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April 19, 2013

Dear Siddha Yogis,

Each January 1, we welcome the New Year by participating in
A Sweet Surprise satsang and receiving Gurumayi’s Message, which guides our sadhana throughout the year. What a blessed event!
I have heard that many Siddha Yogis took such great delight in
A Sweet Surprise 2013 that they participated in it again and again.

I was honored to be the teacher, at Gurumayi’s request, for this year’s A Sweet Surprise satsang. My practice of Gurumayi’s Message, Mantra Japa, continues to reveal new wonders. The practice of mantra japa, the repetition of sacred syllables, is a boon for all of us. Gurumayi has said this is the most portable Siddha Yoga practice: we can repeat the mantra anywhere, anytime, and experience the fruit immediately.

For over two decades, we have been receiving Gurumayi’s Message—her teachings and guidance for the year—in the form of a sutra. In the Sanskrit language, the word sutra refers to an aphoristic statement of spiritual knowledge. When a sutra is studied and contemplated, it expands one’s perception of the Truth. Many of the classic texts of Indian philosophy are written as a series of sutras. From time immemorial, Gurus have imparted teachings to disciples in this form.

Gurumayi’s Message vibrates with living energy—chaitanya shakti. How fortunate we are! I have seen how Gurumayi’s Message inspires seekers, regardless of how long they have been immersed in Siddha Yoga sadhana, to walk the spiritual path and to follow the teachings that lead to the realization of their own true Self.

I hope you have had the opportunity to view the full spectrum of Gurumayi’s Messages and Message Artwork from 1991 – 2012 posted on the Siddha Yoga path website.

Throughout this year we are studying Gurumayi’s Message, Mantra Japa. As you learned in A Sweet Surprise 2013, there are many wonderful ways to practice mantra japa. Right now, I’d like to share with you some of my personal favorites:  

  • I begin my meditation with mantra japa, using my japa mala.
  • During the day whenever I have an opportunity, I bring my awareness to repeating the mantra in harmony with my breath.
  • Each evening, I write in my journal about my practice of mantra japa.
  • Also in the evening, I choose one of the Guru’s teachings on
    mantra japa to study and contemplate the next day.

I find that these rejuvenating daily practices connect me to my heart, anchor me in the present moment, and align me anew with my life’s purpose. Every day as I offer seva, selfless service, I recognize how mantra japa imbues my activities with the subtle energy of abundance, sweetness, and delight. It makes me value and appreciate each of my seva tasks.

Mantra repetition has been my constant support on the spiritual path. I am so inspired to know that since Gurumayi has given us the Message Mantra Japa this year, thousands of Siddha Yogis of all ages are practicing mantra japa and collectively realizing its power. 

I want to encourage you to continue your practice of mantra japa by following the four essential steps that support Siddha Yoga studentship. These four steps are: 

  • study
  • practice
  • assimilate
  • implement

Follow the discipline of these four essential steps and you will become aware of their myriad benefits, both within and without.

Are you still with me? Great! I want to congratulate you for your steadfastness. You may be wondering, “Where is Swamiji taking me with all this?” Believe me, I have something awesome to tell you!   

Gurumayi’s Message Artwork for Mantra Japa is now available for darshan on the Siddha Yoga path website!

The link to view the Message Artwork is at the end of this letter.

Let me give you some advice for how to receive darshan of Gurumayi’s Message Artwork for 2013. To benefit the most from your experience, set aside a minimum of fifteen minutes to do the following:

  • First, be with the Message Artwork.
  • Next, meditate.
  • Then, if you have a few additional minutes, I encourage you to write in your journal.

After Dec 15, 2013, use your NEW Siddha Yoga online account

With love,

Swami Akhandananda
Teacher for A Sweet Surprise 2013

Click here to share

Today, I sat for meditation and had an unexpected vision of Gurumayi’s Message Artwork.

First, a beautiful piece of jewelry, a pendant, appeared in my inner vision. In the middle, there was a big Blue Pearl, and around it there were many intricate, delicate designs in a brownish color (as in the Artwork). I was stunned and thought that it must belong to some deity.

This image dissolved and the Message Artwork appeared. The white spaces in the Artwork were made out of bright, white light and the background was brown. The light spaces flashed for a while, and then they swooshed like shooting stars out of the visual frame. The Blue Pearl from the middle of the Artwork remained and kept flashing for a while.

