September 1, 2019
For many students around the globe, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, September signals the start of school following a long summer vacation. They embrace the familiar rhythm of their academic life, eager to learn new things. For us, as students of the Siddha Yoga path, the steady and exciting rhythm of learning and implementing Gurumayi’s teachings is a constant. It comforts our hearts, fills our being with joy and light, and showers many blessings upon us along the way.
Since the beginning of this year, you and I have been immersed in the study and practice of Gurumayi’s teachings from Sweet Surprise 2019. Through her Message, we have gained knowledge of the true nature of the mind—it is its own light that shines brilliantly at all times. Many of you have been sharing via the Siddha Yoga path website the unexpected ways you have been blessed during the past eight months while experiencing the power and light of the mind.
In Shri Bhagavad Gita, the scripture chosen by Gurumayi for us to study this year, Lord Krishna says to his disciple Arjuna:
इन्द्रियाणां मनश्चास्मि भूतानामस्मि चेतना॥
Among the senses I am the mind, among living beings I am Consciousness.1
Lord Krishna says: Among the senses, I am the mind.
This line describes the elevated, quintessential nature of the mind that Gurumayi speaks of in her talk.
Gurumayi further teaches us that the mind has a tendency to get embroiled in chatter, to get caught up in the flood of thoughts that sometimes takes over the space in the mind. In those moments, the mind is unable to encounter its splendor. For us to be able to guide our mind gently back to its own light when it wanders, we must recognize the difference between when the mind is moving away from its own light, and when it is turning toward it.
The way I have learned to recognize these two aspects of the mind is by becoming aware of and then examining my own state. When I feel agitated, confused, or restless—like a boat tossing around on choppy waters―I recognize that it is due to my mind being caught up in an incessant flow of thoughts. Sound familiar? In contrast, when I am enveloped by a sense of well-being, resonating with hope and peace, when a deep joy wells up in my heart and whispers to me that all is well with the world, I see that my mind is quiet, resting in its true nature and showering me with its benediction.
The question to ask ourselves is: When the mind gets agitated, how do I soothe it? How do I comfort it and help it behold its own light again? As I mentioned in the August letter, one way that we have been doing this is by focusing on and repeating the sacred mantra that Gurumayi has given us in Sweet Surprise.
We have been engaging in the study of Gurumayi’s Message and gaining new and deeper insights through the many different ways and means available on the Siddha Yoga path website. These include the stories from around the world on Gurumayi’s Message for 2019, writings of the poet-saints of India, and scriptural verses. Additionally, every month the website has features specific to the events and holidays of that particular month. I would like to share some of the features from this month:
- Siddha Yoga Shaktipat Intensive in Honor of Baba Muktananda’s Mahasamadhi: The Power of the Mind—Matrika Shakti. The Shaktipat Intensive will be held first on October 19 or 20 (depending on location). More information about the dates at the location near you, as well as how to prepare for, and participate in, the Intensive, is now available here.
- Imbibing the Guru’s Teachings is an exposition by Swami Apoorvananda on the importance and significance of imbibing the Guru’s teachings and their impact on our lives.
- Ganesh Utsava—This is a ten-day celebration of the birth of Lord Ganesh, the remover of all obstacles, whose grace is invoked at the beginning of any task or event. Celebrated with great joy and ebullience, this festival begins with Ganesh Chaturthi, the fourth day of the Hindu lunar month of Bhadrapada, and ends with Anant Chaturdashi, the fourteenth day of this lunar month. This year the celebration runs from September 2 to September 12.
- Pitru Paksha is a two-week period in the waning moon phase of the Hindu lunar month of Bhadrapada. This is the time designated by the Indian scriptures for honoring and offering oblations to the departed ancestors. This year the period falls between September 14 and 28.
- Navaratri—This nine-day festival is dedicated to the Goddess in three of her forms, each of which is worshiped for three days—beginning with Mahadurga, the fierce one who is the annihilator of evil; continuing with Mahalakshmi, the goddess of wealth and abundance; and concluding with Mahasarasvati, the goddess of learning, music, and the arts. In 2019 we celebrate Navaratri from September 29 to October 7.
- Worksheets 32-35—for your continued engagement with, and study of, Gurumayi’s Message for 2019.
- Meditation Session IX: The Mantra, the Bestower of Divine Protection.
As you dive deeper into your study, I wish for your sadhana to be joyful throughout September. During the month, whenever you find yourself recognizing the benedictions of the mind, delight in them, savor the joy that you feel in your being, and revel in the darshan of an illumined mind.
The great poet-saint Rahim of sixteenth-century India so simply and artfully brings home the significance of a mind that shines with its own light:
जो ‘रहीम’ मन हाथ है, तो तन कहुँ किन जाहि।
जल में जो छाया परे, काया भीजति नाहिं॥
Just as your body doesn’t get wet if its reflection falls on a body of water, so too, a mind that is your friend, that is illumined, will not be affected in the least, no matter where your body goes.2
Click here to see the transliteration and meaning of the Sanskrit verse from Shri Bhagavad Gita and the Hindi couplet by Rahim in this letter.