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The Master and the 108 Lamps

I learned that you have to be patient, because even though what someone is doing might take time, they might be doing it for you.

an eight-year-old Siddha Yogi in Shree Muktananda Ashram

I loved the story about the Master and the 108 Lamps, as it filled me with hope for my own sadhana, and love and tenderness for the immense stillness, patience, and love of the Master. I realised that it actually doesn't matter whether initiation is given immediately, over a night, or over a life-time. The fact that the disciple is really longing for it and the Master can give it is all that matters.
 
The apparent folly of my actions as I try and blow out lamps or run to a well to get water for an endeavour that will not go as planned, is all part of the wonderful play. In fact, the Master actually gave his permission to the disciple to extinguish the lamps if he so desired. I saw this too as an important teaching, as the Master's promise of initiation to the disciple in the morning was not conditional on whether the disciple agreed with the ritual or even whether he extinguished the lamps that had just been lit.
 
As I understood the disciple's predicament, I began to feel compassion towards myself and then acknowledged the powerful bond between Master and disciple – the longing for liberation in its initial form, and then a deep and abiding love for each other through the connection of the heart.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, with all my love.

a Siddha Yogi from Melbourne, Australia

During the days after I read the story "The Master and the 108 Lamps," I kept returning to a beautiful experience inside again and again. When I took a moment to go inside, I experienced the 108 lamps as lights inside of me that the Guru has lit so carefully and lovingly. They blaze freely and abundantly, they have withstood many storms. They do not fade away as a result of circumstances. They shine brightly whether the sun is shining or the days are grey and foggy. They are ever so pure, ever so life-giving. The Guru lit them with great care and great intent.

Thank you, Gurumayi, and thank you to the Siddha Yoga sangham. I am very grateful to you.

a Siddha Yogi from Deggendorf, Germany

I was touched by the Master’s response to the seeker’s statement, "I didn't come here to light lamps. I came here to know the Truth." The Master smiled and said, "I have lit each lamp for the love of God. The light with which I have lit these lamps is the light of my own heart."

This dialogue reminds me of the emptiness of ceremonies performed without your heart’s consent. It is a beautiful reminder to not become mechanical in your practices, but to always touch the light of the heart in every activity through love of God.

Thank you, Gurumayiji,
a student in Gurudev Siddha Peeth, India

Before I started to read the story I looked at the golden mountains behind the title of the story, and my heart was touched by the beauty and the strength of the picture. What power! It is so alive! It is filled with Consciousness.

Then I started to read the story. When I read about how the seeker finally surrendered, I could experience the light, and tears ran down my cheeks. I could feel this light, this love, this amazing bright golden pure light. And I remembered my shaktipat experience. It was this same experience of light; only light exists. 

What an incredible gift. Thank you Gurumayi!!!!
Thank you so much again and again!

With love,
a Siddha Yogi from Hinwil, Switzerland

This story of the seeker trying to extinguish the Master's lamps really touched my heart. Even in the midst of earnest desire for enlightenment, the seeker was so ignorant of the true nature of the Master's gift. How compassionate the Master is, allowing the seeker to be confounded in his ignorance until he has his breakthrough. It was sobering to recognise my own tendency to pour water on the spiritual flame ignited within me by the Guru's grace, and so comforting to see that the light of the Master's love is so powerful it can withstand our limited understanding and ignorance, if we stay focused on our desire for enlightenment.

a Siddha Yogi from Sydney, Australia

As I read this story, at first I thought, "My goodness, what an impatient man." As the story went on I thought, "How many times have I tried to extinguish something in front of me in order to get what I perceived as something more full of light?" I recognized in my own self the exhaustion that can come from looking for That through the lens of my misunderstandings.
 
At a pause in between the moments of exhaustion, there is, in the cave of the heart, an opening, where light, or awareness, seeps in, signaling a passageway to get closer to the source of that light. Maybe it is sitting to chant, or meditating, or reading Gurumayi’s or Baba’s words.

My heart smiled as I felt the light of the seeker meld with the light of the Master within and without. That became That, and my heart wanted to experience this again and again.

a Siddha Yogi from Missouri, USA

When I read Gurumayi's beautiful story I saw myself in that impatient and crossed-arms seeker waiting for enlightenment. I felt Gurumayi was speaking directly to me. Then I realized how greatly fortunate I am to have reached the abode of a true Guru and that this is the only treasure I have ever wanted in my life!
 
I felt that when I light a candle to start my morning spiritual practices I should regard it not only as a candle, but as a pure and golden flame that represents the immense love between Guru and disciple.
 
I felt that I was not separate from Gurumayi's state, but that she actually is with me every second of my life, walking along the path with me.
 
With this new understanding, I meditated this morning. In meditation, I became Gurumayi and a profound stillness came over me making me feel like the Golden Himalayan mountain in the picture.
 
I am so happy!
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for ever and ever.

a Siddha Yogi from Milan, Italy

Thank you very much, Gurumayi, for this great story!
 