I was very happy to receive such an unexpected blessing!

a sevite in Shree Muktananda Ashram

Gurumayi’s Message Artwork is powerful and alive. Every time I log on and view it, blessings seem to emanate from the page. The description of the Artwork explains the sacred and auspicious meaning of each element, and the shakti vibrating off the page is pure grace. To me the Artwork is the visible form of mantra japa transforming our lives, one mantra repetition at a time. Viewing it reminds me again and again of the alchemical power of repeating the mantra Om Namah Shivaya, enlivened by Gurumayi’s Grace.

Thank you, Gurumayi.

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

As I was sitting with Gurumayi's Message Artwork, I became aware of my thoughts. Using mantra japa, I experienced them transforming into threads that led to the stillness and peace at the center of the Artwork.

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

I am grateful to Gurumayi for teaching us not only with words but also with visual images. Gurumayi's Message Artwork has fascinated me from the very beginning. I find it very beautiful. As I continue to gaze at it, I see it as three-dimensional, and my eyes become focused on the center of the image, the Blue Pearl. The Artwork becomes alive for me; the Blue Pearl starts drawing me in, more and more, and I fall into a meditative state.

I revisit Gurumayi's Message Artwork regularly, as I find it helps me in my meditation. I often visualize it as I start meditating, and I feel the Blue Pearl drawing me deeper inside myself. I am sure that Gurumayi's Artwork has more and more to reveal as I continue to study it.

a Siddha Yoga Swami

As I opened the screen, the Message Artwork burst out energetically and swirled onto my mind.  My eyes closed, and the pulsing image moved internally from my forehead to my heart, and back to my forehead; the crown of my head throbbed, and then the pulsing image of the Artwork moved through my torso until it turned a vermilion red. 

I was surprised that it had such a vibrant force. During this process, my mind witnessed the vibrations and couldn't label them—my mind was quiet. 

When my mind came out of the silence, I felt a deeper appreciation of the teaching on ajapa-japa given on Day Eight of the Teachings on Mantra Japa.

As my heart's capacity to overflow with greater enthusiasm increases, there grows a greater commitment to deepen my engagement with the Teachings on Mantra Japa.

Thank you.

a Siddha Yogi from Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico

Each time I open the Message Artwork, I prepare myself with my breath and good posture to receive grace. Each time I see the Artwork, I can feel and experience that the grace and power coming from it is touching my body and mind. While looking at it, my mind becomes still and peaceful, and mantra japa automatically begins within me.

Thus, I find that the Artwork is filled with the Guru's grace and has the power to refresh my mind with the experience of mantra japa.

Thank you, Gurumayiji, for this beautiful Message Artwork.

a Siddha Yogi from Udhana, India

Viewing Gurumayi’s Message Artwork was a beautiful initiation. What a delight to realize the image is made up of rudraksha beads! As I gazed at the image, the petals in the outer circle started spinning. The inner, light yellow circle was moving and vibrating also. At the still center of all this movement is the Blue Pearl. I thought about how my busy life and busy mind are like the spinning, vibrating outer circle, and realized, in a new way, why it's so essential for me to do mantra japa—it's a clear path to being that still, blue center. 

Thank you, Gurumayi.

a Siddha Yogi from Washington, USA

Looking at the Message Artwork, I perceived the empty spaces between the strings of mala beads. From inside, words from Gurumayi's Teaching on Day Eight arose: "....the experience of ajapa japa."

This is how the mantra repeats within me! Sometimes I notice it, and sometimes it is so subtle that it seems as if nothing is happening. When I recognized this, a warm feeling of wealth and plenitude arose within me.

Memorizing the teachings and also memorizing the Artwork itself give me great joy.

Thank you for your constant guidance in my life, Gurumayi!

a Siddha Yogi from Katzenbach, Germany

Yesterday I looked at Gurumayi’s Message Artwork for twenty minutes. The movement in the image became a throbbing vibration from inside out. As I experienced the living energy, the purifying, infinite force of the mantra, all thoughts dissolved, and every particle of my breath became a connection to this experience. The shining center was representing the true flame alive in my heart; it was so alive that it was dancing all around the Blue Pearl.

