Saturday, September 5, 2020
Although this year, 2020, has brought forth one challenge after another, one unforeseen situation after another, and although we have had to face grief and loss, we must stay focused on our core values. On the Siddha Yoga path, one of our core values is to hold on to our inner happiness and give expression to it. We do this to uplift ourselves and to elevate those in our lives, and we hold the intention that our happiness will permeate the world. Therefore, once again I wish you a happy September!
When the news of the pandemic first reached a peak of global attention in March 2020, and many countries’ governments were enforcing restrictions on people’s movements, one of the ways that we on the Siddha Yoga path experienced happiness was by participating in the “Be in the Temple” satsangs. These satsangs, which began on March 21 and continued for many months thereafter, were Gurumayi’s gift to all of us.
As you may know, a gift from the Guru is called prasad. Siddha Yoga students have come to understand and experience that prasad from the Guru is everlasting. It is unparalleled in its preciousness. Its power—the power of guru-prasad—is invaluable.
The Indian scriptures state that anything a disciple receives from their Guru is prasad. The scriptures explain how the Guru’s blessings are prasad. Knowledge received from the Guru is prasad. The Guru’s grace is prasad. In verse 110 of Shri Guru Gita, Lord Shiva gives this teaching about guru-prasad:
guroḥ kṛpā-prasādena ātmārāmaṁ nirīkṣayet |
anena gurumārgeṇa svātmajñānaṁ pravartate ||
One should perceive the inner Self through the gift of the Guru’s grace.
By this path of the Guru, knowledge of one’s Self arises.
It has been my greatest honor and privilege to serve Gurumayi as the Managing Director for the 36 “Be in the Temple” satsangs that have been held this year. When I see the number 36, it reminds me of the 36 tattvas that are expounded upon in the scriptures of Kashmir Shaivism. These texts enumerate how the supreme Lord is simultaneously the Absolute and everything that composes this entire creation. In other words, knowledge of these tattvas sheds light on all the aspects of our very own being—and it reveals to us how we are, at our essence, divine. Wouldn’t you say that this is a perfect analogy for the “Be in the Temple” satsangs? In one satsang after another, totaling 36, we have explored our inner being and discovered our inherent divinity.
I have no doubt that all the molecules of shakti generated in the “Be in the Temple” satsangs have empowered, motivated, inspired, galvanized, inspirited, encouraged, and energized you to take the right actions in your lives!
The knowledge we received in the satsangs, the Siddha Yoga practices we performed, the silence we tasted, the happiness we embraced turned any sense of weakness into fortitude, listlessness into animation, defeat into confidence, fear into courage.
Now, I have two points to share with you. The first is an acknowledgement. The second is some information about upcoming live video streams that you are invited to participate in on the Siddha Yoga path website.
First, the acknowledgement. Thank you to everyone who participated in the “Be in the Temple” satsangs—whether it was one satsang you participated in, or many. You know that you received what you intended to experience. Thank you, all.
Thank you to those who offered seva by extending—through word-of-mouth—your own warm invitation for everyone to attend the “Be in the Temple” satsangs. You formed a bond of goodwill that connected us all instantaneously. Thank you!
And thank you to everyone who reached out to me saying you wanted to serve, you wanted to serve, you wanted to serve. Every time I received such a communication from you, I knew I was in the right place at the right time with the right people. I felt so much love from you all. I was able to experience firsthand from you the virtues that Gurumayi gives us during the month of Birthday Bliss each year; these virtues came vibrantly alive through your communications. Of course, your subsequent contributions in the “Be in the Temple” satsangs were enjoyed and cherished by everyone who participated.
I extend my appreciation to everyone offering seva in the SYDA Foundation who was hands-on in producing each satsang—whether you were serving here in Shree Muktananda Ashram or from your homes around the world. Your team spirit, your skill, your creativity knew no bounds. I was incredibly fortunate to have such a team to support me in the seva role that I held as the Managing Director for the “Be in the Temple” satsangs.
