Echo From The Cave: 97

Monday Jan14, 2019 NYC

Announcement: Spanish Interpretation Available
For Satsangha and Yoga Sadhana Program

We are happy to announce that
Spanish interpretation is now available for Shri Mahayogi’s programs.

If you would like to request this service, please contact us prior to any event at:
info@mahayogiyogamission.org

Hermanos y Hermanas aspirantes espirituales,
Están cálidamente invitados a participar de este singular programa con el Bendecido Maestro Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa en la ciudad de Nueva York. Es ésta una ocasión sumamente difícil de encontrar o de igualar. Los programas (las conversaciones o la instrucción) pueden ser traducidos para aquellos que requieran o prefieran el español durante las clases o los satsangha si lo piden con anticipación. Será un gusto darles la bienvenida a los aspirantes de habla hispana que buscan profundizar su práctica espiritual y transformar sus vidas y las aquellos a su alrededor.

Echo From The Cave: 96

Tuesday January 8, 2019 NYC 

Editor’s Note: Pranavadipa Volume 50 

Seeing the Infinite in the moment
And this moment we have been given now may never come again.

That is why it is precious. ”

—Excerpt from “Ichi Go, Ichi Eh:
Every Chance is the Last Chance”, The Universal Gospel of Yoga.

*

As we enter the new year, let’s not forget how precious each moment is, what opportunity each moment brings, nor how much of a gift this Life is!

The first Volume of Pranavadipa (Vol. 50) of 2019 has just been published and we are very happy to be able to share the content.

This issue’s Satsangha is coming from a special Satsangha which took place in Matsuyama, Japan.

Shri Mahayogi was first invited to go to Matsuyama in 1995, six months before Shri Mahayogi’s first visit to New York. Actually, Anandamali, a disciple who lives in New York and who first invited Shri Mahayogi here, was invited to go to Matsuyama by the founder of a Yoga school there when she visited New York to conduct research on Yoga centers. Anandamali took this Yoga school founder to many Yoga centers in New York but while doing so kept speaking about Shri Mahayogi constantly, even when in the cab on the way back to the airport. Anandamali requested that she go to meet Shri Mahayogi in Kyoto upon returning to Japan.

Months later, Anandamali went to Kyoto for Shri Mahayogi’s Jayanti (celebration of Divine Birth), and this same woman, the founder of that Yoga school, came to attend the Jayanti and meet Shri Mahayogi and Anandamali. At that time, she invited Anandamali to her Yoga school in Matsuyama, but Anandamali refused to go, informing her that she did not want to miss any moments with Shri Mahayogi since that was what she had come to Kyoto for. The woman then purchased tickets for both Shri Mahayogi and Andanamali, so that both could visit her Yoga school in Matsuyama. There Shri Mahayogi gave one public Satsangha and one just for staff. Since then, many people started to come to see Shri Mahayogi in Kyoto from Matsuyama. Anandi (who later started to organize classes and activities in Matsuyama under the name of Yoga Circle) was one of these attendees and gradually sangha was formed in Matsuyama as well. The sangha there has been preparing to invite Shri Mahayogi to visit and offer Satsangha there for many years, which he eventually accepted. Now, for the last few years, Shri Mahayogi has been going there to give Satsangha once a year.

His visit to Matsuyama is a precious opportunity for the practitioners there and it is clear in the sincerity of their questions that they are truly taking this opportunity to learn and to receive guidance that can be practically applied in their daily lives.

The content covers a range of topics, from the meaning of true Freedom, to the Buddha’s teaching. But what is unique is that all is framed in the context of how the attendees are living their daily lives, what struggles or questions they have about how to manage family relationships, interactions with others and even how to cultivate the correct attitude of Yoga behind their daily actions. As we read, surely we can all relate to the questions that are asked and therefore we too have the opportunity to apply Shri Mahayogi’s practical teaching into our own lives, even right now!

The Testimony for this issue is a demonstration of one disciple’s dedication to practice the teachings that we have received from the Master. In this case, the practice begins through the means of asana. However, this practice of asana gradually expands, through the struggle of keeping up with doing it every single day. Through her sharing, again and again, it is clear that what is truly important for us to have is indeed passion. But in order to have passion, we need to have an aim. Whether it is a short-term goal or a long-term goal, if it is clear, of course that means we want to attain it, so we will be able to go through whatever we need to go through. We hope that the reader can take something from the Testimony and put it into his or her own practice.

And now we would like to share the following words from the same writer as this month’s Testimony, Sadhya. We hope that they will spark inspiration for practice within the reader.

*

The Time to Practice Asana is Precious

 “The time to practice asana is precious, we never know when we may not have the opportunity anymore.”

When Anandamali spoke these words to me, I was suddenly inundated by a flood of memories.  Since I met Shri Mahayogi 5 years ago everything in my life seems to have moved and shifted, tumultuously tossed up and down and then passed away. Many memories have become a haze, people and places that each had their moment, now like intangible holograms fading into shadows. The constant, what stands out in the daily as something that never shifted, is the practice of asana. Asana was my steady ground, the one part of the day I could count on, and what would, day after day, bring my feet to the ground and place me in front of Shri Mahayogi again and again.

