With great respect, with great love, I weLcome you with all my heart. In the sacred text called the Atmabodha the great sage Shankaracharya says: “When a seeker hears the Truth and contemplates it, the fire of knowledge is kindled within. Then, freed from impurities, he shines like gold.”

The teachings that you hear from the great ones and the scriptures ignite a beneficial fire within. This fire is beneficial because of what it begins to burn away: painful thoughts, unresolved feelings, dampening emotions and the old tenacious grudges you have been lugging around for years. It is the Truth blazing in the teachings that reduces your useless tendencies to ashes.

The more you contemplate the teachings, the more they enter you. As you examine their worth attentively and try to apply them, increasingly you see their impact on your life. You come to understand their incredible power, which enables you to uphold dharma, to live a life of goodness. You realize how timely these timeless messages are for you, right now. And you begin to surrender to your own inner Self. This is what the teachings give you: the power to surrender to your Self again and again. When that happens, these beautiful, fruitful teachings begin to arise from within of their own accord. Having heard them over and over again in the scriptures, in satsangs, from fellow seekers, you let them anoint your being. And then, as the Atmabodha says, you shine like gold.

The kind of life you lead when you follow the teachings, when you become aware of God’s presence in your heart, is truly golden. You no longer live an ordinary life, you live a golden life. You live yoga. You are not just marking off the days, the weeks, the months. Each day becomes a beautiful garland of your contemplations, your unselfish deeds, profound transformations, meditations, kind thoughts, enlightening revelations and purposeful living. At the end of the day you offer this garland to the Great Lord whose glory your heart sings without ceasing. But it doesn’t end there. Everything that happens in the night also becomes an offering to the Lord. Each day and each night become another exquisite garland for you to offer.

The teachings of the sages are penetrating. Take them in. They are valuable. Even if you are able to grasp only a minuscule portion of what you hear or read, allow your heart to embrace it. Allow the teachings to penetrate your being. It doesn’t matter if you are hearing a teaching for the first time or for the thousandth time, allow it to reveal a newer, greater meaning. Let it enter you. Then that tiny ray will expand and your intellect will be illumined by its radiance.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna tells his disciple, Arjuna: “Truly, nothing in this world purifies like knowledge. He who in time becomes perfect in yoga finds this knowledge in his own Self.” Knowledge of the Self arises from within. As you walk the spiritual path, knowledge of the Self becomes your true companion. It stands by you. Whatever happens, whether you are joyful or sorrowful, whether you are making progress or being challenged by adversity, knowledge of the Self supports you. It steadies you and lights your way.

This message that the scriptures give is very piercing. They want to take you beyond the bondage of the physical body. They want you to realize that the body is as transitory as a butterfly’s wings, and that the happiness you find in it is just as short lived. Become aware that there is a greater happiness, they say. The wisdom of the Self, the light of God within–that is your true companion. When everything works, when nothing works, the knowledge of the Self keeps you anchored; it keeps you afloat. Welcome the teachings of the sages and scriptures wholeheartedly and generously. Give yourself to spiritual practices as you never have before. Embrace your true companion within.

Have you ever seen rain falling on parched ground? Isn’t it amazing how quickly the tender green shoots push their way to the surface? It can happen in the twinkling of an eye. Think of the grace of the teachings in the same way–as the sweetest rain falling from heaven. This shower of grace falls upon each moment of your life. Each moment is saturated with the wisdom of the teachings. Allow yourself to be soaked in this wisdom. Let the refreshing knowledge of the Self rise from the core of your being and bring forth its fruit. Truly the core of your being is so strong, so courageous. It is stronger than steel, more radiant than gold. So reach the core of your being. Don’t get stuck at the different layers of skin, muscles and tissues; don’t become enmeshed in the different strata of emotions and feelings. Keep traveling deeper and deeper within. Reach the strong core of your being, where you abide all of the time. Embrace your true companion within.

Allow each moment of your day to become the embodiment of the Truth. Always remember that each person carries the golden light of the teachings. Let each object shimmer with God’s message. Let each element of nature reveal God’s magnificence, God’s compassion, God’s generosity, God’s love, the Guru’s unconditional love, the ecstasy of the heart. Be with God as He creates the days and nights and suffuses them with His splendor. Embrace the true companion within, the knowledge of your own Self, the wisdom of your own Self.

With great respect, with great love, I welcome you all with all my heart. Sadgurunath Maharaj Ki Jay! Your own,

Swami Chidvilasananda

Swami Chidvilasananda, or Gurumayi, is the successor of the renowned Indian saint Swami Muktananda. She teaches Siddha Yoga meditation to students in India and all over the world.