Shares and Experiences

Stories Told on the Siddha Yoga Path

A selection of three poems

Reading these poems today, I am transported in my being to the perfect and natural pace of Nature and the universe. There is stillness and the divine innate permission to absorb the Light they convey. Living in such a time, when we are so propelled forward into the fast, fast, fast, and the expected busy-ness of every moment, I am so grateful Gurumayi is holding these sacred words in her being and offering them to us. They have allowed me to breathe pure Light today.

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

Reading these three poems, I moved back and forth between understanding and mystery, arriving to a place of involuntary stillness and equanimity. Words spoken from a true place bestow a gift that persists with no effort, confirming their Wisdom beyond wisdom. 

Thank you for such moments. With different rasas, they keep recurring when I visit the Siddha Yoga path website.  

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

My heart, my whole being leapt up when I saw the full color photo of Gurudev Siddha Peeth on the website this morning! I immediately read the poems, reveling in the words, and I felt wonderful! 

Thank you to Gurumayi and the lineage of Siddhas, and to the creators of this sacred website. This satsang is opening my heart and watering my soul.

a Siddha Yogi from Florida, USA

I am so grateful for these three beautiful poems and not less, I am so very grateful for the notes on page nine about Raimundo Panikkar and the sharing by Swami Shantananda. Giving thanks and speaking about Dr. Panikkar’s good qualities reminds me of the gratitude, respect, and the attentiveness that I have been taught on this path for every single part of the whole.
 
Again and again I feel so blessed by the great good fortune to be on the Siddha Yoga path!

Thank you for every single particle of Light that you bestow upon us all!

a Siddha Yogi from Givataim, Israel

I love the sharing of the three poems and the fact that all three speak about the Light, that effulgence that shines forth from all humanity. The poems sent a warm ray of peace throughout my being, and I felt at rest.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for the love you share with us through the stories, poems, and shares.

a Siddha Yogi from South Carolina, USA

Shubh Dev Diwali!!

Thank you so much for these. I feel enveloped by your love with these three poems. Being, longing, and merging with Light in an intensely joyful and powerful way.

a Siddha Yogi from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

There is a wonderful holiday in India called Dev Diwali. This year, Dev Diwali will be celebrated on Wednesday, November 28. In many regions of India, Dev Diwali is celebrated on the full moon in the month of Kartika, corresponding to November – December in the Western calendar. On this day, all the gods and goddesses in heaven celebrate Dev Diwali, the festival of lights.

In honor of Dev Diwali Gurumayi requested that a selection of three poems be shared with the global Siddha Yoga sangham on the Siddha Yoga path website. These are poems that Gurumayi has included in talks for Shaktipat Intensives and satsangs.

On the Siddha Yoga path we’ve learned that whenever there is an auspicious day, nature displays sweet magic. Be on the look-out.

Shubh Dev Diwali!

A sevite in the SYDA Foundation Content Department

Shares on "Sage Yajnavalkya and King Janaka"

I've been wondering about the sequence in the story of "...sits, moves around, does his work, and returns again." "Returns where?" I found myself asking.

Could it be that the return was always to the Self, and when the questioning explicitly reached the Self as the answer, all questioning stopped?

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

Last night after dinner my wife asked me what I had found most surprising about the teaching story of sage Yajnavalkya and King Janaka. I contemplated her question for a moment and answered: “What struck me most was that Yajnavalkya offered a whole series of answers to the King's question—the sun, the moon, fire, and so forth. Only at the end did he come to the Self.”

I felt that Yajnavalkya was honoring the entire universe we live in, and not bypassing its physical manifestations just because the deepest answer is a spiritual one. This seemed to me to be in line with the wonderful nature photos that Gurumayi has been offering us on the website, her whole emphasis on nature over the years, and Bade Baba's statement to his disciples that he is to be found everywhere. I love being reminded of the fundamental unity of the cosmos!

a Siddha Yogi from Washington, USA

I was drawn into deep stillness within after reading the story. It took me on an inner journey. Each element of the story is such a powerful visualization to connect with the light within.

I have begun to practice the elements of the story as inner visualization steps to connect with light within. Yesterday morning after meditation, I contemplated and visualized the rising golden sun and prayed for guidance from the orange rays. When I connected with those rays, I experienced feelings of newness, freshness, and a tingling feeling of joy and excitement that brought a smile to my face. As I continued to travel with those orange rays, suddenly the image of the smiling face of Bade Baba’s golden statue flashed before my eyes. Tears of joy and gratitude trickled from my eyes thanking Bade Baba for this beautiful darshan.

The teachings of this story have guided me and taken me to a deep place of pristine silence within me.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for this beautiful story, for anchoring me in the power of deep silence within.

Lots of love and gratitude,
a Siddha Yogi from Pune, India

Thank you! There is so much light shining through this story. When Yajnavalkya said, "...for it is with the Self as his light that he sits, moves around, does his work, and returns again," the words "and returns again" stood out as most meaningful. To me it illustrates that even though, through a lifetime, the external light may appear to fade over time, awareness of the light of the Self is the ever-present light, by which and into which we come and go.

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

For the last two mornings, I have read the story of Sage Yajnavalkya and King Janaka out loud. As a storyteller, I know how telling or reading a story out loud installs the narrative drive and details into my body and being. As a result, I feel that the story is "brewing" inside me, beyond the immediate reach of the intellect.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for offering stories as a means for us to embody the teachings that you wish for us to receive!

a Siddha Yogi from Alaska, USA

This story touches me personally: Sage Yajnavalkya is giving the lesson, "Go deeper, go deeper...”

Thank you, Gurumayi, for being so close to us through these stories, bringing us deeper into our inner Self.

a Siddha Yogi from Washington, USA

I have a five-year-old daughter, and we have recently added meditation to our night-time prayer routine. After doing this for a couple of days, my daughter exclaimed in wonder, "Mama, I can see light, even when my eyes are closed!" I told her that perhaps the light in the room was too bright and promised to turn it down the next day. She insisted that it wasn't and that it was the blue light of Krishna. (Krishna is her favourite deity!) I laughed when she said this, turned the lights down, and wished her a good night. The next day morning, when I visited the Siddha Yoga path website, I saw the story of King Janaka and Sage Yajnavalkya! 

It's so amazing and humbling to walk a path that is alive and scintillating with grace and Shakti. Thank you, Gurumayi!

a Siddha Yogi from Chennai, India

To light my path and guide me,
The radiant love of my Guru,
Inside, outside
The fresh inspiration of my spirit,
Inside, outside
The sacred fire of the subtle energy within my being,
The words of the teachings,
The sound of my Guru's voice...
When there is no more movement within myself,
No rising, no setting, no wanting, no acting,
When everything is quiet and tranquil,
The Self reveals itself, by itself
And illuminates everything, every act, every thought, every word, every state of being.
Light of the Self, light of Consciouness, purno'ham vimarsha -- I am. 
Writing these words, silence, smile, and plenitude pervade my consciousness
with a sense of union….
To my Guru,
With love,


a Siddha Yogi from Toulouse, France

Thank you from my heart for reminding us again and again who we truly are. Knowing that the light of the Self will always support us from within our own being turns everything we do into a blissful action.

With love,
a Siddha Yogi from Cologne, Germany

As I read this story, I felt a deep and rich sense of peace that comes with the experience of hearing true knowledge being imparted. The story reminds me of the verse in
Shri
Guru Gita that tells us that the Guru, the Self of all, is the support of everything.  

Whatever may happen on the outside, whatever is gained or whatever is lost, to have this understanding, through the grace of a living Master, is the greatest gift of all.  

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

This story emphasizes for me the value of studentship. King Janaka could have asked for anything; however, he chose to ask a question about the reality of life. With every answer the sage Yajnavalkya gives, the king continues to delve deeper into the subject. He is not satisfied until the answer reveals the ultimate Truth.

In addition, I love the story because it exemplifies the process of contemplation: the student continues to search, by proceeding from one level of inquiry to another, until what is revealed resonates deeply within himself.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for these wonderful teaching stories.

