By Margie (Maitreyi) Wilsman
I consider Satguru Swami Nirmalananda my Lunar Rockstar. Gurudevi, as we affectionately call her, supports me in exploring the celestial and cosmic universe. It began on the outside. My original career path, mathematics and physics, focused on understanding the realities hidden deep within our cosmos. I built a telescope. On my belly, with a tripod and camera, I photographed the constellations, tracking them through Minnesota winter night skies. I decorated my home with large, color photos of the Milky Way galaxy. And “Fly Me to the Moon” has always been a favorite song:
Fly me to the moon
Let me play among the stars
Let me see what spring is like
On Jupiter and Mars
Now, on another sort of cosmic path, I am an ardent follower of Gurudevi Nirmalananda. She is clearly a cosmic teacher. She is filled with mystical teachings, that she absorbed from her Guru and integrated into her life. Her work is to bring these ancient teachings into the world is to support seekers like me and you. They support us toward the goal of Self-Realization. They enable you to fulfill the yearning to become rooted in the Cosmic Consciousness. Gurudevi assures us that abiding in this the One Reality is our birthright. It resides inside of every human. With Gurudevi as my guide, my cosmic universe perspective has shifted from outside to inside. Let me explain.
To accomplish the mystical process of Self-Realization, you need a living teacher who enlivens the ancient teachings through their experience. Gurudevi, my living teacher, is Self-Realized. She is a Great Being, an embodied form of the formless — Consciousness Its-Self. She too had a living Satguru, Swami Muktananda. And he had a living Satguru, Bhagavan Nityananda. Both of them fully embodied Consciousness.
As a Shaktipat Guru, Gurudevi specializes in awakening Kundalini, the Cosmic Power of Consciousness residing within each human being. Awakened Kundalini reveals this True Identity to us and powers our process of learning to live in the Self. The goal is the experiential knowing of our own Self, which is the One Self Being All.
Gurudevi’s teachings are not theoretical. Nor does she pontificate, though she does teach directly from the yogic texts. Using spot-on metaphors and examples from her own life, she spells out the actions, practices and directions that need to be undertaken. She explains how they establish you in Self-Knowing. She describes what it is like when you abide in that state.
Gurudevi instructs you on how you get there in Root of Happiness. Gurudevi points out that you do not water the blossoms of flowering plants. Rather, you water the roots. Similarly we do the work of watering our roots by applying Gurudevi’s Grace-filled teachings to our lives. Her way of giving these teachings makes them applicable to our modern lives even during a pandemic. Her teachings shift us from exclusive involvement in the outside world. No longer stuck there, we open to our inner dimensions. We root ourselves deeper in our True Nature, which is unlimited Bliss within. It is the joy of the Divine. Gurudevi teaches that it exists within you as you. And she helps you find it and learn to live from that place within.
A poem by 14th Century Indian poet-saint Lalleshwari describes how Gurudevi, as my Shaktipat Guru, takes me there:
A fish may live without water;
the world may live without air;
you may build a castle in the sky
and even stay in it;
but to think of finding Shiva
without a guru to help you
is a mere dream.
– Lalleshwari, verse 67 (rendered by Swami Muktananda, page 32, 1981 edition)
Flying to the moon and playing among the stars is no longer a mere dream. Gurudevi has shown me that Grace can transport me to the Cosmic Inner Reality. She shows me this with her own illumined presence as well as with profound teachings. This Reality awaits me as I dive deeper inside. Gurudevi’s teachings support me in exploring this inner dimension, which is my own Self. Now my Milky Way pictures share wall space with photos of Gurudevi, Baba Muktananda and Bhagawan Nityananda. Waving a candle flame to the Guru has replaced my telescope. I wave a flame to the One who lights my Inner Light and removes the darkness covering me. Replacing my physics books are yogic texts like the Shiva Sutras along with books and monthly articles by Gurudevi. Thanks to her, the mysterious and mystical Cosmic Reality is the place I abide, inside and outside. I live by what Gurudevi teaches: the ancient, authentic cosmic yoga principles of life. She shows me the way to Self-Realization. On this path, her teachings are my walking stick.