The Modern Yogi Sutra -
By Atmananda Das
Prologue to the Modern Yogi Sutra
You have asked about the nature of things real and unreal, well....
You are not these bodies or your mind
We are players on a temporary stage crafted on a breath of God
With no memory of who we are in origin or from where we come
Yoga gives an all-adaptive set of tools to guide us back to truth without relativity
Sometimes by focus, worship, or sacrifice, but now by love of spirit through song and dance
For understanding Yoga these nine topics are the key:
• ishvara [the source],
• atma [the soul],
• maya [the matrix – illusory matter],
• karma [destiny],
• dharma [duty],
• sadhana [practice],
• yukta-vairaghya [useful spiritualism],
• seva [service], and
• prema [non-material love],
No imposition of belief or cult or creed to swallow; Yoga is beyond dogma, sect and screed.
Begin with determination free of fault finding in other aspirants but with diligent discrimination
towards all teachers.
Let the focus of the journey be new habits, not epiphanies.
And now the Modern Yogi path begins...
The Modern Yogi Sutra
Ishvara [the source]
If God exists, he’d defy science & philosophy’s effort at containment, so the modern yogi
doesn’t accept an absolute blindly, just curiously.
We want our mentors pure and free of sin, but what if the darkness that stains their soul
provides them access to the light?
The sadhu is that indescribable personality who hypnotizes your heart with talk of God that
feels more like honey than words in your ear.
Time: a material incarnation of God relentlessly pushing forward an illusory game of endless
chances to learn we are spirit, not bodies.
You have heard, “fear of God is the beginning of wisdom”, but what God is this? It’s not God we’d
fear if we understood our position here.
Three energies the Vedas trace: the soul- infinite and full of grace; Maya- indomitable by us
alone, and Bhagavan- the sweet source of all.
In the absence of humility the gods themselves shake their heads at the futility.
Without a power greater than yourself you will have to rely upon yourself. I wish you all the
Atma [the soul]
Self knowledge is to freedom as oxygen is to water
A water drop stands in front of the endless ocean and say's "I am you." Lovingly the ocean
answers, "Only in quality..."
"We are all one” is a subterfuge based on half the truth, to persuade us to look up but not out.
Just look around. We are different too!
If someone tells you, “you are God”, run the other way, fast; or face false ego’s Death Star, the
allure of being greater than mystery
What poor imagination is the resignation to the half-baked notion: we’re all one? When difference
is just as fun. Defy dogma & dance with me.
If you reflect carefully on the metaphorical “heart” you might see the folly of following a
pitchman for all things temporal.
Instead of “follow your heart” yell through a window of the heart, “Wake up sleeping soul! Find
your true identity, temporarily forgotten."
One sin is real and worthy of our fear: ignorance of why we’re here.
You cannot love yourself until you know yourself and when you know yourself you will not need
to love yourself.
You cannot love yourself until you know yourself and when you know yourself you will not need
to love yourself.
Maya [the matrix – illusory matter]
From what fabric are memories born? That they can cut and grind more fiercely than the glass or
sand of earth?
A shared glance, a wisp of fire between us, I let it feel real, so once again I can search out
permanence, in a shop dedicated to transience.
Seeing your grace and beauty in this form I sigh and weakly smile; knowing the difficulty of
remembering my lust for you is longing for Him.
How to find solace on the inside & get my kicks above the waist, how many disappointments by
mother’s offer before I wake up to her promise.
My mind would fight the battles of my emotional body like Don Quixote. How can this predilection
to chase shadows so easily overwhelm reason?
Looking into faces of the humans all around me, it’s not a person that I see, but a constellation of
desires, like a star emblazoned sky.
Most caring Maya, upon graduating will I appreciate your deceptive dance as the laureate fondly
remembers the stern marm that set him right?
There’s one who does deserve your fear. One you cannot conquer on your own... Our dear
beloved Maya, the mother of all matter here.
Oh beloved Maya, Oh terrible temptress, what form of Goddess are you that promises everything
and delivers endless disillusion?
Prayer is the means to rekindle a spiritual connection. Why waste it whining for earthly chattel?
If you still think there is a woman or a man out there that will fulfill you and make you happy, you
just don't get it
There is a dark side to seeking certainty in an uncertain world that engenders a dishonesty that
leads to an unruly ignorance.
My Ma (or Maya) can’t be beat, she’s in origin all divine, I must surrender to her task and use my
love for her to free me from her hold.
Karma is what you are born with; dharma is what you do with it.
Mind and body are both matter and matter’s just a training tool to teach a slumbering spirit.
Making waking up what really matters.
Your thoughts do not create you, they reveal you.
Thoughts like flimsy bubbles float up from the river of action and behavior.
Like a monkey bound to rocket understands: the world is undone by actions, not thoughts.
To change your thoughts, change your behavior, to change your behavior change your goals, to
change your goals use your imagination.
Before coupling in that deepest and most delirious way, know that there is always an unseen price
Nothing is for free. The more the fire of desire is fulfilled, the higher goes the fee.
Don't worry about death. Worry about karma.
Humans may have originally created the institutions around us, but eventually these institutions
come to create us.
On matters political the yogi is aloof, but casts his weight and choice in favor of the weak.
The sadhu and the sociopath are near allied for only virtue separates them in their disconnection
from the influence of matter.
Intoxicants or flesh for food? What’s worse? One hurts only you-the other means you’re willing to
ignore the life of one who yearned to live.
