TY 25 Silver Jubilee
Talk given in the Presence of Sri Ganapathi Sachchidananda at the Jaya Lakshmi Puram, Anantapur, India on December 30, 2004 (Vedic date) by Yogini Kaliiji.
Jaya Gurudevi Datta
I am very happy to be here today in the Presence of Sri Swamiji.
Since childhood, I have sought the answer to the Vedanta question ‘KOHUM’, or ‘Who I AM’. As a young child, I’d sit quietly alone asking this question. Each time a feeling of bliss would temporarily pervade me. At age seven, I discovered that when I dropped a small pebble into the creek behind my home, Iâ€™d feel oneness with this blissful energy, prior to the ripples expanding from this single point of entry. At this same age, I began to feel my life was taken care of in the way that something very special would happen one day in the future.
At 20 years old, I had a near death experience on a lake during a big storm when I was thrown from a boat. Due to my first job as a senior lifeguard for deep water, I was able to withstand the large waves. Then suddenly a man threw me a rope and brought me safely to shore. Upon looking into his face, I said, ‘Something is different in your eyes.’ He responded, ‘I teach Eastern philosophy.’ The knowledge he shared didn’t feel new to me. It simply gave me the vocabulary, the terms, to express what I’d been feeling since childhood.
After three months, I sat alone in a room praying to the Divine to reveal the true source of happiness. I always felt happy; however, it wasn’t due to acquiring anything from the outside, which seemed to be the source of temporary happiness that others experienced. Upon beginning the prayer, the grace of the Mother Goddess gave me the experience of kundalini energy flowing through the sushumna. My life was changed after this 12-hour period.
One year later, a great clairvoyant, Pandit Pavana, predicted what I felt inside: â€œThere is an avatar that you’ve come to serve, and it is He and the Divine Mother who are guiding all these experiences.â€
Five years later, on January 5, 1980 I was teaching a meditation class. I gave a talk on the importance of sitting still in meditation to aid in creating a sattvic state. Then I instructed them in a concentration technique to visualize the light of cosmic energy flowing from the base of spine to the crown of head. It was my first time using this visualization. As soon as the meditation began, kundalini energy started moving my body spontaneously through hatha yoga while my mind was in a state of bliss. This continued for over two hours.
Up until this night, I never had a desire to practice hatha yoga as my main interest was in yoga philosophy, particularly Samkhya Yoga, Bhagavad Gita, and the Sutras. And I wasn’t aware that kundalini could move the body through hatha yoga. However, due to the Grace of Mother Goddess my body was flowing through yogasana, pranayama, and mudra without thought. From that day forward, this spontaneous flow continued. Later I read in yoga scriptures that when kundalini moves the yogi through hatha yoga, it is called â€œkriyavati.â€ As the students continued to witness this yogic siddhi, they requested that I teach it. Thus, the teaching of the inspired flow began.
A few years later in meditation, I saw a vision in the sky of a triangle with the word â€œTriYogaâ€ inside it. From that day forward, this yoga has been called TriYoga and the TriYoga logo became a triangle.
Within a short time, TriYoga became very popular. When anyone would ask who taught this to me, I’d reply that I was guided by an Avatar who lives in India and the Mother Goddess. I could always feel the Divine Guidance of Sri Swamiji and Param Guru, Jayalakshmi Mata. However, I didn’t know their names or form.
Then in 1990, Sri Swamiji came to the town where I lived. Immediately upon seeing the flyer announcing His arrival, I told my students, ‘This is the Avatar I’ve been waiting for.’
Shortly after meeting Sri Swamiji, He revealed to me my deep connection to the Mother Goddess, Jaya Lakshmi Mata, saying it is She who guides TriYoga, also known as Devi Yoga.
Since childhood I had felt that I would not be a householder. Thus, in my early twenties I took the formal vows from a yogi in North India to be a sanyasin. In 1992, twelve years later, during the holy days of Navaratri, a celebration of the Mother Goddess, Sri Swamiji initated me into the swami order. He said that I hailed from the Jaya Lakshmi Datta Avadoota lineage. Sri Swamiji gave me the traditional ocher-colored shawl. For the previous 12 years I had worn only white. Naturally, the color of clothes one wears does not make a yogi. The single color is worn only to support a simpler lifestyle. Most importantly, it is to allow others to recognize a yogi in public, just like an officer who wears the police uniform allows us to know where to go to for help.
Since the origin of TriYoga, it is now being practiced in 25 countries where thousands have been benefited greatly. I share my story with you, so that you may realize further that Jayalakshmi Mata is present in Her invisible form guiding those near to Her.
Today is an auspicious day for me as this is the Vedic day marking the 25-year anniversary since TriYoga has been flowing through me in meditation.
I was so happy upon receiving the news a few months back that Param Pujya, Sri Swamiji, was going to be at Jayalakshmi Puram on this day. In recent past years, Sri Swamiji has been in Vidyayawada during this time of year. Such is the compassionate blessings of Sri Swamiji to grace me with His Presence on this auspicious day in the ashrama of Jayalakshmi Mata.
Jaya Guru Devi Datta