If I think about it, asana has been the one part of my day, when I allow my mind to forget everything else. To set it all aside and really focus everything towards that practice. It has helped me to gain control of my mind when it gets hung up on something, or when it is going in far too many directions all at once.

For some, asana may at times be taken as a chore or as a burden, but truly, to me, I have taken asana as a form of worship. It is a service of worship that happens daily right in my own home. It is a moment to meet with God, to come before God as we are, whatever that may be or look like on a given day.

At any moment we may lose the opportunity to practice asana. It could be our life conditions, or it could be that something happens to this fragile body, and then it may no longer be possible. If we have the opportunity to practice asana now, then we should not hesitate. Jump in and enjoy the discovery! Truly it is precious!! Everything in this world arises and passes away, and so too will the time to practice asana. Therefore, we cannot let our minds tell us that we’ll do it tomorrow. Will there be a tomorrow? We never know, so why wait?!

November 2017

***

Now that January has arrived, those of us in NYC will also be blessed with THE MOST PRECIOUS OPPORTUNITY OF LEARNING FROM AND RECEIVING THE DIRECT GUIDANCE AND TEACHING OF OUR MOST REVERED SATGURU SHRI MAHAYOGI PARAMAHANSA. What a treasure it is to be able to start the new year with a visit from our great Master. Just like in Matsuyama, may we too, recognize the preciousness of this opportunity and bring our own questions to Shri Mahayogi with sincerity and true dedication to put into practice his teaching. There is no better moment to practice and learn than this moment we have now.

 

The Sunday Sadhana Program directed by Shri Mahayogi will be held from 3-5pm at Still Mind Zendo.

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

Satsangha will still be held Feb. 2nd & 23rd, 3:00-4:30pm. Location TBA.

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

Don’t miss these precious opportunities!!!

Echo From The Cave: 95

Tuesday January 1, 2019 NYC

ANNOUNCEMENT:
Greetings & New Schedule Times for Programs with Shri Mahayogi

Happy New Year!

A new year brings new beginnings and new opportunities to deepen and further in practice of Yoga. In this new year, whether we are new to Yoga or long-time practitioners, let us look with fresh eyes upon the teachings, take on the mind of the beginner, and take each and every opportunity to apply the teachings in our daily life, so that the essence of Shri Mahayogi’s teaching, the heart of Yoga, is brought to take form in the way we live our everyday lives.

This New Year is very special since Shri Mahayogi will be arriving to NY in just two short weeks. Don’t miss this invaluable opportunity to learn from and be in the presence of the Master who abides in the ultimate state of Yoga.

***

In consideration of winter travel, we have made a change to the time for Shri Mahayogi’s Sunday program.

The Sunday Sadhana Program directed by Shri Mahayogi will be held from 3-5pm at Still Mind Zendo, instead of our regularly scheduled 7-9pm Sunday class.

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

Satsangha will still be held Feb. 2nd & 23rd, 3:00-4:30pm. Location TBA.

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

***

To honor how precious the opportunity is to meet a Master of Yoga, we would like to share the following account of one person’s experience of coming to meet Shri Mahayogi for the first time.

 

MEETING WITH THE MASTER
“Fix your mind on Me alone, rest your thoughts on Me alone,
and in Me alone you will live hereafter. Of this there is no doubt.”

—Words of Krishna, Bhagavad Gita, Ch. 12 Verse 8

I was standing by the stairs of a subway station. I don’t recall now where I was coming from or where I was going. But I had stopped and was just standing still there by the green painted fence that is the hallmark of every subway station in New York.

It was in that moment that the thought “There is nothing I want in this world,” crystalized in my mind with such clarity that I could have reached out my hand and taken hold of it. My heart became full with one desire alone: to give my life completely to serve God.

It was a strange thing for me to want. Growing up I had gone through various phases of how I related to the idea of God. There was a time when I went along with whatever idea was presented to me in church—that’s just what there was and it was all I had been introduced to. Then there was a time when I became disenchanted with the Christian idea of God and spent my time praying to and revering the Great Spirit that I had read about in books that my uncle had sent me about the lives of different Native American peoples. Then as a teenager I followed my sister’s lead and rejected God entirely. God did not exist and religion, in all of its hypocritism, was a joke. I looked down on the Christian religion and put myself above those who believed in God. “Those people” were delusional, discriminatory and were always trying to shove their own beliefs onto someone else. I set myself apart from that—not only because of my cynicism, but also because that is what I thought the “cool” thing to do was. I didn’t want anything to do with the Christian religion and I didn’t want anything to do with God.

I can’t say that I knew much about other religions—the diversity of my religious education was extremely limited. But I knew that there were ongoing wars with all violence and atrocities being justified by religion…and that was something that I simply could not understand or accept. So I rejected, and for many years I had maintained this mindset, or some variation of it. It was only within the prior few years, really since reading Autobiography of a Yogi and being introduced to some of the Yoga scriptures, like Bhagavad Gita, that my idea of God had begun to soften and my heart had started to open itself more and more to want to know God.

And now there I was turning my everything to God. I didn’t know what God was and I didn’t have any idea what it might mean to give my life to God or to serve God—all I knew was that that was the only thing I could see that would be worth living my life for. Everything else was empty. Everything else was false. I was ready to start making arrangements to leave New York. My first thought was to go to India, to find an Ashram where I could give up everything else, live in seclusion, and devote only to the spiritual life. My interest in worldly life was gone.

