“Meditate on the Sadguru,
embodied form of consciousness,
knowing, being, illumining,
giving me That which is my Self”
Thus says one of the introductory verses in the Shree Guru Gita, the ultimate song to the Guru.
In February 2013, after witnessing life in Ganeshpuri, whose heart is Bhagavan Nityananda, I found that I had many questions: What is my relationship to the Guru and how is it deepening? How did the yatra to India affect this relationship to my Guru, Swami Nirmalananda? What effect did this pilgrimage to the fountain of spiritual energy have in me?
Devotion and love of the Guru is the core of life there, and the Nityananda temple in the town square is a true testament to this. Ceremonies are performed several times every day to the enlivened murti (statue) of Nityananda. In our yatra to Ganeshpuri, we were fortunate to accompany Swami Nirmalananda to witness these devotional ceremonies.
Every morning, at 4:00 AM, the temple came alive with chanting, beating of the drums and ritual bathing of Nityananda’s life size murti. The two-hour ceremony was absolutely spellbinding. We were riveted by the affectionate way the Brahmin priests engaged in their tasks. When they concluded with the waving of lights to Nityananda, we all joined in the chant of “Jaya, jaya Arati, Nityananda.” The temple was transformed into a powerhouse of spiritual magic and mystery.
At Her daily satsangs, Swamiji interwove tantric teachings into our experiences of the day. Thus, Her satsangs facilitated self-reflection, contemplation and integration of what was unfolding in our bodies, minds and hearts. Each evening concluded with a Svaroopa® yoga class bringing the busy day into a tranquil repose.
The yatra with Swamiji is no ordinary trip to India. It is a voyage of self-discovery that is guided and assisted by Swami Nirmalananda, who is a living embodiment of the Gurus of the lineage that preceded Her –Baba Muktananda, Bhagavan Nityananda as well as the sages prior to them.
The devotion and love of Bhagavan Nityananda’s devotees was very tangible, and it made it clear to me how my relationship to Swami Nirmalananda was evolving. The effects of the yatra are unfolding to this day in many subtle ways.
The yatra opened my eyes to what is possible – “the human capacity” was made more palpable, more real. I know I am changing at the core of my being – I am not who I was; I am in a constant process of “becoming and being.” And in every moment I am guided by the immense Grace bestowing power of the Guru.
All I need to do is think of Her, say Her name and allow the Grace to carry me through the darkest, most difficult steps of the journey to the core of my Heart, to the stillpoint of existence.
As I delve more deeply into myself, naturally and organically my relationship with the Guru expands. The Guru is outside of me as Swamiji and inside of me as my Self. As I reach for the Self, as I sit at my Guru’s feet – the boundaries dissolve, expanding into deeper states of awareness.
Guru is a person who lives in a constant state of knowing of Divinity – their Presence, word and action are infused with Grace that opens the doors to the core my being.
Where can you go in this world that the Guru is not? What can you see, hear and know that is not infused, pervaded and sustained by the Guru?
Where can you go that you do not experience the Presence of the Guru?
What can I say about the Guru that has not already been said? Yet the words flow through my being and from my heart and their expression is a testament to the evolution and revelation that I experience through my Guru’s Grace.
Who is the Guru?
In the black, velvety darkness
The path is hard to see
Yet I have a guiding light
That sits in the centre of my skull
At first – invisible, hidden
The steps are muddled, frantic
As I sit in the silence of my heart
The light begins to shine
Very distant, dim, elusive
It begins to grow and pulse through my blood
Shimmering crystal light
Effulgent sapphire blue
As it fills the chidakasha
Deeper and deeper I go
Who is the Guru?
What do I see?
She is the light and the Sun
The sky and the stars
The flame that kindles my soul
As she lifts the sadness from my heart
To reveal the stillness beyond
She is the Grace that guides my path
She opens the door and I float
Beyond knowledge and knowing
Beyond sound and word
My eyes are opened
To the infinite vastness
That is yet unborn