I was heartened to hear Gurumayi speak to us about the need for each sevite to take full responsibility for the work of the SYDA Foundation—to offer seva with excellence. Gurumayi’s words had ignited a resolve in me to give my best in the seva I offer.
One of the ways I remember Gurumayi’s teachings is through the stories she tells. The stories paint such vivid pictures that the events in my life trigger my recollections of the stories and the teachings they convey. When I heard Gurumayi give examples and illustrations during this satsang, I found them intriguing, and I was excited that this would help me imbibe Gurumayi’s wisdom.
Gurumayi spoke about how, during the arati, a sevite had come forward to show the pujari how to hold the arati tray and relight the wick that had gone out during the arati. Gurumayi explained that, once the puja has begun, it is not the right time to give training to the pujari. These types of quick fixes do not work. Training the pujari, learning how to make the wicks—these things need to be taken care of during preparation time. When Gurumayi spoke about this, I recalled that this wasn’t the first time something like this had happened. This was a repeat of the same mistake. I remembered that Gurumayi had actually brought this to the attention of the Live Events Department over and again.
Gurumayi also said, “I have asked the Live Events Department to hold a class for people to learn how to make the wicks. There are so many Indian devotees living in America who know how to make them. In fact, many weeks ago, I even showed some sevites how to make the wick properly, so that the flames will not go out during the waving of the arati tray. I learned how to make arati wicks as a child. And I want to share with you that all the skills you learn as a child, you will never forget.”
Gurumayi gave an example of how sevites need to demonstrate normalcy, decency, and courtesy. Gurumayi has spoken about and taught these three simple but very important behaviors for as long as I can recall.
Gurumayi said, “I arrived this morning in Nidhi Chauk for the recitation of Shri Guru Gita. I sat on the chair that was placed near the entrance to Shri Nilaya for me to remove my shoes. When I took my seat, I noticed that one of the hall monitors was standing with her back to me, just one foot away from my chair, since she had been welcoming participants into Shri Nilaya. I observed that, even once she became aware that Gurumayi was sitting right behind her, she didn’t move from her position. She continued to stand with her back to me. When your Guru is right there beside you, you need to turn. If not simply to demonstrate courtesy, wouldn’t you turn to receive your Guru’s blessings?”
I listened to Gurumayi share this anecdote. I made the right effort to remain fully present. I wanted to hear every word. It was an auspicious day, a celebration in honor of Surya Devata. Gurumayi was illumining our minds, our hearts, our actions. I had a very distinct feeling that our worship was bearing fruit. The glorification of the sun was taking place as Gurumayi was instructing all the sevites to let the rays of their excellence permeate the SYDA Foundation. Therefore, when Gurumayi addressed the need for strong leadership throughout the SYDA Foundation, and how every sevite must cultivate the qualities and skills of leadership, I felt that the purpose of my life was being revealed.