In July 2014, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda spoke with the Siddha Yoga Swamis about the SYDA Foundation facilitating satsangs between Shree Muktananda Ashram and Siddha Yoga meditation centers. Gurumayi herself had requested that an audio satsang be held with the Gurukula Students and visiting sevites in Gurudev Siddha Peeth in honor of Gurupurnima on July 12. In this two-way satsang, Gurumayi gave her teachings to the Siddha Yogis in Gurudev Siddha Peeth and also listened to their sadhana shares.
On Sunday August 10, Swami Anantananda was the teacher for a satsang that was held via audio link between Shree Muktananda Ashram and Siddha Yogis in Mexico City, celebrating Bhagavan Nityananda’s Punyatithi. August 10 also happened to be Raksha Bandhan, an Indian festival honoring the bond of love and protection between brother and sister. On the Siddha Yoga path, Raksha Bandhan is celebrated as a day to honor the bond of love and protection between Guru and disciple. And to the great delight of the Siddha Yogis in Mexico and the sevites in Shree Muktananda Ashram, everyone received rakhis as prasad from Gurumayi.
The venue for the satsang in Mexico City was La Casa de Estudios de Siddha Yoga, located in the south of the city. The beautiful house and grounds with large trees, an expansive lawn, fountains, and a pond had been purchased by Siddha Yoga Dham Mexico in 1990. The managers for Gurumayi’s teachings visit to Mexico in 1993 arranged for three satsangs with Gurumayi to be held there. After seeing how the Siddha Yogis and new seekers benefited from practicing the Siddha Yoga teachings in this setting, Gurumayi requested that the Managers of Siddha Yoga Dham Mexico establish it as a space where Siddha Yogis could study the Siddha Yoga teachings in an oasis of silence and beauty in the midst of this busy cosmopolitan area. Gurumayi gave it the name La Casa de Estudios de Siddha Yoga, "The House of Siddha Yoga Studies." Siddha Yoga Sadhana Retreats, Shaktipat Intensives, satsangs, and courses have been held here regularly.
For this satsang on August 10, over a hundred sevites in Mexico offered seva. Among them were the staff members from the Ashram de Siddha Yoga en la Ciudad de México and La Casa de Estudios, Siddha Yogis with professional skills they wished to offer, Siddha Yogis offering seva for the first time in many years, and new seekers offering seva for the first time ever. In preparation for the satsang, Bhagavan Nityananda’s murti was transported the thirteen kilometers from the Ashram and installed in the courtyard of La Casa de Estudios.
The morning of the satsang, Bade Baba’s stillness pervaded the exquisite courtyard. The power of meditation was in the air. Many of the Siddha Yogis and new seekers attending the satsang had traveled a great distance to participate.
One of Bade Baba's core teachings is: The Heart is the hub of all sacred places. Go there and roam. During the satsang, Swami Anantananda gave a talk expounding on this teaching. Swami ji taught students how to implement Bade Baba’s teaching by practicing witness consciousness—focusing one’s awareness on the eternal Heart that exists behind every activity of the mind. “Remember,” Swami ji said, “thoughts and events come and go, but the power of the Heart never changes.” Participants were moved by what Swami ji said, and by the gentle, peaceful bhava he brought to the talk. They continued to share with each other about his talk in the weeks that followed, and put into practice his instruction to repeat “I am the Heart” every night before going to sleep.
One of the Siddha Yoga namasankirtanas that glorifies Bade Baba is Nityanandam Brahmanandam. This namasankirtana is in the Yaman Kalyan raga, which evokes the qualities of peace, contentment, and great bliss. It was powerful to hear everyone chanting as one voice. The whole house, La Casa de Estudios, billowed with the sound of the divine name, and the children, who were making artwork in the Family Hall, stopped what they were doing to join in.
A traditional arati that is sung in Bade Baba’s Samadhi Shrine in Ganeshpuri is the Nityananda Arati, written by one of his devotees. Young Siddha Yogis everywhere love, love, love this arati! A satsang participant who has visited Gurudev Siddha Peeth said she felt she was transported there during the arati. In Ananda-akasha, the hall where the families and young children were participating, the arati tray was waved by a five-year-old girl, who later asked her mother, “Isn't it true that Gurumayi is full of light?”
“Yes, it’s true,” her mother answered.
The girl said, “That’s what I felt when I was offering arati!”
Two more traditional Siddha Yoga practices during satsangs are darshan and dakshina. Participants were invited to do pradakshina of Bade Baba’s murti when they went for darshan and offered their dakshina. As the participants received Bade Baba’s darshan, they offered their gratitude for his teachings, his blessings, and his enduring presence in their lives.
One participant shared, “As I waited on the darshan line, I felt I was participating in a sacred and historic occasion. I did have a lot of thoughts on my mind—mostly about what I would to offer to Bade Baba. But when I came before his murti and offered pranam, I realized I had no thoughts whatsoever. My mind was still and silent; my heart was serene. This feeling of serenity, and of connection to the Heart, stayed with me in the days after.”