Namaste. Every time I have the opportunity to say “Namaste” in the Siddha Yoga Universal Hall—Namaste, to all of you—I experience something very special in my heart. The divinity in my heart is wishing the best for the divinity in your heart.
On Tuesday evening in Shree Muktananda Ashram, many of us had the great fortune to delight in a dazzling celestial phenomenon. We saw the simultaneous rising of the white moon over Lake Nityananda and the setting of the white sun over the dancing circles. One of the SYDA Foundation staff members said, “God in the east, God in the west.”
This reminded me of the banner that is on the Siddha Yoga path website for the month of May. You may recall seeing this banner. It depicts both the sun and the moon, in honor of Baba Muktananda’s solar and lunar birthdays.
Today’s satsang is being held in honor of Baba Muktananda’s 112th lunar birthday. Baba’s lunar birthday is celebrated on the full moon of May, which is known as the Flower Moon. It is called the Flower Moon because it signals the spring season, which is associated with regeneration, as exemplified by the abundant blooming of flowers.
This year’s Flower Moon—Baba’s birthday moon— is a supermoon, which means it is at one of the closest points in its orbit around the earth. Therefore, it appears especially big to us. It is especially present.
Today’s full moon is also the full moon of Buddha Purnima, which commemorates the birth of Lord Buddha.
Thank you to everyone who has submitted to the Siddha Yoga path website your photos of Baba’s birthday moon as it has waxed to its fullness over these last two weeks. As you may have seen, the images you are sending in are continuing to be displayed on the website. Seeing Baba’s moon framed by landscapes and landmarks from all over the world reminds us of how we are all connected in honoring Baba.
Happy Birthday, Baba!
We have been celebrating Baba’s birthday for many years on the Siddha Yoga path. So one might imagine that Baba’s birthday was celebrated ever since he was born. However, I would like to share with you that the very first celebration of Baba’s birthday took place on his 60th birthday. The year was 1968, and as Baba’s birthday approached, many of his devotees implored him to let them celebrate his birthday. Baba obliged, fulfilling their wish.
Baba’s devotees made plans for a grand celebration to take place over four days, from May 9 to May 12. Baba’s birthday celebration included a music concert featuring some of India’s most renowned musicians; the distribution of clothes by Baba to villagers in the Tansa Valley; and a four-day Chandi Yajna, a Vedic fire ceremony invoking blessings for the world, performed by the Brahmin priest Shri Bhau Shastri Vaijapurkar.
So began the beloved tradition of celebrating Baba’s birth—of taking this day as an opportunity to give homage to Baba, to express as best we can our gratitude for his grace and teachings, to honor his legacy by remembering his teachings and putting them into practice.
Happy Birthday, Baba!
Earlier in satsang, you saw a video of nature images. That video was created from the beautiful photographs that you all sent in to the "Glimpses of Nature" collection on the Siddha Yoga path website.
Gurumayi asked that I thank you on her behalf for these photographs. Gurumayi said, “All the beautiful, exquisite, marvelous photos you submitted to ‘Glimpses of Nature’ are like the gift that keeps on giving.”
At the start of the satsang you also saw a video of Baba laughing. This video reminded me of how often Baba would laugh. Baba had a delightful sense of humor. He loved to laugh! I always felt that his laughter gave outer expression to his state of inner bliss. And when Baba started laughing, everyone else would too.
You saw another video as well—showing Baba with animals and with people of all ages. Some of you might have recognized the song that you heard playing as you watched this video and received Baba’s darshan. This song is titled “What One Man Can Do,” and it is by the famous American singer John Denver. This audio recording that you heard was made when John Denver sang this song for Baba in 1980 in Santa Monica, California. The love between the singer and the Guru was palpable.
I would like to share with you another tidbit about this particular recording, and this is that the audio engineer for it was Swami Asangananda! And he was quite young then. For the last thirteen years, Swami Asangananda has been and continues to be in charge of caring for Bhagavan Nityananda and his Temple in Shree Muktananda Ashram. Thank you, Swami ji.
Many people think that John Denver wrote this song for Baba. However, when John sang to Baba, he explained that he wrote this song for his dear friend and mentor, Buckminster Fuller, whom John called “Bucky.” Buckminster Fuller was a renowned architect and visionary. When I was a teenager, I remember being inspired by Buckminster Fuller’s many innovative designs—from geodesic domes to cars.
His inventions were all about doing more with less, and in this way creating a better life for human beings while protecting the resources of earth. “What one man can do.” At the time, John Denver explained why he was singing this song for Baba. He said he had two best friends, both of whom meant so much to him. One was Buckminster Fuller and the other was Baba. John Denver even introduced Buckminster Fuller to Baba in 1980.
This song by John Denver means so much to all of us Siddha Yogis because it describes what Baba did. At the command of his Guru, Bhagavan Nityananda, Baba Muktananda traveled the world in order to convey the Siddha Yoga teachings and bestow grace. Baba went on three world tours between 1970 to 1982, awakening tens of thousands of seekers to the presence of God within as their own inner Self.
Baba was the very first Guru to introduce the mystical initiation known as shaktipat diksha—the awakening of the Kundalini energy in a seeker—to the whole world. He held satsangs daily and imparted his iconic teaching:
“Honor your Self.
Worship your Self.
Meditate on your Self.
God dwells within you as you.”
This August will be the golden anniversary, the 50th anniversary, of Baba’s first world tour. And it is a privilege for us that Baba’s teachings and the stories of his grace are available for us to hear, to study, and to apply to our own sadhana. In every minute of his life, Baba was transforming people’s lives. Baba was the Guru—whether he was taking a walk on the roads of San Diego, whether someone saw his image or met him in person, whether he gave a word or an entire discourse, whether he was cooking in the kitchen or performing what we saw as a miracle.
Regardless of the race, caste, creed of the person coming before him for darshan—Baba was the Guru.
Happy Birthday, Baba!