Thursday, October 29, 2020

Dear readers,


How honored I have felt to fulfill Gurumayi Chidvilasananda’s request to be a teacher for the Svādhyāya Study Sessions. All of you who have participated in Gurumayi’s satsangs and Shaktipat Intensives, whether in Siddha Yoga Ashrams or on any of the tour stops on Gurumayi’s Teachings Visits around the world, will know that she always emphasizes both the significance and the great fruits of regularly performing the Siddha Yoga practices, such as svādhyāya.

I feel that for the last two months, we’ve all been in the “svādhyāya zone.” This could not have been more important because the world, as you know, has been in utter frenzy—and we’ve all been caught up in it. We have been teetering on the edge of life and death as we attempt to navigate the pandemic and the lockdowns, political upheaval, and the many ways that our lives are being upended. To be alive at this time is to have a tragic story. We have lost innumerable loved ones; too many amazing lives, too many stories, have been cut short.

Receiving Gurumayi’s prasad of continuing to learn about the great Self, the supreme Self, the immortal Self, for the last many weeks is therefore truly uplifting. In this unpredictable time, we have been able to cultivate profound knowledge and gather sacred energies within our being. We can take great pride in knowing that because of the Siddha Yoga teachings, we have learned how to use our time and our faculties optimally in this world.

As the Managing Director and teacher for the Svādhyāya Study Sessions, I am extremely pleased that so many of you made time and created space to participate in these sessions. Each week you applied yourselves to study and to refining your practice of Shrī Guru Gītā. I recommend that you thank yourself and those who encouraged you to participate.

I also wish to thank you for the steadfastness and dedication you demonstrated. I know that those of you who had already been regularly reciting Shrī Guru Gītā—some of you for forty-plus years!—took to heart my advice to approach this practice anew. I commend you for bringing your “beginner’s mind” and a spirit of receptivity to learning about the various aspects of svādhyāya. Moreover, one of the things that greatly pleases a teacher is when students ask pertinent, probing, and carefully considered questions. You did exactly that—sending in questions to me that were insightful and practical, and which indicated that you were contemplating what would best support your Siddha Yoga sādhanā.

From these focused study sessions, you must have recognized how important it is to make time to study, understand, and apply your blossoming knowledge to your engagement with each Siddha Yoga practice. Do continue your study and keep visiting the Siddha Yoga path website. The more you sharpen your intellect, the more your knowledge nourishes you and those around you. It is, after all, spiritual nourishment, nourishment of the soul, that heals this world.

Warm regards,


Swami Akhandananda
Managing Director for Svādhyāya Study Sessions
SYDA Foundation