Echo From The Cave: 155

Monday April 19, 2021 NYC

Editor’s Note: Pranavadipa Volume 76
“Truth Exists Within Everyone”

Pranavadipa Volume 76 was published on March 8th, 2021. We have already published Volume 77, but please let us introduce the content of Volume 76 and some key points below since it is full of great content!

“What must be learned in Yoga, is the Truth. What is the Truth? That is nothing but the Truth of yourself, or who the Self is—if you understand the answer to this, then you will understand the Essence….of all things. According to what Yoga teaches about it, the essence is Pure Existence. There is neither superior nor inferior there; there is no duality there. Everyone is the same, sacred Existence—that is what the Essence is.”

—Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa     February 2015, Kyoto


Truth Exists Within Everyone
The Satsangha of Pranavadipa (Vol. 76) contains questions that many of us may be able to easily relate to in the context of the very practical matters of our daily life situations, and they are posed to Shri Mahayogi in a manner that focuses on the way of working to transform oneself in the face of some very familiar common struggles. Though these questions are asked in a way that seeks to find out how we can concretely practice the teachings of Yoga in our daily lives, whether you practice Yoga or not, you will find Shri Mahayogi’s guidance very heartfelt, inspirational and helpful in a way that is practical and can be applied right away. No matter what the questions are, Shri Mahayogi directs us to see only the Truth, the Essence: Everyone is the same, sacred Existence. The Truth exists within everyone!

So now why can we not see this Truth for ourselves, and what should we do to be able to recognize it? Throughout the Satsangha in this issue (Vol. 76), Shri Mahayogi explains that it is due to our mind containing thoughts and ideas that are influenced by memories, as that is the nature of the mind, that we are not able to see it—in other words, that it is because the mind is not pure or transparent. That is where the importance of going through the practice of viveka (discernment) between the thoughts or ideas in the mind and the Truth comes in, so that we can firmly understand that the thoughts of the mind are imperfect, and so that we can remove the impurities from the mind—alternatively heightening the purity of our mind—and we can also heighten concentration in order to come to experience this Truth in meditation. And here too, he points out again that we should direct our mind to see only the Essence: Everyone is the same, sacred Existence. The Truth exists within everyone!

To begin, the Satsangha starts off with an inquiry into the differences between meditation and the process leading up to meditation, discernment. Shri Mahayogi, not only answers the questions, but also clearly elucidates this fine-tuned process using the example of the subject of meditation being “existence,”[1] and how the process that leads towards true Knowledge, the knowledge that lies beyond the mind itself, unfolds. We are amazed at the clarity and simplicity with which Shri Mahayogi teaches about the subtle realm of the mind, meditation and the source of knowledge!

[1] We would like to share one more time the discourse between a disciple and Shri Mahayogi regarding the actual practice of discriminating on the subject of “Existence,” previously published in Pranavadipa Vol. 3, either on the blog or in an upcoming issue of Pranavadipa, since it seems that many of us have found difficulty in moving forward with the practice of discernment.

The question and answer then turns from these very subtle layers of the mind to the practical matters of daily life situations, such as the struggle that arises from traumatic events or relationships from our past, comparing our own situations with that of another, getting hung up on what’s good or bad, what’s right or wrong—certainly these kinds of situations and the concerns that arise from them are common among all kinds of people, regardless of where we live or what our background is. And here again, Shri Mahayogi also points out and reminds us to see only the Essence—that everyone is the same, sacred Existence, that the Truth exists within everyone, and that the world, our minds and our situations are constantly fluctuating. He responds carefully to each question, and strongly lays the foundation of the teaching of Truth from a variety of angles, giving us an unwavering base upon which to bring ourselves to stand.

Then, the final Q & A of the Satsangha, titled “The Shift to the Path of Yoga,” captures a rather emotional and strong interaction, in which an attendee—after a long absence, after having hesitated to return due to her feeling of lacking readiness to dedicate herself—returns to seriously and sincerely seek Shri Mahayogi’s guidance, upon truly realizing the incomparable value of the teaching of Truth and the existence of Shri Mahayogi. She humbly asks the question hidden within her, “Please, I would like Shri Mahayogi to teach me what it means for me to choose to walk on the path of Yoga for myself.” Shri Mahayogi, with great compassion, speaks to her, what it means to study and learn Yoga—it is to correctly learn what this world is, and how to live in this world, and that all of the teachings, trainings, practices and disciplines of Yoga exist for the purpose of realizing the true Self. His presence and words surely must resonate within our hearts.

No matter what lens of struggle from our daily life circumstances we may be experiencing, it is as if Shri Mahayogi’s words, bring us to recall what is existing most fundamentally and absolutely at the core of our hearts, and the essentialness of working and practicing to establish that core, each of us within ourselves. In hearing Shri Mahayogi’s teachings, the vacillations that arise from our daily circumstances, seem to pale and weaken in front of the firmness of the Truth.

The Testimony of Pranavadipa Volume 76 is a great example of what is being taught in one of the sections of this issue’s Satsangha, called “Approaching the Way in Which the Saints Live.” It is a translation of the second half of a 6-article series, “Guided by Another Teresa: The Little Way of Saint Thérèse,”[2] written by Yukti, Shri Mahayogi’s disciple in Japan.

[2] The first half of “Guided by Another Teresa: The Little Way of Saint Thérèse” was published in Pranavadipa Vol. 75 and its content is introduced in Echo From the Cave: 151, as well as a little bit about the journey of Yukti that we have been witness to so far through her articles. This series of articles was originally published in Paramahamsa (Mahayogi Mission’s monthly magazine in Japanese for members) over several issues spanning from 2014 to 2015. Her series of articles “Living on the Words of Mother” was previously published in Pranavadipa (Vol. 67, Vol. 68, Vol. 69).

