Santvana

A Talk by Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

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What amazing discoveries I am having from learning about santvana from Gurumayi. In challenging moments, santvana is an unbeatable refuge where I find peace and balance and connect to the witness state.

To face challenges, I need the light of sāntvanā, the balm of sāntvanā, the comfort of sāntvanā.
 

Madrid, Spain

The third time I read Gurumayi's words, new understanding arose: Solace, sweet calm is always there inside me in an infinite amount. It is my job to visit that place of solace each day repeatedly, and to notice when the inner enemies try to take over my peace.
 
I am deeply grateful for this understanding.
 

California, United States

After reflecting on Gurumayi's compassionate talk on santvana, I was inspired to create this poem.

Oh, seeker, do not be filled with sadness and self-pity.

Don’t wish away your hardships and heartbreaks.

Change your point of view!

Look out a different window!

Suffering is no accident. Not a curse or a burden to bear.

Use it to grow more soft, more open, more young.

Churn in it, burn in it, and come out the other side.

The You that looks out upon the world is impervious to suffering, pain, even death.

The Self is beyond all that, at one, at peace.

Enter the repose of the Self, enter freedom sublime.

In the palace of your heart, bow to the suffering that made you free!
 

New York, United States

When I was reading Gurumayi’s words, it seemed as if she was sitting in front of me talking to me. I felt myself become free from misery. A divine power was vibrating within me. I can still feel it with me now.
 

Ratlam, India

I am so moved by Gurumayi's words on santvana. They flow inside me with the energy of sweet, serene surrender. My beloved teacher, with her golden heart and her profound understanding of the human condition, gives me the best "medicine" to overcome the obstacles in my journey to the Self, to the experience of my own inner love. As I read the talk, I feel her loving company and assurance.
 

New York, United States

In light of the extreme drought, burning fires, and ecological breakdown in my country, I've contemplated more deeply than ever why I am here.
 
Gurumayi's entire talk on santvana, solace, came to me with perfect timing as I face such challenges. I am moved by her love, care, and understanding for us as seekers yearning for "the abode that is free from all that causes suffering." And my heart gently opened when I read her words, "my sweet one" and "my true seeker"—as if I were not ten thousand miles away, but right at her blessed feet. Always. Forever.
 
Thank you for this boundless gift, dear Gurumayi. On the wings of the mantra, in stillness and silence I will draw inwards ever deeper, wearing santvana as my sacred protective amulet.
 

Ocean Shores, Australia

Today, before starting my yoga class, I sat in my car and did a contemplation about why my yoga classes were making me feel angry. I received suggestions from inside about how to shift these feelings. I put on
“the amulet of santvana”and utilized the suggestions during the class.
 
About twenty magical things happened in that yoga class! Now I feel empowered that I can change the way I experience things and release the inner enemies.
 

Texas, United States

My heart was moved by the meaning of the term santvana, which Gurumayi explains as “that abode of sweetness and repose within.” It took me back to moments of deep comfort and sweet surrender that I used to find long ago.
 
Nowadays I sometimes feel confused about how to bring balance to my worldly and spiritual efforts. And recently, I have been experiencing some of those “inner enemies” that Gurumayi talks about. But now, with this divine text, I feel as if I have received the key to unlock my own "power bank," enabling me to give a constructive shape to my emotions by tuning them with love and by loving my highest goals.
 

Dombivli, India

Gurumayi’s talk, Santvana, helped me understand an experience I had earlier this week in a dream.

In my dream, Gurumayi ji was observing as I leaped through an obstacle course built of pedestals. In the beginning, leaping from pedestal to pedestal was challenging, requiring courage and concentration. With practice, however, I began to relax, trusting—under the watchful eye of my beloved Guru—that the undertaking was God’s will and that, through this exercise, grace was teaching me how to move skillfully in life. Soon, the movement became a dance of pure joy, evoking ecstasy as I moved harmoniously with the divine play. 
 
When I awoke, I awoke to an awareness that there are no obstacles—but only grace, whose function is to awaken me fully. This awareness invites me to embrace life as it comes, to be at peace with it, and to enjoy greater internal gentleness—and to experience the blissful calm of santvana
 

California, United States

While reading this transformative talk, I experienced a golden light shining through the words. It has left me deep in meditation and feeling calm and content. Everything I need is inside.
 

London, United Kingdom

What a wonderful adventure I have just had in reading this talk by Gurumayi!
 
I must agree: I’d heard before of the list of “inner enemies” that must be vanquished. Sometimes I even think I have vanquished them for good, only to meet one of them somewhere in an unhappy moment. But now, I can keep the list handy in case I need to check again and see if one is lurking around.
 
