Gurumayi asked all of us, “What is love?”
After letting this question linger in the air for a few seconds, Gurumayi said, “Who would like to share about love?”
Immediately quite a few hands shot into the air. People were eager to share! When Gurumayi saw this, she asked Swami Ishwarananda, the host of the Evening Arati, to invite us all to take a few minutes to collect our thoughts and contemplate before sharing.
As we reflected on love, what it means to us, what we wanted to say to others about love, something amazing happened. We started to connect with our love even more tangibly, even more consciously. Throughout the day this love had been so palpable, we could touch it. So vivid, we could picture it—twirling and pulsing in the atmosphere, like a sparkler guided by some divine hand.
After we had contemplated for a few moments, Swami ji invited us to begin sharing.
“When I first came to Shree Muktananda Ashram and I walked the grounds and I saw everyone doing all these tasks, they were so happy. They were just radiant and full of love. And I experienced so much love. I said to myself, ‘I want to serve more.’ So for me, offering seva is love.”
“Two days ago, my three-year-old daughter was pretending to read a card from Gurumayi to her. She doesn’t even know how to read yet. And I said, ‘What does the card say?’ And she said, ‘I love you. Love in your heart.’”
“Today when we were singing the garland of chants, I felt love all over my body, through my veins, and coming from every single person in the hall. It felt like it was shooting into the sky and all around the world—just love everywhere.”
“I grew up on the Siddha Yoga path. It was my parents’ love and commitment to the Siddha Yoga path that have allowed me to have that commitment as well. And I think it’s really beautiful that because of their love, I’ve been able to experience this love.”
Hearing this share, Gurumayi said, “Love multiplies love.”
“El amor hace lo imposible, posible. Love makes the impossible possible.”
Gurumayi chimed in, “Love made today’s celebration possible.”
“When I heard Kenny Werner play his song earlier today during the satsang, I experienced so much love in his music. His playing was love in action. I was moved to tears.”
Gurumayi responded by saying, “Love lights up the sky.” It was a reference to the title of Kenny’s song, “Light Up the Sky.”
“I feel very grateful knowing that the Guru’s love is always there for me, and it’s unconditional. It’s a pillar.”
“When Gurumayi asked everyone in the Birthday Celebration Satsang this morning to thank each other on her behalf, everyone started thanking each other and even giving hugs as they walked around Shri Nilaya. I could feel the love being given to me through those hugs.”
“I love how love feels in my body, and how my heart gets moist.”
“Today when the Swamis were chanting the mantras for Lord Indra, I felt that heaven was descending. And then when we chanted Om Namo Bhagavate Muktanandaya with Gurumayi, I thought, ‘Gurumayi brings heaven onto earth.’ I felt so much love in that moment.”
“This morning, Gurumayi was showering flower petals onto Bade Baba’s paduka. As she did so, she was saying, ‘Rain, rain, rain.’ I felt blessings—Gurumayi’s blessings to the whole world—coming down. Later in the day, at the Birthday Satsang, it poured rain. And this evening, when Gurumayi entered the Temple, it began to pour again. The whole day has been veritably drenched with Guru’s grace, with the bounty of nature’s love.”
As this sevite spoke, there was a rumble of thunder outside. Rainfall danced on the roof of the Temple, as if in response to the shares.
One of the apparent reasons that the satsang in the Temple had been continuing this long was the rain. As long as the rain was falling, the satsang was going on. And just when it seemed that the downpour was concluding and the satsang might also come to a conclusion, the rain started up again.
Much to our delight, Gurumayi asked Lakshmi Wells, a longtime Siddha Yogi and a seasoned musician and music teacher, to sing Guru Om. In the 1990s, at Gurumayi’s request, Lakshmi composed the music for Guru Om in the devotional raga Bhairav. For many years, as per Gurumayi’s guidance, she would sing it at the beginning of the daily recitation of Shri Guru Gita in Gurudev Siddha Peeth.
Most Siddha Yogis are familiar with Lakshmi’s golden voice. As she sang, the sweetness and power of her voice and musicality gave form to the love that had been welling up inside us throughout the Birthday Celebration. We felt that, through Lakshmi’s singing, we were offering the gift of our love to Gurumayi on her birthday.
While Lakshmi’s voice was resonating throughout the Temple, expressing her love and devotion for the Guru, we arose and came forward for Bade Baba’s darshan, as is the tradition in Siddha Yoga satsang.
One participant later shared their experience of darshan:
As I approached Bade Baba, a wave of love swept over me. Tears filled my eyes. When I laid my head on the silver paduka, soft and fragrant with rose petals, I experienced the presence of divinity both in Bade Baba and within me, in the form of divine love.
The last light of the sun was glimmering throughout the Temple as darshan came to a conclusion. A few sevites remained in the Temple to offer Temple seva. Gurumayi invited those of us in that group to form a crescent around Bade Baba and sing Gurudeva Hamara Pyara.
We were standing close to one another, shoulder to shoulder, our eyes gleaming; we had yet another opportunity to make the intention for everyone in this world to take the necessary steps to actualize peace and harmony. We felt united, and we sang with cohesive unity:
Our Gurudeva is beloved to us! He is our life’s support.
To be singing this prayer to Bade Baba, with our beloved Gurumayi, on her birthday, in the Temple, was icing on the cake. What a celebration day it had been! There'd been worship at dawn, grace and blessings at midday, worship at eventide. And throughout, there had been laughter—Gurumayi’s laughter, participants’ laughter, the heavens’ laughter, nature’s laughter. Why all this laughter? Obviously, LOVE.
Gurumayi’s Birthday, June 24, 2018—whirling Consciousness, from sunrise to sunset—created an indelible imprint on our hearts. It was a demonstration of how working together leads to a glorious celebration of love.