The root of any spiritual community is essential. The Ashram stems from the Nityananda Lineage and travels from Ganeshpuri, India all the way to Melbourne, Australia. The Shakti or spiritual energy is passed from teacher to disciple and can only be carried forward by authentic Great Beings.
Our yoga is part of a line of masters that stretches back to antiquity. In modern times the central figure is Bhagavan Nityananda (circa 1885-1961), the mysterious sage of Ganeshpuri, India. Although little is known about his personal background, people who met him believed that nothing could shake him from his state of inner bliss and they gave him the name Nityananda, “everlasting bliss.”
Many thought of Nityananda as an incarnation of Lord Shiva, the original Guru. His presence transformed the village of Ganeshpuri, near Mumbai, into a holy site and a place of pilgrimage. Many flocked to him for wisdom and spiritual sustenance. He taught mainly in silence, and disciples absorbed his teaching simply by sitting in his company.
His samadhi shrine (tomb) still brings thousands of devotees to Ganeshpuri to bask in Bhagavan Nityananda’s powerful spiritual energy.
Outstanding among Bhagavan Nityananda’s disciples was Swami Muktananda Paramahamsa (1908-1982), an ardent seeker of God from his earliest years. Intelligent and proud, he mastered many yogas and many skills. In Nityananda’s presence his consciousness exploded into divinity. The shock and joy of that awakening made him realise that yoga was of little value unless there was a Self-realised Guru at the source. The essence of his teaching, which he called Siddha Yoga, lay in this awakening, Shaktipat, or transmission of the Guru’s grace.
Known to all as Baba, an affectionate name for spiritual father, Muktananda was an articulate and disciplined yogi. He gave coherence and verbal form to Bhagavan Nityananda’s unstructured teachings. Blessed by his Guru with the power of Shaktipat, he travelled the world, awakening unnumbered spiritual seekers. An essential part of the Nityananda Lineage.
Swami Shankarananda (Swamiji or Guruji) is one of the foremost of Baba’s Western disciples. Following the teachings of his great predecessors, he awakens people by Shaktipat and teaches classical techniques of meditation on the Self.
Swamiji is an internationally recognised authority on the philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism. He has integrated this powerful philosophy into Western culture through courses, workshops, study groups and everyday practices.
Swamiji also has contributed to the unfolding of yoga in the West through a dynamic form of Self-inquiry called the Shiva Process. It is a practical and easy methodology to improve relationships, achieve personal freedom and improve the quality of everyday life.
Swamiji follows Baba’s footsteps and continues to spread the teachings from the Nityananda Lineage in the west.
To learn more about Bhagavan Nityananda and the lineage, visit the Nityananda Tradition website.