All around the world today, on six continents and on the islands of the Atlantic and Pacific, Siddha Yogis and many other seekers are remembering Gurumayi, wishing her a most happy birthday, and expressing their love and their gratitude for having received her grace and teachings.
On this special occasion, I want to share a verse from the Kularnava Tantra, an ancient yogic text from India. This verse speaks about the nature of the Guru. Whenever I hear it, I think of Gurumayi.
The Kularnava Tantra says:
“[R]are is the Guru who, like the sun, illumines all.”1
Gurumayi is that rare perfected Master who, by bestowing the inner awakening, shaktipat-diksha, makes the light of the Self shine forth in everyone’s heart.
Gurumayi has traveled the globe many times over, awakening the divine energy within countless seekers and imparting the life-transforming teachings of the Siddha Yoga path. Through the Siddha Yoga path website, Gurumayi continues to impart her grace and teachings each and every day to seekers in all parts of the world.
After awakening us to the light of the Self within, Gurumayi teaches us to nourish that light by engaging in the spiritual practices, cultivating the divine virtues, and living in alignment with the highest Truth. Gurumayi teaches that the highest dharma, or duty, of a human being is to know and live in the constant awareness of our own divinity.
Having received Gurumayi’s grace, it is then up to us, as Siddha Yoga students, to nurture the expansion of the inner light through sadhana.
Sadhana is a Sanskrit word which means “that which leads straight to the goal”; the goal is the knowledge of the Self, our own inner divinity. Sadhana can also be understood as the effort, and the discipline, by which we accomplish that goal.
On the Siddha Yoga path, the effort we make is to follow the Guru’s teachings and walk the path that Gurumayi illumines for us.
And as we apply these teachings—as we walk the spiritual path—Gurumayi is our greatest well-wisher. She assures us that we have “what it takes” to attain the goal. I have heard Gurumayi say so many times, to little children and grown adults alike: You can do it. Go for it. You are great. She gives this encouragement to all of us.
Recently a Siddha Yogi, who is now a young adult, shared with me the way she had studied and practiced a teaching from Gurumayi.
When this young woman was fifteen years old, she received a card from Gurumayi. On the card were these words from Gurumayi’s book Inner Treasures:
“Joy is the natural state of the Self. It is constant and it can be experienced.”2
This young woman said that as a teenager, when everything in her life seemed to be in flux, these words were a perfect teaching for her. She took them to heart. She felt Gurumayi was letting her know that there was something she could count on, something steady and constant within herself.
Each night she placed the card on her puja in her room, and each night she would read the teaching out loud and write it in her journal.
And when she found herself swirling in the emotions of the teenage years, she would remember Gurumayi’s teaching and recite it aloud. As she said the words, she would direct her awareness inside, to her heart. There she could feel Gurumayi’s radiant presence, which would draw her beneath the emotions, to a place of peace and joy.
In this way, Gurumayi’s words served as a beacon for her. They also inspired her to develop a steady practice of meditation. Through Gurumayi’s grace, through Gurumayi’s teaching, and through her own effort, this young Siddha Yogi came to recognize the steady presence of the Self beneath the fluctuating emotions. And she learned how to maintain contact with the constant joy of the Self.
This story is just one example of the transforming power of Gurumayi’s grace and teachings—and of how we experience that transforming power when we study Gurumayi’s teachings and put them into practice. Imagine if this young woman had put that card away in her desk? But she didn’t! She honored Gurumayi’s teaching; she made it a part of her daily life. By doing this, she experienced that Gurumayi was with her, supporting her efforts. And she created a tangible connection with her own Self, the divinity within.
When we open ourselves to Gurumayi’s grace, when we take her teachings to heart and put them into practice, they take us toward the Self—toward the abode of joy and light.
Thank you, Gurumayi. Thank you for awakening the light of the Self within us. Thank you for your grace-filled teachings, which guide us as we walk the Siddha Yoga path and lead us to the constant awareness of the Self.