Welcome. Svagatam. Bienvenidos. Benvenutti. Wilkommen.
A warm and joyous welcome to all of you to the “Be in the Temple” satsang, a live video stream in the Siddha Yoga Universal Hall in honor of Bhagavan Nityananda’s Solar Punyatithi. This satsang is produced by the SYDA Foundation. Siéntanse muy, muy bienvenidos a este satsang.
Today commemorates the day on which, fifty-nine years ago, Bhagavan Nityananda shed his physical form and his spirit merged into every molecule of this universe. Such an anniversary is known as a punyatithi, and to learn about the rich meaning of this word, I encourage you to read the exposition on punya on the Siddha Yoga path website. It’s really good.
Those who received Bade Baba’s teachings while he was in his physical form, and those who have received them in the years since he took mahasamadhi, continue to experience his blessings in manifold ways.
You may have observed how Bade Baba’s delightful shakti is making itself known in your natural surroundings, wherever you are in the world. Certainly there are nature wonders abounding in Gurudev Siddha Peeth. Earlier today, Radha Veach, a Gurukula student in Gurudev Siddha Peeth, reached out to Rohini Menon, Managing Director for the “Be in the Temple” satsangs, to share that a very large and beautiful Blue Mormon butterfly—the state butterfly of Maharashtra—was fluttering in circles around Hrdayadeep throughout the morning recitation of Shri Guru Gita. This was a rare and special occurrence; Radha shared that it’s unusual for butterflies to be active before dawn.
In Shree Muktananda Ashram for most of the past few days, the weather has been like August in Ganeshpuri—that is, it has been monsoon-like. Thick layers of cloud have covered the sky, and it has been raining on and off. Sometimes the sun has peeked through these clouds.
This morning, however, the skies were clear. And as the sun rose bright and gold, the sky was a beautiful blend of peach, orange, and blue. The moon was still visible, and it too seemed to be heralding the dawn of this most auspicious day of Bhagavan Nityananda’s Solar Punyatithi.
My name is Carlos del Cueto. I was born and grew up in Mexico, and then moved to the United Kingdom for my studies. Later I became a citizen of Spain, where my parents live, and later yet I got married to my most wonderful wife, Gita, who is from Australia. In fact, Gita and I met while we were both offering seva for the Siddha Yoga Chanting Tour: Australia 2014—Satyam Shivam Sundaram. I am a Siddha Yoga musician, and I was a conductor and music teacher during the Chanting Tour.
Currently, Gita and I are living and offering seva in Shree Muktananda Ashram in the United States, though recently we also lived and offered seva in Gurudev Siddha Peeth, in India, for an extended time. So I feel right at home in the Siddha Yoga Universal Hall. I’m so happy to be the host for “Be in the Temple” satsang, number 33… sí, treinta y tres.
I am fascinated by the concept and experience of being in the Temple, and being in the Temple with Bade Baba. Although Bade Baba left his physical body in 1961, we can feel that he is just as alive as he was when he walked this earth.
Bade Baba trasciende el tiempo y el espacio. Bade Baba transcends time and space, form and formlessness. Technically speaking, we're all in different locations right now—but truly speaking, we are together in the Siddha Yoga Universal Hall. So to be in the Siddha Yoga Universal Hall, to be in Bade Baba’s Temple is, in fact, to get an inkling of Bade Baba's transcendental state.
Such is the power of Guru's grace. Such is the power of the Siddha Yoga teachings. Such is the power of the Siddha Yoga path.
As I mentioned earlier, four years ago I had the good fortune of offering seva in Gurudev Siddha Peeth, the Siddha Yoga Ashram in Ganeshpuri, India. I was there for sixteen months.
Before arriving, by Bade Baba’s grace I had cultivated a strong connection with him already, and I felt this connection deepen as I walked the same sacred ground that he once walked.
One day I had the inspiration to start regularly attending the Thursday evening arati at Bade Baba’s Samadhi Shrine. After the final chant of the daily schedule in Gurudev Siddha Peeth, I would set off to Ganeshpuri village by foot. I considered it a pilgrimage. I would first stop at Kailas Nivas, Bade Baba’s house, and sit for meditation in a room where Bade Baba used to sit in silence.
The atmosphere was so peaceful there, suffused with such love, affection, and sweetness. La dulzura en ese espacio es realmente impactante. Sometimes tears would come to my eyes.
Now, on Thursdays the people from Ganeshpuri would take a small murti of Bade Baba on a procession all around the village, and I would time my arrival to Bade Baba’s Samadhi Shrine with the conclusion of this procession. The joyous arrival set the scene perfectly for devotional chanting, and then for arati. It felt magical to be there.
Several weeks passed in this fashion. And then, you know how it happens—you find that you need to make certain choices in order to attend to your responsibilities. That’s exactly what happened with me. I had many seva projects that I needed to complete, so I got absorbed in seva, and I loved that as well!
Weeks later, I realized: I hadn’t kept up with my intention of visiting Bade Baba’s Samadhi Shrine in Ganeshpuri regularly. So I took the first opportunity I could to go.
It was a Monday afternoon, and there was hardly anybody in the Samadhi Shrine. After making offerings, I sat before Bade Baba’s murti. My heart felt grateful. I heard a voice inside that said: “It has been a long time since you have come to see me.” I felt it was Bade Baba.
And mentally, I began to reply: “Yes, I know, I’m sorry. It’s been hard to get here what with all I needed to do…” As I was saying this, I heard Bade Baba’s voice again saying: “I don’t mean here, you blockhead! I mean… here…”
I understood Bade Baba’s meaning. I didn’t need to go to his Samadhi Shrine in Ganeshpuri to be with him. I needed to schedule time to meet him within my heart, and I had not been making the conscious effort to do that. I thanked Bade Baba for his teaching, and resolved to implement it.
Now, I’d like to fast forward to just two days ago, August 6, 2020, in Shree Muktananda Ashram. I had come to Bade Baba’s Temple in preparation for today’s satsang. Afterward, as I was walking through the lobby, somebody asked me if I would help move a heavy table that was in the Amrit Café. I walked in to help, and I saw that Gurumayi was standing in the Amrit Café speaking with a dozen or so people.
Once my task was completed, I chose to leave, though first, out of courtesy, I looked toward Gurumayi and said: “Good morning, Gurumayi!” And then straight away, I headed toward the door.
I had taken two steps when I heard Gurumayi say to me: “Wait. Where is your decency? You haven’t seen me in months, and you just say, Good morning, Gurumayi, and go on your way?”
As I heard Gurumayi’s words, it was like a curtain had opened, and now I could see the truth of the situation. I indeed had not had Gurumayi’s darshan in person for months, as most of us staff members have been offering seva in our offices since the lockdown was first put in place in March in New York State. Yet when I did see Gurumayi, I greeted her in a cursory manner; I moved with such haste.
Reflecting afterward on this interaction with Gurumayi, I realized that when Gurumayi said, “You haven’t seen me in months,” she was using almost the exact same words that Bade Baba had used four years ago when he said, “It has been a while since you have come to see me.”
Bade Baba’s teaching was fresh in my mind because I had written this talk just the day before. It was astonishing to hear the very same teaching spoken to me by my Guru just the next day. I am awestruck by how it is the same Guru principle guiding me—from within, years ago in Ganeshpuri, and now in the form of Gurumayi, my living Guru. I feel incredibly fortunate.
Es increíble como el Guru ilumina la verdad, brillando una luz en lo que estaba escondido. Such is the compassion and greatness of the living Guru, to reveal the Truth and lead us, again and again, back towards the Heart.