My son, Ahimsa, who is four, loved to participate in the “Be in the Temple” satsangs. He would ask me every day if there was satsang that day. And on the day there was a satsang, he would go through his evening routine in record time. (Most often, the satsangs would be in the late evening in India.)
His favorite part of the satsangs was singing the arati Jyota se Jyota Jagao. Invariably, it would be the last thing he would do before he drifted off to sleep on my lap. And this practice continues to this very day. Just before Ahimsa goes to sleep, we sing Jyota se Jyota Jagao, ending with Sadgurunath Maharaj ki Jay.
When he wakes up the next morning, he goes up to the puja, looks at Bade Baba, Baba, and Gurumayi, wishes them a good morning, and asks them if they slept well!
It was such a joy and incredible sight to watch our eighteen-month-old son, Calvin, engage and interact with the “Be in the Temple” satsangs.
During these glorious satsangs, we saw him take his seat on his asana and really “be” with Bade Baba’s radiant form, slowly swaying to the sweet darshan music.
We witnessed his relationship with his Guru unfold as he listened intently to Gurumayi speak, following the warmth and enthusiasm of her every word. During one talk, each time Gurumayi said the word “golden,” our son would repeat with a big smile, “Golden!” and each time Gurumayi said, “Guru Om,” he repeated in a sweet and tender voice, “Guru Om.”
As we chanted Sadguru ki Arati, Calvin kept saying, “Gurumayi Arati!” over and over as he focused on the flame being offered so beautifully to Bade Baba.
At the opening of one satsang, we watched as Calvin danced and then ran to the screen to smell the field of flowers. He relished them; he fully breathed them in!
The “Be in the Temple” satsangs were an invaluable gift from Gurumayi to our family. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Gurumayi for bringing the Temple to us in the Universal Hall!
St. Leonards, Victoria, Australia
Stories about Neelesh participating in the “Be in the Temple” satsangs:
Neelesh, who was two, loved to wave an arati lamp during the “Be in the Temple” satsangs. When the arati Jyota se Jyota Jagao was offered, he studied closely the pujari on screen, and each time he learned something new about offering the arati.
I noticed that after each satsang, Neelesh stood straighter, had a more grounded posture, and even began mouthing the words.
Neelesh also started expressing verbally what he was doing while performing this puja. At one point during Karpura Arati, he began gesturing with his hand—moving it over the lamp and toward Bade Baba. He pointed out to us that he was “pushing the smoke” to Bade Baba like the pujari does. We explained to him that this gesture is for guiding the fragrant smoke with blessings toward Bade Baba. Neelesh now performs the Karpura ritual after each arati.
After participating in the “Be in the Temple” satsang, Neelesh and I were coloring together quietly. This two-year-old said, “I am excited. I am so excited to go the Ashram.” I said, “Oh, are we going to the Ashram?” He said, “Yes! I am excited to see Gurumayi and Bade Baba. That’s where love is.” I responded, “Wow. I’m excited too. When are we going?” Neelesh replied without missing a beat, saying, “Bade Baba knows.” It was the sweetest interaction!
Later in the morning, reflecting on this interaction I remembered that our family had chosen “devotion” as our virtue focus for the day. It is truly amazing to see how Neelesh imbibes the virtue we have chosen each day and how he expresses it so sweetly!
Neelesh listened intently during each “Be in the Temple” satsang. He heard the hosts say, “Gurumayi Chidvilasananda”—and afterward, when the two of us went outside, this two-year-old would look up to the sky and shout with delight, “Gurumayi Chidvilasananda!”
When Neelesh sees the TV being set up, he says, “Let’s go to satsang! Get your asana. Let's chant with Gurumayi. I want to hear Gurumayi talk.”
Before we chant, Neelesh takes out his drum on his own and begins playing along during the chants. He gets out the instrument that he has seen Gurumayi play—the tambourine.
He dances in ecstasy with maracas. He spins in circles like a dervish and chants the name of God!
Chestnut Ridge, NY, USA