Swami ji explained that on the Siddha Yoga path, we celebrate Gurupurnima throughout the month of July. He said, “Gurupurnima is the time that we honor and celebrate having the Guru in our lives, the Guru who awakens the light of God in our hearts.”
He asked the families if they knew what purnima means.
Many people replied, “Full moon!” Swami ji nodded, “Yes, the full moon. So Gurupurnima is the full moon of the Guru. It is the brightest and most perfect moon of the year.”
Gurumayi added, “This year in July 2015 there are two full moons!”
Swami ji, looking even happier, nodded his head and said, “Yes, this Gurupurnima month is particularly special, as there are two full moons. When there are two full moons in the same month, the second full moon is called the ‘blue moon.’”
It was fascinating to hear about the Gurupurnima moon, and certainly resonant for the two of us. We both grew up with a deep appreciation for the Gurupurnima moon. As children, we learned that one of the ways we could pray to Gurumayi was through the moon. Wherever we would be in the world, we could always feel Gurumayi’s presence when we looked up at the moon.
Swami ji then led us in the traditional greeting for the holiday, “Shubh Gurupurnima!” Swami ji explained that shubh means “happy” and “auspicious.” We loved hearing the children repeating this greeting after Swami ji and thereby learning the traditions of the Siddha Yoga path at such a young age.
Swami ji then said, “At this point in the satsang, let us practice welcoming one another with respect and love. One of the ways we practice this is by introducing ourselves and getting to know a bit about each other.”
The participants looked around and smiled, clearly excited about this activity. Swami ji invited the families one by one to stand and introduce themselves.
When one family concluded their introduction, Swami ji prompted the next family to speak by saying, “Next family.”
Gurumayi said, “Swami ji, you may want to give a little description of each family you are inviting. As you invite the next family, you may say, ‘The next beautiful family, the next awesome family.’”
When we heard this, we understood that it wasn’t a mere formality; Gurumayi wanted Swami ji to recognize the great qualities each family brings to the Siddha Yoga path. We also thought Gurumayi had especially asked Swami Ishwarananda to do this because he had mentored many of these parents when they were young children, so he would know something about each one.
Upon hearing Gurumayi’s words, Swami ji’s face lit up and all the children sat up taller in their seats. The parents sweetly chuckled, and their faces glowed.
This task was not difficult for Swami ji. It was right up his alley, and he embraced it with gusto. He was having so much fun as he introduced each family with a smorgasbord of adjectives—wonderful, awesome, fantastic, extraordinary, stupendous, neat, creative, wunderbar! The children responded with glee when their family received an adjective from Swami ji.
When we were writing this account after the satsang, we asked one of the staff members from India, “What is the Hindi word for adjective?” She said that the word is visheshana. She explained that the first part of this word, vishesha, means “special.” In this way, visheshana—an adjective—shows you what is special about the noun it describes.
Once these heartwarming and fascinating introductions had concluded, Gurumayi said to Swami ji, “Before we begin chanting, invite everyone to stand up and stretch.”