Gurumayi thanked Swami Vasudevananda again, and we all echoed Gurumayi’s appreciation to Swami ji in our hearts. Then, very slowly Gurumayi turned her head in my direction. As the host, I was sitting to Gurumayi’s left, with the sevites in the Live Events Department at the front of the hall. Gurumayi looked at me and said, “Gauri, you’re all dressed up today—you are making your love visible.”
I felt honored to receive Gurumayi’s glance and sweet words. I gently stood and walked to the host’s podium, knowing that, in my seva role as the host, I had a greater focus: to ensure that everything I said and did made Gurumayi’s love visible to everyone.
With great joy, I first welcomed Gurumayi and then greeted all the smiling participants with an enthusiastic “Shubh Makara Sankranti!” Everyone responded with even greater liveliness “Shubh Makara Sankranti!”
In honor of Surya Devata, I shared my own experience of the sunrise. Just as Asa and Shubha had said, the winter sky was full of colors, even though from my vantage point the sun was hidden behind clouds. First I waited to have the darshan of the sun; however, the band of clouds continued to conceal it. Then I realized that I needed to expand my perspective. When I looked around, I noticed all the colors visible in nature, illumined by the sun’s light—each was revealed by the sun’s glory. I did receive the darshan of the sun!
With this understanding, I then read to the satsang participants verse 5 of Shri Surya Ashtakam, one of the hymns published on the Siddha Yoga path website in honor of the deity, the Sun:
“To that Sun who is the great reservoir of radiance,
who is all-pervasive like the wind and sky,
the Lord of all the worlds,
How perfect that, on Makara Sankranti, we would be reciting Shri Guru Gita with Gurumayi, honoring the Guru who reveals to us our own inner effulgence.
This glorious recitation of Shri Guru Gita commenced with chanting the namasankirtana Muktananda Mahan, and culminated with singing Sadguru ki Arati.
During Sadguru ki Arati, I noticed that the sevite who was supporting the pujari to offer arati to Gurumayi had stepped forward and was making great efforts to relight the arati flame, which had gone out.
After the sevite struggled for a few minutes, Gurumayi said, “Once the wick goes out, you don’t relight the same wick. You need to get a new one. It’s important that the sevites in the Foundation grow up and understand such matters.” Hearing this, the pujari turned and walked down the aisle to the back of the hall to get a new wick.
During this time, Gurumayi steadily repeated how important it is for the Foundation to grow up and learn how to do the things it needs to do. In this moment I understood that, on this auspicious day, Gurumayi was giving guidance and bestowing her blessings for all sevites and Siddha Yogis to live an awakened life and offer seva with knowledge and respect. I felt my heart receiving Gurumayi’s words with a greater conscience.
Soon, the pujari returned to the front of the hall and resumed offering arati to Gurumayi. The pujari looked very poised and continued waving the arati tray with confidence and devotion.
Sadguru ki Arati concluded with four jubilant rounds of “Sadgurunath Maharaj ki Jay!”