Today we celebrate MAHALAYA AMAVASYA, a day dedicated to expressing gratitude to our ancestors. In India it is customary to remember not only our closest family — parents and grandparents — but to also have a grateful thought for the generations who lived before us and who have contributed to our life.
Have you ever taken a moment to consider how miraculous your life actually is?
In each human coupling, a thousand million sperm vie for a single egg. Multiply those odds by countless generations, against the odds of your ancestors being alive, meeting, siring this precise son, that exact daughter… Until your mother and your father united and, of the thousand million children competing for fertilisation, it was you, and only you, who emerged.
The world is today so full of people that these miracles seem commonplace, and we forget how extraordinarily unpredictable our own existence actually is.
Today I remember my mother and father, both deceased now. I remember my grandparents and ancestors from India, Ireland, La Réunion, East Prussia and France — yes, a variety of bloods runs through my veins. I am grateful that through their existence and their union, I was given this body, this specific set of genes, and the challenges and opportunities that came with this lifetime.
I am particularly grateful to Swami Muktananda, my Guru, who in the early 1970s asked my parents to have a child — this child, he said, would be consecrated to God. My mother and father had already separated by that time (and did not care much for each other), so chances are slim that I would be here without this singular request of the holy man.
Thank you for blessing me with life.
Aujourd'hui, nous célébrons MAHALAYA AMAVASYA, une journée dédiée à l’expression de notre gratitude à nos ancêtres. En Inde, il est d'usage de se souvenir non seulement de notre famille la plus proche — parents et grands-parents — mais aussi d'avoir une pensée reconnaissante pour les générations qui ont vécu ava