The Ocean of Baba’s Grace
October 1, 2015
On October 2, 1982, a beautiful full-moon night in Gurudev Siddha Peeth, Baba Muktananda left his body and merged completely with universal Consciousness. Baba had lived in samadhi, a state of constant union with the divine Self, while he was still in his physical form. When he left his body, he became free from its restraints and entered mahasamadhi, the great samadhi.
Some years before Baba took mahasamadhi, a devotee asked him how he would continue to guide his disciples and bestow shaktipat diksha—the awakening, in a seeker, of the inner spiritual energy—when he was no longer in his physical body. Baba replied:
Right now, I am in the form of a river, and afterwards, I will be the entire ocean.1
On that full-moon night of October 2, the river that was Swami Muktananda became the ocean of Muktananda. And just as he promised, Baba’s supreme attainment became like the ocean: accessible in its fullness to all.
I love this image of Baba as the vast ocean. This is my experience of him. And it is an experience that Siddha Yogis from all walks of life, and of every age, have shared over the years since Baba took mahasamadhi. Baba appears in our meditations, in our dreams, and in our thoughts. We meet him through his teachings, his pictures, and through the practices he gave us. I find that when I focus my attention on my heart, I recognize qualities that I associate with Baba—strength, humor, and access to deep wisdom. When I think of “the ocean of Muktananda,” I feel I am invited to dive into its fathomless depths, knowing that Baba’s grace is far greater than anything I could imagine.
When we celebrate the month of Baba’s Mahasamadhi, we heighten our focus on remembering Baba—his state, his teachings, his grace. And we find that he is here with us. As one Siddha Yogi shared with me recently:
Each October, I experience afresh the depth of grace that Baba’s presence brings to my life. In the local Siddha Yoga chanting and meditation group, we chant Baba’s name, tell stories of his life, and again and again study his teachings. I often have the sense that Baba is responding to our joyous chanting, that he is chanting with us, delighting in the ecstatic sounds just as we are. Then as we sit in the perfect silence afterward, I feel that Baba, too, has closed his eyes and is sitting with us. And each time I meditate this month, I am especially aware of the power of the Guru’s grace in this practice.
This Siddha Yogi’s experience of meditation struck me as particularly significant this year, when Gurumayi’s Message for 2015 focuses on that very practice. Gurumayi gives the most compassionate instruction:
And, as we have studied and explored Gurumayi’s Message in the months since January, our practice of meditation has been sustained and vivified by the Guru’s grace.
Now that October is with us, we have the golden opportunity to venture even more deeply into Gurumayi’s Message, and thus to strengthen our understanding and practice of meditation. We can participate in the Global Siddha Yoga Shaktipat Intensive in Honor of Baba Muktananda’s Mahasamadhi.
Baba created the Shaktipat Intensive in 1973 as a means for seekers everywhere to receive shaktipat; it is a vehicle by which the Guru ignites a seeker’s recognition of the supreme Self within. Participation in the Intensive brings about progress—often, in fact, dramatic forward movement—in one’s sadhana.
In 2006, Gurumayi made the Shaktipat Intensive a yearly event held in honor of Baba’s Mahasamadhi. It is beautifully fitting that at this time of year, when Baba’s presence is felt so keenly, we can remember him, and honor him, by participating in such a momentous event. For many Siddha Yogis, participating in the Shaktipat Intensive each year, at the time of Baba’s Mahasamadhi, has become a regular practice.
It has been my practice since 2006. And I have seen that with each Shaktipat Intensive I participate in, my awareness has become more subtle. I am more and more able to recognize and stay with the timeless experience of the Self. This enriches my every day, making me more present to, and more joyous in, the simple routines and daily encounters of my life.
In 2015, the Global Siddha Yoga Shaktipat Intensive in honor of Baba Muktananda’s Mahasamadhi is titled:
Dharma Marga—The Path of Dharma
We will immerse ourselves in study and practice of Gurumayi’s Message during the Shaktipat Intensive. And as we do so, we can more fully understand, and embrace, our dharma as human beings.
In this month of October, I invite you to join the global Siddha Yoga sangham in honoring Baba’s Mahasamadhi, and to participate in the Shaktipat Intensive. I invite you to remember Baba and strengthen your commitment to the practices he taught. And I encourage you to read Baba’s teachings, to read them slowly and savor each word. Let them enter your heart, and bring their wisdom into the activities of your daily life.
Siddha Yoga meditation teacher
1 Baba Muktananda, From the Finite to the Infinite (South Fallsburg, NY: SYDA Foundation, 1994), p. 290.
On October 2, 1982, at 11:15 p.m. I was sitting near a big photo of Baba ji. I felt so much love and honor for Baba ji for being in my life as my Guru. I prayed to Baba ji, asking him to be with me forever. I sat there for fifteen minutes with my eyes full of tears and my heart full of love. The very next day I heard that Baba ji had taken mahasamadhi
during the previous evening.
Reading this letter, I found myself immersed once again in that experience of October 2, 1982. I was merged with "the ocean of Baba's grace." Now it has become very easy for me to experience that ocean of grace in the form of Gurumayi's Message Turn Inward Meditate Easefully.
I participate in the Shaktipat Intensive each year, and it is a powerful tool for me to merge with this "ocean of Baba's grace." Thank you, Baba ji and Gurumayi, for this divine gift.
a Siddha Yogi from Vadodara, India
When I heard the title of the Global Siddha Yoga Shaktipat Intensive, Dharma Marga: The Path of Dharma
, I realized that this is yet another opportunity to study and explore Gurumayi’s Message for 2015.
