Welcome to the Siddha Yoga path
Sign In Subscribe to Update Emails
February 2022

Nature in Shree Muktananda Ashram I

Nature in Shree Muktananda Ashram

by Pamela Roberts

The scriptures of India often describe the ashram of a spiritual Master as flourishing with vibrant gardens, abundant wildlife, and the entrancing beauty of nature. It seems that all of life celebrates the presence of a great being in its midst. Why is this so? The scriptures reveal that the grounds of an ashram are infused with the presence of the Guru’s shakti, the benevolent, divine power of grace and spiritual awakening that is beneficial to all living creatures.

The photographs of nature in this series all originate from Shree Muktananda Ashram, the abode of Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, the Siddha Yoga Guru. Month after month, year in and year out, we are given an opportunity to witness the movement of the shakti that continuously arises and flows through the seasons, manifesting as the majestic natural world of infinite variety, perfection, and mystery. By engaging with these images, we may discover the transformative power they can have on our inner state and awareness.

When I looked at these photographs for the first time, I felt a gentle, blissful energy stirring within me. After viewing the last image, I sat motionless, in silence and in a deeply peaceful state. Gradually, a thought arose, and I realized I had been in meditation. I had always loved nature, but being with nature had never drawn me inside in this way.

Contemplating this experience, I realized that I had connected with the shakti that pervades the grounds of Shree Muktananda Ashram. I understood that these photographs had provided me with a way to experience the play of supreme creative energy as it manifests in nature. Inspired by this understanding, I began a regular exploration of the natural world through the exquisite purity and perspective of these images.

Any one of these photographs can take us within, where we can experience our oneness with nature—and our own divinity. Each time we prepare to view the photographs, it is good to set an intention—for example, the intention of connecting with the shakti. As we center ourselves, our approach might be like entering a temple, the sacred temple of nature. Before looking at the photographs, we might begin our meditation by focusing on the breath and repeating the mantra. Then, as we press “play” or scroll one-by-one through the images, we can coordinate our breath and the mantra with the movement of nature before us. When we are drawn to a specific image, we can pause the image to contemplate it, asking ourselves, “What do I learn from this photograph that I can apply to my life?” In this way, we are engaging with the images as a spiritual practice.

By viewing the photographs regularly, we can observe the harmony and balance that sustain the natural world. And because we are an intrinsic part of nature, we can contemplate how our own lives can benefit from nature’s peerless example. Over time, by learning to immerse ourselves in the divinity of nature through these images from Shree Muktananda Ashram, we can transform our experience of nature wherever we live and wherever we go on this planet.

Click here to share
The dark grey cloud being illuminated with the light of the sun reminds me that behind a difficult situation is the light of hope.

Ville St. Laurent, Canada

Seeing the golden light reflecting in the glass of the structure on the hill, I spontaneously saw it as Baba, sitting on a chair. In the next photo I saw the golden light as the sun reflecting on the earth, then as sky, as atmosphere, as the moon. I felt delight, and in this delight I felt Baba within my heart.
I feel gratitude—for the photos guiding my thoughts, for the golden sunlight, for the Guru's light all around and within the heart.

Hindelang, Germany

The structure near the woods that is illuminated by a golden light brings to mind the dazzling golden-white light of the Self flashing in the temple of my heart during meditation.

Ville St. Laurent, Canada

The photos of icicles hanging delicately from the branches of trees touched my heart. They reminded me of the glass made in Murano, a town near Venice, Italy.
As a little girl I used to visit Murano and watch the glassmakers create delicate figurines out of a formless ball of glass. I was amazed at their mastery. Looking at the photos of the icicles, I was reminded of God’s mastery, which creates this beautiful planet of forms from the formless.
How wonderful that these images of nature inspire me to contemplate the nature of God!

Rome, Italy

My favorite photograph is the one that shows the glistening tree branches with the circles of light! During the “Choose, Respect, Sustain” satsang, when Gurumayi asked us to imagine the glistening trees at Shree Muktananda Ashram, what I imagined was very similar to that very photograph. The light is so beautiful and comes very close to my experiences of the inner white light.
Seeing the photograph filled my heart with gratitude and gave me an experience of oneness.

Hawaii, United States

This morning blessed me with the visitation of a scarlet red cardinal on a tree facing my living room gallery door. Shortly after, a second cardinal greeted me in the Nature Gallery! To me, a red cardinal is a glorious reminder of the Guru’s presence and love.

Ville St. Laurent, Canada