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Verses on the Mind and Meditation I

Paramarthasara, Verse 9

Pristine Mirror

The Paramarthasara (The Essence of the Supreme Truth) was written by the Kashmir Shaivite scholar and sage Abhinavagupta in the tenth century. This collection of teachings on non-duality expresses the viewpoint that Shiva is the absolute and all-pervasive Reality and, thus, the singular source of all existence. The passage above describes how the true essence of a human being, the Self, can be known through the intellect refined from receiving shaktipat, the Guru’s transmission of divine grace.

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This beautiful verse reminded me of an experience I had last year when I suddenly became aware that only I exist within myself, that this “I” is God—absolutely pure, free, and eternally existent. This moment was highly sacred for me and my heart filled with infinite gratitude for the guidance and grace of my beloved Guru.

My life went on—one of my teeth suddenly hurt, a construction site on my way to work made my path difficult, and much more. However, I experienced these disturbances in my awareness like waves on a lake. I knew these challenges are unavoidable, but I was aware that I can always return to my “pristine” essence through the practices. 

My life feels like a constant dance of awareness and discipline. I accept that I have to realize the awareness of my own divinity anew every day. I understand that this dance is an ongoing process that I master better and better every day.

Unterlangenegg, Switzerland

This verse reminded me of an experience I had one day at Shree Muktananda Ashram.
As I was crossing the small bridge by Lake Nityananda, I suddenly perceived a serenity emanating from the water. I looked up, and the whole landscape was transformed into pixels of sparkling blue light. The trees, the rocks, the flowers, the bridge—everything, even myself, sparkled with light.
A profound peace descended upon me, and these words echoed in my heart: “I am sparks of light.” A flood of gratitude came over me. This memory has never faded.

Plougonvelin, France

I feel that my daily practices of meditation and svadhyaya are making me “a pristine mirror.” They purify my mind and allow me to experience inner freedom.
In meditation, when my mind is quiet, I can easily perceive the inner realm and be a benevolent companion to my own self. In this state of mind, darkness is replaced by the pure, soothing light of the Self—ever fresh, ever loving, ever harmonious.

Bhandara, India

After reading this beautiful verse, I sat for meditation. The magnificent blue pearl appeared in my inner vision as divine light. I felt so light, as if all my burdens had been removed. I continue to observe the flawless quietude within me.

Bhubaneswar, India

As I read this verse, I recalled the brilliant white light that flashed forth inside of me one night as my head touched the pillow. I was surprised, and I opened my eyes, but everything around me was pitch black.

When I closed my eyes again, that very same light, as bright as lightning, now appeared to me in the form of a wall of light, infinite in all directions. The constant flow of energy emerging from that wall of light was permeating me. I felt it was the stream of pure love emanating directly from God.

There was no more doubt left in my mind, at that point, that God’s love for me was free, permanent, and unconditional. This gave me the conviction that God was taking care of me and that I was worthy of receiving this love.

Laval, Canada

As I read this beautiful verse, I experienced ripples of bliss showering down from my head throughout my being.  And as I continued to read each beautiful share, the experience happened again and again. I felt the light of the Self was sweetly letting me know: Hamsa—I am That!  
I am grateful for this divine verse and its revelatory experience.

California, United States

Reading this verse, I remember that whenever I read aloud a quote from Gurumayi or Baba, and let it sink in the depth of my being, I feel the descent of divine grace. And whenever I chant the mantra, I feel the descent of divine grace.  
Recently, after my daily meditation, when I open my eyes there is a subtle light within me and around me. I don’t see the light with my physical eyes, but sometimes I feel the light breathing within me and pervading my vision and mind. My thoughts and feelings are then shining with various qualities of the Self. My heart is full of gratitude.
 Merci de tout mon coeur, thank you with all my heart.

Ramonville-Saint-Agne, France

In this beautiful verse, I recognize my experience of searching over many years for a view, as in a mirror, of the face of my true essence. Through reading this verse, I am able to appreciate the journey in life that led me to the Siddha Yoga path. I also realize that I have the potential to be a real witness to the truth and sense of eternity that these verses contain. What a wonderful gift Gurumayi has given us!

I am also reminded of a past meditation experience that informs my understanding of the verse. In my inner vision, I was dazzled by a very strong light that shone from above. This light flooded my whole being! Looking up, I saw that Gurumayi held a mirror through which a divine light was reflected. From this experience I understand that Gurumayi is my Guru, my mirror, and my Self!

