Gurupurnima 2014

Kṛpā kā Jharanā
The Waterfall of Grace

Part I

An Account of the Gurupurnima Celebration Satsang
with Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

Shree Muktananda Ashram and Gurudev Siddha Peeth
Saturday, July 12, 2014

by Swami Ishwarananda and Ami Bansal

Gurupurnima: the most auspicious occasion to honor Shri Guru for bestowing the gift of shaktipat and the knowledge of the Self. Observed for millennia throughout India, this living tradition continues to be revered and celebrated in its fullness to this day. Its integrity remains intact. Disciples worship Shri Guru and express gratitude for the Guru’s infinite grace and teachings, both in words—by reciting mantras and reading sacred texts—and by making tangible offerings.

Each July, with the approach of āshāḍha purnimā, the full moon of the month of Āshad in the Indian calendar, Siddha Yogis find ever more reason to be grateful for all we have received and continue to receive from the Gurus of the
Siddha Yoga path—Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, Baba Muktananda, and
Bhagavan Nityananda. During each Gurupurnima celebration, we pray to know what we can offer to Shri Guru that could adequately express the depth of our gratitude.

As Baba Muktananda says in Satsang with Baba, Volume One:

What could a disciple possibly give to repay the debt to the Guru? We had only one thing and that was bondage and the Guru took that away. The Guru has awakened our inner Shakti; he has transformed our inner being and has made us like himself. How can we ever repay the Guru for this?

And so it was this year, as the blessed day of Gurupurnima drew near.

We would like to share one of the ways the sweetness of the Guru-disciple relationship manifested for the benefit of all on Gurupurnima 2014.

Meghna Gautam, a Gurukula student in Gurudev Siddha Peeth, has been visiting Shree Muktananda Ashram during the month of July to offer seva. On the morning of July 11, the day before Gurupurnima, Gurumayi gave darshan to Meghna. In the darshan Meghna expressed her gratitude to Gurumayi for her grace and teachings. Meghna also shared her appreciation for the invaluable training she is receiving from the sevites in the SYDA Foundation. She said that there are so many committed sevites in Gurudev Siddha Peeth who are eager to receive such training.

Meghna said she is planning to suggest to the Trustees and Management in both the SYDA Foundation and Gurudev Siddha Peeth that trainings between sevites in Shree Muktananda Ashram and Gurudev Siddha Peeth take place on a regular basis. Meghna said that in this day and age, technology makes it possible to conduct such trainings without people having to travel, so these trainings could be held long-distance. In this way, sevites could share their knowledge and skills with one another in order to serve Gurumayi and facilitate the dissemination of her teachings to the global Siddha Yoga sangham.

Gurumayi was delighted that Meghna was expressing her heart’s desire so openly and clearly, with the intent to benefit the Siddha Yoga sangham and ensure the Siddha Yoga legacy. Gurumayi was also pleased to hear Meghna say this because over the years Gurumayi has often said it is her wish that the SYDA Foundation find ways for Siddha Yogis to participate in satsangs with Gurumayi from wherever they live.

That same evening, July 11, Gurumayi asked some of the key sevites in Shree Muktananda Ashram what time the Gurupurnima Celebration Satsang would be held in Gurudev Siddha Peeth the next day, July 12. The sevites replied that it would be held at 6:45 p.m., which would be 9:15 a.m. in Shree Muktananda Ashram. Gurumayi let them know her wish to connect with the Gurukula students and visiting sevites in Gurudev Siddha Peeth via phone during the Celebration Satsang there. Gurumayi said that she wanted to speak to the students in Gurudev Siddha Peeth and also hear from them. These sevites assured Gurumayi that it was definitely possible and that they would make it happen by working with the key sevites in Gurudev Siddha Peeth.

The sevites made a decision to wait to inform all the satsang participants in Gurudev Siddha Peeth until just before the satsang began. Small teams were organized in both Gurudev Siddha Peeth and Shree Muktananda Ashram to plan the satsang. Sevites set up an audio connection between the two Ashrams, assigned speakers and translators, arranged for musicians, and prepared the Intensive Hall in Gurudev Siddha Peeth and the Bhagavan Nityananda Temple in Shree Muktananda Ashram. Hour after hour, after night fell in New York and the sun rose in India, the sevites continued working together, so that everything would be in place for the satsang with Gurumayi to be held simultaneously in Shree Muktananda Ashram and Gurudev Siddha Peeth. They said they enjoyed having this seva saptah—overnight in New York and throughout the day in India!

