Swami Baba Muktananda


"This universe is Shiva's own garden,
Meant for a joyous stroll"

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Swami Muktananda

Finding the Supreme Teacher - Nityananda

by Swami Muktananda, in his own words....

I met my Guru, Bhagavan Nityananda, when I was very young. I was almost sixteen and still in school. Gurudev loved children, so whenever he came to our school all of us would leave our classes and follow him. The moment we followed him, he would start running and shouting. We would run after him, and then he would climb a tree and sit on a branch. We would just stay there under the tree. He was a great runner. He had great speed. He was a great walker too, he walked very fast. He walked in a strange way, in the state of an Avadhut (One in a state of constant mergence in the Divine).

Whenever he came to school the teachers would be very upset, but the children would follow him anyway. he would go into a candy store, reach into the containers, throw candy to the children, and then take off again. Still the shopkeepers never complained, because whenever he gave away candy, their sales went up. I had this feeling I wanted to be like him, that such a thing would be better than anything else.
Nityananda walking with children
In those days he didn't stay in one place for very long. He kept walking and walking, day and night. he would walk forty miles a day, and then he would disappear. He wore just a loincloth, and he would walk and walk. Finally he went to Ganeshpuri where he settled permanently.

After I met him, I gave up school. I also started traveling. First I went to Karnataka where I began to study scriptures, and where I met a great Siddha called Siddharudha Swami. I continued to travel all over India, and I met two other great saints. When I met them, I thought I was smarter than they were, so I couldn't attain anything even from them.

My Guru was a great aid in crushing my ego. I was a kind of half scholar; I had read some books here and there, and I had some broken knowledge. If you only study a little bit here and there, it's no good. Also I had changed my clothes; I had put on the robes of a swami. Because I was playing a role, I couldn't sit still. I played my role by jumping here and there.

I used to go to Ganeshpuri and meet my Baba quite often. I would go and stay with him for a few days. Then he would tell me to go and travel some more. For about fifteen years I kept coming and going from my Baba's place.

I didn't spare any of the holy places in India. I didn't spare any of the great temples. I didn't spare any of the great beings. I searched intensely for God in caves, mountains, and forests. I do not remember in exactly how many temples I sought Him or in how many shrines I meditated on Him to no avail. I prayed in so many different temples, but only hours slipped by and I was still without peace.

Then I set out in search of a guide. I wandered all by myself, pondering the mysteries of life. In the course of these wanderings, I ran into an unusual, naked saint named Zipruanna. He was very great. Although he appeared to be a fool to worldly-minded folk, he was omniscient. He seemed a naked mendicant only to those who were spiritually naked, being without knowledge. However he was the owner of a vast treasure of wisdom - a true millionaire. I loved him at first sight. We became friends. What a combination! One was a naked fakir while the other was a well dressed, modern renunciant. He said, "O you crazy one, God is within! Why do you seek him outside?"
I said, "Instruct me."
"That is not for me to do so." he replied. "Go back to Ganeshpuri and stay there. Your treasure lies there. Go and claim it."

So I went back to Ganeshpuri once again and met Nityananda Baba, the supreme avadhut. I was overjoyed. No - I was fulfilled. After a bath in the hot springs, I went for his darshan. he was poised in a simple, easy posture on a plain cot, smiling gently. His eyes were open but his gaze was directed within. What divine luster glowed in those eyes! His body was dark, and he was wearing a simple loincloth.

He said, "So you've come."

"Yes Sir," I answered. I stood for a while and then sat down. There I realized the highest. I am still sitting there.

Guided by The Perfect Guru - Nityananda

Nityananda's form was supremely radiant and attractive, and if a person had his darshan even once, the impression would be deeply and unforgettably imprinted on his mind.
Nityanada, the Supreme Guru
His skin was like a dark shining jewel filled with divine radiance. His forehead was high and arched, and his face completely captivating. Thick eyebrows curved over his large beautiful eyes. A river of love poured forth from his glance. His ears had the graceful shape of conch shells. Most of the time his attention was turned inward, as he sat peacefully with a smile on his lotus face.

