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Aiming to Become a Yogi
The Meaning of Life. Part 2

Translation of an article of Sananda,

My view of happiness may be a general view of current times.

The way of this idea is attractive, because the idea that it’s enough to moderately practice Yoga as you find appropriate—practicing asana and meditation for the mind and body, applying yogic teachings to daily life, loving others and conducting services for others while living with a moderate amount of pleasures, living without too much attachment to various worldly amusements—is truly quite reasonable. The teachings of Yoga are very useful for diminishing sufferings, and asana and meditation do strengthen the mind and body. They are greatly beneficial for carrying one through the storms of life.

What does this mean. It means that my desire is to enjoy life through the suitable application of the teachings into my daily life. It sounds truly plausible but, actually, I reject this idea on the basis of three reasons.

Firstly, the thing is, life doesn’t go as we wish. The wish is based on the assumption that I will do well socially. It is based on the premise that I will do well financially, in terms of my health, my human relations and jobs.

It is impossible.

Suppose that the circumstances of our birth are determined by the rule of karma, that is, it is undetermined by our will and beyond our control. A modest actualization of happiness relies on past actions, however no one can fully have confidence in one’s past actions and conduct. And no one knows when the curtain will fall on a humble life. Even if things go fine in life, I wonder how much weight there is in such a life. I wonder what meaning there is in living, enjoying moderate pleasures and tasting moderate sufferings.

Of course, you could live without wondering about the meaning of life and in this way you could just let go of the days of the past with a certain amount of complacency. However, although it may appear as if you are living a life of joyful ease, in fact you are a slave to the demands of the desires in your mind, like sad fishes desperately struggling to find a tiny puddle on a dry seashore not knowing that a great ocean is so close.

Furthermore, we have forgotten about Death. The ancient scripture, THE UPANISHAD, mentions that the most mysterious thing in the world is that no one thinks they die. There is no promise that you will not die tomorrow. We know, intellectually at least, that we must certainly die one day, but we don’t confront our own deaths in reality. When death comes to you, all will vanish into the mist.

Secondly, there is no such thing as “moderate Yoga. Characteristic of Yoga is ardent thoroughness. I think the spirit of Yoga—which fully solves the science of the mind in a way that modern science and psychology still cannot for lack of inquiry into universal truth—is proven in the way that yogis live.

For example, we know that “to do good for others” is a good thing. And we praise the actions of saintly beings such as Mother Teresa. However, if we look within, we know we haven’t entirely renounced self-pleasure. And we ask for a life that is a mixture of self-pleasures as well as the pleasures of serving others. At first sight, we may convince ourselves this is enough. But the way of life that is the yogi’s aim is complete self-sacrifice and self-renunciation. The “self” is ego-consciousness. Through thoroughly renouncing egoistic desires yogis aim to awaken the True Self.

The difference between the conventional view of happiness and the way yogis live is in the acceptance or abandonment of egoistic desires. Supposing the worldly view of happiness is rooted in the fulfillment of egoistic desires, these desires contradict the truth of Yoga. Although, practically speaking, the expression “egoistic desires” is vague. Is the desire for realizing Yoga an “egoistic desire”. The answer is no.

The principle of the power of the mind to desire is the same but what’s important here is the object of desire. Because the objects of the world are necessarily limited, they are not-truth. They are not everlasting. Consequently because they are limited, they can only be objects of egoistic desires. However, if the object of desire is Yoga, which means eternal Truth, when the desire for Yoga reaches an intense height, it will become universal “desire. What is universal cannot be egoistic.

Therefore, the way of living to enjoy life, appropriating Yoga suitably, is no longer Yoga. In the process of practice such conditions may happen, but as long as the yogi keeps the original aim of Yoga steadfast, nothing is left undone.

So the way of living that enjoys Yoga by halves means the giving up of Yoga, which is a big problem. Better not to do it at all if only done halfway.

However, the true reason for the rejection of my idea is the third one. my soul cannot be satisfied with such “moderate Yoga."

I think that even if I could spend my whole life without lack of sensory pleasure, I would feel my life was a failure if I could not realize this one thing. I feel sadness if I think that my life could end without ever touching the state yogis have realized.

You may object by saying that saintly beings like yogis are extremely special and that not everyone can realize the Truth like they did, and that for the general populace it is fine to live life experiencing our emotions, settling down within society. But such compromised ideals cannot convince my soul. Suppose I fall in love with someone who is beyond my social means, can I give up loving her for social reasons. She is human, the same as I. Social identification is a creation of the mind. In the same way, even if I am consumed with “sinfulness,” I can still desire Enlightenment just like the Buddha did. This is what being in love means.

It is said that, “Enlightenment is nothing special but within all as the essence. Still, Enlightenment clearly exists. Shri Mahayogi says, “It is just like waking up in the morning.&rdquo. When we wake up in the morning we all realize we woke up. 

