Swami Satyananda came out of seclusion to bless everyone with his presence throughout the five days of the Sat Chandi Mahayajna, enlightening and empowering one and all. There was an endless shower of love, grace and light. He spoke simply, sweetly and humorously. And in his simple stories he delivered deep messages.
Sri Swamiji told us that one acre of land has been purchased on the moon, on the shores of the Sea of Serenity. What will we do there? Since there is no gravity on the moon, we cannot stand upright there. But kundalini will awaken there very fast, with only one hour of sadhana. Kundalini is very eager to go to sahasrara and join Shiva. Sri Swamiji said that if he is alive he will sponsor our trip to the moon, but how much longer will he get an extension? So we must all deposit a lot of money in the bank for the trip (perhaps in the form of naam smarana, remembrance of Gods name?).
Day after day Sri Swamiji emphasized that as there is no gravity, i.e. no maya, and on the moon, no air, no water, no worldly possessions, the jiva or individual consciousness is free. In the absence of maya, body consciousness wanes and kundalini rises even with a little sadhana. Is this not the basic message of mental renunciation? With his humorous examples Sri Swamiji made clear the cause of our own low spiritual status. While living among the world, one can become a yogi by following this simple and powerful method of detachment. Detachment frees one from the gravity of maya, and the divine manifestation is nothing but the realization of ones true potential, and using it for the benefit of every form of creation on this earth. If a seed is kept in a bag, it will not grow, but with the right conditions it will sprout and grow into a tree providing fruit and shelter for passers-by.
Sri Swamiji emphasized the importance of selflessness. He said, I am an expert heart surgeon. I can do open heart surgery and remove the blockages from the arteries. When your arteries are blocked, you become selfish and miserly. When expert heart surgery has been performed, your veins open and you become selfless. There are blockages not only on the physical level, but on the mental and spiritual levels also. On the mental level they manifest as anger, frustration, hatred and dissatisfaction.
Many times Sri Swamiji requested us to let him perform this heart surgery so that we could all receive the divine grace, otherwise negative feelings accumulate and become volcanic. Divine grace in the form of kundalini is present in one and all as cosmic shakti, and during the yajna, the vibrations of this cosmic shakti are present all around us. With the help of an expert heart surgeon like Sri Swamiji, when the doors of the heart open wide, the great cosmic shakti awakens and rises to sahasrara where it joins Shiva. Sri Swamiji said that for the five days of the yajna, we are functioning with an artificial heart on which bypass surgery has been performed by an expert heart surgeon. The only requirement is to keep the heart open. In the words of the kirtan: Doors of my heart, open wide I pray to thee, Open wide, open wide, open wide and set me free.
Yajna is very important in todays world. Every yajna has three main components: satsang, worship and prasad distribution. Prasad distribution is the most important ingredient. A yajna without prasad is like a sweet without sugar, or a body without life. Sri Swamiji emphasized this by saying Give, give and give. Giving must be in the form of prasad, not charity. He said that the prasad is given as the blessing of Devi. Every article for distribution is offered first to Devi and then it becomes a gift from the Divine Mother. When anything is given to a poor and needy person with the feeling that it is Gods prasad, both the giver and receiver benefit.
Prasad must be distributed not as a courtesy or as charity. Prasad is the collection, culmination and execution of the goodwill of all those who have contributed, whether they are present or not. In a church one receives bread and wine, which is symbolic, but this prasad distribution in the form of utensils, clothes, blankets, grain and various other items required by the needy villagers is real. One hundred thousand families around Rikhia are benefiting from this prasad distribution. Each family consists of 45 members, so nearly 500,000 people will be given prasad. Many people have worked very hard going from village to village, from house to house, listing the number of family members and their requirements.
Swami Sivananda said Serve, love and give. Swami Satyananda has shown us the path to help us follow this great teaching. Swami Sivananda asked everyone who desired happiness and peace to start with service of mankind. If done selflessly with bhava, seva can instantly invoke the grace of God. By establishing a relationship of love with God through serving his creation, one can easily ascend the path of peace and happiness. This is the easiest and simplest way. Selfless service of the poor, needy and sick, love for each and every creation of God and sharing our possessions with the people around us purifies the heart immediately. And if practised continuously with deep faith and conviction, God has to shower his grace. He showers, showers and showers!