His way of life was extremely simple. He would bathe very early in the morning, before sunrise. He ate very little. His simplicity and renunciation revealed the greatness of his inner state.

Most of the time Gurudev was silent. However if someone asked him a question, he would explain abstract philosophy in very simple words that were immediately understood.

Most of the time my Baba's eyes were closed. His eyes were very big and extremely powerful. He never looked at anyone with his open eyes. Even while eating or drinking, he used to keep his eyes closed. The photographs that you see of him were taken by a photographer who had to wait for hours and hours. When Nityananda Baba opened his eyes, at that moment the photographer snapped the picture.

A Photograph has great power. What kind of power depends upon whose picture it is. The state of the person remains inherent in the photograph. I fully believe in the power of my Baba's photographs.

If you want to establish a connection with Nityananda Baba, just look at his eyes in the photograph and repeat your mantra. In this way the Shakti will enter you. Then automatically the relationship will be established.

A Guru looks like a human being to the physical eyes, and it is very difficult for an ordinary person to see God in that human body. Ordinary people say, "He eats like us, he drinks like us, he sleeps like us, he laughs like us and has fun like us." But in a Guru's body, there is this Shakti, this divine force that is completely alive. That is what makes a Guru. As you follow the words of the Guru, the Shakti enters you more and more, until one day that Shakti transforms your being into the being of the Guru.

Within every person there is this Shakti. It is the divine power, God's power. And it is only because of this power that we live. This power is also known as the Self, or God. As long as you do not know the Self, no matter how much you try to improve on the outside, you cannot really improve.

People used to go to my Gurudev and ask, "O Gurudev, I want to see God! I want to see God!" My Gurudev would say, "Just look around! Everyone is God! Everyone is God!"

Every one of you experiences this, but you do not understand it. You do not know how he resides within. When you are awake, you perform so may actions, but there is One within who witnesses all your actions. When you go to sleep and dream, there is One within who remains awake and watches all your dreams. If you know that One, if you know that Knower, then you know everything.

August 15, 1947
Nityananda stood facing me directly. He looked into my eyes again. Watching carefully, I saw a ray of light entering me from his pupils. It felt hot like burning fever. Its light was dazzling, like that of a high-powered bulb. As that ray emanating from Bhagavan Nityananda's pupils penetrated mine, I was thrilled with amazement, joy, and fear. I was beholding its color and chanting Guru Om. It was a full unbroken beam of divine radiance. Its color kept changing from molten gold to saffron to a shade deeper than the blue of a shining star. I stood utterly transfixed.

He sat down and said in his aphoristic fashion, "All mantras... one. Each... from Om. Om Namah Shivaya Om... should think, Shivo'ham, I am Shiva... Shiva-Shiva...Shivo'ham...should be internal repetition. Internal...superior to external."
From Play of Consciousness by Baba Muktanada

That Siddha gave me one word that completely transformed me, but I had to spend such a long time with him to receive it. The word I received after so many years spread through my body from head to toe like wildfire carried by the wind. It produced in me both inner heat and the coolness of joy.

Before meeting my Guru, I had practised many different kinds of yoga, but it was I who had practiced them. However that word activated a spontaneous yoga within me. I was filled with amazement. what postures, mudras, and breathing processes! Everything happened on its own.

After the awakening of the Shakti, this process of yogic movement began to take place within my entire body. I saw my own double many times. In the Sahasrara at the crown of the head, I perceived the brilliance of a thousand suns. I also saw the Blue Being. Sometimes I would lose myself within; then I would regain consciousness. I am ecstatic! I have found the best place of all, right within myself.

