Avahan

An invocation of grace, often sung by the Siddha Yoga Guru as the opening of a talk. See also Guru; Siddha Yoga.

Consciousness

The luminous, self-aware, and creative Reality that is the essential Self of all that exists; a name for God, the Absolute, the supreme Truth. See also Self.

Dharana

A Sanskrit term denoting a centering technique or spiritual exercise in which one holds a steady inner focus. The goal of engaging with a dharana is to connect with the Heart, the divine Self. See also Self.

Guru

A Sanskrit term for “a venerable person, a spiritual preceptor, a teacher.” In the satsang: A realized Master, a true Guru. See also Siddha Guru.

Gurudev Siddha Peeth

The Siddha Yoga Ashram in Maharashtra, India; the first Siddha Yoga Ashram. The name means “the sacred abode of a Siddha, a Guru who is one with God.” The Ashram’s original three buildings were constructed for Swami Muktananda at the command of his Guru, Bhagavan Nityananda, in 1956, near the village of Ganeshpuri. See also Guru; Siddha Yoga.

Kashmir Shaivism

A branch of the Shaivite philosophical tradition, propounded by sages from the region of Kashmir in northern India in the ninth through twelfth centuries, that explains how the supreme Principle, known as Shiva, manifests as the universe. Kashmir Shaivism forms part of the body of scriptural teachings that are central to the Siddha Yoga path. See also Siddha Yoga.

Kundalini Shakti

The primordial power, or shakti; also, the power of spiritual evolution as it manifests in a human being. The Sanskrit word kundalini literally means “coiled one,” while the Sanskrit word shakti means “power, energy, strength.” Kundalini Shakti is so named because the dormant form of this spiritual energy is represented as lying coiled in a subtle energy center near the base of the spine. This energy—when it is awakened and guided by the Siddha Yoga Guru and its progress is aided by the seeker’s own disciplined effort—brings about the seeker’s spiritual transformation and leads them to the permanent experience of their own divine nature. See also Shaktipat; Siddha Yoga.

Mantra

Sacred syllables with the power to purify, protect, and transform the one who repeats them. A mantra received from the Siddha Yoga Guru is enlivened by the power of the Guru’s attainment. The Siddha Yoga mantras include Om Namah Shivaya, Guru Om, and So’ham. See also Guru; Siddha Yoga.

Namasankirtana

Repetition of the divine name in song. On the Siddha Yoga path, the Sanskrit term namasankirtana refers both to the practice of chanting the divine name and to the chant itself. A namasankirtana is often chanted in a group in a call-and-response fashion with musical accompaniment. One can also practice namasankirtana individually and a cappella. Namasankirtana is a core Siddha Yoga practice. See also Siddha Yoga.

Namaste

A Sanskrit greeting of respect in India that means “I honor the divine light within you.” This salutation is traditionally made with the hands gently pressed together in front of the chest, palms touching, fingers pointing toward the sky. It is accompanied by a slight bow of the head to indicate respect.

Raga

A collection of melodic patterns having characteristic phrases and embellishments, used as a basis for improvisation and composition in Indian music. The literal meaning of the Sanskrit word raga is “color.” Raga is traditionally described as “that which colors the mind and heart” because a raga evokes specific qualities and moods in both the listener and the performer.

Sadgurunath Maharaj ki Jay!

An invocation in Hindi that means “Hail to the true Guru!” On the Siddha Yoga path, this phrase is uttered at the beginning and completion of a spiritual activity to invoke the Guru’s grace and express gratitude. See also Guru; Siddha Yoga.

Sadhana

A Sanskrit word that means “leading straight to the goal; a means of accomplishing (something); spiritual practice.” The sadhana of Siddha Yoga students includes committed engagement with the essential Siddha Yoga practices and focused study of the Siddha Yoga teachings. The goal of Siddha Yoga sadhana is spiritual transformation that leads to Self-realization. See also Siddha Yoga.

Samadhi Shrine

The final resting place of a realized yogi’s body. Such a shrine is a place of worship, permeated with the saint’s spiritual power and alive with blessings. Baba Muktananda’s Samadhi Shrine is in Gurudev Siddha Peeth, the Siddha Yoga Ashram in Maharashtra, India.

Satsang

A Hindi word (from the Sanskrit satsanga) that literally means “the company of the good; the company of the Truth,” and by extension “the company of spiritual seekers.” A Siddha Yoga satsang is a gathering of seekers for the purpose of meditating, chanting, and listening to and studying the Guru’s teachings. A seeker can also engage in satsang by keeping their own good company through performing spiritual practices, contemplating the Guru’s teachings, holding beneficent thoughts, and cultivating the divine virtues.

Self

The pure Consciousness that is the divine essence of a human being and the fundamental nature of all things. See also Consciousness.

Shaktipat

A Hindi term (from Sanskrit shaktipata) that means “descent of power; descent of grace.” On the Siddha Yoga path, shaktipat is an act of grace—the initiation (diksha) by which the Siddha Yoga Guru transmits divine energy to an aspirant and awakens that person’s Kundalini Shakti, the inner spiritual energy. Shaktipat diksha signals the beginning of Siddha Yoga sadhana, an inner journey that culminates in Self-realization. See also Kundalini Shakti; Sadhana; Siddha Guru; Siddha Yoga.

Siddha Guru

A perfected spiritual Master who has realized his or her oneness with God, and who is able both to bestow shaktipat initiation and to guide seekers to spiritual liberation. Such a Guru is also required to be learned in the scriptures and to belong to a lineage of Masters. The Gurus of the Siddha Yoga path—Bhagavan Nityananda, Baba Muktananda, and Gurumayi Chidvilasananda—are Siddha Gurus. See also Guru; Shaktipat.

Siddha Yoga

The spiritual path taught by Gurumayi Chidvilasananda and her Guru, Baba Muktananda. The journey of the Siddha Yoga path begins with shaktipat diksha (spiritual initiation). Through the grace of the Siddha Yoga Guru and the student’s own steady disciplined effort, the journey culminates in the constant recognition of divinity within oneself and within the world. See also Guru; Sadhana; Shaktipat.