Tuesday Sep 10, 2019 NYC
Words of Gratitude: Shri Mahayogi’s Visit to New York, Summer 2019
We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to our Beloved Master,
Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa,
for once again accepting the invitation to come to New York,
and tirelessly leading those who are here waiting your teaching and guidance
with nothing but the utmost unconditional love.
The resplendent light of your Truth
never fails to touch and ease the hearts of those
who arrive at your feet.
Shri Mahayogi’s visit to New York this summer spanned a period of time that was about a month and a half (July 14th to September 1st) in length. Though the time passed quickly, it was very precious for all of us. During this visit, Shri Mahayogi led us brilliantly and with remarkable powerfulness, both in moments of silence and with the sharp precision of his words that seemed to dispel any notion of ignorance or misinterpretation that our minds might conjure up. The nearness of his unshakeable presence brought an intensity into the lives of many of those who encountered him and certainly it is through his grace that the meaning of the teachings seemed to start to unfold within the efforts made in our daily lives. The words that were spoken spontaneously by his disciples in New York at the end of the last class on Sunday September 1st surely reflect exactly this experience.
But what was especially delightful to hear were the words we received from some of the new voices:
“Shri Mahayogi has so much care for each of the students, and I feel the peace and serenity that is coming from him.”
“What a beautiful class last night! All the classes this summer were wonderful, but it was especially meaningful to hear the students speak their heart. Shri Mahayogi’s students love him – and rightly so: it is a joy to practice Yoga in his presence. The classes are efficiently run with great elegance. Together with all the other students, I look forward to Shri Mahayogi’s return to New York.”
What is so wonderful about hearing these impressions, is that these words are the testimony of what the new attendees are witnessing right in front of their eyes—the exquisite love story of the Guru and his disciples—they are the testimony that such a thing is possible, and it exists here and in this present time!!! What these testimonials indicate is something that may very well have a great significance in the future, much beyond what we can understand, sense or imagine at this moment.
Shri Mahayogi is always the same, but this time, with the sangha in New York, there was definitely something different. Last summer, before Shri Mahayogi left for Japan, he left homework for us, which we have been working on facing since then. He pointed out using a metaphor that the sangha in New York was in the following condition: thinking that we have been rowing hard in our own boats aimed toward the shore of Satori, the fact of the matter is that a rope on our boat is tied to the shore of the world, therefore no matter how much rowing, the boat does not progress forward. So first, the task is to clarify and identify what these ropes are.
Before we received this homework from Shri Mahayogi, we had planned to start a study group in order to make efforts to learn the teaching concretely and practically right after Shri Mahayogi’s visit, but the central focus became clear with his message to us, as if he put the spirit into the group. We set the first session to be a period of three months in order to make it easier to participate for all, then we started to learn about the mind together concretely and practically, meeting every two weeks with those sangha members willing to work on their own minds and fully commit to this period of time. When we completed the first session, participants of the program then requested to continue, so we organized the second session, and changed the name from “Study Group” to “Study in Practice” group. This summer during Shri Mahayogi’s stay, unlike during Shri Mahayogi’s visit in the winter, we continued with the program, and we are seeing that this effort, along with participants’ continuous work of facing themselves, was reflected in the more proactive attitude and concrete questions asked during the various Satsangha. Something positive and powerful has been ignited and embarked upon, even though it has taken longer for some than for others. More time might be needed until we see the more concrete result from it all, but we believe that this transformation will only contribute to what’s to come.
Having said that, is all of this done by us?
Certainly not, certainly everything is done by Shri Mahayogi. Through Shri Mahayogi everything acts, everything becomes possible, and everything is maintained. It is precisely the example that Krishna gives in the Bhagavad Gita as he teaches Arjuna.
All is by the grace of the primordial Guru. May we each vow to continue to walk the path towards Sanatana Dharma and allow this grace to manifest itself more and more through each of us as the tools of the Master.
