of what is known as Raja Yoga, an eight-limbed scientific path to reaching the ultimate state of Self-Realization. Because there is so much emphasis in the West on “Yoga” being synonymous with “asana”, it may not be common knowledge anymore that the aim of the practice of Yoga actually is Self-Realization, rather than merely to achieve some physical benefits or relaxation.

At the same time, for those who are seeking Self-Realization and who have studied the paths taught by the Masters of the past, such as Shri Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharishi, and Paramahansa Yogananda, it may seem that asana was not taught or emphasized as part of that path at all.

Considering that, it may appear to be difficult to unite the teaching of asana (at least how it has come to be known and popularized today) and the path to Self-Realization. And we may even wonder whether one is part of the other or not. Yet, Shri Mahayogi is here now, a living Master, and he is teaching asana practice as one of the first steps along this same path to Self-Realization—to Yoga—that the Masters of the past have also taught since ancient times, or we should say that that was how the practice of asana began in the first place.

So, what is the difference? Why does it seem that asana has a role in this path?

During last Sunday’s Sadhana Program with Shri Mahayogi, a new attendee inquired exactly about this topic. Here we would like to share with you his question and Shri Mahayogi’s words in response.

 

Q: What exactly is the role of asana practice in Self-Realization?

The purpose of Yoga is to know and to realize the Truth. Then the question is: What is that Truth? It is the true Self, that is, God, which is also called Truth. Normally, the “I” that the mind believes itself to be is this body or the mind. But they are not, they are not the Self. The true Self is not the mind, It is the Pure Consciousness that witnesses the mind. The mind is always seen by that Consciousness. However, because it seems to be that the mind sees, as if it is identified with that Consciousness, the mind does not know the true Self. The various workings of that mind are the karma or the attachments towards this world; and the root cause of all of them is what is called ignorance. Therefore, what you must do is to purify the mind to be clean and transparent. If you do that, then the true Self will be awakened by itself. That is the entire path of Yoga. Yet, there are so many obstacles in the mind that are dormant. In order to eliminate and remove them, a year or 10 years of practice are not sufficient. In most cases this is the work of a lifetime. If you cannot complete it in this lifetime, then you should continue to exert effort to attain it in the next lifetime. Even so, while in search of the Truth it is better to go closer, even one step, or two steps closer towards the Truth, rather than clinging to the transient phenomena of this world, the things that are false.

Indeed, the mind has to be brought under control and restrained. However, catching the mind is difficult, just like trying to catch the wind. So, then what about water? If you use a container, then you will be able to catch the water. If it is an ice cube, it’s even easier. These are all made of H2O. The body corresponds to the ice cube. For that reason, by practicing asana, you first practice to attempt to control the body. In order to live in this natural world, the body always receives stimulation [from the outside] and becomes agitated, just as does the mind. So, the purpose of asana practice is to make the body healthy and strong, and into the body of a yogi, which remains unaffected no matter what conditions the body is under. And then if the body is well-conditioned, the path of prana that flows inside the body will be purified. That is to say in other words, to condition the breath. If the prana is getting controlled, then simultaneously, it will lead to the calming of the mind. Then the mind will come to be unaffected by various stimulants, and at the same time a very keen power of concentration arises. Using this, you concentrate on the Truth, and meditate on It. At the same time, you strive to purify the mind. Through practicing this way, the mind will actually come to be transformed completely. That means that it is becoming prepared for the real Self to emerge on its own, because It is what is undoubtedly the true Self within all of you.

I would like you to continue practicing these asana [that we practiced in the class today] for some more time, then study and learn the scriptures. By scriptures, I mean the ones that have gathered the words of Truth from Enlightened Beings, or Saints. So [since these are worthy of learning], I would like you to study hard and learn them well. Then practice meditation. Then that would be good. Here [in the class] we carry a very small book, and it will help you on your journey, at least to some degree.

 So, now I’ll end the class for today.”

Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa

 

***

In modern times, we want to get results instantly, we want to know what the manual says or what technique we should use right away. But clearly that is not how the practice of asana can be. Just like how the practice of Yoga was not revealed unless someone searched for it seriously, longing for it more than anything else in life, the secret of asana too was only revealed to those who were seriously seeking Yoga. Information is abundant nowadays. Yet, the key to know and experience or to realize the Self cannot be attained through doing some kind of “technique” only for a temporary time, or by applying a “technique” that we’ve read about or heard about from just anyone. The real secret is only revealed by putting our body and mind to work, to bring them under control and purify them under the direction of a true guide who has attained the goal. That is why we need a Guru, One who knows how to bring his or her students to that same state of attainment. That is why Yoga cannot be known through intellectual knowledge, but only through actual and persistent devoted action and practice under the guidance given by a Guru. For this reason, the company of sangha is also essential as a way to support one another in learning. In this sense, although Yoga seems to be known now far and wide, true Yoga still remains practically unknown. Yoga is by nature empirical—it is nothing theoretical or philosophical.

We have mentioned several times that the asana that Shri Mahayogi teaches, though the forms may look similar to what is being taught in a multitude of schools, has a content and purpose that is entirely different. As we practice this asana, without a doubt we will discover this for ourselves and come to understand little by little why asana has a role in this path, and why it is a necessary step in the present time for many who wish to walk towards Self-Realization.

We invite you to practice and begin this discovery for yourself.

Tomorrow we will hold the final Sadhana Program with Shri Mahayogi for this visit to New York. Please do not miss this last opportunity to learn, practice and experience Yoga under the direction of a true guide who is in the state of Yoga, the Honorable Master, Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa.

 

The Sunday Sadhana Program directed by Shri Mahayogi will be held from 3-5pm at Still Mind Zendo: 37 West 17th Street #6W New York, NY 10011

 

***

Here is The SMALL BOOK that Shri Mahayogi mentioned at the end of the class. It is called The Universal Gospel of Yoga. We actually only have a small stock still available for purchase.

Contained within this Gospel are the uniquely comprehensive teachings of Yoga and its practice, excerpted from conversations between Shri Mahayogi and his disciples and devotees. With the sole purpose of Awakening ever-present from beginning to end, he sheds light on the various teachings, practices and disciplines of Yoga. From the physical, such as asana practice and dietary suggestions, the most practical of daily matters, to the most subtle inner-workings of the mind, all is made practicable for the seeker of the modern age. If practiced diligently, the teachings in this Gospel have the power to clearly and precisely direct the seeker to an ever-deepening understanding of the true purpose of life—which is to awaken to the immutable and eternal Truth.

Published originally in Japanese, SATORI-AWAKENING, features a collection of teachings delivered live in public satsangha in Kyoto, Osaka and New York from 2000 to 2006.  This exquisitely designed and unique book contains actual dialogue between the Master, Shri Mahayogi, and disciples or devotees and demonstrates how the teachings of a living and true Enlightened Being lead us to the realization of our universal reality—our True Self.  As we read, we gradually touch upon the purpose of our existence, and understand Yoga as both the method and the goal of our spiritual quest.

Echo From The Cave: 104

Thursday February 21, 2019 NYC

Shri Mahayogi’s Words of Truth Resound in NY:
February 17th Sadhana Program with Shri Mahayogi

 

“Throughout thousands of years there have been a number of Enlightened Beings who have appeared and delivered the teaching.”

Upon hearing these words at the end of the Sadhana Program with Shri Mahayogi this past Sunday, we are reminded of how truly uncommon it is to live in a time in which an Enlightened Being has actually appeared and is sitting before us delivering the teaching that has only been conveyed from time to time throughout the past thousands of years.

Even more rare, is to have the opportunity to sit at the feet of such an Enlightened Master and hear the teaching expounded with our very own ears, to see the teaching embodied with our very own eyes, and to feel the presence of the teaching reaching into our very own hearts. But even so, if we sit at the feet of an Enlightened Master, are we aware of it?

What does it even mean for a being to be “Enlightened”? Nowadays the word “Enlightened” or “Enlightenment” has come to be used casually, in reference to a variety of daily scenarios. For example, if someone shares some new information about a topic we may say he or she “enlightened” us on that topic. Or, on the contrary, if we hear the word “Enlightened” we may assume that this is a state that is something quite grand and filled with supernatural experiences. As such, the true meaning of “Enlightened”, indicating the state in which one is completely at one with the One and Only Truth, the same state that Buddha attained, has become diluted, and such a meaning may even be beyond what our minds can make sense of.

