Some years ago, while serving on staff at Shree Muktananda Ashram, I went to bed one evening and begged God to reveal God’s countenance to me. I was feeling so close to having this type of experience. That night in a dream, a great being took my hand and led me out into the blackness of the universe. When I stepped out onto it, it was sound, a beautiful all-encompassing sound, and that sound was love, a love that filled every fiber of my being. I didn’t want to wake up, I said so repeatedly—and then I did.
Through the Guru’s grace, I’ve been blessed to have a number of such experiences—of the presence of God and of the Self.
New Jersey, United States
When I was a child, my dad used to take me to church every Sunday. This kindled in me a desire not just to know about
God, but to experience God inside myself. I spent many years searching—trying different religions and paths, even traveling to distant countries—to fulfil this desire. Each new venture gave me something great, and yet I knew it wasn’t the ultimate experience that I was seeking.
One day, when my life was in upheaval and nothing from any of my searching and traveling gave me solace, a friend invited me to a Siddha Yoga meditation satsang
at the local center. After my second visit, I came away with a bubble of joy inside, independent, unalloyed, delicious. As I continued to attend satsangs
at the center, this joy and sense of fullness expanded. I realized that something or someone knew me very well from the inside; it was a feeling of coming home.
I realized that my search was over! This was the experience of God I had looked for my whole life.
Ripon, United Kingdom
As a young girl lying in bed at night, I wondered to myself, “God, what part of you am I? Am I your hand? That is probably too big. How about your finger?” And so I would continue until I was a tiny speck. Then I would fall asleep.
Later on in life, I received the supreme gift of many lifetimes, which is shaktipat
initiation—my inner awakening. It happened when I saw a photograph of Baba Muktananda. I did not know who Baba was, not even his name, but he came alive for me in the picture. I felt that he could see into my heart, into my core.
Now I am in my golden years, and continually learning who I really am and what God is. It often happens, whether at breakfast or in the midst of my daily activities, that I spontaneously call out, “O my dear Lord, you are so beautiful!”
Oregon, United States
It was wintertime. I was meditating in the Bhagavan Nityananda Temple in Atma Nidhi at the end of the year. When I opened my eyes and looked out the window, snow was beginning to fall. Each snowflake seemed to be scintillating and pulsating with Om Namah Shivaya
. This experience amazed, delighted, surprised, and exhilarated me. I felt that God was blanketing the earth with love in the form of the powerful, peaceful, protective mantra.
To this day, every time it snows, I am sweetly reminded that God’s love and amazing grace are always with me.
New York, United States
I grew up celebrating and loving God, especially through my connection with Jesus. In my early twenties, my love of God faded for some reason, and I stopped my practices of daily prayer and going to church. Some sixteen years later, I met Baba Muktananda, and I felt God had re-entered my life. I had come home.
In 1978 I was attending a Christmas Eve program with Baba in Oakland, California, and Baba was speaking about Jesus as the lord of love. As I listened, I got a deep insight that both Jesus and Baba connect people to God. I felt I was understanding Jesus and Baba and God in a new, very pleasing way.
New York, United States
I have been a Siddha Yogi for many years, but no one in my family has shown any interest in a spiritual path. Recently I met my son and grandchildren in a park near their home. I showed them a video of a fabulous sunrise I had taken near the ocean. My three-year-old grandson leaned towards me, pointed to the sunrise in the video, and whispered, “Is that God?” I said, “Yes.” And then I added, “And God is in there,” pointing to his chest, “And God is in here,” pointing to my chest.
I was flabbergasted! Although thinking about it now, I don’t know why I should be. This little boy has brought a spark with him that, through the grace of God, I was able to “confirm” for him.
As a child growing up, I loved and revered God. Then my spiritual life took a back seat as I got caught up in work and family life. I felt like I was in a spiritual “no-man’s-land” for quite a while. Then one Easter Sunday a voice from deep within suddenly cried out, “O God, I am missing you!” I was astonished but didn’t know what to do about it.
About two years later I met a Siddha Yogi who told me about Gurumayi, saying, “One look from her can totally transform your life.” A bolt of energy went through me; within days I went to the local Siddha Yoga meditation center, which somehow felt familiar and comfortable. As I watched a video of Gurumayi, I kept saying to myself, “She knows God like no else I ever have met!” I was awestruck and ecstatic, as if a huge light had been turned on inside; my life made sense and had great purpose. I knew Gurumayi was the answer to my cry for God.
