Monday Oct 12, 2020 NYC
Question: I think I understand that there is not a past, or not getting stuck in the past, and I have been training to not get dragged down by it—always focusing on “now” and “at the present,” yet I find myself still getting caught up in the past. I think that I must thoroughly discriminate the past. But how should I go about discriminating the past?
(“Not Getting Caught Up By Maya” Pranavadipa Volume 71)
“Getting caught up in the past”—perhaps this sounds very familiar to many of us. This too was thoroughly studied by the ancient Yogi, and Shri Mahayogi also delved into this matter spontaneously when he was teenager, after experiencing Awakening, or Self-Realization at the age of 8 years old. What the Yogi and Shri Mahayogi all found is the mechanism of how our mind works, and from there come the teachings for seekers on how to practice tackling the obstacles created by our own mind in order to attain the state of Yoga: Self-Realization.
Our minds are continuously influenced by subconscious impressions that are left upon the mind by various worldly experiences—these impressions are called sanskara in Yoga. Due to the influence of these impressions, differentiations in views and reactions within each person arise continuously throughout life. And not only that, these sanskara also later produce karma-related consequences in accordance with their nature and content. Today is the result of this evolution, and the future is the evolution of today, this very moment. In a way, if this is true of the mind, then it might not be that much of a stretch to say that our current world itself is the product of the collaboration of all of our minds up until this very moment…which would also naturally signal the great importance of us all working on our own minds for the betterment of all.
To this point, the Yoga Sutra states that “Future pain is that which is to be avoided” (Ch. 2:16). And the following teaching of Shri Mahayogi further emphasizes this:
“Karma is action and reaction, cause and effect.
‘As you sow, so shall you reap.’
Today is effect of everything leading up to yesterday.
Today’s causes become tomorrow’s effects. So live in the Now!”
—Karma, from The Universal Gospel of Yoga-
The Teachings of Sadguru Sri Mahayogi Paramahamsa
Now, what does it mean, “To live in the Now”? Shri Mahayogi answers this inquiry in the two Satsangha published in this month’s issue of Pranavadipa (Vol. 71), the main titles of which are “Divine Light of the Truth” and “Realization of the Truth.” Both of the Satsangha featured in Volume 71 took place just last year in 2019, in Kyoto, Japan.
In addition to the question and answer mentioned above, which comes from the first Satsangha, “Divine Light of the Truth,” Shri Mahayogi teaches us about how Yoga views the “will” of God or of the Consciousness, which differs from the “will of the mind.” He teaches about maya and the process of clearing away ignorance, about the practice of discrimination, about the importance of proceeding boldly only seeing the Truth, and about the importance of cultivating faith and purity. He teaches about the Avatara and his disciples, using the example of Buddha and his disciples, as well as Latu, a disciple of Shri Ramakrishna. And further, this Satsangha provides a great opportunity to hear the way Shri Mahayogi responds to a request from a disciple for help, explaining how he himself comes to the answers he provides during Satsangha.
The second Satsangha in Volume 71 was held shortly after the release of Mahayogi Mission’s YouTube video, which includes the first-ever images and teachings of Shri Mahayogi released to the public in such a way: Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa: A modern age Yogi who abides in the state of Self-Realization. Quite a few new practitioners had seen it in Japan and had since been hoping to have the opportunity to meet Shri Mahayogi for the first time. This Satsangha was held as that opportunity, and those who attended were practitioners who ended up having a wide range of backgrounds: from a researcher for IPS (Induced Pluripotent Stem) cells, to a dancer, to a scholar who specializes in researching about peace, to a social worker, to a full-time housewife—and all coming from both near and far away. In this Satsangha, Shri Mahayogi generously brings the most foundational aspects of Yoga in response to attendees’ questions, which could be arising with the influence of their respective professional fields, and he answers each accordingly, crisply breaking down the teaching in a way that anyone can relate to, in a way that reminds us of the universality of Yoga. From what must be attained in life to what Yoga truly is, to what the source of real happiness is, and much more.
There are even several occasions in this Satsangha, in which Shri Mahayogi speaks about his own experience, first in the way he experienced Awakening from his perspective as a primary school-aged child, and later on, how he first began to practice asana, seeking to understand this subject without any prior knowledge or reference of teaching, until the point of fully mastering it. How awe-inspiring it is to hear Shri Mahayogi’s own experiences and accounts from these moments in his life!
With so much richness, purity and depth in these two Satsangha, we are very grateful to have this opportunity to receive Shri Mahayogi’s teachings and guidance, that seems to always stand with utmost steadiness. No matter how much the world outside of us and our minds change, Shri Mahayogi is always giving us the confirmation that no matter if we are aware of it or not, whether we seek it or not, the Truth is always there—we can always rely on that.
“What is to be renounced?—Ignorance! What can never be renounced even if you try?—the Truth! The Truth is what exists originally, therefore, you cannot renounce it even if you try. … Even if you leave it alone, It exists. … Even if you’re not attached to the Truth, even if you don’t own it, It is always there. It always exists. There is only the Truth.”
—Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa, June 2019, Kyoto, Japan
* * *
The Testimony in this month’s issue—“Live Without Being Bound by Fear”—is coming from Mr. Kosuge, a disciple of Shri Mahayogi who lives in Tokyo, Japan. Mr. Kosuge tells of his first meeting with Shri Mahayogi, which took place in the very last of Shri Mahayogi’s Direct Asana classes in Kyoto, Japan, that was held and the impact that finding a Guru has had in his life.
Mr. Kosuge’s testimony is filled with very relatable examples of how our minds develop certain habits and tendencies from our past impressions, the common mistaken beliefs it can hold onto, as well as very practical ways to work with these conditions and limitations of the mind that can ultimately give us so much trouble if left unchecked and unaddressed. Just like in the question that is shared above, at the beginning of this post, Mr. Kosuge was very much affected by memories from the past, no matter what he tried to do to overcome these impressions. But after encountering Yoga, through simple actions, he began to really work on transforming his own mind. We are very grateful that Mr. Kosuge has shared with us the insights coming from his own life experiences and those of practicing Yoga, so that we too can be inspired to take simple actions to transform ourselves positively.
We are very happy to announce that coming up next on the Project Sahasrara blog, we’ll be publishing an article written by one of the attendees who attended the Satshanga held for newer practitioners and whose question appears in the second Satsangha published here in Pranavadipa (Vol. 71). Mr. Shimamoto, who attended and met Shri Mahayogi for the first time on this occasion, just a few short months later, traveled to New York, having been accepted to study and learn under Shri Mahayogi while staying with him for about ten days at the Cave. The reflection on his experiences in New York and all that he learned through these experiences is expressed in his writing. Please check back soon to be able to read and be inspired anew by this great Testimony!