For four months, as the world has spun in more ways than one, the Siddha Yoga sangham has been coming together, with regularity and enthusiasm, in the Siddha Yoga Universal Hall. Thousands of Siddha Yogis, and many of their friends and family members too, have been participating in satsang—in the “Be in the Temple” satsangs, which are live video streams from the Bhagavan Nityananda Temple in Shree Muktananda Ashram.
“Be in the Temple” is Gurumayi Chidvilasananda’s gift to the global sangham. And of the teachings that Gurumayi has imparted in these satsangs—the wisdom she has given for people to study, practice, assimilate, and implement—what is there to say? They contain everything. They are everything. In each teaching of Gurumayi’s, there’s the potential for a lifetime’s worth of study. For that’s the thing about Gurumayi’s teachings; they are at once timeless and so of this time.
Then there’s the experience of Siddha Yoga satsang, and the particular form and shape that has taken in “Be in the Temple.” The flickering lights of arati lamps endowing the Temple atmosphere with special sheen. The chants and bhajans swelling within and around everyone in the Universal Hall, the notes filling the spaces between people’s hearts, forging connection. The teachers giving their talks, and the storytellers narrating stories—exploring, from so many different vantage points, the teachings of the Siddha Yoga path. Around Bade Baba’s murti, fruits are cascading. Around his dais, flowers and fronds from the Ashram grounds swoop and arc and grace the Temple with their vibrant color.
The sum total of all this is so much more than its parts. Your senses are engaged and delighted, yes—and then you go beyond the sensory experience. You access something subterranean; you gain admission to something transcendent. By participating in the “Be in the Temple” satsangs again and again and again, you reacquaint yourself with those qualities of yours that are necessary for navigating these trying times. You get in touch with your own resilience and resolve. You get to know your own strength and softness, your discrimination and hopefulness, your ability to follow discipline. The result is that you can better draw upon these qualities to support yourself and those in your life who need it.
Of course, satsang doesn’t really end with the conclusion of the live video stream. Satsang is about the company you keep with your own heart. Being in the Temple, as Gurumayi teaches, is as much about being in the temple of your own body, in the sanctum sanctorum of your own soul, as it is about being in any physical house of worship. You strengthen and maintain the inner connection by continuing to remember what you saw and heard in Bhagavan Nityananda’s Temple, by studying the teachings you’ve received, by assimilating them into the four bodies (the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual bodies).
I have spoken before about how it has been Gurumayi’s wish that people in the global Siddha Yoga sangham have something to hold onto from the “Be in the Temple” satsangs, that they have something to go back to—and study, practice, assimilate, and implement—after the live video streams conclude. In keeping with this wish, Rohini Menon, Managing Director for “Be in the Temple,” has requested that the SYDA Foundation Website Department make even more content from these satsangs available on the Siddha Yoga path website!
This brings us to “Be in the Temple II.” The pages of “Be in the Temple” are where you will find Gurumayi’s teachings, talks, and experiences. “Be in the Temple II” is where you will find a growing collection of other content from, and relating to, the “Be in the Temple” satsangs. This means the talks by speakers and teachers. It means the Siddha Yoga music that has been, and continues to be, sung or recited in the satsangs. It means the stories that you’ve heard, the videos of nature featured at the beginning of many “Be in the Temple” satsangs, and much more.
I hope you visit these pages often, and that each time you do, you understand something anew—something you hadn’t thought about, or perhaps totally comprehended, the first time around. I urge you to set aside the time to study what’s here, to make note of your insights, and to actively bring what you learn into your life. And I wish that each time you come here to visit and revisit your favorite aspects of satsang, you remember—not just mentally but viscerally, in your bones and, above all, in your heart—what it is to be in the Temple.