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Aiming to Become a Yogi
The Meaning of Life. Part 1

Translation of an article of Sananda,

As one who has the spirit within, you must learn the purpose and the meaning of life. Then, you must reflect on it.
I wonder how many people truly consider it.
— Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa

Within the world’s bewildering velocity, we often lose ourselves, impelled by a vortex. At such times, unwittingly, it happens that my mind quiets down as if in a vacuum and the above saying of Shri Mahayogi appears in my heart. And then my mind gravitates towards the center of those words, gradually dissolving the tumult of the external world. And my intense desire to know why I am living wells to the surface. It is like wanting to meet a lover while my heart feels acute pain. My passion intensifies to know the wonders of my existence: Why am I here? Why am I living? What is life?

To learn the meaning and purpose of one’s life, to reflect on it, and to practice for it are most important. We all want to know for what purpose we are living. However, how many of us truly want to know with an intense desire and are seriously putting forth effort towards its realization? What is worth living for if we don’t know the purpose or the meaning of life. If the purpose of life is to work, if the purpose of life is to enjoy delicious foods, if the purpose of life is to earn money, or to pursue pleasures, what is the world worth in these pursuits?

I would like to know only one thing. What the yogis had, what they saw and what they knew. They must have touched a great secret that I do not yet know. They must have touched the secret of the soul. It illuminates my soul with vitality just to think about it. My heart throbs with joy and I offer a prayer:  “Oh, yogis, please bestow on me what you have seen and what you have known. Please teach me the secret of the soul. Please reveal the secret which is most near, yet never reachable through the intellect.”

Nevertheless, when the tumult of the world returns to my mind, such sacred moments recede from me and my mind is once again engulfed in a vortex.

The tranquility in the depths of the heart probably exists within everyone and that is what we must seek, however, it is not the world itself that tries to unleash my heart. I desire escape from the vortex and to abide in the depths of that tranquility because that is what I think the secret of the soul is and what the true form of myself is. And I think that to realize this is the meaning of life.

I wonder if you can honestly answer for what purpose you live. I think if you cannot answer then you must seek for it. Life is short. It passes so quickly but it is not too late. You must start even from this moment.

People are not born of their own will and are not alive of their own will. If a human were born of his or her own will, such questions would never occur. With such naturalness we know that we presently exist, however we don’t know who we are and we don’t know for what we exist. For all of these reasons we are troubled and we suffer. If I think about it, it seems quite strange.

According to yogic teachings, we are born to fulfill our karma. We must reincarnate again and again in order to receive the consequences of actions from previous lifetimes. Its continuation is binding and eternal.

It is similar to the way one must continue to wake up in the morning even though one may be relentlessly obliged to a hard life. Regardless of how we are happily forgetting our afflictions and sorrows while in deep sleep, by some force we are compelled to wake up and then again, on this day we have to suffer, too. Each day this pattern continues and then people wonder, “Why do I have to go through such a hard life? What am I living for?"

Shri Mahayogi says that one’s life is just like one day. After birth, one performs various actions and then death comes. If a cycle of a day repeats, then a cycle of life must repeat as well. This is understood as reincarnation.

Yogis penetrated this profound causality and they elucidated the teachings that express, the ego is born of ignorance and then evolves into subsequent lifetimes. I think we have learnt many teachings about the rule of causality. Now then, if life is created by the force of karma, is there meaning in life? If due to the cause of ignorance the ego is born, and further desires arise to create karma, and a life then appears, the origin of life is ignorance. What is the worth in things and events that occur by ignorance?

I think there is a big hint here. It is this: a search for the essential meaning of life is a search for the origin of reincarnation. That is, to destroy ignorance. “Ignorance” used here is not the commonly used meaning of ignorance which is to be simply unaware of things and matters. It is original or fundamental ignorance, the ignorance of the True Self. The question “For what are we living?” is nothing but latent self-inquiry.

Although what I’ve stated is merely an answer solved logically, it is also the answer that arose inside of me when I was trying to discover the true meaning of my life. To answer this question with true earnestness is Realization itself. To question, “For what do I live? What is the purpose of life?” is to arrive at the question of “Who am I?” and accords completely with the aim of Yoga.
Well, many of you may not be satisfied with my conclusion because to ask, “For what am I living?” usually means, “For what purpose do I act?”. “What can I do in this world?” or “What should I do to become happy?”. These questions occur due to the desire to act towards the external world or occur because of the desire to clarify the position of self in the world. Unless you acknowledge that our lives are for the Realization of the True Self, you may not be completely satisfied with this explanation.

Nevertheless, if you are living for doing anything else all is merely limited to the rule of karma and, after all, you can do anything the mind desires and the mind will merely create its meanings. Questions are meaningful only when we seek the true meaning of life.