I have rediscovered that which I never lost. Still my addiction has not left me. Jai Gurudev! Such a great addiction to the Guru! "Guru Om! Guru Om!" The repetition of this great mantra occurs even in my dreams. I do not know who repeats it there. My Guru's picture seems to come alive for me. When I look at his eyes, I see radiance. When I gaze at his body, it seems to be moving. When I look at his face, a smile seems to play on his lips. People may think this is madness. So be it. How beautiful! How exquisite! How ecstatic! Sometimes in the privacy of my room, I dance while singing "Guru Om, Guru Om". The pulsation of his ecstasy pervades my entire body like the movement of the wind.

"If you have God's name on your tongue, realization will be in your palm."

"Sweet is the name of Ram,
and rare are the wise and the holy who taste its nectar.
Drinking its love, they glide into eternity."
Saint Dadu

Although the Guru has great gifts to give us, he can give them to us only when we become worthy of receiving them. I can tell you this from experience. In the early years I kept coming and going from Baba Nityananda's place. When I was there, I would become restless, so I would leave and go somewhere else for a while. The reason for this was ego and pride. Nityananda was a being who loved to challenge others, and I was a person who was too proud. At his place people used to line up, waiting for hours to receive something from him. He was always established in the supreme state. Sometimes he would pick up something, call someone close to him, and give him that. Whatever gift of prasad he gave people was like a wish-fulfilling tree that would fulfill all their desires. I waited to see if I would receive anything. Nothing - not even a glass of water. Sometimes he would pick up something and say "Come here," and I would go running. Then he would say, "Not you. I'm calling someone else." In that way, he would insult me in front of everyone again and again, and I would die. The bigger my ego was, the worse the insults became. This went on for several years. he kept working on me, and I kept coming and going. I would leave, but then I would miss him and come back. He would work on me some more and I would leave. But I wouldn't remain tranquil, thinking, "If I get something, that's fine; and if I don't get anything, that's fine too." The more the Guru tested me, the more I advanced in my sadhana. No matter how much he tested me, I did not look for faults in him. Instead I looked for my own faults. I asked myself, What do I lack: What are my shortcomings?
Swami Muktananda in India
At one point in my sadhana I discovered that knowledge is man's true nature. Shaivism says, "When pure knowledge arises in man, he attains the Lord." So I began to read books - many, many books. I used to stay a mile away from my Gurudev's place, and when I went to see him, I would take a book under my arm.

My Babaji watched this for a long time. He must have wondered whether I was ever going to stop reading. But there was no way I could stop reading. It wasn't that I was holding on to the book - the book was holding on to me. Whenever you have an addiction, that's what happens. Whatever you're addicted to holds on to you.

Finally, one day he called me closer and said, "Hey Muktananda, come here. What's that you're carrying under your arm?"

"It's a Upanishad," I said.

"Mati! (Dust)" he said. He was very fond of the word "dust". he would describe everything as dust. He went on, "Do you know how this book was written? Books are created by someone's mind. The mind creates books. Books have never yet created even a single mind. Where is your mind? Where has it gone? Instead of reading someone else's mind, meditate and then read your own mind. Put this book aside and meditate. Meditate a lot. When you meditate a lot, true knowledge will spring forth from you. You won't have to read books. Inner knowledge is far superior. Write your own book with your own mind. Meditate. Many books will come out of you."

One day in Gurudev's presence, I referred to someone as a crook. Immediately Gurudev said, "Hey, Muktananda! Is there really any crooked person in this world? It is just the crookedness of your cleverness. Everything is the pervasion of the supreme truth. God has created the play of the world for His own pleasure. No one in the world is crooked." Ah how perfect he was. What Siddhahood!

He continued. "O, Muktananda! You are seeing with petty understanding. With this kind of awareness, you are heading in the wrong direction. Change your outlook. Correct your understanding. Then see that the world is just a play, an entertaining movie. It is neither true nor false. Know this secret. Only then will you attain something." What a great teaching this was, and how absolutely true. What divine wisdom of the Self. This is the teaching of the compassionate Siddha Guru.

So the world is as you see it. You project your own outlook onto someone else, onto this entire creation. Otherwise the world is nothing but God. Everyone is an image of the beautiful Lord. Everyone is a flame of the supreme Truth.

