Yes, now as the chant concluded it was time to stand and sing the Nityananda Arati, honoring Bade Baba. For this arati, a ten-year-old girl in a beautiful chiffon sari waved a tray with offerings to Bade Baba’s golden murti. The smile on his face, the smile on her face, the smiles on everyone’s faces shone brighter and brighter as we all sang Jaya Jaya Arati Nityananda.
Then as is traditional in Celebration Satsangs, we concluded the arati with three jubilant rounds of "Sadgurunath Maharaj ki Jay!" We offered pranams with the understanding that our lives have been blessed with his grace.
The quietude in the Temple was profoundly sweet. We all felt embraced by Bade Baba and Gurumayi’s protection. After we all took our seats and the silence was still shimmering in the air, we heard a familiar four-year-old voice sing out, “Meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow,” and conclude with a giggle. Melodious laughter filled the Temple as we all felt the freedom of this pure, young soul.
Giri and I looked at each other, since as co-hosts it was our time to stand up in front of the mics and give information about the rest of the satsang. We were so drenched in the sweet shakti that when we went to get up, we found our bodies were moving very slowly and gently, savoring this moment.
We thanked Gurumayi for this ecstatic chanting satsang with the families and children. We expressed appreciation for Gurumayi’s loving guidance as we grow. We prayed that we always remember her teachings as we learn and serve on the Siddha Yoga path.
We made the announcement to everyone that there would soon be a pause, after which we would have darshan with Gurumayi in another area of Anugraha. And we acknowledged the participants, especially the children, for bringing such joy and exuberance to the satsang.
When Giri and I had finished our remarks, Gurumayi looked around the Temple and said, “You all sang beautifully.” Gurumayi then asked Carlos what he thought of the singing. Carlos said that he found it beautiful, too—and very special. It was his first time hearing Shri Krishna Nila Krishna in the Temple. He thanked us for chanting with such enthusiasm. “I could hear the joy in your voices so, so clearly,” he said. “And it feels that the call and response was really call and response.” I too experienced the energy of the chant flowing fully and joyfully between the lead chanters and participants.
Gurumayi also thanked everyone present. Then she said:
I want to bring something to your attention. Since we are in the Temple, of course, the tradition on the Siddha Yoga path is to go for Bade Baba’s darshan before leaving the Temple.
In every place, it’s always very important to remember where you are. You need to know and follow the traditions of that place, in order to receive its blessings. You go to a coffee shop—you order a cup of coffee. You go to the airport to get on the plane. You go to a garden, first to work and then to experience the fragrance of nature. You come to the Temple—you pray. And, with humility, you receive blessings.
We are in the presence of Bade Baba. Therefore, you will go for Bade Baba’s darshan before you leave the Temple. Of course, darshan always happens in the heart. That’s where darshan takes place in reality. At the same time, if you’re in the physical presence of the Guru, then you must show respect accordingly. We are in Bade Baba’s Temple. Therefore, please go for darshan before leaving the Temple for your pause.
As I listened to Gurumayi’s words, I understood that she was explaining to us the concept of dharma. Dharma, in Sanskrit, means “right action.” It also refers to one’s duty in life, especially the highest spiritual duty: actions that are ultimately beneficial to all.
Gurumayi showed us how each place has its own dharma, the actions which are appropriate to that place, and when you know the dharma of a place, you are able to behave accordingly. In doing so, you honor the purpose of the place you are in, and you receive its blessings.
In the Temple, after Gurumayi spoke about going for Bade Baba’s darshan, the four-year-old boy from Mexico said something to his friend in Spanish. Gurumayi asked the friend what he had said. She replied that he wanted to be friends with the boy next to him, and he was wondering how to say “Will you be my friend?” in English.
“Well, there’s a secret,” Gurumayi said to the Mexican boy. She explained that the boy with whom he wanted to be friends loved Bade Baba. So if he liked Bade Baba, the other boy wouldn’t even need to say yes—they would be friends already.
I found Gurumayi’s teaching so moving, personally. What I understood was that when we love God, we can make the whole world our friend. By loving God, the heart naturally expands and is able to connect with others. We are all in the circle of God’s love.
Elaborating on the theme of friendship, Gurumayi said, “It’s like butterflies. You can’t really catch butterflies with your hands, but they will come and land on you when you’re not looking.”
Then Gurumayi spoke to the young musicians in the ensemble, acknowledging each of them, one by one, for the seva they had offered that day. To the nine-year-old girl who had played the harmonium, Gurumayi said, “Look, the sunlight is shining upon you. Your first day playing the harmonium in Bade Baba’s Temple—so he likes it, I think. That’s what he is saying, right?”
“Yes,” the girl said with a big smile.
To the twelve-year-old singer who had offered seva during the Chanting Tour in Australia, Gurumayi said, “You sang beautifully.” Gurumayi then asked the fourteen-year-old tabla player from Canada how old he was when he started playing.
“Seven,” the boy said.
“Wow,” Gurumayi replied. “Your playing during the satsang was really nice. Thank you!”
It was now time to come forward for Bade Baba’s darshan. Once again I remembered the essence of Gurumayi’s teaching, to follow the dharma of each place…