By Padmini Wijetunge
The full moon of July, in its radiant perfection, is dedicated to the Guru. As the Gurupurnima moon arcs silently across the sky, Siddha Yogis around the world will pause to remember what a wonder, what extraordinary good fortune it is to have a Siddha Guru—a perfected Master—in this world!
Perhaps the sky will be clear, and you will be able to behold the Guru’s moon as it blesses our world with its soothing rays. Or perhaps you will find it temporarily obscured by a blanket of clouds. You may be in a part of the world where the lunar eclipse will be visible. Whether you see the moon or not, you can trust that it is present.
As we contemplate the Gurupurnima moon, we can marvel once again at the infinite compassion and generosity of our beloved Guru, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda. For just as the full moon illumines the night sky, so the Guru lights this world with her divine love.
How does this love manifest? What form does it take in this world? For the answer, we can turn to the profound wisdom of the Shiva Sutras. This sacred text of seventy-seven aphorisms is said to be an agama, revealed knowledge attributed to the primordial Guru, Lord Shiva. One of these aphorisms states:
The Guru is the means.1
Throughout the ages, the saints and sages of India have made one thing clear: to truly know God, to experience the effulgent light within your own being, you need a Guru to guide you. Only one who embodies the light of the Truth can reveal it to you and guide you to become established in that Truth.
Gururupāyaḥ. The Guru is the means.
We see the perfect expression of this sutra in Gurumayi’s bestowal of shaktipat, the awakening of our spiritual power. Through her bestowal of shaktipat initiation, Gurumayi grants us the means to become established in the experience of our blissful inner Self. Gurumayi’s compassion is such that she has given—and continues to give—shaktipat initiation to thousands of seekers around the world.
This rare gift has awesome implications—for it is through shaktipat that the Guru manifests as the awakened shakti within our very being.
Gurumayi has said:
“When the Guru's shakti enters a disciple's heart,
a great union takes place.
Seers have tried to describe it
by saying it is like a thousand suns
blazing simultaneously across the inner sky.”2
Gurumayi’s words give us an indication as to just how momentous this is. In this sacred moment of shaktipat, the experience of which can be dramatic, or very subtle, an extraordinary bond is forged between Guru and disciple—born out of the Guru’s love and sustained by the disciple’s own sincere effort. This bond is a blazing light that illumines the inner firmament of our being. We nurture this light by embracing the practical means that the Guru gives us to unfold the power she has awakened within us.
Gurumayi’s teachings, the mantra, the spiritual practices—all of these means, these methods, carry the shakti, the grace-bestowing power that reveals the light of true knowledge. As we follow the path she shows us, we experience the Guru as our inner companion and ever-present guide, leading us step by step to becoming established in the awareness of the Self.
When I received the gift of shaktipat initiation, I was fifteen years old. In that moment, a subtle inner relationship began. I discovered that each time I remembered Gurumayi, or repeated the mantra, or simply became aware of the breath, I could feel my Guru with me. I would experience her presence in different ways: as joyfulness, inner conviction, unconditional love. I knew this experience wasn’t a mental fabrication; it was as real to me as the ground on which I stood.
Gurumayi’s teachings have been a lodestar in my life ever since. For example, if ever I feel my engagement with the practices is becoming a bit perfunctory, I know that all I need to do is turn to the Guru’s words. Reading and reflecting on Gurumayi’s teachings has a guaranteed effect, connecting me to my own enthusiasm for sadhana and reminding me of my spiritual goal.
This year, Siddha Yogis throughout the world are studying Gurumayi’s Message, Satsang. The company of the Truth. When we put Gurumayi’s Message into practice and connect to the Truth at the heart of our being, we open to the Guru’s grace-bestowing power in that moment. This may be accomplished, for example, by simply remembering the light within as we brush our teeth, connecting with the heart as we listen to a colleague, or observing the breath as we wait at the traffic lights. In this way, we can turn every mundane action into a miracle of connection. Over time, as we continue to do this, we come to realize that indeed, there is never a time when the Guru is not with us.
Having attained oneness with divine Consciousness, the Guru is not bound by time or space. Recently in meditation, I had a vision of myself as a small child, sitting at the kitchen table. I realized this was an early memory I had not recalled before. As I observed the scene, to my astonishment, Gurumayi walked into the kitchen, knelt down and gave ‘little me’ a big hug. I could feel her love, vast and tender, and was deeply moved. In that moment, I realized that my Guru’s love and protection was present in my life long before I ever knew she existed!
As I look back over my life with this new insight, I am recognizing many other instances in which the Guru’s loving protection has been with me. Steadily, I am coming to understand more deeply that it has always been there.
Every teaching that Gurumayi gives, every gesture, every action, is born out of her love. And as we walk the path she shows us, we can experience the depth of this love more and more.
Finally, we recognize that this love has been ours all along—that in fact, the Guru’s love and the love we experience in our own awakened hearts is one and the same—and we are able to share that love with everyone around us.