Sreemad Bhagawad Geeta
As understood by Seekers

Being with myself

VISIT TO MUMBAI

YUVASATYA DUBAI

VISIT TO DUBAI

RETREAT NOV 2019
SREE DAKSHINAMURTY STOTRAM

VISIT TO UK

VISIT TO SOUTH INDIA

RETREAT JULY 2019
SREE GURU PURNIMA

SUMMER RETREAT MAY 2019
SREE GEETA MAHAYANTRA

SAADHNA DAY

SREEMAD BHAGAWAD GEETA
& SREE TAPOVAN JAYANTI HOMAM - DECEMBER'18

ACT, ACTION AND AWARD

THE ENIGMATIC AUM

KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE

VISIT TO AURANGABAD

SREE ISHWARA MAHA ABHISHEKAM

TULA BHAAR

SREE GANAPATI ATHARVASHEERSH UPANISHAD

PYRAMID OF LIFE

PRASHNOTTARA SOPAN

SHIVAAPARAADH
KSHAMAAPAN STOTRAM

FEAR

OTHERS

My first Spiritual Retreat at SISS - A Reflection


Shreya Saha
California, USA
(July’19)

Hari Aum!

I was fortunate to have attended Maa Purnananda Ji’s discourse on the Uddhav Geeta from July 14-16, 2019 at the Satyavrat Institute of Subjective Sciences (SISS) in Noida, and it was an unforgettable experience. My mom and I arrived two days before the retreat started, and one of the first things that struck me was the palpable serenity that enveloped the Ashram. For the four days that I was at the ashram, I became immersed in the quiet but disciplined life there. Mornings would start quite early as we would have to meet by 7:00 am in Sadguru Sharanam. I enjoyed the peaceful feeling of treading upon the freshly watered grass and soaking in the ambience of the ashram before walking to Sadguru Sharanam to meditate and participate in the morning aarti before breakfast. After breakfast, we would regroup in Sadguru Sharanam and start. Maaji would also start every morning by reading aloud a daily message from Swami Chinmayananda and discuss it. Every moment at the Ashram with Maaji was an opportunity for learning and reflection, and with the radiant Goddess Saraswati, Swami Chinmayananda ji and Guru Tapovan Maharaj ji showering their blessings upon us, we embarked on the journey to understand the Uddhav Geeta.

In her talk, Maaji analysed the portion of the Uddhav Geeta in which Lord Krishna advises Uddhav ji on how one must conduct him or herself and gives the example of Lord Dattatreya who gained knowledge from twenty four gurus. To our untrained minds, we think that the Guru has to be a learned man who will impart knowledge to us. However, this text shows us that knowledge is all around us, and that we can learn something from every creature, no matter how small. I will touch upon three of Lord Datta’s gurus whom I found to be most meaningful – the Wasp, the Kumari Kanya, and the Fallen Woman, or Pingala.

Lord Dattatreya talks of the wasp and its terrified prey, which cannot take its eyes off the Wasp’s eye. It is believed that this unabated, single-minded concentration on the Wasp’s eye transforms the prey into a wasp. Similarly, if we constantly remember the Divine, we too will be transformed into the Divine. This was a unique and fascinating analogy which revolves around singularity and oneness.

Similarly, the analogy of the Kumari Kanya also expounds the concept of oneness. The Kumari has unexpected guests at home and realizes there is no food for them. She goes to the kitchen and starts pounding rice. Kumari Kanya’s bangles make a lot of noise when she is pounding the rice and only when she starts removing her bangles one by one, until there is only one left, is there silence. This anecdote teaches Lord Dattatreya the idea that in oneness, there is no disturbance. Maa explained that one must learn to cultivate an attitude of oneness, or Ekanta, with all beings. Only then can the devotee rise above the pairs of opposites.

A particularly thought-provoking analogy was the one of the Fallen Woman, or Pingala. Lord Dattatreya recounts the anecdote of Pingala by focusing on the devotion she develops for God in spite of the disreputable position she holds in society. At first thought, this is a startling comparison because our first assumption is to judge Pingala as immoral. When she waits all night for a customer who never shows up, she suddenly realizes the condemnable life she has led till now and turns to God. This part of the anecdote was particularly moving because it shows that anyone can realize God if he or she longs strongly enough. For this reason, Pingala is worthy of Lord Dattatreya’s admiration. Like her, we must also yearn for God so fervently that we will give up all worldly pursuits to seek Him. Maa emphasized that thought of survival should not be greater to thought of God. The story of Pingala really drives this point home.

Apart from the lectures, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Maaji, Manish Ji, the devotees, and Pablo. There was so much to be learned outside Sadguru Sharanam as well and Maaji’s evening question-answer discussion sessions out on the grass challenged us to think deeply about our lives, our thoughts, and our actions. We must analyse in excruciating detail our behaviour towards others, and challenge ourselves to seek the divine within us and those around us. Maaji’s humorously sharp wit kept us, in turns, laughing and introspecting, and though I had signed up for a course on the Udhava Geeta, I walked away with a broader and more comprehensive knowledge of whom I aspire to be a divine, thoughtful, and loving individual who can make the world more peaceful for all.

Hari Aum!