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The Siddha Yoga Practice of Dakshina: An Introduction

In the Siddha Yoga practice of dakshina, an individual makes an offering to the Guru in monetary form. This practice is rooted in the ancient spiritual traditions of India, and it is a means of according the highest respect to the knowledge we receive from the Guru.

What we receive from Shri Guru is priceless—its value to us and to the world we live in is immeasurable. The scriptures of India elucidate this point, stating that it is rare to have a human birth, that rarer still is the longing to know the inner Self, and that rarest of all is meeting a spiritual Master who can awaken us to the knowledge of the Self.

On the Siddha Yoga path, we have this rarest of good fortunes. Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, the Siddha Yoga Guru, bestows shaktipat diksha, the awakening of the inner spiritual energy, and she imparts the Siddha Yoga teachings and practices, which guide us as we pursue our sadhana. Through the wisdom and grace of Shri Guru, we come to a deeper and truer understanding of ourselves; we become more attuned to the purpose of our lives; and we can attain the goal of the Siddha Yoga path: Self-knowledge, the state of liberation. Step by step, our perception of ourselves and our world transforms, and this, in turn, benefits not only us but also everyone and everything around us.

The regular practice of dakshina is a way to convey our heart’s response to Shri Guru’s generosity—it is a way to tangibly offer to the source of grace that flows through our lives continuously. What is more, as we continue to engage in this practice of offering, we find an alchemical process taking place, a process that defines the very nature of sadhana. Our hearts open; we are more readily, intuitively able to assimilate the Guru’s teachings; and we strengthen our identity with the inner Self.

As we offer dakshina, we are also helping to make the sublime gifts that we have received available to countless others who are seeking to know the Truth. The SYDA Foundation—whose core purpose is to protect, preserve, and facilitate the dissemination of the Siddha Yoga teachings worldwide—receives the dakshina we offer to the Guru and directs these offerings toward this purpose. In this way, our offerings of dakshina have a ripple effect of enormous scope. They help spread the Siddha Yoga teachings throughout the world, thus supporting the Siddha Yoga Mission and the achievement of the Siddha Yoga Vision.

To engage in the practice of dakshina, you can make a dakshina offering and participate in the Siddha Yoga Monthly Dakshina Practice.

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In addition to my monthly dakshina practice, I love offering dakshina whenever I feel the inner impulse. Sometimes I offer it in gratitude for a blessing in my life. At other times it is in gratitude for the Guru's blessings streaming through the Siddha Yoga path website. At still other times, I offer dakshina along with a prayer for well-being in myself or others. The practice connects me to the Guru in my heart, and I feel at peace.
 

New Hampshire, United States

Since I began walking this beautiful path, I love practicing dakshina. I am so honored to be able to make a monthly dakshina offering. Recently, my intent to contemplate the meaning of this core Siddha Yoga practice became stronger.
 
In the silence of the night, I visualized streams of brilliant, strong, bright light. It was very beautiful, bountiful, loving light. To my amazement this light shone its brightness on and in all aspects of the ways that life manifests in my world, within and without. And this brilliant, life-giving light, flowing from one source, flooded all the chambers of my life. It left no space for darkness; all that was left was light.
 
I practice dakshina as a part of my sacred dharma. It establishes me in Shri Guru’s teachings: step by step I dare to offer more of myself to Shri Guru’s life-giving light. Knowing that my participation helps make these sacred teachings available to others seeking the Truth fills my heart with contentment.
 

Nice, France

Scanning the homepage of the Siddha Yoga path website in anticipation of New Year's Day, I noticed that I hadn't yet pushed the button labeled "Offer Dakshina." Reflecting on this, I remembered—unexpectedly and vividly—a speaker whom I heard long ago in a course on Mahalakshmi, the goddess of abundance, saying, "Sustain that which sustains you."
 
My mind began to scroll through all that I have received in the past year—Sweet Surprise and many ways to study Gurumayi’s Message, the images on the Siddha Yoga path website, the bhajans and abhangas, the many live-streamed satsangs and celebrations, and all of Gurumayi's many other gifts of her love, guidance, and reassurance. I was so deeply moved with gratitude and humility that I couldn't press the "Offer Dakshina" button fast enough.
 

Utah, United States

From the beginning, I fell in love with the practice of dakshina. In offering dakshina, I experience the same love for the Guru that I felt two decades ago during my first Shaktipat Intensive.
 
Throughout these decades, I have experienced times of being financially comfortable and other times when there was less material wealth, but I have always maintained my practice. Sometimes I wondered if I should keep up my practice, and my heart always answered “yes.” In moments of stability, my experience of dakshina has been a blissful and quiet pulsation in my heart that I recognize as the Guru’s presence. In moments of uncertainty, this pulsation has encouraged me to continue on the path with love and confidence.
 
So many blessings have come to me through the practice of dakshina!
 

Madrid, Spain

As an artist, I often hear people commenting, “It must be so nice to live an artist’s life.” While it is certainly a privilege to live this way, the reality is that this is only possible if you are willing to give regularly and with discipline.
 
Like my personal art practice, the practice of dakshina is an opportunity for me to give in a spiritually fulfilling way. In my artist’s practice I give what is most valuable to me—the insight and beauty of the grace I am witness to. In giving dakshina, I do something similar. I give money as an expression of gratitude for the life-sustaining force that grace provides me.
 
As an artist I am not asked to create art but am fortunate to have the chance to do so. Similarly, I offer dakshina from my own self-motivation and feel fortunate for all the chances I have to practice dakshina.
 

Aotearoa, New Zealand

I have been offering dakshina regularly for some time. This practice has helped me connect to my worthiness. I experience that I am worthy to receive Gurumayi’s precious teachings, and I am able to perceive the greatness of Gurumayi’s teachings.
 
I realized that in my daily life, I was waiting to receive something from outside of myself. As I perceive my worthiness within, this has shifted. This discovery generated a sense of lightness within me.
 
The spiritual practice of dakshina is a great support in my sadhana.
 

Caen Normandie, France

I just recently celebrated twenty years of the monthly practice of dakshina. I feel so fortunate to have been able to keep this practice going regardless of the many ups and downs in my life—jobs lost, jobs gained, and moves from one home to another. At one time the nearby river came all the way into my apartment!
 
Transcending all this drama, in a peaceful and protected space, has been my steady practice of dakshina and meditation. My heart has remained full and happy. The practice of dakshina has maintained my connection to my Guru, which has been a constant source of courage, energy, and enthusiasm. I have experienced a consistent flow of kindness and support.
 
Dakshina is a wonderful mystery. So many times I’ve tried to make concrete connections between the giving and receiving but they remain invisible, like the air I breathe or the warmth of the sun. Dakshina can be measured but the gifts are immeasurable!
 

California, United States

I began to offer dakshina when I first engaged with the Siddha Yoga practices because, upon receiving shaktipat-diksha, the awakening of the inner divine energy, I felt so grateful for the huge reversal in my attitude to life. It was a shift from looking outward for others’ approval or opinions, to looking within my own heart at the divinity I had begun to see there. I was excited to find a tangible way to honor this gift by making a regular offering of dakshina to my Guru.
 

Auckland, New Zealand