When the full title of the Global Siddha Yoga Shaktipat Intensive was revealed, we all responded with a joyful burst of applause. The Shaktipat Intensive is one of the main Siddha Yoga teaching and learning events of the year. In the Shaktipat Intensive, Gurumayi bestows shaktipat initiation, the awakening of the spiritual energy within a seeker.
One of the main things I learned from Gurumayi in A Sweet Surprise satsang 2015 is the importance of following one’s dharma. Therefore, I believe everyone responded with such joy to hear the title of the Shaktipat Intensive because in the Intensive we will continue to explore this key aspect of Gurumayi’s Message for 2015.
As we were all still basking in our excitement about the Intensive, Gurumayi smiled and asked us, “What was the topic of my talk today?”
Our attention returned immediately to the present moment and we called out, as one cohesive unit, “SYDA Foundation, grow up!”
Gurumayi said, “Yes! And when I say that the Foundation must grow up, that means you and you, and you, and you… So whatever it takes, make it happen."
I felt as if Gurumayi were speaking directly to me with so much love: it was time to grow up and fully embrace my dharma. I know there will be times when my mind tells me that I cannot do something—saying, “I’m not talented enough, I’m not worthy enough, I’m not good enough, I don’t know how.” When this happens, I can remember my dharma; then I won’t be swayed by this mental chatter—I’ll know it’s just the mind conjuring up excuses to avoid self-effort. And I can keep my focus strong on fulfilling my dharma.
Gurumayi referred to the time earlier in the satsang when she’d said “June” instead of “January,” and added, laughing, “Actually, the other day I meant to write 2015 and instead wrote 2025. I want to make the future happen now!”
This reminded Gurumayi of a story Swami Ishwarananda has shared in Shaktipat Intensives many times over the years, and she requested that Swami ji share it now. As soon as Swami ji heard Gurumayi call his name, he stood up with a big grin and came forward saying, “Yes! I do remember this story very well, Gurumayi, and I would love to share it with everyone here.”
Swami Ishwarananda recounted this astonishing story:
In 1983, Gurumayi asked me to go to Japan to teach in Siddha Yoga satsangs, introductory programs, and Shaktipat Intensives.
During one introductory program in Tokyo, I was telling a humorous teaching story; while most participants were laughing, I noticed that an elderly man in the front row was weeping. As I continued, he seemed to weep even more. So after the satsang I went over to him to inquire how he was doing.
He shared with me that when he was a young boy, about seven years old, he suffered from severe emotional problems and depression. His parents took him to many doctors, psychiatrists, and spiritual groups to try to help him. Finally, as a last resort they took him to a church. When he entered the sanctuary, he had a vision of a woman in red robes floating in the air above the altar. The moment he saw her, he felt a great peace, and he knew everything would be all right.
After this experience he was completely cured of any emotional problems. He went on to become a medical doctor, marry, and have a daughter. For many years he tried to find out more about the identity of “the woman in red,” as he called her, but with no success. He concluded it must have been an apparition of the divine Mother.
As time went by, his daughter began following the Siddha Yoga path. She invited him to participate in the introductory satsang I was conducting that day. When he entered the satsang hall, he saw a large picture of Gurumayi wearing red robes—and immediately recognized her: Gurumayi was “the woman in red” he had seen as a child! His tears during the satsang were his heart’s recognition and gratitude.
This man was over 70 years old at the time. This meant that he had seen Gurumayi and received her darshan almost 40 years before Gurumayi was born.
Swami Ishwarananda concluded, “So… it’s already happened!”
Swamiji was referring to Gurumayi’s talk in A Sweet Surprise satsang 2015, in which Gurumayi spoke about time, and how everything that is happening now has already happened.
I was so happy that Swami Ishwarananda had told this story because I felt it would inspire people to participate in A Sweet Surprise again—or to participate for the first time!