It was a mere one or two days later that a friend of mine told me in conversation that there was Yoga master in New York that he had heard about and had gone to see. He pulled a small book out of his bag—The Universal Gospel of Yoga—and handed it to me. I held it in my hands. The unique style of its design, the image of a yogi on the front and the smiling image of this Yoga master just inside stood out to me. As my friend talked about this Yoga master, I listened intently but I didn’t realize that I might actually be able to meet this master myself. My friend told me that he would be attending a program with this master over the weekend and would let me know how it was afterwards.

The next week, I met my friend to hear his experience. Right away I felt something was different. He was quieter than before and something had changed in him. When he spoke about the Yoga master, tears came to his eyes and I could feel his emotion, as if he had found something that was long lost. He mentioned to me “You should meet him for yourself.” Until then I hadn’t even realized that that was a possibility. Somehow in my mind I had thought that this was not a person you could just go and meet. You had to know somebody or be invited…or something. My friend went on to tell me that this Yoga master, Shri Mahayogi was his name, was from Japan and was actually only visiting New York. He would be giving a few Yoga classes before he returned and one Satsangha (gathering for question and answer). My friend was leaving the country the next day so he would not have any more opportunity to see Shri Mahayogi again, but he passed along the information and encouraged me to go.

It’s Not Easy to Meet a True Master of Yoga

After I went home, I immediately looked up the Mahayogi Yoga Mission’s website. I found there the remaining classes offered with Shri Mahayogi and the one Satsangha. The first to be offered was a Raja Yoga class. The class fee was more than what I was accustomed to and at that time my budget was tight, but I was determined to meet this master, so I decided, “I will at least attend one class.” As requested on the webpage, I called the number listed to reserve my space.

The day of the class came and so did Hurricane Irene. The day before the class, the city announced the possibility of the subways and buses being closed and the city being gridlocked. Concerned about having to miss the class because of not being able to get there, I called again the same number I had called to reserve my spot in the class. I saw this as my opportunity to meet Shri Mahayogi, this great Master whose presence seemed to have transformed my friend so quickly…I was ready to walk from 191st street to 10th street if I needed to…but then there was a hurricane, so I wasn’t sure that would be the best idea either. The same woman’s voice that had answered when I reserved my space again sounded from other end of the line. She informed me that it was undecided whether the class would be held or not, but that there would be an announcement online soon.

I must have called back again at least once after that just to check to see if a decision had been made. When I finally heard that the class would be cancelled I was relieved on the one hand that I would not have to miss it because of not being able to get there, but on the other hand I felt as if I was missing a great opportunity.

Welcome Home

The class was rescheduled and that opportunity finally came. I arrived early for the class and there was one woman, who I would later learn to be Karuna, there setting up. I asked if I could help with anything and she graciously allowed me to move some flower vases around. I don’t recall many other details about how Shri Mahayogi entered or how the class began. I just know that I was practicing in the front row and just to the right of where Shri Mahayogi was stationed at the front of the class.

During the asana, I was surprised at how many and how detailed the instructions were. Two women were leading the class through voice and making many of the adjustments to the practitioners. It seemed a little overwhelming at times, I wasn’t used to anyone paying much attention to what I was doing in asana practice, but here it seemed that there were many details to attend to. We held each asana for what seemed to be an unusually long time, and rested between each. All of it was new and different, even though I had been practicing asana for some time beforehand. When it came time for headstand, I went ahead, as I normally would. I had no problem or struggle practicing headstand, so I was quite surprised when I suddenly felt Shri Mahayogi himself at my side. His presence was so undeniably strong and different from anything I had felt before. As he guided me to a straighter position my heart suddenly started to fluctuate. This was highly unusual and for a moment I felt worried—should I release and come down? But then immediately I thought: No. Shri Mahayogi is the Master, he will not lead me to harm. The flashing memory of a story I had heard about the willingness of a disciple to follow any instruction of the Master came to my mind. I will stay until he tells me to release, no matter what. Although in that moment I didn’t really know who Shri Mahayogi was, I felt as if this was my test, my test to see how willing I was to surrender and put my trust in the Master.

Before meditation, Shri Mahayogi sat in front of me and patiently showed me each sitting position. I was taken aback by his kind face, his penetrating eyes and his smile that seemed to reach into the depths of my heart. At the end of the class, I don’t remember if he spoke or not, I just couldn’t stop gazing at him. It was as if he was surrounded in a brilliant light, shining as brightly as the sun. I didn’t want him to leave…but class ended.

As attendees where rolling up mats and leaving the classroom, Anandamali approached me. Surely we must have exchanged a few words, but I don’t remember much. The only thing that stands out with crystal clear clarity is that she looked me straight in the eyes said “Welcome home,” and then pulled me in for a strong hug. The world started spinning around me and I felt as if I might pass out. Something was happening…I couldn’t name it but I felt it with my senses. I had arrived home—and my entire being was recognizing it, whether my mind could in that moment or not.

