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Muktananda (also known as Swami Muktananda), (16 May 1908 – 2 October 1982), born in India, was the founder of Siddha Yoga. He was a disciple and the successor of Bhagavan Nityananda. He founded the Shree Muktananda Ashram in upstate New York, and wrote a number of books on the subjects of Meditation and Siddha Yoga, including a spiritual guide entitled Where Are You Going? A Guide to the Spiritual Journey.

Shiva statue, Shree Muktananda ashram, NY


Where Are You Going? A Guide to the Spiritual Journey (1982)[edit]

Full text online

Where are you going?[edit]

  • O friend, where are you going? Where have you come from, and what are you supposed to do? You belong to the supreme Truth, but you have forgotten your origin, Now it is time to get back on the main road.
  • People talk about innovation and reform, but in the name of these things they have succeeded only in destroying the environment, in wrecking family life, and in increasing selfishness and hostility.
  • In such a world there is only one thing we need, and that is the true understanding of humanity. Yet that is exactly what we lack.
  • Why does he live with enmity and competition instead of a feeling of brotherhood? He does these things because he lacks true understanding about himself. He does not know the greatness that lies within the human heart.
  • Western scientists are now beginning to discover the truth that the philosophers of India have known for millennia: that the entire universe consists of one energy. Our ancient philosophers, who were scientists of the spirit, called that energy Consciousness, or God. This supreme Consciousness created the entire cosmos out of its own being.
  • We are all portions of this universe of Consciousness. We are not different from one another, and we are not different from God. If one sows a mango seed one will get a mango, never a lemon. In the same way, that which is born of God can never be other than God.
  • Within the human heart dwells a shimmering effulgence whose brilliance surpasses even that of the sun. This inner Consciousness is the same as that which creates and animates the entire universe. But we are not aware of this. Even though we have come from this Consciousness, we have changed our understanding about ourselves.
  • How did we change? Every one of us has become one thing or another, according to our own understanding. We believe ourselves to be men or women, rich people or poor people. We believe that we are teachers, soldiers, psychiatrists. We believe that we are young or old, fat or thin, happy or miserable... Americans or Indians, Russians or Arabs, Hindus or Christians, Muslims or Jews.
  • If we could only penetrate beneath these roles to our own divinity, then once again we would all know that we are God.
  • A human being has the freedom to become anything. By his own power he can make his life sublime or wretched. By his own power he can reach the heavens or descend to the depths.
  • The human body is a temple within which God dwells in the form of the Self. However, to know this, you must turn within through meditation. In your present state, you have only partial awareness.
  • We know only the ordinary states of consciousness in which we live; we do not have complete knowledge of reality. When we are awake, we are totally immersed in our waking world. When we dream, our activities, our world, and our understanding are completely different from when we are awake. When we go into the state of deep sleep, we lose consciousness altogether.
  • When we meditate, we pass even beyond the deep sleep state and enter the state of the Self. That state is the foundation of all the other states, and it alone is permanent and unchanging.
  • We will realize that we are nothing but Consciousness. This physical body is like the clothes we wear. Just as they are merely a covering for the body, in the same way the physical body is merely a covering for our innermost Consciousness.
  • If everyone could experience that inner Truth, if everyone could understand his real nature, there would no longer be enmity among people, but only friendliness, affection, and the feeling of universal brotherhood... When we look at ourselves with the true awareness of humanity, we will see that same humanity in everyone else, and then we will realize that everyone in this world is a child of God.


  • It is certain... that to experience the Self we must follow a spiritual practice. Even to achieve something in daily life we have to work for it. We cannot satisfy our appetite merely by reading a description of a delicious meal.
  • Meditation is a natural sadhana, and it has been recognized bv all the saints and sages as the most direct means of perceiving the Self.
  • The Bhagavad Gita says, “Through meditation, the Self is seen.” Meditation is universal. It is not the property of any particular religion or nationality.
  • Meditation is not some strange technique that we have to learn with great effort and difficulty. There is already a strong element of meditation in our lives, but we are simply not aware of it.
  • Lovers meditate on one another. A mother meditates on her child. Whatever we accomplish in this world we accomplish through the power of concentration, which is nothing but meditation.
  • Just as when the mind focuses outside it perceives the outer world, when it looks within it sees the inner world. It is as simple as that.
  • Meditation is a complete path. It not only brings inner experiences, but removes all the worries and tensions of the mind and washes away the sins of countless lifetimes.
  • Above all, meditation stills the wandering mind and establishes us forever in a state of peace that remains stable no matter what happens around us.
  • Through meditation we become aware of our fundamental unity with all things. We cannot attain that awareness by reading books or listening to lectures. We can attain it only through direct experience. To have that experience we must pass from one state of awareness to another, moving gradually to deeper and deeper levels of our being.
  • We pass from the level from which we have the awareness ‘I am the body” to the level in which we have the experience ‘I am God.
  • Your true relationship is not with the mind, but with the Self. Therefore, understand what the Self is. Find this out: Are you supposed to know the Self, or is the Self the knower of everything? Are you supposed to meditate on the Self, or is the Self the one who is meditating on you?
  • The Self is Consciousness. It is self-effulgent, shining by its own light. It knows everything that goes on inside you. Therefore, it is not going to come within your grasp.
  • So how can these inner instruments show you the Self? God cannot be thought about by the mind, because it is God who sets the mind to thinking.
  • In the Kena Upanishad there is a statement: "That which is not thought about by the mind but by which the mind thinks-- know that as the Absolute." It takes a very subtle intellect to grasp this but if you understand it you will not have to make an effort to mediate. You will simply be aware of that which is meditation on you.
  • When the mind becomes entirely free of thoughts, the light of the Self will naturally reveal itself. That is why the scriptures of meditation say that the true meaning of meditation is total stillness of mind.
  • Not everyone is able to still the mind all at once, and therefore the sages have prescribed different techniques of meditation, according to people’s capacities.
  • One of the greatest of all techniques is mantra repetition. Mantra and meditation are companions; the mantra is a tremendous help in meditation.

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