Amma’s Letter:  July 26th, 2006

Divine Jennifer:  Namastey!                                                                                  

Four months have flown by since your six months anusthasana (discipline) completed itself on March 25, and I am sure you are still digesting all the food for thought you imbibed during your six months in the Ashram.  The first year in the air will be crucial for you, as you must now integrate what you have learned into your ordinary daily life.  It is not a childish task!  You may be able to weave just small pieces of ideas, at first into your mental, emotional attitudes and patterns.  As you and your awareness expands, the spiritual canvas will enlarge, enabling you to create a more beautiful existence through the Yogic art of living.  You have learned so many techniques, you will have to sort them, label them, and perhaps store most of them away, till the appropriate moment arrives when they will form useful tools for the work of your ongoing evolution.  Choose a few practices which seem appropriate and possible in the circumstances.  Discipline yourself to practice those.  Even if it is only Lokha Samastey at dawn and bedtime, keep a thread attached to Yoga, so it cannot drift too far away from you.  Everything will be here for you when you need it!  Swamiji is there - the Guru Spirit - when you invoke it - the power of illumination and insight, balance and skill, love and affection, consciousness.  Just!  Row! Row! Row! you boat gently up the stream.  Merrily! Merrily! Merrily! Life is but a dream.  Make sure it is a pleasant dream - and not a nightmare!

Summer is busy for us!  You will see about 10% of our activities in YOGA LIFE.  It is a different kind of busi-ness.  As Swamiji said, “A change is as god as a rest”!  So!  I feel rested!  I do miss the Satsangha - stimulation- with all of you who, at least (imperfect beings that we all are) have some aspiration and insight on the spiritual path.  Daily life does not allow much spiritual stimulus otherwise, and most people sleep-walk through life.  If you wake them up, they turn vicious, as would someone who had a good sleep disturbed!  Ananda continues to nourish me spiritually, and the children - who in their innocence - radiate the joy of the Divine!  Snatches of God peep out, however, even in mundane moments, like the sun peering shyly from behind grey clouds.  I watch for Him, and He sees me watching for Him!  It is a game we play together - a game of hide and seek - now I see You, now I don’t!

Hold onto your Sadhana, your aspiration!  Hold on to your faith that all that happens, happens to help us grow and evolve .  Remember the Guru in tough times!  Remember the Guru in sweet times!  Remember the Guru in all times!  The Guru is both the means to the Goal and the Goal itself!  The Goal is to grow in spirit with every breath we take!  Be cheerful dear souls!  Above all, be cheerful and merrily row your boat!  On another vein:  I want to share Swamiji’s calendar date birth events with you (July 24th).

Today we had a wonderful day!  All days are filled with wonder, but this was special!  It is a nice story with an interesting moral.  Last year in early spring, a storm with wild winds and rains caused the old peepal tree in the Mandala Garden east of the Samadhi, to fall.  It is an old tree, perhaps even 200-300 years.  As it crashed, it broke the granite statue of Amman (Shakti-Devi Devine Mother)  which had  been installed under it.  We buried the broken statue at the base of the tree.  Over the years, the Yoni-Heart Shaped Mandala around the tree had been cracked and broken as well.  Last summer we planted three baby peepal trees in August.  When I went to Mahabalipuram for a few days to work on my book without disturbance, I looked for a new Amman statue, as this lovely historical town on the Bay of Bengal which is located north of Pondy by 100 km, is also a well known centre of traditional stone sculpture.  The first shop I entered, I saw a beautiful statue of Amman in front of me.  These statues, usually installed in village temples or under trees, consist of only the head of the Goddess.  This Murthi (statue) of Devi had exquisitely refined features and a lovely smile.  (Sometimes the village Murthis have thick set features and look vicious).  In the same shop, standing next to her, was a statue of Patanjali.  It is rare to find a statue in granite of Patanjali in the south.  So, though I looked after that in several other shops, I could find no better.  Thus Patanjali and Amman found their way to us in Pondicherry.

One cannot just put Devi-Amman in her place - just like that. Proper time and ceremony must be observed.  Patanjali was installed in the new small building in the back garden of ICYER, and Devi-Amman was placed in the Samadhi Shrine of Sri Kambliswamy at Thattanchavady, where daily Abhishagam, (cleansings) and Aarthi could be performed to her.  Three months ago I decided to install Devi in her place under the neem - peepal tree on the Purnima (full moon) of the Guru (July 10th this year) which is also Swamiji’s birthday according to the astrological calculations.  We had to rebuild the Mandala, making it larger and slightly higher so it could also be used as a stage.  We gave it over to a contractor and he had two months to accomplish what I thought was a simple task.  We are very busy in June with our Annual Day Celebrations where we put 300-400 kids on stage with dance, music and Yoga.  So, I did not put much energy into supervision of the Mandala work, but entrusted that work to a devotee.  After the Annual Day, I checked and found to my horror the contractor had done next to nothing.

Though I pushed and pleaded, ranted and raved, he was unable to complete the Mandala and the Peetha (base on which the statue must sit) before July 10th.  At every stage, resistance rose, though I persisted.  Finally on July 9th, I bowed to the inevitable and said Ananda.  “All right! We will have to install Shakti another time”.  Somethings cannot go as we think they must go.  Then things just started to almost miraculously fall into place.  The peetam was constructed incorporating the original , broken one in an ingenious manner.  We realized that the calendar date of Swamiji’s birth - Jul 24th this year - for the first time coincided with the Annual Aradhana Pujas (Samadhi-death date ceremonies) of two of the important Gurus of Kambliswamy Madam - Ambalavana Swami and Subramanian Swamiji.  Further, July 24th this year was Amavasi (new moon) in Adi (The Tamil month most sacred to Devi-Amman).  So today, July 24th, with appropriate ceremony and pomp, we installed our Devi under the peepal-neem tree once more in her new incarnation after performing the Guru’s Samadhi Puja.  It was really a lovely harmonious event.  More than 50 devotees gathered, and we served a nice banquet lunch to everyone.  Muralidharan of Australia arrived in time to share the Pujas with us and great satisfaction was felt all around.  When we put the yellow saree cloth around the base of Amman, her face reflected the yellow colour in a great glow!  It is a good omen for the energy rising to repair and renovate the Madam!  The Guru is great!  He knows when to do, how to do and what to do!  We must just let his blessings work through our hands!  May all of us be vehicles of The Good, The Great, The Gracious and The Graceful Guru Spirit!  Jaya Guru!

Affectionately yours in Yoga,


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