I heard from many of you that in your homes, your family members—even those who may not be Siddha Yogis per se—became sevites, offering seva to make the technical arrangements and create a beautiful ambiance for you to engage in your Siddha Yoga sadhana by participating in the “Be in the Temple” satsangs. Your homes were converted into the most beautiful satsang halls, each one of them becoming a special and distinctive part of the Siddha Yoga Universal Hall. Thank you, and thank you to your loved ones, for offering this seva.
Now, I have some new information to share with you.
You may recall that in Eesha Sardesai’s About “Be in the Temple,” she shared that Gurumayi’s intention for these satsangs via live video stream in the Siddha Yoga Universal Hall was to make people’s spirits soar again. And that’s exactly what has happened; that’s precisely what we’ve all experienced.
Since the intention for the “Be in the Temple” satsangs has come to fruition, I want to inform you that, very soon, you will be receiving an invitation to participate in future study and satsang via live video stream that will be held in the Siddha Yoga Universal Hall. This invitation will be from the Managing Director for these events: Swami Akhandananda. Swami ji will give you the information you need to participate.
Meanwhile, I will be concluding my role as the Managing Director for the “Be in the Temple” satsangs. Be assured that I will continue to offer seva in other capacities in the SYDA Foundation, with ever-greater joy and dedication.☺
Stay tuned for further information regarding the upcoming live video streams sponsored by the SYDA Foundation!
As we began this letter with one of the core values—happiness!—let us return to happiness at the conclusion with these inspiring words attributed to Leo Tolstoy:
“If you want to be happy, be.”
With warm regards,
Managing Director, “Be in the Temple”
As I reflected on Rohini's letter, I found so many themes to delve into—among them, impermanence, generosity, gratitude, and devotion.
I realized that one thing I learn most from Gurumayi's teachings and example is to pay attention wholeheartedly to the moment. I’ve had to learn this from the current health crisis too. And now it's a lesson I take from the shift from the "Be in the Temple" satsangs
to our next online learning opportunity. I received so much solace and inspiration from each satsang
, yet I see that now it's time to move forward.
As I imagined Rohini and each member of her team—those in Shree Muktananda Ashram and those at a distance, those visible to us and those unseen—coming forward for a bow to bountiful applause from all of us, my heart filled with gratitude.
I feel so fortunate to be part of the Siddha Yoga sangham
and infinitely grateful to Gurumayi, whose grace and creativity help me feel included as a loving and
beloved family member.
Ohio, United States
After reading Rohini’s letter, I want to express my profound gratitude to Gurumayi for the “Be in the Temple” satsangs.
I am also very grateful to the sevite team who produced these divinely inspiring and uplifting satsangs
for the past few months. In the midst of such challenging and unusual circumstances, I have experienced the powerful presence of the Guru, of divine light and love, of sweet ecstasy.
I also want to thank Rohini for offering such dedicated seva these past few months, and to wish her all the best for her future seva
New York, United States
The “Be in the Temple” satsangs
truly were a lifeline. I would listen and attempt to capture every word in my journal. Then I would read, reread, underline, and memorize the teachings, and carry them in my heart where I could refer to them them again and again.
I am grateful to Rohini and to all those offering seva
who helped make the blessings of the “Be in the Temple” satsangs
available to me and to all of us.
I feel so very fortunate to have the grace and guidance of a living spiritual master uplifting me, shedding the light of Truth on my days and nights. I will treasure her words always.
Florida, United States
Back in March, nearly fifteen days after the lockdown in my town in Italy, the flashing ambulances lights were clearly visible in my living room, and I felt full of fear and despair. “What can I do?” I asked myself, and reflexively I opened the Siddha Yoga path website. Gurumayi was there, sweetly chanting. It took me a while to realize that it was truly happening right in that moment. She was there
—with me, with us! It was prasad
—unexpected, precious, huge, unbelievable prasad
For me, during these past months it was pure bliss to joyfully prepare my space, get myself ready, and then unite with the world for such unique opportunities. I marveled at the honey-like energy that seemed to pour through the screen in these satsangs
New York, United States
Reading Rohini Menon’s beautiful letter filled me with immense gratitude for the 36 “Be in the Temple” satsangs.