This entire world consists of different forms of God. Yogis who have attained complete knowledge say this world is a play of God, and He can be seen in every part of it. The world is not a solid substance, not the final reality; it is a form of the Self, a play of divine Consciousness, a symbol of joy. Marvelling at this cosmic drama, some have called the Lord a master of disguise, a supreme actor who can play any role, because even though He is one and indivisible, He reveals Himself in millions of forms, and through maya He takes part in every play. Though inactive, He appears to be active. The delusions of maya and maya herself, are also the forms of the Lord. All this is His amazing composition, His mysterious creation. Even though he is free, He assumes a body. Though He is the giver of all, He takes on the form of a beggar and eats whatever is given in charity. The only one dwelling in this entire world is God.

"Once I went with my Guru for a walk along the bank of a river. Near the road was a huge rock. he said, "Do you see this rock? See the miracle? See the doing of the universal Consciousness? Here it has become a rock, here it has become a human being, and here it has become a tree. But although it has become all this, it does not lack Consciousness in its fullness."

Sometimes when Nityananda gave darshan, someone would say, "Oh, Baba, it's been so long since I've had your darshan!" And Baba would say, "Why? Wasn't I where you were? Wasn't I in the things you were seeing? Wasn't I in the people you were seeing? Your Father is Brahman, your Mother is Brahman, you are Brahman. All are Brahman. Everything is Brahman. Where else do you look for Him?"

I firmly believe in the Ultimate Reality without any attributes or form. I adore the Impersonal, but I know fully what is good for a seeker. It is quite easy for one to accept what he can hear with his ears, what he can see with his eyes, and what he can think with his mind. But it is very difficult to accept what you cannot hear or see or think about. The only way of reaching the Impersonal is through the yoga of the personal.

Consciousness does not die. Names and forms change. It is an illusion to consider the statue of Nityananda to be mere form. However, he is attainable by devotees and disciples through the form. We worship the Guru in a personal form so that we may receive Shakti and meditate effectively, so that we may reach the journey's end.

Siddhas have their own independent plane of existence called Siddhaloka. It is a very beautiful world. The Siddhas who live there have a different perception of time than we do in this world. A thousand of our years is like a second for them. There is no day or night there. That world is illumined by its own light; it doesn't need the sun or moon. Just as we have the blue light of Consciousness shimmering within us, that same blue light is shimmering and scintillating in Siddhaloka.

From time to time beings from Siddhaloka come here to perform some work. Great beings such as Baba Nityananda come from that place. They come to our world because they have been directed to do so. They sow seeds, and after a while they leave. Then the seed sprouts, it grows into a plant; then it becomes a tree with many branches. Eventually it bears a lot of fruit and becomes something great.

Great beings appear to be different from each other on the outside. One may be inert, one like a ghost, and one may seem intoxicated. But all of them are lost in the love of God. Nityananda Baba was very intoxicated all the time. His eyes were filled with that intoxication, and his body too. When one experiences the supreme nectar of a great being, compared to that, everything else becomes meaningless, tasteless. Inside and outside he is filled with the intoxication of devotion. He becomes immersed in it. Wherever he looks, God is standing there. Notions of mine and thine disappear. Everything is God. The state of these beings is marvelous.

Nityananda had thousands and thousands of disciples who received his energy. He didn't use ostentatious rituals to give initiation. He would make a gesture towards someone, and that person would receive his grace. He would utter a single word to someone, and that person would receive grace. Whatever a Siddha says, that is mantra. Whatever a Siddha does, that is yoga. Whatever a Siddha speaks, that is knowledge.

For him, spirituality and worldly life were one and the same. If people asked him mundane questions about life, he would answer those questions. he never felt that one had to be a seeker, that one should ask questions only from the scriptures or about knowledge.

Some Gurus will tell you the simple truth straight away. Baba Nityananda was like that. As soon as a seeker came to him, my Baba would say, "Why are you wandering? All is within. Go and sit at home. What is there outside?"

