Tuesday, July 19th 2016 is the full moon of the guru, also known as Guru Purnima
Manorama explains that: « This celebration is marked in July because in India the rainy season happens at that time. It is said that teachers and students can’t easily move when the heavy rains come so the opportunity to bond and set a good course of study together is present during this time of year. It is for this reason that July has become known as the month of the guru »
In the Jivamukti lineage as well, the July Focus of the month essay is about the Guru Mantra.
Yesterday, the open class I taught was dedicated to all the great teachers in our lineage and I read a story from the Jivamukti Yoga book. The whole chapter is worth reading thoroughly. Here is a excerpt from it:
A month later [after Shri Brahmananda Saraswati’s passing] we returned to Ananda Ashram. After midnight, as Sharon was heading to her room to go to bed, she decided to meditate for a few minutes in the main room where Shri Brahmananda often sat to teach. His simple seat was still there, as he had left it. All the lights were out; just one candle was burning. Again, Sharon felt that longing to be close to her guru. She rested her head on his seat and once again, those mysterious sounds rushed in. She picked up her head, thinking perhaps she was hearing water running through the pipes in the house. She heard nothing. When she put her head down on the seat again, she heard exactly the same sounds that she had heard emanating from his body. Shri Brahmananda was once again giving her his timeless message that we are all beyond the body and mind; we are the vibration of the I-AM.
We close every Jivamukti Yoga class with this chant acknowledging the guru:
Om Bolo Sat Guru Bhagavan Ki Jai Victory to God, the only real teacher.
God and Guru are the same. When we experience God in a teacher, the devotion we feel is transformational. Guru can remind us of God. We are thus reminded of our own divine nature.
Regularly, I play Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati’s CD « Chanting sanskrit » and especially the guided meditation that closes each CD. His OM always shakes me. Through his powerful voice, I feel the potency of his being, beyond physical form. But sometimes, I forget these precious gems.
Last February, I caught a very bad cold. I was coughing so hard I couldn’t sleep. Sitting was relatively comfortable so I propped myself up with as many pillows as I could find and played the meditation very loudly. For the whole 7 minutes it lasted, I did not cough. Then I thought, it was just a coincidence. I repeated the experiment three times. My cough had stopped. And I was finally able to sleep through the night (after three sleepless nights in a row). The February Focus of the Month was about the healing sound of yoga. At the end of the essay, Jules Febre (who wrote it) asked the question: « Why do so many yoga classes start and end with Om? Why is it considered a healing sound? Truly the best way to find out is to start chanting Om, because as Sharon Gannon says, “ through repetition the magic is forced to arise.” »
From other worlds, Shri Brahmananda Saraswati gave me an answer and manifested a miracle. It took me a bad cough and a certain hopelessness to not being able to sleep, to remember the teachings. Why was I so blind? I could only laugh at myself.
Yogic teachings honor the biological mother, as the first guru; guru literally means, dispeller of darkness. Not only did my mom give me life but her departure (she abruptly left us on August 30th 2010) was an invaluable life teaching. We truly never know when and how death will occur. The journey of the loss and the gain can be a deep cycle of growth. May we all learn from it. The yogi strives to live an impeccable life, always ready for “he whose date and time of arrival we do not know”. For the realized yogi, the time of death is a conscious departure. In sanskrit Mahāsamādhi, literally means the great merger.
Shymdasji took his Mahāsamādhi reciting mantra and dedicated his life to the teachings of the path of Grace. He had me fall in love for the Pushti Marg’s sacred texts and sounds. I am forever indebted and grateful to him.
I honor and respect Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati , the gentle swami Nirmalananda, the great Sri K.Pattabhi Jois;
Deep pranams and love at the feet of Radhanath Swami Maharaj. His last book « The journey within » is a treasure for every seeker, irrespective of her or his faith.
I feel so fortunate to have found teachers I can trust. They have and are still affecting my life very positively:
Lady Ruth, my adored mentor;
My teacher Yogeswari, a force of goodness in this world;
Our precious teachers Padma (Sharon Gannon) and David Life, I look at them and my heart is filled with awe and love.
Yes, it all comes back to love. The Love of God. It is the true ground of being.
Aside from my home altar, I carry with me always my prayer beads, a book, a recording, a small gift, all those are little reminders of love. We have embarked on a sacred journey, the journey of remembering our eternal, divine souls. May we never miss an opportunity to say « Thank you » to these high beings and saints who have touched our hearts.
As we rise in love, may our know-it-all-ness, our fears, our doubts and our lack of faith gradually melt.
To all of my teachers, I bow and say: Thank you for being in my life and for the many miracles of your love.
In gratitude always.