Sat Chit Ananda Guru Ki Jay
Sadguru Kedarji often utters, “Our lineage stands behind you like a mountain”, reminding us that we are never alone. There is nothing to fear. We are blessed, protected, and guided in all matters. I am so grateful that Sadguru Kedarji included stories of the elder disciples of Bhagawan Nityananda in the book, The Abode of Grace. Bhagawan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri.
Powerful Inner Experiences
While reading of these Saints of our lineage, I had very powerful inner experiences, causing me to reflect on my own Sadhana. I observed that, they too, were like me with similar ego expressions and karmic obstacles. And through their love, devotion, and surrender to the Guru and the practices, they came to live in a permanent state of indescribable joy.
These stories of the saints of our lineage serve to remind me of what is possible for me in my own Sadhana. They remind me of the greatness and leadership of the Sadguru in the spiritual transformation process. They remind me that my level of spiritual attainment will always be equal to the level of intensity of my Bhakti, Devotion, Faith, and identification with my Guru. Reading of the experiences of these saints gave me the inspiration to renew my effort in Sadhana so that I can come to live in a permanent state of indescribable joy.
When gazing upon the photos of the Saints of our lineage on the wall at Nileshwar Hall, I have always been drawn to a few, one being Tulsi Amma.
Not much is known about Tulsi Amma. So, I knew little of her life and her service to her Guru, other than that she recorded Bhagawan Nityananda’s words whenever he spoke, while in deep meditation, thus compiling his utterances into The Chidakasha Gita.
I was initially drawn to her out of a fascination that she was a female Yogi living in a male dominated society where access to spiritual paths such as ours was only available to men. She didn’t smile in the photo or appear to show any joy. From this understanding, I thought her image reflected the hardships of a widowed woman in early 20th century India.
Devotion, Faith, Surrender, and Bhakti
When I read about her spiritual journey, I began to understand why I was drawn to her. It was not that she was a female saint. It had nothing to do with gender or the roles she played in life. It was how she overcame great obstacles in her Sadhana with Devotion, Faith, Surrender, and Bhakti.
Things are not always as they appear. I learned much about my own mental conditioning from the thoughts I held around a simple photo. I have been conditioned to think that happiness and joy can only be expressed through a smile. When I gaze upon her image now, I don’t see the labels and notions I previously associated with it. Her image is one of simplicity. The joy is there in her state of detachment. Her inner state of peace and pure love for God and her Guru, Bhagawan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri, shines through her eyes. I see complete humility and contentment. I see an example for my Sadhana.
Truth Transforms Lives
I randomly opened the book The Abode of Grace to this verse while contemplating the experiences of Tulsi Amma. How fitting it was for this contemplation and the rest that followed.
In the Chidakasha Gita, Bhagawan Nityananda states in verse 202,
“One who has not realized the truth is a beggar. One who has not destroyed delusion, one who has not left off the downward (worldly) path, is a beggar.”
Sadguru Kedarji’s Commentary follows: “Without God-realization, you are subject to illusion, delusion and the suffering wrought by the pair of opposites, pain and pleasure. These are limitations that severely restrict your authorship, agency and omniscience and this limitation causes you to wander about relying on your own wits instead of God’s Grace. This does make you a beggar.”
Total Refuge In the Guru
Curious to understand what Tulsi Amma faced, I researched the treatment widows endured. She could have easily succumbed to the understandings and notions of society and literally become a beggar for her material mundane needs and, ultimately, a beggar of the restless mind.
Bhagawan Nityananda’s presence in her life made the difference. In her pain of life, she turned to God and took total refuge in her Guru. By following her Guru’s instruction and commands, a complete transformation occurred within in her being.
Through realizing the truth, she succeeded in overcoming her karmic obstacles. Tulsi Amma understood and accepted that her suffering was a gift of God’s Grace. In this way, she took full responsibility for all circumstances in her life. Her suffering became her path to liberation and she faced her karmas with great joy.
Resistance In My Sadhana
This point alone has inspired me to look at all circumstances and situations in my life in this way. I realized that I have always taken a “glass half empty” approach to all things in my life. I seldom see the blessing in what is taking place. I see the world through cynical eyes, automatically waiting for the other shoe to drop. I look for worst-case scenarios allowing the mind to dwell in a constant state of restlessness. This has caused resistance in my Sadhana, causing me to become a beggar.
