Shares and Experiences from Participants

Recognizing Divinity

A Siddha Yoga Chanting Satsang
with Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

Shree Muktananda Ashram
July 4, 2015

July 4, 2015 dawned as a golden day for me. I was going to see Gurumayi for the first time in fifteen years! In order to hold the Guru’s teachings in my heart, I often remind myself to remain aware of and focused on everything that happens within and without. I experience that the Guru’s teachings come to me in different forms at different times.

In her talk, when Gurumayi spoke about “like attracts like,” I felt she was speaking directly to me. Before I came to the satsang, I was discussing with my brother about the importance of holding positive thoughts and beliefs and how they shape different situations in our life. So when Gurumayi said, “like attracts like,” tears of gratitude began to flow and I was awestruck that Gurumayi was speaking about the very topic I had been discussing earlier in the day.

I felt that during all the years that I have not been in the presence of the physical Guru, Gurumayi has always been present in my life and we were never apart. I now have the conviction that when I hold positive thoughts, I attract Gurumayi’s grace into my life.

a satsang participant from Sydney, Australia

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When Gurumayi began to speak, I thought, “Oh my gosh, she’s talking to me personally right now!” This year in my work I have been feeling a lot of pressure and have been focusing on many problems and challenges, particularly on how few people there are to support the work I do. I felt that Gurumayi was looking straight at me when she spoke about focusing on what’s good and what’s working. I understood that this was the way I would draw people to the work, people who want to be part of the solution. If I focus on the solution, I will do much better. I have a lot to reflect on in the next few months.

a satsang participant from California, USA

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In the past, it has not always been easy for me to stand up and share in satsangs. But during the satsang Recognizing Divinity, I took the support of Gurumayi’s teachings about the value of participation. I also paid close attention to how Gurumayi gave herself completely to the event and to all of us. This time, when I began to participate by standing up and sharing, my heart opened fully. It felt easy and comfortable to speak, and I saw how my participation contributed to the warmth and love that we were all experiencing in the company of Gurumayi.

a satsang participant from Mexico City, Mexico

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I was invited to offer arati to Gurumayi during the chanting satsang. When Jyota se Jyota Jagao began, I smiled gently at Gurumayi and watched as she swayed back and forth to the beat of the chant. As she became more ecstatic, I felt it within my being. Then, our eyes met. She looked intently into my eyes, and I looked into hers. As we looked at one another, it felt as though I were looking into my own Self. I felt all my concerns melt away in that moment, and joy and gratitude filled my heart. It felt as though that single exquisite exchange lasted for hours.

When you offer seva, or are in a satsang with Gurumayi, you feel a strong sense of devotion and beauty in the world around you. I felt this feeling during arati multiplied by a thousand-fold. It was magical, serene, blissful, and tranquil all at the same time. It was a beautiful experience, and I am deeply grateful.

a nineteen-year-old satsang participant from New Hampshire, USA

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When four of us Indian girls went for darshan, Gurumayi invited us to sing something. We chose Om Gurudev. This was very important to me because in a lot of Indian gatherings, people perform music and dance, so it reminded me of my culture. Later, I felt like this was a call to action. Having grown up with that culture of performing music and dance during gatherings, I feel that I have a special responsibility to share that tradition with everyone.

a twenty-year-old satsang participant from New Jersey, USA

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While we were singing Om Gurudev, Gurumayi looked at all four of us Indian girls with so much love. As I looked into Gurumayi’s eyes, I felt so connected to her and could feel her love throughout my body.

an eighteen-year-old satsang participant from New Jersey, USA

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I loved when Gurumayi whispered to me, “I love you, you are awesome,” while she touched her forehead to mine.

a five-year-old satsang participant from California, USA

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When I was singing Sunny Side of the Street, I was a little nervous at first because I didn’t feel sure of myself. Although I had practiced the song the night before, I felt that maybe I hadn’t practiced it enough. When I finished the song, I was proud of myself because I went for it.

