When I was 13 years old, I hit some sorta spiritual-geyser. It was wild. Almost weekly I was being introduced to a sage or wise being. After meeting my own Guru, I was introduced to many other wise beings, successively.
One day, a friend invited to meet go with him to New Jersey to meet a female Indian saint. I was told that she was so full of love that she goes around the world giving out hugs.
Since life by that time had taken an unusual and auspicious turn I was intrigued and open to the idea of a mystical hug in Jersey.
We packed up the car and jetted off for the meeting.
We arrived at a small house. There were about 15 people there. We walked in and people welcomed us then kindly instructed us on the protocol for meeting the sage.
Amrtananda Mayi Ma, otherwise known as the hugging saint, held a loving presence.
I waited in a short line, as did the others I came with, for one of her blast you to the stars hugs.
As my time approached, I readied myself to meet the sage. I garnered all that I had learned thus far from my Guru: “Watch the mind. Don’t think. Be open. In the presence of a sage never come empty handed.”
As I stepped up, I offered her a flower. She smiled a nurturing motherly smile then pulled me towards her. As we embraced as she rocked back and forth, back and forth, and chanted in my ears in one side and then the other,
“Shiva Shivā, Shiva Shivā, Shiva Shivā. Rāma Ramā, Rāma Ramā, Rāma Ramā. Shiva Shivā, Shiva Shivā, Shiva Shivā. Rāma Ramā, Rāma Ramā, Rāma Ramā.”
This went on for a while until at some point she rocked us both back to stillness. I lifted my face up into ordinary time and space.
We exchanged a knowing look.
My curiosity for the mantra she whispered in my ears remained with me to explore.
I knew it then though I didn’t have the words to express it, as I do now, she was planting a seed in me, a seed which would come to fruition.
Shiva is cosmic consciousness, stillness and awareness. Shivā's consort is Shakti Ma called Shivā. Shivā is a feminine noun made off of the masculine. All ya gotta do is drop your jaw more at the end from Shiva to Shivā and voila you have his female counterpoint.
Amrtananda Mayi Ma's chanting was a wish. She was in effect saying may the balance be realized in you. She wished that I come to understand the union between cosmic consciousness and cosmic energy.
Planting that mantra into my being made it impossible for it’s purpose not to come to fruition. All I had to do was pay attention and absorb it. It was a golden seed that would invariably blossom.
When I stand still sometimes in line at the grocery store or at the post office, or when I'm just cooking at home, I sometimes still hear her chanting in my ear.
That's how powerful mantras are; they go in and nourish us from the inside out.
The more we chant invoking the cosmic forces, the more they work inside us, nourishing and fortifying us.
If you like, you can borrow the mantra the sage gave to me so many years ago.
Shiva Shivā Shiva Shivā Shiva Shivā
Rāma Ramā Rāma Ramā Rāma Ramā
May the balance of Shiva and Shakti, Rama and Sita blossom in you.
May it be so…
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