I felt I had found a treasure, Gurumayi's darshan, a perfect joy that was taking me to the ocean of stillness.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for your presence, guidance, and infinite love.
 

a Siddha Yogi from Puebla, Mexico

Gurumayi's Message Artwork literally shows Mantra Japa pulsating with Shakti! At first glance it is a mandala of beautifully laid out rudraksha seeds that subtly appear to move and dance. From the outer edges of the mandala moving inward, one can sense a movement of ebb and flow, of joy and laughter, of life's many movements. The area just before the Blue Pearl appears to me to scintillate and dance, a reminder that, while our lives are in constant flux and motion, deep within us the grace of the Guru is steadfast and eternal, like the wisdom of the Blue Pearl.

Thank you for the Artwork, Gurumayi. It is like a net of japa malas, supporting us on our journey within.

a Siddha Yogi from Makati City, Philippines

When I looked at Gurumayi's Message Artwork, my eyes were drawn into its center, to the Blue Pearl, and at the same moment I felt a strong pull at my third eye, drawing me inward. I felt a sensation of deep love for this sparkling blue dot on the Artwork and thought immediately of the Blue Pearl. The blue dot reminded me of the beautiful, shiny, blue, vibrating, dancing dots that I have seen in meditation. My eyes sank into the Blue Pearl, and my heart was filled with deep contentment and sweet joy.

Then my eyelids became very heavy, my eyes closed, I was pulled inside myself, and meditation happened very easily.

My heart is dancing with joy! Thank you, dearest Gurumayi, for the darshan of this amazing Artwork.

a Siddha Yogi from Stadtbergen, Germany

The Message Artwork is alive. The first time I opened it, I felt its vibration like a heartbeat. I felt a big expansion in my chest, as if I were breathing for the very first time. I felt that my heart was beating with the rhythm of this amazing and marvelous gift from our beloved Gurumayi.

a Siddha Yogi from Mexico City, Mexico

A field of a million beads with a whirling geometry of japa malas, culminating into a pulsating Blue Pearl, which flew out of my screen and into my inner being.

                                                WOW

Thank you, Gurumayi.

a Siddha Yogi from Washington, USA

This morning, as I was reading the shares about Gurumayi's Artwork, which is something I do every morning, I realized that I also had an experience of the Message Artwork this morning! The experience reemerged as I was reading the shares.

I was meditating, and then my mind wandered to a problem I've been wanting to solve. In the midst of this distraction, an image of the Message Artwork came to the corner of my consciousness and lifted me up out of my thoughts. It took me up through my sahasrara to the pearly blue infinite beyond. A very sweet peace enveloped me.

That same peace arises now as I remember the experience. I realize that there is no problem that needs to take me from this peace, and that the answer to the problem I was thinking about will arise as I dwell in this peaceful state.

The Message Artwork is so alive! Every day it is new for me. I feel its presence in my being even when I am not consciously aware of it.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for our sacred, enlivened mantra in the living form of the Message Artwork!

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

When I first contemplated Gurumayi's Message Artwork for 2013, I was struck by the vast quantity of rudraksha beads in this image—and how every single one, no matter how small, serves a purpose in constituting the magnificent whole. This made me realize that every single time I repeat the mantra, that repetition also serves a purpose in my sadhana, no matter where or how or when I am repeating it. I found this insight extremely encouraging, because it taught me that I don't have to have extraordinary experiences each time I repeat the mantra, nor do I have to be in an already exalted state to benefit from mantra japa. Instead, I can remember that every little bit counts in bringing me closer to the ultimate goal—and making the journey that much more serene.

Together with the inspiring Teachings on Mantra Japa, the helpful commentaries, and the moving shares from all over the world, this realization has helped me make an even better friend of the practice of mantra japa. I now happily take mantra japa with me throughout the day, and it has become as welcome a presence in my life and sadhana as a warm cloak on a chilly day.

Thank you, Gurumayi.

a Siddha Yogi from Illinois, USA

Some weeks ago, I read Swami Akhandananda’s letter about Gurumayi’s Message Artwork for Mantra Japa.  I noticed that he used the word darshan in the letter, and that word stood out for me. As I went to view the Artwork, I took Swamiji’s advice to set aside at least fifteen minutes to first be with the Message Artwork and then to meditate and journal.