The following are speeches offered by disciples at the end of the class on September 1st, just before Shri Mahayogi returned to Japan.
Elena, representing the sangha in New York, offered flowers to Shri Mahayogi.
“Shri Mahayogi, I remember so vividly when I met you the first time, and I remember feeling this new incredible love, that my heart could barely contain. Shri Mahayogi you have changed me forever. And I am so grateful for the blessings that you bestowed upon me, your endless love, kindness and patience. After being in your presence, I now cannot imagine missing one opportunity to be here. Also, listening to your teachings, seeing your smile, and feeling your love that you have for us, any worries, and any obstacles that I have fade away, and I want to be here forever. I carry you with me in my daily life, and sometimes when I’m faced with challenging situations I ask myself, “What would Shri Mahayogi say or do?” It may seem strange, but sometimes I picture your face in the faces of the people I interact with. I am determined to continue deepening my practice, following the teachings the best way that I can, but I know that I won’t be able to do anything without Shri Mahayogi’s grace. My heart is overflowing with love, and I would like to express my endless gratitude for your love, for your teachings, and for your continued trips to New York in order to teach all of us, answering our questions tirelessly. I also would like to humbly ask you to please return to New York as soon as possible, maybe even this winter please. Thank you.” Elena
Karuna then spoke on behalf of the sangha of New York.
“Beloved Master, Shri Mahayogi, I speak on behalf of sangha and everyone who has received your teachings during this visit to New York. We would like to express our deepest gratitude. We cherish every opportunity to be with you. I have been lucky to witness those who receive your teachings and put them in their heart—they experience and discover a new kind of happiness. And for us, your disciples, you have inspired us to question and think about more seriously the purpose of our lives, how do we want to live our lives and for what. For every little step that we take, you give us reassurance through joy and a little more faith, and this makes a big difference—we are eternally grateful.
And personally, I would like to say that I have a big debt to you because I am finally accepting that nothing in the world can fulfill the true longing of my heart but your Yoga. I feel like a simple “thank you” is not enough. My heart rejoices because of you and I want to scream, “Shri Mahayogi is here! Jai Jai Jai!” And I would like everyone to hear it and to come and experience you in person, because there are many people longing for the Truth. I would like to invite everyone to vow in reverence, all who are present. We will take care of each other, we will support each other, and strengthen each other in the way of Yoga, the way of true Love that you bring to us. We bow at your lotus feet Shri Mahayogi with the wish that you return in December, as soon as you can, so that we may delight in receiving you, and may I say, “Jai Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansaki, Jai!” Karuna
“Shri Mahayogi, I would like to express my appreciation and thank you for spending your summer with us. Since I met you ten years ago, how much change there has been. I think about a year ago, how different my mind was compared to now. After going through the Study in Practice group, I see the great transformation that is taking place, not only in me, but in all of us who are participating. We know that this is you teaching us, and I would like to continue to end this bondage that I know my mind is in, I would like to continue to work deeper to remove this bondage. Because, since the Study in Practice group, it has given me a lot more faith, a lot more hope, to see that transformation, Satori, is possible. And I greatly hope to see that you return in December, please.” Aniruddha
“Shri Mahayogi, I remember a couple of years ago I talked about the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, and how I didn’t understand the importance of the Three Jewels. I’ve been with you for over 20 years and I can’t believe I’m just starting to understand. How is that? You’re just saying the same thing and it hasn’t penetrated, I don’t know why. But thank God for the sangha—they weren’t easy, but your teachings, we all came together and said that we will focus on your teachings. You teaching us the Dharma, and us trying to practice it, little by little, I feel the change in me, and I appreciate it. Please come, we need you, please. Thank you.” Kamalakshi
“Shri Mahayogi, I’m really bad with using words, but I just want to extend my heart, and I want to sing to you. … (beginning to sing the Stotram that was composed for Shri Mahayogi, the sangha joins in) Please come back! (crying) …in December.” Nandi
