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Birthday Bliss 2016
Janmadin ki Jay Jay! An Account of Gurumayi's Birthday Celebration, Shree Muktananda Ashram, June 23 - 30, 2016

Janmadin ki Jay Jay! - Part IX

Part XI

A Shared Intention

What a perfect way to honor the Guru on her birthday! Shri Guru Gita extols the Guru as the supreme deity, the bestower of the highest joy, and the embodiment of knowledge, Consciousness, and bliss. It is the essential scriptural text on the Siddha Yoga path. The recitation of Shri Guru Gita nurtures devotion and invokes the Guru’s grace. Its beneficial effects are limitless.

When I entered the Temple, I came before Bhagavan Nityananda’s magnificent murti and offered pranam. My heart was brimming with gratitude for the presence of Gurumayi on this earth and in my life. I then took my seat with the music ensemble, as I would be offering seva as a vocalist.
Gurumayi entered a few moments later, holding a single hibiscus flower close to her heart. She performed pranam before Bade Baba, placed the hibiscus on his padukas with great tenderness, and took her seat.

Swami Ishwarananda, the host, led us in proclaiming, three times, “Janmadin ki Jay Jay!

Swami ji gave a special welcome to all the “united Trustees” and he asked if we knew the virtue for today. We happily called out, “Unity!” Swami ji then shared that today was the thirtieth anniversary of the expansion of the Bhagavan Nityananda Temple. “Originally the Temple was the size of the large platform on which Bade Baba sits,” Swami ji said. “Gurumayi requested that it be expanded so there would be space to hold namasankirtanas and recitations of Shri Guru Gita, and to perform worship—as we’re doing today.”

Swami ji continued, “On Sunday June 26, 1986, the expansion of the Temple was completed. Every inch of this Temple was built by the loving hands of sevites. The Temple was built with love, and we can feel that love today.”

When Swami ji said this, I reflected on how, over three decades, countless Siddha Yogis and seekers have come to this sacred space to express the fullness of their hearts in offering and prayer. They have come here to experience God and know the purity of their own being. Here, in the sanctity of the Temple, in the presence of Bade Baba, so many blessings have been sent out to the world—through namasankirtana, svadhyaya, arati, and meditation.

Swami ji then said, “Yesterday, Gurumayi let you know I would be making a special”— Swami ji stopped mid-sentence and looked around the Temple. “Why is everybody smiling?” he asked, his eyes twinkling.

We all laughed.

Swami ji continued. “…a special announcement today. That time has arrived.”

He reminded us of the virtue that Gurumayi had selected for June 24 of this year: Beatitude.

“What a glorious virtue!” he said. “How it resonates in the heart! I am very excited to let you know that Siddha Yogis everywhere will have a golden, resplendent opportunity to immerse themselves in this virtue, which is so connected to Gurumayi’s Message for 2016.”

Swami ji looked at us, and as one, we said:

Move with steadfastness
toward becoming
anchored
in Supreme Joy

Swami ji continued: “I am very happy to announce that the title Gurumayi has given for the Global Siddha Yoga Shaktipat Intensive in honor of Baba Muktananda’s Mahasamadhi 2016 is:

The Dawning of Beatitude

There was a brief hush, followed by resounding applause.

“‘The Dawning of Beatitude,’” Swami ji said again. “Thank you, Gurumayi, for this wondrous title.”

I, too, felt an upwelling of gratitude. It was thrilling to know that Siddha Yogis around the world would have the opportunity to contemplate the nature of beatitude—and discover the experience of beatitude within themselves. And the fact that they could embark on this journey of discovery in the Shaktipat Intensive made it all the more momentous. It is a profoundly sacred environment in which to receive Shri Guru’s grace and immerse ourselves in the Siddha Yoga practices—indeed, to tap into the beatitude in our own hearts.

Swami Ishwarananda then spoke about how, the previous day, Gurumayi had asked us to share our goodness with the world and help bring about unity among all people.

Swami ji read verse 39 from Shri Guru Gita:

Salutations to Shri Guru, whose only form is Truth, and by whose knowledge this world will no longer be perceived to be divided by differences.1

Swami ji then invited each of us to form an intention, focused on unity, for this recitation of Shri Guru Gita. As we sat in silence, I turned inside and let the words of my intention arise from my heart.

We then began the recitation of Shri Guru Gita with Gurumayi. As our voices united in praise of the Guru, I visualized our intentions for harmony manifesting throughout the world. With each syllable, we were praying for peace. With each syllable, we were praying for unity. With each syllable, we were praying for greater love and understanding.
When we stood to sing Sadguru ki Arati, Swami Akhandananda waved lights to Bade Baba’s murti, and we continued to extol the glory of the Guru and offer blessings for the world.

In verse 1 of the arati, we sing:

Hail, divine Guru, pure, indestructible, dwelling within us in the form of knowledge, illuminating every step like the rays of the sun. Let me perform arati for the best of Gurus.2

At the conclusion of the arati, we took our seats and Swami Ishwarananda led us into meditation. He guided us to focus on our breath, saying, “In each one of us is a power that moves the breath in and out on the inhalation and exhalation. This divine power is the same in all.”

In a time beyond time, the gentle sound of chimes and a bell brought us out of meditation. Softly, Swami ji said, “Janmadin ki Jay Jay.”

“What a magnificent four days of birthday celebrations,” Swami ji continued. “It has been purna, full. It has been ecstatic. Janmadin ki Jay Jay! What more is there to say?”

A young boy exclaimed enthusiastically, “Jai Gurumayi!”

We burst into applause and called out, “Jai Gurumayi!”

Swami ji continued, “Gurumayi, thank you for sharing bliss with the world through shaktipat, through your teachings, through your very presence. We love you!”

Gurumayi smiled radiantly and we all cheered. I reflected on how the birthday celebration truly was a gift for the world—an outpouring of auspiciousness for the upliftment of humanity and an inspiring call to move forward in greater unity and love.

With our hands joined in namaste, we followed Gurumayi’s lead in concluding the satsang with the words that always bring the sweetest joy to the heart:

Sadgurunath Maharaj ki Jay!
Sadgurunath Maharaj ki Jay!
Sadgurunath Maharaj ki Jay!

 

Click here to read Part XII

 

 

1Shri Guru Gita, verse 39. The Nectar of Chanting (SYDA Foundation: South Fallsburg, NY, 1983), p. 17.
2Sadguru ki Arati, verse 1. The Nectar of Chanting (SYDA Foundation: South Fallsburg, NY, 1983), p. 69.

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