Fire and Cleansing

By Mati Gilbert

The 50s and 60s family comedy shows on TV were quite predictable.  Each person in the family had his/her role, reflecting society at that time.  They reinforced my feeling that I had to be good: the good daughter, good student, good employee, good friend, good wife and good mother. It was exhausting! Don’t get me wrong – I was not unhappy.  I wanted to make others’ lives easier. I guess I was depending on their approval to make me happy.

Citivahnir avarohapade canno-pi maatrayaa meyendhanam plu.syati

– Pratyabhij~nah.rdayam 14

Chiti does not lose Her nature even when She becomes the individual, but burns up the separation, like fuel is assimilated into a fire.

– rendered by Swami Nirmalananda

Swamiji goes to say “When a fire burns a stick of wood, the wood is not gone.  It became the fire and a residue remains – ash.  In the same way, the limitations that Chiti has taken on in order to be you are incinerated in the fire of consciousness (lit by the Guru).

Chiti is Consciousness, being every thing that exists. She becomes you as an individual and is enjoying being you.  But Chiti is more.  Chiti is also the fire that is ignited within, that gives you the inner knowing of your own inherent Divinity.  The igniting of this fire is the initiation, called Shaktipat, which is the awakening of Consciousness within you – Kundalini.  Kundalini is Chiti, who succeeds in giving you your Self, yet some ash remains – your personhood continues, completely transformed.

Life goes on.  You do not lose your individuality, you gain the knowing and being of your Self.  You participate in life, being with others and doing things in the world.  However, you do not depend on them to make you happy, or to make you feel whole.

Swami Nirmalananda is my Guru, my Master Teacher.  She shows me my Divinity, which incinerates my limitations so they no longer control me.  I am still opening my mind and heart to the experience of my own Divinity.  I sometimes hang onto my limitations, including parts of my past and my present, but they are not me.  As I go along this path, Swamiji anchors in me my Divinity even in the midst of everyday life.

I don’t lose my individuality by following a Guru.  I still strive to be “good.”  It’s not about making others happy any more, but I do it because it is in my nature.

Thank you, Swami Nirmalananda for giving me the enlivened mantra and meditation.  Both tools provide the breakthrough giving me my own inner Divinity, my Self.  My meditations are becoming deeper so I will become one with Consciousness.  This is my future.