*

Although I had not intended to attend any other classes with Shri Mahayogi after that (mostly out of concern for my finances), I put everything else to the side and made sure that I came to both the Satsangha and the last class before Shri Mahayogi returned to Japan. I don’t remember much of the Satsangha, I didn’t ask a single question, I only sat close, right in front of Shri Mahayogi and gazed at him, not wanting to turn my eyes away from him for a moment.

At the end of the last class, as Shri Mahayogi walked out of the room, tears came and I longed for him not to leave. It felt as if I had found my father, and then had to say goodbye, not knowing if or when I would see him again.

After that, I only wanted to go home and be by myself. My sleep was different that night and at one point I suddenly awoke in tears with the image and presence of Shri Mahayogi hanging in my mind. I felt that he was with me and would continue to be with me. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude that all I could do was cry and bow down to God—even though I didn’t understand much of anything then—something told me that God had given me what I was yearning for. Somehow this was my answer to “devoting my life to serving God.”

Sadhya
October 14, 2018

 

Echo From The Cave: 94

Saturday Dec 22, 2018 NYC

Announcement: Holiday Class in Asheville, NC

If you live in North Carolina or will be visiting North Carolina this holiday season, don’t miss this opportunity! Sadhya will be leading a Mahayogi Yoga Mission Asana & Meditation class in her hometown, Asheville, NC.

***
The Secret of Body, Breath and Mind
To cultivate a quiet mind, unfettered by our ever-changing daily life, is to Be Free!
Come and experience for yourself what the teaching of Yoga has to offer.

Thursday 12/27,     7-9pm
Push Skate Shop:  25 Patton Avenue  Asheville, NC 28801
https://www.instagram.com/pushskateshop/
https://www.instagram.com/brainstormskateboards/

We would like to send our heartfelt thanks to Eric Hunt, a committed community organizer in the Asheville area and owner of a local skateboard company, who has graciously offered the space to hold the class in the back of the local skateboarding shop, Push Skate Shop.

Through the grace of Shri Mahayogi, may the teaching of Truth, touch the hearts of those who are seeking and light the way into the New Year.

Echo From The Cave: 93

Sunday Dec 16, 2018 NYC

Companion Persuading Radha as Krishna plays the Flute, from the Gita Govinda (Song of the Cowherd)

What is Yoga?: Yoga is how we live our life

Yoga is lived in our moment to moment. Our practice comes across in the way we speak and in the way we interact with others. Although seemingly invisible, the quiet mind of a practitioner brings others minds to a state of quiet too. And sharing the true knowledge that comes through practice of Yoga is what truly touches others.

The following account is an inspiring example we found in the story of how one disciple of Shri Mahayogi shared the essence of the teaching with others. It reveals how our master, Shri Mahayogi, is inspiring and guiding us. The words that he spoke, as well as the words that Anandi shared, are, no doubt, a message to us all.

*

The Inspiring Story of Anandi in Matsuyama, Japan

Recently Anandi, a disciple of Shri Mahayogi and the leader of the Yoga activities in Matsuyama, Japan was asked to give a speech about Yoga at a gathering for employees of an Income Tax Filing Company who participate in a computer literacy group. She spoke for approximately 50 minutes to a group of about 40 attendees a week after the Jayanti. This group invites lecturers from outside of the accounting field from time to time in an effort to learn new things and broaden their perspectives. Many of the attendees are in their 60’s or 70’s.

After her lecture, there was a shared meal held for the purpose of promoting friendship among the attendees. After the party, when she was talking with the man who made the closing remarks and another man, who was the manager of the literacy work group, the man who had made the closing remarks commented to her that, “This was really the first time that everybody listened to a lecture so quietly like that. But, it was not like we were being quiet out of boredom, but rather, it was like we were being brought into the quiet world of meditation.” Upon hearing it, the manager agreed and said with a huge smile on his face, “I am truly so glad that I requested you to speak here.”

Anandi prepared what she would present for this occasion on her own. And, unlike in the past, she did not ask Shri Mahayogi any questions about it, but rather simply informed him during the Satsangha in November that she had been requested to speak about Yoga at a gathering. When Shri Mahayogi heard it, he advised her by saying: “No matter how healthy one might be, if one dies, then that is the end of it. That is why, the key for what you should speak about there is the meaning of Life and the purpose of why one is born.”

Reflecting Shri Mahayogi’s advice, Anandi spoke at the meeting about the following things:

How true health is the health of the mind, that is to say, the healthy mind refers to the condition in which the mind is calm, the condition in which the mind is filled with peacefulness, how that condition of the mind does not worry, and how in order to gain that condition, it is important to always maintain purity within the mind and emit pure thoughts. How no matter how much fame or wealth we gain, when we die everything will be gone instantly, and the purpose of why we were born is to have a perfectly harmonious peaceful personality.

What is a perfectly harmonious peaceful personality?

In Yoga, it is said that the true nature of human beings is to be filled with purity and love.

She then spoke about:

How she is living her life with firm conviction as she strives to prove exactly that.

 

*

There is a word, “Sanatana Dharma,” which means “Eternal Truth.” The word sanatana means eternal and dharma can mean duty, rights, laws, conduct, or virtues, depending on the context. Yoga is actually to practice Sanatana Dharma. That, in other words, means to know our true Self. The reason why we are born on this earth is to know our Self, to know what Life is.