I never need to miss God again.
My 4-year-old son and I often have satsang
at his bedtime. During these moments I’ve noticed he taps into his inborn love for Gurumayi. Recently he asked me some heartwarming questions.
He said, “When Gurumayi was a child, did she know she wanted to grow up and become a god? Why did Gurumayi want to grow up and be a god?” Before I could answer, he declared, “I want to grow up and become a real god just like Gurumayi!” Then, as if still lost in his revery, he concluded by saying, “Loving Gurumayi is not a choice like today I love her and tomorrow I don’t. Isn’t that right, Mama?”
My heart was moist with the love he has for the Guru. I am inexpressibly grateful for what Gurumayi and our path have given us.
By Gurumayi’s grace, many years ago, I had the experience that I am God. Since then, I have discovered that God is harmony, deep peace, great love, constant presence, and guidance in every little thing or event. Specifically, it has come to mean that I am able to trust life as it is in each “now.” This surrender has brought me real freedom and joy, and a very stable happiness. My unique real effort is to never forget that God is everywhere and in everyone.
Growing up I thought of God as a remote figure who dwelt somewhere in the clouds. Then, one day, when I was about eight or nine years old, I was sitting with my best friend peacefully coloring in our coloring books. I remember feeling such happiness and knowing that I was in the perfect place. As I looked into my best friend’s eyes, I had the distinct realization that the being within her was the same as that in me. I further understood that this same being was in everyone.
That experience stayed with me, in the background of my consciousness, for many years. Then, when I started studying the Siddha Yoga teachings, I read that God is within each of us. Right away, I felt a strong resonance between these teachings and the experience that I had had as a child. I realized that underneath the façade of all this seeming diversity, there is only God experiencing God.
Illinois, United States
As a little girl I loved going to church so much, I wanted to sit in the front row. Even though the mass was in Latin and I didn’t understand it, I was filled with this love of God. I felt this deep awe and love. For me, God was a benevolent Being looking down on me.
Throughout my life I have felt this loving God around me. When I met Baba through a video in 1983, I became filled with this love—right through me. I walked around for weeks feeling this love bursting out of me and seeing it scintillating in everything around me. It was awesome! A love that I had only glimpsed before as God became so real, and God became a Being who is in everything.
As I’ve studied this experience with Gurumayi, I’ve come to feel no separation between God as a Being and this feeling inside. More and more I can experience that I am God. This experience of God as the One in absolutely everything is wonderful!
Years ago, my inability to recognize the value of a true spiritual path created great fear and insecurity in me. For me, God was the only one I felt I could always rely on. So I began to pray intensely to God, “O Lord, please help me to get clarity. Help me to choose the right path. Protect me from everything that is not good for me.”
When I first met Gurumayi, she looked at me with such warm love as I had never experienced before in my whole life! I didn’t think I was meeting God, but I felt that Gurumayi must be very close to God.
And so I began to follow the Siddha Yoga path, which continues to bring me closer, step by step, to the infinite love of God in my heart.
One day some years ago, I was with my husband at an aircraft display show in the UK. Crowds of people were watching the various aircraft and, with all the noise and hubbub, it wasn’t the kind of place where I expected to connect with God’s love.
Over a picnic lunch, I noticed two boys who looked like brothers playing close by. Their antics made me smile. Then, as the older boy lifted up the younger one and swung him around, I felt a wave of pure love pour through me. I felt love in these boys’ playfulness, in their connection with one another, in their family bonds—and within myself. In that moment, all that existed for me was love.
I was astonished that such a profound experience could take place in a busy, noisy, military environment. The memory of it has stayed with me and inspired me. It showed me the truth of what I have learned from Gurumayi and Baba—that God’s love exists in all people, at all times, and in all places.
Havant, United Kingdom
Many years ago I had my first conscious encounter with God. My younger brother was dying of cancer. Because we were close, he had asked me to stay with him during this time, which was during the holiday season. It was getting very hard to watch what was happening to him, and I felt I wasn’t being much help to him or my parents.
I had no relationship with God at the time but I went into the bedroom and asked for God’s help—“whatever you are”—as I didn’t know what to do. A lightning bolt came through the window of my mind’s eye and very clearly I heard the words: “Just love him.”
It was so clear, and from that moment on I knew exactly what to do at every moment until my brother passed on. I felt totally supported and sustained. When I was later introduced to the Siddha Yoga path and received shaktipat
, I found the way forward to this day.
Minnesota, United States