Siddha Yoga is a path of spirituality, which is gaining popularity tremendously worldwide. It has helped its followers to reach to their state of spiritual liberation or enlightenment by following its teachings and practices.
It works over the guidelines of Hindu spiritual traditions of Vedanta and Kashmir Shaivism. It has opened around six hundred meditation centers and ashrams for its followers all across the globe including India, Unites States, Great Britain, and Japan.
After going through the available records, it has been found that this path of spirituality came into existence in West by Swami Muktananda in 1970s, who was the devotee of Swami Nityananda and acquired the state of enlightenment.
After the death of Swami Nityananda, the lineage of Siddha Yoga was then passed on to the hands of Swami Chidvilasananda who is famously known as “Gurumayi". Swami Chidvilasananda, being a kingpin of this new path of enlightenment, guides the students in the teachings and practices of Siddha Yoga so as to enable them to experience the awareness of themselves.
B) Various practices
The various practices of Siddha Yoga, which enable the students to move on to the path of enlightenment, are as follow:
a) Meditation: It is the silent focusing on a mantra “Om Namah Shivay" or on the flow of breath.
b) Chanting: It involves the chanting of Sanskrit mantra which can be the short Sanskrit texts known as Nama Sankritana or even the longer phrases of Sanskrit known as Swadhyaya. The forms of these texts generally include the Guru Gita, morning and evening artis, Kundalini Stavaha, and Shree Rudram.
c) Seva: Seva include the various types of services done at the ashrams or centers as an offering to the deities.
d) Dakshina: It is a practice of repaying the Guru as a token of respect and thankfulness after a period of receiving teachings on the spiritual path. This repayment can either be a financial offering or a gift.
e) Satsang: Satsang is a combination of two words, “Sat" means Truth and “Sang" means Company. Therefore, Satsang is described as the group meetings or programs accompanied by the highest truth. These are generally held weekly at the ashrams and the meditation centers of Siddha Yoga. It comprises of various elements including lectures, meditations, or recitations that are conducted by the Guru.
f) Intensives: They are the gatherings which are especially designed to enable the devotees to experience enlightenment or self-realization. They bring a momentary change in the state of consciousness of an individual which further enable them to understand the ultimate truth of themselves. Therefore, these intensives play a significant role in the philosophy of Siddha Yoga. They are generally held twice a year.
C) Gurudev Siddha Peeth
Gurudev Siddha Peeth is the first Siddha Yoga Ashram, which is located at the Tansa Valley in Maharashtra. It promotes the students of Siddha Yoga to participate actively in the retreats and to serve the mission of Siddha Yoga.
The humanitarian expressions of Siddha Yoga comprises of two main elements including The PRASAD Project which works for various health, education, and sustainable development programs for children and communities in need. It also comprises of the Muktabodha Indological Research Institute for the preservation of the ancient Indian scriptures and Vedic traditions.
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