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Bhagavan Nityananda's Golden Punyatithi

A Letter from Swami Shantananda for
Bhagavan Nityananda’s Golden Punyatithi 2012

July 14, 2012

Dear Siddha Yogi,

July 27, 2011, marked the beginning of the celebration of the Golden Punyatithi of Bhagavan Nityananda, also known as Bade Baba, “Great Baba.” Throughout this
50th anniversary year Bade Baba has been remembered, honored, and worshipped by those who love him and have been blessed by his grace and protection.

On the Siddha Yoga path, throughout the year, devotees have been chanting Nityanandam charanam sharanam—I take refuge in the lotus feet of Nityananda.

This year, July 15 is the lunar anniversary of the day Bade Baba left his physical body. The Indian scriptures explain that when a great being leaves his physical body, it is not an ordinary death. Such a being merges with supreme Consciousness.

In his book, Bhagavan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri, Baba Muktananda speaks of his
Guru’s mahasamadhi:

The departure of such a great being is very significant…. The Upanishads say: na tasya prana utkramanti. At the time of the final samadhi, the prana does not leave, it merges in the sahasrara. Such a being is beyond any question of rebirth.

The shakti of a great being like Bade Baba does not diminish after death; rather, it continues to scintillate in the very atmosphere of the world that he inhabited, and in the hearts of his devotees. This is why so many devotees continue to experience
Bade Baba’s darshan—his abiding presence—in his teachings, in his images, in his murti, in nature, in so many different forms. His shakti remains forever alive.

When I first visited Gurudev Siddha Peeth in 1972, I remember walking down the road to the village of Ganeshpuri as the rising golden sun illuminated the rice paddies. With each step, my heartbeat grew stronger in anticipation of Bhagavan Nityananda’s darshan in his Samadhi Shrine.

I had heard Baba Muktananda tell such wonderful stories of his Guru, so I thought I knew what to expect. Yet, I also knew that Bade Baba was a miracle maker, so I did not really know what his darshan would be like. But I was so ready! Just walking down the road was an epic moment.

In his book, Play of Consciousness, Baba Muktananda has written about the hot springs in Ganeshpuri in which Bade Baba bathed every day. When I arrived there, I reverently stepped into the hot springs. As the holy waters touched me, I felt purified and even more ready for the darshan of Bade Baba.

I walked to the Samadhi Shrine. Crossing the threshold, I experienced an awesome presence of shakti. The presence was still, the presence was strong, the presence was all-embracing, the presence was sweet and loving. I had a powerful experience of
Bade Baba’s great presence. It was darshan! I felt illumined by his light.

The experience of Bade Baba’s darshan was beyond all my expectations.

Nityanandam charanam sharanam—I take refuge in the lotus feet of Nityananda.

August 8 is the solar anniversary of Bade Baba’s Golden Punyatithi. During the three weeks between July 15 and August 8, the celebration will continue throughout the
global sangham and on the Siddha Yoga path website, as devotees remember, honor, and worship Bhagavan Nityananda in many ways.

Nityanandam charanam sharanam—I take refuge in the lotus feet of Nityananda.

Here is my invitation to you: visit the Siddha Yoga path website every day; make time to study the teachings in the form of words, sounds, silence, and images; make time to pause and breathe consciously; make time to offer your gratitude for Bade Baba’s grace; make time to experience Bade Baba in nature; make time to practice

A Dharana in Honor of Bhagavan Nityananda’s Golden Punyatithi.

With warm regards,

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Swami Shantananda
Siddha Yoga Meditation Teacher