Baba Muktananda’s Third World Tour:
A Historic Visit to Santa Monica, California
October 1980 – April 1981
While on his third world tour Baba Muktananda received a heartfelt invitation from Siddha Yogis in Southern California to visit the area. On October 14, 1980, Baba arrived in Santa Monica. Sevites had been preparing for months to receive him, and as part of this preparation they constructed a huge, white tent that would accommodate thousands as a satsang hall.
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That first afternoon Baba was welcomed by the mayor of Santa Monica and by a full hall of participants. In his welcome talk, Baba set the tone for his six-month visit in Santa Monica by imparting key teachings of Siddha Yoga to those gathered there. He taught that God dwells in the heart and spoke about the significance of welcoming others with respect and love.
Throughout his stay in Santa Monica, Baba interacted with people of all ages and professions, continuously offering everyone his love and welcome. Baba held evening satsangs, in which he introduced seekers to the teachings of the Siddha Yoga path and led them in the practices of meditation and chanting. He gave lectures on the philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism and other great spiritual traditions of India, providing a scriptural context in which Siddha Yoga students could understand their own transformation as they pursued Siddha Yoga sadhana.
During his stay in Santa Monica, Baba held many notable events. Baba gave Siddha Yoga Shaktipat Intensives, in which he bestowed shaktipat initiation, the awakening of the inner spiritual energy known as Kundalini Shakti. Baba also initiated a small group of Siddha Yoga students into monkhood. These students took the vows of sannyasa in a traditional Vedic ceremony, becoming Siddha Yoga swamis. Baba also held conferences for seekers in various professions: a 'Conference on Meditation and the Arts' for artists; 'Meditation:The Hidden Asset' for business people and lawyers, and a 'Health and Helping Conference' for health practitioners. In these conferences participants learned about the inner Self and the power of meditation to transform their lives and uplift their perception of the world.
Baba's Santa Monica visit culminated with his farewell address on April 24, 1981, a talk attended by more than 3,500 people. Continuing his theme of welcoming others with respect and love, Baba thanked the people of Los Angeles for giving him so much love and so much joy. In his final weeks in Santa Monica, Baba reminded seekers that by doing sadhana and meditating regularly, they too could continually experience the joy and love of the Self, the divinity that resides in their own hearts.