October 1, 2015
On October 2, 1982, a beautiful full-moon night in Gurudev Siddha Peeth, Baba Muktananda left his body and merged completely with universal Consciousness. Baba had lived in samadhi, a state of constant union with the divine Self, while he was still in his physical form. When he left his body, he became free from its restraints and entered mahasamadhi, the great samadhi.
Some years before Baba took mahasamadhi, a devotee asked him how he would continue to guide his disciples and bestow shaktipat diksha—the awakening, in a seeker, of the inner spiritual energy—when he was no longer in his physical body. Baba replied:
Right now, I am in the form of a river, and afterwards, I will be the entire ocean.1
On that full-moon night of October 2, the river that was Swami Muktananda became the ocean of Muktananda. And just as he promised, Baba’s supreme attainment became like the ocean: accessible in its fullness to all.
I love this image of Baba as the vast ocean. This is my experience of him. And it is an experience that Siddha Yogis from all walks of life, and of every age, have shared over the years since Baba took mahasamadhi. Baba appears in our meditations, in our dreams, and in our thoughts. We meet him through his teachings, his pictures, and through the practices he gave us. I find that when I focus my attention on my heart, I recognize qualities that I associate with Baba—strength, humor, and access to deep wisdom. When I think of “the ocean of Muktananda,” I feel I am invited to dive into its fathomless depths, knowing that Baba’s grace is far greater than anything I could imagine.
When we celebrate the month of Baba’s Mahasamadhi, we heighten our focus on remembering Baba—his state, his teachings, his grace. And we find that he is here with us. As one Siddha Yogi shared with me recently:
Each October, I experience afresh the depth of grace that Baba’s presence brings to my life. In the local Siddha Yoga chanting and meditation group, we chant Baba’s name, tell stories of his life, and again and again study his teachings. I often have the sense that Baba is responding to our joyous chanting, that he is chanting with us, delighting in the ecstatic sounds just as we are. Then as we sit in the perfect silence afterward, I feel that Baba, too, has closed his eyes and is sitting with us. And each time I meditate this month, I am especially aware of the power of the Guru’s grace in this practice.
This Siddha Yogi’s experience of meditation struck me as particularly significant this year, when Gurumayi’s Message for 2015 focuses on that very practice. Gurumayi gives the most compassionate instruction:
And, as we have studied and explored Gurumayi’s Message in the months since January, our practice of meditation has been sustained and vivified by the Guru’s grace.
Now that October is with us, we have the golden opportunity to venture even more deeply into Gurumayi’s Message, and thus to strengthen our understanding and practice of meditation. We can participate in the Global Siddha Yoga Shaktipat Intensive in Honor of Baba Muktananda’s Mahasamadhi.
Baba created the Shaktipat Intensive in 1973 as a means for seekers everywhere to receive shaktipat; it is a vehicle by which the Guru ignites a seeker’s recognition of the supreme Self within. Participation in the Intensive brings about progress—often, in fact, dramatic forward movement—in one’s sadhana.
In 2006, Gurumayi made the Shaktipat Intensive a yearly event held in honor of Baba’s Mahasamadhi. It is beautifully fitting that at this time of year, when Baba’s presence is felt so keenly, we can remember him, and honor him, by participating in such a momentous event. For many Siddha Yogis, participating in the Shaktipat Intensive each year, at the time of Baba’s Mahasamadhi, has become a regular practice.
It has been my practice since 2006. And I have seen that with each Shaktipat Intensive I participate in, my awareness has become more subtle. I am more and more able to recognize and stay with the timeless experience of the Self. This enriches my every day, making me more present to, and more joyous in, the simple routines and daily encounters of my life.
In 2015, the Global Siddha Yoga Shaktipat Intensive in honor of Baba Muktananda’s Mahasamadhi is titled:
Dharma Marga—The Path of Dharma
We will immerse ourselves in study and practice of Gurumayi’s Message during the Shaktipat Intensive. And as we do so, we can more fully understand, and embrace, our dharma as human beings.
In this month of October, I invite you to join the global Siddha Yoga sangham in honoring Baba’s Mahasamadhi, and to participate in the Shaktipat Intensive. I invite you to remember Baba and strengthen your commitment to the practices he taught. And I encourage you to read Baba’s teachings, to read them slowly and savor each word. Let them enter your heart, and bring their wisdom into the activities of your daily life.
Siddha Yoga meditation teacher