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

Janmadin ki Jay Jay! - Part VI

Part VI

An Ecstatic Celebration

The auspicious morning of June 24 had arrived in Shree Muktananda Ashram. And all of nature was celebrating!

The sky was a perfect, cloudless blue and the summer sun shone golden and bright. The air was warm and perfumed with the scent of flowering trees. I particularly noticed the Kousa berry tree, which is just beside the main entrance to Atma Nidhi. Every pure-white flower of this tree was vibrant and open—like our hearts as we celebrated the day of our Guru’s birth.

When I entered Shri Nilaya to participate in the Celebration Satsang in Honor of Gurumayi’s Birthday, the hall seemed to be buzzing with excitement. Everyone looked so happy, so radiant in their colorful kurtas, saris, and dresses. People’s faces were shining like the sun outside, bright and clear and beautiful.

Then, Gurumayi entered. The love and enthusiasm with which we responded was immense. Our beloved Guru had arrived!

We stood up and called out ecstatically, “Happy Birthday, Gurumayi!” We clapped and cheered, and Gurumayi waved both hands in the air, her face radiant with the most beautiful smile. Three enthusiastic rounds of Sadgurunath Maharaj ki Jay! reverberated throughout the hall.
Gurumayi looked at the beaming faces of the children. She asked where the two boys were who had arrived from Mumbai the previous evening. “Here we are, Gurumayi!” they said, running up and hugging her. It was a wonderful, spontaneous expression of love, and we all laughed with delight to see it.

Gurumayi took her seat and smiled at Krishna Haddad, the musical conductor for the satsang. Gurumayi requested that the music ensemble begin the chant Om Namo Bhagavate Muktanandaya in the Bhupali raga.

A verse from Shri Guru Gita came to mind as our joy filled Shri Nilaya.

Yatsatyena jagatsatyaṁ

yatprakāśena bhāti tat,

Yadānandena nandanti

tasmai śrīgurave namaḥ.

Salutations to Shri Guru,
by whose reality the world is real,
by whose light it is illumined,
and by whose joy people are joyous.1

And how joyous we were! As the chant concluded, we all rose to our feet, cheering and clapping and calling out, “Happy Birthday, Gurumayi!”

As we took our seats, we heard dancing notes being played on the tabla. A participant stood up and cheerfully called out, “Abundance!” Then, from a different part of the hall, another participant said, “Balance.” We realized that we were hearing the divine virtues—Sadguna Vaibhava! One by one, different Swamis, Trustees, children, staff members, and visiting sevites stood in turn, each reciting one of the virtues.
When Swami Vasudevananda said the divine virtue for June 24—Beatitude—Dianne McIntyre began to dance. Dianne is a well-known dancer and choreographer who has been following the Siddha Yoga path for many years. Dianne’s interpretation of beatitude was beautiful—full of grace, freedom, and delight.
After we heard the virtue “Trust,” all the Trustees present in Shri Nilaya stood up together and declared in unison, with great conviction, “Unity!” The hall resounded with applause. We were thrilled to see that they were implementing the request Gurumayi had made the day before—that all the Siddha Yoga Trustees work in unity.
With each virtue, the atmosphere in the hall had grown more celebratory, more jubilant. It was so fitting, then, that as the presentation of the divine virtues concluded with “Zeal!” the music ensemble began to play the bhajan that Siddha Yogis throughout the global sangham sing every year in celebration of Gurumayi’s Birthday—Nacho Re Mero Mana. The refrain says: orange speaker

Dance, my heart, dance today in ecstasy!
Love fills the days and nights with music
And the world is listening to its melody.

We all sang Kabir’s ecstatic bhajan, to music composed by Gurumayi. It was a perfect expression of our hearts’ transcendent joy in celebrating our beloved Guru, Shri Gurumayi.


Click here to read Part VII



1Shri Guru Gita, verse 36. The Nectar of Chanting (SYDA Foundation: South Fallsburg, NY, 1983), p. 17.

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I love the last photo of Gurumayi and the sangham chanting all together. As I chanted along and listened to the voices rise up to sing Kabir’s ecstatic song “Nacho Re Mero Mana” in unison, I felt a great sense of oneness with my Guru and the sangham. I felt as if I were sitting in the hall participating in the satsang, feeling the love, warmth, and unity of Birthday Bliss.

New Jersey, USA