I have been given the good fortune in this incarnation to have three birthdays in a year. Yes, this day (24th March) identifies the birth day of this body. But when you receive yoga-diksha, the real yoga-diksha, you are led through dying and rebirthing. That body doesn’t exist anymore and then you are reborn. This is a secret among the yogis. You were body-bound, outward identified, now you have become inward. Your senses ordinarily flow outwards, from the moment of yoga-diksha, there is a “pull” and your senses develop the inclination of an inward flow. You operate in the world but you remain an “insider”. So that is the real death and birth of a yogi. Death is not unconscious, death is a conscious process. And the yoga diksha is a rebirth, so this is one of my birthday celebrations.

The third birthday is on the day this one received the diksha of sannyasa. On that day, one too does shradha to one’s self. One celebrates his own funeral and purifies the 7 generations of his family heritage through that act. So I am happy that I can have three birthdays to celebrate. Everybody gets one birthday remembering the birth of the body. In this body, with the time given, one uses their life situations, and relationships within a lifespan to pay off whatever karmas, karmic debts that we owe. And if you keep this goal in mind, the day all the karmic debts are paid off, that day renounce. By renouncing your desires, you are free. Whatever desire you seek to fulfill, you become attached to their results, to the fruits. Then it becomes a karma, then it binds you, then it ties you. Whatever desires i have had, my Master has fulfilled them. It’s just unending grace of the Master presented to me. Yet, if a yogi or a sannyasin becomes attached to the enjoyment of that desire then fresh karma begins again. So I watch myself and question, “Am I getting attached to this desire, or grasping this fulfillment I am receiving.” The moment I see a sign of attachment I do “something” inside me.

Along with attachment to the fruits of desires, there develops pride. It is a culture in India, a tradition in the sense that one learns to make ones self small. Keep yourself small and you will become big. So my blessing would be, may you know how to make yourself small. I wrote a poem at one time in which I sent a blessing. May Guru grant you a meditation shawl under which everyone shelters. I pray that my shawl be so extensive like that of my Master, to shelter everyone who seeks freedom from their attachments, pride, greed, and fears.

Now Feel the flow and the touch of the breath in the nostrils.

Breathing-out and breathing-in with your mantra with no breaks between the breaths. Observe how mind, mantra and the breath are flowing as a single stream of awareness. Let your entire mind becomes an even flowing stream, and without breaking the flow of the stream gently open your eyes. May God and Gurudev bless you all.