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

How very, very blessed we are to be so guided by the Self; to know and understand and experience that we are That.

a Siddha Yogi from Melbourne, Australia

I felt a blissful sensation in my heart after reading this story, as if a flame were burning there. I felt that the Self within is what I can turn to, what keeps burning bright and guiding me in the pitch-black moments of my life. Through the grace of the Siddhas I have experienced this flame during meditation, chanting, and seva. I want to remember that it's there all the time.

Thank you for this story, Gurumayi, and for the practices.

a Siddha Yogi from Melbourne, Australia

This story reminds me of the Siddha Yoga Message for 2004: Experience the Power Within. Kundalini Shakti. Thank you, Gurumayiji, for connecting us again and again to the Power within.

a Siddha Yogi from Texas, USA

The great light is in everything from the sun, to the moon, to fire, to our voice, to the Self.
One indispensable light—the light of God! 
Simple, sweet, profound images of light dancing in my being.
With my eyes open I see the light, and with my eyes closed I see the light. 
Simple, sweet, profound images of light dancing in my being.
One Light. One God. One Guru.

Sadgurunath Maharaj ki Jai!

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

Shares on "The Master and the 108 Lamps"

I learned that you have to be patient, because even though what someone is doing might take time, they might be doing it for you.

an eight-year-old Siddha Yogi in Shree Muktananda Ashram

I loved the story about the Master and the 108 Lamps, as it filled me with hope for my own sadhana, and love and tenderness for the immense stillness, patience, and love of the Master. I realised that it actually doesn't matter whether initiation is given immediately, over a night, or over a life-time. The fact that the disciple is really longing for it and the Master can give it is all that matters.
 
The apparent folly of my actions as I try and blow out lamps or run to a well to get water for an endeavour that will not go as planned, is all part of the wonderful play. In fact, the Master actually gave his permission to the disciple to extinguish the lamps if he so desired. I saw this too as an important teaching, as the Master's promise of initiation to the disciple in the morning was not conditional on whether the disciple agreed with the ritual or even whether he extinguished the lamps that had just been lit.
 
As I understood the disciple's predicament, I began to feel compassion towards myself and then acknowledged the powerful bond between Master and disciple – the longing for liberation in its initial form, and then a deep and abiding love for each other through the connection of the heart.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, with all my love.

a Siddha Yogi from Melbourne, Australia

During the days after I read the story "The Master and the 108 Lamps," I kept returning to a beautiful experience inside again and again. When I took a moment to go inside, I experienced the 108 lamps as lights inside of me that the Guru has lit so carefully and lovingly. They blaze freely and abundantly, they have withstood many storms. They do not fade away as a result of circumstances. They shine brightly whether the sun is shining or the days are grey and foggy. They are ever so pure, ever so life-giving. The Guru lit them with great care and great intent.

Thank you, Gurumayi, and thank you to the Siddha Yoga sangham. I am very grateful to you.

a Siddha Yogi from Deggendorf, Germany

I was touched by the Master’s response to the seeker’s statement, "I didn't come here to light lamps. I came here to know the Truth." The Master smiled and said, "I have lit each lamp for the love of God. The light with which I have lit these lamps is the light of my own heart."

This dialogue reminds me of the emptiness of ceremonies performed without your heart’s consent. It is a beautiful reminder to not become mechanical in your practices, but to always touch the light of the heart in every activity through love of God.

Thank you, Gurumayiji,
a student in Gurudev Siddha Peeth, India

Before I started to read the story I looked at the golden mountains behind the title of the story, and my heart was touched by the beauty and the strength of the picture. What power! It is so alive! It is filled with Consciousness.

Then I started to read the story. When I read about how the seeker finally surrendered, I could experience the light, and tears ran down my cheeks. I could feel this light, this love, this amazing bright golden pure light. And I remembered my shaktipat experience. It was this same experience of light; only light exists. 

What an incredible gift. Thank you Gurumayi!!!!
Thank you so much again and again!

With love,
a Siddha Yogi from Hinwil, Switzerland

This story of the seeker trying to extinguish the Master's lamps really touched my heart. Even in the midst of earnest desire for enlightenment, the seeker was so ignorant of the true nature of the Master's gift. How compassionate the Master is, allowing the seeker to be confounded in his ignorance until he has his breakthrough. It was sobering to recognise my own tendency to pour water on the spiritual flame ignited within me by the Guru's grace, and so comforting to see that the light of the Master's love is so powerful it can withstand our limited understanding and ignorance, if we stay focused on our desire for enlightenment.

a Siddha Yogi from Sydney, Australia

As I read this story, at first I thought, "My goodness, what an impatient man." As the story went on I thought, "How many times have I tried to extinguish something in front of me in order to get what I perceived as something more full of light?" I recognized in my own self the exhaustion that can come from looking for That through the lens of my misunderstandings.
 
At a pause in between the moments of exhaustion, there is, in the cave of the heart, an opening, where light, or awareness, seeps in, signaling a passageway to get closer to the source of that light. Maybe it is sitting to chant, or meditating, or reading Gurumayi’s or Baba’s words.

My heart smiled as I felt the light of the seeker meld with the light of the Master within and without. That became That, and my heart wanted to experience this again and again.

a Siddha Yogi from Missouri, USA

When I read Gurumayi's beautiful story I saw myself in that impatient and crossed-arms seeker waiting for enlightenment. I felt Gurumayi was speaking directly to me. Then I realized how greatly fortunate I am to have reached the abode of a true Guru and that this is the only treasure I have ever wanted in my life!
 
I felt that when I light a candle to start my morning spiritual practices I should regard it not only as a candle, but as a pure and golden flame that represents the immense love between Guru and disciple.
 
I felt that I was not separate from Gurumayi's state, but that she actually is with me every second of my life, walking along the path with me.
 
With this new understanding, I meditated this morning. In meditation, I became Gurumayi and a profound stillness came over me making me feel like the Golden Himalayan mountain in the picture.
 
I am so happy!
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for ever and ever.

a Siddha Yogi from Milan, Italy

Thank you very much, Gurumayi, for this great story!
 
I felt that the tale exemplified that as much as the ego tries to have its way, based on its limited experience, if our longing is true, divine love will prevail in time.

a Siddha Yogi from Maryland, USA

This story reminds me that every action, every word from the Guru is filled with divine intention. The seeker was so focused on getting what he wanted that he was unable to see that the Truth was right in front of him the whole time.

Thank you for this beautiful teaching about surrender and having a present mind and open heart to be able to recognize and receive the Guru's teachings.

With gratitude,
a Siddha Yogi from New York

The story of the 108 lamps is exquisite, and I feel as if Gurumayi is reading this story just to me, offering me darshan. In my mind's eye, I was able to see all the details of the story. Even as I write, I can feel the golden glow of the light. What a gift—this light! 
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for the gift of shaktipat, for the gift of darshan, for the reminder here, in this story, of what's been given—and received.

With great love and gratitude,
a Siddha Yogi from Massachusetts, USA

At the story’s conclusion, the young seeker merges into the golden light of the Guru’s compassion. With his heart ablaze with love and awe, now his only desire is to serve the sacred work of his Master.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for the golden rays of your teachings that reach and uplift us wherever we are in the world. Thank you to all whose selfless efforts help make this possible.

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

This story brought such peace to me. There have been times when I have felt that my actions and thoughts diminished the shakti. Because of this I would hold back, get angry, or feel unworthy. This story reveals to me that the inner enemies cannot dim the light of the Guru. I feel a new connection to Gurumayi's love and compassion.
  
Thank you.

Love,
a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

As I was reading the story I kept wondering why the seeker couldn't wait until the morning as instructed by the Master. What was the urgency? Why couldn't he/she partake in the practise of lighting the lamps? Why was he/she so impatient?   
 
