Published: 8 September 2022 | Written by Maya Soonaranne
Om Sham no Mitrah, Sham Varunah. Sham no Bhawatwaryama. Sham na Indro Brihaspati. Sham no Vishnu rurukramah. Namo Brahmané. Namasté Vāyo. Twameva Pratyaksham Brahmāsi. Twameva Pratyaksham Brahma Vadishyāmi. Ritam Vadishyāmi. Satyam Vadishyāmi Tanmāmawatu. Tadvaktāram Avatu. Avatu mām. Avatu Vaktāram. Aum Shantih, Shantih, Shantih
(May the Sun bless Us! May the Night bless Us! May the Eye bless us! May the Might bless Us! May the Speech bless Us! May All-prevalent bless Us! Welcome Spirit! Welcome Life, Face of Spirit! Truth shall be on my lips and truth in my thoughts. May truth protect me; protect my Guru; protect Us both. May Peace, Peace and Peace be everywhere) ~ Taittiriya Upanishad
It is with great relief and observance that the sadhakas of Ahymsin group of Quatre Bornes, Mauritius celebrated Guru Purnima on 13 July 2022. On that auspicious day, we performed the Vedic Yajna and paid homage to our great master, Swami Rama, to Swami Veda Bharati and to all the spiritual masters of the lineage — the Guru Parampara. Under the guidance of our spiritual teacher, our beloved Bahenji Sarojini, we did the Yajna which culminated in chanting Akhandamandalākāram-mantras and 108 Ganesha Gayatri chanting with fire offerings. While doing the fire offerings with “Svaha” we are reminded of the fact that “this is not mine – it is thine!” By this way of surrendering our entire ego and our individuality, thus purifying our buddhi (upper mind), we pave the way to know the true nature of our being. The guidance of the Gurus is easing the way to connect with our inner Guru. We are always indebted towards our Gurus and we bow in reverence to the Gurudevas — Tasmay Shri Guruwe Namaha.
Bahenji Sarojini explained to us the purpose of the new AHYMSIN Sangha Mantra – the Ganesha Gayatri Mantra, which has been given in this time of great disruption. She explained that this mantra has a secret working at the level of our consciousness and the chanting of this mantra provides us physical and emotional stability to overcome the obstacles in our life, on our path of sadhana and help us renew our spiritual practice. Ganesha is also known as remover of obstacles. She said that the exact translation of the mantra does not matter as Swami Veda Bharati clearly puts it: “behind each word of the mantra, there is a mystery and behind that there is another mystery. For example, the figure of Ganesha is quite a little bit like the figure of the way we write the sound ‘OM’. In this (Mantra), the figure is mentioned as having a curved trunk like that of an Elephant. This actually refers to the little piece that sticks out of the sound of ‘OM’, when the word ‘OM’ is written”.
In same vein Swami Ritavan Bharati said so humbly during Sangha gathering: “… let us take a grander view of Mantras. Mantras are those vibratory qualities that are not just simply words spoken.”
This year Guru Purnima was indeed a very special day for us, it was filled with emotion and relief as we could not celebrate Guru Purnima together last year because of the pandemic. For almost two years, the confinement and our limited social interaction has been a major setback to our spiritual progress. But on that auspicious day, we all expressed a feeling of well-being and fulfilment.
Our gathering around Guru Purnima was an opportunity for the sadhakas to connect, share experiences, learn from one another to become stronger and more confident especially as we realised that we all faced very similar experiences. Everyone of us voiced out that the period of isolation was a very challenging time. Some of the sadhakas – Sunita, Sharda and Anusha who are frontliners said how they were emotionally drained and are still under much pressure. While on the physical plane, we are adapting to the new normal, there was however a feeling of regression in our spiritual practice. This year’s Guru Purnima had a magical effect on us – Sunita who is an initiate in the tradition said how the meditation in the tradition brought her comfort during the hard times and shared this: ‘’I needed this connection to-day as I was facing some obstacle in my meditation. I am overwhelmed and I felt the presence of Swami Rama!” Sunita is a charge nurse and works as ward manager in the Government Hospital and like all front liners she worked in a very stressful environment.
Another frontliner Sharda, pharmacy dispenser, also added that Guru Purnima was a great moment of satisfaction and gratitude after working in a scary condition caused by the dreadful pandemic. She said how she missed the regular yoga-meditation classes though she was doing her practice at home to keep the mental balance.
Our group has been set up seven years ago by Bahenji Sarojini and we are all very thankful to her for inspiring us and leading us on this beautiful journey. We are indeed blessed to belong to the Himalayan Tradition of Yoga Meditation family of AHYMSIN.
With our deep gratitude and reverence to the Guru lineage.
Maya Soonaranne is an initiate in the Himalayan Tradition. She is a Director at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Mauritius.