Aphorisms of a Derelict Yogi
Sayings of a modern mystic who was down-on-his-luck
(more about the Yogi)

"F*ck can be a mantra if you say it right"

"F*ck can be a mantra if you say it right"


I'm starting off with this saying to show you what you're in for. I want you to see how unorthodox "the Yogi" was.

(By the way, I can't help but think how much he would have hated being called a "Yogi." He made no pretensions to any kind of "wisdom" or "enlightenment." Still, as I saw him, he was more advanced then most men, so I guess the label fits.)

Anyway, regarding this "aphorism" (if you can call it that):

He often said that it was not what you do, but how-- and especially why-- you do it that was important. Intention, he said, was everything.

He was fond of telling the story of the Zen master who killed a cat to for the benefit of his disciples. "That," he said, "was a sh*tty thing to do, but it was done with a pure intention, and that made it alright."


The story of Nansen and the cat is an example of what Buddhists call "Skillful Means" (Sanskrit upaya), the idea that a master can break the rules (here, the First Precept, which proscribes killing) if he or she sees a higher good in it.

But what the Yogi asserts in this aphorism flies in face of all we know about mantras. It's not only the intention that matters, but the words themselves. When Sanskrit mantras were adapted for use by the Chinese, they weren't translated, but transliterated, in an effort to maintain the efficacy (some would say the "magic") of the original sound. The translators felt that sound was more important than meaning.

So "Om Mani Padme Hum" was not translated (it means something like "Hail, the Jewel in the Lotus"), but rather it became "an ma ni ba mi mou," which is totally meaningless in Chinese. (According to one dictionary, the six characters represent: syllable ☼ [a modal particle] ☼ woolen material ☼ [denotes a sound or sharp noise such as gunfire etc.] ☼ [denotes a sound to call a cat] ☼ [denotes the sound made by a cow].)

☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼


  1. Is the Yogi right? Can f*ck be a mantra if you say it right?
  2. Would you be willing to learn from someone who stated things so crudely?

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