By Swami Shrutananda
My tears began to flow. I was on a long drive back to the Ashram. I found several religious stations that played upbeat and positive music. A Christmas song about Jesus was the one full of the most tenderness and devotion, “Mary, Did You Know?” by Pentatonix.
The song makes Jesus personal: “Mary, did you know… when you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God?” “Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?” Mary, did you know “that sleeping child you’re holding is the great, I Am?” Probably not.
For me, the song describes the potential of a human being by describing the Jesus’ greatness. Probably your mother did not know your greatness unless she herself was Self-Realized. Yet, more importantly and more personally, do you know your own greatness, your own Divinity, your own Self? Probably not. Some students describe their knowingness of their own Beingness when they were young. However, they shut it down as they grew.
Does your mother need to know the greatness of your being for you to know? Do others in your life? If so, you will be waiting for a long time. Yet this is what the Guru sees in you when they look at you or think about you. Even if you cannot, the Guru sees your own greatness, your own Divinity, your own Self.
When I hear devotional songs about other great beings, I think of my Guru, Gurudevi Nirmalananda. I feel fortunate to have a living Guru. I can tangibly see her form. I can hear her teachings, made so relevant to me in this day and age. I can talk to her on the outside or inside. She is always accessible. The yoga we practice comes from Siddha Yoga. It is the yoga of being in relationship with a siddha, a Self-Realized being. Gurudevi is such a being.
This song “Mary Did You Know?” touches me so deeply. It touches my inner yearning to know my own greatness, my own Divinity, my own Self. It brings up tears because the knowing is so close, yet just beyond my reach.
Fortunately, I have a Guru, a living Guru, who reveals my own Divinity to me. It is the function of the Guru to help you to reveal your own greatness to yourself. This happens through the Guru’s presence, teachings and the practices they give you. This is the gift of a living Guru.
The Guru performs miracles. The Guru’s miracles don’t include walking on water, curing blindness or bringing the dead alive. The Guru’s miracle is much more personal to you. She burns away that which gets in the way of you knowing your own Self. You will feel fresh and new, and full of joy.
Gurudevi’s Guru said:
The power of the human being is so great that he can even transform himself into God. God lives hidden in the heart of every human being, and everyone has the power to realize that.
-Swami Muktananda, Where Are You Going? page 5
You are embodied Divinity. You already are God. That is amazing. But you simply don’t know, not yet. Through your yoga practices, you come to know that you are God. You are the Lord of all creation. You are the great I Am. The knowing is hidden within. The Guru reveals that which is hidden in your own being. It is the Guru’s function to reveal your own Self to you.
Traditionally, yoga does not honor a great Guru’s birthday. We honor the anniversary of their death. At the end of life, you see what that little baby did with their life. Those we honor knew their own greatness, their own Divinity, their own Self. And they helped others to find That within themselves.
Do you know? Do you want to know? Get a Guru. I have one and I’ll share.