Macerata, Italy

I remember myself as a Siddha Yogi new to the path having a heartfelt conversation with my mother at the kitchen table. She was sharing that through many decades of her life she never felt she had a sense of identity. She said, “I didn’t know who I was.” 
While listening to her, I felt a wave of sadness flow through me. But, as my mother continued to speak, a most beautiful smile came across her face. She said, “Then one day, I saw a beautiful light within and knew that the light was me. For the first time in my life I finally had a sense of identity. I was the light!” I witnessed my mother’s whole being filling with joy as she shared her life-transforming spiritual experience. Her happiness was contagious and filled my heart. 
Now, after years on the Siddha Yoga path, by the grace of Gurumayi and my ongoing sadhana, I embrace the same eternal truth within my heart. Although my Mom has passed on, I now share with her the same vision of the light within. I am the light!

New York, United States

One day, during satsang at the Siddha Yoga meditation center, I meditated by focusing on the heart for a while. Then I saw a light sparkling in my heart. At first, I was not sure if the light was actually manifesting on its own, or if my mind was producing it. However, as I continued to look at it, the light shone very brightly. I found myself weeping profusely. This was my first experience of seeing the light within.

Bangkok, Thailand

I had been concerned about not seeing light in my meditation. I inwardly asked Gurumayi for her grace to illumine my understanding. Soon after, I was drawn to Baba’s book Conversations with Swami Muktananda. I opened it straight to the page on which Baba was saying, “The experience of the bliss of the Self that springs up from within during meditation is the true light.”

I understood that while visions of light are direct and wonderful experiences of the Self, the experience of bliss is also a true experience of the light of the Self. I was so relieved, because my meditations are filled with the peaceful bliss of the Self and the pulsations of the shakti. After my meditation this morning, as I reveled in the bliss that was flowing through my being, I happily repeated with great joy, “I am filled with the light of the Self! I am filled with the light of the Self!”

California, United States

Some years ago, as I was meditating during a Shaktipat Intensive, I saw a very bright light coming down from above.

I was certain someone had inadvertently turned on the lights in the hall. But when I opened my eyes to see the light outside, it was still dark in the hall. When I closed my eyes, I once again saw this bright light, almost like a spotlight, descending.

At the time, I did not realize this light was my Self. But I knew I felt highly blessed and comforted, and at peace with this light bathing “me.” Now I see that the reason this light comforted me so much—and still does even now, as I relive the memory—is that this is my true Self.

I am thankful for the experience then and for the understanding now.

Washington, United States

Many years ago, shortly after I received shaktipat, I had the darshan of my own Self during meditation. In my inner vision, a face appeared, smiling with love. Its contours were somehow made of light rather than something physical. Then I suddenly recognized the face. It was mine! It felt like such a sacred moment, and I was immersed in gratitude and wonder at this experience. 

London, United Kingdom

Through the grace of my Guru, when I meditate—and even when I pause for a few seconds during the day to look inside—I see light scintillating within myself. This light, the light of the Self, fills me with wonder. It is brilliant, vast, full of auspiciousness, and beyond any words I can use to describe it. When I am present with this light, all I want to do is to sing its praises in worship. Silently, with all of my being, I call out Om Namah Shivaya over and over again. 

For me, there is no greater joy than this. My gratitude to my Guru is boundless.

Massachusetts, United States

While I was reflecting on this verse, I had strong memories of the dramatic changes of perception that I experienced after shaktipat. Before encountering the Guru’s grace, I was unable to meditate. In the days that followed my first Shaktipat Intensive, I experienced the awakened energy moving very strongly in my body. As I focused my attention on the shakti, my mind was drawn inside and meditation occurred naturally. I learned so much in a short period of time about my inner Self and what would be possible for me to achieve through steady practice.

Over the years that have followed, there has been an ongoing process of purification, of breaking free of the tendencies and past conditioning that would hold me back from resting my mind in the Self. These days, the remembrance of the times I’ve touched that perfect joy and freedom impels me to remain steady in my practices, with the certainty that my goal is within reach through the Guru’ grace.

New Jersey, United States

This verse describes for me how my vision changed on the day I received shaktipat diksha from Baba Muktananda. Baba was speaking to a group, and his eyes met mine briefly from across a room. In an instant, my perception changed. It was as if I had removed a pair of sunglasses I didn’t know I was wearing. Everything, even the grey city street and buildings, was blazing with light, made of light. The people were glowing and very beautiful. And most amazing, I understood that light was within me; I was seeing my own light reflected back in the world.

That day, I discovered that “seeing the light” wasn’t just a figure of speech. I wanted to live in the truth of that brief vision. And that was the beginning of an inner journey, the practice of Siddha Yoga meditation.


Massachusetts, United States