Swami Muktananda (Krishna Rai, 1908-1982) was the founder of Siddha Yoga. He was a disciple and the successor of Bhagavan Nityananda. He wrote a number of books on the subjects of Kundalini Shakti, Vedanta, and Kashmir Shaivism, including a spiritual autobiography entitled The Play of Consciousness. He established more than six hundred meditation centers and a number of ashrams around the world. He began the life of a sadhu, a wandering mendicant in search of spiritual fulfillment, at an unusually early age. He studied under Siddharudha Swami at Hubli, where he learned Sanskrit, Vedanta, all branches of yoga, and took the initiation of sannyasa in the Sarasvati order of the Dashanami Sampradaya, taking the name of Swami Muktananda. After Siddharudha's death, Muktananda left to study with a disciple of Siddharudha called Muppinarya Swami at his Sri Airani Holematt in Ranebennur Haveri District. Then he began wandering India on foot, studying with many different saints and gurus. He often said that his spiritual journey didn't truly begin until he received shaktipat, spiritual initiation, from the holy man Bhagavan Nityananda. It was then that Muktananda's spiritual energy, kundalini, was awakened and he was drawn into profound states of meditation. Nine years later, Muktananda attained the state of God-realization. In the 1970s, on his guru's behalf, he brought the venerable tradition of his master's lineage to the West, giving the previously little-known shaktipat initiation to untold thousands of spiritual seekers. Muktananada established Gurudev Siddha Peeth as a public trust in India to administer the work there and founded the SYDA Foundation in the United States to administer the global work of Siddha Yoga meditation.  


"The so-called modernized people do not appreciate the importance of the Guru."

"Now people are trying to come back, regain what they have lost, and relate to their higher consciousness."

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