This last month at Shree Peetha Nilaya has been one of the most auspicious times of them all. With the eighteen day Bhagavad Gita Course, and Krishna Janmashtami, what better way to finish these celebrations than with a yagna dedicated to the Divine Mother as Gayatri Devi. From offering one’s love to the Divine, as well as surrendering the negative qualities covering the heart, the Gayatri yagna has been a truly uplifting event.
The Gayatri yagna started at 10:00 a.m. with the chanting of the Guru Stotram. It is important to remember that the Guru is worshipped first, because with the grace of the Guru, the Divine becomes automatically accessible. There were five kunds being offered to and each was headed by a Swami or Swamini. While doing the invocation ceremonies simultaneous with Sri Swami Vishwananda, it was like watching an orchestra and their conductor. Everybody who attended made rounds of rotating between each kund, and all were able to offer at the largest kund located in front of the altar, with Sri Swami Vishwananda. The altar was decorated wonderfully. Gayatri Devi Herself was adorned with sparkling gems and vibrant hued clothes. The space around Her was also coloured with delightful flowers, such as the seasonal sunflower. Once the yagna had been going on for quite some time, the smoke started to fill the tent and different panels were opened up to help ventilate the air, but yet, even though there were clouds of smoke rolling out of the tent, the quality of the smoke purified the area and was perfectly breathable. Through out the course of the yagna, the Gayatri mantra had a life of Her own. From chanting the Maha-mantra in the traditional Vedic rhythm, and to singing in a more modern approach, never did it feel like the repetitions were becoming repetitious; the mantra stayed alive and fresh through out the whole ceremony.
“There are three hundred million deities in Hinduism. And all the three hundred million deities have a bij mantra. The bij mantra is a power, Shakti, in a mantra. It’s a sacred element in the mantra that gives the energy to it. And in the Gayatri Mantra, there is a combination of all three hundred million bij mantras of all the deities.” - Sri Swami Vishwananda (Excerpt from Just Love 3).
As the gathering of devotees chanted the Gayatri Mantra in unison, it should be known that this, ‘sacrifice,’ has benefited all the people, whether present or absent. The power of the Gayatri mantra is not known to the mind of man, but only through the heart can She be experienced and known. As people leave the ashram and return home, they are carrying a great blessing that has been graced upon them from, Bhagavan Krishna, Gayatri Devi, Mahavatar Babaji, and Premavatar Sri Swami Vishwananda. As if all taking the same light from the Gayatri yagna, each ventures back into the world and blesses all those who come into contact with them, whether directly, or indirectly. Such is the nature of our own Self, we are this Light, we are this Love, and only through the longing of attaining the Divine, will our heart burn with this eternal flame. Rare is the time that one has this opportunity to forever be engulfed in ecstatic love, never ceasing, always alive and new. Open your heart to God, open your heart to Love before it’s too late, because one day, the body in which the light has been lit, will turn to ash. Jai Gurudev.