We have heard that after that day, a woman who had attended the lecture came to take the class, and afterwards she expressed her intention to continue.

***

If we listen closely, the flute is being played right now, just like in the painting of Krishna, beckoning our hearts to seek the Truth.

Shri Mahayogi will come to New York in one month from now and we hope that many people will find the moment to quiet their heart and listen to the beautiful and exquisite sounds of Eternal Truth that pour through Shri Mahayogi’s very being.

We hope that many will come to meet him and take this extraordinary, momentous and sweet opportunity that can certainly transform our Life.

Echo From The Cave: 92

Tuesday Dec 11, 2018 NYC

Announcement:
Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa to Visit NY!


We are so grateful to announce
these INVALUABLE and INCOMPARABLE opportunities
to receive guidance on practice from
SATGURU SHRI MAHAYOGI PARAMAHANSA.



*


When walking in a dark forest, we need the light of the moon to show us the way. Or a torch to reveal where the path lies. If we can encounter a True Master to light our way through the world, how joyous it is.
The invitation is yours.


Satsangha by Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa:
Satsangha means “sacred gathering with the Truth.” It is an opportunity in which spiritual seekers gather with Shri Mahayogi, who spontaneously awoke into the ultimate state of Yoga, the One Eternal Truth, at the young age of 8 years old, and seek his guidance. Shri Mahayogi graciously answers from his own experience of this ultimate state all questions that are bound to arise as one strives to live life—from the practicalities of daily life to the intricacies of the inner workings of the mind to the subtle layers of meditation.
February 2 & 23, 2019    3-4:30pm
Location: TBD


Yoga Sadhana Programs Directed by Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa:
This special Sunday program is a great opportunity to learn Asana & Meditation practice for the purpose of Spiritual Awakening. All practices are based on the direct experience of Shri Mahayogi, who began asana practice without knowing such poses existed before and thus came to master both asana and meditation in his teenage years without any external instruction. This is what makes this program truly unique and it is encouraged as a compliment to Satsangha as it prepares the body and mind for meditation and for carrying out everyday activities.
January 20 & 27   February 3,10,17 & 24   March 3  3-5pm
Location: Still Mind Zendo 37 West 17th Street #6W


Please make a reservation, as space is limited.
You can find more detailed information on the Eventbrite site.

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

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

OM TAT SAT, OM!

Echo From The Cave: 91

Monday Dec 10, 2018 NYC

Lord Krishna Lord Shiva

Director’s Note: New Cycle of Pranavadipa Beginning Volume 49

On December 8th, we began a new 12-month cycle of Pranavadipa, our online publication. To start off the new subscription cycle we would like to share with you the words of one of our readers:
Pranavadipa is inspirational, meaning that it constantly reminds me and brings the mind back to what is important. Also it is a tremendous resource and a place where I can read and try to understand the application of the teachings through the testimonies of the practitioners, who are like me. Also it provides a way for me to connect my mind over and over again to Shri Mahayogi, knowing that every time I read, it is like I am attending a new Satsangha.”

In the first issue of the new cycle (Vol. 49), one of the main topics of discussion in the Satsangha is the direct intuitive knowledge that arises as a result of practicing Yoga, which is unlike any type of knowledge we are commonly familiar with as a result of our educational background or daily experiences. Shri Mahayogi straightforwardly teaches about the importance of proactive discrimination within the mind in order to create the proper condition for this type of knowledge to arise and about how to tackle the issues within the mind so that we can walk the path of Yoga, directly towards Satori (Awakening).

The Testimony in this issue features the congratulatory speech offered to Shri Mahayogi during Satguru Jayanti by Harshani, a disciple living in Tokyo. As she expresses her gratitude towards Shri Mahayogi, the reader also gets a concrete and practical glimpse of how one can apply the teaching of Yoga in everyday life activities and how doing so can bring true transformation.

If you have not yet renewed your subscription for the new cycle, we encourage you to do so. And if you have never subscribed before, we invite you to subscribe this year and discover for yourself what makes Pranavadipa a truly unique and invaluable resource for anyone wishing to follow the path of Truth or for anyone who simply wishes to live and appreciate the preciousness of life to its fullest.

Echo from The Cave: 90

Sunday Dec 2, 2018 NYC

Vishnu’s feet

Meaning of the Offering of Arati

Light emerging from darkness—this symbolizes God manifesting in the world.
The offering of light inherently contains the act of humbly receiving that light.
For God becoming manifest, the heavens swirl, flower petals shower down,
and the celestial gods play their heavenly music in joy.
The offering of the mala (flower garland) and of the hymns all symbolize that.

—Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa

    


* 

During the opening of the Satguru Jayanti celebration in Kyoto, arati was offered. One of the members of the team offering arati, Mirabai, has written about this offering (published in MYM’s bi-monthly newsletter, Paramahamsa, in Japan), and we would like to introduce the translation of this article as well as the Kirtan that was offered.

