Darshan of Gurumayi’s Message Artwork for 2019

January 1, 2019

Dear readers,

Happy New Year!

The first rays of the new year’s light have begun streaming our way as we receive Gurumayi’s Message for the year 2019. These rays are impelling us toward their colossal, resplendent source. Now it is up to us to rise to the occasion and meet the new year with eagerness and graciousness—and by putting forth the right effort.

Do understand that every effort we make toward our goal—however small or great that effort is—unfurls the folds of eternity.

On this first day of the year, we receive Gurumayi’s Message in words, and then we receive the Message in visual form. For me, Gurumayi’s Message and her Message Artwork are like two sides of a golden coin. As a visual expression of Gurumayi’s Message, the Message Artwork is a unique means not only to explore the Message, but also to learn how to access our inner wisdom about how to implement the teachings in our lives. No matter how long or short a time we have been abiding in our physical bodies, each day is a new day, replete with opportunity. Similarly, when we receive Gurumayi’s Message and the gift of her Message Artwork each year, we discover something new and fresh about ourselves.

Can you see the smile on my face? I think you can. And why am I smiling? Well, it has to do with what I’m just about to tell you.

It is my delight and honor to extend to you an invitation to receive darshan of Gurumayi’s Message Artwork for 2019. In Sanskrit, the word darshan means “seeing, perceiving, looking at.” Darshan is a powerful Siddha Yoga practice. It might seem obvious that we would look at and perceive a visual artwork. Yes, we do that—and we have the ability, as thinking and feeling beings, to do much more to understand our experience, to take it further, and to do something with it.

I would like to share more about the word darshan as I have come to understand and experience it. The perception takes place in the Heart, in the space of our innermost Self. When this happens, there is magic. I don’t know how else to explain it, since there is no exact word or phrase to describe this mystical phenomenon. Each person has their own experience of that colossal moment—the moment of darshan.

Gurumayi once shared with me one of the reasons that the Message Artwork came into being. Many years ago, there was a Siddha Yogi who offered seva facilitating the communication of Gurumayi’s Message to the global sangham. This Siddha Yogi asked Gurumayi if she would be willing to also give an image to go along with her Message—an image that represented the Message as Gurumayi may have envisioned it. This Siddha Yogi would then have an additional way to convey Gurumayi’s Message to everyone, and everyone in the sangham would in turn have a visual vehicle by which to enter into the Message.

So Gurumayi’s Message Artwork is actually the answer to a prayer—an answer given time and again, in new and vivid form, over the years. People often talk about how they want to know what somebody else is thinking. With this Artwork, you are getting a glimpse into what Gurumayi is thinking when she gives her Message!

On the Siddha Yoga path, we have received guidance for the practice of darshan. In following that guidance, I have come to love the practice of darshan, as it gives me an opportunity to empty my mind and infuse it with the scintillating light of divinity.

At this point, I want to walk you through the steps you may take when receiving darshan of Gurumayi’s Message Artwork. Those steps are as follows:

  • Observe the natural flow of your breathing.
  • Gaze at the forms, colors, textures, lines, and symbols in the Message Artwork.
  • Watch the pulsations in each aspect of the Message Artwork.
  • Read the words of the Message. Let them see you.
  • Memorize the words of the Message. Notice how each word dances in your being.
  • Let your eyes shift between being active and being at rest as you behold the Message Artwork. Let the visuals come into sharp focus for a few moments, and then let them recede into a shimmering blur.
  • Begin meditation when you find your eyes are no longer able to focus.
  • When you emerge from meditation, write and/or draw in your journal about your experience.

I hope you will make time to return to the Message Artwork throughout the year, and that you will make this an integral part of your study, practice, assimilation, and implementation of the Message. I would like to share with you that by doing this, you are getting the most value out of the golden coin in your hand. The more you use this coin, the more it will enrich your sadhana with confidence, composure, self-awareness, and many of the other great virtues you aspire to embody.

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Warm regards,


Swami Shantananda
Siddha Yoga Meditation Teacher


   About Swami Shantananda

Swami Shantananda Copyright SYDA Foundation

Swami Shantananda began following the Siddha Yoga path in 1972. In 1977, he took monastic vows to become a Siddha Yoga Swami. Swami ji serves Gurumayi as a Siddha Yoga meditation teacher, teaching in Siddha Yoga workshops, courses, satsangs, Sadhana Retreats, and Shaktipat Intensives. He also serves as a member of the Siddha Yoga Teachings Council, which plans how the Siddha Yoga teachings will be presented on the Siddha Yoga path website and in global teaching and learning events.

Swami Shantananda is the author of the book The Splendor of Recognition, an illuminating commentary on the Pratyabhijña-hrdayam, a key text of the philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism. Swami ji has also authored many of the letters and expositions featured on the Siddha Yoga path website. He has an extensive knowledge of the Indian scriptures, and his writing elucidates the teachings of these scriptures in a way that is accessible to contemporary seekers.

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