“Shri Mahayogi, thank you for coming this summer again to New York. In the last few months I was put in a very difficult situation, or I should say, I put myself in a very difficult situation, and I was faced to choose between the path of karma and the path of Yoga. But because of Shri Mahayogi’s blessings, and because of Shri Mahayogi’s presence in New York this summer, because of sangha, because of the teachings, I think I was able to not go with the path of karma. And Shri Mahayogi, together with sangha, pulled me to stay on the path of Yoga, so I would like to say thank you so much. So, the experience of this past few months showed me how strong karma can be and how easily the world can pull the mind towards that karma. So, I’m just so afraid, I just don’t know if I can last until next summer…so I know the winter in New York is cold, but it can also be very beautiful, especially with your presence. Please consider to come earlier than summer. Thank you so much.” Ekanta
“Shri Mahayogi, I don’t have many words right now, but as your worst disciple… (Moksha: “I thought that was me!” (laughter from all)) I’m so grateful for your presence, and I checked my calendar for December and it’s pretty clear, so I hope to see you. Thank you for your presence, for teaching us and for being here for all of us.” Yajna
“I have often been stepping on landmines, but I feel that I have started to be able to see them now so that I can clear them away. I would like to strengthen myself. I will practice diligently.” Yashoda
“Shri Mahayogi, I don’t think that I have expressed enough gratitude for the sangha that much or for Shri Mahayogi. But deep in my heart, I really am very grateful and I have a lot of love for this space. And I really feel it’s a new and real family. And I’m finally starting to understand discrimination and karma yoga, a little bit. Maybe it’s been a little bit hard because we all keep pushing each other and we all have different minds, so sometimes it is hard to know how to go about being together, but every time I trusted Shri Mahayogi inside, I felt that there was a way. So, thank you very much and please come back in December. I also don’t have anything in my calendar.” Prapatti
“Shri Mahayogi, when I met you I was a very young man, and now I’m not such a young man anymore. For many years after I met you, I didn’t know anything about Yoga, but whatever it was, I knew that you had It and had really realized It. I was 100% sure of this. And still I went in the other direction many times and chose the path of karma. But every step of that path you were always with me, 100% of the time, and my mind was always on you no matter what I was doing. Now I started coming back more and more and I can see that my brothers and sisters are growing and I don’t want to fall behind. And last night (during the Satsangha) you taught that if the parents of a child are learning the Truth, then it is not the path of karma. My daughter Prema, I think of her as belonging to Atman, rather than to me. And I must realize the Truth and practice seriously so she can also follow this path. Thank you for everything and when you come back to New York I will come too, because I don’t want to fall behind. I need to be here with my brothers and sisters, and learn Yoga properly.” Moksha (visiting from Berlin, Germany)
“Shri Mahayogi, your grace is so endless, you are so peerless, and each time you come you bring us such strength and such blessings. In working with your sangha, the way that you guide us is so unique. No one can do that, it blows my mind every time. I feel your hand in everything and I feel you in everything, showing us the way. I see in myself and in all of the sangha, you are revealing that we are not these unique individuals, but we are really the same One. And I am so grateful for this teaching and that you continue to guide us. Please return soon. If it’s not December, January is fine too. Shri Mahayogi spoke something in one of the first classes that he alone has been reestablishing the true Yoga. Everything that comes from you is so, so pure, I feel that Shiva himself is here teaching us. We are so lucky here in New York to receive the asana class, that nowhere else receives right now. Please continue to guide us and lead us. Thank you very much.” Sadhya
Then Shri Mahayogi bestowed us the following words:
“I am always with you. One day you will realize that you are me. Don’t forget what you have said today, and I wish that for the next time when I see, you will have grown bigger and more deeply, and that you will have come more and more close to being the United, One. You are Atman, you are God. That is it. It’s simply that. Resolve the worldly tasks or troubles as they arise right in the moment, and then forget them. And always bear God in your heart.”
—Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa