Namaste. Yōkoso. Bienvenue.
Welcome to all of you in the Siddha Yoga Universal Hall. You are participating in this Siddha Yoga satsang in celebration of the 38th anniversary of Baba Muktananda’s Lunar Mahasamadhi!
This satsang is produced by the SYDA Foundation. It is a live video stream on this blue-moon day of October 31, 2020, from the Bhagavan Nityananda Temple in Shree Muktananda Ashram.
I have found that nature always celebrates auspicious occasions, especially ones of the magnitude of Baba Muktananda’s mahasamadhi. This week, in Shree Muktananda Ashram, nature was certainly celebrating. We have had monsoon-like rains—heavy and constant—for most of the week. Then yesterday, we all awoke to a blanket of soft white snow adorning the grounds. It was the first snow of the season!
Then came the sunset yesterday evening. The colors were the hues of the blue on Bade Baba’s peacock robe and the orange of the roses adorning the dais. Golden streams of light peered through the clouds, giving them a striking orange hue. Different shapes, like hearts and swans, emerged and dissipated from the clouds, but the one that stood out was a fluorescent and luminous “M.” I was reminded of how Gurumayi has said that over the years, during the months of Baba’s birthday in May and Baba’s mahasamadhi in October, she sees the letter “M” inscribed in the clouds.
As the sky grew darker last night after dusk, a brilliant blue moon rose on the horizon. It’s called a blue moon because it is the second full moon this month in the Gregorian calendar. However, it shone the brightest white. As it rose, the moon played hide-and-seek in a band of clouds that were lining the horizon. At times it appeared to coast on the clouds as though they were waves on a magnificent ocean.
And this morning, the luminous moon set in the western sky just before sunrise. It was a saffron-orange color as it descended below the horizon. Then the light of dawn mirrored the orange and blue colors of last night’s sunset. Soon after, the sun peered over the horizon and rolled like a golden carpet blanketing the earth.
Ah, what a celebration indeed.
My name is Swami Ishwarananda. I am a Siddha Yoga monk and a Siddha Yoga meditation teacher. And I have been offering seva on the Siddha Yoga path in the SYDA Foundation in many, many, many different capacities for forty-five years.
I must say that by offering seva in different ways, different forms, different departments, with different people all over the world, I definitely feel that I have been living a very fulfilling life.
For all this, I thank Baba Muktananda with all my heart.
I thank Gurumayi Chidvilasananda with all my heart.
I thank God with all my heart.
I thank my body with all my being.
And I thank everyone for being their amazing selves, as this has supported me in realizing my life’s purpose.
Today we honor and celebrate the seventy-four years of Baba Muktananda’s life, which he dedicated to the upliftment of humanity. And we commemorate the 38th anniversary of his mahasamadhi, his final merging into the light of Consciousness. As we do so, we remember how Baba taught us to repeat the most beautiful affirmation:
I am light.
I am light.
I am light.
The word light in English brings to mind not just visible light, but lightness of being; lightheartedness; not taking things too seriously if they don’t require it; learning to stay focused on being buoyant amidst the turbulent waves of this samsara.
Salutations to Baba Muktananda, who shone light on all the dark corners of our minds. Salutations to Baba Muktananda, who awakened our dormant Kundalinī Shakti. Salutations to Baba Muktananda, who made the abstruse knowledge of the Indian scriptures come alive for people young and old and all ages in between. Baba made clear that the timeless wisdom of the sages was for everyone.
Many of you reached out to me after reading the letter I sent to all of you, in which—among other things—I shared Gurumayi’s invitation to participate in this satsang. You told me that you felt this satsang is the Siddha Yoga Shaktipat Intensive for 2020.
I want to acknowledge your devotion and commitment. And I want to share with you that this is a good intention to hold, especially since Gurumayi requested that the title for this satsang be the title she had originally given for the Shaktipat Intensive this year: Reside in the Realm of Divine Repose.
Take a few moments now to reflect on how Gurumayi must have envisioned you would receive, understand, and experience this title: Reside in the Realm of Divine Repose.
When Gurumayi told me that this year marks the 38th anniversary of Baba Muktananda’s mahasamadhi, she asked if the number 38 has any significance for me.
I hadn’t thought about it until then, yet as Gurumayi spoke more about what the number 38 could mean, I became very enthused to learn more. And so right now, I want to speak about what I have discovered about the number 38.
The number 3 is associated with Lord Shiva, the lord of the three worlds. And the number 8 is associated with the eight forms of Shrī Lakshmi, the great goddess who brings forth prosperity, beauty, and abundance in our lives. So the number 38 contains both Shiva and Shakti.
Of course, through my research I found many more interesting facts and synchronicities about the number 38. I encourage you to make your own discoveries about this fascinating number—and to have fun with it!
Thirty-eight years ago, on the full-moon night of October 2, 1982, Baba Muktananda left his mortal body and merged with all-pervasive Consciousness.
In the years since then, I have heard from so many of you from all over the world that on that blessed night, the light of the moon had a magnetic pull on your attention. You couldn’t help but gaze up at it and be transfixed by its unparalleled beauty. You shared that this moon seemed to shine with unprecedented brightness and splendor—and that you felt you were receiving Baba’s darshan.
I am certain that those of you who had that experience on the night of October 2, whether in Gurudev Siddha Peeth or in other parts of the world, still remember it with wonder. The experience must still be so fresh for you, as it is for me.
