In Step with the Heavenly Beat

An Account of Gurumayi’s Birthday Celebration

Shree Muktananda Ashram
June 23 – 24, 2015

Part I

The Heavens Opened

In the early hours of June 23 in Shree Muktananda Ashram, the auspicious day of Gurumayi’s Birthday was just beginning in the Far East. Gurumayi shared with a few sevites that, although it was not yet June 24 in Shree Muktananda Ashram, she could feel that her exuberant devotees had begun to celebrate her birthday in other parts of the world. In honor of the fifty-hour worldwide birthday celebration, Gurumayi said that she would join the global Siddha Yoga sangham by singing the Arati in the Bhagavan Nityananda Temple
that evening, on June 23. Gurumayi also shared that singing this
Arati is one of her favorite practices in the Ashram Daily Schedule, whether it is sung in the morning or evening. Gurumayi remembered how, in Gurudev Siddha Peeth, she always delighted in seeing the flames of the arati lamps glimmer during the brilliant sunrise and sunset. This experience symbolized the ever-present light of the Self, awakened by
Shri Guru.

sun motif

Sadgurunath Maharaj ki Jay! Happy Gurumayi’s Birthday!

To my heart’s great delight, on the evening of June 23 I received an invitation to attend a satsang with Gurumayi in the Bhagavan Nityananda Temple. It was to begin in just forty-five minutes! This was the answer to my heart’s prayer. I had been in Shree Muktananda Ashram on a seva visit, with Tarun Desai, my fellow Trustee of the Siddha Yoga Sangham of India. It was our secret wish to receive Gurumayi’s darshan on her birthday.

As Tarun bhai and I walked down the hallway toward the Bhagavan Nityananda Temple on our way to the satsang, we were thrilled to see Gurumayi walking outside on the garden path. Her radiant robes and shawl were dancing in the motif We were mesmerized by the sun piercing through the iridescent dark clouds and by the resplendent orange of Gurumayi’s robes. The smiles on our faces mirrored the joy in our hearts at seeing our beloved Guru. The luminosity of our joy must have beamed all the way out the windows and to the garden path, because in that moment Gurumayi turned and saw us. Although we had lingered behind to watch Gurumayi walk ahead, a sevite came toward us and said, “Gurumayi is inviting you to come outside.”

When we stepped out the door, we found ourselves standing right before Gurumayi, near the Temple. We exchanged warm smiles with Gurumayi. In that moment, we knew we were in the right place at the right time. The palpable energy that coursed through our beings was indescribable. Of course we expected Gurumayi to express her delight at seeing us after so many months and years! However, as we have read in many stories of the Guru-disciple relationship, the Guru responds to the Truth, not to our mental fabrications.

Gurumayi started walking towards the breezeway that leads to the Temple. Before stepping inside she turned and looked at us, and our hearts quivered in anticipation. Gurumayi’s teaching came to us in the following words,

trustees quote
“Why are you—the Trustees, the leaders of Siddha Yoga Sangham, India—not coming forward on your own to greet Gurumayi? Why do you need others to nudge you forward? You have been here for so many days, why haven't I seen you? I am here. Definitely, I am right here.”

We silently embraced Gurumayi’s guidance in our hearts. We had already been overjoyed to receive Gurumayi’s darshan on this auspicious day, and we both realized how precious it was to receive her guidance as well. At that precise moment, drops of rain began to fall lightly. Gurumayi looked at the sky, put her hand out and said, “Feel the raindrops.” Then Gurumayi stepped into the Temple breezeway.

Several months ago when I made a plan to visit Shree Muktananda Ashram from India, it was my intention to carry with me the love of the entire Indian sangham for Gurumayi. I understood from Gurumayi’s guidance that just making an intention is not enough; I need to take the right steps to implement my intention.

Tarun bhai and I followed Gurumayi into the breezeway. I immediately felt that I was entering a world of serenity and silence. The breezeway was adorned with green silk and arrangements of bamboo plants, echoing Gurumayi’s Message Artwork for motif

As Gurumayi approached the Temple doorway, the pitter-patter of the raindrops on the roof grew motif Gurumayi began to laugh with the sound of the rain. I have always thought that Gurumayi’s laughter is the most beautiful sound in the whole world. And in that moment I felt that Gurumayi’s laughter was surely sparkling in the hearts of every one of her devotees, uniting us in that pure joy.
Gurumayi reached down to touch the threshold, then put her hand to her heart. She looked up at Bade Baba, and just as she placed her right foot—her daya charana kamal—on the carpet of the Temple, the heavens opened and showered their blessings in a drumming motif Gurumayi’s birthday celebration in step with the heavenly beat had just begun. Gurumayi continued walking toward Bade Baba’s padukas and pranamed.
After Gurumayi took her seat, I stepped forward with folded hands and gazed at Bade Baba. The doors to my heart were wide open, and my heart was becoming moist with drops of love. Bade Baba in Shree Muktananda Ashram, Bade Baba in Gurudev Siddha Peeth, and Bade Baba whom I worship in my heart—they are all one. As my eyes rested upon Bade Baba’s form, I rejoiced in the beauty I beheld: Bhagavan Nityananda was adorned in silvery, sage-colored robes with a subtle motif of bamboo leaves, and a garland of white orchids and cinnamon motif He was surrounded by a bounty of fresh fruits and the most gorgeous peach- and pink-colored roses. Silver vases overflowed with roses, peonies, and wildflowers in shades of peach, pink, purple, and cream.

Although I never had darshan of Bade Baba’s physical form, I have seen so many photographs and videos of Bade Baba surrounded by offerings of fruits and flowers. The state of equipoise he embodied in his physical form is timeless; he is sakshat—he lives—in the form of his motif

After I had Bade Baba’s darshan, the hall monitor ushered me to my seat. The atmosphere in the Temple thrummed with the rhythmic sound of the rain.

Gurumayi was listening to the heavenly sounds as she gazed at Bade Baba. She said in a gentle voice, “This is the best music.”

As the rain continued, sunlight began streaming into the Temple. Bade Baba shone even more radiantly. “There will be a rainbow now,” Gurumayi said with a smile. She asked the photographers to go outside and look for the rainbow.

At that moment, the host stood and began to speak. Gurumayi held up her hand, motioning him to stop, and said, “When nature sings, we remain quiet.”

We all experienced quietude as we listened to this divine music flowing from the heavenly spheres. Later that night, one of the participants told me her experience of those moments in the celebration satsang in the Temple. She said she felt that nature was manifesting the inner experiences described by the poet-saint Dharmadas in his bhajan Jhari Lagai Meheliya Gagana Gheheray. Gurumayi sings an exquisite rendition of this Hindi bhajan in a melody that she herself composed. The English translation is:

The palace of my heart is set amidst a vast inner sky,
    whose dark clouds are constantly pouring down rain.
Clouds are rumbling with thunder.
Lightning is flashing through the clouds,
    filling the sky.
The ocean of brilliance is swelling.
Wave after wave is arising;
    the splendor is indescribable.
From the supreme void of the inner sky,
    nectar is raining down.
I am bathing in it,
    immersed in the bliss of love.
The doors of my palace are blowing open!
Darkness is being driven away.
Blessed is my Sadguru,
    who has revealed this wondrous sight to me.
Dharmadas folds his hands and prays,
    May I always be immersed
    in the lotus feet of the Sadguru.

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