Way back in the day, i was in college and just had a radical and unexpected spiritual awakening. Spriituality was all new to me. I didn’t know it existed before at all.
I was a student at UC Davis and saw this picture hanging on a flyer and it struck me “I would have loved to have met this yogi if he were still alive” I don’t know why I thought that and it turned out he was alive and coming to Oakland, an easy drive from Campus.
When Swami Muktananda arrived I went to his satsang. There were hundreds of people there. I had hoped for disciples who looked like hippies or yogis or something but the ushers were dressed in fine clothes and suits, clean shaven. But Muktananda’s presence and energy was extremely palpable and powerful. I kept coming to satsangs. At one point I made an inner commitment to pursue my spiritual path with him when waiting for him to enter the meditation hall. When he arrived he pointed his finger straight at me in the crowd although I showed no outward signs of anything. My mind just stopped cold.
He was going on from Oakland to South Fallsburg New York for the summer and I wanted to go. I went up in the long line for blessing/darshan and asked through his translator “I want to follow you but I don’t have any money” He said bluntly. “Get a good job” I walked maybe 40 feet from him to the side of the hall and some folks asked me what I asked and what he said. One guy volunteered “Well I have a job in South Fallsburg this summer than I can’t return to, it comes with room and board, maybe you can get that”
and so it was, in 2 minutes I was hooked up with a perfect job delivering bakery goods for a Jewish bakery in Upstate New York. I was free to attend the ashram programs every evening. Working at the bakery was its own story and adventure.
When I say Muktananda’s energy was strong, I’m underplaying it. Kundalini awakenings and their manifestations were everywhere, particularly at first. Sometimes people had to be carried off.
I had an experience once that I think is testimony that this wasn’t just a group belief influenced experience. The ashram was an old Catskills resort and had several levels. The bookstore was downstairs and was accessed by a ramp from a higher level. There was a catwalk passage over the end of the ramp. Anyway, I was exiting the bookstore and couldn’t see who was in the upper level. Suddenly I felt a tremendous force pass over my head. I was like “what was THAT?!!” I walked up the ramp a bit to see and it turned out Swami Muktananda had just walked over my head upstairs. (and he ordinarily wasn’t found walking around the ashram.) I spent the next two years with summers with Muktananda in New York and he inspired me to learn Sanskrit and Hindi when I went back to school. He died shortly after and there were a few scandals in his wake, teaching me how things aren’t so black and white, and admittedly, neither was i.
I learned and grew from his wisdom knowledge and influence. His catch phrase was “God dwells within you, as you” He taught to all levels at once and one would often feel like his speech to a crowd was directed right at you. That’s common with the deeply connected Gurus. For a higher level teaching One time he was speaking to new monks.
He said “I AM, you say I am a man or a woman, or a swami or rich or poor, and you spoil it”
I finally rode my motorcycle to the Ganeshpuri ashram in India in recent years but it was mostly shut out to outsiders which also meant me, Very disappointed I couldn’t visit his tomb (Samadhi) But did manage to tour significant spritual sites in the area.
This is the picture I saw posted, they call it “the shaktipat picture” as it’s said one can get a transmission from it. Ironic, you’ll see that I have some remarkable stories coming that involve photographs
As they say in the ashram
“Sadgurnath Maharaj Ki Jay”