Yukti’s journey continues as she dives into trying to understand the essence of Jesus, as a man of God, and the meaning of his final words on the cross: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” (My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?)

What is remarkable about her, as you may have also recognized from her actions that have already been written about in her previous articles, is that she does not let herself be satisfied just in hearing the words, like those she received from the priests and sisters who offered their own thoughts and interpretations about Jesus’ last words, but rather, she herself tries to keenly delve into the meaning. But finally, being unable to find the answer herself, she asked Shri Mahayogi, who responded: “…. You must think of what Jesus tried to leave behind as a message.” “It is ignorance. In Christianity, it is called sin, but in Yoga, it is called ignorance. Jesus became a sacrifice through bearing the sin of humanity.”

Though her testimony in this issue begins by her trying to understand the meaning of these words, it is truly amazing and inspiring to see the devotion, perseverance and heartfelt yearning that seems to move Yukti into a continuous search for answers, trying again and again to come to her own understanding through her life experiences, and trying to apply the examples she is learning through Mother Teresa and Saint Thérèse into her own life. Even so, in her search, Shri Mahayogi’s words are always with her, she always bears in her heart the words that she has received from him, very carefully pondering upon them to understand their subtlety, trying to find the essence lying underneath, within the depth of his words, while constantly trying to see or think of the spirit of Mother Teresa, of Saint Thérèse and of Jesus through them. Through her process of pondering and through her journey, we can realize more and more how precise Shri Mahayogi’s guidance is to her, as if he knows what she will face next or, more correctly, as if he is laying down the road to follow before her. And through this she was led to realize that in order to know the spirit of Mother Teresa, of Thérèse, and of Jesus, all her ideas about the teachings of Yoga that she had understood intellectually had to be removed, and instead she needed to become One with Yoga and truly live in Yoga, as the universal essence of all religion, which is exactly what Shri Mahayogi teaches.

Currently Yukti is working at one of the public health centers in Osaka where aid for the pandemic situation is more critical than the area of the hospital where she had been working as a nurse up until February, living in her parents’ home, in Matsuyama. Without hesitation, she goes wherever the need for support is most crucial. We can see her determination and her actions as the very reflection of the life mission she has found, and that is written about at the end of this series of articles.

To conclude this blog post, we would like to share two comments from disciples in Matsuyama, Japan, who had interactions with Yukti in February, before she moved to Osaka to continue her mission.

From Ms. Oomori:
I see that Yukti-san has lived in Kyoto, Fukushima, Ehime, and Osaka, making action quickly; and every time she does that, she also changes the place where she works. So I asked her if she experiences any reluctance in having to start over from the beginning each time, needing to learn anew and accommodate herself to a new situation and environment, for example. This is the summary of her response:

“When I start at a new workplace, I just do what I can at each moment, therefore, I have no reluctance. Worry, concern or reluctance are hindrances that only make yourself tired, after all. What is needed is to simply concentrate without getting involved with emotions.”

In conversation about interactions with people at her workplace, Yukti said:

“There are many different people, and that means different karma, so it is natural that there are people who may not have compatible ideas with yours. Therefore, it is a waste for you to even frustrate yourself thinking “why?” I tell people what I think will improve or help the situation or condition, but even if no change is reflected, I don’t hold any grudge against the person. Rather, I myself, in carrying out the right way of living, will bring many positive effects and influences to my surroundings.”

“While interacting with many people, there are people who criticize me and there are people who praise me, nonetheless, since the mind of people easily changes, I am not swayed by such things. If someone criticized you three days ago, the same person may praise you now—that is a common occurrence. As Shri Mahayogi says, it is important to understand correctly such truth of this world.”

My impression of Yukti-san is someone who is always light and steady; and upon hearing these things, I feel like I have a glimpse into the reason behind why she is light and steady. I was especially impressed by her saying, “myself carrying out the right way of living will bring many positive effects and influences to my surroundings.” It is about not seeing the external, but being firm with how you want to be and how you want to live.

Having an ideal, and making thoughts, words and actions as one—the conversations with her were not necessarily about Yoga, but they were full of the essence of Yoga. I remember that sometime ago, Anandamali-san said that Yukti-san is not necessarily using words from the teachings of Yoga, yet she goes directly to the essence of Yoga by herself jumping into the world and acting. I saw that.

I heard that Yukti-san would work in Osaka for some period of time, but she will eventually return to Ehime again. I thought that I should not just remain receiving this stimulus from her, but make it as food for my own walk, and grow, myself, until the next time I see her.

From Anandi:
One of the members is attracted to St. Thérèse; and Shri Mahayogi advised her to “think about God 24-hours a day.” Yet she kept saying for a few months that she was so interested in worldly matters that it was very difficult for her to do it. So, I mentioned about her to Yukti.

Then Yukti lent her the book called The Imitation of Christ. I heard that this book is considered to be almost like a second Bible, and Thérèse used to refer to this book often. I heard that Yukti told her, “Please live according to this book.” The reason why Yukti lent this book to her was because this book is written about the way devotees should be, and so she would be exposed to it. Yukti also told her to share with gurubai what is written there.

A few days after the conversation with Yukti, she shared with me that she realized that her reading of this book was so superficial and that her understanding was so shallow. The words of Yukti that Yukti had spoken very powerfully, deeply reminded her of something. Those words were:

“Since you have been practicing Yoga, I would like you to read this book, using Yoga as the base.”
“As each one of us deepens Yoga, we benefit others, just like how the article written by Karuna[3] has inspired us here in Japan!”
“We exist in order to praise God.”

[3] Echo from the Cave: 134

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