Gratitude, Giving and Sweet Surrender

By Barbara (Girijananda) Hess

SVA Board Member

I love that Thanksgiving begins our holiday season with a reminder to give thanks.  Giving thanks shifts me inside.  I experience a timeless gratitude that melts my heart.  When I surrender into the moment, great gratitude bubbles up.  I am most grateful for Gurudevi.  She has given me my Self.  How can I give thanks for this eternal gift?

One way I give thanks is through dakshina — yoga’s ancient practice of selfless financial giving.  I am so grateful to give to our Ashram’s fall campaign in gratitude for Gurudevi.  And I’m grateful for the organization through which her Grace-full teachings flow.  Please join me during this Thanksgiving season in supporting her and the Ashram, who offer so much.  This path offers fulfillment of life’s full potential, Self-Realization. 

From my first Svaroopa® yoga class, I knew I received more than just a “yoga class.”  Then in my first immersion, Kundalini rose quite boldly.  I sensed a recognition the instant I laid eyes on Gurudevi.  How could I not support one who instantly gave me so much?  I began monthly donations.  I continue monthly giving, increasing it over time.  I also put aside money for the annual spring and fall fundraisers. 

You may be like me, not really understanding the full gift of our Svaroopa® Sciences initially.  No worries.  Gurudevi never tires of serving, offering programs, guiding and sometimes blasting us through our blind spots.  Gurudevi reveals an inspiring capacity for giving thanks and gratitude.  She serves her Baba 100% every day.  She knows the power of deeply offering.  During Thanksgiving season, she gives us this opportunity too. 

I never tire of giving her support.  It is an honor to offer dakshina to one who gives so much.  I also see it as a necessity.  I want others to receive what she gives so freely to us.  Our giving keeps these teachings accessible.  It keeps the doors of the Ashram open to everyone.  Every story of others’ upliftment makes me even more dedicated to dakshina and seva, selfless service.

I recently taught a meditation series.  A few weeks later, I saw one of the attendees.  She rushed up to me and pressed some money in my hand.  She said, “This meditation and the mantra saved my life.  Please take this gift for your teachings.”  I thanked her and told her I would gladly send it to the Ashram.  What she received opened her in such a way she could not resist giving back.  That is the flow of Grace running through this lineage.  Dakshina supports everything that Gurudevi does and offers. 

So many of us have received the gift of Guru’s Grace — even if we’ve never met Gurudevi in person.  The Grace of the Svaroopa® lineage flows through the teachings, and all the teachers whom Gurudevi has trained.  It even flows online.

Gurudevi says, “My ability to serve is like a tributary of a great river.  I am the riverbed.  That flow of Grace comes from my Guru, and I am a wide-open channel for that flow.”

I am incredibly grateful for Shaktipat, the ultimate gift from my Guru, Swami Nirmalananda.  I am equally grateful to her Guru, Swami Muktananda, and to his Guru, Bhagawan Nityananda as well as to all the great beings in this lineage.  It has carried this great gift and these sacred teachings forward.  Thus, over time, they have reached us. These Masters have dedicated their life to Self-Realization.

With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives.  It’s Grace that has led you to the Svaroopa®practices.  The Guru’s teachings are designed just for you.  Take them to heart.  Express the gratitude in your heart.  How has our River of Grace supported you?  Join me in giving to allow many more to join us in the River of Grace.  We have so many opportunities for reflection and gratitude on this day when Americans celebrate Thanksgiving.  A wonderful day to offer your dakshina of gratitude to the Ashram!

Donate today on our website.  You can call us at (610) 644-7555.  Or you can send your check to Svaroopa Vidya Ashram, 116 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335. Thank You!

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