Recognizing Divinity

An Account of a Siddha Yoga Chanting Satsang
with Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

Shree Muktananda Ashram
July 4, 2015

By Shivani Cooper and Purnima Siew

Part VII

Click here to read Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V and Part VI

One young adult from Spain shared with Gurumayi that last year he had offered seva in Gurudev Siddha Peeth for the first time, and he’d had the time of his life. One reason why his visit to India was so memorable was that he made many new friends. He now wanted to honor these friends by conveying to Gurumayi their love for her.

Another young man—a staff member in the SYDA Foundation who is currently serving in the Siddha Yoga Ashram in Oakland, California—expressed his love to Gurumayi and also conveyed love from his fellow sevites as well as from the
Siddha Yogis in his hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah.

A sister and brother—visiting sevites originally from Baroda, India, and currently living in Australia—informed Gurumayi that all the Siddha Yogis in Gujarat are sending loads and loads of love.

As we heard these Siddha Yogis sharing with Gurumayi we were so inspired by their generosity. They were showing that they knew the value of this moment of darshan and wanted to include their families and friends in receiving Gurumayi’s love and blessings.

Later, as we were writing this account, we realized that this darshan embodied one of the verses from Shri Guru Gita, the central text of the Siddha Yoga path glorifying the Guru. This verse extolls the power of Guru bhakti, devotion to the Guru.

Blessed is the mother (of a devoted disciple),
Blessed is the father, blessed is the family and ancestry.
Blessed is the earth (on which he walks).
O Goddess, (such) devotion to the Guru is very rare.1

During darshan, two children expressed to Gurumayi with great confidence that they wished to perform for her. Gurumayi directed them to a sevite in the Music Department, who arranged for the children to offer their music. One ten-year-old girl played a song on the keyboard. As she played the first few chords of the song, the musicians glanced at one another, clearly impressed by this young girl’s skill and focus.

An eleven-year-old girl sang a beautiful rendition of the jazz standard, “On the Sunny Side of the Street.” We felt that with the beautiful rain showers gracing the gardens outside, this darshan hall had become the sunny side of the street!

As darshan was concluding, Gurumayi noticed four beautiful young women of Indian descent sitting side by side in front of her. Gurumayi asked them, “What brings you all together?” All four giggled and chuckled and said nothing. Gurumayi again asked, “Did you plan to come for darshan all together?” Still giggling, they replied, “No, it just happened.” Gurumayi said, “You look like a musical quartet. What song have you planned to sing?” Surprised and delighted, they looked at one another and giggled some more. Gurumayi smiled and said, “I’m serious— what will you be singing?” Then, to make matters easier, Gurumayi said, “What chant will you be singing?” Unhesitatingly, one of the young women exclaimed,
Om Gurudev!

Gurumayi said, “Great! Take the mics.”

The four young women eagerly took mics and stood by the windows to the front garden. It was so beautiful to watch and listen as they offered their love through their chanting.

As they chanted, Om Guru, Om Guru, Om Gurudev / Jaya Guru, Jaya Guru, Jaya Gurudev in the Darbari raga, who could resist joining in! We all rejoiced—another opportunity to chant with Gurumayi.

Together we chanted, and chanted, and chanted. The air seemed to be overflowing with love. It was a perfect culmination to this satsang—chanting salutations to the divine Guru with our beloved Gurumayi in this celebration during Gurupurnima month.

As the chant continued, Gurumayi stood and began walking toward the upper lobby. We all rose to our feet, conveying our immense respect and gratitude to Gurumayi. Chanting and chanting with all our hearts, with all our love, we wanted our voices to represent our 100% support of Gurumayi’s work, Gurumayi’s mission.

When Gurumayi reached the top of the steps leading out of the lower lobby, she turned to look at all of us and raised both her arms.

We felt Gurumayi was acknowledging and receiving all our support.

This filled us with even more gratitude. We raised our arms as well and proclaimed as one, “Sadgurunath Maharaj ki Jay!”

This was the ecstatic culmination of the satsang with Gurumayi, Recognizing Divinity.

 

1 Shri Guru Gita, verse 169. English translation from The Nectar of Chanting (South Fallsburg, NY: SYDA Foundation, 1983), p. 53.

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