Happy Birthday, Baba! by Swami Nirmalananda

The full moon in May – an auspicious beginning for the baby that grew to be Swami Muktananda.  We celebrated last night at Downingtown Yoga & Meditation Center, but the moon is still full tonight.  Take a look!  Maybe even whisper a thank you, from your lips to Baba’s ears.  I certainly live in a continuous thank you, for all He gave me and all that He has empowered me to give you.

mangoesMangoes!  We served mangoes as prasad at the end of the program.  Baba gave me my first mango, so I always think of Him when I have mangoes; another reason to love them.  Baba did 9 years of meditation in a small hut in a mango grove, but it was during the time period that Nityananda had denied mangoes to Baba.

Nityananda didn’t actually command Baba to stop eating mangoes.  He merely served mangoes to everyone, skipping Baba, so Baba took that as a command.  Then, even though He lived in a mango grove, where ripe mangoes fell from the trees, filling the air with their scent, but He did not eat a single bite.  Only after Nityananda called Baba back to live in Ganeshpuri did Nityananda offer Baba a mango again.  After that, Baba ate mangoes and served them to us.

To follow the Guru’s command – Baba knew how to do this.  He looked for the ways in which Nityananda was guiding Him.  He remembered Nityananda’s every word, watched Nityananda’s eyes, considered everything Nityananda did and everything Baba got from Nityananda, contemplated the experiences that happened in Nityananda’s presence.  Baba is a great model for being a disciple, a model I’ve followed for almost 40 years.

I have followed the path that my Guru trod, which is a well-worn path known through the ages.  It takes love and courage, both of which my Baba gave me.  This path gives more than you can even imagine ever being possible.  The promise of yoga is true.  Baba’s life proved that.  Happy Birthday, Baba!

OM svaroopa svasvabhava namo nama.h

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