There’s a story of a Siddha Yogi in New York who on the night of October 2 felt a strong pull to look up at the evening sky. “I was stunned,” she said, “by the magnificence of the full moon. It was the largest and most colorful moon I had ever seen. It hung low in the sky, and the orange color was more reminiscent of a sunset than a moon. I actually dropped to the ground and offered my pranam to it. I had no forethought about the pranam. It simply happened… My heart was almost bursting with love and joy. Early the next morning I received a phone call, and I was told that Baba had taken mahasamadhi. I instantly realized the moon I had seen the night before was a sign of that momentous event.”
When a Siddha Master such as Baba Muktananda takes mahasamadhi, Mother Nature reflects this event—honoring, in her unique way, all that such a great being has done to uplift the world.
Baba Muktananda’s benevolent impact on humanity was immense.
Baba Muktananda traveled throughout India and across the globe on three world tours, giving his teachings and guiding people in how to meditate.
Baba Muktananda taught people how to live a life of dharma and recognize their own greatness within.
Baba Muktananda’s teaching “God dwells within you as you” took people by surprise and gave them the experience of a lifetime.
Baba Muktananda was the Guru who gave people the knowledge that Kundalini Shakti resides within them.
And through his bestowal of shaktipat diksha, Baba Muktananda awakened this inner energy in seekers from all walks of life and all parts of the world. With unending generosity, with untold compassion, he gave this initiation to anyone who yearned for it.
Baba Muktananda was the Shaktipat Guru.
Baba Muktananda taught the importance of being disciplined in following the Siddha Yoga practices. At the same time, he showed that within that structure and discipline, there was always room for spontaneity. Baba ensured that in the name of discipline, seekers of all ages didn’t become staid and stoic. He demonstrated by example that we could live a profound spiritual life that was also replete with playfulness, creativity, and great joy.
In these and in countless other ways, Baba transformed the spiritual landscape of this world. Again and again he opened our eyes to our own inner world—to the realm of divine repose—and he assured us that we can indeed reside there.
Shinsei-na kyuusoku-no ryouiki-ni sumu. Reside in the Realm of Divine Repose.
From Japan to the United States, throughout India, and all across Europe, Baba’s teachings and grace reached people, returned them to their own hearts, and brought about transformation in their lives.
Having been on the Siddha Yoga path for forty-five years, I have come to learn of the many great and noble people who received Baba’s darshan and wisdom. There are so many stories of how Baba’s presence and grace touched people’s lives.
For example, there was a professor of urban planning at Harvard University whose classes were the most sought-after on campus. Word had it among the student body that you could have spiritual experiences in his class. When asked why his students were having so many mystical experiences, the professor said he couldn’t really say for sure, but it all started after he participated in a two-day Shaktipat Intensive with a saint named Baba Muktananda.
Baba’s shakti and teachings had this way of touching one person and then rippling out to touch the hearts of many.
One question that Baba would often receive from people was if they needed to change their religion, or even their vocation, in order to receive the Guru’s grace and follow the Siddha Yoga path.
Baba always gave the same answer: “no.” They didn’t need to change their religion. They didn’t need to leave worldly life and duties to lead a spiritual life. They would still receive Baba’s grace. Their light would still be lit by Baba. They could still come to “reside in the realm of divine repose.”
Once the light within was lit, wherever these devotees of Baba went, the people they met would feel that light. They would feel good in the presence of that light. They would feel good in the presence of those who had received Baba’s grace.
Take a few moments now to imagine the light that has been kindled within you, by the Guru, through shaktipat diksha. And now think of all the people you meet, all of those whose lives you touch in one way or another. Think of how that precious light within you is being shared with them. It is radiating outward—the warmth and luminosity blanketing this earth.
One of the dignitaries who met Baba was Dr. Brahma Prakash, one of the preeminent metallurgists and atomic physicists in India, and a pioneer in the field of atomic energy. During his illustrious career, Dr. Prakash led a number of atomic energy and space science programs for the government of India.
Dr. Prakash had great love for Baba Muktananda, and so he invited Baba to visit his laboratory in order to show Baba how atomic energy was produced. Baba watched with great interest as a pile of crushed rocks, metals, and other materials were dissolved in a tank of boiling water and heated again and again—becoming a liquid that emitted rays of blue light.
When the process was complete, Baba respectfully asked Dr. Prakash, “What is your point in doing all this?” Dr. Prakash gestured to his surroundings and explained: “According to science, Baba, all this is energy—nothing else.”
Baba laughed and said: “Bahut achaa! That’s very good. That’s exactly what our scriptures say. We say that all this is Brahman. All this is Consciousness.”
And this is exactly what Baba would teach.
So often Baba said that if you turn inside in meditation, you will experience this Consciousness for yourself, and you will discover that the true nature of Consciousness is pure love, pure bliss.
We are participating in this satsang to celebrate Baba’s life, his teachings, his grace, his compassion, his joy, his humor, his love for humanity, and all that he gave to this world.
Because of Baba Muktananda and his Meditation Revolution, we know that the realm of divine repose exists within us and is accessible to us at any time.
Baba, on this 38th anniversary of your mahasamadhi, we remember your light that has awakened our own inner light.
And we remember your words, “I am light.”
Thank you, Baba.