August 2, 2015
Dear Siddha Yogis,
This month of August, the global Siddha Yoga sangham commemorates and reflects on two sacred events. On August 8, we will honor the Punyatithi of Bhagavan Nityananda the anniversary of the day in 1961 when he left his physical body to merge with the Absolute. And on August 15 we will celebrate Baba Muktananda’s Divya Diksha, the spiritual initiation he received from his Guru, Bhagavan Nityananda, in 1947.
These celebrations are a special opportunity for us to deepen our study and practice of the Message that our Guru, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, has given us for 2015:
The day Baba Muktananda received shaktipat-diksha from his Guru, in the beautiful village of Ganeshpuri, was the very same day India was freed from British rule. And for Baba, August 15, 1947 also brought a promise of freedom: spiritual liberation.
Although Baba had studied and practiced yoga most of his life and had become adept in all its branches, his spiritual journey really began, as he said many times, on this day when he was blessed with shaktipat-diksha—the initiation that awakens the divine energy within a human being. For more than two decades, Baba had wandered throughout India looking for a sadguru, a true Master, who could give him the knowledge of God within. And that sadguru was Bhagavan Nityananda, a janma siddha, a born Siddha. In his spiritual autobiography, Play of Consciousness, Baba Muktananda describes, in the most moving way, his experience of receiving shaktipat. This is an excerpt:
A ray of light was coming from his pupils and going right inside me. Its touch was searing, red hot, and its brilliance dazzled my eyes like a high powered bulb. As this ray flowed from Bhagavan Nityananda’s eyes into my own, the very hair on my body rose in wonder, awe, ecstasy, and fear. I went on repeating his mantra Guru Om, watching the colors of this ray. It was an unbroken stream of divine radiance. 1
Divya diksha, the divine initiation through which God is revealed as one’s own Self, was what Baba had longed for intensely since he was a young boy.
Divya diksha planted the seed for the powerful spiritual unfoldment that took place in him. Baba nurtured that seed with his unswerving discipline, vigilance, and keen anticipation for every new day of sadhana. In Play of Consciousness, Baba tells about the amazing experiences he had in meditation and how, after nine years of intense practice, he attained full spiritual enlightenment to become a Siddha, a perfected, realized being.
This is one of the experiences that Baba describes:
I began to experience that I was entering into the center of the sahasrara and the Blue Pearl, the support of all. As I passed inside the Blue Pearl, I once again saw the universe spreading out in all directions. I looked around everywhere and saw in all men and women—young and old, high and low, in each and everyone—that same Blue Pearl that I had seen in myself. I saw that this was the inner Self within everyone’s sahasrara….2
Through his steady practice of meditation, Baba became permanently established in the supreme state. He celebrated his divya diksha because he knew shaktipat was the seed that blossomed into the highest enlightenment.
Five years after Baba attained liberation, Bhagavan Nityananda took mahasamadhi—he left his physical body and merged with the Absolute. At the same time, the immense merit (punya) of his perfect state entered the hearts of his disciples in a most deep and mysterious way. Punyatithi means the anniversary of a great being’s passing. The observance of a saint’s Punyatithi brings, in itself, great merit. So every time we commemorate this event, we honor Bhagavan Nityananda’s life, we recognize his ever-present love and protection, and we celebrate his love for humanity. He not only initiated Baba, but he also made Baba the Guru.
When Bhagavan Nityananda was about to leave his body, he called Baba Muktananda to his side and transmitted into him the full power, knowledge, and authority of the Guru’s state. Baba became the Guru of the Siddha Yoga path and brought the gift of shaktipat initiation to the world. Two decades later, Baba Muktananda made Gurumayi Chidvilasananda the Guru of the Siddha Yoga path. For over 33 years, Gurumayi has blessed the world with the gift of shaktipat and her teachings.
I wonder if we realize the immense gift, the unique privilege, it is to have a living sadguru in our lives—and to have such an extraordinary Guru as Gurumayi, one who is constantly imparting her teachings and putting into our hands, in such a loving way, so many tools to enrich our practices. This year Gurumayi has given us her Message for 2015:
We have received Gurumayi’s teachings on meditation and her grace to guide our meditation practice, all for the purpose of realizing God within ourselves
This month of August we will be honoring and celebrating the sacred lineage of Siddha Yoga Gurus. In them we can see the truth of the ancient scripture, the Kularnava Tantra, which says that according to Lord Shiva, there cannot be liberation without initiation, nor initiation without a Guru, nor a Guru without a lineage.3 Every day we can experience the divine shakti of the primordial Guru flowing through the forms of Bhagavan Nityananda, Baba Muktananda, and Gurumayi Chidvilasananda.
May we relish the practice of meditation under their guidance.
Ishwari Elsa Cross
Siddha Yoga Meditation Teacher