Each one was a refuge for me during this unprecedented time. I am grateful for everyone who offered seva
in these divine satsangs,
and for our world community that came together in loving participation. It has been vital to have our spirits raised so we in turn could lend strength and joy to others.
From this space of gratitude, I will endeavor to assimilate and honor all that I have received from Gurumayi in these satsangs
by offering dakshina.
And I will meet the great Self, every day, in the temple of my Heart!
California, United States
What a beautiful letter from Rohini Menon! It is such a gracious way to conclude the ''Be in the Temple'' satsangs
. In her inspiring words, I recognize how dedicated people can create such impressive and luminous satsangs
as these have been.
I am deeply thankful for Gurumayi’s gift to us of these 36 unique and incomparable satsangs
. Sure enough, each time I found myself sitting in the Temple, it brought me deeper and deeper within my own heart. During these several months, as I participated faithfully, I learned to let go of my fear, and to allow my joy and my happiness to shine forth.
I offer my beloved Gurumayi my profound gratitude for her inestimable gift. I received her prasad
with both hands and with a thankful heart.
What beautiful mahaprasad
we have received from Gurumayi during these difficult times! The “Be in the Temple” satsangs
that Rohini directed truly rescued our spirits and minds from the fears associated with the pandemic, and centered all our energies in the practices and in our Self.
In response to this experience, a group of friends and I recently started to study Swami Shantananda's book, The Splendor of Recognition
; we contemplate it throughout the week and have a virtual meeting once a week to discuss our understanding of the text. With another group of my friends, I am starting to study the Mahabharata
, since the times we live in are so difficult that we think studying this text will shed light on how to navigate the world we live in.
Our practices have deepened and we chant for our loved ones who are sick or in financial difficulties. We knew that this mahaprasad
of “Being in the Temple” would have to come to an end. But our sadhana
continues, as does our deepest gratitude!
New York, United States
I'm so grateful to Rohini and everyone else who offered seva
for the “Be in the Temple” satsangs
! These satsangs
gave me strength, upliftment, and happiness. They renewed my dedication to sadhana
, and strengthened my connection to the global Siddha Yoga sangham
and, above all, to my beloved Guru, Gurumayi. They were precious gems that soothed the sadness in my heart in seeing so much suffering around. Now I understand the boundless love that the Guru bestows upon each one of us.
I want to thank Gurumayi for accepting me as her student and for guiding me through my life. Gratitude flows from my heart as from a fountain of joy.
I very much appreciated Rohini’s beautiful thoughts in this letter—and the magnificent seva
she offered as Managing Director of the “Be in the Temple” satsangs.
have been a profound blessing to me. I feel almost as if my sadhana
has begun all over again! In an earlier “Be in the Temple” satsang
Gurumayi told us that “this is your golden time." How very true this has been for me! I am feeling overwhelming gratitude to the Guru for this opportunity to begin again.
When I read this letter, I was so impressed by Rohini’s outpouring of gratitude. Well, I want to express my gratitude, too, for Rohini and the seva
she offered! The “Be in the Temple” satsangs
have been so beautiful, joyful, and reverent.
Each one has been a gift and a blessing for me and, I am sure, for all those who participated. I believe the prasad
we receive from the Guru has a ripple effect that touches our loved ones, our neighbors, and other people we come in contact with—uplifting, enlightening, and comforting us. Therefore, the seva
that Rohini and many others have contributed to these satsangs
has surely had a deep and broad effect on many, many people.
I want to thank Gurumayi from the bottom of my heart for this great gift!
North Carolina, United States
Love and gratitude are flowing inside of me after reading the letter written by Rohini Menon. I can feel the fullness of gratitude toward all the people who made the “Be in the Temple” satsangs
possible and, of course, for Rohini herself. I feel very grateful for her efforts, her love, and her sweetness.
I am so grateful to Rohini for being the steadfast, capable person who helped so much to bring about each of these 36 matchless satsangs
! It has been such a joy to be able to travel along on this amazing “ship of happiness” that sailed around the world so many times since March, on the seas of invisible transmission channels. And I also want to thank the many “crew members” who offered seva
in countless capacities.