Many different kinds of people used to come to Bhagavan Nityananda, ascetics, monks, mendicants, Christian priests and Yogis from the Himalayas. For him, all religions were equal. He saw all sects, all ideologies, and all philosophies as equal. He used to say that each sect or doctrine or creed is a different path leading to the same goal. Many paths lead to the same destination. Similarly through all these different philosophies one can attain the same divine state.

The Powerful Glance of Nityanada

Once there was a disciple called Jalandharnath, who set out looking for a Guru named Goraknath. Finally he met someone walking on the road. Goraknath said, "Where are you going?"
"I'm looking for Goraknath," said Jalandharnath.
"To receive grace."
"I am Goraknath," he said. "Sit down here and I will be back."
Then he left for twelve years. Jalandharnath sat there for twelve years. When Goraknath returned, his disciple had attained everything. This is the sign of a person who is worthy of receiving grace.

You can attain God, you can finish your journey, within a few years. It doesn't have to take a long time. Jnaneshwar Maharaj finished his journey very quickly, in only six months. Others have finished their journey in fifteen years, or twelve, or less. Then they became utterly content within themselves.

Baba Nityananda used to say, "You can finish the journey like this - within a fraction of a second." And he would snap his fingers!

When a person dies and divine Consciousness leaves the body as a tiny flame, the corpse is a frightening sight to many people. Even if the body was much loved, you hate to see it after the light of consciousness has left it. your eyes turn away from the corpse. How beautiful that divine Consciousness must be, which made the body appear glowing and lovable, beautiful and full of goodness. How radiant that light must be, how powerful. How much sweetness it must have. All this is known by one who has lost himself in the inner Self.

Bhagavan Nityananda used to day, "O soul, you should see the inner beauty. It is so sweet, so fascinating, so joyous. Not even a drop of that inner ocean can be found on the outside. Therefore, turn within. Meditate, meditate, meditate!"

Swami Muktananda: Commentary on Universal Consciousness

Now I know fully that my own Soul is pervading everywhere as the universe. In fact, the cosmos does not exist; it never existed. For what we regard as the universe is only a conscious play of Chitshakti (the intelligent, conscious, Divine Energy that masquerades as the universe).

The Absolute bliss, attainable through the Vedantic contemplation; Thou art That, is in fact my own Self vibrating subtly within me.

The greatest fact is that this universe is a divine sport, a bursting forth of Chitshakti. It appears to be material owing to our ignorance of Chiti (the dynamic feminine aspect of Godhood). When the knowledge of Chiti is attained, matter will vanish and one will see only Chiti everywhere.

When mighty Shiva wishes to create, Chiti expands Herself of Her own accord, differentiates Her own Being and manifests into innumerable forms. Chiti expresses Her own creativity by unfolding as the external universe, which is Her immanent aspect. Despite appearing as the cosmos, She remains pure, self-illumined and untainted in her transcendent aspect. She projects Herself as happiness, sorrow, fear, disease, impurity, childhood, youth, heaven and hell. Yet her purity and transparency remain ever unsullied. Remaining unaltered, She revels in the external universe.

This entire world in which we live is a play of the self-luminous Universal Consciousness. To one with this vision, the universe is only an unfolding of divine Shakti. For him there is neither bondage nor salvation; neither means nor end; neither contraction nor expansion, for his eye of knowledge has been opened by the Guru's mercy.

The universe is nothing but a play of Universal Imagination. Chiti is absolutely free and self-effulgent. She holds the triple power of creation-sustenance-dissolution within Her. Though She is above space, time, and form, she voluntarily assumes these limitations. All spaces, times, and forms are Her expressions. Chiti maintains Her unity and identity in spite of Her manifesting as the universe. She is omnipresent, ever-full and ever-radiant.

Just as the numberless water drops, bubbles, waves and foam of an ocean are in no way different from it, similarly, the countless names, forms, and qualities of this universe are not at all different from Chiti.