As I reflected on this I realised that I, too, need to practise patience. I, too, need to have the patience to light each lamp one at a time, to do things step by step, so that I can imbibe the learning that comes with each step. I, too, need to do my practises with love and patience to let things unfold at the time that is right for me to experience That.

Thank you so much, Gurumayi. I love reading the stories; they fill me with longing and a renewed energy. And they make me smile and laugh too. I love them.

Thank you so much.

a Siddha Yogi from Singapore

When reading this beautiful story my heart was filling up with tenderness and love. My heart became so alive. The longing to be conscious of the presence of God is shining in my heart. This is the flame of the Guru’s grace.

a Siddha Yogi from Montreal, Canada

I was reading Gurumayi's story just before I chanted Shri Guru Gita this morning. It reminded me to chant each shloka with love, the way the Master in the story lights each of the 108 lamps.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for this beautiful story. It has so many elements to contemplate.

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

I love this story. It so clearly illustrates how no matter what is happening in our own inner or outer world, the light of grace shines within and without!

And this is not just a concept—it is an experience that I've had for a long time. However, this experience has not come without effort. It relies on my self effort to remember and recognize that grace is always there.

Thank you for this beautiful story.

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

My first-ever reading this morning of this powerful and sweet story moved me to tears. It contains so many of the virtues that Gurumayi teaches—trust, patience, courage, fortitude, contentment, enthusiasm, and above all, love.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for all the blessed gifts you are always offering us. Each morning I eagerly look forward to opening the Siddha Yoga path website to begin and to guide my day.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, and thank you all the sevites who make this possible.

a Siddha Yogi from Italy

Today I felt a strong urge to meditate in the latter part of the morning. Before that I thought, "Let me look at the website first and then I'll meditate after that."
 
I opened the story of  “The Master and The 108 Lamps,” and when I reached page 12, and read, "He saw only light. There was no mountain, no flame, no Master, no seeker. There was just That," a flood of tears flowed out of my being, and I was filled with love, longing, and steadiness, ready to sit for meditation, with my Guru in my heart.
 
Thank you, Gurumayi, for this story.

a Siddha Yogi from Gurgaon, India

Lovely to open my computer between two business appointments and discover Gurumayi's uplifting tale. For a while, the noises and doings of the day cease. Time is suspended and filled with the golden colour of the Himalayas. I feel drawn inside with the 108 lamps and the vibrating mantras.
 
These words resound: "The flames scintillated with the Master's intention.” I'll take them with me throughout my day.

a Siddha Yogi from Paris, France

Thank you, Gurumayi, for the gift of this profound story. The more I read it, the greater I feel the love and power within, and with the understanding that our Guru gives us everything when we are ready.

Love,
a Siddha Yogi from the United Kingdom

Reading the story, I marveled at the Guru’s patient, steady love, and the seeker’s obstinacy. With further reflection, I acknowledge many ways that I have nurtured an old identity and limited perception rather than surrender to the eternal flame of love the Guru has awakened within me.

a Siddha Yogi from Illinois, USA

This story is so deep. I will be contemplating it for a long time. As I read, I kept thinking, “How can the devotee even think of putting out the lights?” But I realized that it is symbolic of how we don’t want to believe in our own divinity. Each of us faces our own resistance to the beauty of who we are, and the Guru keeps her lights shining with the Truth until we see it. What a story this is to bring in the New Year and light our way as we each forge our paths to our hearts.

Thank you Gurumayi for your love.

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

Shares on "Uddalaka and Shvetaketu"

When reading the recent story of Uddalaka and Shvetaketu from Gurumayi, I was touched by the sweetness of the sage Uddalaka and the beauty of nature in his Ashram–as beautiful as it is at Shree Muktananda's Ashram and Gurudev Siddha Peeth. Even in writing those words, my heart and my soul are touched in gratitude for being in this sacred path. Tears come to my eyes.

Recently, I was contemplating, ''why should I take the Intensive '' because I took all of them since I received shaktipat in 1985, at least one each year. My mind was telling me, ''you don't have to take it. You know almost by heart the content of it and you just have to sit and meditate more regularly, in that way you will receive all the grace you need to continue your sadhana.''

When I read the story again, I took notice of Shvetaketu's pride and arrogance. This time I could see the parallel between his attitude and mine. From the deepest part of my heart I felt the longing of being seated in the meditation hall, at my Guru's feet during the Intensive, experiencing at another level ''I am That.''

Thank you so very much Gurumayi for this profound story. I know that I am at a turning point in my sadhana. I can stay stagnant in my sadhana or I can take the Intensive and dive deeply into it with humility in the silence of my heart. I am imbibing a part of the title of the Intensive ''…Go there and roam.''

With much love and gratitude,
a Siddha Yogi from Montreal

These stories are so wonderful! No words can express the feelings. When the forest was so quiet upon the father and son's return, it made me realize that even nature respected their plight. It was actually a spiritually solemn occasion. Nature understood what was happening. A lesson for us!

I love reading everyone's shares. I learn tremendously from their insights. As a result, I'm now paying more attention as I read, and I try to discern the teachings. I can "see" more. Otherwise it would pass me by.

Blessings to all,
a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

Reading and rereading the story of Uddalaka and Shvetaketu, I am profoundly moved, deeply humbled, filled with admiration: there is so much faith and trust between father and son, I can hear the true "call " of the true Guru.

Thank you, Baba; thank you, Gurumayi; thank you, Bade Baba, as your divine satsang around the globe gives us hope.

a Siddha Yogi from Washington, USA

I apreciated so much Shvetaketu’s story.

It has clear guidance about the qualities I should embody as a disciple in order to receive what the Guru has to teach me:

Longing for the Truth
Eagerness to learn
A golden mind
An open heart
Humility
And to remain still at the Guru’s feet.

As I sit in my meditation room, or at any time during the day, I have this thought: “Remain still at your Guru’s feet.” Immediately I am alert and quiet in a silent space. I know that I can receive the Guru’s guidance anywhere on earth if I stay in this space.

I would like to express my deep gratitude and love to Gurumayi, who guides me on the inner path in such a sweet and compassionate way.

Thanks a lot to all the sevites who make our website so supportive for my sadhana. May I remain still at my Guru’s feet forever.

a Siddha Yogi from Annecy le Vieux, France

At the end of this story a beautiful photo of a galaxy is to be seen and it reminds me of a dream that I had during a stay in Shree Muktananda Ashram years ago.

In that dream Gurumayi is giving darshan. The moment I stand in front of her she touches my arm and in that exact moment I hear her with a very firm voice say, "I have got so much more to give," and I can see the universe opening up in front of me – just like the galaxy picture at the end of the story. It is a breathtaking view! In that moment I woke up.

The message for me has been and still is to have firm dedication to my sadhana and to allow myself to have faith in the possibility of reaching the goal – there is so much more that Gurumayi has to give, always. Shvetaketu does become enlightened in the end.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for being our living master. Thank you, SYDA Foundation Website sevites, for daily supporting our sadhana. Thank you all for sharing your experiences and insights. Reading them is like having satsang together.

a Siddha Yogi from Germany

I want to share a lovely synchronicity. This week on the Siddha Yoga path website I have been studying Gurumayi's wonderful telling of the classic story of Uddalaka and Shvetaketu from the ancient Vedantic scriptures. And I just learned that today, September 20, 2012, is the Indian celebration of Rishipanchami, a day to remember and express our gratitude for the great Indian sages who have given us the Vedas and other scriptures.

Rishipanchami is especially dedicated to the Sapta Rishis the seven sages known as the patriarchs of the Vedas: Kashyapa, Atri, Bharadhvaja, Vishvamitra, Gauthama, Jamadagni, and Vashishta.

Sapta Rishi is also the Indian name for the constellation of stars known in the West as the Big Dipper.