I felt that the tale exemplified that as much as the ego tries to have its way, based on its limited experience, if our longing is true, divine love will prevail in time.

a Siddha Yogi from Maryland, USA

This story reminds me that every action, every word from the Guru is filled with divine intention. The seeker was so focused on getting what he wanted that he was unable to see that the Truth was right in front of him the whole time.

Thank you for this beautiful teaching about surrender and having a present mind and open heart to be able to recognize and receive the Guru's teachings.

With gratitude,
a Siddha Yogi from New York

The story of the 108 lamps is exquisite, and I feel as if Gurumayi is reading this story just to me, offering me darshan. In my mind's eye, I was able to see all the details of the story. Even as I write, I can feel the golden glow of the light. What a gift—this light! 
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for the gift of shaktipat, for the gift of darshan, for the reminder here, in this story, of what's been given—and received.

With great love and gratitude,
a Siddha Yogi from Massachusetts, USA

At the story’s conclusion, the young seeker merges into the golden light of the Guru’s compassion. With his heart ablaze with love and awe, now his only desire is to serve the sacred work of his Master.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for the golden rays of your teachings that reach and uplift us wherever we are in the world. Thank you to all whose selfless efforts help make this possible.

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

This story brought such peace to me. There have been times when I have felt that my actions and thoughts diminished the shakti. Because of this I would hold back, get angry, or feel unworthy. This story reveals to me that the inner enemies cannot dim the light of the Guru. I feel a new connection to Gurumayi's love and compassion.
  
Thank you.

Love,
a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

As I was reading the story I kept wondering why the seeker couldn't wait until the morning as instructed by the Master. What was the urgency? Why couldn't he/she partake in the practise of lighting the lamps? Why was he/she so impatient?   
 
As I reflected on this I realised that I, too, need to practise patience. I, too, need to have the patience to light each lamp one at a time, to do things step by step, so that I can imbibe the learning that comes with each step. I, too, need to do my practises with love and patience to let things unfold at the time that is right for me to experience That.

Thank you so much, Gurumayi. I love reading the stories; they fill me with longing and a renewed energy. And they make me smile and laugh too. I love them.

Thank you so much.

a Siddha Yogi from Singapore

When reading this beautiful story my heart was filling up with tenderness and love. My heart became so alive. The longing to be conscious of the presence of God is shining in my heart. This is the flame of the Guru’s grace.

a Siddha Yogi from Montreal, Canada

I was reading Gurumayi's story just before I chanted Shri Guru Gita this morning. It reminded me to chant each shloka with love, the way the Master in the story lights each of the 108 lamps.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for this beautiful story. It has so many elements to contemplate.

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

I love this story. It so clearly illustrates how no matter what is happening in our own inner or outer world, the light of grace shines within and without!

And this is not just a concept—it is an experience that I've had for a long time. However, this experience has not come without effort. It relies on my self effort to remember and recognize that grace is always there.

Thank you for this beautiful story.

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

My first-ever reading this morning of this powerful and sweet story moved me to tears. It contains so many of the virtues that Gurumayi teaches—trust, patience, courage, fortitude, contentment, enthusiasm, and above all, love.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for all the blessed gifts you are always offering us. Each morning I eagerly look forward to opening the Siddha Yoga path website to begin and to guide my day.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, and thank you all the sevites who make this possible.

a Siddha Yogi from Italy

Today I felt a strong urge to meditate in the latter part of the morning. Before that I thought, "Let me look at the website first and then I'll meditate after that."
 
I opened the story of  “The Master and The 108 Lamps,” and when I reached page 12, and read, "He saw only light. There was no mountain, no flame, no Master, no seeker. There was just That," a flood of tears flowed out of my being, and I was filled with love, longing, and steadiness, ready to sit for meditation, with my Guru in my heart.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for this story.

a Siddha Yogi from Gurgaon, India

Lovely to open my computer between two business appointments and discover Gurumayi's uplifting tale. For a while, the noises and doings of the day cease. Time is suspended and filled with the golden colour of the Himalayas. I feel drawn inside with the 108 lamps and the vibrating mantras.
 
These words resound: "The flames scintillated with the Master's intention.” I'll take them with me throughout my day.

a Siddha Yogi from Paris, France

Thank you, Gurumayi, for the gift of this profound story. The more I read it, the greater I feel the love and power within, and with the understanding that our Guru gives us everything when we are ready.

Love,
a Siddha Yogi from the United Kingdom

Reading the story, I marveled at the Guru’s patient, steady love, and the seeker’s obstinacy. With further reflection, I acknowledge many ways that I have nurtured an old identity and limited perception rather than surrender to the eternal flame of love the Guru has awakened within me.

a Siddha Yogi from Illinois, USA

This story is so deep. I will be contemplating it for a long time. As I read, I kept thinking, “How can the devotee even think of putting out the lights?” But I realized that it is symbolic of how we don’t want to believe in our own divinity. Each of us faces our own resistance to the beauty of who we are, and the Guru keeps her lights shining with the Truth until we see it. What a story this is to bring in the New Year and light our way as we each forge our paths to our hearts.

Thank you Gurumayi for your love.

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA