What a day with my Guru … yet another time of blessings, teachings, family, celebration, realization. December 5th, the day of my 63 years on this plane, 18 birthdays with Maa in this life experience.

I awoke in Kashi at Sri Satuwa Baba Maharaji’s ashram to go to morning meditation with the other shishyas (students). After meditation and before breakfast and satsang with Maa, I was told by Trilokanand that immediately upon waking, Maa said, “It’s Swamiji’s birthday!” What a joy to be remembered as we are remembered, loved, cherished, by our Guru. As Maa wrote and expressed today, when we are loved, know how loved we are, we can face anything with power and peace: “Being so deeply, profoundly loved brings faith, strength, gives harmony and peace. As well, loving profoundly, deeply gives great great courage to face everything with Love.”

When I entered one of the student’s rooms I was greeted with refrains of “Happy Birthday” from everyone, including Mahantji, Santosh Dasji, the successor of Maharaji. I felt such intimacy, togetherness, heartfelt joy in being with everyone. After breakfast, we climbed the stairs to Maa’s room for our traditional morning gathering when we sit with Maa, share, receive teachings (through notes as Maa is in silence). I entered first to present my Guru with Prasad (sweets), my new booklet in English and French, rose petals, and complete love and devotion. Maa hugged me over and over again, saying how grateful Maa is for my being with Maa for so many years, and so many, so many lifetimes. We both cried as did others in the room. I will send some photos when I receive them soon.

As happens every morning, all of the ashram gurukul (Vedic school) boys come to Maa’s room for blessings and teachings, so alert, open, devoted, disciplined, listening intently to every word. Maa is in silence, writes notes that are read aloud. Maa asks each and every boy to share what they feel during short meditations with Maa (for example, closing their eyes and being with their Atma/soul), asking them what God or deity they wish to be, what they wish to be when they’re older. Maa is concerned about their not having blankets, being cold when they sleep, not having proper food or clothing, books and pens. Maa takes responsibility and cares for all her children, including all of the devoted boys at Maharaji’s ashram, me, all of our community members around the world, everyone on the planet.

The day of birth continues with all of Maa’s students going to Maa’s ashram that is being built at the Harishchandra Ghat along the Ganges (Mother Ganga): this is the other burning ghat in Kashi, aside from the Manikarnika Ghat which is where Maharaji’s ashram is. I am astounded at what has been accomplished in building the outer structure of the ashram, since I was there two years ago and laid one of the first stones into the ground for the inauguration of the construction. The ashram grounds and we are filled with Maa’s Shakti (powerful feminine, dynamic, creative energy), as we gaze upon the overall structure that is in the shape of two merging hearts (Maa’s and Maharaji’s), curves flowing into one another on all floors, unlike any other structure in Kashi or anywhere, difficult to understand and construct for the male engineers.

We begin the tour by descending to the meditation cave underground. I could remain there for days lying down, sitting and meditating, communing with my soul, merging with Maa, expanding into oneness consciousness. As we climb the stairs to the ground floor (the large Darshan hall), then the first (student quarters, kitchen, dining room) second (student quarters and library in the middle), third floor (Maa’s quarters), and the roof where Maa’s Jhoola (swing) and the garden will be, we are all filled with joy in knowing this sacred space is being created for all of us in Kashi, the most sacred city in India, where no other living female Guru has an ashram.

We then look at drawings showing the design concept and sacred geometry in the structure explained by Amit Bhai (one of the team leads for the design and construction of the ashram) and Mohan Das. After marveling at what will be created, we go to a nearby restaurant for a joyous birthday lunch celebration with all the students, gifted to us by Amit Bhai.  We spend about three hours together, in silence, sharing, laughing, having fun, eating many courses, Indian, Italian, Chinese, Mexican, as I share when presented with an ice cream chocolate cake with candles, “This is one of my best birthdays, to be together with Maa, with everyone as a family, to see our ashram, to be in Kashi.”

When we return to Maharaji’s ashram and I’m walking alone to my room, I see Maa sitting upstairs outside of Maa’s quarters, looking at the view of the Ganga, writing in Maa’s journal, having time “alone” which never happens – I smile and go to my room. After a few minutes of lying down, I suddenly feel to go out on the balcony outside my room and look at Maa’s floor across the ashram grounds. Maa looks at me and calls me over. We sit, appreciate the silence and each other’s company, I read some of Maa’s words which I later type and read the next morning during satsang. Having such precious time with Maa, Mother, Guru, Atma, Self … beyond words, beyond blog.

Maa sends me later some of the Prasad that I offered Maa in the morning, blessed for some time at Maa’s puja (altar). I’m eating and savoring every bite, and vibrating with the Shakti gifted to me by Maa in the sweets … a sweet reminder of Maa as Atma, as Self, within me.

As Maa has taught, we are born three times: by our birth mother when we take our first breath; when we meet our Guru; when we attain Moksha, enlightenment. I celebrate my incarnation through my birth mother. I celebrate with all my heart and being my birth through the presence of Sai Maa, Mataji, my Guru, in my life. I celebrate my enlightenment, illumination, in every moment with Maa, every moment when I become aware of something new about myself, my state and energy, how I’m living my life. I am enlightened by being in the spiritual path with Maa, with all of our global community, as I learn to be one with my Atma, my Self, to think, feel, speak, act as Atma, as Self, as MAA.

Thank you all for being with me at this time, sharing your presence with me, and teaching me as we progress in this path together. Thank you Maa for your love, your seva, your devotion to me, for all that I know you have done for me, for all that you do for me now, and for all that you do for me of which I am not at all conscious. I am so loved, and I love so … bringing me such faith, strength, harmony, peace … bringing me to the Truth for which I was born.