Birthday Bliss 2014

Reflections on Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

My Guru was Waiting for Me

The first time I heard Gurumayi's voice, I was still in my mother's womb. I was infinitely blessed to receive her divine darshan before I was even born. Once I had entered the world as an infant, she gave me my name: Vanita, “beloved.” From that moment on, I have been encircled with her grace and protection. As a child, when I thought of Gurumayi, my heart would fill with love and wonder. I felt wonder because I had seen her before me in human form, but I had also experienced her love in a divine way.

The first time I truly experienced and began to comprehend that Gurumayi was the embodiment of Consciousness was when I was eleven years old. I spent two months in Shree Muktananda Ashram while my mother was offering seva, and that summer changed my life. That was when I started to experience Gurumayi’s presence in meditation in the form of light and serenity. That was when I began to relate the vibrant, physical being whose energy was palpable and whose laugh reverberated through Shri Nilaya with the divine darshan I was receiving within.

My inner longing for God was awakened quite naturally. I recognized that I was becoming a seeker. And I began to write frequent letters to Gurumayi, with pages filled with questions: “Have I received shaktipat?” “What is the true meaning of Consciousness?” I was hungry for knowledge of the Self, and that is when I first felt the deep longing for God within my being.

The first clear memory I have of celebrating Gurumayi's Birthday in her presence also took place that summer at Shree Muktananda Ashram. I remember dancing, laughter, and joyous chanting. But most of all, I remember the smile on Gurumayi’s face that radiated joy and filled my heart with happiness. I realized then what a wondrous thing it was to celebrate the birth of such a great being.

I carried that experience with me for years, and recalled it again on the day I had the most powerful experience of the shakti in my life. On January 1, 2014, I was very blessed to be present in Shri Nilaya during the Live Audio Stream of A Sweet Surprise satsang 2014. Throughout the satsang, I was struck again and again by what felt like the vibrating waves of the divine syllable AUM. After the extremely powerful chant “Narayana, Narayana,” we all went into meditation. The shakti in the room was so palpable that I could not keep my eyes open, and they drifted closed to the sound of the tamboura.

Then, I had an experience unlike any I'd ever had before. In the past during meditation, even when I had gone into a deeper state, some part of my mind was still able to register where I was and what was happening in the room. However, this time I had absolutely no physical awareness of the room, of my body, or of any other tangible thing. Instead, I lost all sense that I even had a body. I experienced myself as a black silhouette, almost like a shadow. Everything around me was a deep sky blue. Before me I saw a rectangle of white light amidst the blue, and I felt myself floating up toward it. As I rose up, I lost all identification with the world of maya, the world of illusion, and became solely focused on the white light. Deep within, I felt that my Guru was waiting for me there.

When I finally emerged from meditation, I noticed that my eyes were hazy. During meditation, tears had formed, and in that moment I knew that they were tears of joy—my experience was one of true bliss. My heart felt as though it were bursting with love. Everywhere I walked for the rest of the day, a smile of contentment spread across my face. I felt love for everyone I saw and spoke to. In my heart, the sun of my Guru's love was shining brightly.

 

About the Author

Vanita Borwankar was introduced to the Siddha Yoga path by her family. She has offered seva as a satsang host at the Siddha Yoga Ashram in Oakland and as a musician, writer, and editor at Shree Muktananda Ashram. She currently offers seva from home with the SYDA Foundation Content Department. Vanita is a pre-med student at the University of California, Berkeley, where she also studies psychology and creative writing.

 
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Reading Vanita's story of being born and growing up in Siddha Yoga makes my heart sing. How beautiful her experience is! Reading her reflection, I see the Siddha Yoga legacy unfolding with purity and grace.

Thank you, Vanita, for your devotion. Thank you, Gurumayi, for your vision for the young people on the Siddha Yoga path.

a Siddha Yogi from Wisconsin, USA

I eagerly await each new Reflection on Gurumayi. Reading each of these reflections and experiences is helping me to reconnect to my own Self.

Vanita’s experience has encouraged me to continue my practice of meditation. It also reminded me of something I experienced one afternoon when I was in Gurudev Siddha Peeth.

I was meditating in Turiya Mandir. Slowly, my awareness of who I am began to separate from my body, beginning with my feet and moving up to my head. After some time, I felt weightless, as light as a feather that could be carried on the air. I experienced amazing lightness and bliss in my being.

Thank you for posting Vanita’s experience, which has encouraged me to remember my own experience and refresh my practice of meditation.

a Siddha Yogi from Pune, India

I was so touched by Vanita’s Reflection on Gurumayi. She so beautifully depicts the path of sadhana, the sublime and mysterious connection between Guru and student, and the goal of sadhana—to experience the divine light within as our true essence.

As I read about her journey, I was drawn to reflect on my own. I recalled auspicious moments in my sadhana such as when I first met my Guru, and times when I experienced her presence within. I remembered the deepening and pervasive joy I feel on a regular basis, and the times when I experience and unite with the light of my own heart.

I love coming together as we do in this virtual hall, to celebrate the birth of our Guru and to share the incredible ways our lives have been touched and transformed by the Guru’s presence. I am amazed by how the unique experiences of others reveal the universal truth that we are all one. I am so grateful, not only for all that I have received, but for all that this world receives through Gurumayi’s love and infinite compassion.

a Siddha Yoga Meditation Teacher

As I read Vanita's description of A Sweet Surprise satsang 2014, memories flooded into my mind. My whole being was saying, "Oh yes, I have been there, too!"

I remember the sacredness of celebrating New Year's Day with a Live Audio Stream, of listening to Gurumayi speak and laugh, of practicing heightened awareness of sounds, and of chanting Narayana, Narayana wholeheartedly. Remembering connects me with my experience of lightheartedness and peace.

I am also deeply touched by the delight and appreciation that are expressed in Vanita's sharing of her profound experience in meditation. I feel inspired to value my own sadhana experiences more highly.

I am grateful to Vanita for sharing memories of her childhood, and for describing them intimately. I felt like a child again, with natural childlike curiosity.

a Siddha Yogi from Katzenbach, Germany

Reading Vanita’s expansive reflection on her experiences of Gurumayi, especially her remembrance of “the smile on Gurumayi’s face that radiated joy and filled my heart with happiness,” stirs a memory of a beautiful day in my life.

It was the day of our daughter’s wedding—and it also happened to be the day of Gurumayi’s birthday, June 24. As our daughter and son-in-law walked out of the chapel together after the ceremony, my heart was so full of joy and pure delight that I could feel tears of happiness forming, like beads of light, inside it. But they didn’t come out of my eyes as tears. Instead, an enormous smile spread across my face radiating the light inside my heart.

It was through this light that I saw and interacted with everyone and everything for the rest of the day. And it is through this light of happiness that I try to interact with the world, guided by Gurumayi’s teachings.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for your embodiment of, and your teachings on, happiness. And thank you, Vanita, for reminding me of my intention with your Reflection on Gurumayi.

a Siddha Yogi from Massachusetts, USA