Those who are ignorant of the divine play of consciousness, and consider the universe to be essentially different from Chiti, suffer in diverse ways because of this delusion. The entire universe is the field of the known, while the Universal Soul is the knower. The Supreme Lord is unity in diversity and diversity in unity.

The Absolute is real; the world is unreal.
Such is the truth.
But for Self-knowledge, suffering does not cease.
He who sees the One in all, alone attains peace.
The Absolute is the individual Soul -
Such is the Vedantic teaching.

He who continually contemplates his identity with the universe realizes that it is his own splendour. He will continue to dwell in his perfection.

O Siddha students! The universe belongs to you. You are its Soul. Different levels of manifestation arise from you. They are your own forms. You are perfect in your aspect as the Universal Spirit. Remain continuously aware that the universe is your own splendid glory. This is the Guru's command, the teaching of Parashiva, the Siddha mode of perception. This is the easy and natural means to liberation.
From: Play of Consciousness by Baba Muktananda

Sayings and Stories by Muktananda

Story - Importance of Devotion to the Guru

Muktananda as a young Sadhak with Nityananda Giri was an illiterate Brahmin boy who became highly proficient in Vedanta merely by his rare devotion to Sri Shankaracharya, whom he had accepted as his Guru. He was a simple and devoted soul who fully believed that service to the Guru was the source of all knowledge. He therefore devoted himself faithfully to the service of the Acharya (teacher). He never neglected his duties and was always quick to perform every possible service to the Guru. Whenever the Acharya taught Vedanta to his pupils, Giri would humbly stand by and listen. One day the Acharya held the class as usual but would not start the lesson. When the pupils asked him if he was waiting for something, the Acharya replied that he was waiting for Giri. The pupils laughed and said, "Gurudev! Giri has gone to the river to wash your clothes. You may begin the lessons. It doesn't matter whether Giri is present or not since he doesn't understand or grasp anything."

This callousness pained Shankaracharya. In order to emphasize the value of gurubhakti (devotion to the Guru) and remove the pupil's false pride in intelligence and book-learning, he taught them not to belittle an illiterate, but devout sadhaka. By his mere wish, he transmitted his grace to Giri. Instantly, the boy was inspired to compose Sanskrit verses in praise of the Guru, and with the Guru's clothes in his hands, he returned and stood before Shankaracharya, reciting the versus with humility. All the pupils were surprised by this miraculous change in Giri and at once realized their mistake. Giri thus became an enlightened soul by the grace of the Guru and became well known as Totakacharya. This is the greatness and power of gurubhakti.
From: Light on the Path by Swami Muktananda. Published by SYDA Foundation.

Significance of a Real Guru

The Guru's consciousness remains permanently one with that of the Universal Self. That is why the Guru is everywhere, even when he appears to be present at one place. He is looked upon as a manifestation of Supreme Reality because he is the knower of the highest Truth and is firmly established in it, having achieved the direct experience of the Divine.

Jiva versus Shiva

When the disciple's latent Shakti unfolds itself fully by the Guru's blessings, the feeling of "I am jiva (individual Self)" vanishes, and the knowledge that "I am Shiva (universal Self)" dawns.

Supreme Spirit as Cosmos

The Lord, the Supreme Spirit, is the basis of everything, including the movable and immovable entities of this universe. Therefore, the universe itself is the cosmic Self.

Attitude Towards Religions

God is kind, compassionate, and also generous in bestowing his grace. In order to realize that merciful One, a seeker must follow any one of the spiritual paths and follow the disciplines prescribed therein with an earnest heart. But at the same time, we must remember that it is not fair to consider all other paths and disciplines inferior to our own. Bigotry cannot please God, because He is never captivated by any ritual or any particular method of sadhana. It is only out of compassion that He reveals Himself to devotees when He is pleased by their selfless love.

As long as a man is bound by a particular sect, there is a possibility of feeling hostile toward other sects, but for one who has gone beyond all sects, such feelings do not arise in his mind. A sect is like a fence. When a plant is small, it requires a fence for its protection,
but after it has become a full-grown tree, a fence is no longer necessary.

