05 Oct Initiation by Nataraj Chaitanya
by Nataraj Chaitanya, October 2020
We went underneath the shawl. He held my face in his hands and said, “Your name is Nataraj Chaitanya. Your mantra is, Aham Brahmasmi.”
It was seemingly ordinary, and at the same time, I felt everything shift. It was a step into a deeper, more subtle mystery. It was accepting the challenge of contemplating one’s own identity as being one with God. It was an affirmation of my heart’s deepest longing. It was a vision of the highest truth staring back at me in the sweetness of Guruji’s tender smile. “Aham Brahmasmi” echoed in my entire being. It was a wish, a prayer, a memory, and a declaration of simple fact all at the same time.
I felt grief and sadness fall away, like autumn trees letting go of leaves. I felt myself–just for an instant–intimate with Reality. Just Guruji and I and the smell of the perfumed oil that always brings me back to Baba Muktananda.
The shawl lifted. He handed me a white kurta, a lungi, and a shawl. I’d never felt so taken care of, even though Guruji and I had only met a few days before.
“I present to you Nataraj Chaitanya!” The crowd cheered. Tears flowed.
This was only the beginning.