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My Encounter With Sukyo Mahikari

Updated on November 26, 2017
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Tales From The Road

I have been driving "e-hailing taxi" for some time now. You know "e-hailing taxis"? Uber should be the most well-known e-hailing taxi service. We too have Uber in our country, but I choose to drive for our local "Grabcar".

It was during one of those routine trips that I picked up one passenger in front of my local Sukyo Mahikari center or in short “Mahikari”. She was a young girl in her early twenties, standing ready and waiting for my arrival. I could sense that she took the trouble to wait outside for me. Once she saw my car she responded with a wave and a most natural smile. Upon seeing her coming towards my car with a smiling face, I felt a sense of inner happiness. As it was my first pick up for the afternoon, I was indeed very happy. The moment she got into my car, we started chatting until the end of the trip. Because of my personal life issues, I especially have very sensitive feelings with polite and friendly young people. I asked her whether she came out from the Mahikari center. When she confirmed that she was from the Mahikari center, I proceeded to ask her about Mahikari. She explained that members of Mahikari performed the practice of “giving light” to others. I asked her whether I could visit the center when she was around and she responded with a quick, “sure you’re most welcome”. That started my encounter with Sukyo Mahikari.

Sukyo Mahikari World Shrine, Takayama, Japan

What Is Sukyo Mahikari

This is what I gathered from the Sukyo Mahikari website.

Being a spiritual organization, Sukyo Mahikari has a short history, starting in Japan in 1959.

Sukyo Mahikari or Mahikari in short is a center for spiritual development, where people can go to receive divine light and learn about positive spiritual practices. The center provides a quiet and pleasant environment where people can learn how to improve their lives and help others to improve theirs. Mahikari spiritual principles encompass all the universal truths of people’s relationship with God. Mahikari practices the giving and receiving divine light emanating from a universal life force from a high dimension, often referred to as God. Since the term “God” is mentioned, it is better for me to clarify that one does not have to believe in “God” to participate in light giving and receiving. “God” is just a concept to denote an invisible energy force or whatever one may want to call it. As such, this practice is a direct experience of spiritual energy and is open to everyone without regard to religion. The purpose of this light giving and receiving is solely for spiritual development, although positive effects on the physical body may be a complementary result.

Entrance to Penang Mahikari Center

The narrow path leading to the gate of Penang Mahikari Center
The narrow path leading to the gate of Penang Mahikari Center | Source
Path leading to the shrine hall
Path leading to the shrine hall | Source
Corridor leading to the door of the shrine hall.
Corridor leading to the door of the shrine hall. | Source
The main door of the dojo or shrine hall.
The main door of the dojo or shrine hall. | Source

The Mahikari Center In Penang, Malaysia

The Mahikari center in Penang is a lesser known spiritual organization located rather obscurely in a quiet and remote housing estate, called Taman Chantek, on the way to the Penang Hill Railway Lower Station, in Ayer Itam. This center has a rather small but close-knit community. Surprisingly there are many members living near the center. That makes commuting very ideal. I too live within walking distance from the center. Is this divine arrangement?

My very first impression on entering the Mahikari center was that it had a Japanese setting. From the outside it is already very unusually, as the narrow entrance is sandwiched between two residential houses. One has to walk through the narrow pathway to reach the main gate. On reaching the main gate there stands the simple single-storey main hall, with a few connecting structures around it. On the right leading to the main hall is a simple but neat little sandy garden which resembles a Zen temple compound. The main hall or "dojo" is the center of its spiritual activities where participants give and receive "divine light". The floor is carpeted with a light beige short-hair carpet. For receiving light, participants sit on chairs, and ended with a lying face-down position. At the end of the session, prayers are done Japanese style with all the chairs removed, and members sit Japanese style on the carpet floor.

When my wife and I first visited the center, I had a short conversation with a senior member and was impressed with his very short and direct explanation of life’s philosophy. I was impressed by his succinct explanation. He explained that the purpose of receiving "light" was to purify our "body, mind and spirit" to return to our pure nature, ridding off negative thoughts and behavior, and increasing our pure positive nature. That was good enough for me. No other irrelevant and unnecessary preaching.

