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The Master and the 108 Lamps

A Story Told by Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

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I experienced the Blue Pearl at the beginning of the story, “The Master and the 108 Lamps.” To me this story is a metaphor for Gurumayi’s lighting the flame of shaktipat

New York, United States

This beautiful story has very deeply touched my heart. The ending is so splendid— only the light exists. It was the gentle touch of the Master that filled the seeker with golden beams of light. After reading this story, I realized that I, too, would like to stay and light the lamps with my Guru.

Naples, Italy

As I read this beautiful story, I was touched by the Guru’s compassion for the student. I was reminded of all the times I have felt the Guru’s compassion in my life. I experience that Gurumayi’s compassion connects me to my own worthiness and helps me to perceive others’ worthiness, too.
This story also reminded me of an experience I had years ago in a Shaktipat Intensive. During one of the meditation periods I opened my eyes, and the entire room was filled with golden light; everything else seemed to have disappeared. When I closed my eyes, I saw this same light inside of me. This experience showed me that whether I perceive it or not, this golden light is always blazing within and will be with me always.
I am grateful to Gurumayi for this story of longing and compassion.

New Mexico, United States

The image of the golden light upon the mountain face inspires me deeply. I imagine the sky of light behind the mountain of light, and the house of the Master’s light opposite the mountain of light. I enjoy visualizing this golden light as I repeat the mantra.

Melbourne, Australia

These words of the Master stood out for me: “The light with which I have lit these lamps is the light of my own heart.”

This story reminds me of the hymn Jyota se Jyota Jagao, and that my lamp has been lit by my Sadguru, Gurumayi ji, through shaktipat diksha.
Just as the lamps in the story could not be extinguished and the seeker was shocked at their tenacity, I acknowledge the tenacity of the light lit by my Guru and feel inspired to put in my efforts to fulfill my spiritual goal.
I am extremely grateful to receive my Guru’s grace and guidance on the Siddha Yoga path.

New Delhi, India

This story reminds me of my own experience of receiving shaktipat from my Master. Baba Muktananda touched my head and through his grace granted shaktipat. My body filled with light, love, and bliss. This was the first time in my life I knew that love lived inside me, and the first time in my life that I knew God lived inside me.
I am so grateful to have a living Master, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, in my life and so grateful for her teachings.

California, United States

During the days after I read the story “The Master and the 108 Lamps,” I kept returning to a beautiful experience inside again and again. I experienced the 108 lamps as lights inside of me that the Guru has lit so carefully and lovingly. They blaze freely and abundantly; they have withstood many storms. They do not fade away as a result of outer circumstances. They shine brightly whether the sun is shining or the days are gray and foggy. They are ever so pure, ever so life-giving. The Guru lit them with great care and great intention.

Deggendorf, Germany

I was touched by the Master’s response to the seeker’s statement  “I didn't come here to light lamps. I came here to know the Truth.”

Their dialogue reminds me of the emptiness of ceremonies performed without the consent of the heart. It is a beautiful reminder to not become mechanical in our practices, but rather to always touch the light of the heart in every activity.

A Gurukula student in Gurudev Siddha Peeth

Before I started to read the story, I looked at the golden mountain shown behind the title of the story, and my heart was touched by the beauty and the strength of the picture. What power! It is so alive for me—filled with Consciousness.
When I read about how the seeker finally surrendered, I could experience the light, and tears ran down my cheeks. I could feel the light, the love—the amazing, bright, golden, pure light. And I remembered my shaktipat experience—the same experience of light. Only light existed. 

Hinwil, Switzerland 

As I read this story, at first I thought, “My goodness, what an impatient man.” As the story went on I thought, “How many times have I tried to extinguish something in front of me in order to get what I perceived as something filled with more light?” I recognized in myself the exhaustion that can come from looking for That through the lens of my misunderstandings.
When I pause between moments of exhaustion, I’m aware that there is, in the cave of the heart, an opening, where light comes in, revealing a passageway through which I can get closer to the source of that light. Sometimes this happens as I’m sitting to chant, or meditate, or read Gurumayi’s or Baba’s words.

I smiled as I felt the light of the seeker meld with the light of the Master. My heart wanted to experience this again and again.

Missouri, United States

When I read Gurumayi’s beautiful story, I saw myself in that impatient seeker waiting for enlightenment. I felt Gurumayi was speaking directly to me. Then I realized how fortunate I am to have reached the abode of a true Guru. I know that this is the only treasure I have ever wanted in my life!
I understood that when I light a candle to start my morning spiritual practices, I should regard it not only as a candle, but as a pure, golden flame that represents the immense love between Guru and disciple. And I felt that I am not separate from Gurumayi’s state and that she is walking along the path with me every second of my life.
With this new understanding, I meditated this morning. In meditation, I felt I became one with Gurumayi. A profound stillness came over me making me feel like the golden Himalayan mountain in the picture.
I am so happy!

Milan, Italy

This story reminds me that every action and every word from the Guru is filled with divine intention. The seeker was so focused on getting what he wanted that he was unable to see that the Truth was right in front of him the whole time.

This is a beautiful teaching about surrender and cultivating a present mind and open heart to be able to recognize and receive the Guru’s teachings.

New York, United States

As I was reading the story, I kept wondering why the seeker couldn’t wait until the morning, as instructed by the Master. What was the urgency? Why couldn’t he participate in the practice of lighting the lamps? Why was he so impatient?
As I reflected on this, I realized that I too need to practice patience. I too need to have the patience to light each lamp one at a time, to do things step by step, so that I can imbibe the learning that comes with each step. I too need to perform my practices with love and patience and allow things to unfold at the time that is right for me to experience their fruits.

I love reading the stories on the Siddha Yoga path website; they fill me with longing and renewed energy. And they make me smile and laugh too!


I was reading Gurumayi’s story just before I recited Shri Guru Gita this morning. It reminded me to chant each verse with love, the way the Master in the story lights each of the 108 lamps.
This beautiful story has so many elements to contemplate.

California, United States

Today I felt a strong urge to meditate in the latter part of the morning. Before that I thought, “Let me look at the website first and then I'll meditate.”
I opened the story of “The Master and The 108 Lamps,” and when I came to the culmination, I read, “He saw only light. There was no mountain, no flame, no Master, no seeker. There was just That.” A flood of tears flowed out of my being, and I was filled with love, longing, and steadiness. I was ready to sit for meditation, with my Guru in my heart.

Gurgaon, India