Isn't it perfect that in this week of Rishipanchami Gurumayi is reminding us of the timeless teachings of these great sages? Thank you, Gurumayi!

a sevite in Shree Muktananda Ashram

I am inspired by Shvetaketu’s qualities of discipleship in this story and awed by the power of the Guru’s sankalpa. Shvetaketu leaves, returns, leaves, and returns again, all in response to his teachers’ instruction. Regardless of his personal qualities, or level or phase of learning, he is constant in his respect for and trust in his teachers. He trusts and accepts the instruction they give him. He applies himself to the practices and teachings offered. By his responsiveness to his Guru’s guidance and by his diligent application, Shvetaketu cultivates the capacity to experience the truth of his Guru’s words.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for your grace and guidance. Thank you for you.

a Siddha Yogi from Hawaii, USA

In nature, humility and harmony exist whenever there is abundance, just as trees laden with fruit arch over and clouds with water shower rain. Similarly, humility arises with the knowledge of the Self.

While there is a possibility of arrogance that comes with the attainment of the scriptural knowledge (just like with gaining any professional degree or entitlements), there is no such possibility with the attainment of the knowledge of the Self. They are mutually exclusive.

For knowledge of the Self requires one to be humble, to be deserving, and the knowledge itself is humbling.

a Siddha Yogi from Ohio, USA

Thank you for this beautiful teaching story of humility, the love of the Guru, and the courage and longing of a disciple. Contemplating this story, I think of Baba's life. How he studied with many teachers and how these great teachers ultimately led him to his Guru, Bhagavan Nityananda. I feel an upwelling of profound love, awe, and intense gratitude when I think of Baba finding Bade Baba and his experience, from his book Play of Conciousness, of his divya diksha and the amazing grace and blessings that followed and continue today through Gurumayi's, grace to us.

With love,

a Siddha Yogi from Colorado, USA

The detailed description of Uddalaka’s Ashram was an absolute joy to read and visualize. Never have I read a text that so adequately described my experience of the Siddha Yoga Ashram in India, Gurudev Siddha Peeth. When I first laid eyes on the grandeur of the Ashram grounds, my experience of being a human being was transported to that of being a saint who had earned the merit to abide in such a paradise. Just as the story detailed, Gurumayi’s Ashram in Ganeshpuri is the most exquisitely beautiful shakti peeth, an abode of spiritual power whose natural beauty invokes devotion and sublime peace. As in Uddalaka’s Ashram, Gurudev Siddha Peeth is pervaded with gentle breezes that offer the fragrant scent of flowers with each and every breath. The Guru’s love is so palpable and sweet in this paradise. The Ashram images that were created in the story of Uddalaka and Shevetaketu have filled me with a strong re-connection to our mother Ashram in India. The beautiful images of the ashram campus dance delightfully in my meditation.

Thank you, beloved Gurumayi, for this boon to my sadhana. It is my prayer, that every Siddha Yoga devotee experiences the power, the beauty, the grandeur, and the grace of Gurudev Siddha Peeth.

a Siddha Yogi from Georgia, USA

Yesterday morning when I turned my computer on at work, I saw that a new story had been posted. I eagerly anticipated entering this new story during my lunch break. It took great discipline to wait!

As I “turned each page,” my heart melted and warm tears fell on my cheeks. I was so moved by the compassion of the great Guru Uddalaka to his son and disciple and moved by the receptiveness of Shvetaketu.

I was moved by my own heart’s longing to sit near my teacher—to have the direct experience of my own true nature. I recognised that this has been my experience of being in a Shaktipat Intensive. In the Intensive, I experience myself sitting with the Siddha Yoga Gurus and tasting the sweetness of my own true nature. I’m so grateful we have a most beautiful, powerful, sublime Intensive coming up in October.

I was also moved by the Guru’s compassion and the way Uddalaka melted his son’s arrogance and pride. Not by pointing his son’s arrogance out to him but by his soft eyes, his melodious and gentle voice, and by asking him if he had learnt That.

I’ve experienced the power of my Guru’s compassion melting my ignorance or pride through being in her company either in person or through prayer, or meditation, or engaging with the Siddha Yoga teachings.

From reading and contemplating this beautiful story of the Guru-disciple relationship, of mumukshutva, and of initiation, my heart feels softer and more open. I hear my Guru speaking to me, to all of us, with the same compassion and question.

Thank you so much for this beautiful story, Gurumayi!

With love and gratitude,

a Siddha Yogi from Perth, Australia

What hit me about this story was how important timing is; a person may be right next to his/her Guru, but only when the timing is right, when the person has gone through a process, will he/she be open to receive the highest Knowledge and understand its significance.

a Siddha Yogi from Toronto, Canada

I was struck while reading the story of Uddalaka and Shvetaketu how much Shree Muktananda Ashram resembles the Ashram in the story. The beauty and stillness of the forests and the magnificence of Lake Nityananda come to mind. It is like the gurukula of ancient days has been created right in upstate New York! We have also been blessed to "sit down near a teacher" right from the screens of our computers.

Thank you to the sevites at the SYDA Foundation for creating this amazing learning tool for us to engage with every day.

With love,
a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

Thank you SO much for the sweet and profound story of Shvetaketu! As I embark upon a teaching career at a university, I am often feeling pressure to "know it all," or to "fake it till you make it." I recognize through this beautiful story that the most perfect sort of knowledge I can offer my students is humility, and to maintain that attitude throughout my life as an academic is the absolute key to my success.

With great respect, as I pranam,
a Siddha Yogi from Kentucky, USA

What struck me immediately in the story of Uddalaka and Shvetaketu was how rapidly and thoroughly the crust of arrogance and ego was pierced by the power of love. Love appeared this time in the form of a relentless longing, mumukshutva.

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

Reading the story, I became quiet. Still. The flow of thoughts settled, they simply dissolved as one phrase from the story, humility was the doorway to receiving That, kept flowing inside me as a silent echo. It was as though my Guru, Gurumayi, had revealed the golden key to That. Humility is the doorway.

Then, when thoughts did start to ripple softly, I returned to the chapter on “Humility” in Gurumayi’s book My Lord Loves a Pure Heart. My being experienced a renewed commitment to study and engage with the chapter once again in a fresh new light. I am deeply touched by the sage Uddalaka’s compassion and gentleness. Although Shvetaketu demonstrated arrogant behavior, the sage was utterly compassionate and had such a gentle way to bring his disciple back. Above all, so unfathomable was the compassion with which the Guru imparted his own inner state to his disciple. The Guru is compassion incarnate.

I carry with me these nuggets from this story:

  • Humility is the doorway to realizing That.
  • There may be many, many teachers who can teach us the theory of the scriptures, but it is only the Siddha Guru who can actually impart to us the direct experience of That.

It is my great, divine fortune to have a living Siddha Guru in my life. Thank you, Gurumayi. Thank you, Baba. Thank you, Bade Baba.

A Gurukula student from Gurudev Siddha Peeth, Ganeshpuri, India

I offered seva doing web production for this story. I was doing research to find a manuscript that we could use as one of the design elements for the story. While I was conducting the research, the moment in the story in which Shvetaketu returns to his father’s Ashram with a transformed attitude—the attitude of discipleship—kept reverberating in my mind. Shvetaketu had become open to receiving the great teaching from his Guru. I tried to keep the same openness in my awareness during the research.

As I was looking through the digital library of the Muktabodha Indological Research Institute, which has hundreds, if not thousands, of Sanskrit texts, I remained open to finding what I was looking for. After a while I found exactly what was needed! All during the research, I was amazed that I had access to such an immense collection of Indian scriptures and texts. If this digital library didn’t exist I would never have found EXACTLY what we needed.

Thank you Gurumayi for showing us the wisdom of the scriptural tradition of India, thank you for keeping it so alive.

Con amor,
  a Siddha Yogi from Mexico

Shares on "Sheik Nasruddin and His Donkey"

I love this story. It reminds me of how much time we spend trying to attain what we already have!

a Siddha Yogi from Virginia, USA

I live 300 kilometers away from the nearest Siddha Yoga centre. Reading Gurumayi's stories and the experiences and shares of devotees online, I feel blessed to be part of the online sangham. It feels so vibrant to be here!