Sri Swamiji said that worship means not only the chanting of Durga Saptashati and singing kirtan, but is deeply related to the unfoldment and realization of the self. Seeing your atman is the ultimate aim of this worship, the same atman that is in everyone. He said that everyone comes to satsang with only one idea, obtaining the grace of the Divine Mother, Devi Ma.
Sri Swamiji referred to the Divine Mother as the Divine Mum. He said that the seed of yoga has blossomed, and the light of jnana has enlightened many. Now yajna is a boon to mankind. The Mother says, Surrender to me. Leave all your tensions, worries and sorrows. A mother is always generous to her children. A child may go astray, but the love of a mother does not diminish. She showers her children with all her grace and love. At the yajna, eat, walk, sleep and think only of her. Chanting of the Mothers name with an open heart is the quickest way to realize her grace.
During the program, a kanya representing the Mother told us, I have no nationality, religion, language or gender. I only understand the hearts language. I am above you, below you, all around you. Feel me as cosmic power. I shower my grace on one and all. Yajna is worship, full of divine vibrations. See and feel me in all the things present here, in all the actions performed here. Try to look around you with complete alertness and awareness of me and me only. I am inside you, all around you. Experience me and me only.
Sri Swamiji told us that the Divine Mother was right here amongst all of us. She is the goddess of dance. Five thousand years ago Lord Krishna danced with the gopis and Radha in Vrija. Now the kanyas and batuks, who are manifestations of the divine, are dancing here. Each batuk (boy) is a manifestation of Christ and each kanya (girl) is a manifestation of Durga. Under the age of twelve children are fully divine because maya cannot touch them, and they are free from the gunas. They become channels and the divine manifests through them.
Sri Swamiji said it is very, very difficult for us to go back to our childhood. But with the help of the kanyas and batuks we can contact divine grace. Devi is nirakara, formless, but the kanyas and batuks are sakara, manifest. Electricity has two types of conductors, good and bad. These kanyas and batuks are good conductors of divine grace and energy. We are all worshippers. They are the medium and we worship them and ask Devi to bless us through them.
God blesses us with a child who is his direct form, but we forget this. We develop attachment and consider the innocent child as our own. So now you have to consider and feel these kanyas and batuks as gods and goddesses. You can accumulate whatever you want by considering these children as the mediums of divine grace. These innocent souls are the mediums of the cosmic mother. Rikhia Peeth has been established only due to the kanyas and batuks. Only the greatness of these children should be felt here in Rikhia Peeth.
Sri Swamiji remarked that adults are incorrigible. In the Mahabharata, Duryodhana knew all about dharma and adharma but could not abstain from adharma. This made me wonder if Sri Swamiji was indirectly referring to our theoretical knowledge. In spite of knowing everything, we act otherwise. Again and again Sri Swamiji urged us to inculcate the pure love and devotion of the innocent kanyas and batuks of Rikhia as divine forms. He said to feed these children with the same love and devotion as you would offer food to the Divine Mother. These divine forms will help us to reach the Divine Mother. We all have desires, but if your desire is not good for you in the future, she will not fulfil it. The message of Accept the divine boon if it is granted or not was loud and clear.
Sri Swamiji explained that the divine energy is too powerful for us to bear, so the kanyas and batuks act as transformers. He said that just as to obtain electrical energy from a powerhouse we need a transformer, consider these children as transformers of divine grace and receive divine energy in a form which you can easily hold in your pocket and heart.
The Divine Mother says I am happy to see you at this sacred occasion. I am the universal mother, you are all my children. I have affection for all. Do not miss the divine grace. It is very near you. You should see me above you, below you, around you, in every thing. I am the cosmic shakti. By making the kanyas and batuks happy, you make me happy. Decorate them and you decorate me. Feed them and you feed me. If you are able to instil this bhava in your dealings with the kanyas and batuks, then your worship is fully accepted by the Divine Mother, and you have succeeded in assimilating the gist of this grand yajna.
