By Swami Prajñananda
Interviewed by Lori (Priya) Kenney
I love the transformative power of fire. Living with Gurudevi, there’s the constant inner fire burning away my limitations — it is called the Fire of Yoga. This fire polishes the gem of my small s-self. The unique way that I show up in the world does not go away. Instead, it is refined and even concentrated. This refinement allows my own Divine Essence, my Self, to shine through my body and mind even more fully.
This is possible because of Gurudevi’s Grace. This Grace is the energy that reveals your own Self to you. While this energy of revelation is always available, it is magnified at the Ashram. Living at the Ashram feels like I am swimming in a river of Grace. It feels very natural, like I am a fish in water. It is easy to forget you are in water because it is always there supporting and nourishing you.
I feel blessed to be here, and I feel challenged. I love how Gurudevi shows me my blind spots so that I can clear them. Even when it’s hard, there is an ease and a rightness to it. The flow of Grace is my support. When I move out of that current, even slightly, I feel it strongly. That is my guide to get back in the flow.
This environment supports me toward my goal, which is to be established in Self. I’ve known for a long time that dedicating my life to the Self is my dharma. It is my purpose in this world and why I moved into the Ashram. Living with Gurudevi helps me to stay on track.
When I took swami vows and Gurudevi gave me my name, my dharma was refined. Prajñananda means the bliss of illumined knowledge. My name is both a promise and a reality. The teachings have always been natural and important to me. As soon as I heard them, I understood them. I always had this feeling that it was up to me to be an ambassador of these ancient teachings in our modern world. My name expands and focuses my capacity to be an instrument of the teachings and Gurudevi’s Grace.
Whether I’m teaching meditation, philosophy, asana or yoga therapy, my purpose is to be a pathway for the Grace to flow. My goal is to be a pure instrument to serve God’s will. I have the perfect role model for this in Gurudevi. She is always serving others. She has so much to give because she is sourced from Self.
And she is a good sharer! Simply being in her presence shifts me inside. While I love to study the teachings, it is Gurudevi’s presence and service that I study the most. I feel blessed to have this time with her and to live in the presence of other great yogis, my fellow residents. I know this time is precious, and I treasure every moment.