So if we do happen to find ourselves at the feet of a true Master, his perfect simplicity, humbleness, and down to earth nature, may not meet our imagined expectation of grandeur, and thus it may be hard for us to recognize. Even so, surely we will feel the lightness of his presence and wonder “how can one become so light and so simple?”

And if we have the opportunity to receive his words, as did the attendees of last Sunday’s Sadhana program, such words may at first seem hard to understand and perhaps out of place compared to the content of our everyday conversations.

For example—Truth, true Self, Existence, Consciousness—these were exactly the words that Shri Mahayogi spontaneously began to speak last Sunday. Such words as these may of course be words that we recognize, but because our everyday conversations may not often focus on such topics, we may wonder about what such words could possibly mean. And even at first these words or topics may seem far too vast to comprehend, as if they have lost place and meaning in the fast-paced world of today. Yet, Truth, true Self, Existence, Consciousness—these words touch upon something that is ancient, yet ageless and timeless.

 

The Truth has to be heard, has to be thought about and has to be meditated on. To be heard—means [you must hear and learn] the words of the teachings from the beings who have become One with the Truth.

Throughout thousands of years there have been a number of Enlightened Beings who have appeared and delivered the teaching. According to them, the Truth has only one universal content. That is, our essence, in other words the true Self, is the Immortal Existence. It is formless; in truth, It is nameless (smiling). Yet, when it was taught, it has been called names such as Atman, Brahman, God, or Existence. That Existence is also the Pure Consciousness. This Consciousness is just like light. And the mind appears in front of that Consciousness and creates various activities. And through the [filter of] the mind, the mind recognizes and experiences various phenomena in the world. But these experiences of the mind don’t have any substance. Because, this world is constantly changing. And no matter how certain some existences can be or no matter how certain happiness can be, they do not last forever. That is why, you have to learn the Truth, the true Existence of the Self and the Immortal Existence, and on the other hand, [the truth of] the illusion of this world.

In order to [learn and realize It], you should do the asana and meditation that you practiced today, and you should learn the Truth or the scripture, and you must practice meditation, deepen your meditation on God or that which is the Truth. I would like you to do that every day at least one hour a day (smiling). If it is difficult for you to practice these daily alone at home, then you come to this class once or twice a week at least. Then perhaps you will need less of your own effort (smiling), but you will be able to get more of a result from it. So, I wish you good luck. (Laughs.) (Joyful laughter from some attendees.)

But this weekend there will be Satsangha, which is a time for questions and answers on various spiritual issues and etc. If you can, come and attend it. The location will be here. Invite any of your friends who are interested and come attend together. The purpose is to find out and realize who you truly are, who your true Self is. (smiling) So, then we shall end now for today.”

—Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa
                                                                                                                      February 17, 2019

 

Whether or not the listener can make sense of the words spoken is not by any means the most essential. In fact, it is quite natural that these words may seem hard to understand—they do indeed indicate something that is beyond what can be understood intellectually.

However, the ability to understand the teaching that is conveyed by a true Master comes little by little, as one practices, as the breath becomes calm and as the waves of the mind begin to smooth out even a little. This kind of teaching is not something that can be understood or made sense of with the intellect, but rather, it must be experienced and tasted in order to understand. The words are simply the keys or the symbols of what lies behind them. All that is left for us to do is practice, just as Shri Mahayogi encouraged all attendees to do. And surely, as we do so, naturally what is right there before our eyes, that which is so simple yet hard to see, will begin to reveal. And as it does, we too can experience what it is to be truly light and simple.

*

This Saturday will be the last Satsangha with Shri Mahayogi during this visit to New York. Don’t miss this precious opportunity to ask questions and receive answers directly from the Master—it is precisely the opportunity he spoke about in the class last Sunday:

“The Truth has to be heard, has to be thought about and has to be meditated on. To be heard—means [you must hear and learn] the words of the teachings from the beings who have become One with the Truth.”

The words from such beings are not merely words, they are filled with reverberating spirit. And, being in the presence of the Master is itself filled with grace and a blessing beyond what even words can express.