I am grateful for this important reminder. I feel humble.
 

Virginia, United States

Just this morning, as I lay in bed before getting up to start the day, I lay in the hatha yoga “corpse pose” and consciously chose to perceive the prana leaving the body. A serenity I have never before experienced washed over me as my awareness was drawn to the mind's true nature: stillness, scintillating particles of blue light, and the pulsing sound of deep silence. Former nagging thoughts seemed to be trying to manifest—but they dissolved. I had no reason to cling to anything; I was perfectly at peace.
 
And now, as I read Gurumayi’s talk on solace, I receive her beautiful suggestion, "Why not learn to let go? Why not go deeper within and experience the sweet, gentle, mild, soothing rasa of santvana?"  
 
What amazing synchronicity on this Siddha Yoga path!  
 

Georgia, United States

What perfect timing for me to receive such a synthesis of what it means to be alive—to be an enlivened seeker! I feel as though I have received the crystal clear teachings of the Siddha Yoga path placed in a frame. This talk is a portrait painted with words that describe my entire life experience, illumined by the guidance of the Siddha Yoga teachings as I walk on the road of sadhana led by Gurumayi.  
 
Oh, this love is such pure nectar!
 

Ostuni, Italy

Gurumayi's talk, Santvana, evoked within me a strong awareness of an inner power that is exquisitely beautiful and poised, yet has at its disposal an array of tools that can “subjugate” the inner enemies. With her absolute sweetness and compassion, I hear Gurumayi reminding me to turn my gaze to "this priceless powerhouse within."
 
Oh, how I love my beloved Guru, whose wisdom makes me strong, gives me courage, and guides me to my own inner Self.
 

Georgia, United States

Here Gurumayi has provided me with a roadmap to a transformative experience of the Self. I welcome her words generously guiding me into the true source of solace within.  
 
Undeterred by my attachment to a story of great loss, I feel enabled by the force of Gurumayi's grace and teachings to confront all obstacles and enter that peaceful inner presence where gratitude manifests from my golden heart.
 

Florida, United States

Reading Santvana, I felt Gurumayi was talking directly to me. The talk felt so personal. so intimate, as if I were alone with her. I felt she knew when I needed to pause, when to continue reading, when to allow my heart time to feel the Truth and discover solace within myself.
 
I find support and comfort in feeling that my Guru knows me so well, better even than I feel I know myself. I am ever grateful.
 

Mexico City, Mexico

My heart and entire being are so full of gratitude for Gurumayi's words and guidance. I feel that Gurumayi has given me a call to action to take her words to heart and really put into practice what she has conveyed. 

Thank you, Gurumayi, for your guidance on how to deal with the inner enemies and for the challenge to take responsibility for my inner world with the faith that the resources are within.
 

New Mexico, United States

This beautiful talk took me to the core of my being and reminded me, in a visceral way, of the peace and solace that are who I am.

I am very familiar with viraha, the pain of separation. I have learned that when I feel it, it’s because I’m so close to experiencing the Truth, and I take deep comfort in that. 

I have experienced the letting go, the surrender that Gurumayi describes, as a means to connecting to solace. Life is always giving me opportunities to learn how to let go. I even have a tab in my journal called “letting go”! I long to know how to let go in every moment.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for knowing what it is to be a seeker and giving such clear guidance.
 

North Carolina, United States

As I unfold this gift of Gurumayi’s talk, I experience her embrace. I perceive santvana as a deep, comforting, and soothing protection, a place within where any wound can be healed and where my spirit can regain vigor and receive reassurance. I have experienced some of the beneficial qualities of santvana, and I sense that there is so much more that can be explored.
 

Milan, Italy

As I read this talk, I felt I was having satsang with Gurumayi in the living room of my heart. I felt the sweet invitation and encouragement to go within to access santvana. I feel that to access santvana is to connect with Gurumayi in my heart. 

I pray that I may focus on the steps to achieve my sadhana goals and clean the chambers of my heart daily.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for giving me this "amulet," santvana, against the inner enemies and for guiding me to find peace within.
 

California, United States

Today when I was reading this beautiful talk by Gurumayi, I could understand it from firsthand experience.

Several years ago I accidentally knocked over a board, which landed on my cat and killed her instantly. The grief that I felt was all-consuming for many weeks.  Finally, I prayed to the Guru for insight and understanding into why such a thing had happened. As I prayed, I was drawn into my deepest Self, a vast, deep blue space of warm, inviting contentment and wise serenity. In this place within me, I could feel that everything was fine. Nothing had gone wrong. Nothing could perturb this feeling of calmness, love, and compassion. From this state, I knew that my cat was fine. I was fine. And ever since that experience, I have never suffered like that, even when difficult things have happened. Having experienced the source of ultimate solace, I am able to remember it is there. I have experienced that true solace lies deep within, and that it is my very nature.

