Shri Guru Paduka Panchakam

Sung by Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

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Introduction by Krishna Haddad

On the Siddha Yoga path, students revere and honor the Sadguru, the true Master, as the grace-bestowing power of God and as the spiritual teacher who guides them on the inner journey to attain the light of their own divine Self.

Since ancient times, the Guru’s feet and the Guru’s sandals have been symbols of this power of divine grace. In India, it is customary to pay homage to the feet and to the sandals of a saint because the inner shakti is said to flow from the crown of the head through the body to emerge at the feet. Therefore, honoring the Guru’s sandals is a traditional means—imbued with a deep and resonant history—for worshiping the Guru and the divine power of grace that the Guru bestows on seekers.

One way Siddha Yogis worship the Guru’s sandals is by singing Shri Guru Paduka Panchakam, “Five Stanzas on the Sandals of Shri Guru,” a hymn in Sanskrit that extols this sacred form of the Guru’s grace.

Gurumayi Chidvilasananda has led Siddha Yogis countless times over the years in singing Shri Guru Paduka Panchakam. This hymn holds particular significance for me because in 2001 Gurumayi selected it to sing at the start of each morning of the Premotsava Music Retreat for Young Adults. In this retreat, young musicians—myself included—were becoming steeped in the practice and study of Siddha Yoga music. The goal of Siddha Yoga music, we learned, is supreme ecstasy, the ecstasy of the Self. Worshiping the Guru’s sandals at the start of each day was a tangible expression of the teachings we were imbibing. Shri Guru Paduka Panchakam and the worship of the Guru’s sandals always remind me of this retreat and of the power of the Guru’s grace that is ever present in Siddha Yoga music.

Since 1972, when Baba Muktananda established the recitation of Shri Guru Gita as part of the Ashram Daily Schedule in Gurudev Siddha Peeth, Shri Guru Paduka Panchakam has been sung to begin the practice of morning svadhyaya. The text of this hymn, traditionally attributed to Adi Shankaracharya, the great Master of Advaita Vedanta, praises the Guru’s sandals, explaining that they “grant true knowledge”—the knowledge of the Self.

I invite you to sing this sacred hymn with Gurumayi as you listen to the recording above. While performing your worship, hold the awareness that the power of Guru’s grace embodied in the padukas also resides within you as your lasting connection with Shri Guru.