May 1, 2016
Happy Baba’s 108th Birthday!
This month on the Siddha Yoga path, we celebrate the auspicious 108th anniversary of Baba Muktananda’s birth. Through his presence, his teachings, and his intention, our beloved Baba awakened thousands to the experience of the Self. Baba made the Siddha Yoga path accessible to all, in his lifetime and for generations to come.
In May we, the global Siddha Yoga sangham, will continue our study of Gurumayi’s Message for 2016 by exploring the word becoming. Gurumayi’s Message is:
Move with steadfastness
in Supreme Joy
We found many evocative definitions and synonyms for becoming in English, including
- undergoing a process of change or development
- being transformed into
- growing into
- evolving into
- ripening into
- maturing into
- coming to be
In the context of Gurumayi’s Message, becoming is translated as devenir in French. In Norwegian it’s å bli, in Pilipino it’s pagiging, in Tamil it’s ஒன்றி வாழ, and in Greek, γίνεσαι. What does becoming evoke in your language?
The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle defined becoming as any movement from potential to realization. On the Siddha Yoga path, we understand realization to be the unwavering recognition of God’s existence in ourselves and others. We also understand that every human being has the potential to attain realization. With the grace of his Guru and dedication to the goal of sadhana, Baba realized the highest level of human potential. He became one with the bliss of the Self. Then he devoted his life to guiding others to Self-realization.
As we reflect on the word becoming, we remember who we were when we first heard Baba’s teaching: “Honor your Self. Worship your Self. Meditate on your Self. God dwells within you, as you.” And we appreciate who we are becoming through our study and practice of Gurumayi’s Message.
We began following the Siddha Yoga path separately in the spring of 1975 when Baba came to the United States on his Second World Tour. First, Krishna will tell you about meeting Baba in April in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at an introductory satsang:
I prepared for the satsang by dressing up in my favorite shirt and combing my hair. I remember looking in the mirror and thinking that I looked really good! That day I stood at a microphone in front of Baba and asked: “Baba, can you help me overcome my vanity?”
Baba took a look at me and replied, “What do you have to be vain about?” He paused, and with a smile went on to ask, “Are you one of the Beatles? Are you an astronaut?” And then, to my delight and surprise, he added with a knowing smile, “Or are you vain about your hair or your shirt?”
There was laughter, and, while I was laughing too, I also knew that I had found my Guru. With a few words, Baba had shown me that he could help me transcend my limited understanding of who I was. Baba had made it so easy to receive his love and guidance through his humor. I registered for my first Shaktipat Intensive to be held the following weekend.
Gopi met Baba at the time of his birthday celebration in May at the Siddha Yoga Ashram in Oakland:
In my first Shaktipat Intensive, there was a question-and-answer session with Baba. Feeling quite serious, I sat before him as my question was read aloud: “Baba, I sometimes think you don’t like me. Can you help me? Can you help me learn to have compassion for myself?”
With a big twinkle in his eye, Baba smiled at me and said so sweetly: “How can you think I don’t like you when I like you so much?” As my heart started to melt, he added: “Yes, I can help you. But you must have compassion for yourself. Otherwise, I won’t like you!”
The meditation hall erupted in laughter. Suddenly the room seemed very bright. I made my way back to my seat and began to digest what I had received. If I was to believe that others liked me, I would have to learn to like myself. Through his love, humor, and wisdom, Baba had given me exactly what I needed to become the person I deeply wished to be.
Like us, those who met Baba love to tell “Baba stories”—stories about Baba’s impact on their lives. We encourage you to read the vignettes about Baba on the Siddha Yoga path website this month and to share your stories of transformation with other Siddha Yogis.
The word becoming in Gurumayi’s Message reminds us that the potential for transformation is always available. As we thought about this, we remembered Gurumayi’s emphasis on practice as key to our sadhana. Gurumayi inspires us to find fresh ways to make the Siddha Yoga teachings our own. The Siddha Yoga path website, for example, provides so many opportunities—courses, satsang, creative expressions, photographs of nature, and more.
Awareness of our own becoming—of our inner transformation—leads us to pay attention to the small, moment-to-moment choices we make throughout each day. A conscious breath allows us to pause and choose: How do I respond to what’s needed in this moment? Is this the time to voice my opinion or be silent? Can I be more open-minded about the way I think things should go? If I’m worrying or judging, can I drop those thoughts and turn to the mantra? Paying attention in this way, we gradually develop the ability to make choices that support us to reach our highest goal.
We have come to view the word becoming in Gurumayi’s Message as a call to action, encouraging us to embody—to come to be—the transformation we experience on the Siddha Yoga path.
There will be many opportunities this month to honor Baba’s birthday and to contemplate becoming. The truth of human potential that Baba revealed is the focus of the Global Siddha Yoga Audio Satsang in Celebration of Baba Muktananda’s 108th Birthday: Trust in Your Own Perfection. This satsang will be held this month on the website and in Siddha Yoga Ashrams, meditation centers, and chanting and meditation groups.
We will also be able to study Baba’s teachings on the Siddha Yoga path website, and, on May 14th, we can take part in the fourth meditation session in the series Pathways to the Madhya, the Source of Bliss via live audio stream from Gurudev Siddha Peeth.
We wish a happy, fulfilling May to everyone around the world. May our celebration of Baba’s Birthday and our study of becoming uplift and transform us all.
Gopi and Krishna Maurer
Siddha Yoga students