"You can go to the top by climbing up step by step. But exceptionally there are some who, with the help of Sruitis, the guru, and their own understanding and experience, can fly like birds." - Yogaswami
Jai Siva Yogaswami!
Today we celebrate Satguru Yogaswami's 50th Mahasamdhi Anniversary. At Kauai Aadheenam, an early morning puja was held to Yogaswami's Murti. The small shrine was beautifully decorated. Monks and local members came with offerings and the puja was performed with intermittent singing of Yogaswami's Natchintanai. All and all it was a beautiful and powerful celebration of this great sage.
On May 29, 1997, the monastery celebrated the 125th Birth Anniversary of Sri Lanka's Sage Yogaswami. After Guru Purnima, in late July, Gurudeva performed the final arati to a 20-inch-tall, gold-leafed, bronze statue of Yogaswami and sent it off on a tour tracing the diaspora of Sri Lankan Tamils throughout the world. He instructed that no plans or schedules should be devised. Everything should unfold according to the inspiration of devotees along the way. In the past 17 years, the tour has traversed half the globe. Moving from Hawaii, through Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver in Canada; then on to Maryland, New York and Los Angeles in the USA before crossing the Atlantic for Europe, spending most of the ensuing decade in Germany. Wonderful pujas and cultural events have greeted the statue of the sage at every stop. Last December, Yogaswami arrived in Colombo to visit groups of devotees across Sri Lanka. Today, on his 50th mahasamadhi, Yogaswami has found his way back to Jaffna.
The following excerpt from The Guru Chronicles presents a glimpse into Yogaswami's teachings:
Whenever people were unduly hard on themselves, undertaking disciplines that were too severe, Swami would stop them. "The body is a temple, the mind is a sanctum. You must keep them pure and clear. You need them to do your work. Do not destroy them or harm them." Turning to a devotee sitting at his feet, he said:
"As you walked into the room, it felt cool and fresh because you are on the path and have begun to feel the presence of the atma. Some people come and I feel hot, and there is no air in the room. That is because they are here to trick me and think they can cheat me out of something. You are searching and have no selfish motives. You come just to sit here. You can feel the same peace from me. That is why you come. It is good for people on the path to sit with one another.
More often than not I feel I am in the presence of God. You must treat that feeling you have of the presence of God as you would a little child. Nurture it. Give it everything it needs. If you see it as a child, you become helpless. You must obey its every wish and do exactly as it bids you. Just as a mother knows in every instance what to do for her child, knows the meaning of its cries and gives it what it needs, so does the Presence make itself felt to the devotee. You must carefully nurture the awareness of God that is growing within you. If you do, it will grow and grow, and without your knowing it, you will have disappeared and only That will be."
Click here to watch a wonderful video Interview about Yogaswami, with Dr. James George, who met Yogaswami on several occasions.