Birthday Bliss 2014

Reflections on Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

Gurumayi Answered My Hearts Prayer

I was born in Casablanca, Morocco. I grew up in a Muslim family, in a very spiritual atmosphere. My father followed the Sufi path and he used to tell me this Sufi saying: A great being nourishes, sustains, and protects the world by his or her own presence and perfect love. As a child I cherished this saying and kept it close to my heart. I focused on these two words: nourishes and protects. I remembered them often, especially when I was scared or going through a difficult time. 

I first came across the Siddha Yoga path in 1983, when I was a medical student at the University of Bordeaux, in France. The year before that I had begun to feel a burning desire to know God. It was a hunger: I wanted to be spiritually nourished. This longing made me very aware that I needed someone who had fully mastered the subject, someone who could teach me in a clear and specific way how to know God.

In February 1983, after participating in a conference about Siddha Yoga meditation held at my university, I knew I had found my Master: Gurumayi Chidvilasananda. 

In the years that followed, I experienced tremendous grace in studying Gurumayi’s teachings. I remember spending evenings after class reading Siddha Yoga books, and they truly fed me and gave me all that I needed; I felt nourished. The teachings helped me come closer to my goal of knowing God. And they helped me build a strong relationship with Gurumayi.

My relationship with Gurumayi deepened over those early years. Then, in 1987 in Paris, I attended my first satsang with Gurumayi, when she was on a Teachings Visit in Europe. What I remember most about receiving Gurumayi’s darshan that day was the joy and happy tears that came up so naturally. After receiving Gurumayi’s darshan, I became very involved in offering seva in the Siddha Yoga Meditation Center in Bordeaux, especially in the satsangs and the broadcast Shaktipat Intensives.

For many summers I visited Shree Muktananda Ashram with other Siddha Yogis from France to participate in center leader trainings and other courses. Although the visits during my summer vacation time were very short, they were incredible. During the rest of the year, since I lived in France, there was a geographic distance between my Guru and me. It did not matter, though—Gurumayi’s teachings brought her close to me.

Then, in 2001, as I went about my busy life with a big patient list and a successful clinic, I began to notice a shift within my being. By this point it had been a few years since I had seen Gurumayi in person. When I focused on this inner shift, I recognized it as a strong desire to have Gurumayi’s darshan once again, and to be in her physical presence. I started thinking of her and missing her a lot. This longing had a quality of both sweetness and burning desire—and it was constant. 

This yearning to be near Gurumayi continued—until one night when I had a dream of Gurumayi. In the dream, I was in a big meditation hall. I was all by myself, sitting on the floor, facing the pictures of the Siddha Yoga Gurus on the puja. I was praying intensely to Gurumayi, when a door on the side of the hall opened, and there she was! Gurumayi walked in—silent, majestic, radiant, and surrounded by a magnificent golden light. I felt overwhelmed by the power of her presence. When she reached my seat, she stopped. I could feel the waves of her shakti so strongly that I couldn’t even look up at her. I kept my eyes on her feet. Gurumayi put her hand on the top of my head and without her speaking, I heard her voice inside of me saying, "When are you going to understand that I am always with you?"

I woke up the next morning, deeply touched by what had happened and immensely grateful to Gurumayi for answering my prayer. I knew my darshan with Gurumayi had been real: Gurumayi had been there with me. She had shown me that we had never been separated—our love was perfect. 

Gurumayi’s teaching became the strongest command I have ever received.  I knew I had to follow this command. And so, during meditation one morning, I prayed that as I went about my day, I would keep, in my heart and mind, the knowledge that Gurumayi is always with me. This prayer has become a part of my regular practice. When I keep this awareness, everything in my daily life seems to align. There is a constant flow of love between Gurumayi and me, and that love flows out to people around me—to my patients, friends, and everyone I meet. Even when I am sitting by myself, I feel totally connected to this love, and it fills me with deep contentment.

Gurumayi has brought me to a greater understanding of that Sufi saying my father had taught me so many years ago: A great being nourishes, sustains, and protects the world by his or her own presence and perfect love. The Guru’s presence is everywhere, and that is how the Guru nourishes and protects the world. That is how the Guru nourishes and protects me, no matter how close or far away we are physically.

I understand now that Gurumayi is inviting me to let go of my sense of separateness and enter into that state of perfect union in which she lives all the time.

I am deeply grateful to my beloved Gurumayi for nourishing and protecting me in this way. This Guru-disciple relationship is the most precious part of my life—it is what sustains me.

 

About the Author

Khadija Laghrani Sharp began her Siddha Yoga practice in Bordeaux, France in 1983. She has offered seva as a Siddha Yoga meditation teacher in satsangs, Shaktipat Intensives, and Family Retreats in France. She has also served as a mentor and caretaker in the Taruna Poshana department at Shree Muktananda Ashram. Khadija is a gynecologist and homeopath, with five medical degrees from Bordeaux University. She lives in Bordeaux with her husband, Rudra. 

 

Click here to share
Thank you, Khadija, for sharing your moving experience of the Guru-disciple relationship. After reading it, an inner prompting led me to have once again the darshan of Gurumayi’s Message Artwork for 2014. When I beheld the Artwork and looked at the Blue Pearl, suddenly I had a profound experience of Gurumayi's presence emanating from the Artwork. I instantly felt her immensely powerful and benevolent love and protection, and simultaneously, a welling up of tears of gratitude and devotion.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for the innumerable forms of your teachings and your profound love. As always, in the month of Birthday Bliss, you shower us with blessings.

a Siddha Yogi from Washington, USA

Thank you, Khadija, for reminding me that Gurumayi is so close to me, that she is my inner Self—always and everywhere. When I think of the Reflections on Gurumayi that I could write, I realize how very much I have to be thankful for in my time on the Siddha Yoga path.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for everything I receive from you all the time!

a Siddha Yogi from Melbourne, Australia

Khadija's experience was very vivid, and it gave me the opportunity to relive mine. The line between the physical Guru and the inner Guru has blurred to an extent that I feel her presence with me all the time. Thank you, Khadija, for reinforcing my belief that I converse with Gurumayi within. 
 
