Tuesday Nov 24, 2020 NYC
Editor’s Note: Pranavadipa Volume 72
Satguru Jayanti, the day that we honor the holy birth of Shri Mahayogi, was yesterday. On the occasion of Satguru Jayanti, recognizing the profound significance of Shri Mahayogi’s birth into this world, disciples take this precious opportunity to offer messages of gratitude, devotion, and determination to the Master. (See Blog 142 for the message offered by Karuna on behalf of the Sangha of NY.)
This month’s issue of Pranavadipa (Vol. 72) contains the Satsangha with Shri Mahayogi that was held last year (2019) in Kyoto, just one week after Satguru Jayanti and, actually, a mere few days before Shri Mahayogi’s visit to New York. This time spent with Shri Mahayogi, along with the messages of disciples imbued with a strong desire to establish Shri Mahayogi’s mission of Sanatana Dharma, left many inspired and reflecting strongly on the aim and purpose of life.
In this Satsangha, Shri Mahayogi resolutely teaches about the purpose and aim of life. The questions from practitioners that bring about this topic arise from the sincerity with which they clearly observe that there is a discrepancy between the ideal aim of life, according to Yoga, and the actuality of what is happening in daily life. In answering, Shri Mahayogi leads everyone’s minds to come face to face with the process of discrimination using Buddha’s teaching of the Fourfold Noble Truth, he details the state of Nirvana, and speaks about his own intensity of concentration during his teenage years when he was meticulously resolving all his own questions about why people suffer and the nature of existence—all throughout imparting upon us the great seriousness that is required by each of us as we seek the true aim of life.
Though Shri Mahayogi’s teaching about the aim and purpose of life is full of vigor and inspiration, there is also much inspiration to be found in the question and answer between Yogadanada, a disciple who practices the mantra of Om, and Shri Mahayogi. (See Blog 141 for “Following the Way of Life of the Guru” by Yogadanda.) In this exchange, Shri Mahayogi confirms and clarifies Yogadanda’s experience of this practice and teaches about the significance of the arati that is performed during Satguru Jayanti. And following that, at the request of another disciple, Shri Mahayogi speaks about his remarkable experience of Nada Brahman, which itself is very precious to learn about, but he then goes on to detail the vibration of Om as the primordial beginning of the cosmos, and weaves this together synonymously with the Buddha-nature often represented in all of existence. It is absolutely awe-inspiring to know more and more about Shri Mahayogi’s experience, the spirit of which is tangibly infused in the way of he explains everything—and we can feel that his explanation is nothing intellectual, but rather is coming from what he has confirmed through experience, speaking in a way that is in accordance with each seeker’s interest yet always going towards the Universal Truth:
SHRI MAHAYOGI: “When you unravel the philosophy of India, the Truth, which is formless and nameless, or the true Existence that evolves into all things—even all of the cosmos is born out of this—and its beginning, the primordial beginning, is the vibration of Om. Probably, even from the [perspective of] physical process, science is currently trying to gradually decipher from the most gross to the subtle, and then to the super-subtle. However, that original sound Om, indicates the primordial, the earliest occurrence which lies at the root. Therefore, there are various concrete forms in this practical world after that, yet that too is the same, they have evolved and become the mind, prana, bones, flesh—all came to be from that primordial Om at the center—thus, the primordial Om dwells within each and every cell, without a doubt.
(after a while, gazing at Ms. Y who studies Buddhism in Japan) Buddhism has the same view towards it; there is a well-known giant statue of Lord Buddha in Nara [Japan], and that form is of Shakyamuni. [It is the statue of Lord Buddha] yet at the same time, it expresses the Truth itself. The essence of Buddha is the dharma-kaya—body of dharma—it is the word that expresses the true Existence, the Truth itself. And a divine incarnation, an incarnation of Truth, as a form appearing in this world is called nirmana-kaya or sambogha-kaya. The form of this big Buddha statue in Nara is sitting on top of a lotus flower, and each flower has the same Buddha drawn on it. What that symbolizes is that all and everything has Buddha’s essence, that is, true Existence, within it; all is a manifestation of true Existence. You can view that it is expressed in such ways in order to symbolize that.”
There are multiple occasions in this Satsangha when Shri Mahayogi seamlessly links the teachings of Buddha, Yoga and even the words of a holy man of Nazareth, showing us from different angles that the paths to the Truth are various, yet they are one.
But perhaps the highlight of the whole Satsangha is a brief exchange towards the end between a disciple, Gopala, and the Master. In his question to Shri Mahayogi, it is clear that Gopala has been following precisely and continuously the guidance of Shri Mahayogi, and it is amazing to see that through consistently following this simple guidance, he has reached a place where the mind has become conditioned to be no longer disturbed and is beginning to grasp what is beyond that mind itself. In hearing the progress made by Gopala, Shri Mahayogi teaches with great enthusiasm what it is to dismantle the mind, how it truly can be done, and the state that is born out of it—serenity. It is awe-inspiring to see how the simple and consistent practicing of Shri Mahayogi’s suggestion has led to such transformation in the mind of a disciple, and this is sure to bring even more motivation and inspiration to us all.
The Testimony in this month’s Pranavadipa (Vol. 72) is written by Mr. Fukami, a practitioner from Matsuyama, Japan. His article begins by his soul-felt questions of “For what purpose am I living?” “What is the aim of this life?”, his actual meeting with Shri Mahayogi, and how he began practicing Yoga.
He then goes onto detail what he realized about his mind’s mistake in its approach to life and practice of Yoga, and how he is beginning to address the obstacle identified in his own mind, taking action to adjust his way of viewing and way of living.
Mr. Fukami is very honest about the simple challenges he has faced, created by his own mind—simple challenges, that surely we all face at one point or another and in one form or another, that can cause us, too, much suffering. Truly Mr. Fukami’s honesty in recognizing the ideas and beliefs of his own mind that were causing trouble is heartening. Though it is a simple thing, it is not always easy for many of us to recognize or be honest with ourselves about the ways in which our own mind might hold fast to beliefs that ultimately bring us pain. But through his example, Mr. Fukami gives strength to all of us as practitioners, and reminds us intently of the preciousness of the guru-disciple relationship.