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Baba's Birthday

“Learning Comes First”

A Story about Baba Muktananda

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Swami ji’s experience of the impact of Baba’s words reminded me of the enduring effect of the guidance I have received from Gurumayi.
Years ago, I was used to basing my sense of self-worth on pleasing the people around me. So I went beyond what was expected of me to make my unhappy work supervisor, for example, happy. When this didn’t seem to work, I asked Gurumayi for guidance. She recommended that I “Do what is practical.”
As I began to follow this teaching, I learned to discern and offer what was truly needed in my role. And I put more focus on my own spiritual practices. Soon I felt more at ease. My supervisor seemed more at ease too!
Since then, whenever I find myself confused about the scope of my helping role in a given situation, I apply Gurumayi’s words, “Do what is practical.” This invariably brings me clarity about what to do. And this guidance is serving me especially well now that I am a parent of teens!

California, United States

I enjoyed reading about how Swami ji understood and applied Baba’s teaching to his life. It was a great reminder and affirmation of my own experience.
I discovered the Siddha Yoga path during my second year of college. For several years I had been longing to understand the purpose of my life and to live a truly meaningful life. I hoped to gain these understandings through my college studies, but this did not seem to happen. However, when I received shaktipat initiation, the sense of something missing in my life evaporated; my life became filled with meaning and an inner sense of direction.
I had the option to complete college in three years and then spend a year in Gurudev Siddha Peeth, or stay for a fourth year. Like Swami ji, I had the sense that the way I could best learn what I most wanted to learn was by spending time in the Ashram. I had a glorious year of learning and deepening my connection with the Siddha Yoga path, the teachings, and my inner Self, which laid a great foundation for my life ahead.

 California, United States

Baba’s teaching—“Learning comes first.”—resonated strongly with me, and provided a fresh way for me to look at one of my current situations at work. I realized that I sometimes find myself getting caught in a stressful whirlwind of expected outcomes and my own desire to be recognized for what I do. Baba’s words in this story come as a fresh breeze of wisdom once again.
I am grateful to Baba for helping me prioritize what I am really seeking in my life!

Mumbai, India

Many tears of devotion fell as I read this learning experience. I interpreted my tears as my soul´s longing to surrender to the Guru´s grace and to imbibe her teachings fully, until I am united in my heart with the Guru at all times.
I too have wished to ask the Guru practical questions about my life, and then, as Swami ji shares, I have come to the conclusion that I´m responsible for making my own practical decisions. And I have learned that I can always invoke the Guru´s grace to guide me in making the best decisions according to the circumstance at hand.
These stories from Siddha Yoga students and teachers have tremendous power for me. I feel I have Baba´s darshan while reading them. And I have learned so much from reading about the experience each student had while making the effort to extract Baba´s teaching and live by it.

 Mexico City, Mexico

This story is so inspiring and transformative for me. As someone who has struggled with academic learning, I tend to shy away from situations where I have to learn something new. This story helps me reduce my resistance and open myself to seeing that learning is not just about academics or the intellect; more importantly, it is about learning how to know the Self and to make the effort to go deeper in my sadhana.

 New Mexico, United States