Nasruddin's story gave me two insights, diametrically opposite.

The first one was to value whatever has been loyal and selfless in serving you as you achieve your day-to-day goals. Do not set it aside in fits of despair. Look within; perhaps the fault lies with you. At times, you need a jeweller to tell you the value of the gem you have.

The second insight was when you decide to part with your attachments, do it with a complete consent of your heart, only after a lot of contemplation. Do not thereafter fall prey to the opinions of the world and get ensnared in them once again. We are so influenced by what the world / community / environment which we live in, thinks about our actions that we tend to look at ourselves only through their prism.

a Siddha Yogi from Wellington, India

I was struck by how Nasruddin made a firm decision to sell his donkey, which was no longer meeting his needs, but then became so intoxicated by the empty praise of the auctioneer that he completely lost touch with reality and bought the donkey back. The donkey didn't change or improve; it was merely the auctioneer’s words, which were aimed at making a profit, that changed.

The story shows me to use discrimination with situations or thoughts that question a strong commitment I have made in my life. It also teaches me to be mindful of the many ways that I can allow myself to be led off the path, both from my own mind and from the influence of those around me.

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

I check the donkey story responses daily and I find that my initial limited perspective and understanding of the story continues to expand. I only saw Nasruddin's foolishness and the way he let the matrika shakti make him dance. Now I see there can be many other interpretations. Thank you all. It is great to have your satsang in this way.

a Siddha Yogi from Nebraska, USA

When I read the story “Sheik Naruddin and His Donkey,” the words "the donkey stopped listening" stood out for me. My understanding is that the donkey represents something that does not serve us anymore.

Nasruddin tried to revive it but could not; so he thought, I will let go of this and try something fresh, more vitalising. But at the marketplace he was overcome with doubts and listened to the "selling" instead of listening to himself. Hence he went home with the same donkey that did not serve him anymore.

with love.
a Siddha Yogi from Shanghai, China

I love Nasruddin stories and laughed, as I always do, at his odd choices. Then I thought about what the story was teaching me. I realised that there are qualities and truths that I seem to lose touch with in myself, that I “take to market” and try to buy from the outer world. I had to acknowledge how much energy and time and worry—how many gold pieces—I spend buying approval, for example, from those around me; when all the while God dwells within me as me!

Thank you for these wonderful, playful, and instructive stories.

Love,
a Siddha Yogi from Melbourne, Australia

It is truly amazing to see the different perspectives through the shares. It made me pause and see what my mind was doing as I was reading the shares. I noticed as I read the shares that my mind was going back and forth between right and wrong; it was trying to label the perspective. Then it tried to pause and understand each perspective and then realized that every perspective is unique in itself. I was amazed to see how the mind works: it wants to jump to conclusions. And then after reading all the shares, I wanted to discover my understanding of the story. What does the story hold for me?

Seeing the process that happened with my mind, it came to me that a wavering, an unsteady mind will always get swayed by or influenced by outside things and want to jump to conclusions immediately—just like Nasruddin got swayed listening to the praises of his own donkey. A steady mind will always be able to pause and reflect on various aspects like “Oh! What happened to my loyal donkey? Why did it stop responding all of a sudden? Let me find out.” Or “Yes, the auctioneer is praising the donkey, but I've known this donkey for years. It has been very loyal; however it is not serving any purpose to me. Would it be wise to spend money on the same donkey?” Whatever the decision, only a steady mind will be able to pause, reflect, and choose “What should I do in this situation?” I understood the importance of having a steady mind, and the necessity in every situation to pause, reflect, and only then act.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for this story. Thank you for all the shares. Thank you to the website team!

a Gurukula student in Gurudev Siddha Peeth, Ganeshpuri, India

One of the things I have contemplated quite a bit this year is the importance of knowing which things in our life don't help us and the great freedom and, ultimately, joy that comes from being willing to let them go. It's not so much about being negative toward those things but recognizing that they (the situation, job, relationship, activity, or whatever) may in fact be keeping us away from something else that would benefit us far more. We actually pay a price by keeping it in our life. It can be very difficult to walk away from something when other people are talking it up, and we often doubt ourselves when we see somebody else wanting the thing we decided we didn't want.

Nasruddin forgot what he knew about the donkey and thought he was buying the donkey described. When he gets home, the donkey is still not going to do any work, and Nasruddin is going to be very disappointed. If he had taken the money for the donkey and bought another donkey that would do some work, he would have been much happier—not just in the end but in the near future. The happiness he is getting from purchasing his old worn-out but much-hyped donkey will last for only the trip home.

The same type of deception works in reverse, too. We can know that something is good for us but hear so many people saying negative things about it that we forget its value and end up assimilating those negative comments. We have to pay attention to what we know.

Thank you for giving us these stories to contemplate and for all of the wonderful content on the website this summer. It has been a very joyful experience to be connected in this way.

With much love,
a Siddha Yogi from Washington, USA

From opposite sides of the country, a fellow Siddha Yoga student and I were sharing our thoughts on the Sheik Nasruddin story by phone, and we discovered that our insights were identical. Sheik Nasruddin's donkey served his purposes well. That is, until the donkey stopped listening. At that point, it made sense to sell the donkey. But at the market, Nasruddin came under the spell of the auctioneer's marketing skills and ended up going home with the very same donkey in tow. The donkey's expression in the last frame suggests he has no more intention of listening now than he did before—and that rope looks a lot like attachment. This story reminds both of us to stand firm against the ego's hard-selling tactics in our decision to let go of something (such as a limiting tendency or belief) that no longer serves us.

a Siddha Yogi from Arizona, USA

I like to think that while Nasruddin is learning to appreciate what he has, the donkey is learning to appreciate what he is. It wasn’t quite the same donkey that Nasruddin took home with him. It was a donkey who once again remembered his own great qualities.

a Siddha Yogi from Wisconsin, USA

I love the way Nasruddin stories creep up on me. At first I am thinking, "How absurd!" Then I sit with it. Okay. I only value myself when acknowledged from outside. Through sadhana this is slowly changing. Gratitude to Guru, path, practices, and to myself for persevering.

With love,
a Siddha Yogi from New South Wales, Australia

This story, like other Nasruddin stories, is funny because he is so easily duped by his own mind. We have been so fortunate to receive the knowledge and practices to strengthen the mind, to make it clear and sound, and to know when it needs to be tuned. For this, I am truly grateful to Gurumayi.

a Siddha Yogi from Maryland, USA

From my point of view, the mind buys whatever is for sale in the market, especially when nice words are involved. This is what publicity is all about. A good salesman can make you buy your own old, worn-out donkey! This story made me think about the many things, ideas, trends, and philosophies I’ve bought like Nasuddin did, even if they had no use or value at all. And sometimes, at my own cost! Discernment is required when we go shopping, not only in the mall but in the entire world.

a Siddha Yogi from Mexico

It is so interesting to read everyone's interpretation. My understanding is that we need to use discrimination in assessing value and not fall subject to external values. This teaching seemed in line with the story about the Guru's cat and Gurumayi's talk "Be Practical, Be Grateful." On the other hand, I appreciate the importance of valuing what we already have. Today, I realized that I have to value whatever it is I have to offer in life before (on a practical level) I can receive value in exchange. For too long, I was expecting it to work the other way around.

Thank you for all the abundant blessings we are receiving via the website. I continue to be amazed by the infinite love of Guru's grace and how we are being supported, uplifted, and united in the cradle of that love.

a Siddha Yogi from Connecticut, USA

Nasruddin forgot all the original, true reasons for selling the donkey and got so mesmerized by the auctioneer´s words—which apparently were qualities the donkey used to have to the extreme—that he even forgot that it was his own donkey.

Like Nasruddin, when acting on impulse and without discrimination, I have been deceived many times by the constructs (tricks) of advertisers and marketing strategies, which are not always true.