This online satsang enables me to be in touch with the sangham, as there is no Siddha Yoga meditation center nearby. As I read the Reflections and shares by fellow disciples treading the Siddha Yoga path, I am filled with gratitude to Gurumayi for the way that Siddha Yoga is reaching us throughout the world. 
 

a Siddha Yogi from Wellington, India

Thank you so much, Khadija, for this insightful share. When you described Gurumayi appearing in a dream and touching the top of your head, I felt waves of shakti go through me.
 
In the past when I have felt the physical distance separating me from Gurumayi, I would ask for darshan during my meditation and dreams. When I did receive darshan in those ways, I would think Gurumayi had come to me. But now I understand that there is no coming and going. Gurumayi is always within me, lives in me as my own Self.  
 
I am going to incorporate your practice of saying "Gurumayi is always with me" throughout my day.
 

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

Thank you, Khadija. Your words resounded inside me so powerfully. The more I read, the more I was saying to myself, "That's me! That's how I feel inside my heart!"
 
When I arrived at the description of the dream, I too was overwhelmed by the compassion of our beloved Guru, Gurumayi. 
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for your support and protection.
 

a Siddha Yogi from Rome, Italy

Wow! What a beautiful Reflection! Thank you, Khadija. 
 
It has special resonance for me today. I woke up after dreaming about being in Shree Muktananda Ashram, went to my window, and looked out at this beautiful day. Spontaneously, I said, "Thank you, Gurumayi. I feel you in every part of my being right now. I see you in everything." I did not plan on those words—they came out in a flow of gratitude.  
 
After 24 years as a student of Siddha Yoga, I am finally getting this core teaching: there is no distance between myself and Gurumayi.
 

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

Thank you so much, Khadija, for reflecting on your experience and sharing it. I was repeatedly reminded of "disciple's grace" while reading your Reflection—it's our love and desire to know God that take us to closer to the Sadguru. The more we experience the truth of the Sadguru's words, the more we open up to the Guru within us in the form of the awakened Shakti.
 
This Reflection affirms my understanding of the value of living with the constant awareness of the Guru inside us, the Guru who unceasingly guides us from within. Thank you so much, Gurumayi, for your love and guidance. And thank you to the Siddha Yoga sangham for your Reflections and shares, which keep us all connected with the experience of Birthday Bliss

a Siddha Yogi from Chennai, India

Thank you, Khadija, for your wonderful Reflection. My longing too is sweet, and it certainly "nourishes and sustains" me.
 
During the Birthday Bliss month I feel even closer to Gurumayi. It seems that every hour of my day is colored by Gurumayi's presence. As I walked through the art galleries at Tate Modern here in London the other day, drinking in the glorious colors of Henri Matisse's cutouts, I thought, "Oh Gurumayi, I wish you could see this!" In that moment of sheer joy I realized she was beside me, making my enjoyment and enthusiasm so much greater.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi.

a Siddha Yogi from London, United Kingdom

I am so very grateful for this Reflection. Longing to see Gurumayi's physical form, persevering in one's sadhana, and then recognizing Gurumayi's presence within you is the most miraculous experience. I remember this every time I read verse 180 from Shree Guru Gita, where Lord Shiva says to Parvati: mamatma'si sada priye, "O beloved, you are my very Self forever." That perfect moment of realization changes everything, forever.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi! Thank you, Khadija! 

a Siddha Yogi from Massachusetts, USA 

It seems to me that these beautiful "Reflections on Gurumayi" could also be entitled "Reflections of Gurumayi." 
 
It is so inspiring to read how Siddha Yoga students all around the world are sharing the Guru’s love by taking the lessons they learned when they spent time offering seva in one of the Siddha Yoga Ashrams and applying them in their daily lives in so many different ways and for the benefit of others.
 
It feels as though Gurumayi has created an invisible string of lights which extends around the world, and through the Siddha Yoga teachings and practices, we can become beacons that reflect the Guru’s light. 
 
So thank you, Gurumayi. And thank you also to the sevites and students who are helping to sustain this worldwide web of love!

a Siddha Yogi from London, United Kingdom

Thank you, Khadija, for sharing your wonderful and meaningful dream with us. It felt as if Gurumayi were saying those words to me right here and now: I am always with you. My thoughts stopped for a moment and my heart leaped up. I felt enveloped by Gurumayi's love and my whole being felt at ease.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for your grace. And thank you, everyone—the Reflection writers, the team supporting the Siddha Yoga path website, and surely many more sevites—for all the seva that you are offering so that we may experience Gurumayi's darshan again and again.

a Siddha Yogi from Katzenbach, Germany

I too have experienced the longing to be in Gurumayi's presence, which Khadija describes. So today, inspired by the message in Khadija's dream, I have created a new prayer—to repeat each time I meditate and to print out and keep in front of me on my desk:  “May I never forget that Gurumayi is always with me in my heart and mind.”
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for your constant, ever-present love. And thank you, Khadija, for this beautiful Reflection.

a Siddha Yogi from Massachusetts, USA