Full Moon of the Guru
Guru Purnima Retreat
Gathered together Friday evening on the first night of the Guru Purnima retreat, we chanted while waiting for Anandi Ma and Dileepji to make their entrance. As Anandi Ma settled onto her asan, she resembled no one so much as Bhuvaneshvari (Queen of the universe) seated upon her one thousand petalled lotus throne, Parashakti radiating from every atom of her being, her smile brighter than a thousnad moons, every glance an instant darshan with the divine.
Ma told us that this was an extra special Guru Purnima because we were celebrating it on the actual day of the full moon. She told us that she knew we came here expecting something unique and that she wanted to give us something special and unique on this retreat. Ma said that we should open our minds, hearts, and even our hands and be as little children so that we could receive a full measure of the blessings she would pour over us.
The next day we did an abishek on a small murti of Guruji, each one of us taking turns pouring milk over the murti while chanting a special mantra that Guruji had given to disciples in India who wanted a specific mantra to worship the Guru as God. As it was a short mantra, everyone was able to pronounce it clearly, maintaining a harmonious field of vibrations for the abishek to take place in. The milk that poured over the murti represented the divine nectar flowing from Guruji onto the sahasrara chakra where he resides. Following this, we performed a group abishek on a murti of Ram. This was accomplished by tying one end of a thread to the abishek vessel and passing the rest of the thread from one disciple to the next until we were all threaded like beads on a mala. It was here that Anandi Ma fulfilled her promise to give us something unique. While we each held the connecting thread with one hand and our malas in the other, silently repeating the Ram mantra, Ma walked among us following the line of thread. As she passed by each person on this mala of human beads, she silently repeated a special mantra to Ram, each individual as she traced and then retraced her path along the thread that connected us.
This writer’s experience of Anandi Ma’s blessing as she passed by, was like that of having a tiny spark of ecstatic fire penetrate the top of his head and dissolve all thoughts, including the Ram mantra he was repeating, into one blissful state of empty awareness. This state gradually faded, like holy water sinking into the sands of consciousness, but has imbued the quality of his meditation practice like a distant flash of heat lightning on the edge of awareness.
The following day was Guru Purnima with the full moon rising later that evening. Ma advised us to get darshan from the moon that night and to do extra malas of the Guru mantra. That night as I repeated my mantras, bathed in the moon’s radiant light, I watched the man in the moon turn into Guruji’s likeness and every cloud that passed by became a scene or character from the Ramayana and behind it all the Guru’s love showered blessings on everyone.