I am so grateful to be on this path.
 

South Carolina, United States

After reading Gurumayi's talk, I immediately felt deep solace. I'm excited to find some new small steps to take up as armor against my inner enemies, and I'm inspired to take up the battle afresh. And I pray that my heart stays connected to love.
 

California, United States

This exquisite message from Gurumayi is a confirmation of how I have chosen to live my life. It is also a reminder to me that there is more that I can do. I feel guided to walk gently on this path and listen gently to my heart’s longing and wishes.
 

San Felipe, Mexico

Gurumayi's words about santvana remind me of the importance of the Siddha Yoga practices. To be ready for a championship, practice is needed. For me, it is the same in spiritual life. I have found that the rasa of santvana within me is accessible when I do the practices, such as meditation and chanting. I plan to keep up my efforts of doing the Siddha Yoga practices, which connect me to the delight of santvana by bringing me deep within where it abides.
 

Cancun, Mexico

This powerful talk of Gurumayi came at just the right time in my life. During the past few years, knowingly or unknowingly, I've been seeking santvana, solace, from the world around me, day in and day out. But I couldn’t find it, and in return I always felt that I’d come up empty-handed.
 
When I contemplated Gurumayi's talk, three beautiful words touched me: niralamba, “not dependent on worldly attainments”; santvana, “solace”;  and santosha, “contentment, happiness.”
 
As I sat quietly after reading the talk, an image of Baba Muktananda sitting outside Shree Gurudev Ashram with the padukas of Bhagavan Nityananda appeared before me. I realized that Baba never sought solace from the people or ordinary objects around him. He always sought solace in his beloved Guru's sandals. Cherishing and nurturing this mahaprasad, he became content and free from any support. 
 
For me, Gurumayi's talk is completely reflected in this image of Baba.
 

Dulwich Hill, Australia

I feel so grateful that Gurumayi's talk entered my heart this morning before I even read it. I woke up with the strong conviction that there was something I had to do today that no one else could do for me: that was to devote the day to experiencing the eternally peaceful refuge within, where I always feel loved and protected no matter what inner or outer activities I become engaged in during the day.
 
After reading Gurumayi's talk, I now have the language to describe this inner solace, santvana, and I have instructions about how to more consistently take refuge in this “abode of sweetness and repose within”!
 

Connecticut, United States

It was such a great blessing to receive Shri Gurumayi’s treasured teachings on santvana, solace.
 
My first impression when I finished reading the talk was to realize the need to be vigilant in my reactions when unforeseen situations arise so as to remain independent of my emotions. When faced with potentially distressing encounters in life, I can find solace within my heart through the regular practice of mantra japa and meditation.
 
The second teaching I received from Shri Gurumayi’s talk was the need to practice emotional resilience by learning to move forward. And the third teaching was to learn to surrender after putting in the necessary effort in any aspect of my life, since letting go of the fruits of my actions would bring about greater harmony within me.
 

Bedford Gardens, SouthAfrica

Early in 2011 I was gravely ill. Each day the Siddha Yoga mantra and healing music were played in my hospital room. Throughout the day and each night as I listened, I felt as if I were being transported to the place where the mantra and healing originated.
 
As I read Gurumayi’s talk on solace, I recognized that place once again—as Gurumayi describes it, “the soothing balm, the healing waters of your own sacred Heart.”
 
During my illness, profound surrender took place and I definitely “felt the hand of the all-merciful Lord” on me. And now this morning, I am grateful for this talk, for this beautiful, poignant reminder of that place of solace, santvana, available to each of us all the time.
 

Kentucky, United States

After reading Gurumayi’s talk on santvana, I’ve been contemplating her question, "Where did those words, that touch, lead you?"

I've realized that whenever solace was bestowed on me, it led me to feeling loved, protected, safe, uplifted, assured, acknowledged, motivated, composed, and blessed with right knowledge. I became more aware of the grace in my life.

Now I intend to cultivate santvana by:
  • focusing on the breath
  • repeating the mantra, which provides me with sustained protection
  • reading the Guru’s words, which impart true knowledge and guidance
  • remembering the presence of abundant grace in my life.
  • reminding myself that the supreme Self is the only everlasting source of joy
  • cleansing myself of the inner rebellious enemies, with the help of self-inquiry

 

Sydney, Australia

There is so much in this talk for me to try to comprehend and assimilate—so much tenderness, so much insight into our challenges, and such profound wisdom. I feel intense gratitude to our beloved Guru for reminding us again and again to seek refuge within—with the aid of her teachings on jijivisha and now with this talk on santvana, solace, “the fundamental amulet” that protects us.
 