 

Satsangha will be held Sat. 2/23 from 3-4:30pm at:
Still Mind Zendo
37 W 17th St, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10011

Register for Satsangha through Eventbrite
http://ssmp2019.eventbrite.com

SADHANA PROGRAM:
Join us Sunday February 24thand March 3rd for the Sadhana Program with Shri Mahayogi—learn the practice of asana and meditation.

Register for the Sadhana Program through Eventbrite
http://mym2019.eventbrite.com

Echo From The Cave: 103

Saturday February 16, 2019 NYC

Shri Mahayogi’s Words of Truth Resound in NY:
February 10th Sadhana Program with Shri Mahayogi

 

“FREEDOM”

Does not everyone seek for “freedom”? No matter what our situation or circumstance, we want to feel “free”! But what does it mean to be “free”?

In the United States in particular we are bombarded with the idea of “freedom”. It is one of the very founding ideals of the entire country. Since birth, we are presented with this ideal again and again. Here, we have “freedom”! Here, we protect our right to “be free”! The idea of “freedom” that is fed to us is the idea that we can say and do as we want, that we can “be” who we want to “be”. And along the way this idea transforms into one in which we strive to create a situation for ourselves where we are “free” to always enjoy, “free” to always get what we want and to have things be the way we want them to be, “free” to be rid of the responsibility we don’t want, and “free” to not have to answer to anyone but ourselves.

But what does it really mean to be free?

Surely, in order to seek freedom, we must do so from a state of bondage. So even though we may live in a country that is “free”, why do we still seek the feeling of “freedom” in our everyday situations? Certainly then, whether we realize it or not, we must be experiencing the state of non-freedom, or bondage. Because of that state, we must constantly arrange the conditions around us to feel that sense of freedom anew. But what is it that causes us to experience that non-freedom to begin with? And who is really the one who is experiencing it?

During the Sadhana Program last Sunday (2/10/19), an attendee who met Shri Mahayogi for the first time one week before, returned again to the class. This time, she came with a bouquet of 24 red roses and offered them to the Master at the end. She, who has been a long-time seeker in her heart, finally found a Master. Her mind had been occupied by her Guruji since then.

“Freedom”—on the packaging of the roses there was a sticker indicating the type of rose. Upon receiving the flowers, and seeing this word on the label, Shri Mahayogi, smiling fully, looked at her and with these beautiful red roses. He then taught thus:

 

Freedom—truly this Freedom is precisely the aim of Yoga. You must have always been doing many things in your desire to become Free. (Smiling) But, have you really attained true Freedom? The more you are entangled in this world, as opposed to with Freedom, the more bondage comes. But there is one thing I would like you to remember and take home with you:

That self or “I” that is bound is the mind and the body. And that is not the true Self. The true Self is the Consciousness that has simply seen all these experiences you have had. In fact, there is a Consciousness, the Pure Consciousness that is beyond even the depths of the mind. It is the Eternal Existence that is never destroyed or broken. It is the true Self within everyone. To know that, to experience this is the sole aim of Yoga. This Existence or this Consciousness is itself Freedom. And, there is neither bondage nor suffering in that Freedom at all. And it is filled with Bliss.

Today, you again trained to still your mind and body for some time through practicing asana and meditation for two hours. Your everyday life is too busy. At least for one hour, or even for 30 minutes a day, you should make quiet time—that is what you can do for yourself.

Okay, so then I will see you next week.”

—Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa
February 10, 2019

 

 

Flowers arranged by Shri Mahayogi upon returning to the Cave

Let us take and consider these words of the Master. Let us give up the search for the small momentary sense of freedom that we are forever chasing in our daily circumstances and situations, and let us seek for true Freedom, that is filled with unchanging Bliss. As Shri Mahayogi said during the last Satsangha, let’s start one step at a time, simply by making that quiet time to train to still our mind an everyday habit.

*

We invite you to attend the next Sadhana Program with Shri Mahayogi, this coming Sunday 2/17 from 3-5pm, and the last special Satsangha (Saturday 2/23) with Shri Mahayogi before he returns to Japan. All the remaining programs will be held at Still Mind Zendo.

Register for the Sadhana Program through Eventbrite
http://mym2019.eventbrite.com

Register for Satsangha through Eventbrite
http://ssmp2019.eventbrite.com