Glimpses of Nature I

Photographs Contributed by the Global Siddha Yoga Sangham
in Honor of Earth Day

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Introduction by Makario Sarsozo

In honor of Earth Day 2020, Siddha Yogis from around the world have contributed the photographs you see on this page—photographs they have taken of nature in different seasons. The title, “Glimpses of Nature,” has been given by Gurumayi.

It was at Gurumayi’s request that Sandeep Knoesel, SYDA Foundation Website Department Head, sent a communication to Siddha Yogis throughout the world, inviting them to contribute their photographs of nature to celebrate Earth Day. The response to this invitation to submit photographs was immediate and enthusiastic. The submissions from the global Siddha Yoga sangham from more than thirty countries number well over a thousand and reflect the artistic eye and great hearts of our global community.

This year’s Earth Day marks the fiftieth anniversary of the day when people across the U.S. demonstrated en masse in response to an environmental crisis and helped to launch the modern environmental movement.

From studying and imbibing the Siddha Yoga teachings, we on the Siddha Yoga path have a deep respect and commitment to protecting our planet. Gurumayi Chidvilasananda teaches from the Vedas and Upanishads, which extol and worship the plants and creatures of this planet through various mantras, hymns, and shlokas. In fact, nearly all of the classic paintings of Gurus teaching disciples depict an outdoor scene—they are under a tree, by a river, in the woods and forest, on the mountaintop. These images reflect how humans and the natural world are deeply interconnected.

At this current pivotal moment in human history, let’s celebrate Earth Day by reflecting on the magnificence of the natural world that sustains and nourishes us. Let’s appreciate the many blessings we receive from nature, and at the same time, let’s consider the impact we have on the plants, animals, and natural resources of this planet.

The Earth is truly extraordinary in the many ways it’s able to refresh and renew itself. Right now, for example, we’re seeing clearer skies in some of the world’s most polluted cities, fish are said to be returning to clean waters, and the Himalayas can be seen from India for the first time in decades. Since the “Be in the Temple” satsang that was held via live video stream in the Siddha Yoga Universal Hall on Gudhi Padva (March 24), Gurumayi has been speaking about the importance of people holding the intention to see the blue skies shimmering.

How beautiful it is that the Guru calls, and the disciples answer. These contributions of photographs from Siddha Yogis around the world are a testament to the Guru-disciple relationship.

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I found myself looking at every picture with so much enthusiasm and love.  They each capture a unique view of this astoundingly beautiful, varied world we are privileged to live in. I am deeply grateful for our natural world and desire to love and protect it the way it loves and protects me.
 

Washington, United States

O Earth, O Earth, so immense, so beautiful! Looking at the beauty outside invites me to experience the beauty within—because we are one.
 

Amsterdam, Netherlands

I have been viewing these enchanting photos every evening before going to bed. Tonight I caught myself smiling and exclaiming aloud at both their diversity and commonality. I often look at beautiful nature photos, but there is something really special about these. I believe it must be the love and devotion behind each offering. 
 

California, United States

My heart is full from these photos—so many images capturing the divine Shakti alive in nature. So many loving people behind the camera lens, alive to the presence of Shakti and able to capture and convey the moment of her sparkling into visibility. 
 
What a wonderful gift from Gurumayi this is to celebrate nature and remind us of the birth of Earth Day 50 years ago. May we grow, internationally, to be better, more sensitive custodians of this beautiful, magnificent planet!
 

Canberra, Australia

As I slowly looked through the images in this gallery, I found myself sighing over and over, awestruck by the magnificent beauty in nature. I imagined the person behind the camera in these different places feeling the same awe that I'm feeling now.
 
The more photos I looked at, the more I noticed similarities between photos from different continents, even from opposite sides of the world. This experience reminded me that we are all connected and interdependent in and through our home, the earth. We are united in the love and honor we give to this earth. May we continually acknowledge the support, nourishment, and blessings given to us by our wonderful planet! May we be grateful and care for the earth every day!
 

North Carolina, United States

I really enjoyed watching these beautiful photos calmly, quietly, and with no rush. Now I have time to do so! They are so beautiful and special, and I thought about how each one is an offering of love from the photographer who sent it. 
 
I'd never be able to see all these places, even if we didn’t have to stay home all the time now. So viewing these is also a gorgeous way to travel around our beautiful earth while staying safe at home.
 

Rome, Italy

Nature’s beauty is always mesmerizing to one and all. We are inspired when we witness scenes of beauty like these everywhere. And these photos are testimony to the bountiful offerings of nature to humans as well as to all other beings. I realize that I have to salute nature while enjoying and appreciating it. Namaste, Mother Earth. Thank you very much for all you give us.
 

Hyderabad, India

 
Oneness with Nature
 
O God, you are the fragrance of flowers, you are the blooming white lotus.
My bliss of freedom says: I have the same within.
All the trees holding stillness, such a great astonishing silence within.
My bliss of freedom says: I have the same silence within.
All these birds are singing the glory of God.
My bliss of freedom says: I have the same within.
Wind, sky, sand, fire, and water are all creations of God.
My bliss of freedom says: No wonder I have the same within.
 

Bhandara, India

I feel immense gratitude as I look at this series of nature photos. Each picture brings me a smile, a sense of awe, and a wave of love. I feel welcomed into each person’s country, as though we are all becoming more closely connected—as if I traveled around the world without even leaving my house!
 

Colorado, United States

What a wonderful world. I feel so grateful to everyone who shared their piece of heaven.
 

Chichester, United Kingdom

I love Mother Earth. I feel so much gratitude for her renewal, her rejoicing. I picture her rebirth, her transformation—just as this moment in time has changed me in many ways as I turn within for transformation to uplift my spirit.
 

San Juan, Puerto Rico

For me, each photo from around the world is a meditation on Mother Nature—on her glory, joyfulness, abundance, and grace.
 
Moving through the images, I felt I could hear the sounds of the earth. I felt I was on a journey into my heart.
 

Maine, United States

I am filled with awe as I observe nature’s ever-changing, ever-glorious face here.
 

New York, United States

O Mother Earth
Your beauty awakens meditation
Your sounds dissolve tension
You are beyond comprehension

You fill my heart with joy
How can I thank you?

You give me strength and energy
How may I serve you?

O Mother Earth, you are beyond comprehension!
 

Farnborough, United Kingdom

Gazing at these breathtaking images, I felt present in the moment and experienced a vibration running through each cell of my body. It felt like the immense love of God embracing me.
 

Mersin, Turkey

Wow! I am so moved by the beauty of our Earth and the majesty of God’s creation. It is so powerful to see these signs of goodness, of greatness, of purity, and beauty and to know that whatever else may be going on in the world, all these wonders are still here, and they are all around us. I am grateful to see through the eyes of all in the global sangham who have shared with us these feasts for the eyes and heart.
 

California, United States

Mother Earth is abundant in beauty and power. Seeing the clouds, the mountains, the dew drops, the blooming flowers, and critters, I am thankful to have this experience of her generous abundance of life bursting forth right here in my home sanctuary. Happy Earth Day!

Let us celebrate our Earth Mother's glorious vastness and variety, and all the blessings of her powerfully flowing creative force that bring us ever closer to her bosom in our sweetly intertwined lives. Love to all on this auspicious celebration day!
 

California, United States