After their jubilant rendition of the entire abhanga, all of us in Gurudev Siddha Peeth were delighted to hear Gurumayi share her experience of receiving the sevites’ offering. Gurumayi said, "When you were singing the abhanga, I could literally see the smiles on your faces. You were smiling so strongly—you could hardly contain your joy. You all sang beautifully, and you all sang happily too, right?"
Throughout the Intensive Hall we were nodding our heads in agreement with Gurumayi’s words. We had seen the eagerness with which the music sevites had responded to Gurumayi’s invitation; without hesitation, they embraced this opportunity to offer the abhanga to their Guru. And as they sang, we saw their faces ablaze with love.
Gurumayi then spoke about the teams of sevites who had stepped forward with such dedication to make this satsang in honor of Shubh Gurupurnima happen. Gurumayi requested Ami to share with everybody the names of the key sevites in Gurudev Siddha Peeth, in addition to herself, who had planned this satsang. Ami gave the following names: Arjun Kale, Shayur, and Kevil Solanki.
Gurumayi then requested Madhava Rubiralta, the SYDA Foundation Live Events Department Head who was the director for this satsang, to share which key sevites were on his team. When Madhava began pointing to various sevites who were offering seva in the Temple during the satsang, Gurumayi said to Madhava, "I was referring to the sevites on your team who had organized the satsang."
Gurumayi proceeded to share that she had been told that the key sevites in Shree Muktananda Ashram who’d worked with Madhava were Rohini Menon, Heather Williams, and Jayashree Korula. These three sevites had immediately risen to the occasion as soon as Gurumayi had expressed her wish for the satsang with Gurudev Siddha Peeth to take place. Gurumayi then explained that for any initiative to be successful, leaders need to step forward and make it happen. Gurumayi said, "There are many people who will definitely do the work once they receive direction. However, first the leaders need to be in place and take action."
Gurumayi then invited Meghna to share the wish she had expressed to Gurumayi in darshan the previous day, about sevites in Gurudev Siddha Peeth receiving training from sevites in the SYDA Foundation in Shree Muktananda Ashram.
Meghna very willingly stood up to share in front of Gurumayi, Bade Baba, and all the participants. She walked to the microphone and recounted this wish she had expressed to Gurumayi. Meghna added, "It is so beautiful, so good, that through technology Siddha Yogis can connect with each other. Through the Siddha Yoga path website, by telephone, through audio and video connection we can receive training, we can have satsang. Then wherever we may be—India, the USA, anywhere in the world—together we can advance the mission of Siddha Yoga. Whenever we attend any Siddha Yoga Ashram, meditation center, or chanting and meditation group, we will know that this is a Siddha Yoga satsang. Then no place will feel different from another. We will know we are working together. Wherever we travel, we will find that the Siddha Yoga culture is the same in every place."
Gurumayi then said to the Gurukula students in Gurudev Siddha Peeth, "In Meghna you have sent an excellent Goodwill Ambassador." Meghna thanked Gurumayi, and everyone present in the Intensive Hall and in the Temple gave her a rousing round of applause.
Again Gurumayi acknowledged the key sevites, saying, "The leadership teams who planned the satsang did very beautiful work. This morning before the satsang I asked Rohini, 'How long were you able to sleep last night?' She laughed—and I understood. Then I said, 'The sevites have been observing the Shubh Gurupurnima saptāh!'"
For the benefit of new seekers, we would like to explain here why Gurumayi used the word “saptāh.” “Saptāh” is a Hindi word indicating seven days, or one week. The word saptāh is also often used to describe a spiritual tradition that has been practiced throughout India for thousands of years: the continuous reading of scriptures or chanting of God’s name for seven days and nights. Saptāhs are held in order for participants to immerse themselves fully in the knowledge of the Self and the experience of the Truth, and to overcome their limitations through the discipline of maintaining an intense focus on a spiritual practice for an extended period.
On the Siddha Yoga path, saptāhs have been a regular spiritual practice for many decades. Beginning in the 1930s and 1940s, when Baba Muktananda was living in Yeola, Suki, and Nagad, he held saptāhs of many kinds—scriptural recitations, nāmasankīrtanas, and the practice of dancing while chanting. After Bhagavan Nityananda invited Baba to stay in the place which is now Gurudev Siddha Peeth, Baba continued to hold saptāhs. Though the saptāhs Baba held were of varying lengths—from several hours to one month—they were all still called saptāhs. When Baba traveled throughout India and abroad to spread his meditation revolution, holding Siddha Yoga satsangs and Shaktipat Intensives, he continued to hold saptāhs as well.
The tradition of Siddha Yoga saptāhs has continued under Gurumayi’s auspices. In 2000 Gurumayi initiated the Dhyana Saptāh, a day-long teaching and learning event designed for participants to go deep into the practice of Siddha Yoga meditation and advance their meditation practice. In 2008, Gurumayi gave the name "Muktananda Dhyana Saptāh” to this event. This event was inaugurated in the Siddha Yoga Ashram in Boston, Massachusetts. Since that time, Muktananda Dhyana Saptāhs have been held regularly in Siddha Yoga Ashrams and meditation centers worldwide. Over the years the word saptāh has come to refer to any Siddha Yoga practice that is performed continuously for an extended period of time. This is why Gurumayi referred to the sevites’ uninterrupted offering of seva in preparation for today’s satsang as "the Shubh Gurupurnima saptāh."
Gurumayi then elucidated the power of performing a seva saptāh: "It is in this way that the mission of Siddha Yoga, the work of Baba, my work has made progress. The work progresses through the dedication of sevites who say that whether it is night or day, whether there is moon or sun, rain or shine, for them seva is their guiding light. For them seva is the earth, seva is the deity, seva is the Guru, seva is bliss, seva is joy, seva is everything. On the Siddha Yoga path, this is called leadership.”