In the presence of the Guru
Everything cannot be explained. Or expressed.
It can only be experienced.
Ever since I started practicing yoga at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre in Delhi, I have felt the hidden hand of a guru holding mine, and walking me through the minefield of life.
We have different words for something like this.
I could call it luck, which brought me to this kind of yoga practice.
Sometimes I would call it destiny.
At other times I would say it is instinctive wisdom, or an inherent fear, or some pain and stress which made me find the Sivananda Centre.
To be honest, I do not really know how I started practicing this special brand of yoga, how I became a Sivananda teacher, and how I spent all this time doing just one kind of sadhana, doing just one form exercise, being with just one kind of spiritual work.
There was pain, physical pain, of course, and mental and emotional pain too, which made me search and eventually find the Sivananda centre. That disappeared, and I did not even realize it.
There was anger and seething emotions, and they dissolved and I wasn’t aware of their departure either.
I was stumbling and ineffective, and I became confident and strong, and I did not know when that happened.
I was silly at times, and worse at others.
through the age of 29, and then 30 and 31, I grew up, and I do not when that happened either.
I was cynical and skeptical and restless and intolerant, and I became a little more human and caring, and I surprised myself by becoming who I am.
I was deeply unhappy and bitter, and I became full of mischief and laughter all over again.
I returned home to myself, or better said, yoga returned me home, and I wonder at the magic of it all.
There is no logical explanation to this, only awareness, that there must be more to our life than we comprehend.
What I do know is that in moments when I am alone, or reflective, I can sense a larger presence in my life.
There is someone with me, who is guarding me, watching over me, keeping me from falling down, holding my hand and making my actions more potent and effective than my genetic inheritance would allow.
This is not an undermining of my own ability, my own skill, my knowledge or my talents.
It is not in any way reducing my personal responsibility of living a life with dignity and purpose.
It is just an inexplicable trust that someone more than me, is keeping me on track, and has done so, for a long time.
Someone like a mother, someone like a friend, someone who is my own, someone who is always around whether I am aware of it or not, someone who lets me learn a few lessons, but never lets me get hurt, someone who loves me, but more importantly someone who allows me to be myself.
That someone, for me, is guru and teacher, messenger of peace, a guide, a mentor, a gentle soul and a loving human being.
Someone who has never taught me directly, but whose living presence we all can feel in the teachings and the teachers, in the discipline and the freedom, in the simplicity and the magic, the energy, the enjoyment, and the fulfillment, and of course in the welcome friendliness and peacefulness, when we come to the Sivananda Centre in Gurgaon, or visit any other Sivananda Centre or Ashram anywhere.
Swamiji is watching, and guiding, and showing us the way. With yoga.
Salutations and prostrations to my teacher for all his blessings.
Come, experience the magic of yoga.
Come, and be in the presence of the teachers and gurus gone before us.
Come, share the gifts of yoga that they have brought for us.