Unfortunately, people generally do not attempt to seek with seriousness. When we are having a difficult time, the profound questions arise in us and for a short while we inquire, but then soon after, we are carried away by something that distracts our minds and the quest is quickly forgotten. The world is full of attractions. Especially in this hi-tech age, the abundance of amusements is more than one can handle so you have a plethora of options to fill the gaps in your mind. And, it is never ending. You work hard every day, you surround yourself with friends and you enjoy pleasures. And then, one day something unpleasant happens and you suddenly start to wonder again what you are living for. But you immediately attempt to forget the unpleasant through the diversion of some other pleasure. It is repetitious.

When I was younger, I believed that nothing was impossible in this world. I really thought that even Enlightenment could easily be obtained. As I grew older, walking through this world, at every step I have met with difficulties and obstacles before me, and the quest in me then arose. However, the quest temporarily disappeared with my sufferings whenever I engaged with the world’s amusements.  I have repeated this many times. This is exactly the power of karma, and knowing that the end of pleasure results in suffering, with thirst I had accumulated foolishness and then abandoned giving it power.

On the other hand, those who have enough experiences in life know that the mind stabilizes with the satisfaction or acceptance of one’s circumstances. Many consider that to “live well,” in good health everyday with a moderate amount of suffering and pleasure, is also a happiness or contentment, and that to live each moment with gratitude towards one’s simple existence is one of the truths of Yoga.

I sense that Yoga is not aiming at such vague and transient notions of happiness however. At the root of Yoga, there is absolute strength. In Yoga, I see a strength that is immovable without the manifestation of any trace of mental distraction, no matter how difficult situations are, regardless of any condition, even though the body may be hurt or dead.

The origin of this level of strength is Enlightenment. As a consequence of realizing immortal Truth, an absolute strength is realized. It is not happiness, which depends upon living with safety and security in this world. He, the yogi, says that his mind is always in stillness at the depths of the deepest ocean no matter if he is in the middle of a war or completely alone in a desert at night.

I think the reason why people can’t persevere with searching for the meaning of life is not only because of the attractions of the world, which the teachings actually explain to be illusions, but because of the difficulty of pursuing a quest for the absolute, which the mind cannot grasp. 

So then, I’ve made my aim in life to become a Yogi who is of substantial existence.

If there is such as thing as “completed human beings” they must be yogis. yogi is perfected. He is the aim of all people. He is in the highest state a person can attain. Yogis know the meaning of life. That is, they have destroyed ignorance and they have realized the True Self.

If I may say so, acknowledging my rudeness, what separates Shri Mahayogi and myself is only one thing. the mind. Or to make it simpler, I should say “ego” or “my and mine.&rdquo. If we remove these, which we adhere to and take importance in, the yogi then immediately emerges. What an unprecedented unfolding it will be.

Searching for the meaning of life in order to find our happiness ends in realizing that the goal is to remove our ego, “my and mine.&rdquo. This is not a trick, nor a play of words. We have to realize the True Self through tangibly experiencing it. Intellectual understanding is only the very first step.

To summarize my thoughts. The quest for the meaning of life leads to the realization of the True Self, that is, to remove the ego, “my and mine. And this is precisely the path of Yoga.

Everyone hopes for betterment. We hope to make tomorrow better. We hope to solve the problem today that we had yesterday. And we hope to become strong and immovable no matter what sufferings we endure. I think the final goal of us all is to become yogis.

Many of you may find the way yogis live to be strange. They are not rapt with the pleasures of the world and are detached from money and fame, or even a steady living; they are satisfied with a simple life and do not show any interest in luxurious lifestyles. The way they live is perhaps incomprehensible by those who struggle within societies, ambitious to be stronger and wealthier than others. But, if yogis know the secret of life, they live in the truth we haven’t realized. They must be holding the answer in the way they live.

The reason why people are bustling about with struggles is also because of the same desire for peace of mind. We strive to become stronger than others in order to discover an unbreakable, everlasting, universal tranquility. What we seek is the same. The difference is only in direction. We can try to competitively strive against various enemies by expanding our egos; however by removing the ego yogis have eliminated the enemy as well. The more we try to defend ourselves, the more the enemies strengthen themselves. When we lose our ego, the True Self awakens.

Well, many of you already know these things. The reality is that we know, but we can’t or don’t. Of course we know that it would be great if we could pursue a yogic lifestyle and we think we want to be like yogis. At the same time, our minds are pulled by worldly attractions and we attempt to enjoy and taste these pleasures.

“Why shouldn’t we enjoy this world. Life is short. What’s wrong with experiencing the pleasures of being alive by enjoying and tasting this world? Why shouldn’t I be satisfied working for an excellent company, having a great family and leaving peacefully without extravagance. Why shouldn’t I be satisfied with playing with the latest electronic gadgets that sometimes give me pleasure, traveling, eating delicious foods, doing volunteer work when I can, and living a quiet life. A life of severe spiritual disciplines and practice is tough and renunciation is hard to endure. Why shouldn’t I be satisfied with gratefully living life well in good health, without dreaming about realization of the absolute Enlightenment?”

These thoughts hovered over me before too. (Part2 —> )