Sri Swamiji told us that he came from Kumaon, a hilly region in northern India. All the weaknesses of his personality were removed during his various sadhanas, but intolerance to heat remained. After coming to Rikhia he decided to get rid of this weakness also. So the message is very clear: become a better and stronger individual by removing your own weaknesses and negative qualities one by one, slowly and gradually. After doing Panchagni sadhana, sitting in the midst of four fires with the fifth fire, the sun overhead, from January to July, and doing purascharana of his guru mantra 1,800,000 times, he became heat proof. Kama (passion), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (attachment) and matsarya (jealousy) are the five internal fires which keep on tormenting the jiva, and the jiva cannot control these five passions. It is very, very difficult. As we keep on attaching ourselves to worldly objects, the mind becomes powerful and the passions more difficult to control. The five passions constitute the mind. When they are finished, the mind does not exist. And without the mind, the world does not exist.
Sri Swamiji described how seventy-five percent of diseases originate in the mind. The yajna gives us five days of antibiotic treatment. The chanting of aim hreem kleem and the other mantras and kirtans is spiritual medicine. Sri Swamiji stressed the importance of Gods name as a powerful medicine for almost all problems. Impose poverty on yourself for a few days, he said. There is more happiness in poverty and simplicity. Think about it. Discuss it. Rich people should reduce their desires, possessions and cravings. Materialistic tendencies must be reduced to achieve peace and happiness in life.
Sri Swamiji told us that in the vedic culture fire is not merely Agni but Agni devata. Similarly, the cow is Gaya devata and food is Anna devata. So we worship these deities and seek their blessings. Yajna is very scientific in its approach. The sacred fire of yajna and the smoke thus created purifies the atmosphere. The whole environment is filled with divine vibrations. Yajna is extremely good from the ecological point of view also as it is a powerful purifier. Good thoughts increase and these lead to the propagation of sattwa. Life is born from the earth. Everyone should follow the vedic path.
Sita Kalyanam takes place on the last day of the yajna, after Kanya pooja. In the Hindu tradition the marriage of Sita and Rama depicts the union of individual and cosmic energy, the union between prakriti and purusha, or Shakti and Shiva. The sacred marriage took place on the fifth day of the month of Marga Sheersha, and Sri Swamiji has selected the same day of the same month according to the Hindu calendar.
Rama means indweller of the heart. Just as air and water are present everywhere, similarly Rama is present everywhere. Sita is like a plough, tilling the soil. The soil is the mind, so she removes the hard core of the ego. The mind is full of maya. Nobody can change it without having a strong Sita element. Sri Swamiji said that Sita and Rama are not merely symbols, they are the heart of Indian history.
According to the tradition, creation took place billions of years ago. The four yugas are satya yuga, treta yuga, dwarpa yuga and kali yuga. The approximate age of kali yuga is 432,000 years, of which 5,000 years have passed, so we have seen the initial period of kali yuga. History does not take place without a purpose. History has to become legend and legend becomes folklore. Folklore is the third incarnation of history. Folklore lives, lives and lives. We are celebrating history to give us an inner inspiration. The moment we utter the words Sita Rama, we are in tune with our inner self. Otherwise in our daily lives we are always tuning in with the outer world. This is the destination to bring us back to our own inner world or consciousness.
In conclusion, Sri Swamiji said that if we are able to offer our good intentions to the transformers of the divine energy, the kanyas and batuks, then we have understood the meaning of the yajna. Many people had worked hard for its success. Richest to poorest had all contributed in their own way. Sri Swamijis simple statements glorified the spirit of oneness of humanity and service to mankind as Gods form, especially the poor and needy. Each day the batuks and kanyas, numbering almost 1000, were given new clothes as Devis prasad. The very sight of the happiness of these little gods set our pulses racing. By the sheer example of generosity in practice, its effect on everyone needed no other teaching. With perfect selflessness, Sri Swamiji showered his grace on all. In todays world of hypocrisy, selfishness and dishonesty this experience came as an incomparable wave of freshness. And I pondered, Can life be more divine than this?