I once read somewhere that the path to enlightenment is 25% faith, 25% Sadhana (spiritual practice) and 50% God’s Divine Grace. If this is true, then I am proud to announce that I have lots of faith and my sadhana is steadily improving. But what of God’s Divine Grace?
Back in June of 2005 I saw a picture, in a local yoga magazine, of a young Saint by the name of Swami Vishwananda. Who by chance, or Divine Grace, was going to be in my home town of Los Angeles in July. I usually don’t have the interest to visit the different yogis and spiritual teachers that come through town, but somehow I felt unexplainably compelled to see Swami Vishwananda. So I ended up attending darshan service with Vishwananda on the auspicious day of Gurupurnima. I had no expectations or premonitions of what I may experience at the darshan, but I was soon to discover that a long awaited prayer was going to be answered that evening. The prayer was “God please guide me to my beloved Sadhguru.”
Thanks to God’s Divine Grace the search for my Guruji has come to me in the form of Sri Swami Vishwananda.
On the eve of Gurupurnima Vishwananda opened my heart and a flood of devotion for God and guru came pouring in. Since that day a series of events, powered by Divine Grace, began to unfold and thanks to the grace of my dear friend Craig, a few months later I found myself in Steffenshof Germany at the ashram of Swami Vishwananda.
We arrived in Steffenshof on Thursday Nov. 3rd and were greeted that evening by Swami Vishwananda with his usual radiant smile. We sensed that we would be in for a most memorable weekend with Vishwanandaji and his disciples, but neither of us had any idea that the following evening we would bear witness to a most miraculous event.
It was Friday evening, Nov. 4th and the ashram began to fill with more people for the weekend darshan with Swamiji. Upstairs from the main altar room is a modest seating area where dinner is served. We had just finished our meal and most of us were milling about when suddenly one of the disciples rushed upstairs and said that Swamiji had just materialized a golden lingam. We quickly made our way downstairs to see what the commotion was about. As we made our way into the room where Swamiji was seated we beheld the most glorious sight of Vishwanandaji holding a resplendent, golden, egg shaped lingam. As we watched Swamiji, it seemed as though he were in a different state of consciousness somehow connected to some other realm. After speaking for a few moments Swamiji stood up with the lingam gently cradled in his hand.
We all showed a gesture of respect as he walked past us towards the front of the altar room. There he placed the golden lingam in a silver cup. He told us that this is the Hiranyagharba lingam, which is the seed of Brahma and of all creation, and that inside this lingam was the entire Universe in microscopic form.
Okay, let’s back up for a moment. Entire Universe in microscopic form? Seed of Brahma?
Well, according to the Vedas the Hiranyagharba is the primordial being, the primeval seed from which Brahma was born. According to Manu, Hiranyagharba was Brahma, the first male, formed by the indiscernible First Cause in a golden egg resplendent as the sun. Having continued one year in the egg, Brahma then divided it into two parts by his mere thought and with these two shells he formed the heavens and the earth and in the middle he placed the sky, the eight regions and the eternal abode of the waters.”
“Brahma is depicted as growing out of the navel lotus of Narayana and is a metaphor for all of creation. Brahma is a name for the principle which creates all of the manifest realms. In the Vedas the term “Brahma” does not appear. It is a word that stems from the Sanskrit word “Brih” which means “to grow” or “to expand.” In this way Brahma has become synonymous with Hiranyagharba, “The golden egg of creation.”
Swami Vishwananda told us that he would be able to hold the lingam for 3 days and then he would have to dematerialize it and send it back from where it came. So on Saturday morning we held a special ceremony and performed abishekam with the golden lingam. Swamiji instructed all those present to meditate on the lingam and envision the entire Universe residing both within and outside of the lingam.
Some of the things that Vishwananda shared with us regarding the lingam go beyond human understanding. The golden egg of creation simply cannot be completely understood. But Swamiji did remark that “the lingam does not appear just like that without any purpose. Its presence gives the world a greater balance. Seen from God’s perspective, this ‘interference’ is only minimal (God doesn’t greatly interfere with his own creation), but for the world it does matter.”
The golden lingam is said to have great healing powers. Even just a picture of the golden lingam can bring about a transformation within. But for the most part, the Hiranyagharba lingam goes beyond explanation and understanding.
So, this is where ones faith comes into play. I cannot prove that the entire Universe was inside this golden lingam, but I do have complete faith in Swami Vishwananda and that whatever he speaks about comes from a place of true and pure knowledge. But if one was looking for “proof” I would have to say that the proof, for those who were present, was simply in the way that we felt during darshan with Swami Vishwananda and the Hiranyagharba lingam.
I think it is safe to say that we all just had that unexplainable feeling of “knowingness.” We knew that we were in the presence of something truly miraculous and Divine, but also something that was beyond our current understanding of what we think existence, time, creation and the Universe is. It was an unforgettable and rare experience. One that we may never fully understand. But perhaps by trying to understand it, we would be missing the point.
Truly the whole world has benefited from the brief manifestation of the Hiranyagharba lingam. Its presence was a Divine drop of water into the cosmic ocean and its blessings will continue on like a magical wave sweeping across the whole of humanity.
Pranams to Swami Vishwananda. “And thank you God for your Divine Grace.”
For locations dates and times of events. Please visit www.vishwananda.us
Or call 1.888.SWAMIJI for more information