Today we are honoring the life of Bhagavan Nityananda, and in doing so, honoring the grace that flows through the sacred lineage of Siddha Yoga Gurus: Bhagavan Nityananda, Baba Muktananda, and Gurumayi Chidvilasananda.
Today, on the occasion of Bhagavan Nityananda’s Punyatithi, the anniversary of the day in 1961 when he left his physical body to merge with the Absolute, we are recognizing his ever-present love, grace, and protection. We are celebrating his love for humanity.
I remember several years ago on this day, sevites in the Taruna Poshana Department recreated historical scenes from Bhagavan Nityananda’s life and acted them out for the children and young people in Shree Muktananda Ashram. The children learned about Bhagavan Nityananda and his teachings in a dynamic, interactive way.
In one of these re-enactments, which took place next to Lake Nityananda, I played the role of a welcome host, and we recreated a scene in Bhagavan Nityananda’s home village of Ganeshpuri. When the children arrived to witness the re-enactment, something quite amazing happened. A powerful and sweet stillness descended upon us. I realized, in that moment, that we were having Bhagavan Nityananda’s darshan. His love was so palpable. We could feel his presence. We were no longer part of a re-enactment; we were in Ganeshpuri with him. I recall one of the young children saying, wide-eyed with awe and appreciation: “Wow, I had never been to India before.”
When you remember a great being with love on his Punyatithi, you can experience his grace flowing to you.
There is a verse in Shri Avadhuta Stotram, a hymn in praise of Bhagavan Nityananda, which beautifully describes his greatness. In this verse we say:
Bhagavan Nityananda, or Bade Baba, was the rarest of Siddhas—perfected beings. He was a janma siddha, one born with the full realization of his own divine nature. He lived in the constant awareness of his oneness with God. And he had the power to bestow divine grace and awaken others to the presence of God within; with the sacred initiation of shaktipat-diksha, Bade Baba would awaken Kundalini Shakti, the divine energy, in a spiritual aspirant. Through Bade Baba’s sankalpa, or intention, the power to bestow shaktipat-diksha has been passed down through the lineage of Siddha Yoga Gurus, and today seekers around the world receive shaktipat from Gurumayi.
During Bhagavan Nityananda’s lifetime, devotees would often make the pilgrimage to Ganeshpuri to receive his darshan and his teachings—his guidance for their sadhana.
One of Bade Baba’s essential teachings was:
“Go deep within yourself and meditate, and you will be happy.” 2
Imagine yourself going before Bhagavan Nityananda and asking him how you can progress in your sadhana! With great compassion, Bade Baba gives you the way. He teaches you about the power of meditation.
When we practice Siddha Yoga meditation, when we make the effort to direct our attention within, the Kundalini Shakti awakened by the Guru purifies our being and leads us to our innermost core. It leads us to our own divine Self—whose nature is supreme joy.
Each time we meditate, Kundalini Shakti further purifies the mind, the emotions, the various levels of our being, so that the light of the Self shines through at all times, and so that we can live in a state of joy—the pure joy of the Self. When we connect with the joy of the Self through a steady and disciplined practice of meditation, then that joy also flows outward. Joy informs our interactions with people, our approach to the tasks we perform, and our perception of the world.
This is the joy, the happiness that Bade Baba is guiding us to know and to share with those around us. This is the experience that the Siddha Yoga Gurus have so generously made available to us over the last several decades—through their grace and their teachings on meditation.
And it is this experience which Gurumayi, the Siddha Yoga Guru, is leading us to with her Message for 2015:
Through our steady effort in implementing Gurumayi’s Message, we deepen our practice of meditation. We recognize how Gurumayi’s grace guides our practice. We are able to experience the Self, the divinity within, and attain supreme joy.
In my own sadhana, Gurumayi’s Message has been a powerful beacon of light. I have experienced how, when I received Gurumayi’s Message, I received both the knowledge of the Self and the grace for that knowledge to unfold within. And through a daily practice of meditation, I have witnessed the sweet alchemy that takes place in my own mind and heart. My mind is becoming more resilient, my heart is becoming softer, and my capacity to contribute to this world keeps growing.
For this I am eternally grateful to Gurumayi, Baba, and Bade Baba.
Shubh Bhagavan Nityananda’s Punyatithi!