    

Offering of Arati: The Mysterious Love of Kirtan

Arati is part of the ritual of puja, where a song of joy is dedicated to the descent of the Lord into this world, which is a rare blessing. What an awe-inspiring event this must have been—the formless God taking on form and appearing on earth—even for the gods themselves! How delighted the Gandharva (heavenly musicians) must have been for this miracle and for the compassion of the Lord, that they blared out their resounding hymns! When we offer arati, I personally make the offering of kirtan with the feeling that I am a member of the Ghandarva. Through trial and error for some years, I have continued to try and figure out how to express and share with everyone this deep emotion and Joy for the fluttering down of the Lord, and I tried to find an appropriate song for this. Then one day…

Upon hearing a certain song for the first time, I felt that it might be an appropriate song for arati. The quiet melody of the mantra-filled introductory part, the way the joy flows from it as the phrases repeat, gradually increasing in cheerfulness, and the tone of sattva underlying it all. I thought that if the content of the lyrics were appropriate for the celebration, then I would want to offer this song to Shri Mahayogi. When I asked Sanatana-san about the meaning of the words, he answered that he feels that the lyrics were clearly written by someone who knows God. Wow! And that this song was an excerpt from a scripture associated with the Goddess, Devi Mahatmya, which then turned into a song!

 

The song starts out with a mantra praising the Goddess. Then, it goes into describing the way God, originally formless, gradually manifests in the world, first from the subtle things of this world, such as consciousness and intellect, then develops into the gross things in this world, such as faith and beauty. Further, the song says that that Goddess dwells within all living beings.

Shiva, the male principle and the source of Existence, alone could not have birthed this universe. Everything in its entirety was birthed by the power of the Goddess, Shakti, and continues to be nurtured by her, even now. And that very Shiva and Shakti are One, indivisible.

 

When we were performing this song for Jayanti one year, I noticed that the bell that I was playing suddenly separated from my hand and began to play on its own. It felt like it was not me who was playing, but it was as if it was granted a Life of its own from the Lord, and the bell, by its own will, began to celebrate the birth of the Lord and to dance with joy. And what’s more, how clear and beautiful its tone was, completely different from the tone that I used to hear before! Then it was not only about the instrument, which is a thing, but also it began to reveal that a brilliant Existence abides within us, human beings, in the same way.

Shri Mahayogi’s holy birth, at the same time, means that True Life has been granted to us, to everything—that is to say, it is our birth as well. That Essence is the same as the Lord—it is filled with Eternal Joy. And the Lord and we are One. I feel that the more we get in touch with this song and deepen our singing of it, the more it will reveal and manifest the mystery of the Goddess imbued within it.

 

This year again, we offer this arati for the occasion of Jayanti. No matter how far away you might be, may we etch the song into our hearts, offer it to Shri Mahayogi, and taste it together!

Mirabai

Mirabai, Amara and Jayadevi at Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa’s Jayanti 2019


*

 

TANTROKTAṂ DEVĪ SŪKTAM

Namo Devyai Mahādevyai Śivāyai Satataṃ Namaḥ
Namaḥ Prakṛtyai Bhadrāyai Niyatāḥ Praṇatāḥ Sma Tāṃ

Salutations to the Great Goddess (Divine Mother).
Saltations always to she who is ever auspicious.
Salutations to she who is the primordial cause and sustaining power.
With attention, oh, we pay obeisance to her.

礼拝いたします、女神に、偉大なる女神に。吉祥なる女神に、永遠に礼拝いたします。
礼拝いたします、万物を生み出す根源の力、吉祥なる女神に。
全身全霊でつつましく、ああ! あの方に頭を垂れます。

 

Raudrāyai Namo Nityāyai Gauryai Dhātryai Namo Namaḥ
Jyotsnāyai Cendurūpiṇyai Sukhāyai Satataṃ Namaḥ

Salutations to she who is fearsome, to she who is eternal.
Salutations again salutations to she who is the supporter of the Universe.
Salutations to she who is of the form of the moon, of moonlight, and of happiness itself.

恐るべき女神に礼拝いたします。
永遠であり、白く光り輝く、この世界を支える女神に礼拝いたします。
月の光であり、月の甘露のしずくという姿をもつ、幸福そのものであるお方に、
永遠に礼拝いたします。

 

Yā Devī Sarvabhūteṣu Viṣṇumāyeti Śabditā 
Namas Tasyai Namas Tasyai Namas Tasyai Namo Namaḥ

To the Goddess who abides in all beings and is called Vishnu-Maya, the Lord’s own Maya,
the inscrutable Power pervading in all things.
Salutations to her, salutations to her, salutations again and again.

すべての生きものにあって、遍在神ヴィシュヌのマーヤーと呼ばれている女神、
その方に礼拝いたします。その方に礼拝いたします。その方に礼拝いたします。

 

Yā Devī Sarvabhūteṣu Cetanetyabhidhīyate
Namas Tasyai Namas Tasyai Namas Tasyai Namo Namaḥ

To the Goddess who is known as consciousness in all things,
Salutations to her, salutations to her, salutations again and again.

すべての生きものにあって、意識として認められる女神、
その方に礼拝いたします。その方に礼拝いたします。その方に礼拝いたします。

 

Yā Devī Sarvabhūteṣu Buddhirūpeṇa Saṃsthitā
Namas Tasyai Namas Tasyai Namas Tasyai Namo Namaḥ

To the Goddess, who abides in all beings in the form of intelligence,
Salutations to her, salutations to her, salutations again and again.

