by Swami Akhandananda

Baba Muktananda’s mission in this world was to impart the knowledge of the Self and awaken people to their own divinity. During this month dedicated to honoring Baba’s Mahasamadhi, I invite you to study commentaries on four sublime teachings about living in the awareness of the Self from Baba.

Understanding the Self and knowing the means to experience the Self are central pillars of Baba’s teachings. Baba would tell seekers again and again that if you know your own Self, then you have attained the highest goal of human life.

What is your understanding of the Self? How do you experience it?

Baba taught that seekers need to be crystal clear about both what the Self is and the means to experience it. This knowledge is essential for living a fulfilling life—a life that shines with joy and goodness even in the midst of challenging times.

To gain this knowledge of the Self, you need to do something. The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad speaks of the concerted effort a seeker must make for this knowledge to come alive in them. The sages of the Upanishads teach that just as oil is inherent in sesame seeds but the proper means must be applied to extract it, so too the bliss of the Self, though already within us, can only be experienced through right effort.

What then is the effort you must put forth? In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, the sage Yajnavalkya states that to realize the blissful Self as your own true nature, you must study, reflect on, practice, and meditate upon the words of the Guru. Through this time-honored means, you can become established in the Self as a lived experience.

I’m happy to share with you that you are able to read and study commentaries on four of Baba’s teachings about how to maintain awareness of the Self in all the situations of your life. These commentaries on Baba’s teachings, written by Siddha Yoga meditation teachers, will guide you in how to approach and uncover the depth of meaning contained in each of Baba’s words. This will support you to grasp the full import of the knowledge Baba is conveying. The commentaries will also guide you in concrete ways to apply the teachings in daily life.

Each of the Guru’s teachings is like a seed containing the highest knowledge; each one carries the power of the Guru’s grace.

Through the effort of your study, you refine your awareness and open yourself to receive the grace and knowledge the Guru imparts through their teachings. By engaging in this sublime alchemy of studying the Guru’s words, the wisdom of the Self blossoms within you.