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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.

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.

London, United Kingdom