Exploring Gurumayi’s Message for 2016 through Scriptural Study

An Introduction by Swami Shantananda

Gurumayi has given Siddha Yogis and new seekers many ways to explore her Message for 2016. One of these is by studying her Message through the lens of a classic text on the philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism: the Pratyabhijñā-hṛdayam, “The Heart of Recognition.”

Gurumayi’s Message for 2016 is:

Move with steadfastness
toward becoming
anchored
in Supreme Joy

Gurumayi expounded on teachings from the Pratyabhijñā-hṛdayam when she gave her Message for 2016 in A Sweet Surprise Satsang. This scripture was written by the sage Kṣemarāja who lived in Kashmir, the northernmost part of India, during the eleventh century. His text consists of twenty aphoristic statements, called sūtra in the Sanskrit language, accompanied by his own commentaries.

With this work, Kṣemarāja illumines the main goal of a seeker’s spiritual journey and the means to attain it. What is that goal? The answer is in the title: the recognition of the Heart. Supported by the Guru’s grace, the practice of recognition brings about the experience of the Heart, our own blissful Self. This is the goal Gurumayi speaks about in her Message for this year.

Throughout the year, commentaries on the sūtras from the Pratyabhijñā-hṛdayam written by Siddha Yoga meditation teachers and scholars will be featured on the Siddha Yoga path website. These commentaries are rich with explanations and teachings that elucidate the scriptural knowledge of the Pratyabhijñā-hṛdayam, how this knowledge reveals facets of Gurumayi’s Message for 2016, and ways that students can put Gurumayi’s Message into practice.

A Method of Study

Here are a few suggestions for how to study the sūtras of the Pratyabhijñā-hṛdayam and the commentaries.

Begin by invoking Shri Guru’s grace to support your efforts in understanding and assimilating the sacred teachings. For this, you can recite verses 4 and 5 of the hymn Śiva Mānasa Pūjā found in The Nectar of Chanting. Or you might recite the maṅgalam, the invocatory prayer, written by Kṣemarāja for the Pratyabhijñā-hṛdayam. You can find this invocation on the minisite that will become available when you register for the commentaries.

Then recite aloud the sūtra you are studying at least three times—first recite the original Sanskrit three times, and then recite the translation three times. Read the commentary at an easeful pace. Give yourself time to absorb the teachings.

Contemplate the meaning of the sūtra in light of the commentary that accompanies it. Ask yourself questions such as:

How can the teaching of this sūtra and its commentary help me to better understand Gurumayi’s Message for 2016?

Write your insights in your journal.

Then, consider these questions:

How will I put my understanding into action?
How will I implement it in my spiritual practices and daily life?

Keep a record of what you learn from implementing the teaching.

Each time you study the sūtras and the commentaries you will discover nuances and insights about these teachings and how they support your study, practice, assimilation, and implementation of Gurumayi’s Message for 2016.

Another suggestion is for you to gather with a group of Siddha Yogis who are each registered for the series of commentaries, in order to form a Siddha Yoga sādhanā circle. Together you can study the sūtras and commentaries and share your understanding and the ways you will apply these teachings to your spiritual practice.

As you participate in this series, may your understanding blossom into true knowledge of the Self.

Click here to register.

Swami Shantananda

Swami Shantananda Copyright SYDA Foundation Swami Shantananda received shaktipat initiation from Baba Muktananda over forty years ago, when Baba gave him the mantra in Gurudev Siddha Peeth in Ganeshpuri, India. In meditation, Swamiji experienced the letters of the mantra dissolving into a vibrant, luminous power that rose up his spine to his head and gently wrapped itself around his mind. He then entered a deep inner space of silence and sweetness, from which he witnessed his quiet mind. Later, he learned from Baba that the Witness is the Supreme Self. He recognized, “This is who I am!” In 1977, he took monastic vows to become a Siddha Yoga Swami. Swami ji serves Gurumayi as a Siddha Yoga meditation teacher, drawing on his own profound experiences in sadhana and his extensive knowledge of the Indian scriptures. Swami Shantananda is the author of the book The Splendor of Recognition, an illuminating commentary on the Pratyabhijñā-hṛdayam., a key text of the philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism

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