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Birthday Bliss

Redolence, Remembrance, Recognition

The Life and Legacy of Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

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When I met Gurumayi for the first time, about thirty years ago, I introduced myself to her during darshan. I told Gurumayi my name, my profession, and that I wanted to get married; I was looking for someone to spend my life with.

The next night, as I offered a pranam during darshan, Gurumayi asked, “Found anyone yet?” I looked up and said, “Not yet, Gurumayi.”

Again the next night, as I bowed, Gurumayi asked, “Any luck yet?” In all seriousness, I shook my head and said, “I really need your help.” She nodded.

The fourth night, Gurumayi called out, in what sounded to me like a booming voice, “Found anyone yet?” This time I remained bowing, and then I rose and looked into her eyes.

Unexpectedly, I answered Gurumayi, saying, “It’s ‘myself ’ I am looking for!” Gurumayi smiled and swept me with the peacock-feather wand.

Gurumayi had led me, through playfulness, to recognize the true object of my longing and seeking.

Nelson, Canada

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The summer of 1986 I was blessed to offer Seva as the night time switchboard operator at SMA. It was very magical being awake all night in the Ashram while everyone slept and I really LOVED my Seva. One night, it was very late and Gurumayi walked by the switchboard going to visit Bade Baba in the Temple. The Night time Security Guard followed her and when they got to the Temple, she waited for him to unlock the Temple door. To his frustration, he couldn't find the right key to the door, and after what seemed like a lifetime, he finally found the right key and let Gurumayi in.

Later, he came back to the side door of the switchboard very upset with himself and he began to describe the story to me in great detail. I looked up and realized that Gurumayi was standing right in front of the switchboard, (where he could not see her from the side door). She was smiling at me playfully, as she listened to what he shared. I smiled at Gurumayi enjoying the whole lila and I asked him...

"So tell me why you feel so bad, you got the Temple door open for her, right?"

He continued, "YES, Narayan! But She had to stand there and wait for me!, Gosh.......I don't know why I panicked, I really wish I could just tell her how I really felt without freaking out. I mean, SHE is the most important thing in my life and I love her SO much. What is so hard about opening a door for her?

As he continued to share with me his heartfelt frustration, I looked up at Gurumayi's beautiful, smile grow from ear to ear.

Then, after finishing his dramatic tale, he walked around to the front of the switchboard, (Still unaware that Gurumayi was standing there listening to him the whole time), and he ran right into her! At first he was shocked and then he laughed and laughed and he said,

"Gurumayi you were here all along!"

Gurumayi laughed with SO much love and compassion and as she looked him in the eyes she said, "Wow, YOU ARE SUCH a GREAT storyteller, SUCH a GREAT STORYTELLER!"

So much Grace ...Thank You, Thank You, Thank You Gurumayi for showering us with your love even as we struggle to find the Key to the Temple of our Heart...

Happy Birthday BLISS!

Hawaii, USA

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It was the summer of 1987. The SYDA Foundation had acquired the old Brickman Hotel during the winter, and the staff in Shree Muktananda Ashram had spent months transforming the building from an old Catskills hotel to what was to become Atma Nidhi. I was the manager of this new facility, and it was my job to oversee this transformation. Gurumayi arrived in Shree Muktananda Ashram on June 22, and after greeting her, many of us spent the night getting everything ready for her visit the next day to this new addition.
At 6:00 a.m. I noticed that everything was pretty much in order, except for the main lobby, which was the primary entrance to the building. The lobby was still filled with assorted hotel items. I asked the person who was assisting me to take all those items, find an empty room (of which there were plenty), and put everything in that room. “We’ll deal with them all later,” I said. The assistant accomplished the task while I was busy with other details. Soon everything looked in order for Gurumayi’s visit.
A few hours later, Gurumayi entered the building. My wife (who was the head of the Accommodations Department) and I began showing Gurumayi around the premises. We showed her the halls, the dining room, the kitchen, and the lobbies. She seemed pleased with all that she had seen. Then Gurumayi said, “Let’s look at an accommodations room.” So we got in the elevator, and I asked, “What floor, Gurumayi?”
Gurumayi replied, “Any floor.” So I hit a button at random and up we went.
The elevator door opened, we stepped out, and my wife said, “Which room would you like to look at, Gurumayi?”
Gurumayi replied, “Any room.” So we walked down the hallway, and chose a room, again at random. I opened the door, and my wife announced happily, “A new Ashram accommodations room, Gurumayi.” As we stepped in, my heart sank. Stuffed in the room, from one end to the other, was everything that had been moved from the lobby. It was a wild mess!
Gurumayi, walked into the room, found her way over to the window without saying a word, and looked out. Then, she turned around, smiling, and said, “It has a lovely view!”
Of all the hundreds of rooms at Atma Nidhi that we could have looked at, a seemingly random selection had led us to this one! We had tried so hard to make everything perfect. Knowing this, Gurumayi, with so much compassion, had found beauty and left us all laughing at this cosmic joke.
What a wonderful example of how to live in this world, finding the best in every situation.

California, USA

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