As I sat with the Artwork, I noticed that it felt infinite and had a lot of movement, as if there was energy pulsating within it. I felt a gentle pressure of living energy in my heart area. It was the same feeling I’ve had when I’ve been in Gurumayi’s presence. I became aware that this Artwork was alive, and by being with it, I was receiving the darshan Gurumayi was offering.

a Siddha Yogi from North Carolina, USA

As I was looking at the image I saw it pulsating—it was alive, throbbing with vibration! As I studied the Artwork, one by one Gurumayi's Teachings on Mantra Japa came forth—the image seemed to bring them forth without and within. I felt the speech of the Guru, the speech of God in the image. I recognized that the Teachings and the image are one and the same. Yes, I felt I was seeing the pulsation of God's own speech.

Thank you, Gurumayi, thank you.

a Gurukula student in Gurudev Siddha Peeth

As I gazed at this wonderful Artwork this morning, I felt myself being drawn within. Conscious of the Artwork, I began meditating on it; and I feel absolutely elated to share that this was perhaps the best meditation that I have experienced thus far. The Artwork on Mantra Japa seemed to have come alive. I found myself enveloped by millions of moving rudraksha seeds that very slowly moved close to me, one by one, touched me, and chanted the mantra. Suddenly thereafter, I was awestruck with the crown of my head shining in mesmerizing blue light.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for this glorious Message, Mantra Japa.

a Siddha Yogi from Goa, India

This morning as I began my meditation, I held the image of Gurumayi’s Message Artwork in my heart space. As I repeated the mantra, the image eventually seemed to expand, with the Blue Pearl situated in my heart and the rest of the Artwork encompassing my body. There was this fluidity throughout the entire space and a sense of unity, no division. After a while, I became aware that a shift had taken place; and I was experiencing myself as the mantra, not just the one repeating the mantra. I had this certainty that I am the mantra, the mantra is me. And the Siddha Yoga teaching that the mantra, the goal of the mantra, and the repeater of the mantra are one came to mind.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for the myriad ways you give us to experience the Truth. 

a Siddha Yogi from Florida, USA

I practiced watching the beautiful image for fifteen minutes. In the beginning, I saw the swirling circles of the outer ring. They seemed to be moving, constantly changing their patterns. Sometimes I saw flowers, then tubes, then circles—so much movement.

Then I thought, "Let me concentrate on the Blue Pearl in the center." The Blue Pearl, which was so steady and calm and did not move at all, was the perfect resting place for my eyes. When I looked at it, I felt great serenity. Then I started to repeat the mantra along with my breath.

It occurred to me that this image is a perfect demonstration of what mantra repetition does: it takes you to the still, serene place within, where everything is calm, although the outer world may continue to perform its own dance.

a Siddha Yogi from Großkarolinenfeld, Germany

The image is alive, filled with movement, drawing me in to the still point in the center, which scintillates with light. The beaded lines form petals, and I see a mantra flower, fully alive, with each part repeating the mantra. This is mantra japa in action, repeating mantra over and over.

The beads out of which the image is made remind me of Gurumayi’s Teaching on Mantra Japa that says, "Every inhalation and exhalation is a bead on the japa mala." I am so appreciative of having studied these Teachings and their images, as I can now bring that experience to bear on my study of the Message Artwork. All of the images, and now the Message Artwork, are such usable steps for me in the process of absorbing mantra into my very being.
 
Thank you so much for teaching us in this way, Gurumayi.

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

Gurumayi's beautiful Artwork truly brings her Message to life. I sense immense strength in the Artwork. To me, the background looks like a latticework of rudraksha beads, each representing a Siddha Yogi. By collectively and constantly repeating the mantra, we strengthen not only ourselves, but those around us as well. This effort connects us to the Guru's grace and blankets us all with the Guru's divine protection. With the mantra in my heart, I know Gurumayi's protection will surround me everywhere I go.

a Siddha Yogi from Massachusetts, USA

When I first saw Gurumayi’s Message Artwork, its energy exploded and entered me. It felt like an initiation. Every time I focus on the Artwork anew, I experience this energy throbbing, pulsing, vibrating. I see the Artwork as a manifestation of creation, the primordial spanda, with energy spiraling out in all directions from the Blue Pearl at its center, as the primordial sound expands to become the universe.
 
I also see the Artwork representing the explosion of the Blue Pearl, with its light spreading everywhere, as described by Baba Muktananda in his autobiography, Play of Consciousness, in the chapter entitled, “Final Realization.” Both evolution and involution are wonderfully depicted here in the form of the sahasrara, the thousand-petalled lotus in the crown of the head.

