By Matrika Gast
“If you’re doing yoga, you are on the path toward Enlightenment. When you are enlightened, who will you be? What will you be like? What are you going to see when you open up your eyes?”
It can be hard to answer Swamiji’s question. But that’s exactly why we have a Guru, that’s why we are in relationship with our Guru, Swami Nirmalananda. And that gives us a lot to celebrate on Guru Purnima, the night of July 19. For thousands of years, on this fullest moon of the year, sages and disciples have honored their Masters, whose teachings gave them enlightenment. As modern yogis, we too honor our Guru, “Giver of the upwelling light/Your own Self….” (Shree Guru Gita, verse 10)
Interviewing Swamiji about Guru Purnima, I confessed, “I really can’t imagine what it would be like to be Self-realized.” She replied, “It would be so easy. The way you think, breathe and live, your life now is so hard.” As she wrote in her July teachings article, we carry around a backpack full of sand. We do this even while she teaches us how to loosen the straps and set that load down for good. Swamiji shows you what being Self-Realized looks like. Talk with her, and you hear voice and words radiant with the light of consciousness. “You are the light of consciousness,” she says. All any of us needs to do is open our eyes and see it.
How fortunate to study with her! She has attained yoga’s promise of living from Self, Consciousness-Itself. Some months ago, I tearfully admitted that a life situation had made me terribly angry. She simply said, “If you were in your Self, you would not be angry.” Without a doubt, I knew that was the Truth. Thankfully, I turned to more than a decade of her teachings and her living example to get me back on track. On Guru Purnima I have much to celebrate.
With this festival just five days away, plan now how you will honor your Guru, her Guru, and his Guru as well. On the East Coast, the moment the moon becomes full is 6:59 pm, but it’s not yet dark! You can celebrate later, when night finally arrives, or any time in the next day and a half. During this time of the brightest light in the darkness, Guru’s Grace flows most fully. Living within driving distance of Lokananda, you have the splendid prospect of Swami Nirmalananda’s satsang on that Tuesday at 7:30 pm. Further away, plan your own festivities with Svaroopa® Science practices.