G is for….. Guru, God, chanting the Guru Gita almost daily, how Grateful I am for being part of the Ganeshpuri experience, the gift of Awareness and how I want to give back, the riverbed of Grace that I am a part of as a Svaroopa® yoga teacher and disciple and the wonderful guest houses where we were lodged.
A is for…. Arati at the Nityananda Temple and at the Siddha Ashram, becoming aware that Nityananda was a perfected Master and very likely an Avatar (a divine incarnation), the flow of auspicious happenings and events and how very open my body and mind were with minimal asana practice… when I was chanting, meditating and in the presence of Swamis.
E is for…. everyone and everything being Shiva, enlightment being a possibility with my ego diminishing (the part that keeps me small), experiencing the relief mixed with amazement that Swami Nirmalananda sees me differently (Divine) in a way that I am not yet able to see myself, the relative ease I found in chanting the Guru Gita and being in Ganeshpuri.
S is for…. Shiva, Self Acceptance and Submersion in the inner Self, Seva, Serving, Service, Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram, Siddhahood, Sadguru, Shankarananda who initiated Swamiji, Om Namah Shivaya, and Gurudev Siddha Peeth Ashram.
H is for… Humility for the teachings and the love, accepting my Guru into my Heart and knowing she resides there, and my dear Husband Bob who came to Ganeshpuri with me and is on this journey in his own way and beside me… both at the same time.
P is for…. the Guru Principle, realizing it is about the Light that comes through my Guru but not about the Guru’s personality, for letting go of the pride that comes with my constructed and constricted sense of self, for the prasad (food that has first been offered to God) at the temple, for Prasad the priest at the temple and director of the Ganeshpuri music school, for pranam (the act of bowing to the Guru) and our bowing lessons, the beautiful village people so full of love for the Guru and God.
U is for…. my growing understanding of the Guru, the Guru Principle and being open to the ultimate experience of knowing that God , the Guru and my Self are all the same.
R is for…. moments of realization of who I really am and being more ready than I have ever been to imbibe the Truth of my Being and for rudraksha seeds and beads.
I is for….. Incredible India both inside and outside!
I knew from the moment that I read Nirmalananda’s announcement that she would take a small group to Ganeshpuri that I wanted to be a part of this retreat. This was the experience I had been waiting for. I made an almost instantaneous decision to go and asked my husband if he wanted to come with me. He said yes, so I immediately expressed that we were in for the retreat and pushed reply….. And so began this journey.
Being in Ganeshpuri for me was submersion into the Self. Every event and person seemed to continue to dive me deeper inside. Our daily schedule brought me from one auspicious moment to the next. Nirmalananda did a beautiful job of taking us along and sharing her knowledge and love of the experiences that abound in Ganeshpuri, a village that grew up around Nityananda. It was indeed a blessing to be a part of this retreat. No one event or moment was the defining moment for me or they all were defining moments…. I’m not sure which… and it doesn’t matter! I was unravelling more everyday getting deeper to the Truth of my Being.
For six days we chanted in amazing places, meditated, were part of Arati both at the temple and the ashram, and heard personal firsthand accounts of Muktananda and stories of Nityananda. I came to understand the total importance of Nityananda as a perfected Master and a Divine Incarnation in supporting the enlightment of Muktananda and through Muktananda all the Gurus who have followed (including Nirmalananda) to be the flow of Grace.
We chanted the Guru Gita many times and it rolled out of me easier and smoother than ever before. The loving and kind Swami Govindinanda (Mutananda’s personal assistant for many years) spent most days with our group bringing us gifts and humour and stories and the twinkle in his eye. I had my longest chant I’ve ever had with Swami Nirmalananda prior to having darshan with another enlightened being from Ganeshpuri, Swami Samananda, we were guests at Hindu re-marriage type ceremony on the roof of our guest house, we were fed wonderfully well, we were treated to music school performances, dance performances, and we had guru bowing lessons. I received the gift of Nirmalananda being able to see me as more than I can often see myself.
Perhaps the best and most practical way I can define the overall outcome of my Ganeshpuri experience is that a whole life time layer (or several life times) of believing I’m “not good enough” has been dissolved through the Grace of the Guru. My understanding of a living guru and what guru really means is developing. My Heart has opened for both myself and others. I will keep practicing my yoga practices to make sure the Ganeshpuri experience stays with me. I have left Ganshpuri…. but it hasn’t left me.
by Rosemary Nogue, pictured with Bob