Thank you, Gurumayi, with all my heart for constantly imparting the knowledge of the Self in so many powerful and exquisite ways.

a Siddha Yogi from London, United Kingdom

Each day, visiting Gurumayi's Message Artwork is a new experience. Each time I see it, it is as if for the first time, and the energy radiating from it awakens and reconnects with the same energy within me. 

I sit quietly, allowing myself to become absorbed in the Message Artwork, and one by one, I experience each of the Teachings on Mantra Japa, which I recognize are embodied in the Message Artwork.

As I do this practice, my head bows in gratitude and my breath offers itself again and again to the mantra.

a Siddha Yogi from Washington, USA

Today, I opened up Gurumayi's Message Artwork and started concentrating on it. In a few moments, I realized that mantra japa had automatically begun within. My eyes closed and I felt the Message Artwork at the crown area of my head. As I was noticing my breathing, I realized that the inhalation and exhalation were happening through the crown of my head. I felt very calm and peaceful, and alert to all the sounds around me.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for the most wonderful Message Artwork and for your grace!

a Siddha Yogi from Florida, USA

The Message Artwork is fully awake! It draws me inside to the center, to my heart, again and again. It calms my mind. Together with the mantra, it engages my mind completely and there is no space left for fantasy. What a powerful tool!

Thank you so much.

a Siddha Yogi from Saint Germain en Laye, France

When I began to meditate this morning, after seeing Gurumayi's Message Artwork, I heard a voice inside me say: “Go deep inside with the mantra So'ham.” All my being was suddenly focused on the luminous center of the beautiful Message Artwork and I felt from deep inside: My life is perfect, everything is perfect.
 
It was a very real, profound, and serene feeling.
 
Thank you so much, Gurumayi, for this amazing experience.

a Siddha Yogi from Paris, France

I love Gurumayi's Message Artwork. When I first saw it, I couldn't stop staring at it. I look at it every day. When I look into the center, I feel that I'm looking into the eye of God. It draws me in. It feels conscious, alive, and very stilling.

This morning, after I viewed the Message Artwork, I sat and chanted the mantra with a CD recording of Gurumayi chanting Om Namah Shivaya. I felt that "eye" still with me, inside me. The mantra drew me deep within. Then, sitting for meditation, I could hear the birds happily chirping outside my window—it felt like God singing to me. I sat in this space of sweet tranquility, a quiet joy enveloping me.

Thank you, Gurumayi.

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

This morning, before going to work, I wished to see Gurumayi's Message Artwork one more time before I left home, because I feel that it speaks to me very deeply. As I traveled to work, my desire was to stay in contact with the energy of the Message Artwork. I listened to the Morning Arati on my audio player with full awareness of the breath going in and going out.

Despite the traffic and noise, which sometimes made it difficult to hear Gurumayi's voice, breath awareness was present all the time, like an unchanging, stable, living, perfect, and eternal reality within and without.

Thank you very much for all of this.

a Siddha Yogi from Milan, Italy

On Sunday morning, I awoke early, just before dawn. I was excited about viewing Gurumayi's Message Artwork.

My very first experience, when I saw the image for the first time, was that it was alive and pulsating with a hmmmmm—a very loud, resounding vibration. It sounded like thousands of bees happily, sweetly drinking nectar.

Then I dropped into the center of the image and realized the sound was thousands of OMs permeating the atmosphere around me, around New York City, and up into the sky around the entire earth.

One of the Teachings on Mantra Japa that we have been studying, “Mantra is the vibration of the Supreme Self,” kept repeating itself inside me. I felt waves of love and gratitude for the timeless, ancient aliveness of Gurumayi's teachings, and for this Message Artwork. It is nectarean and newly alive every time I visit it.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for so generously offering us this darshan.

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

Last night, I spent time being with the Message Artwork, allowing it to enter me as fully as possible. Today, I feel so much sweetness in every inbreath and outbreath. My heart feels so tender and grateful.

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

My initial experience of gazing at Gurumayi's Message Artwork for 2013 was twofold. First, I was immediately drawn deep inside to the space of the Heart—so centered and still. Then, in an instant, I felt an enormous expansion taking place within. Inner expansion was present like never before.

As I continued to gaze at the mesmerizing Message Artwork, the image constantly changed from one exquisite picture to another. It reminded me of life, of sadhana, of how we are forever changing with each breath, with each repetition of the mantra in the continuous fluid dance of the Shakti.  

