- Oct 14, 2013
Since Guru's mahasamadhi, in 2007 I've been fortunate to spend a few days in New York, every October. Unfortunately, for various reasons, this year I was unable to make it, but as much as possible sought to concentrate on all the experiences and feelings that this occasion brings to the fore.
Sri Chinmoy's path is very dynamic - it is a yoga for the modern age. Yet, this dynamism springs from a deep source of silence and meditation. Perhaps more than any other time, Guru's mahasamadhi is an opportunity to be still and remember the tremendous peace that Guru sought to share with the world. At celebrations (August and April) I can be a restless meditator. I sometimes find it hard to meditate for too long, without feeling I should get up and do something. But, in October, I find it effortless to sit on the bleachers and allow time to float by. It doesn't really feel like I'm making too much conscious effort to meditate. It just felt enough to sit and allow the atmosphere and consciousness of Aspiration Ground to permeate my mind and heart. Hours could slip by without any desire to do or be anything. It felt a wonderful freedom - just to be at peace, to feel the soothing balm of silence and meditation.
Many years ago, I studied philosophy and the great philosophers gave many wonderful definitions of freedom, but I don't remember any emphasising the beauty of being free from fear, worry, anxiety and desire. This is the real freedom to cherish because it brings the freedom of inner peace and joy. This is the freedom I could experience during Sri Chinmoy's mahasamadhi. The freedom to be at peace with yourself.
Pushed somewhere to the back of my mind, is hearing about Sri Chinmoy's passing in October, 2007. The plane journey to New York, was tortuous because seven hours with your own mind in turmoil is too long - The human emotions overcoming the detachment of yoga - '...A raft am I on the sea of Time, my oars are washed away….'
But, as much as my mind had sunk into a temporary chasm, just a few hours of meditation at Aspiration Ground were enough to revive the spirit, and end the travails of the mind. When you can feel the consciousness and vibration of peace, the philosophy of the spirit changes from mere book learning to the most vivid life experience. This was the wonderful outcome of the first mahasamdhi celebration. When spiritual Masters say they are always present in spirit, it is not just words, they really mean it!
For myself, synonymous with the mahasamdhi celebrations is the most wonderful and uplifting musical offering. Like a never ending waterfall of delight, we were treated to hours and hours of the most sublime and soulful music. the background alternating between a period of Guru's own playing, followed by silence, and then one of the self-giving groups of disciples who melted the heart with the most soul-stirring music.
Guru has left such an extensive legacy it is sometimes hard to know where to start. But, Guru's music is so accessible - it is the easiest and quickest access to his consciousness. I feel tremendous gratitude to those groups of musicians who offer their simple and soulful performances - so rich with devotion and feeling. So often we are at mercy to the bird of aspiration, but even the most sluggish mind cannot help but be inspired by this devotional music of the spirit.
This feeling of peace is not limited by time or place. But, sometimes we get an enormous boon, and our limited aspirations made temporarily more real and tangible. This is why I'm so grateful to this time of the year, even if observed from afar.
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