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Baba's Birthday

Play of Consciousness

~ Swami Muktananda  

Introduction

It was May of 1969. Summer was reaching its peak in Gurudev Siddha Peeth, so much so that a faint shimmer from the heat was visible in the air. Swami Muktananda was planning to write his autobiography.

When Baba (as Swami Muktananda was affectionately called) told one of the Siddha Yogis of his plans to write the book, they suggested to Baba that, instead of embarking on a work of this magnitude in the intense summer heat of Ganeshpuri, he visit Mahabaleshwar in India’s Western ghats. Being in a mountainous region, Mahabaleshwar had a cooler climate and would therefore be more conducive to focused work. This Siddha Yogi had the financial means to support such a visit, and he offered to do so.

Baba accepted the invitation, and together with this Siddha Yogi and a few others, he traveled by car to Mahabaleshwar. The group arrived on May 8; the air was cool as they drove in, and the morning fog hung low over the valley. A few days later, on Monday, May 12, 1969, Baba began writing.

Over the next twenty days, Baba wrote—largely by hand, and from time to time, he dictated portions of the book to two of the Siddha Yogis with him, one of whom was Dada Yande. The book, once published, would total some 300 pages. When Baba had completed the manuscript, he called for everyone who had accompanied him to Mahabaleshwar. They held a ceremony, in which Baba revealed his book’s name: Chitshakti Vilas. In English, this would be translated as Play of Consciousness.

Upon its publication, Play of Consciousness became an instant classic, a cornerstone of the Siddha Yoga path—unique and extraordinary for the detailed glimpse it gives of Baba’s own sadhana and attainment.

To commemorate the 55th anniversary of Baba’s writing this work of monumental significance, the Siddha Yoga path website is featuring excerpts of Baba’s book.