I learned from this experience to not worry about what other people think—just go for it.

an eleven-year-old satsang participant from Connecticut, USA

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I felt loved. I will practice going to darshan at home.

a seven-year-old satsang participant from Sydney, Australia

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I had not seen Gurumayi for quite a long time and when I first was invited to offer seva in the hall for the satsang, I made an intention to be fully focused on seva during this extraordinary event.

During the satsang I was so focused on taking care of the participants, I realized that I was feeling the same love for each participant that I feel for Gurumayi. I felt that the Guru was everywhere.

Through this experience I feel I have become more able to understand and recognize the Guru principle.

a satsang participant from Verbena, Italy

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On Friday, July 3, I was told that I had been invited to a chanting satsang and darshan with Gurumayi. The second that I heard this news, I felt heat rising in my body and a profound enthusiasm and joy. It completely changed the way I felt and perceived the rest of the day; it was as if I were already in the presence of Gurumayi.

When I actually saw Gurumayi the next day, I was ecstatic. During the chant, I was overcome by bliss to such a point that it would bubble up into chuckles and smiles. By seeing and listening to Gurumayi, I connected with her presence inside.

During darshan I felt as if her smiles and looks cleansed my heart, creating a profound feeling of worthiness, discipleship, connection, and love that still stays with me.

I am immensely grateful for receiving this prasad that strengthened my love for the Guru and commitment to the path even more.

an eighteen-year-old satsang participant from Madrid, Spain

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After the satsang Recognizing Divinity, three of us were reflecting on what had happened. For each of us, one thing that stood out was Gurumayi’s teachings about the power of words. So we decided, going forward, we could put the words that were mentioned in the satsang into a jar and every day pick one and reflect on that word. This way, we would attract that quality into our lives.

a satsang participant from New York, USA

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Going to sleep on the night after the satsang Recognizing Divinity, my daughter, who has just turned four years old, said, “I want more days like that!” Everyone in the family laughed in agreement!

a satsang participant from Mexico City, Mexico

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During the reflection satsang which took place the day after the chanting satsang with Gurumayi, my seven-year-old son told me that he wanted to spend time every night in the meditation room at home to chant and meditate.

On the plane going home from Shree Muktananda Ashram, he spent a lot of time visiting the Siddha Yoga path website. Then when we arrived home, one of the first things he did was set up, in front of the puja, the new asanas he and his sister had received, and then he led us all in a reading, chant, and meditation.

The morning after we arrived home, he brought his asana downstairs, set up blankets, and read Gurumayi’s book The Great Hiss to his sister and me.

My son said of the satsang: “I liked when Gurumayi was hugging me. I felt that Gurumayi loved me. And I loved Gurumayi's teachings.”

a satsang participant from California, USA

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I was very fortunate to have been invited to the satsang Recognizing Divinity. As I watched Gurumayi speak with the children, I saw that she gave them her entire attention. She set the tone that gave the children the freedom to be themselves.

At the end of the satsang, as Gurumayi made her way down the aisle, she stopped beside me for a moment. She gently placed her hand on my head. As someone who has been on the Siddha Yoga path for many years, I understood this blessing as quiet and profound encouragement to continue with steady self-inquiry and my daily meditation practice.

Later, as I contemplated my experience of the satsang, I realized that in whatever form the Guru’s grace comes—whether it is the Guru’s look, voice, or touch—it is always perfection itself. On each, Gurumayi bestows that which is needed in that moment—whether it is love, laughter, tenderness, or just simple encouragement to keep going on the path.

a satsang participant from London, UK

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I was so moved when Gurumayi walked down the aisle and took her seat, when she spoke, and laughed, and chanted. And there I was, unable to see her because my tears were blurring my vision!

In that state, I was invited to have her darshan with the eyes of the heart, to sink deep into the bliss of that unique moment of love, and beauty, and recognition, in which so many blessings were falling upon all of us in the form of those joyful and playful adjectives. What a sweet, exquisite, sublime day! What a perfect, astounding, gracious, divine Guru we have!

a satsang participant from Cuernavaca, Mexico


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