In 1893 Yoga officially arrived in America. The messenger came from the East with a gift of Yoga that he presented at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. The messenger was Swami Vivekananda and the generosity and impact of his gift are still alive today.
But years before he sparked a Yoga revolution, the swami was a young spiritual seeker longing for the highest knowledge: to know the Supreme. When his teacher, the great Ramakrishna, prepared to reveal the highest Truths, to share the very thing the seeker wanted most, Vivekananda became frightened and refused.
In 1993, on the 100-year anniversary of the Chicago gathering, I heard Swami Dayananda tell Vivekananda’s story:
Finally the day came when the Guru believed the student ready to see God, to experience bliss. As the teacher neared, Vivekananda was filled with terror, and he cried out, “No I cannot, my mother is old, my brother is sick, not now, not yet.”
“But like a frog caught in the throat of the serpent” is how Dayananda described the predicament, Vivekanada could not turn back and received this highest gift from his teacher.
And so history was made, the student became a global teacher and enthralled the World Parliament. The Swami made the newspaper headlines and toured the nation. Today we are still indebted to him.
Because he shared his gift.
Like a frog caught in the throat of the serpent.
Why do we fear what we most desire? I know the feeling of being too scared to move forward but too exhausted to turn back. When I was a child I often stopped myself swimming half way across the lake; fear and doubt paralyzed me and weakened my limbs as I wondered to turn back, or go forward? I went forward and had so much energy on reaching the far shore, filled with joy and accomplishment, I raced back.
Yoga guides us to our innate essential self and that is where we glimpse our unique gift.
The gift is our Dharma, our path, and it is our duty to share it.
Dharma also means duty.
We are duty-bound to our gift.
Resisting our Dharma is exhausting.
It denies our very nature.
It injures our essence.
Sharing our gift, we change the course of our life, and our life leaps forward with joy.
Close your eyes and see your gift.
Only you have it.
Today take one step onto your path and share.
Be brave Seekers,
And know I am cheering you on,
I have been honored by the gifts my teachers shared with me and I am overjoyed to pass them on. Click here to read about my current offerings in NYC and get an insider’s history lesson at the same time.