Letter from Rohini Menon

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Dear readers,

Happy September!

Although this year, 2020, has brought forth one challenge after another, one unforeseen situation after another, and although we have had to face grief and loss, we must stay focused on our core values. On the Siddha Yoga path, one of our core values is to hold on to our inner happiness and give expression to it. We do this to uplift ourselves and to elevate those in our lives, and we hold the intention that our happiness will permeate the world. Therefore, once again I wish you a happy September!

When the news of the pandemic first reached a peak of global attention in March 2020, and many countries’ governments were enforcing restrictions on people’s movements, one of the ways that we on the Siddha Yoga path experienced happiness was by participating in the “Be in the Temple” satsangs. These satsangs, which began on March 21 and continued for many months thereafter, were Gurumayi’s gift to all of us.

As you may know, a gift from the Guru is called prasad. Siddha Yoga students have come to understand and experience that prasad from the Guru is everlasting. It is unparalleled in its preciousness. Its power—the power of guru-prasad—is invaluable.

The Indian scriptures state that anything a disciple receives from their Guru is prasad. The scriptures explain how the Guru’s blessings are prasad. Knowledge received from the Guru is prasad. The Guru’s grace is prasad. In verse 110 of Shri Guru Gita, Lord Shiva gives this teaching about guru-prasad:

guroḥ kṛpā-prasādena ātmārāmaṁ nirīkṣayet |
anena gurumārgeṇa svātmajñānaṁ pravartate ||

One should perceive the inner Self through the gift of the Guru’s grace.
By this path of the Guru, knowledge of one’s Self arises.

It has been my greatest honor and privilege to serve Gurumayi as the Managing Director for the 36 “Be in the Temple” satsangs that have been held this year. When I see the number 36, it reminds me of the 36 tattvas that are expounded upon in the scriptures of Kashmir Shaivism. These texts enumerate how the supreme Lord is simultaneously the Absolute and everything that composes this entire creation. In other words, knowledge of these tattvas sheds light on all the aspects of our very own being—and it reveals to us how we are, at our essence, divine. Wouldn’t you say that this is a perfect analogy for the “Be in the Temple” satsangs? In one satsang after another, totaling 36, we have explored our inner being and discovered our inherent divinity.

I have no doubt that all the molecules of shakti generated in the “Be in the Temple” satsangs have empowered, motivated, inspired, galvanized, inspirited, encouraged, and energized you to take the right actions in your lives!

The knowledge we received in the satsangs, the Siddha Yoga practices we performed, the silence we tasted, the happiness we embraced turned any sense of weakness into fortitude, listlessness into animation, defeat into confidence, fear into courage.

Now, I have two points to share with you. The first is an acknowledgement. The second is some information about upcoming live video streams that you are invited to participate in on the Siddha Yoga path website.

First, the acknowledgement. Thank you to everyone who participated in the “Be in the Temple” satsangs—whether it was one satsang you participated in, or many. You know that you received what you intended to experience. Thank you, all.

Thank you to those who offered seva by extending—through word-of-mouth—your own warm invitation for everyone to attend the “Be in the Temple” satsangs. You formed a bond of goodwill that connected us all instantaneously. Thank you!

And thank you to everyone who reached out to me saying you wanted to serve, you wanted to serve, you wanted to serve. Every time I received such a communication from you, I knew I was in the right place at the right time with the right people. I felt so much love from you all. I was able to experience firsthand from you the virtues that Gurumayi gives us during the month of Birthday Bliss each year; these virtues came vibrantly alive through your communications. Of course, your subsequent contributions in the “Be in the Temple” satsangs were enjoyed and cherished by everyone who participated.

I extend my appreciation to everyone offering seva in the SYDA Foundation who was hands-on in producing each satsang—whether you were serving here in Shree Muktananda Ashram or from your homes around the world. Your team spirit, your skill, your creativity knew no bounds. I was incredibly fortunate to have such a team to support me in the seva role that I held as the Managing Director for the “Be in the Temple” satsangs.

I heard from many of you that in your homes, your family members—even those who may not be Siddha Yogis per se—became sevites, offering seva to make the technical arrangements and create a beautiful ambiance for you to engage in your Siddha Yoga sadhana by participating in the “Be in the Temple” satsangs. Your homes were converted into the most beautiful satsang halls, each one of them becoming a special and distinctive part of the Siddha Yoga Universal Hall. Thank you, and thank you to your loved ones, for offering this seva.

Now, I have some new information to share with you.

You may recall that in Eesha Sardesai’s About “Be in the Temple,” she shared that Gurumayi’s intention for these satsangs via live video stream in the Siddha Yoga Universal Hall was to make people’s spirits soar again. And that’s exactly what has happened; that’s precisely what we’ve all experienced.

Since the intention for the “Be in the Temple” satsangs has come to fruition, I want to inform you that, very soon, you will be receiving an invitation to participate in future study and satsang via live video stream that will be held in the Siddha Yoga Universal Hall. This invitation will be from the Managing Director for these events: Swami Akhandananda. Swami ji will give you the information you need to participate.

Meanwhile, I will be concluding my role as the Managing Director for the “Be in the Temple” satsangs. Be assured that I will continue to offer seva in other capacities in the SYDA Foundation, with ever-greater joy and dedication.

Stay tuned for further information regarding the upcoming live video streams sponsored by the SYDA Foundation!

As we began this letter with one of the core values—happiness!—let us return to happiness at the conclusion with these inspiring words attributed to Leo Tolstoy:

If you want to be happy, be.

With warm regards,


Rohini Menon
Managing Director, “Be in the Temple”