If I forgive my foe(s), now and persistently, offering to bathe their feet, in chambers deep within
my mind, imagine the freedom I’ll attain.
Play the inner game of forgiving others in your heart, layering your tolerance with acceptance for
your part from an often unseen past.
The lazy pray for shortcuts, but the brave pursue and search with hungry glee the chance to test
resolve and feel alive.
The richest in the room is the one who needs the least: true wealth being proportionate to
The act of being in the Now is less about presence in the moment and much more about being
cognizant and accountable for our actions.
The modern yogi is part saint and part spy. A virtue minded operative on an assignment from the
Delight abounds when the strong are also tender.
Kindness without bravery is a storefront without wares.
The more powerful you are the humbler you can be. The humbler you are the more powerful you
The lesson of comportment in this age of quarrel and envy is screaming to be heard, that it’s not so
important WHAT you do but HOW it’s done.
The list of things you can’t control but think you can is long; the list of things you can but don’t is
really very short.
Festivals for Bhakti have an importance to the soul like the clapper for the bell. Surrender to
Sankirtan rings the bell tower of the heart.
Post-it for the mind: ‘Welcome Pain and Pleasure, here. You’re both inseparable and dear, and
must be courted without fear.
If, like me, you fail to be here now and most other times then let’s practice being Here. Inhale,
exhale-feel without fear whatever’s here.
Hope is free but happiness takes effort.
Journeying inward hunting fears, dragging them from tunnels where they flee the searing way in
which you see they're just smoke and mirrors.
Free will is hard to evidence, unless the acts you choose to do are ones you’d rather not.
Gratitude is spiritual dopamine. Taken regularly in can cure all the imbalances of the mind.
To attain serenity embrace uncertainty
To attain certainty embrace mystery
To attain clarity embrace humility
To attain strength embrace resilience
To attain love embrace separation
To attain peace embrace forgiveness
To attain joy embrace God
To attain God embrace the lowest born
Yukta-vairaghya [useful spiritualism]
Life is not truth. It is art; an art that will either free you or bury you.
Within these roles I play I long to make Him smile, and spark in you the hope that leads to dance
and floats your heart aloft.
Erasing superficially deep lines of character will fail. Engaged dysfunction, turns the flirt into
God's greeter, and the lover to priestess.
Resistance is futile. The more you avoid the discomfort of life the more you become a prisoner of
pain. To rise above, relish it all.
Optimist argues, “glass is half full.” Pessimist argues “half empty.” Yogi smiles, offers it up and
then drinks in His infinite Grace.
Fear of pain and discomfort builds the prison you call life. Resistance is futile. To rise above, relish
The power of now is weak soup for the modern yogi. Like a baby, purely in the now means
inoperably here. Try instead the power of choice.
One power of choice is what you speak. Don’t lazily exchange positive for negative, or moral for
immoral, bravely invoke spirit over matter.
Another power of your choice is what you hear; stories, sounds, and songs of God will vanquish
all you fear.
A most important power of choice extends to what you feel; from your body all around you, to
the emotions you require for the roles you play.
Your life is theater; with props, lines, and parts provided by the body, mind and roles of
everyday. The soul’s tools to tell its story...
Yogis feel more, not less. Exhale slowly: taste duality with your mind, draw no distinction, feel
without fear, that’s the power of choice.
Coming in first but losing the race, is the irony of thinking “me” instead of “we”.
a) You’re free if you believe you’re free
b) You’re free because you always were
c) You’re free when everyone you see is free
(For modern yogi’s the answer’s always C)
In days darkened by despair, hope's relit by selfless service. While pride prevents progress,
humility houses no handicaps.
In coupledom a secret passage winds its way through caverns of affection and embrace leading
to an intimacy that’s more kindness than carnal.
Two want to couple but by definition are unique, thus incompatible. The answer isn’t
compromise, but synthesize. Embrace the sum of the parts.
The synthesis of relationship is to depart, courageously, the well know world of self and live in
the new one generated by your love.
In duration relationships are measured through shared ambition and mutual mores, more so than
common interests or chemistry.
Prema [non-material love]
Left the spiritual world, forgot who you are and what you want, showing up here; to end up
chasing shadows of your heart’s forgotten love.
Once you’ve had a heart-spinning-soul-swelling taste of spirit you have to pretend with great
force to appreciate what’s left in this world.
Remembering a moment of intense erotic lust; ruminate on it as possibly a beacon, distinct, yet
just a hint, of hidden longing to love God.
Experiences sublime, including harmony and joy, lie not inside you but between you. The sweet
spoils of spirit are products of relationship.
The happiness from within is not triggered by a solo act but rather by a selfless act which perforce
includes another, as in we, (not me).
When friends celebrate you, joy and sadness dance together. So much love to share, so little time
to do it in; makes you explode with hope.
The person that you ache for, long for, the thought of whom sends you reeling, is a mirage; driven
by a forgotten desperation to be near God.
A debauchee like me moves closer to God remembering each lust filled lick is the taste of Spirit.
Spirituality is discovering your relationship with God. It’s not what you believe, it’s how you
The caliber of your connection with God is easily qualified: is it better than the best sex you've
Humility is to bliss as hydrogen is to water.
To guide you to your one true love, and join the spirit dance of celebration listen for the sounds of
love singing in your heart.
Chant Om Hari Om, Hare Krishna, Radhe-Radhe, Om Nama Shivaya, Om Mani Padme Hum,
Praise Jesus, Allāhu Akbar, Shalom
The Modern Yogi Sutra was written by Atma
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