I was delighted when I learned there would be a Siddha Yoga Chanting Satsang with Gurumayi on June 23. Since arriving in Shree Muktananda Ashram last week as a visiting sevite in the Music Department, my enthusiasm for celebrating Gurumayi’s birthday has been growing and growing.
I entered Shri Nilaya and took my seat with the music ensemble. The atmosphere in the hall was pulsing with anticipation. There was a vibrancy in the air, a bright colorfulness—literally and figuratively. The space around Gurumayi’s chair was illumined by peach-pink light. On either side of the chair were abundant bouquets of flowers in hues that reminded me of the sunrise earlier that morning: magenta peonies; peach, pink, and orange roses; fuchsia orchids. Satsang participants were dressed in their finest saris, suits, and salwar kameez, which spanned all shades of the rainbow. Even our conversation was colorful: we were greeting one another warmly, sharing our excitement about chanting with Gurumayi, and eagerly awaiting Gurumayi’s arrival.
Then came the moment we had been waiting for—Gurumayi entered the hall! One participant exclaimed, “Sadgurunath Maharaj ki Jay!” We all joined in this salutation to our Guru and said “Sadgurunath Maharaj ki Jay!” three times, our voices reaching a crescendo with the final repetition. Cheers and applause rang through the hall. The atmosphere was ecstatic. Gurumayi smiled radiantly as she took her seat.
Meera told us that this beautiful phrase was the title for Gurumayi’s birthday celebration. She explained that janmadin is a Hindi word that means "birthday" and jay jay is an exclamation of victory and triumph: “Glory to the birth of a great being—a Siddha Guru! Gurumayi Chidvilasananda!” As I heard Meera’s explanation, I thought, "How perfect!" With this phrase, we could give voice to the jubilance, the anticipation that had been building in the days, hours, and minutes leading up to this celebration. It gave us a precise way to express what we were already feeling.
Now that everyone knew the meaning of this phrase and its significance for Gurumayi’s birthday celebration, Meera invited us to say it again. “Janmadin ki Jay Jay!” we proclaimed, this time with more conviction, and even more gusto.
Meera went on to explain that “Jay Jay!” hails something very meaningful.
Gurumayi smiled and said, “Oh, when you say ‘very meaningful’–– Lilavati Stewart has something to share.” Meera invited Lilavati, a visiting sevite from Melbourne, Australia, to come forward.
Lilavati explained that the full moon of June is known as “the strawberry moon.” This year, 2016, this vibrant, pink-hued full moon coincided with the summer solstice on June 20.
When I heard about this unusual event, I thought about how, each year, nature seems to have its own special way of celebrating Birthday Bliss! It was something I had already been reflecting on this week as I walked about the grounds in Shree Muktananda Ashram, where nature has been displaying its abundance in full force. The foliage is green and lush. Everywhere you look, flowers in all sizes and colors—pink, purple, blue, orange—are blossoming. Butterflies are roaming here and there; bees are flitting about. Everything is bright and fresh.
After Lilavati shared about the strawberry moon, Meera welcomed all the children who were participating in the satsang
, along with their wonderful families. The children received Meera’s welcome with huge smiles.
It touched my heart to see their beaming faces; the children’s joy and sweetness was so infectious that I smiled as well, and so did everyone around me. As Meera went on to acknowledge the gifts received from nature this morning—the birdsong, the sunrise—the children chimed in with their observations.
Meera then spoke of another glorious gift we’ve received—a gift from Gurumayi, in the form of Sadguna Vaibhava—Splendor of Virtues, on the Siddha Yoga path website. Each day during Birthday Bliss, we have had the opportunity to study one of the divine virtues that Gurumayi has selected for us.
Meera said, “Today’s virtue is steadfastness, a beautiful and direct reminder of Gurumayi’s Message for 2016:
Move with steadfastness
in Supreme Joy
Meera continued, “I have learned that the virtues are a direct way to practice Gurumayi’s Message. I consider the virtues as good friends that I can call on at any time. Sometimes I need a playful friend like joyfulness to remind me that life is for laughter. Sometimes I call on courage to help me stand strong. And there are moments when quietness keeps me company. These virtues are always there, within my reach. I know that I have a reservoir of each one inside me. All I need to do is remember the virtues and practice them. Thank you, Gurumayi, for teaching me that. Thank you for the gift of the divine virtues, Sadguna Vaibhava.”
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