This website is a magnificent global study circle. Thank you, Gurumayi.

a Siddha Yogi from Mexico City, Mexico

The more I thought about the story, the more I felt that sometimes we unwittingly play the donkey—why did it suddenly stop listening? When we are the donkey, we can lose sight of our own worth when denigrated by someone else. Then, we are also Sheik Nasruddin, whose belief in the donkey's worth escalated because of someone else's opinion, again losing sight of what is of real value. I had a lot of fun imagining the two scenarios that are so familiar in real life, and I laugh out loud at the drawing of the donkey that seems to be reveling in his own bliss. Wait, does the picture depict the scene before or after the sale? A simple story that has many meanings—like life. Thank you, Gurumayi!

a Siddha Yogi from Hong Kong

After contemplating this story, I had the insight that the only value something has is the value you give it. Once I understood this, I was drawn inward, and each breath and moment became divine.

Thank you!

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

One of the things this story illustrates for me is the power of self-deception—Nasruddin convinced himself that he made a good bargain when in fact he was buying something that he himself was selling; he was paying for something he already owned. This tale cautions me to be vigilant and not let my own mind trick me into believing my most ridiculous actions are wise.

a Siddha Yogi from Pennsylvania, USA

The story of Sheik Nasruddin made me think about how many times we keep with us things, ideas, or even relationships we don´t need. We do it because we react to what society thinks is important and because we ignore our own wisdom. To keep the things, ideas, or relationships that have completed their cycle in our life makes us lose time, energy, and even money.

a Siddha Yogi from Mexico City, Mexico

I am loving our online satsangs! Thank you, Gurumayi-ji, for these stories. It has propelled us to contemplate and share.

Every time I open the Siddha Yoga path website homepage, I am captured by the tangible illustrations. Many thanks to our fellow Siddha Yogi artists.

To me this story exemplifies how our world is made of our beliefs.

While outer situations remain unchanged, we can be unhappy and miserable or be exalted and proud, by believing differently.

a Siddha Yogi from Ohio, USA

This story is fun and yet, on a more serious note, it teaches us to use our common sense and sound judgment. If we use these qualities, we can form our own opinions and stand by them regardless of what someone else may be telling us. Thank you.

a Siddha Yogi from Russia

Thank you for this splendid story.

Nasruddin easily forgot that his loyal donkey had served him for a long time. Even to the point that he was ready to make a business of his deserving friend.

It’s a human condition, how people treat their loved ones in difficult times.

Luckily, by means of grace, Nasruddin finally found the golden opportunity to take care of his priceless donkey.

a Siddha Yogi from Thun, Switzerland

What comes up for me as I read this wonderful, mysterious, and amusing story about Sheik Nasruddin is the profound teaching that has been given to us over and over again as we walk the Siddha Yoga path: The world is as you see it.

With gratitude for your continuing guidance, Gurumayi.

a Siddha Yogi from Massachusetts, USA

The story demonstrates for me how we seem only to value what we have inside and our own self-worth when it is acknowledged and approved of by an outside source. Isn't this interesting?

a Siddha Yogi from Toronto, Canada

The donkey was a blessing in Nasruddin's life.
But perhaps Nasruddin was taking his donkey for granted.
He didn't truly appreciate the donkey.
At the market, the value of his donkey appreciated before his very eyes.
Nasruddin then recognized the value of his donkey, and he appreciated him.
The story reminded me to appreciate blessings in my life.

a Siddha Yogi from Washington, USA

I truly, immensely enjoy when Gurumayi tells stories. Generally, I feel stories speak to the "child" in all of us. For me personally, when the story unfolds, I feel awe and mystery: like I remember feeling as a child. Stories were always fun because even a simple story seems to have a deeper meaning. The fun part is figuring out the other meaning.

Nasruddin and His Donkey is a story about appreciating what you have. When we have something for a long time we may feel "tired of it". Maybe what is tired is not the object but the perception. Sometimes a new or fresh experience changes our perception, and therefore helps us appreciate what we have. Stepping outside the ordinary or normal routine (like Nasruddin taking the donkey to the market), created a fresh perspective. This can also be a metaphor for meditation. When we meditate we can take a step out of our normal functioning and observe things differently. This fresh perspective can sometimes instill a sense of gratitude among other positive benefits.

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

I’m fascinated by the different interpretations of this wonderful and mysterious story. My wife and I read it late Sunday night and shared our experiences.

I thought that the story was about listening to your inner voice and not being swayed by other people’s opinions.

My wife’s take was that Nasruddin had become mired in negativity from his close association with the donkey over so many years and so he could only see his donkey’s faults. When he took the donkey to the market and he saw how other people valued it he returned to his senses and fell in love with the donkey again—a great message for close friends and partners.

I like my wife’s story better. It’s inspiring that my friends and my partner can help me have a higher vision of the world.

Much love,
a Siddha Yogi from Vancouver, Canada

This morning when I opened the Siddha Yoga path website I was worried about going back to work and of all my daily activities. Then I looked at the smiling face of the donkey and all of a sudden an inner smile arose inside my heart! He is smiling at our human condition! So thankful for this funny story!

a Siddha Yogi from Rome, Italy

I've always delighted in this story's fun portrayal of the bewildering power of the Matrika Shakti to create a world out of nothing, even a world contrary to what I know to be true.

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

After the first story was posted on the Siddha Yoga path website, a visiting sevite in Shree Muktananda Ashram asked Gurumayi, “Will there be Sheik Nasruddin stories?”

Gurumayi said, “Yes!”

Sevites in the SYDA Foundation Website Department


Shares on "Eknath Found It"

When I reflected on Eknath's story, the quality of pure intention and total absorption, stood out for me—where there is only one goal: to give oneself completely to the task on hand. I reflected on my experiences of being absorbed completely in giving my best and the instant reward I received, whether at seva, at work, or with family. My focus was only on giving, without settling for anything short of the best outcome and without any agenda for me, and that is when I met with success.

I know it is an inherent quality I possess and with constant connection through the spiritual practices and teachings, I can allow it to manifest more and more.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for the new initiative of teaching us through the website, which serves as a study forum with the global community.

With love,
a Siddha Yogi from New Delhi, India

While the opportunity to perform Guruseva is a big fortune in one’s lifetime, performing seva with utmost sincerity is a sadhana, leading to Self-realization. Making a choice of this uncompromising attitude toward seva is svadharma.

a Siddha Yogi from Ohio, USA

In that story, Eknath had such devotion for his guru that he was able to accomplish seva with 100% focus.

When you have this kind of focus on seva, your mind gets stronger and steadier, and you are ready to receive the full grace of the Guru to attain the ultimate goal.

Thank you Gurumayi, for giving us tools to contemplate the Siddha Yoga teachings.

a Siddha Yogi from France

Thank you, fellow Siddha Yoga students for sharing your profound insights. To add to the global pool of wisdom, here are my thoughts.

Firstly, Eknath would have had the utmost respect for his Guru Janardan Swami. To me this quality underpins many that have been beautifully mentioned by other students. Likewise Janardan Swami showed utmost respect to Eknath in return.

What I love the most is the cycle of giving and receiving. Eknath gave everything of himself to find the Guru’s paise. The Guru fully received his offering and in return offered everything to Eknath, which Eknath received fully. Thus the cycle was completed.

a Siddha Yogi from Melbourne, Australia

When I was contemplating the story of Eknath, a new dimension of the story was revealed to me. It is when one longs for perfection in every single action, knowing it as a Guruseva, the ultimate perfection comes seeking you. It is what Eknath received from his Guru.

Thank you Gurumayi for this beautiful insight.

With love,
a Siddha Yogi from Pune, India

I understood that Eknath's love and gratitude for his Guru was so great that whatever he did was completely suffused with devotion and bliss. His longing was the most important thing in his life and it was totally natural for his search to be fulfilled. He had met the perfect Master whose grace gave him everything he needed to get the job done.

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

Years ago in Shree Muktananda Ashram, I was doing seva as a cashier in the bookstore. One evening, I was checking money in a small room covered with a dark red carpet.

