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I had long wondered what was meant by the teaching that the mantra was chaitanya, enlivened by the Guru's Shakti. I longed to understand but felt a separation as I chanted the mantra. I would think, "Here I am chanting, where is the Guru? She's physically so far away—how can she be in my chanting?" And then, as I studied the lesson on the mantra in the Home Study Course, The Power of Siddha Yoga Meditation, I understood that when I received shaktipat, the Guru entered the core of my being in the form of sound—the mantra. Each time I chant or repeat the mantra, she is there with me, always with me, closer than my breath. Since then, my sense of separation has fallen away and I feel her presence within when I repeat the mantra.

Swamiji, thank you for your commentary.  It has confirmed my understanding, and filled me with hope and peace.

a Siddha Yogi from Bangalore, India

Reading the last sentence of Swami Ishwarananda's commentary gave me a deeper understanding—that the divine gift I have received from my Guru is not a once-in-a-lifetime event but a continuous process working within me. I knew this intellectually, but I see now how the practice of mantra japa is one perfect way to nurture the Shakti and continually enliven the process. Our Guru is so compassionate; she gives us the means to achieve the ultimate enlightenment with such a simple method! I can continue to receive the Shakti in this way forever, and I shall thank my Guru forever.

a Siddha Yogi from London, United Kingdom