The Sadguru's love knows no bounds.
 

Vermont, United States

Recently, as I dove into my meditation, it occurred to me to repeat Gurumayi’s Message  for 2020—slowly and steadily, over and over again. Ever so gently, I found myself  floating in an indescribably soft and gentle abode of stillness, calm, and tranquility.

Later on, as I read Gurumayi's talk on santvana, solace, I was delighted to realize that I had just experienced this delicious state of solace and love, and to learn that it is always available and waiting for me to visit any time I wish to.
 

St. Laurent, Canada

This talk is perfect for my sadhana now. I recently lost a beloved pet who had been a perfect catalyst for me to experience solace. Holding her always helped me to turn within and experience the solace and contentment of my own heart.

Since losing her, I have been learning to go within more easily on my own. I think that instead of focusing on finding a new pet, it will be better for me to keep going to the santosha, the contentment, that is within me. When I do this, my feelings of loss dissolve and I feel peaceful.

It’s a blessing to become stronger at experiencing this solace on my own.  What's amazing is that Bade Baba seems to be helping me with this process and he comes to me in many ways. This is truly a time of growth and transformation for me.
 

Washington, United States

This talk by Gurumayi is exactly what I needed to hear at this moment. Just by reading Gurumayi’s teachings about santvana, I felt connected within to that deep comfort inside.
 
I was amazed to see the colorful design at the end of the talk—because I’ve been seeing this image for a few years now whenever I’m in the tranquil state just after meditation, or whenever I feel connected deep within. So it feels as if I was actually having the darshan of santvana.
 

Pune, India

I feel greatly blessed to have received this talk from Gurumayi today. It is a treasure house, overflowing with teachings that speak to the challenges I am facing in this specific phase in my life, as well as to the enduring task of pursuing my sadhana with faithfulness, devotion, and full commitment.
 
Just one of the many teachings that resonated strongly within me is this one: “Santvana is your fundamental amulet. It is your protection.” This teaching is itself a tremendous source of solace for me, for it assures me that no matter what storms are raging in the world outside—or even within my own mind—I have already been given all the protection I need from such turbulence. And Gurumayi compassionately reminds me of where I can, and must, find it: within my own Self.
 
I am deeply grateful for the gift of this talk, which I know will be a superb support for me in my study of Gurumayi’s Message for 2020.
 

Illinois, United States

When I read Gurumayi’s talk, I experienced her compassionate heart. As I walk the Siddha Yoga path, there are times when I walk like a fearless warrior and other times when I retreat into doubt. There are times when I don’t push myself hard enough and other times when I push myself too hard. This talk teaches me about finding balance between recognizing and resisting my “inner enemies” and the sweetness and repose I can find in santvana.  
 
Tonight, Gurumayi's sweet words washed over me like a lullaby, and my fears melted into santvana.
 

New York, United States

I read each page, recognizing the truth in each sentence, each word, and my soul was soothed. I felt comforted by Gurumayi’s words: ''Listen, my sweet one.'' It reminded me to love myself.
 

Montréal, Canada

Gurumayi's words were the perfect medicine for me. For a few days my heart had been churning over a painful situation. As the talk took me deeper and deeper into my Self, I could feel Gurumayi untying the knot in my heart.
 
I feel that the path of santvana is life-sustaining and will lead me to the inner worlds I sometimes forget. I intend to follow it with daily remembrance, gratitude, devotion, and positive action.
 

California, United States

This talk by Gurumayi is so inspiring! I feel like she has reached into my heart and described my entire life in a nutshell. As a child I felt as if everyone had it together, except me. Over the years, as I pursued my sadhana, I have come to realize that everything I need to feel content exists within me.
 
It was a personal crisis that first brought me to the Siddha Yoga path, 30 years ago. I am so thankful that I have stayed on the path and didn’t give in to the inner enemies.
 
I am grateful for the sangham I am part of, for the generosity and dedication of the sevites on this sacred path, and to the deepest depth of my heart, I am grateful for the presence of a Siddha Guru in my life.  
 

Vancouver, Canada

While reading Gurumayi's talk, I found myself closing my eyes and experiencing calm and serenity inside myself. It was such a welcoming space—it felt like home! I had to remind myself to come back out if I wanted to continue reading.
 
With each succeeding page I reflected on my life: as a mother, wife, friend, sister, and home-builder. I began seeing the challenges I was facing in each area, and as I did so the challenges began to lessen their hold on me. I felt lighter, unburdened, and I was drawn back into myself for the “very sweet” taste of santvana.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for sharing your deep wisdom with me.  
 

District Of Columbia, United States