"One cent is missing! " I said to another cashier who was standing nearby.
He answered, "It's only one cent."

The story of Eknath came into my mind and with faith, perseverance, and determination I kept looking for it. Soon after, I found the coin like a brilliant light on the carpet and also found joy in my heart.

a Siddha Yogi from France

The first time I visited Gurudev Siddha Peeth, I was amazed by the attention to detail that was given to everything in the Ashram. The seva I offered was in the Ashram kitchen, and the sevites would focus on the quality of each grain of rice before it was added to the pots for cooking. The story of Eknath reminded me of the teaching I learned there. Time spent in service to the Guru is never too small and is never wasted. Thank you beloved Gurumayi for the glance of your wisdom and love.

a Siddha Yogi from Georgia, USA

What was Eknath’s attitude while he was spending the night looking, searching for the paisa?

Did he worry because he couldn't find it? Was he thinking, what will my friends say tomorrow if I don't find the paisa? Why didn't he say, ohh, just one small paisa, why should I bother; I'd better go to sleep?

How did he keep his mind quiet, concentrated on only the paisa during the entire night?

My answer is that he was searching for the knowledge of the Self, and in that moment the missing paisa was knowledge for him, the knowledge he was looking for.

In my life there are plenty of missing paisas, plenty of opportunities to receive the knowledge of the Truth, here and now.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for this beautiful story.

a Siddha Yogi from Paris, France

Eknath understands that everything associated with the Guru is alive with the Guru's mysterious and transforming power. Even something that appears to have no tangible value at all (a glance, word, gesture, or paisa) can be a vehicle for the highest attainment, if it is looked at with the right understanding. If we think a penny is just a worthless penny, we receive nothing. It is our awareness of the true value of what we are encountering, combined with gratitude and self-effort, that opens the channels for grace.

Living and working in the world, I find that grace pours through even the smallest things when they are treated with care and love, as if they belonged to Gurumayi.

Thank you for this opportunity for contemplation!

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

Eknath, taking full responsibility for the seva, never stops offering his love and devotion without expectation of reward for himself. His only focus is serving his Guru. When we focus the mind, heart, and consciousness on service to the Guru, all our actions become seva—small or big, all actions are service. Reading the story brings me great joy and reminds me of the real purpose of seva and the grace of the Guru.

a Siddha Yogi from Montreal, Canada

Eknath knew it was his dharma to find that coin. He lost himself in accomplishing it without worrying about how valuable this action was, or was not, to others. In the end, he felt completely happy for accomplishing his duty for his Guru. And not just that—he received an invaluable gift without asking for it.

The story taught me that we must be careful with every single thing that is in the
Guru´s Ashram and with every single act we perform there. It also taught me that to give ourselves up to seva brings us closer to our final goal.

Thank you.

a Siddha Yogi from Mexico City, Mexico

When I read the inspiring story of Eknath I thought that the lesson was: only when a disciple can be diligent and trustworthy in caring for the smallest of things, finding the Guru’s paisa, can he be trusted with the greatest of things, Self-realization. Eknath showed he could be trusted and was ready to hold the greatest gift of his Guru and so it was given. How wonderful to be reminded of this powerful teaching again. Thank you, Gurumayi.

a Siddha Yogi from Massachusetts, USA

I am struck by the enthusiasm of Eknath to balance the books. He is so diligent. He succeeded. He gained a reward for his perseverance. In his devotion was the seed of his enlightenment.

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

Reading this story I was struck by how Eknath's unflinching devotion to his Guru, his distress of losing the paisa, and his unbridled joy when he did find it came so alive for me. Reading about Eknath this time, I felt that I was reading about someone very present, a flesh and blood person, who had immense love for his Guru and a deep and abiding longing to know God...so much so that he wouldn't rest until his longing was fulfilled. I sensed that Eknath saw and treated the Guru's money as Janardan Swami himself, and this identification was so complete that his Guru knew that Eknath was ready to receive the highest wisdom.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for telling us this timeless story and for enlivening it with your grace, your divine intention. I see now that the story of Eknath Maharaj and Janardan Swami is not a remote and far away story. It is our story that we are walking right now on the Siddha Yoga path.

With heartfelt gratitude,
a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

I offer seva researching images for the Siddha Yoga path website. In reading this wonderful telling of the story of Eknath, and looking for images that would reflect the light of Eknath’s profound realization, I was reminded of the deep reservoir of wisdom that India has given to the world. I am so grateful to Gurumayi for bringing the experience of this eternal wisdom to us all.

a Siddha Yogi from New Zealand


Shares on "The Guru's Cat"

Dear Ones,

At first I just didn't understand “The Guru's Cat” story. I thought how silly they were to tie up another cat. Then my mind started—Were they right? Should you do that?—and I lost sight of my original thought. So, I thought I would see how other devotees interpreted the story. Suddenly, like a lightning bolt tears ran down my face. I got it !

The question now is, how many cats have I tied to the pole?

Thank you so much for your insights.

a Siddha Yogi from New South Wales,Australia

I feel the Guru's words are so powerful that they keep resonating within me long after I read the story. For me, the cat's story is a powerful reminder of being practical and always going to the essence of why things are done in a particular way, even when we are going about tasks that we consider sacred, such as spiritual practice. It is a reminder to always be alert and in the present moment, as opposed to being dogmatic or doing things in a particular way because they have always been done that way.

Many thanks to everyone involved in posting this story with the beautiful illustrations on the Siddha Yoga path website. It is inspiring and delightful!

With much love,
a Siddha Yogi from Toronto, Canada

I immediately loved this story. I chuckled and felt that the lesson Gurumayi gives is for me. How often have I made a habit of something that has outlasted its purpose! How often do I not refresh my practice to the point that it becomes dry? Thank you, Gurumayi, for this gentle reminder to do my part in keeping my practice, life, and sadhana ever new by staying aware of the opportunities to share and give of myself. This opportunity goes from the smile I might offer a stranger to the seva that will be so much better done if I offer just a little more focus and attention to the task. Each moment I am fully alive I can again be blessed.

a Siddha Yogi from Virginia, USA

When we are faced with a problematic situation, we seek a solution. But when the problem goes away, we don't need to re-create the problem—even if we have a perfect solution or have gotten accustomed to it.

a Siddha Yogi from Ohio, USA

The story tells me many things, one of which is that it is necessary to investigate the meaning of the Guru's teaching in each situation. And it is necessary to contemplate in each situation which of the numerous wonderful teachings of the Guru is useful for solving a problem or for understanding the deeper truth of a situation or the deeper truth about me and my inner Self.

Gurumayi, thank you for telling us this story and thank you for your guidance.

a Siddha Yogi from Vienna, Austria

For me, it comes down to this: a practice should not be performed in a dry way, mechanically following a command. The Guru's commands, teachings, and practices should always be studied and performed through the heart. In this way, a command becomes an inner experience, and the love of the heart will bring forth true understanding.

a Siddha Yogi from Montreal, Canada

How complicated we can make the simplest things! What a relief it is to know that I offer my very best when I respond to the needs of the moment with intelligence and practicality!

Thank-you for all the great conversations this story will continue to generate, with my children and at the Siddha Yoga meditation center. And thank you for the clarity it gives me to speak up when things don’t seem to make sense.

With great love,
a Siddha Yogi from Boston, USA

I asked myself, What exactly was the Guru’s teaching? Did the teaching say that there has to be a cat tied to a post whenever there is a chanting or meditation session?

The cat was living in the Ashram. He was very cute, and everyone gave lot of love to him. But he was creating an obstacle to the students of the Ashram in their spiritual practice, which is the main purpose of the Ashram.

To me the real teaching is inherent in the Guru's act. By tying the cat to the post, the Guru shows how to deal with the situation when you have a cat that creates a disturbance to your main purpose. The story shows how to take beneficial steps that will support both the students and also the health and life of the cat, because the cat cannot be left alone either.