This image reminds me of the invisible channels of our Guru's endless love and incomparable gifts. In happiness, gratitude, and love for our most generous Guru, I pray that we may all spread our joy with everyone we meet!
California, United States
I am very grateful to Rohini for the wonderful seva
she offered as Managing Director for the “Be in the Temple” satsangs,
and for being a pure channel for the Guru’s grace.
I offer infinite thanks to my beloved Guru for her abundant love and blessings, and for her eternal support in my life at all times.
Yes, my spirit soared, thanks to all the "Be in the Temple" satsangs
I want to thank Rohini for managing the “Be in the Temple” satsangs
. Each week, the satsang
uplifted and strengthened me, and transformed my anxiety in a difficult time. Like the dust from my Guru's feet, it served as a bridge over my troubled world. I am stronger now because of them.
I also want to thank everyone else who contributed their talent, skill, and devotion to help us experience the Guru's peace and joy, and who helped me in this way to develop resilience by focusing on the practices.
Washington, United States
I want to express my gratitude to Rohini for the dedicated, loving seva
that she offered so joyously, and whose fruits we got to experience in countless ways. The “Be in the Temple” satsangs
were like a thread connecting us all in these recent challenging times and enriching our lives through our beloved Guru’s teachings.
As many of us have shared with each other, we didn't experience the challenges of this pandemic in the same way as many others did. I'm so grateful for having had the opportunity to participate in the “Be in the Temple” satsangs
with the global Siddha Yoga sangham.
We couldn't have been more blessed!
London, United Kingdom
I am grateful beyond measure for the “Be in the Temple” satsangs.
Everything about them has taken me into the Heart. And this is where I am staying! Bade Baba gave me a message: “Stay here.” Through thick and thin, I am here in the Heart with Gurumayi, with Baba, with Bade Baba.
Maryland, United States
I was so happy to receive this wonderful letter. I want to thank Rohini and the multitude of others who offered seva
with so much love. These satsangs
have helped us so much to go through many challenges.
I am grateful to Gurumayi for her immense love and infinite grace.
It is beautiful to read that since March 21 this year, we have received Gurumayi’s prasad
in the form of thirty-six
“Be in the Temple” satsangs
! I have tangibly received Gurumayi’s love and support through these special satsangs
. Gurumayi’s teachings, her “Blessings to Treasure,” the stories we have heard, and the chanting and meditating we have done together have all been a rejuvenating balm during this challenging time. The “Be In The Temple” satsangs
have been a gift, providing me with the opportunity to immerse myself in Gurumayi’s sweet love and support, where I have found new ways to work, to parent, to take care of myself, to contribute to peace in the world, and to connect with and support others.
I want to thank Rohini for accepting the position as Managing Director for the “Be in the Temple” satsangs
, to support Gurumayi’s intention “to make people’s spirits soar again.” Gurumayi’s intention reached us on the golden wings of her grace. I look forward to continuing to be together in the future live streams!
South Yarra, Australia
My gratitude to dear Rohini and all those who offered seva
in these beautiful and wonderful "Be in the Temple" satsangs
. During these satsangs
, I strongly felt the support and help of Gurumayi, Baba, and Bade Baba. As Rohini put it, I did
feel “empowered, motivated, inspired, galvanized, inspirited, encouraged, and energized.” Although at the beginning of the pandemic I had felt confused, anxious, and worried about what might happen, my participation in these satsangs
enabled me to gradually find the calm and tranquility to face the situation, and I had moments of deep awareness and connection with my inner Self.
These "Be in the Temple" satsangs
have truly been a great blessing for all of us Siddha Yogis.
The "Be in the Temple" satsangs
have been my basic time reference during this pandemic. I began each week by aligning myself with the teachings from the satsangs,
which were my guide to staying on solid ground throughout the week. I experienced so many juicy contemplations and visions, and so much faith, as I brought my attention back to my heart again and again through the amazing treasures I received from the Guru.
