Mon May 8th, 2017 05:45 am, NYC
EDITOR’S NOTE: Pranavadipa Vol. 30
The day of the Flower Festival is
the day of the Buddha’s birthday festival…
In Celebration of
Sanatana Dharma Avatara Mela
—The Grand Ceremony of the Manifestations of Divinity—
April 8, 2017
Sanatana Dharma Avatara Mela
The sound of OM filled my ears, filled my heart and reverberated throughout my very cells. This was the beginning of the Puja and the opening of Sanatana Dharma Avatara Mela. Approximately 72 disciples and devotees from Taiwan, New York and from all over Japan were gathered in the open room of the Prema Ashrama and some were overflowing into the entryway. Anandamali sat next to me, exuding overwhelming joy as the sound of these few male voices, interspersed amongst the attendees, filled the space with a tone of sacredness that was palpable.
It wouldn’t be until later that I would learn from Yogadanda, who was sitting right in front of me at the feet of Shri Mahayogi, how much devoted and dedicated practice had gone into the chanting and offering of OM over the course of years, how much it had transformed his understanding of the self, and how he had come to experience the OM as Shri Mahayogi himself and the essence of all things living and non-living. In that moment, all I could do was experience and bow down in reverence with my heart.
I am sure that many of you, like me, have heard before of the great khumba mela that take place in India. I first read about these in Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda and remember that it was during one of these great gatherings that Lahiri Mahasaya encountered the most revered Master, the deathless Guru who rarely reveals himself, Mahavatara Babaji, the one who initiated Lahiri Mahasaya into kriya yoga.
When I first heard about Sanatana Dharma Avatara Mela, I wondered what kind of a gathering this might be? The word mela alone brought to mind the great gathering of yogi in India, where many attend just with the hopes of encountering a true Guru, or perhaps Babaji himself. The words Sanatana Dharma Avatara, however, firmly grounded my peaked imagination into a more concrete purpose than simply a gathering of yogi with hopes of spiritual gain. Sanatana Dharma, simply put, refers to the Eternal Truth. And Avatara refers to an incarnation of God. Avatara throughout the ages have included Babaji, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, and Shri Ramakrishna, just to name a few. This mela is more than just a gathering, it is an occasion meant to honor and celebrate the existence of the Avatara as well as their great mission, to establish and re-establish Sanatana Dharma today and throughout the ages. How unique and rare is this gathering!—There is no need to hope to encounter a Master—the Great Yogi, Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa, is alive right now and sitting before us! There is no need to hope to receive the teaching of Truth. The teaching has already been bestowed upon us and Shri Mahayogi continues to teach us through every moment of his existence!
As part of the celebration, seven disciples offered a speech to Shri Mahayogi, three of whom, the main speakers, were selected by Shri Mahayogi for having embarked concretely on the mission of establishing Sanatana Dharma. In the moment, I could not understand the words that they all spoke, since, of course, everyone spoke in Japanese, but I could not help but feel the sincerity and nakedness of each one’s heart. Words are secondary to the power that the alignment of the heart behind them holds. Each one’s words were charged with emotion. Tears, laughter, radiant joyous smiles and moments of silent reverence were flowing abundantly from beginning to end. Without a doubt, every attendee present was invigorated by the precious opportunity to be with Shri Mahayogi and was filled with joy and urgency alike as each of these seven disciples demonstrated with their words and with their hearts their true commitment to and passion for living their lives according to Sanatana Dharma, for carrying on Shri Mahayogi’s great mission, and that of all Avatara, through their own concrete actions and through the pure joy they have experienced through walking this path.
I couldn’t help but feel that if we open our eyes and look closely, if we open our hearts, then we can see the Avatara himself manifesting Sanatana Dharma through the lives of his very own disciples. Each one is different, yet each one shows yet another form of the infinite forms of the Avatara!
In last month’s volume of Pranavadipa (Vol. 29) the contents centered around the meaning and significance of the Avatara and what the mission of Sanatana Dharma really is. In this month’s volume of Pranavadipa (Vol. 30) you can read the speeches offered by two disciples for the occasion of Sanatana Dharma Avatara Mela. They are both truly inspirational. If you open your heart, there is no doubt that you will feel inspired by their sincerity of practice and their demonstrated passion for passing on Sanatana Dharma, the Eternal Truth, to as many people as possible. And, through their examples, I hope that we can all find the hints and clues that will lead us to establish our own lives more deeply in Sanatana Dharma.
Sanatana Dharma Avatara Mela was held at Prema Ashrama, the new Ashrama of the Mahayogi Mission! The speakers were as follows:
Introduction of Avatara:
“From pure Joy springs all creation, by Joy it is sustained,
toward Joy it proceeds, and to Joy it returns.”
-Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa
OM TAT SAT, OM!!!