Thank you, Gurumayi. And thank you to all the sevites who support this profound project of Gurumayi's Message Artwork for 2013.  

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

After receiving darshan of Gurumayi's Message Artwork, I decided to meditate and I felt almost immediately the internal movement of Kundalini Shakti, the divine energy. I was immersed in a state of deep peace for several moments.

This experience has made me very grateful for one more opportunity to be aware of my divine identity.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for your continuous generosity!

a Siddha Yogi from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

I decided to clean my puja and place fresh flowers on it in preparation for the darshan of Gurumayi's Message Artwork for 2013. After meditation, a momentum took over and I went for a run to prepare my body. Once home, I started cleaning the house and did all the laundry. I made myself a special healthy lunch, and I reviewed the teachings we were given to memorize. When sunset arrived, I sat and looked at the Message Artwork.

I was drawn to the center of the Artwork, and then felt drawn inside myself. I went to my heart and thanked Gurumayi and began meditation.  The image of the Message Artwork in my heart, along with the mantra, slowly ascended into the crown of my head. Once there, the mantra slowly dissolved into the Message Artwork, which changed into a pulsing light that grew larger. After some time, I emerged from meditation, and began to journal about this amazing experience.

Thank you, Gurumayi.

a Siddha Yogi from Hawaii, USA

When I first gazed at Gurumayi's Message Artwork and, later, when I beheld the image in my mind's eye, I felt the space around my heart soften and melt into what I experienced as a liquid joy.

Within the image I see both the goal and the way to reach it: through the practice of mantra japa, the center draws closer and closer.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for giving us both the practice and the experience of mantra japa.
 

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

Thank you, Gurumayi, for the Message Artwork. This image is alive with the mantra! When I look into the center of the image, I can see how it expands and contracts just like my breathing. The image reflects how mantra japa feels to me.
 

a Siddha Yogi from Mexico City, Mexico

After reading Swami Akhandananda's wonderful letter, I prepared myself to view Gurumayi's Message Artwork for 2013 by settling into my breath and allowing my mind to become quiet. When I opened the Message Artwork, my experience was a palpable jolt of recognition. It felt like a direct transmission of Gurumayi's unlimited grace. 

I saw that everything arises from the mantra and everything returns to the mantra. There is nothing that is separate from the mantra. So much love, wisdom, and care are contained in this Message Artwork.  

Thank you, Gurumayi, from the bottom of my heart.
 

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

As I meditated on the form of Gurumayi's Message Artwork, I was enveloped in a crystalline stillness that slowly permeated my entire being as a living presence. This expansive silence was breathing within the Message Artwork and within my being. Utterly amazing!

Thank you, Gurumayi, for the grace and Shakti of the Message, the teachings, and the Message Artwork—the living mantra in myriad forms!
 

a Siddha Yogi from New Jersey, USA

Thank you, Gurumayi, for your Message Artwork for 2013.

What a blessed experience it was to receive darshan of the Message Artwork this morning! It is so incredibly alive and multidimensional. The pulsing energy is mesmerizing.

Several times when I moved my attention from the center to other parts of the Artwork, the center would suddenly gleam and draw me back.

I look forward to many more explorations and experiences of this sacred Message Artwork.  

Thank you again with all my heart.
 

a sevite in Shree Muktananda Ashram

I love how we were prepared to receive the Message Artwork from Gurumayi—with the Teachings on Mantra Japa and two letters from Swami Akhandananda. Before looking at the Message Artwork, I took some time to be with myself and to make sure I had time afterwards as well. 

When I looked at the Message Artwork, I felt tremendous power. My mind immediately began to repeat the mantra. In the meditation afterwards, my awareness went to the third eye, and a space opened up there. I felt very peaceful and content. At the end of meditation, the words "I am Om Namah Shivaya" came up, and the cells in my being were vibrating with the mantra.

This Message Artwork has so much power to uplift. It touches my being deeply and fills my heart with gratitude for Gurumayi.

a Siddha Yogi from Hinwil, Switzerland

As I was logging on to view the Message Artwork, a profound stillness descended, as if I was entering a sacred space. I felt such delight as I gazed on the beautiful image. The silence continued as I meditated afterward—a beautiful silence, palpable and full of energy, imbued with the loving presence of our Guru.
 

a Siddha Yogi from Launceston, Australia

Saturday, April 20, 2013, turned out to be a great day of suspense and splendor, filled with the anticipation of Gurumayi's Message Artwork!