Transmitting and receiving divine light

Good Guy receiving light from Sheng Han
Good Guy receiving light from Sheng Han | Source

My Happy Encounters With The People of Mahikari.

I wish to share my personal experiences in association with members of the Penang Mahikari center, especially two remarkable persons. The members have given their permission for me to introduce them here. One young man is the brother of the young lady passenger. By the way this young lady's name is Shu Yi, and her elder brother is Sheng Han. The other person is Francis Tan, a more senior member of Mahikari Penang, being active since its appearance here more than 30 years ago. I shall relate how I met Francis later in this article.

At time of writing this, it has been many times already that my wife and I received “divine light” at the Penang center, and it was always this young man, Sheng Han who would personally give ”light” to me. There were always familiar faces whenever we were there. This confirmed that although the members were not substantial, they were a committed lot. It was always a pleasant evening out for both my wife and me whenever we visited the center, as we got to meet and chat with all the most polite young members.

The “giving light” session would take about an hour, in three different positions. The first position is the face-to-face sitting position with eyes closed and hands in prayer position. Then there will be the back-facing position, where I will be seated with my back facing the light giver. The final position is the face-down lying position. This is most relaxing where most times I would fall asleep intermittently in short spells. I was assured it was all right to fall asleep. The whole session is very relaxing and soft conversation is allowed. But for me I usually practice my meditation in silence.

Mahikari youths with my wife

From Left: My wife, Shuyi, Shenghan and Sooteng
From Left: My wife, Shuyi, Shenghan and Sooteng | Source

Shu Yi with us at the Mahikari Center

"Light" above my head??
"Light" above my head?? | Source

My Newfound Spiritual Friend

As if it was prearranged by some unseen hands, that I subsequently picked up on two separate occasions, another two passengers associated with the same Mahikari center. Was it a mere coincidence, thrice in a row? I don't believe so. I picked up Francis Tan one day near my house, while driving my Grabcar. This was about a month after picking up my first passenger Shu Yi from Mahikari. Below was my posting on my Facebook, under topic of “Tales from the road”.

["Hey you have a very special name!" He exclaimed with contagious enthusiasm.

My immediate thought was, "Not again, he is making fun of my name."

He continued, "Hey brother, you have the most powerful name in the world. When I saw your name, I told my daughter that someone very important was coming to fetch me."

This increased my curiosity. Later I found out that my name sounded like a powerful deity or someone very important. Then somehow he mentioned giving light to others, and he was going to Kuala Lumpur to attend a conference, or something like that.

"Are you with Sukyo Mahikari?" I asked.

That immediately "lighted" him up. No wonder he could give light to others.

Then I told him I met a young lady from Mahikari the other day. That brightened up the conversation until we reached his destination.

Not to prolong this posting, let me say that we have subsequently met again at the Mahikari Centre. My inner feeling is that this is more than a mere coincidence.]

This remarkable and jovial person is Francis Tan. I did not learn much about Mahikari but his wise and positive approach towards life sums it all. He is quintessentially Mahikari. Francis Tan is the embodiment of what Mahikari teaches. He seems to be able to read minds, or least my mind, and he speaks as if knowing my inner thoughts. Francis Tan is now my closest spiritual friend. He seems to understand my inner feelings and my whole life as well. This is Francis Tan to me.

First meeting in my "Grabcar"

The indefatigable Francis Tan
The indefatigable Francis Tan | Source

What Else For Me With Mahikari

What the future holds for me with Mahikari and Francis Tan, I really do not know. The only feeling I have is that my life is enriched just by associating with all the members of Mahikari, especially Francis Tan and Sheng Han.

Oh yes, the only thing I know about Mahikari is that anyone can "give light" after attending a 3-day course conducted by Mahikari. This will be the starting point to join the Mahikari community.

By the way, Sukyo Mahikari means "Universal principles through God's divine light". Sukyo means "universal principles" and Mahikari means "God's divine light".

An introduction to Sukyo Mahikari

Sukyo Mahikari -The art of True Light

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      Peter Koh-Singapore 2 weeks ago

      Francis is a wonderful practitioner of Light. Please continue to go to the dojo and I wish you well in your journey towards the Creator God.

      My wife was a kumite from Penang center until her family migrated to SG.