July 1, 2019
Shubh Gurupurnima! May we all be cloaked in the light of Shri Guru’s full moon! The brightest, the most glorious moon of the year is this moon in the Hindu lunar month of Ashadh, which in 2019 is on July 16. Almost all celebrations in India take place according to the celestial journey of the moon. So each year, each holiday falls on a different date according to the Gregorian calendar.
The mystical tradition of Gurupurnima began in ancient India. The disciples of the revered sage Veda Vyasa asked him if they could have a day dedicated to honoring and worshiping him, their Guru. They felt immense gratitude for the knowledge they had received from Sage Vyasa, and they intended to use this knowledge to uplift the world. The sage was pleased with their hearts’ intention and granted them their wish. The full moon of Ashadh was to be the day for disciples to honor their Guru. Thus, was born the beautiful practice of celebrating Gurupurnima. The disciples spread the word, and since then, people from India, through their travels, have brought this sacred tradition to all corners of the world.
On the Siddha Yoga path, we Siddha Yogis venerate our Guru, Shri Gurumayi, every day for illumining our hearts with the light of her knowledge, for awakening within us the longing to know God, and for her teachings, which guide our journey to recognizing the divinity within. However, carrying on the beautiful practice of celebrating Gurupurnima, we all love to come together on this special day to honor and worship our Gurumayi. From her teachings we have learned how to live a life of purpose and meaning by following the path of sadhana and relishing the joy and peace that it brings.
The fourteenth-century Shaivite treatise Kularnava Tantra says this about the significance of a Guru in a seeker’s life:
भक्तिरेव गुरौ देवि नान्यः पन्था इति श्रुतिः ॥
You may wish for something in this physical world; you may strive to attain Self-realization; you may aspire to attain the highest state of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.
The only path to fulfilling your longing is through devotion to the Guru; there is no other path. 1
I have been all ears as many of you have shared with me that you have been participating in Sweet Surprise 2019 again and again. So you may remember this teaching of Gurumayi. She says that one of the ways to help the mind see and revel in its own light is to “tone down the busy-ness” of our lives. I have found this teaching to hold great value for me. By consciously taking away some of the “busy-ness” from my day, I am able to make space for my mind to rest. This got me thinking, “I wonder what ways others have found to remove some of the ‘busy-ness’ from their lives…”
So let me ask you, “What will you do to reduce the preoccupations of your day so that your mind finds precious moments to rest, so that you become the guardian of that delicious state?”
Allow me to share what I do whenever I find a way to give my mind a moment of rest. I build on that again and again, which supports my mind to bathe in its own splendor.
Imagine watching the moon in the sky as wisps of clouds pass over it from time to time. Even when the moon is not visible, you know it is there and that you will see it again, just as soon as that cloud passes by. In the same way, the light of the mind is ever effulgent. We simply need to let the clouds of our own preoccupations dissolve little by little. This makes space for the mind so it may gaze upon its own brilliance.
We are so fortunate that on the occasion of Gurupurnima, there is so much available on the Siddha Yoga path website. When we engage with the teachings on the website, our knowledge increases, our experience deepens, our understanding gets clearer, and our connection with our own selves and with others strengthens. In this month of July, the website will feature many elements specific to Gurupurnima, as well as other materials for your continued study of Gurumayi’s Message. I wish to highlight some of these here:
Also, in this month there will be a few more phenomena unfolding in the sky. There will be two eclipses. A solar eclipse will take place on July 2 and be visible mostly in South America. A partial lunar eclipse will occur on the night of July 16, which will be visible in most parts of the world except for North America. During an eclipse, the manifold benefits of your spiritual practices are magnified.
One of my favorite Siddha Yoga practices is guru-puja, the worship of Shri Guru. This is especially so in the month of Gurupurnima, the month dedicated to worshiping the Guru wholeheartedly. I want to share with you that you may offer guru-puja in the form of either manasa puja—mental worship—or as an outward act of puja. I find that when I am performing guru-puja, my mind becomes focused on it, in the way the tides in the ocean are pulled toward the moon. This focus gives rise to inner delight. When my mind is able to access that restful place within, it gives me a way to connect with my own heart as I go about my daily duties. So, wouldn’t you like to make time in your day or evening to practice worship and find your own ambrosia? This will help you to discover a sweet and tender space in your mind that you may return to again and again.
As I was writing this letter to you, this bhajan by the sixteenth-century poet-saint Mirabai made its way into this piece. In this bhajan Mirabai imagines the ways she is going to worship her Beloved, Lord Krishna. Mirabai says:
मैं बगियन से फूल को चुन के
प्रभु के चरण चढ़ाऊँगी...
श्रद्धा भक्ति प्रेम से प्रभु मैं
दर्शन उनका पाऊँगी।
I will gather flowers from the garden
and offer them at the feet of my Beloved…
With faith, devotion and love
I will receive my Beloved’s darshan.
You may read these devotion-filled words and visualize doing manasa puja to your Shri Guru.
Click here to see the transliteration and meaning of the Sanskrit verse and bhajan in this letter.