While these teams of sevites were preparing for the audio satsang, Gurukula students in Gurudev Siddha Peeth celebrated the dawning of Gurupurnima by worshiping Shri Guru in the Bhagavan Nityananda Temple and in Baba Muktananda’s Samadhi Shrine. An abhishek was performed to Bade Baba’s murti. Fragrant flowers were placed on Baba Muktananda’s Samadhi Shrine, and pujā was offered there. The Guru’s praises were sung in the morning Arati and the recitation of Shri Guru Gita.

On the morning of Gurupurnima, in Shree Muktananda Ashram, staff members and visiting sevites also worshiped Shri Guru by singing the morning Arati and reciting Shri Guru Gita. Later in the morning they would be participating in a Gurupurnima Celebration Satsang in Shri Nilaya in Atma Nidhi.

As evening came in India, the Gurukula students and visiting sevites in Gurudev Siddha Peeth gathered in the Intensive Hall for what they thought would be the regular scheduled Gurupurnima Celebration Satsang. It was then that the host Ami Bansal, announced that they would be participating in satsang with Gurumayi, via live audio connection with Shree Muktananda Ashram!

Ami hadn’t even finished her sentence before the hall erupted in cheers, laughter, and applause.

Participants sang out round after round of Sadgurunāth Mahārāj kī Jay, in a crescendo of joy that seemed to fill the hall with bursts of vibrant Holi colors.

Ami then asked everyone to take a moment to prepare for what was about to take place. The sounds of celebration subsided as the devotees sat silently, in awe and anticipation, entering the space of flawless quietude Gurumayi teaches about in her Message for 2014.

Meanwhile, in Shree Muktananda Ashram, Gurumayi was offering pujā to Bhagavan Nityananda in his Temple in Anugraha. As the satsang participants in Gurudev Siddha Peeth were present in the space of flawless quietude, Gurumayi offered flower after flower at Bade Baba’s feet.

With the offering of each flower, Bade Baba’s smile became more luminous and the Temple glowed with the many hues of devotion.

Once Gurumayi had completed the Guru pujā, satsang participants in Shree Muktananda Ashram gathered in the Bhagavan Nityananda Temple.

These particular participants had been invited because of their Indian origin, to create in Shree Muktananda Ashram the atmosphere of the satsang that was taking place in Gurudev Siddha Peeth.

Then the first sounds were heard through the audio connection, and participants in Gurudev Siddha Peeth and Shree Muktananda Ashram sang together, “Sadgurunāth Mahārāj kī Jay! Sadgurunāth Mahārāj kī Jay! Sadgurunāth Mahārāj kī Jay!” As we repeated this salutation, we could feel the cohesive unity of the two Ashrams, and the outpouring of love through the phone line. Then Siddha Yoga meditation teacher Swami Ishwarananda led everyone in wishing each other Shubh Gurupurnima—an auspicious Gurupurnima!

On Gurumayi’s behalf, Swamiji welcomed all the devotees in Gurudev Siddha Peeth to the satsang.

Swamiji had visited Gurudev Siddha Peeth between November 2013 and February 2014 as Gurumayi’s Goodwill Ambassador. Swamiji’s main seva task was to convey Gurumayi’s love and blessings to everyone he met. Although Swamiji had traveled to Gurudev Siddha Peeth with this purpose, upon his return to Shree Muktananda Ashram in February, he shared in a darshan with Gurumayi that it was he who had received Gurumayi’s love through the devotion of the
Siddha Yogis he’d met.

In the Gurupurnima satsang, Swamiji shared how moved he had been by the devotion to Gurumayi expressed by the Siddha Yogis in India. He described the complete dedication of the Gurukula students to the practice of seva. He saw that they were so aware of the meaning of both sacrifice and serving selflessly, and of what a great boon it was to offer seva in the Guru’s Ashram. “Paradise on Earth.” he remembered them calling Gurudev Siddha Peeth.

It was this profound gratitude, Swamiji said, and this love between Guru and disciple which had brought us all together today, just as the love of sage Veda Vyasa’s disciples for their Guru and his great compassion for them had brought about the celebration of Gurupurnima many millennia ago.

Gurumayi then invited Stefan Hoskuldsson, a visiting sevite who was part of the music ensemble, to play the flute.

Stefan lives in New York City, where he is the principal flutist for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Stefan played an improvisation in the majestic darbārī rāga. The melody seemed to arise from our own hearts—it was an expression, in sound, of the gratitude that everyone was offering to Gurumayi.

Then the flute melody transitioned into the melody of Shri Guru Paduka Pancakam, the Five Stanzas on the Sandals of Shri Guru. Krishna Haddad, the music conductor, invited us to join our voices with the sound of the flute for this recitation.

Om namo gurubhyo gurupadukabhyo
Om. Salutations to the Guru and the Guru’s sandals.

Shri Guru Pādukā Pancakam invokes and praises the guru-tattva, the
Guru principle, the divine power of grace that is represented by the Guru’s sandals. As we sang these verses, our hearts and minds united in the worship of Shri Guru.

Om shāntiḥ shāntiḥ shāntiḥ.
Om. Peace. Peace. Peace.

When the hymn concluded, the playful sounds of the harmonium and the rich tones of the bassoon played the melody of Om Guru, Om Guru, Om Gurudev. The rhythmic sound of the mridang added the tempo. We then offered our voices, filled with the nectar of the heart, in chanting this beautiful nāmasankirtana. Our beings swayed in the fullness of the sound. We became the sound.

Jaya Guru, Jaya Guru, Jaya Gurudev.

Then—a soft hush, as the chanting gave way to an interlude from the musicians. The flute returned with its trills and whispers. The lead chanters began singing an ālāp on “ah” that rose and ebbed and seemed to come from the deepest, most sacred space within. A wave from the conductor, and we all joined back in:
Om Gurudev!

The energy of the satsang continued to swell as we repeated over and over
Om Gurudev, Om Gurudev. At times during the chant, Gurumayi spoke to the
Siddha Yogis in Gurudev Siddha Peeth:

Gurudev Siddha Peeth, mastī se gāo.

Gurudev Siddha Peeth, chant with ecstasy.

Prem kī nadī bahane do.

Let the river of love flow.

Ham sab sāth hãi.

We are all together.

As Om Gurudev reached a crescendo, Gurumayi called out lovingly,
Gurudev Siddha Peeth. Gurudev Siddha Peeth. Gurudev Siddha Peeth.

 

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As I was reading this account of the Gurupurnima Celebration with its beautiful sequence of events, it struck me that the same evening, we had chanted Om Gurudev in the darbari raga here at the Siddha Yoga Meditation Center in Bangalore. As we chanted, I experienced a very strong connection to the Guru Principle, the remover of pain and darkness, which we lovingly address as “Gurudev.” As we chanted, and I immersed myself in the notes of the harmonium and the sound of the chanters, I experienced a strong connection with that Principle, which is always perfect, compassionate, and luminous. Through our voices, we could touch the Guru and experience her in her fullness.
 
Although I was not consciously aware that such an exquisite satsang was happening at Gurudev Siddha Peeth and at Shree Muktananda Ashram, there was nothing short of perfection in my experience of the day.
 
It is so beautiful that we are all connected to that universal light, our beloved Guru. 
 
Thank you, Gurumayi!

a Siddha Yogi from Bangalore, India

This account was like walking through the satsang or the waterfall of grace; my excitement and anticipation rose with every word and sentence. I had the feeling of freedom. I kept thinking, “I don't know what's coming next. Anything can happen!” I felt as if I was in two places at once (or three if I include where I am here where I live!)
 
What an extraordinary event has transpired in our Guru's world, where we all are invited, regardless of where we live! 
 
Shri Gurumayi, thank you for your grace and love always.  



a Siddha Yogi from Yulara (Uluru), Australia

Reading the narrative of the Gurupurnima celebrations in Shree Muktananda Ashram and Gurudev Siddha Peeth, I felt I was in two holy places at the same time. I was transported to the Intensive Hall in Gurudev Siddha Peeth and could feel the immense sweetness and joy of the devotees when they heard Gurumayi would be speaking with them!  What a wonderful surprise! And it seems that river of love is flowing and enveloping all of us as we sit at our computers, sharing in the events.

I'm looking forward to The Waterfall of Grace Part II.



a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

What a wonderful gift of grace that has allowed all of us in the Universal Hall to share in the Gurupurnima Celebration with Gurumayi. The impact of being able to open the photos while reading the account of the celebration was a wonderful surprise. Breaking out in laughter and joyous tears, I truly shared in the joy of the participants in Gurudev Siddha Peeth when I read Ami Bansal's announcement that we'd be participating in satsang with Gurumayi! 
 
Thank you, Gurumayi!

a Siddha Yogi from Ancona, Italy

What great fortune for my wife and me to check the website before going to bed and be taken on a sacred journey to both Shree Muktananda Ashram  and Gurudev Siddha Peeth with our beloved Guru. Seeing the photos of Gurumayi and Bade Baba in both Temples and in Hrdayadeep, and the delightful faces in the hall, brought us right there with such feelings of love and devotion. How divine! We are so incredibly fortunate to experience, right in our own home on the other side of the world, what Veda Vyasa's disciples experienced all those years ago.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi.
 
Thank you to all the sevites who so lovingly contributed to this satsang and posting. Looking forward to Part II!

a Siddha Yogi from Hurlstone Park, Australia

Through this narrative, I felt that I was present with all the disciples in Gurudev Siddha Peeth and Shree Muktananda Ashram celebrating during the satsang and receiving ashirwad from our beloved Gurudev.
 
In reading about the recitation of Shri Guru Paduka Pancakam, I was able to visualize the padukas (sandals) of my home puja
 
Thank you, Gurumayiji.

a Siddha Yogi from Khargone, India

I was very excited to see  this page! I was filled with joy and happiness. I thought, "What a wonderful world is the Siddha Yoga path!"

Thank you, Gurumayiji, for establishing this world. Thank you very much for your grace and blessings. We all love you very much.

Sashtang pranams!

a Siddha Yogi from Thane, India

I love this account of the Waterfall of Grace! I especially love how I can click on the camera icon and open the surprise photo as I read along. When I get to the purple text as I am reading, I am very excited to see what's next. 
 
I love being connected to Gurudev Siddha Peeth, the Siddha Yoga lineage, and the entire Siddha Yoga legacy in this way that Gurumayi is creating for us all.

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

As I read this beautiful account of the Gurupurnima Celebration Satsang, my heart opens, and there’s a smile forming which gets bigger and bigger. As I move down the page and start to click on the pictures that go with the narration, my heart is now overflowing and tears of joy are streaming down my face. I reach the bottom and read “To be continued...” so I scroll up to the top of the page and see that this is The Waterfall of Grace, Part 1

Oh, how bountiful is our Guru’s love! Thank you to Meghna, and thank you to all the sevites who said “YES! We can make this happen!” 

Pranams and thank you always to beloved Gurumayiji!

a Siddha Yogi from London, United Kingdom

I felt moved to open my computer early this morning.  I thought, "I'll just look at the Siddha Yoga path website to make an auspicious beginning to my day of work." And there was the account of the Gurupurnima Celebration Satsang!  Reading it and looking at the photos, I feel bathed in grace. It was as if I were in both places, Shree Muktananda Ashram and Gurudev Siddha Peeth, without leaving my seat!  
I feel washed over with blessings and my heart is full.  

Thank you, Gurumayi. Thank you all the sevites for this gift.

a Siddha Yogi from Heckmondwike, United Kingdom

A huge thank you to all the sevites who worked day and night to make this satsang happen.
 
After I read this account, my heart felt so connected to all the hearts in Gurudev Siddha Peeth and in Shree Muktananda Ashram. It was an awesome experience!
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for letting us be with you every moment of our lives through this wonderful website!

a Siddha Yogi from Rome, Italy