Ahanta Sandoni Soham Rashmi Ghei

An Abhanga by Jnaneshvar Maharaj

In this abhanga, the Maharashtrian poet-saint Jnaneshvar Maharaj refers to his listener as “child of the Guru,” an affectionate way of referring to a disciple—one who follows and practices the teachings of a realized Master.

“Give up the ego,” the saint instructs, “and take the light of the mantra So’ham.” These simple words encapsulate a profound teaching for the repetition of So’ham, one of the practices Gurumayi gave us to put her Message for 2019 into action.

When Saint Jnaneshvar urges us to “give up the ego,” he is talking about our identification with our limited individuality, which keeps us from experiencing and recognizing our own great Self. One’s personal characteristics or history – whether one is a doctor, a teenager, someone who plays chess, or an award winner–are useful to perform one’s roles in the world. But they only reflect a narrow portion of who we are. For this reason, the poet-saint asks us to replace the ego, the limiting notions about ourselves, with the “light of the mantra So’ham.” This means not only repeating the words, but also focusing the mind on the radiant Truth that the mantra embodies.

So’ham literally means “I am That.” The word refers to the Absolute, the divine Consciousness beyond name and form, the source and substance of all that exists. So’ham is an affirmation of our unity with That.

The first verse in the abhanga gives us a practical means to focus our mind on the light of So’ham. “Even a fraction of this light,” the saint says, “is true; everything else is irrelevant.” As you practice repeating the So’ham mantra, there might be moments in which the mind is distracted with thoughts or images. These would be part of those things that are irrelevant, and therefore there is no need to resist or engage them. Just gently bring the mind, again and again, back to the mantra.

Over time, as you continue to repeat the mantra, the mind’s activity will subside, and you will find yourself immersed in the sweetness of your innermost being. Such experiences are a manifestation of the “light of So’ham.”

You can benefit from these moments by giving yourself time to reflect on them. You may wish to record what you’ve experienced in your journal, with the awareness that each glimpse of that light reveals the highest truth. By doing this practice repeatedly, your vision will gradually transform, and understanding of your true nature will emerge. Then, the poet-saint says, “You will experience happiness.”

Sung by the music ensemble in Gurudev Siddha Peeth.
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Doha: Mala Pherata Jug Bhaya