Illumination

One of my favourite Vedic mantras is the Jyotir Mantra. I like that it is short and sweet, but its meaning has so much depth.

OM ASATO MA SAT GAMAYA

TAMASO MA JYOTIR GAMAYA

MRITYOR MA AMRITAM GAMAYA

In Sanskrit it has a beautiful vibration to it; in English it means:

LEAD ME FROM THE UNREAL TO THE REAL,

LEAD ME FROM THE DARKNESS TO THE LIGHT,

LEAD ME FROM DEATH TO IMMORTALITY.

This mantra totally sums up my time here in India. I felt so drawn to this place when I first began to plan over a year ago…something was leading me here to show me the “truth” about myself. Gazing inward is not an easy task; there are things we don’t want to see in ourselves or things we’ve been trying to push way down hoping we don’t ever have to deal with the pain again. But there are also wonderful things we never imagined in ourselves that can rise to the surface and blossom. Being REAL is allowing it all – the depth of feeling that can take us from sadness or grief to great joy and bliss.

I recall reading a particular translation of the Yoga Sutras where there was often a reference to an “illumined one”. I love this – it makes me visualize a light bulb over one’s head or a glow from one’s heart center. Lead me from my OWN darkness into my OWN light; let me hold up the mirror, wipe it clean, and really see my spark. Let me be that “illumined one”…Because when I can see the light in me, it helps me to see it in everyone else. Maybe this sounds all new-agey and “holy moly”…but seeing the light in others will help me on those days when I’m stuck behind a person at the bank machine who is slowly paying ALL her bills, or when I’m running late and the guy driving in front of me is going too slow, or when my son leaves Kraft Dinner in the pot to solidify overnight, or when my flight is delayed…

From death to immortality…hmmm. For me this is not about reincarnation or about “living” forever. It is about being okay with not being here. One of our guests, Yogi Ram, said it quite beautifully – “living life is about learning how to die”. In my last breath, I want to be able to surrender just the way I did when I had my kundalini moment – no fear, no regrets, no attachments. So if I have no idea when my last breath will be, I better make darn sure that every breath I take is filled with love, gratitude, and awareness, even if that breath is not an easy one to take. Not wasting time on the stupid stuff, not expending unnecessary energy on judgement or criticism or negativity, not wishing things were different. As an anonymous person wrote: “It’s okay to be gone, as long as when you’re here, you are really here”. That’s what makes the memory of YOU immortal…

So as I prepare to return to my own backyard, I silently re-play this mantra in my head as a reminder. Wherever my backyard is, I plan to truly BE there. To my family and friends, help me BE that light and hold up the mirror when I forget.

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2 Comments

  1. Edna Kennedy said,

    December 18, 2013 at 3:25 am

    Such meaningful words – they have made me re-think things a great deal. You are truly inspirational Anne. Beautiful on the inside as well as out. Love you. xxx

  2. Nancy Lowry said,

    December 18, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Tears for breakfast.
    That’s how your writing moves me, Anne.
    Soon ‘home’ and into the arms of those who hold you most dear.
    I can wait to HUG you……JUST!
    Namaste
    Nancy


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