So, to prepare for the Intensive and to strengthen my study of Gurumayi’s Message, I participated once again in A Sweet Surprise
2015. Although I had already participated in the satsang
twice before, I experienced Gurumayi’s Message in a fresh, new way, and I heard Gurumayi reminding me that my highest duty is to connect with the Self.
I see that participation in this Intensive corresponds with my highest duty, with dharma. I am so looking forward to it!
a Siddha Yogi from Sydney, Australia
I was serving as a sevite at Shree Muktananda Ashram in 1982. On October 2nd, I went to my room to rest after lunch. While lying on my bed, I felt a strong sensation in my heart. It subsided, and a while later I went back to seva
. When I entered the lobby, a sevite said, “Go to the hall. There is a chant—Baba has left his body.” I was dumbfounded, and went to the hall in a daze. I realized later, after hearing others share their unique experiences of Baba's leaving, that indeed, Baba had said goodbye to me through my heart, and I knew he would always be established there, just as he had said he would be.
a Siddha Yogi from California, USA
This morning, on this 33rd anniversary of Baba’s mahasamadhi
, as I read Shalini’s letter, and as I remembered Baba, I could feel Baba’s shakti
moving inside me. It seemed as if Baba’s awareness was looking through my eyes, which manifested as a feeling of immense love and reverence for people and for this world. That feeling has continued to stay with me as I’ve moved through my day, bathing everything in the glow of Baba’s love.
Thank you, Baba, for being with us, being in us, always.
a Siddha Yogi from Massachusetts, USA
The Ocean of Baba's Grace. What a beautiful title! I look forward to contemplating this phrase over and again during this great month.
a Siddha Yogi from Nairobi, Kenya
Today, on this auspicious day, I took my first swim of the season in the ocean. The ocean was clear, green-glass colored, with soft gentle waves. As I dove under a wave and surfaced, I found myself exclaiming Baba's name. I felt Baba's presence so strongly, and delighted in the profound feeling of being immersed in the ocean of his grace.
a Siddha Yogi from Ocean Shores, Australia
Whenever I have the opportunity, before my morning meditation, I take a look at the Siddha Yoga path website. This morning, when I viewed the website, I was moved by the words of the letter. Immediately, I felt my heart merge into Baba’s vast ocean of love and compassion.
a Siddha Yogi from Mexico City, Mexico
After reading Baba's reply, I feel so grateful that I am also a part of this ocean. In reading this letter, I felt as if I was diving into my Guru's compassion. And I feel so
light when I remember that I, too, belong to this ocean.
I will definitely follow Shalini's heartfelt invitations for October.
Thank you so much, Baba. Thank you so much, Gurumayi ji, for being with me at every step of my life and guiding me with so much compassion.
a Siddha Yogi from Delhi, India
I met Baba in 1980 at the Ashram that is now called Shree Muktananda Ashram. One of the spiritual experiences I had was feeling that the air around us all was the ocean of God's presence, the Guru's presence. It was always there.
Through the grace of the Sadguru, I became aware that the Guru's presence can be experienced everywhere. I pray that I, too, will merge into that ocean.
a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA
What a wonderful letter and sweet invitation to savor Baba's teachings! I have been following the Siddha Yoga path for two years, and this will be my third time participating in the Shaktipat Intensive. Year by year, I feel my enthusiasm growing!
This October, I will celebrate Baba’s mahasamadhi
for the third time, and as the day draws nearer, my inner sense of stillness increases—I can feel Baba’s shakti,
grace, and joy flowing within me.
a Siddha Yogi from Gandhinagar, India
I never met Baba in person, as I didn’t come to Siddha Yoga until the 1990s. Yet through Gurumayi’s stories, through practices such as Shri Guru Gita
that Baba brought to Siddha Yoga, and through Baba’s words so lovingly preserved in his books, Baba has spoken to me and taught me without our actually having met physically. He is surely here with us still.
I feel so welcomed by this letter—welcomed to join the Siddha Yoga community in celebrating Baba in October and in studying his teachings, savoring each word. Thank you, Shalini Davies. I accept your invitation!
a Siddha Yogi from Massachusetts, USA
Reading Shalini’s letter, I am filled with joyful anticipation of diving into the ocean of Baba’s grace. I want to swim its depths throughout the month!
Each year I participate in the Global Siddha Yoga Shaktipat Intensive in Honor of Baba Muktananda’s Mahasamadhi. And each year I am astonished, once again, by its power. In the spiritually potent environment of the Shaktipat Intensive, I experience the enlivening effects of the Guru’s sankalpa
, feel the presence of grace, and recognize the rich and palpable enthusiasm that fills my sadhana
. The horizon of my heart expands before me, empowering my practices to take me more deeply into the experience of the great Self than I ever imagined possible.
Baba Muktananda’s Mahasamadhi!
a Siddha Yogi from Berlin, Germany
Two sentences in this eloquent letter about "The Ocean of Baba's Grace" really stand out for me. The first is: "We meet him through his teachings, his pictures, and through the practices he gave us." These straightforward words are such a powerful reminder for me of the breadth and depth of Baba's legacy to the world—and of how many ways his gifts, and his presence, continue to enrich every moment of my life.
The second sentence is: "When I focus my attention on my heart, I recognize qualities that I associate with Baba—strength, humor, and access to deep wisdom." Shalini's observation reminds me that my own path to experiencing any of the virtues that Baba so vividly embodied inevitably leads through the heart. Indeed, that was Baba's greatest gift to me: to show me the way to the boundless love, wisdom, and joy awaiting me in my own heart.
Thank you, Gurumayi, for returning my attention again and again to "the ocean of Baba's grace."
a Siddha Yogi from Illinois, USA