By Rajni (Chelsea) King
“My Guru’s words are like a boat taking me across the fathomless ocean of me doubting my essential nature. I honor and enter into my Guru’s words. They are profound, easy to understand, and make me able to rest in deepening inner stages of blissful Consciousness.” — Spanda Karikas. 4.1, rendered by Swami Nirmalananda
Swami Nirmalananda makes the profound, ancient teachings and practices of yoga so accessible and easy to understand. The way she translates them to pertain to everyday life is such a gift! So today I celebrate the anniversary of her birth.
When I contemplate my journey on this path and my relationship to Swami Nirmalananda, “support” is the first word that comes up. Being in relationship with Swamiji has brought Grace-filled, Grace-fueled support to my life, on the inside and the outside. Svaroopa® yoga asana practice first gave me tangible physical support. Swamiji originated this yoga style from spontaneous Kundalini movements arising during her meditations. Her Guru, Baba Muktananda, blessed her with these openings, borne of the inner power of revelation.
This Grace-filled asana practice drew me in and placed me on the path. I first learned “support equals release.” This is true on all levels. Guru’s Grace and support are built into every aspect of this yoga. The poses open so much more than just the physical body! Given that opening, I have experienced the ever-deepening support of Swamiji’s meditative teachings and devotional practices. Every practice points me back to my Self. And, of course, there’s the portable Guru, the mantra. It is always there to remind me that the Guru, who is my own Self, is so close.
The greatest blessing of my Guru is the gift of Shaktipat, the awakening of the Kundalini energy. It opens me to the tangible support of my inner Guru, my inner guide. When I stepped onto this path, I was riddled with self-doubt. I was convinced that “I wasn’t doing it right.” I felt that I didn’t really know how to meditate, that I wasn’t getting it! I felt numb mentally and physically.
Yet I knew I needed to be on this path. It was a deeper knowing, a knowing beyond the negativity of my mind. Something was propelling me forward, even though my mind couldn’t explain or comprehend what I was getting. Things were changing at a deeper level than I could perceive at the time. Clearly my negative and doubtful mind wasn’t on board. What kept me going all those years?
Much later, I understood that I had received Guru initiation. It was a spontaneous Shaktipat. The Grace of the Gurus propelled me along the path and continues to propel me forward. Swamiji’s Grace supports me on the inside and the outside. Thus, I too can live in the ever-expanding pure joy and contentment of my own Self!
So on Swamiji’s birthday, I celebrate her. I feel immensely blessed to be in relationship with a Great Being. How could I be so fortunate to have found this path? It truly is the greatest gift. Happy Birthday, Swamiji!