"In God's house there is no particular religion or sect of faith.
To Him, all are the same."


The human body is a holy temple, and the jivatman (imprisoned spirit) that dwells within is none other than Paramatman (universal Spirit). This identity of jivatman and Paramatman is realized when the state of Soham (I am That) is actually experienced after complete purification of the mind.

Eternal Versus Transient

Where are all the great kings and mighty warriors who once ruled this earth? Where have they all gone? The world we see is transitory and ever changing. Just as the past has not survived, so the present order will also perish in the future. One who has this understanding and can discriminate between the eternal and the transient is fit for initiation on the divine path.

Serve the Nectar of Wisdom Not Poison of Ignorance

In this world of desires, a person becomes his own enemy and begins to torture himself. He himself becomes a sinner and then groans. He himself serves the poison of ignorance to himself and thus commits suicide. While he is hostile to himself, he blames others. Why do you commit suicide for lack of knowledge? Give up your illusions and see yourself as you really are. Uplift yourself by means of knowledge. Serve the nectar of wisdom to yourself. Achieve greatness. The soul dwells as the perceiving Consciousness in every being. Reflect on the inner Truth. Explore your own depths. Direct your seeking within. Revel in your own being.

The Lost Prince - Destroying the Illusion of Your Limitations

Once a king, accompanied by his young son, went hunting in a forest where he saw a beautiful deer. Leaving his son under a tree, he pursued the deer for quite a long distance. After a while, some tribesmen who were passing through the forest saw the young prince crying under the tree, and they took him home with them, assuming that he was lost. When the king returned from hunting, his son was nowhere to be found. he went home and sent search parties out in all directions, but there was no sign of the child. After several years, the king's prime minister was attending to court business and came upon the tribesmen's dwelling place. There he saw a young boy who appeared quite different from the other boys. Reminded of the lost prince, the prime minister asked him who he was. The boy replied that he was the son of a tribesman. The prime minister then asked the tribesmen about the boy, but they knew nothing except that they had found him several years ago under a tree in the forest and had brought him home. Hearing this, the prime minister was convinced that the boy was the lost prince, and he took him home to the palace.

Even after the boy was told that he was a prince, he still considered himself a tribesman because of his deep mental impressions of having been with the tribesman for many years. The prime minister dressed him in beautiful, princely clothes and made him view himself in a large mirror, saying, "Look, this is what you really are." Seeing his real identity, the boy's illusion vanished, and he was convinced that he was really a prince. This understanding removed his former feelings of lowliness, and he began to behave like a real prince.

In the same way, if we become aware of our true Self, we will realize that we are really God and all sense of imperfection will be eliminated. Man has the right to attain his Godhood and, therefore, should not despair. Keep trying, have no doubts, and seek the company of saints. It is the duty of every saint to make you realize your real Self, just as the prime minister helped the prince to realize his true identity.
From: Conversations with Swami Muktananda - The Early Years by Swami Muktananda. Published by SYDA Foundation.

World as Universal Mother

O Dear Ones. This world is not a vale of sorrow. It is neither a transient phenomenon nor a void. It is neither a field of action nor illusory, neither real nor unreal nor an abode of differences. It is the beautiful playground of Lord Shiva; it is not inert matter but the divine abode of gods. To the ignorant and blind it is transitory, but to the enlightened, to those filled with devotion to the Guru, it is the sport of the Absolute. For the unbelieving the world is a vale of tears, but for the believing and detached who are filled with love for God, it is the manifestation of His love. For the wise, for perfect and ecstatic beings, this world is a divine, intoxicated play. Know the world fully; know it as it is. It is nothing but Chiti. You, He, and I are all permeated with Chiti. Whatever is, is Chiti. Look with this all-embracing vision, the vision of knowledge. What nectar flows here! Look at the beauty of the beloved Universal Mother.

