November 7, 2023

Dear reader,

Shubh Deepavali!

I imagine that you, like me, are reveling in the light and love and immensity of wisdom in Gurumayi’s poem for Deepavali. I continue to reread the poem—returning to this or that starlit phrase, delighting in the unexpectedness of the imagery, contemplating the meaning layered into each verse. Gurumayi’s poem feels to me like a primer for life, an exquisitely rendered handbook for how to be in this world.

At this time, millions of people—in India and everywhere those of Indian descent reside—are celebrating Deepavali and the new year. The lamps are lit. The trays of sweets studded with saffron and pistachio, painted with delicate silver foil, are being passed around. There’s an appetite for something new, something fresh, a collective wish to usher in a brighter and more hopeful future.

I find that Gurumayi’s poem at once acknowledges this wish for newness and fulfills it. It is unlike any poem I’ve ever read, extraordinary not just for the knowledge it conveys, but for its structure, its format, the design of its presentation—art that is inextricable from the language and its intent. Those of you who read Hindi will have noticed that the symbol at the top of the poem, fashioned from leaves and adorned with a lotus shaped to the specific curvature of the devanagari symbol, spells “Shri.” This is one of the names of the goddess Mahalakshmi, to whom Gurumayi gives beautiful homage in her poem.

So yes, this poem is thrillingly unique. It includes a dharana, one you can do as part of the poem or listen to on its own. It also includes—most excitingly—Gurumayi’s invitation to you to write your own poems for Deepavali.

I’d like to linger for a moment on this very special invitation. Deepavali is the festival of lights, and Gurumayi is encouraging you to write poems about the actions you have taken, are taking, and will take to bring light to your life and to the world. To inspire your writing, Gurumayi has even given several specific questions in her poem for you to consider.

Gurumayi shared with me that when she was writing the poem and came to this part of it, she felt as though she could pen a whole book on the subject. But she thought, “That won’t work. I can’t fit a whole book into this celebration poem!”

Then Gurumayi thought, “I have seekers and devotees around the world on the Siddha Yoga path. They can write at length about this. And how wonderful it would be if they do! Everyone has a unique perspective to share, their own way of extending their heart to others, their own manner of contributing to the world.”

Gurumayi also gave me a suggestion to share with all of you. As you prepare to write your poems, you may wish to take the support of the dharana. Doing the dharana will help you land in the space within yourself where inspiration, insight, and creativity arise. Then your writing won’t be just a mental exercise; it will be guided by an inner prompting. It will come from the heart.

Once you have completed your poems, you are welcome to submit them to the Siddha Yoga path website. (There is a submission link at the bottom of this page.) Some of the poems will be featured on the website, so that everyone can enjoy and benefit from reading about your experiences.

I, for one, can hardly wait to read your poems. In fact, as I sign off for now, I am picturing the light of your smiles.



Eesha Sardesai