20 June 2006

From Daniel K:

Hi Ed,I enjoyed browsing your webpage. As an avid collector of Siddha Yoga history, I've always had a great interest in the succession period. Like you, I believe that those of us who would be involved with this path should see the whole truth, or, at the very least, see what Muktananda wanted everyone to see.

Unfortunately, as I'm sure you know, Siddha Yoga recalled most copies of "The Passage of Power," and so I have never had the chance to see it. Which brings me to the main point of this email: Would you be willing to sell your copy of "The Passage of Power"? I'd understand if you don't want to part with your only copy, but maybe you'd be willing to make a copy of your copy? I'm not looking to pay an outrageous fee for this, but if you're willing to sell it for a reasonable price, I'd be interested.



Hi Daniel,> >> > Where do you live? You can come see it but can't buy it. It is a > > third maybe fourth generation copy anyway, and very hard to see. > > Also, I am sure the tape has degenerated even more over the years.> >> > Shanks and I were quite close during that period when he was in > > SM. At the time I was head of security for both Chid and Nit.> >> > You might wan to TRY to get one from Indira Dawson, known now as Josey. She set up the Santa Monica Ashram after Muktananda left LA in 81. She is a good friend.

Hi Ed,

Thanks for your quick reply. I live in the Greater Boston (Mass.) > area. Is that anywhere near you? I appreciate your offer to let me > come see the tape; hopefully, we're in close enough proximity for > that to be realistic.> > It must have been quite a trip being head of security during that time! :)> > Daniel

Sorry Daniel,> > I live in the porn capital of the US, San Fernando Valley just North of LA.> > Indira (Josey) and Shanks are your best hope.> > It is an o.k. tape, just shows a usual ritual. It is of very poor > quality.> > Yes, being head of security was a wonderful experience: > intrigue, greed, personality conflicts and thousands of worshipers > of two who did not deserve worship.> >

Shanks was a buddy during that time. I saw him stalked while I > was driving him. Satsangs were cancelled because of threats and unknown people were filing in for Satsang, and there had been previous disruptions. > Hanging around with the swamis was a great show, but utterly illusory. I learned nothing but continued to go for the chanting. I have stories about it somewhere on my > site, but sometimes links are broken.> > Ed

Hi Ed,Oh well, so much for viewing it at your place. I will try contacting Josey and Shanks. By "Shanks," I take it you mean Swami Shankarananda?

Yes.Since you were so intimately involved during that time, maybe you can tell me a few of the things I had hoped to learn from the tape (and probably many things I WOULDN'T have seen on the tape!). After Muktananda gave Nityananda his name, it wasn't until several months later that he designated Chidvilasananda as co-successor, right? Did he ever publicly say, "She will be my successor," the way he said it of Nityananda, or did he only mention it after a group of swamis asked him about it?

Although both were ordained at the same time, Nityananda alone was named his successor. She bitched and moaned to Baba until her conceded. He did mention it in a public ceremony later. Of course, since she was his translator and de facto spokesperson, most everyone assumed, as did she, that she would be a successor. There were many, many of his 100+ swamis that were very disappointed they were not named his successor, or at least be given their own fiefdom around the world.

Another thing you have to realize is that Siddha Yoga or SYDA is a family business. Chid and Nit were more or less adopted from one of Baba’s close friends. Thus, he passed it on as a family business. At the time of the transition, it was obvious to everyone that their understanding, despite his years of badgering them, training them so to speak, their “knowledge” of the Self was still just words-philosophy. With Chid it seems this holds even today.

Nityananda is far more of what one expects as a guru. He was—when I knew him—sort of bashful and under-spoken. As a matter of fact, Shankarananda appeared to be Nityananda’s spokeperson at most events—Shanks, of course, being an intellectual and not-bashful.

Several years ago, SYDA released a "history and theology" of Siddha Yoga called "Meditation Revolution." That book made it sound as if Baba had always indicated (in private, at least) that Gurumayi would be his successor, and Nityananda was more of an "add-on" later on. But the way you describe it on your website makes it sound like it was the other way around. As far as you know, was Gurumayi also being talked about as a successor prior to ~1980, or was she really just added on at the last minute?

Everyone knew Nityananda was Muktananda’s teacher the moment he gave him that name. He had never given anyone the name of his beloved teacher. Chidvilasananda was not only not an add on, but was given equality by her alleged extortion.

I wasn't around during that time, but I've visited the ashrams of both Gurumayi and Swami Nityananda. I see what you mean about SYDA being illusory, with all the expensive bookstore items, putting celebrities up front in the programs, scripted "experience" talks, etc. However, I did not get that impression from Nityananda's ashram, and I found Nityananda himself to be very sincere.

Yes, the difference between the two are as night and day; Nityananda being the day. As I write, Robert tunrnd Muktananda down when Baba wanted to make a pact that they’d work together to build a world-wide organization.

Just out of curiosity, how did you get to be head of security? I thought SYDA did a better job of keeping the non-"die hards" out of their inner circle!

It took them a while to realize I was a Siddha Yoga fake. I had had a lot of celebrity bodyguarding experience before Muktananda. I also was on Muktananda’s original security staff when he was in LA. Therefore, the powers that ran the LA Center at the time they came, figured I was best for the job. In fact I loved it. I was enamored with power at that time and Siddha Yoga had unbelievable and palpable power. I was a Kundalini junkie. Besides, because I was close to power, I got the perks of power.In other words, I was 16,000,000 miles from self-realization at the time and was there for strictly for emotional fulfillment.

1 comment:

  1. From Daniel K:
    > As an avid collector of Siddha
    > Yoga history, I've always had a
    > great interest in the succession
    > period.

    Hi. I just found this blog and site. I don't have as wide experience with various teachers as Ed does, but we do share experience with both Muktananda and Seung Sahn Soen Sa. I'm not sure if Ed and I ever met.

    I was with Muktananda on his 3rd World Tour, and afterwards lived in Ganeshpuri, India till his death, then an additional year with the successors.

    After leaving SYDA, I did a week-long retreat with Seung Sahn (in Berkeley Jan 1988) which was the most amazing experience of my life. To this day I follow Seung Sahn's practice and teaching style.

    My website is

    My page specifically devoted to SYDA is

    Mainly, since Daniel expressed interest in SYDA history, I figured I'd chime in here in case the word could get back to him. I was there at the time of the succession and knew all the principles.

    Basically: years before his death, still during his final US tour, Muktananda declared that Nityananda would be his successor; no mention of Gurumayi (then Malti). Years later, not long before his death, Muktananda held a big ceremony in India to formally pass the lineage to Nityananda. There wasn't even a formal announcement that Malti would be co-successor. It just kind of spread around the ashram by rumor that Malti would become Swami Chidvilasananda and would be co-successor.

    I've got no inside knowledge that'd prove that Malti blackmailed Muktananda into sharing the lineage (because of her knowledge that Muktananda had been boinking underaged girls all along). But the strange secrecy and last-minuteness of Chidvilasananda being the co-successor was always suspicious.

    It's interesting drama, and I'm happy to discuss further if Daniel is interesting. Beyond that, it doesn't matter much, since Muktananda never had much valuable teaching. True, he did talk a bit about self-inquiry, but so many other teachers do the same. In the case of Muktananda, any clear and useful teaching was buried under a mountain of empty ideas about magical invisible energy ("shakti"), dualistic thinking about holy/unholy, and meglomania about how the guru was so much higher than ordinary people.

    "What am I?" teaching is readily available without all the non-sense. Of course, Muktananda's "shakti" teachings etc are quite effective in inducing temporary very good big feelings and experiences, if that's what you're interested in. Seung Sahn's teachings, in contrast, were a direct pointer to a clear experience of this moment.

    Thanks for listening,