すべての生きものにあって、知性というかたちで留まる女神、
その方に礼拝いたします。その方に礼拝いたします。その方に礼拝いたします。

 

Yā Devī Sarvabhūteṣu Śaktirūpeṇa Saṃsthitā
Namas Tasyai Namas Tasyai Namas Tasyai Namo Namaḥ

To the Goddess who abides in all beings in the form of God’s Shakti, power,
Salutations to her, salutations to her, salutations again and again.

すべての生きものにあって、神のシャクティというかたちで留まる女神、
その方に礼拝いたします。その方に礼拝いたします。その方に礼拝いたします。

 

Yā Devī Sarvabhūteṣu Śāntirūpeṇa Saṃsthitā
Namas Tasyai Namas Tasyai Namas Tasyai Namo Namaḥ

To the Goddess who abides in all beings in the form of peace,
Salutations to her, salutations to her, salutations again and again.

すべての生きものにあって、静寂というかたちで留まる女神、
その方に礼拝いたします。その方に礼拝いたします。その方に礼拝いたします。

 

Yā Devī Sarvabhūteṣu Śraddhārūpeṇa Saṃsthitā
Namas Tasyai Namas Tasyai Namas Tasyai Namo Namaḥ

To the Goddess who abides in all beings in the form of faith,
Salutations to her, salutations to her, salutations again and again.

すべての生きものにあって、信仰というかたちで留まる女神、
その方に礼拝いたします。その方に礼拝いたします。その方に礼拝いたします。

 

Yā Devī Sarvabhūteṣu Kāntirūpeṇa Saṃsthitā
Namas Tasyai Namas Tasyai Namas Tasyai Namo Namaḥ

To the Goddess who abides in all beings in the form of beauty,
Salutations to her, salutations to her, salutations again and again.

すべての生きものにあって、美というかたちで留まる女神、
その方に礼拝いたします。その方に礼拝いたします。その方に礼拝いたします。

 

Namas Tasyai Namas Tasyai
Namas Tasyai Namo Namaḥ

Salutations to her. Salutations to her,
Salutations again and again.

その方に礼拝いたします。その方に礼拝いたします。
その方に礼拝いたします。

 

* This arati is an excerpt from the TANTROKTAṂ DEVĪ SŪKTAM, which is also an excerpt from a scripture.

 

Echo from The Cave: 89

Monday Nov 26, 2018 NYC

DEDICATION: The Celebration of Satguru Jayanti 2018

“It is true that everything is Lila (divine play),
yet you can only say so once you get out of maya.

Today I was able to feel so much sweetness, the essence of Lila,
and Bliss in many things,
such as the various messages, the sacred play and the Kirtan.  

       Truly, it is a day of auspicious and wonderful Lila.
May this joyous Lila keep continuing on from now on,
moment to moment, day to day,
without changing.
And to play and enjoy with you—I wish only for that. 
To your shining Atman,
the light of the Existence of God…  
Jai!!”

—Words from Shri Mahayogi
offered at the end of the Jayanti Celebration in Kyoto,
November 23, 2018.

*

For the occasion of Satguru Jayanti, in Kyoto, disciples from all over Japan gathered, along with 11 disciples who made the trip from Taiwan (more than last year), where devotion for Shri Mahayogi is quickly growing, and in New York, 8 disciples gathered at the Cave to participate in the ceremony via live web cam.

Yogadanda

Before the celebration began, all (including those of us who were gathered in New York) became quiet as a shared sense of reverence, extending across time and space, began to build.

Soon after Shri Mahayogi’s arrival, OM was recited by a few male disciples, and Priya, quietly and slowly, with great focus, walked towards Shri Mahayogi, who was seated in the center of the space, sat before him, bowed down and offered the Mala to Shri Mahayogi.

Priya

She had just arrived from Taiwan the day before to attend the Jayanti. Then, Devi Suktam (a hymn to the Divine Mother) was offered to Shri Mahayogi by the Arati (ritual of worship; offering of the lamp and songs of praise to God) team.It was filled with Joy and the pure power of devotion that brings everybody together, and it carried praise to the Divine Mother, bowing down again and again to this Divine creative Essence that manifests as all things—the entirety of creation being none other than That.

Pan Pan (from Taiwan) offered a speech

At this year’s Jayanti there were 8 disciples (6 from Japan, 1 from New York and 1 from Taiwan) who had the opportunity to offer their words to Shri Mahayogi (in the form of a Jayanti message). Each one spoke with heartfelt sincerity, and from each speaker we could feel their pure love and devotion for Shri Mahayogi, which can only arise as the result of experiencing true transformation from receiving the teaching and guidance of Shri Mahayogi and then putting it into earnest practice.

Lalita (from Kyoto) offered a speech

Each expressed so openly and honestly, in their own way, deep gratitude, honor and respect for Shri Mahayogi, where they are in their own practice, and their desire and efforts to dedicate themselves to establishing the light of Truth, the light of Shri Mahayogi, not only within themselves but within an ever-widening circle.

Marula and sangha from Taiwan

The highlight of the Celebration, by far, was an offering of Kirtan, on behalf of the sangha from Tokyo, that was presented amidst the various messages offered to Shri Mahayogi.