Doing the practices in the company of the global Siddha Yoga sangham
felt like a purification bath. I could visualize the whole world being bathed by the light of these practices and through the love and sadhana
of so many Siddha Yogis around the world.
I want to thank Rohini from the bottom of my heart for all of her dedication and enthusiasm while acting as Managing Director during the live streaming of the 36 “Be in the Temple” satsangs
that we have received and cherished during the last six months. I was so impressed with her organizational skills, creativity, and spontaneity, which were evident in each satsang.
Her discipleship was heart-warming and inspirational to witness.
I am now looking forward to hearing more about, and participating in, the new and exciting format directed by Swami Akhandananda.
I am deeply grateful to Gurumayi for sending great light, strength, and joy to us when we and our friends and families needed it most. We are so fortunate to have her sacred presence and grace in our lives.
California, United States
Rohini’s dedicated and unconditional service has been a guide and inspiration for all of us. So many people around the world have benefited from the selfless service she offered.
I am very grateful to Gurumayi for the amazing gift of the “Be in the Temple” satsangs
. They have been an enormous support for our daily life and sadhana
I thank Rohini from the bottom of my heart for the seva
she offered and her dedication in fulfilling Gurumayi ji's intention for these “Be in the Temple” satsangs.
They have been a life-infusing force for me and my family. Through these satsangs
we have been guided, cared for, and given immense love and protection.
I am so grateful to Gurumayi ji for her teachings and ever-present grace, which lead us to the Truth and to peace within us.
The dedication, focus, and reverence for our Guru with which Rohini has served in the role of Managing Director for these “Be in the Temple” satsangs
are truly inspiring to me. Shri Gurumayi ji's wondrous gift of these satsangs
also showed me how beautiful and full of devotion is the seva
performed by everyone at the SYDA Foundation. The festivals, the worship, the exquisite form of Bade Baba in the Temple, the most wonderful naivedyas
it was as though the abode of the Lord had come to be in the Universal Hall.
Rohini’s words move my heart and bring tears of joy! It's so true—I feel part of “Team Happiness.” The “Be in the Temple” satsangs
have transformed this time of pandemic into a time of actively reaching out to others and sharing joy. It makes my heart soar to experience how this closeness with each other has transcended our physical distance.
I am so grateful to Rohini for her awesome contributions!
New York, United States
With all my heart, I want to thank Rohini and all the sevites on her team for every contribution they made. I remember the enthusiasm I felt in preparing for the very first satsang
, which took place in early morning in my time zone. In each and every satsang
after that, I felt such a tangible silence and shakti,
that my home itself became a temple. In each satsang
I felt that I was sitting in Bade Baba's Temple in Shree Muktananda Ashram and Gurudev Siddha Peeth. I always looked forward to receiving the announcement of each satsang
and forwarding it to as many seekers as I could.
I am eternally grateful to Gurumayi for her teachings, expressed through her talks, in bhajans
, through her “Blessings to Treasure,” through all the creative slides and videos of nature, and by all the other satsang
elements. These teachings are a guiding light for my life.
I heartily thank Gurumayi for this everlasting prasad
When Gurumayi ji told Rohini, “Let’s not wait, just go for it!” Rohini went for it full throttle! I offer my everlasting gratitude to Rohini and all her team—from those in Shree Muktananda Ashram to those all around the world—who stepped up with enthusiasm to serve in the directing, producing, and conducting of these 36 blessed “Be in the Temple” satsangs
The profound power and richness of these satsangs
was a golden invitation for me to reignite my sadhana
. My renewed efforts, along with these satsangs
in the Temple, have been my lifeboat across the “sea of samsara
” during this current world crisis. May the many blessings Gurumayi has bestowed on us continue to bless, encourage, and enrich all the worlds!
Colorado, United States
Living far away from other Siddha Yogis as I do, the “Be in the Temple” satsangs
allowed me to feel included in the Siddha Yoga Universal Hall in a new way. And I learned so much!
I thank Gurumayi with all my heart. And I am so grateful to Rohini and all those who made these satsangs