Invoke Auspiciousness


There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere in the Temple just after arati has been performed, is there? I often feel that the very particles of the atmosphere take on a special sheen, as though the dancing flames of the arati lamp have left a trace of their light on the air. We are so fortunate to offer our worship to Bhagavan Nityananda, in his Temple, through light and through song.

As some of you may know from visiting the Siddha Yoga path website, I am a writer. As such, I love words. And I especially love the words of the title Gurumayi has given to these satsangs: “Be in the Temple.” One reason I find the words of this title so meaningful is that they deliver you to the experience they describe. When you hear “Be in the Temple,” you are, in fact, transported to the Temple. You are in the presence of Bhagavan Nityananda. You are in the presence of Shri Gurumayi.

Today we are celebrating Akshaya Tritiya, which is considered one of the three-and-a-half most auspicious days of the year per the Indian lunar calendar panchanga. In India, there’s typically a specific period of time each day—a muhurat—that is considered to be particularly auspicious. However, on Akshaya Tritiya there’s no need for this muhurat. Each and every moment of this day is auspicious.

From morning to night—Auspiciousness. Shubha. Mangala. 

Certainly, for those of us on the Siddha Yoga path, and in the Siddha Yoga Universal Hall, that is an apt description of what today has been. Earlier in the day, many of us participated in a “Be in the Temple” satsang with Gurumayi. In this satsang, we recited Shri Guru Gita—the syllables of which are mantra.

And now we are here again. In the Temple. In satsang. Choosing to dedicate this time to studying the Siddha Yoga teachings and giving our all to the Siddha Yoga practices.

From morning to night—Auspiciousness. Shubha. Mangala.

It is intriguing, and perhaps even a little perplexing at first, to think about what auspiciousness means at a time like this—when the world we thought we knew has changed, when it’s been transfigured, in some ways beyond our recognition. However, I’d say that’s all the more reason to remember that which is auspicious and good in this world—to recognize it, to invoke it and call it forth. Wouldn’t you agree?

One way that Gurumayi has taught us to recognize auspiciousness, to identify in our world the hand of God, is by looking to nature—looking at the endless variety of color, shape, texture, and behavior that we find in nature.

At Gurumayi’s request, in honor of Earth Day 2020, the SYDA Foundation Website Department asked Siddha Yogis to send to the website their own photographs of nature. And…did you deliver or what! Over the course of the past week, some five hundred photos that you took have been posted on the Siddha Yoga path website in collections titled “Glimpses of Nature.” These photos are just mesmerizing. They depict birds, flowers, animals, and landscapes of every possible color and stripe.

Gurumayi has therefore asked that I thank all of you on her behalf for your beautiful images. Thank you for responding so readily to the invitation to contribute, and for sharing glimpses of nature from your part of the world.

From morning to night—Auspiciousness. Shubha. Mangala.

In this satsang, we will continue to invoke the auspiciousness of the day by participating in the practices of Siddha Yoga chanting and meditation. Those of you who participated in the satsang with Gurumayi earlier today got a snapshot, a taste, of the namasankirtana we’ll be chanting. And that is—Krishna Govinda Govinda Gopala.

Yes. In honor of Akshaya Tritiya, we will be singing the names of Lord Krishna. This namasankirtana is in the Bhairavi raga, which has the rasa of devotion and yearning—the kind of yearning that is the texture of prayer, that runs through one’s earnest supplication of the Beloved.


As Siddha Yogis, as students of Gurumayi, it is a responsibility of ours to recognize that which is auspicious, cultivate auspiciousness within ourselves, bring auspiciousness forth in our surroundings, and share it with others.

It is a beautiful responsibility, and a responsibility nonetheless. I see it as part and parcel of having the privilege and the great destiny to receive the Guru’s teachings, to know and experience the Guru’s grace.

Fortunately, we have so many means by which to fulfill this responsibility.

For example, you can visit the Siddha Yoga path website, where you will find Gurumayi’s teachings from these satsangs, and where you can share your experience of being in the Temple. And if you have not done so already, you can also register for one of my personal favorite study tools—the Workbook on Gurumayi’s Message for 2020.

In the Workbook, Gurumayi gives us a question each week to contemplate and work with so as to further our understanding and experience of her Message. In many cases, Gurumayi has given several more questions that accompany the main question of the week and support us to unpack it further. It’s truly an abundance, a plethora, of teachings.

Before we conclude, I’d like to share with you a sweet anecdote relating to this day and this satsang.

As I was preparing to speak with you all, and reflecting on the concept of auspiciousness and what it means that this is one of the three-and-a-half most auspicious days of the year, an image kept appearing in my mind. It was an image of something that had occurred just a few days before, when I was speaking with Gurumayi about the “Be in the Temple” satsangs. We were seated near tall windows that looked out onto the Ashram grounds. As we were speaking, a whole scene unfolded before our eyes.

There were all these birds that were coming up to the windows—first a blue jay, then a cardinal, then a plump little mourning dove. They swirled and swooped about, making the most beautiful sounds. I couldn’t help but think that they were coming for Gurumayi’s darshan—that they were honoring the presence of love, recognizing that which is holy. This was the image that kept coming to me as I prepared for the satsang, and I didn’t know why.

Then, out of curiosity, I looked up the etymology of the word “auspicious” in English. And what did I find? That it comes from a Latin word meaning “good omen”—and specifically, a good omen as indicated by the flight of birds.

What’s more, you might recall that during meditation this evening, we heard the chirping of birds outside the Temple windows. So—I like to think of our participation in satsang on Akshaya Tritiya as a good omen. As something most auspicious. “Be in the Temple” is a gift from Gurumayi, and in so many ways, through so many examples and illustrations and synchronicities, we are reminded of that again and again.

From morning to night—auspiciousness.

Once again, I wish you all a shubh Akshaya Tritiya.