“The goal of the Sri Vidya Sadhana Immersion is for participants to realize and experience what a beautiful and lively shrine we each are.”
-Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD,
Spiritual Head of the Himalayan Institute
This week I am still at the Himalayan Institute in Honesdale, PA, participating in the Sri Vidya Sadhana Immersion.
We need some definitions here in order for this to make sense to us. “Sri vidya” means “the highest form of science, or the highest form of experiential knowledge.” “Sri” also means “the Divine Mother or God.” So, “Sri Vidya” can really be defined as “direct, experiential knowledge of God.”
“Sadhana” means “spiritual practice.” The immersion is an opportunity for me and about 150 yoga students to actively submerge ourselves in the particular meditations that would enable us to experience the joy of the divine within ourselves.
The Sri Vidya Shrine, which we consecrated last Monday, is a space in which we practice these meditations. It also corresponds to our physical bodies. It is the macrocosm of our microcosm. The parts of that shrine correspond to parts of our own body. For example, there is a path into the shrine which houses the Divine Mother and there is a path into our own body which houses the God-within.
Just as a Catholic meditation chapel houses the presence of Lord Jesus Christ as He is present in the host, so too, the presence of the Divine Mother and her cohort saints and sages are physically in the Sri Vidya Shrine. The actual presence of God is within each of these sacred spaces.
Also, both the Himalayan and the Catholic Christian Traditions believe that the Source of Life is within each person. We are “a beautiful and lively shrine,” says Pandit Rajmani. We are the dwelling place of God, the Divine Mother, says the Himalayan Tradition. We are “temples of the Holy Spirit,” says Paul of Tarsus. The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, dwells in each Christian person, says the Christian Tradition.
In light of those facts, according to each Tradition, we can experience God directly when we perform certain prayers and rituals in each of these shrines. We can also experience that Source of Life through the practice of specific meditations, whether in the sacred spaces or not.
This is what the immersion intends. We are being taught a specific way to know that we are a “beautiful and lively shrine” of God.
When I return from this immersion here at the Himalayan Institute, The Center will begin to have classes for anyone wishing to learn these methods. Then, we can join with the thousands of people in the planet who will be meditating to change the world.
More about our world changing yearlong meditation later.