Moreover if we realize that there has been a problem once, when there was a cat in the Ashram, why should we choose to go the market to buy another problem?

a student in Gurudev Siddha Peeth, Ganeshpuri, India

For me this story is about contemplation and going deeper.

Yes, there is a practical teaching: if something or someone disturbs when we are doing our practices, we can and must do something about it. And once it's "under control,” move on.

We can either recreate something that we thought was the right way without thinking or going deeper than "it's always been done like that" (even if there is no purpose at all any more), or we can pause, contemplate, take the essence and move on to another level.

I offer my gratitude for these words of Gurumayi.

a Siddha Yogi from Montreal, Canada

Yes, I've heard the story, and it's great to be "refreshed" about this teaching. I realize it has always come to me when I'm faced with a "but we've always done it this way" situation. It has given me the courage to be practical and act accordingly.

The artwork is precious and whimsical! I love cats and the little cat in the picture seems to be doing seva very patiently and without attachment or aversion. Another lesson for me!

Love and blessings and thank you!

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

When I was reading this story, I thought that since the cat’s behavior was an obstacle to the regular practices of the Ashram that’s why the Guru took the decision of tying the cat in a room. But when, after the Guru’s samadhi, the cat died, there was no need to buy a new cat and tie it up because the obstacle to their practices was gone. But due to their lack of understanding, the disciples could not know the reason the Guru had tied up that cat. They didn’t try to contemplate this but instead took action in the name of “Guru’s command.”

After reading this story, I was reminded of the talk that Gurumayi gave recently: “Be Practical, Be Grateful.” We must contemplate first on Gurumayi’s words before putting them into implementation because when the Guru speaks, our understanding is incomplete until we contemplate on it. After contemplation, we not only get clear understanding but it becomes easier to implement that teaching.

a Siddha Yogi from Mumbai, India

I actually have a cat similar to "The Guru's Cat." He's a big, fluffy, lovable guy. My practice is to meditate every morning. However, if I sit to meditate before my cat gets fed, I will get a swift swat on the arm (claws and all) just when I'm about to settle in.

So, we have come to a very practical arrangement in the mornings: first my cat gets fed, then I sit to meditate.

I'm taking Gurumayi's message of practicality, which was also emphasized in her talk during Bade Baba's Punyatithi, as a command. I will hold this message front and center as I step through the demands of my day.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for sharing your words, stories, and pictures with us through the website!

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

My heart soared and I felt my entire being melt into a smile at the story of ”The Guru's Cat,” retold now on a website that many can access. I heard the story about two decades ago when I first began to offer seva in the SYDA Foundation. That story became one of my bench marks, especially as it related to the practical and physical aspects of a Siddha Yoga meditation center. The story showed me how to honor the path and understand guidelines. Over all these years I have used the Guru's Cat story during clarifying discussions. Even just recently I used it as an example.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for the story, for shining such a beautiful, clear, loving, and humorous light so that there are no shadows.

a Siddha Yogi from Hong Kong

Here is my 3 year old daughter’s share about the story:

When the teacher teaches us anything we need to listen and act carefully. If something disturbs us while we are learning, put it aside for some time. That way we can concentrate in the class and later can play.

Thank you Gurumayi for giving the practical example to young kids and to us by the stories.

Blue is my daughter’s favorite color and she likes the art work very much.

a Siddha Yogi from Pune, India

From the story I understand that in each and every action I have to use my "viveka".

a Siddha Yogi from India

I love this powerful story! I’ve heard it before and it is wonderful how the same story, retold and re-heard with new ears, reveals new understanding and wisdom. This time the story reminded me of how important it is for me to know and understand why I do what I do—especially in my Siddha Yoga practice. It reminds me how valuable it is for me to know the Siddha Yoga traditions and culture so that I am not merely doing things automatically or mindlessly or because "I always do it that way..." It's wise to know the practical reasons and purpose for things because it brings greater consciousness to whatever I'm doing.

Thank you, Gurumayi, for telling it again. And thank you, Dionisio, for your lovely illustrations.

a Siddha Yogi from California, USA

I offered seva creating the artwork for the story “The Guru’s Cat.” As I was working on this project I felt an easy flow. The image of Gurumayi smiling as she was telling the story was very present in my mind.

Knowing that my skills and talent are in service to the Siddha Yoga path creates a tenderness in my heart, a deep sense of gratitude and I also feel inspired to keep myself healthy and sharp to continue to offer my best to Gurumayi and The SYDA Foundation.

Mil gracias, Gurumayi.

a Siddha Yogi from Mexico

I love Gurumayi’s story, “The Guru’s Cat.” I offered seva helping to prepare the text for posting on the Siddha Yoga path website. I have heard this story many times over the years, but this time I read it with fresh eyes. I saw that this playful story is another way that Gurumayi is giving the teaching to be practical, and I realized that being practical is a way to honor God.

a Siddha Yogi from Massachusetts, USA


Shares on "The Value of Human Birth"

I am really inspired by this teaching story [“The Value of Human Birth”]. I have found that it echoes various themes within Gurumayi’s talk Be Practical, Be Grateful, which opened up a whole new chasm of understanding for me. I am realizing that in order for this human birth to be priceless, I need to be “a face” for the “sacred place” of this heart, body, mind, and soul. I see that this sacred responsibility requires whole-hearted participation in and commitment to all the varying dimensions of my life.

As I practice serving at this new level of accountability and integrity, there is a heightened rasa. I feel joy and I feel an empowerment that could perhaps be called freedom. How ironic that embracing responsibility leads to freedom! Therein, perhaps, lies the gift of this human birth—priceless, indeed!

Many thanks to Gurumayi, and also to the SYDA Foundation, for making this wealth of learning and sharing so available for us.

a Siddha Yogi from Surrey, England

Thank you for posting this story on the website. I am reminded of all the incredible
life-changing experiences of the Self I have had throughout my life. I am reminded of how beautiful, uplifting, and precious my life is. The way I spend time here on earth is precious. I want to make every moment precious. I need to remember again and again everything I have received and all that I have to give. Thank you!

a Siddha Yogi from Melbourne, Australia

Thank you for this beautiful teaching and a reminder to me that my life is indeed precious! I closed my eyes and Baba’s words sprang up within me—“Bow to yourself, honor yourself, God dwells within you as you.” I visualized my body becoming a beautiful temple; and in the center I saw the flame of love, peace, and contentment. This experience can only happen in a human life.

Love,
a Siddha Yogi from Nairobi, Kenya

Yesterday I celebrated my birthday. Some of my friends came to chant Shri Rudram as part of the celebration. Before chanting we all shared. Maybe since the occasion was a birthday, each of us spoke about the significance of having a human body to walk the earth. One of my friends is about to give birth, and the other two friends are new parents of a two-month-old baby. We were grateful for the good fortune of having this good company and that we could honor each other. We were grateful that we have received and practiced, and continue to receive and practice, the Siddha Yoga teachings. We were grateful that we pursue the highest goal of a human birth—that we seek to become established in the awareness of the Self.

Now, visiting the webpage, I see we are all very connected and I am grateful for this beautiful way of receiving the teachings. I am grateful for this website, which is also such good company.

a Siddha Yogi from Mexico City, Mexico

Today was one of those days when everything felt like hard work and I didn't feel in the “flow.” As I sat thinking about my day, I clicked on to the story by Baba: "The Value of Human Birth." It immediately brought forth feelings of self-worth, acceptance, love, and deep appreciation for the preciousness of my own life, and profound gratitude for the guidance to the real Truth this story generated within me. Thank you.

a Siddha Yogi from Melbourne, Australia

The Value of Human Birth, what a wonderful story! I taught third grade in a very impoverished inner-city school. The children saw so much in their short life that taught them that a human life was not valuable. As much as I could, through my actions and words, I taught them that they were special, that their life had value, that every life has value. And each day I remind myself, as Gurumayi has taught me, that I am precious to God. Thank you for this beautiful reminder.

With Love,
a Siddha Yogi from New Hampshire, USA