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Thanks to Sevapuri (@yidl) for pointing me towards this stunningly beautiful sankalpa (see below), these photos sent out via the Mangrove Mountain Ashram in Australia, and this lovely post of the writer’s experience meeting Satyananda in person (a post that’s well worth reading).

And also, thanks to Linda-Sama for sharing this marvellous looking DVD with me: Yoga of the Heart, featuring Swami Satyananda (I’ve purchased it, and will do a review here some time!).

These are my guru’s words to his students on hearing the news of Swamiji’s passing:

When a great master leaves his body it is not a time to be sad but a time to rejoice. We can give up the fruits of our practice for his quick transition in the clear light. It is important to pray that he will be re-born quickly so that he may continue to be a blessing for all beings.

He also wanted to remind us:

…about feeling the immense gratitude for Swamiji’s presence in the parampara and that to show true gratitude is not to be sad of his passing but to realize the fruits of the practices that he has passed down to all of us so that we may too be a source of grace and inspiration for all beings.

Swamiji’s sankalpa

I am an invisible child of a thousand faces of love,
That floats over the swirling sea of life,
Surrounded by the meadows of the winged shepherds,
Where divine love and beauty,
The stillness of midnight summer’s warmth pervades.

Life often cuts at my body and mind
And though blood may be seen passing,
And a cry might be heard,
Do not be deceived that sorrow could dwell within my being
Or suffering within my soul.
There will never be a storm
That can wash the path from my feet,
The direction from my heart,
The light from my eyes,
Or the purpose from this life.

I know that I am untouchable to the forces
As long as I have a direction, an aim, a goal:
To serve, to love, and to give.
Strength lies in the magnification of the secret qualities
Of my own personality, my own character
And though I am only a messenger,
I am me.

Let me decorate many hearts
And paint a thousand faces with colours of inspiration
And soft, silent sounds of value.
Let me be like a child,
Run barefoot through the forest
Of laughing and crying people,
Giving flowers of imagination and wonder,
That God gives free.
Shall I fall on bended knees,
And wait for someone to bless me
With happiness and a life of golden dreams?

No, I shall run into the desert of life with my arms open,
Sometimes falling, sometimes stumbling,
But always picking myself up,
A thousand times if necessary,
Sometimes happy.
Often life will burn me,
Often life will caress me tenderly
And many of my days will be haunted
With complications and obstacles,
And there will be moments so beautiful
That my soul will weep in ecstasy.

I shall be a witness,
But never shall I run
Or turn from life, from me.

Never shall I forsake myself
Or the timeless lessons I have taught myself,
Nor shall I let the value
Of divine inspiration and being be lost.
My rainbow-covered bubble will carry me
Further than beyond the horizon’s settings,
Forever to serve, to love, and to live
As a sannyasin.

~Swami Satyananda Saraswati

There is something in that for all of us! Reading those words, I find myself melting and dropping all of my pretence and struggle. Even if only momentarily. So, I’ve decided I will create a poster of the sankalpa with photos of Swamiji – something to hang up in my home and re-read often, to be continually inspired!

For those who know the mahamrityunjaya and if you feel inclined, it would be good to do some rounds of this mantra and dedicate them to Swamiji.