God is the Real Actor

To think, "I have done this, I will do that." is one of the most potent delusions in which a man is entangled. In Fact it is God who does everything.

When Lord Krishna was driving Arjuna's chariot, he held all the power. Even if Arjuna shot an arrow in the wrong direction, it would hit its target. Arjuna thought he was doing it. He didn't realize that all the time it was Krishna's power that was doing everything. After the great war had ended and Krishna had left the chariot, Arjuna was totally helpless without him.

We think we are the agents of action, but the fact is that it is some other power that makes everything happen. Out of pride each of us thinks, "It is I who am doing everything," whereas it is the Lord who is the real doer. So give up your attachment to desire, greed, delusion, anger, and pride. These passions have treated you in the most miserable manner. They have put you in their pocket. Try to escape their tyranny; try to know your true inner Self.

Whatever work is going on in the world is, in reality, the work of God. If one understands this, one can perform any work as an offering. To cooperate selflessly in God's work is real yajna (sacrifice).

"It is the supreme Self from which the activity of all beings arises, by which everything is pervaded. One who worships that supreme Self by performing his own duty attains liberation"       Bhagavad Gita

Change Your Idea of Yourself

Understanding is determined by knowledge. Attitude is shaped by understanding. peace and joy arise in the mind according to one's attitude. Take the case of an ordinary soldier. If he becomes a lieutenant, he feels more important. As he rises through the ranks from a lieutenant to a major and then to a brigadier general and finally assumes the position of commander-in-chief, his power increases progressively and so does his awareness of his stature. If he becomes the president of his country, his authority is far more pervasive and he also feels far more important. Actually this person remains the same throughout. What changes then? It is his own idea of himself. He felt insignificant while he was a soldier, but now he considers himself not a soldier but the president of his country. Similarly, if you give up the wrong view of yourself as a trivial, destitute, inferior, begging, and imprisoned creature and instead begin to feel that you are Shiva, the all-pervasive soul, that you are perfection itself, how much greater your joy will be! Stop looking upon yourself as a limited individual. Become firmly anchored in the sense of your own pervasiveness, of your ability, greatness, and purity.

Think - "I am the Self"

Remember the body is perishable. Eternity is only in the Self. Truth is only in the Self. Greatness is only in the Self. Before departing there is one thing you must do - and that is to attain the Self. You are the Self. The Self is yours. You are constantly thinking about your body and identifying yourself as a person. Stop! Discard that idea. Then think, "I am the Self. I am Consciousness." The fruit of thought is very great. What you attain in the end is what you think about all the time. So think, "I am the Self, I am Consciousness. I am beautiful." The Self is complete and pure and perfect. Whatever you do, wherever you go, sit calmly and contemplate the fact that your are the Self.

Illusion of Maya Versus Ultimate Reality

The world deceives us when we consider it to be simply the world as we see it. However, once we experience the blissful sport of Consciousness, the world is transformed into a haven of bliss.

Essence of All Teachings

I will explain the essence of thousands of scriptures in half a verse. This world is an illusion. There is no difference between the individual soul and the supreme Soul. They are one and the same. This was the teaching of Shankaracharya, who wrote:

This world is the creation of the mind.
Once the mind becomes mindless,
there is no world.
There is only heaven.

Story of Muktananda's experiences with his Guru Nityananda extracted from the excellent book: Bhagavan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri.
Copyright 1972, 1996 SYDA Foundation

Swami Muktananda's Commentary on Universal Consciousness extracted from: Play of Consciousness.
Copyright 1971, 1972,1978,1994 SYDA Foundation

Other sayings of Muktananda extracted from: Conversations with Swami Muktananda - The Early Years.
Copyright 1981, 1998 SYDA Foundation

Books published by and available from: SYDA, Siddha Yoga Foundation.
The above books are copyrighted by SYDA Foundation, and are excerpted here by permission. All rights reserved.
Also see Cosmic Harmony Books and References for more descriptive information about the books.

Nityananda Ashram at Ganeshpuri
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