You are participating in the “Be in the Temple” satsang in the Siddha Yoga Universal Hall in honor of Gurupurnima.
It’s wonderful that you are here to celebrate this most auspicious day. In fact, you couldn’t be in a better place, as you are seated at the radiant feet of Bhagavan Nityananda.
It has been my great joy to offer seva for the “Be in the Temple” satsangs, singing and speaking with you about Siddha Yoga music and meditation.
Gurupurnima. The full moon of Shri Guru. On this day, we offer Koti koti pranam to our beloved Gurumayi Chidvilasananda. We honor Gurumayi and offer gratitude for the light she has kindled within us.
Each of you has your own remarkable story of how you came to know the Siddha Yoga Gurus—Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, Baba Muktananda, and Bhagavan Nityananda. Of how you received and experienced the bestowal of the Guru’s grace. How your life has transformed. How your life continues to transform because of that grace. Your story may be marked by a dramatic shift in your inner and outer reality. Or you may have experienced a quieter evolution. No matter the plot, each of our stories is inspiring. Each of our stories sings the glory of Shri Guru. Each of our stories continues as we continue to follow the Guru’s teachings and nurture the light of the Truth that the Guru has awakened within us.
The origin of Gurupurnima dates back to ancient India, at the time when the four Vedas were established. The story is of the great sage Veda Vyasa, who compiled the Vedas, and his disciples. One day, the disciples of Veda Vyasa went to the sage, their Guru, and asked how they could possibly adequately express their gratitude and reverence for his teachings and grace which he had so generously bestowed upon them, and on the world.
Understanding their wish, with much care the sage told them they could choose one day of the year to be especially dedicated to honoring Shri Guru. On this day they could honor the Guru by making offerings. The disciples were grateful for this guidance and chose the day of the full moon in the month of Ashadha, as it was considered the fullest and brightest of all the year’s moons. The disciples then shared about this beloved occasion with others, and it became a tradition known as Gurupurnima—the full moon of the Guru.
In the sky over Shree Muktananda Ashram, over the past few days, I have been delighted to watch the waxing moon.
I’d like to share with you what the moon over Shree Muktananda Ashram was like yesterday evening as we were leading up to this Gurupurnima celebration. The moon rose slowly and softly over Lake Nityananda, ensconced in a sheer veil of cloud. In the western part of the sky, it was raining; it was still quite light out at this time, and so the rain created a beautiful pinkish haze against the clouds. The sky grew steadily darker—it turned velvet-blue—and the moon grew bright and clear. It rose higher and higher, and as it did, the most incredible thing happened. The moon’s light began to create a shimmering golden path right over the water.
The rain continued to fall, creating ripples all across the surface of the lake and adding to the soft, shimmering quality of the whole scene. And then—there was a flicker of light from somewhere in the trees. Followed by another flicker of light. And another, and another, and many more of them, all around—in the tree branches and in the long grasses around the lake.
They were fireflies... making what was perhaps their first appearance this summer on the Ashram grounds. It was like something out of a dream, except it was all so vividly real. The moon. The rain. The soft pink clouds. The shimmering path of light on the water. The fireflies. It seemed like nature was saying—yes, Gurupurnima is here. Glory to Shri Guru.
On the Siddha Yoga path website, there is a gallery of photographs titled “Glimpses of the Waxing Gurupurnima Moon.” To everyone who contributed these spectacular photographs to this gallery—thank you! It is so awesome to see the moon’s phases from the various perspectives and locations on this planet.
Speaking of photos on the website, this past Tuesday, June 30, 2020, was the ninth anniversary of the launch of the Siddha Yoga path website, one of the primary ways Gurumayi gives her teachings. It’s amazing to envision the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives have been transformed by engaging with and studying the teachings on the Siddha Yoga path website—a treasure trove of teachings. Thank you, Gurumayi.
In the “Be in the Temple” satsang in honor of Gurupurnima, you will be participating in a guru paduka abhishek. This ritual includes bathing, adorning, and anointing the padukas and performing arati.
The Vedas say that the Guru’s full shakti dwells in the Guru’s feet. So, the Guru’s padukas embody and radiate that shakti. The Guru’s padukas are sacred vessels of the true knowledge that the Guru imparts—the knowledge “I am That, I am God, I am one with the Guru, I am one with Supreme Consciousness.” When you worship the padukas, you worship that knowledge—that the Guru exists within you, as you.
The paduka abhishek will be performed in Gurudev Siddha Peeth and is being streamed to everyone in the Siddha Yoga Universal Hall. Gurudev Siddha Peeth is the Siddha Yoga Ashram in Maharashtra, India.
I had the great fortune of visiting Gurudev Siddha Peeth to offer seva in 2018. Each plant, each murti, each moment of time in Gurudev Siddha Peeth scintillates with the shakti of the Siddha Yoga Gurus. You can feel the immense power of the Gurus having walked and taught there, and having given their immeasurable love to the Ashram.
The paduka abhishek will be performed in Guru Chowk. Guru Chowk is a courtyard in Gurudev Siddha Peeth where, over the years, Gurumayi and Baba spent many blessed hours—delivering talks and discourses and giving darshan to Siddha Yoga students and guests at the Ashram. The vibrations of the Gurus’ presence in Guru Chowk are tangible.
Among the items of worship are sandalwood paste, coconut and rose water, flowers, dakshina, and panchamrit, or “five nectars,” which is a mixture of milk, yogurt, honey, ghee, and sugar. These items represent different qualities—purity and auspiciousness, compassion and kindness, healing, strength, sweetness and love. With these offerings, we honor the Guru and we also ask for the Guru’s blessing in our own cultivation of the divine qualities that the offerings represent.
Brahmin priest Santosh Mudgal performed the paduka abhishek in Guru Chowk while reciting mantras that honor and praise God and the Guru. Following this, Gauri spoke again.
Let us relish the sounds and sights of Gurudev Siddha Peeth—the offerings made to the Guru, the focus of the Siddha Yogis sitting before Bade Baba, the stillness, the birdsong. We have taken a pilgrimage to a most sacred place.
When I reflect on all that I receive as a Siddha Yoga student, very naturally the wish to give, to offer, arises in my heart. I know many of you feel this way, too. This is how the disciples of Veda Vyasa felt so many years ago.
This is why making offerings, particularly of dakshina, is a tradition on Gurupurnima and on the Siddha Yoga path. I invite you to join me, in honor of Gurupurnima, in engaging with the practice of dakshina and honoring that which you have learned and received from Shri Guru. Offering dakshina is one way that we can express our gratitude to the Guru for her benevolent grace, her precious teachings, and her boundless love.
On this auspicious occasion of Gurupurnima, may we hold close to our heart the experience we had today of the sacredness of Shri Guru’s padukas. May we carry this experience with us always, and let it shine in our thoughts, in our words, and in our actions.
Glory to Shri Guru.
To each of you in the Siddha Yoga Universal Hall, Shubh Gurupurnima!