Guru Poornima is the special day during the full moon of July when devotees take time to honor their holiest of holys–their Guru. Gu is a Sanskrit term meaning darkness, and Ru is another Sanskrit term meaning remover. So the Guru is the one who “removes the goo”–according to my friend DeepaLani McNulty. She tells me she is on her way to Yogaville to be part of the yearly celebration to honor Sri Gurudev, Swami Satchidananda. If you want to see what’s going on at the ashram, go to www.Yogaville.org.
This year, I will be celebrating by chanting the Guru Gita and doing a quiet puja. Sometimes known as the Woodstock Guru, Gurudev came to Woodstock to chant peace chants with the hippies. His intention to hold the space for peace during that extraordinary event was palpable, when so many things could have spun the celebration out of control and into chaotic violence. Bringing the Swami to Woodstock was the inspired vision of Sridar Silberfein, the brains and bhakti behind Bhakti Fest.
The influence Swamiji has had on my life is beyond words–the ancient teachings of Yoga were embodied in him, and he exuded a vibration of purity, peace and serenity. When we were with him at our Saturday evening programs, called Satsang, we felt his love so powerfully, we all fell in love with each other as well. I am forever endebted to him for his loving example. this year is the 100th anniversary of his birth, and many special events–called Global Garland– are happening all over the world to honor is abundant life. Jai Gurudev!
To make this Guru Poornima special, I am re-releasing my Water My Soul album, first released on cassette back in 1989–so it’s having a 25th anniversary! I added a bonus track, titled Divine Love, that the Yogaville Miracle Choir and Orchestra performed at a Guru Poornima in the mid 90’s. The piece is a “Choral Kirtan”–something I think I invented. I took a powerful Sanskrit mantra, wrote 3 part harmony and a few instrumental parts, and made a hasty recording of the piece in my home. I want to share this with everyone, and the album will be available at Integral Yoga Distribution, shakticom, or on my own website, www.bigyoga.net. As a special gift to all the devotees, I’m offering a free recording of “Brothers And Sisters Are We” and wish everyone a blessed Guru Poornima!