Sarvani, who had the role of lead vocalist, sat in the center. Even though she lives in Tokyo, because of how busy her work is, she has not been able to see Shri Mahayogi often. It must have been such an immensely precious opportunity for her to have this role, which she has never done before, and offer what has been building in her heart up until this day. She was speechless. It seemed that she was supposed to open by offering words to Shri Mahayogi, but she just couldn’t. She gazed at Shri Mahayogi, but with such overwhelming emotion, the words would not come out. The sangha from Tokyo was sitting around her, supporting her, and all the sangha was supporting and waiting for her with warm hearts. Shri Mahayogi kept looking at

Sarvani, looking straight at Shri Mahayogi, before singing

her so tenderly, and we could see from his face and his being, that he was also full, feeling her emotion. It was such a powerful moment as Shri Mahayogi and Sarvani were connected into One through Pure Love and Devotion. It took a long time, but finally she was able to speak to Shri Mahayogi. After some silence again, Sarvani began, and others followed her lead. In her voice, filled with praise to Shri Mahayogi, there was the bliss of Ananda, connecting into One with Shri Mahayogi. This bliss of Ananda, through her voice, vibrated and penetrated into everyone’s hearts like waves that emulated throughout the entirety of space. The heart of Kirtan—Real Kirtan unfolded right there…and it was so beautiful, moment after moment!

 


Sing Victory! Praise the Glory of Mahayogi!
In Bliss, With Bliss, Lord, In Bliss
Sing Victory! Praise the Satguru, the Great Lord!
In Bliss, With Bliss, Lord, In Bliss
Sing Victory! Praise the Holy Paramahansa!
In Bliss, With Bliss, Lord, In Bliss
Sing Victory! Praise the Exquisite Gurudeva!
In Bliss, With Bliss, Lord, In Bliss

Also offered to Shri Mahayogi was the Mahayogi Mission’s original Divine Play, which this year depicted the story of Krishna’s birth. (Roles played by gurubai from Kyoto, Osaka and Matsuyama.)

Brahma and goddess are praying to Vishnu

King Kansa, Vasudeva and Devaki (parents of Krishna)

Vishnu, Devaki and baby Krishna

Nanda and Yasoda (Foster parents of Krishna)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The birth of an Avatara into this world is indeed rare and invaluable, and arises because of the pressing need for Truth to be re-established in the world and the sincere yearning for it from the hearts of the people. The play, at times serious and at times light and humorous, reminded us of the profound significance of Shri Mahayogi’s birth into this world, and our responsibility as disciples to concretize the teaching within us and carry on Shri Mahayogi’s great mission of Sanatana Dharma in every way possible.

After all messages had been spoken and all offerings made, Shri Mahayogi graciously offered the words written at the beginning of this blog post to his sangha.

And to conclude everything, the sangha recited Shri Mahayogi’s Stotram (a hymn written specifically for Shri Mahayogi). What a joyous occasion it is when we have the opportunity to sing praise directly to Shri Mahayogi!

We would like to extend our gratitude again to Shri Mahayogi.
Thank you very much for your Existence,
thank you very much for your teaching of Sanatana Dharma,
your guidance,

your unstained example of Truth
and your everlasting grace.

Jai Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa Ki Jai !!!!!!!

 

***

Let us express our gratitude to our fellow gurubai in Kyoto for their efforts to make available and to keep improving the quality of this live broadcasting participation to the disciples in New York! We are very grateful to have the opportunity to see our Beloved Master on this special occasion and be part of the celebration of his Divine Birth.

*

The celebration of Satguru Jayanti never ends when the Master exits the room, yet continues on in the company of sangha. In New York, gurubai, stayed together until the first dawn of morning, sharing about the inspirations we heard in the words of our brothers and sisters who gave speeches and where we are in our own practice. Sleep had no place to enter—for in conversations about the Truth, the purity of inspiration and the serene presence of Shri Mahayogi, enlivens and brings great energy to all! As we left the Cave, a great full moon began to set over the city in the crisp cold morning air! How auspicious this full moon that appeared, marking this holy day of Shri Mahayogi’s sacred birth!

***

In the coming blog post, we would also like to share the Devi Suktam, along with the writing by Mirabai (from Paramahansa) about why this was chosen to be part of Arati.

 

 

Echo from The Cave: 88

Friday Nov 23, 2018 NYC

Lord Shiva

GRATITUDE: Satguru Jayanti

Jai Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa !!!!!

Today is the auspicious day of your sacred birth, Jayanti,
and today we celebrate and honor Shri Mahayogi from the depths of our hearts.
You are the Truth manifest, the perfect example of true Yoga!
We are eternally grateful for the light and passion for the Truth that you ignite within our hearts and the guidance of your great Compassion that you continuously shower upon us.

On November 23rd, 2018, disciples of Shri Mahayogi gathered together in Japan and
in New York in honor, in celebration and in gratitude of your sacred birth.
No matter the distance, together we are bound as one Sangha
by the joy that comes through your very Existence.
It is an immense blessing to have the opportunity to meet Shri Mahayogi in this lifetime,
to learn from Shri Mahayogi
and to practice the teaching that Shri Mahayogi most graciously gives us.

Thank you very much for your Existence among us, our Beloved Satguru,
and gratitude for this holy occasion of Jayanti!!!!

 

Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa’s Jayanti 2018 at The CAVE

Jai   Jai   Jai !!!!!