I was refreshing the homepage all evening, and no update. Eventually a friend told me, "Read Swami Akhandananda's letter again and scroll down to the bottom." And yes! Like stepping into a meditation cave—I logged in and what a magnificent gift was unveiled. Darshan! Darshan of Gurumayi's Message Artwork—how beautiful and transporting it is.

Thank you, thank you, Gurumayi!

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

I love how we had to enter deeper into the website in order to receive the darshan of the Message Artwork for 2013—just as we have to go deeper into mantra japa in order to receive its fruit.  

Thank you, Gurumayi, for your loving grace in the form of the exquisite artwork. I'm excited about having its darshan every day so that I may go deeper into the experience of mantra japa.

a Siddha Yogi from Colorado, USA

It was wonderful! After I focused on Gurumayi's Message Artwork, I started feeling a buzzing in my third eye. And then I saw a shape, which changed into another shape, and then a lot of different shapes. And they started to dance. Then they all took on beautiful colors, like a kaleidoscope. My mind became silent, and my heart opened.

Afterward I chanted Shri Guru Gita, and I felt light and happy.

Thank you very much, Gurumayi.

a Siddha Yogi from Sao Paulo, Brazil

I’ve been waiting with so much anticipation to see Gurumayi’s Message Artwork!
 
This morning, I returned to the letter from Swami Akhandananda and found the link to Gurumayi’s Message Artwork. As I read each line of the letter, my excitement grew and grew.
 
I set aside time to be with the Message Artwork and to contemplate my experience of receiving darshan.
 
With all the excitement that I had built up, I thought that my experience upon seeing the Message Artwork was going to be like fireworks. To the contrary, my mind entered into the most profound and perfect silence. It was as if with just one glance, I was taken to an inner sacred shrine. With just one glance, my entire being was transported to the Heart.
 
Thank you so much, Gurumayi. Time and time again you show me the path to the Heart.

A Siddha Yogi from Mexico City, Mexico

As soon as Gurumayi's Message Artwork appeared on my screen, I gasped and then was pulled into meditation. When I opened my eyes to look at it again, these were the words that came through me:
It pulsates.
It penetrates my heart.
The continuous repetition of the mantra creates a field that eventually leads to the inner strata of waves of bliss that weave into the experience of the Self.
Once you focus on the Message Artwork, you feel the expansion that emanates from it.
This is the gift of mantra japa.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for this powerful expression of your love for us.  

a Siddha Yogi from Makati, Philippines

The Message Artwork is exquisite!  It vibrates with the pulse of the mantra.

Thank you.

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

As I went through the steps to reach the posting of Gurumayi's Message Artwork for 2013, I felt like I was on a pilgrimage to a holy place, crossing each threshold to the inner sanctum to have darshan.

When I reached the image, I was stunned by the powerful depiction of the Truth that Gurumayi teaches us about.

The image is so simple yet so complex simultaneously. It led me into deep meditation.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for this gift to the world.

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

During the night, all I was thinking about was this morning when I would be able to see Gurumayi's Message Artwork on mantra japa. So, with much anticipation, that's what I did first thing. 

It is so creative and revealing—just beautiful. It expresses all that mantra japa leads to in such a great representation. It is just perfect! I feel happy and deeply grateful to Gurumayi for this great gift.  

a Siddha Yogi from Virginia, USA

How powerful Gurumayi's Message Artwork is! As I looked at the image, it connected with something deep inside me.

My very first thought was: "This is the answer to 'Who am I?' "

My second thought was: "This is the goal of mantra japa."

Thank you.

a Siddha Yogi from Zurich, Switzerland

Over the last two weeks, the beautiful teachings and artwork on mantra japa have captured what I've been experiencing but can't express. And now the Message Artwork for 2013: so simple, yet so profound. It is spectacular! The four steps of Siddha Yoga studentship work!

Sitting in front of my puja halfway across the world, the vibrations of the mantra dance in my heart and at the top of my head.  

From a grateful heart in Manila.

a Siddha Yogi from Manila, Philippines

The 2013 Message Artwork is beautiful. For the entire time I viewed it, my third eye was buzzing with energy and I was feeling so much love and enthusiasm.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for this blessing. 

a Siddha Yogi from Iowa, USA