Through my own resistance to surrendering to the truth, I create great pain in my life. In this pain I often try to go it alone because I don’t believe anyone can or wants to help me. This karmic habit of cynicism has made me very stubborn. I don’t turn to my Guru for help and I sabotage Grace, in favor of pleasing my ego idea. My ego idea doesn’t want to be corrected and set back on the path, heading in the right direction. My ego would rather me leave my Guru and works against me by telling me I have not gained anything on this path and that the instruction is too hard.
Where Will I Go?
Shortly after contemplating my experiences of Tulsi Amma’s story, I was drawn to the story of Padiyar Swami.
Feeling frustrated with his supposed lack of spiritual progress, Padiyar told Bhagawan Nityananda that he was leaving for good. Bhagawan Nityananda, uttered, “Where to and for what?” The questions that welled up inside Padiyar following this utterance also welled up within me after reading them.
“Where to? Yes, where will you go? If you want God and you cannot attain His state here at the very seat of Grace, where else can you find it? What will you accomplish by going elsewhere? Why put it off for later? Your time is here and now so why postpone it by leaving? If, in the company of a Maha Siddha, you cannot attain peace, where else will you find it?”
Leaving was an idea I have entertained too much in the past few years. The world has gone mad with greed, corruption and lack of love. Yes, ‘where will I go,’ had to be contemplated.
Patience and Vigilance
I began to look for any proof in my mundane existence by way of other teachings, material possessions, family, friends, etc., that would lead me to merge with the Self completely. What I found over and over again was, without the understandings, love and grace of my Guru, I am not able to see and use these mundane experiences as a means to go home. At best I can only identify with the ego expressions associated with them and create more karmas.
Then, what revealed itself to me is that I want to leave because I am not patient and have an aversion to discipline. I want instant gratification and instant progress. I have accrued so many karmas and sadhana takes time. Sadhana also requires discipline and vigilance.
Patience and vigilance are beneficial qualities to cultivate as they help lead me to other qualities such as joy. So, of course, it makes sense that the ego idea wants me to leave. It likes its pain and suffering and will do anything to protect that. In this recognition I felt a bit like Hamid in the story of Hamid and Tandoori, in that I will stay, even with all the ego objections, and let the Guru continue to work on me – to see my remaining amidst all the ego objections as a strength, which is something for a “glass half empty” gal.
God Exists in My Feeling
My contemplation journey rested upon reading the section on Bhakti and the story of Murdeshwar Mama. I was immediately overcome and broke down in tears. It touched a point of sadness in my heart because I saw many similarities to my own Sadhana in how I serve and approach my Guru. I had allowed my love of people, places, and things to become more important than the love for my Guru and my desire to have a permanent state of indescribable joy.
But the sadness quickly faded as I realized that in Bhakti are all other attainments.
Every moment is a moment of choice and change. God exists in my feeling. I can choose to wallow here in self-pity over a set back in sadhana, or I can reach for Grace and change my understanding. The Guru is ever available to me. All Kedarji wants from me is Love and Devotion. It is always raining Grace.
I had come to rest in the mantra “All the Guru wants from me is my love and Devotion.” I see this as a truth. Offering gifts to the Guru has not gained me any special favor or privilege. It only pleases my ego idea. In fact, the greatest strides I have made in Sadhana and my experience of the Joy of the Self have been when I served the Guru with only Love and Devotion in my heart, with no attachment to outcomes.
The greatest Joy has come when I have wanted that same Joy for others.
I see that the way back to Bhakti, this mad Love for God, is through surrendering the ego idea in the moment. It is in cultivating Humility and Reverence. It is standing in the awe of Grace and letting it rain all over me. All I have to do is take that small step toward my Guru.
Our Lineage Stands Behind Us Like A Mountain
There are so many blessings of Grace available in just reading the first few chapters of the book The Abode of Grace. Bhagawan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri.
Contemplating that our lineage stands behind us like a mountain caused me to understand that, yes, they stand behind me in support, but also stand with me in support of my Sadhana, by way of their examples of Devotion, Service and Bhakti. Their transformation is the proof that our path is one of Liberation. It is proof that ordinary people can make this journey to the Self. The proof is in the legacy and lineage they offer us to lead us home.
Rev. Deana Tareshawty performs her selfless service as Vice President of our public charity, The Bhakta School, in addition to serving as a program leader and harmonium player. She also serves on our Board of Directors. Additionally, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a double minor in Biology and Chemistry. She is a certified Ecology of Well-Being practitioner and the owner of Inspired Wholeness. She is also a trained Reiki Master in Usui Reiki.