At the moment, I am in a dream world. And, I haven’t realized yet. Whatever I say in a dream remains of a dream. No matter what I try to do in the dream world, no matter what kind of happiness I experience, it is only a transient dream. The views of happiness that I had in this world are a transient dream that I dreamed in a dream. It vanishes as the sun rises. I want to awaken no matter what, more than anything.
I often think that I want to see what yogis have seen. This simple longing is my motivation. Don’t you want to see what the Buddha realized. Don’t you want to experience tangibly the words, “Everything is One,” as proclaimed by saints and sages. I think the meaning of life is the meaning of the existence of a soul and in this there is a significance that is incomparably sacred and pure. And I think that to realize the meaning of the essence of one’s existence has to be taken as the greatest priority more than any other matter in this world. For certain, all things and events carry on and life moves quickly without us concerning ourselves with Enlightenment. But all is merely carried by the force of karma. Regardless if people are made happy by success in this world, if they don’t know who they are, their happiness is only another event in a dream.

I admit that the ordinary approach to a “moderate Yoga” is my own self-complaint that arises when I have hardships. Such an approach is a compromise of my ideals, when I feel my own lack of strength toward the actual practice, discipline and realization of Yoga due to various difficulties. When a sense of failure attacks me, a sense of defeated self-confidence about my strength fully clouds my mind with deception, and inquiry of the True Self is left forgotten.

There is nothing more foolish than investing oneself in vain sensory pleasures and sufferings without knowing the True Self, which is filled with the light of unlimited victory. To be human, is it not worth more than wasting away the life that has been given by constantly working like a horse and then being made a fool of that life does not always go the way one wants. If not, there is no meaning in living a long life. 

Regardless of my profound feelings, the stirrings of my mind often obscure the teachings of Yoga, attempting to wash me away.

Many times, tormented by such adverse winds, from the depths of my heart I recall the divinity of Shri Mahayogi and then his, my Mster’s, everlasting teachings resonate within my mind, rescuing me back to the path. It is so peculiar how the eternal teachings appear from the depths of my heart like revelations, and my exhausted mind and body immediately fills with a truly vibrant, reviving prana.

I believe that the human being’s true nature is much higher than what we think. Shri Mahayogi is such a being, so we too must be able to heighten ourselves to dignity and pure humanity. And I think these saints and sages descend into the world in order to demonstrate it for us. The only purpose why such completed souls descend or remain in this world is to teach us. Because we can’t believe without seeing the evidence, they teach what God is through their existence. And they show us that we too can reach it. They appear in order to reveal our true essence we have forgotten. To be able to sense the divinity in Shri Mahayogi indicates that there is within us the same. How can we sense something that is not within us as well?

Many of you might say, “It is impossible for us to become divine beings like them. Severe Yoga practices and disciplines cannot be pursued by just anyone. True, the path of Yoga may be hard. The mind that is adapted to ease cannot readily depart from comfort. And yet, if you walk little by little without discouragement, it is surely possible to come closer.

Another thing that should not be misunderstood is that yogic practices and disciplines are not austerities practiced in caves. Although many ancient yogic methods were of the way of worldly renunciation by becoming monks or practicing in such places, compassionate yogis have appeared in different eras showing what is advisable for each time and place. Therefore, nothing particular is required. What else is needed for awakening into our own essence. In fact, it is known that people who gather around yogis, who emit the teachings of the Truth, come to taste the joy of the True Self by actualizing stillness of the mind naturally and quickly through such exposure. It has been conveyed that such things happened around the Buddha in ancient times and around many other saints and sages. In more contemporary times, it has been recorded that within Shri Ramana Maharshi's" ashram there was a much-loved cow named Lakshmi who attained Enlightenment through the blessings of Shri Ramana Maharshi. I am sure that Lakshmi could not practice asana, breathing exercises or austerities. But through her continuous devotion and love for Maharshi, her mind was purified and attained Enlightenment. This shows that the completion of Yoga is possible without knowledge of any philosophies.

What I want to say here is that, we should not give up the sincere search for the meaning of life. And if you do by chance momentarily refrain, listen again to the voice in your heart and always walk towards the origin of that voice. Yoga is not about undergoing severe practices and disciplines while blindly brandishing an ancient logic. Yoga is purely to awaken from illusion, the illusion of the non-reality of the world that after all is nothing but what binds you to pleasure and suffering, and to see what is True.

I would like to add that the practices and disciplines of Yoga is open for everyone and that it is possible for each one of us to persevere with the aim of Yoga at our own sincere pace in this modern life. Yoga is far-reaching in its scope and depth.
Now, how many people will aim for Enlightenment in this world. Even I often doubt whether I myself am truly aiming for Enlightenment. When I see what burning, inspired enthusiasm the saints and sages had, I realize that the fire within me is still so little.

According to the records of the lives of great yogis, such as Shri Ramakrisna or Vivekananda, they suddenly unearthed the profound meaning of life and blazed ahead renouncing everything for what they experienced. They touched something that made them renounce all for It. I think they must have seen something worth total renunciation. Why are there only a few who touch this “something”. We could say that these beings were supposed to realize it before their birth, however I think it is only a difference in degree. We have all touched this “something” within ourselves and we sometimes feel It like they felt. It is about the truly simple within our existence. When we feel it, we should progress with straightforward whole-heartedness towards It. And this is the path of yogis.

The above are my thoughts on the meaning of life. I suggest that you, too, occasionally think with seriousness about the meaning of life. 

Good luck!