Reflections on Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

A Vital Change

The first Siddha Yoga event I ever attended was the satsang on New Year’s Day 1997 at the Siddha Yoga Meditation Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At that time, I appeared to be living “the good life.” I had everything I thought I wanted: I had a successful career as a dentist, I had a loving circle of friends and family, and I excelled as a competitive tennis player. Yet deep down I knew I wanted something more. Often I would ask myself, “What is all this for?”

In her Siddha Yoga Message talk, Wake Up to Your Inner Courage and Become Steeped in Divine Contentment, which I heard during that first satsang, Gurumayi invited us to “Summon forth the power of your inner courage and live the life of your dreams.” This invitation rang a wake-up bell for me. The life of my dreams! What would that look like?

As I continued to walk the Siddha Yoga path, I kept contemplating this question and searching for the answer. During a visit to Shree Muktananda Ashram in the summer of 2001, I learned about the work of The PRASAD Project. The PRASAD Project was initiated by Gurumayi and its humanitarian work is inspired by the teachings of the Siddha Yoga path. PRASAD works side by side with communities to provide sustainable development, education, and health services to people in need. The more I learned about The PRASAD Project, the more I knew what the life of my dreams would be: I wanted to offer my work in service.

In 2002, leaving behind my established life in Argentina, I moved to the United States to work in the dental clinic of one of the programs of The PRASAD Project, in Sullivan County, New York. It was a huge life change, and I embraced it with joy, faith, and courage. I felt that I was fulfilling the purpose of my birth.

From the very beginning I have loved the work of The PRASAD Project. I love the values that Gurumayi has taught us and that are at the core of PRASAD’s vision: recognition of the inherent dignity and worth of each person, and respect and love for our fellow human beings. It is also because of Gurumayi’s inspiration that PRASAD works in partnership with the people we serve, holding the conviction that they have the capacity to improve the quality of their lives. Each one of the programs carries the blessings, love, and compassion that flow through Gurumayi’s grace and teachings, and everyone who comes in contact with these programs—the thousands of people who receive services as well as those who serve—feels that. This is what makes PRASAD so remarkable and unique. It is a charitable work that carries the teachings and blessings of a Siddha Guru.

Just last week a young boy in Sullivan County called the dental clinic assistant and asked, “When will you come and take me to the clinic again?” This request from children to come and see the dentist happens very often at PRASAD. They feel safe and happy in the clinic environment. One young girl said recently, “They make me feel comfortable. I have a good time.”

The children sense the respect and love that underlie the service. And as a result, they are motivated to take care of their health and they encourage their friends and family to do so also. Everyone experiences Gurumayi’s love and grace, made so tangible through the work of this organization. The impact of PRASAD’S work goes far beyond the actual services. It is holistic, humanitarian work that inspires well-being in the communities served.

Over the years of seeing and hearing how people have improved their health and received blessings through The PRASAD Project, I recognize how powerfully Gurumayi’s grace has transformed my life as well. I have become a happier person by learning how to serve people. PRASAD’s work has filled my life with beauty and meaning. I know that I am contributing to making a difference in the lives of many people every day, and for me that is the most rewarding work imaginable.

Gurumayi gave me the inspiration and courage to make a vital change and find meaning in my life. Now I can truly say that I am living the life of my dreams.

 

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