G. Harsha Adler King, Excerpts from the Book The Beauty of the Victim ("Memoirs of Swami Muktananda"):
Like Sri Dhyanyogi, Swami Muktananda practiced the initiation of energy transfer called shaktipat. Below are excerpts by someone who studied with him and was in discipleship to him for the last 30-odd years, including since he "left the body." G. Harsha Adler King is also
contributing "The Tradition of Crazy Wisdom" to the "Life Page One" exhibit of the Het Toreke Museum. She can be reached for more of this "Memoir" or for process-oriented therapeutic and healing consultations or workshops with herself or her husband, at their meditation center in Zurich, by email:
Email Harsha Adler King. Visit her website at
On Bowing Down
Dear Friend: If up to this point you had the patience to be with me, you might ask yourself what gifts YOU received from this Tyrant. This is an essential question to ask.
I have found that in order for poison to turn into medicine, the intellect often has to be
bypassed or sent on a holiday. Again, I am inviting you to swim against the mainstream tendencies which would have you reason for and against the advantages of receiving gifts, or what gifts, or how many and in what form. The practice of bowing down is much simpler. Forget concepts. Bowing down is beyond reason and cuts through many chains with simplicity.
It is propagated by most spiritual teachings that without a teacher or guide you cannot attain even the antechamber of enlightenment, because reason cannot free itself from reason. One cannot achieve liberation alone. Reason, the mind, is not capable of transcending itself. In order for us to become conscious on all levels of being, we need to go through a phase of loss of
consciousness. The constant grappling of the mind with a koan can lead to falling out of ordinary consciousness into another realm. This is also what accidents, diseases, natural disasters, loss of a beloved one or any catastrophe can do for us. Any blow the Tyrant may deal out. The Unacceptable, the Unbelievable, the Indescribable, the Absurd are all gifts . . . or can be received as gifts once we have learnt to bow down. Bowing down creates a powerful frame. If people
realized the mystery of bowing down, they would queue up to learn this practice.
The practice of bowing down requires the strength of a planet combined with the suppleness of a feather in the air. [from p. 235]
Along with the practice of bowing down, we need abundant rains of tears. Tears on the
boundaries between surrender and rebellion, tears washing away ideas, concepts and all self-righteousness. Soaking mind and concepts in the water of tears, bathing the heart in a rain of tears. Tears that bring forgetfulness.
Not back into unity,
in a stream of tears,
Beyond the wonders of Maya,
Bowing down to every single failure,
Thanking for every hurt,
Touching. [p. 236]
"We have to begin with basics; i.e., the definition of the word "Guru." Its exact meaning is "Remover of Darkness.". . .
A Siddha Master has very special ways of working on the student. Everyone of his gestures is a teaching, and each piece of teaching goes to the deepest level of the disciple's consciousness with utmost directness. It is amazing to watch a perfect Guru work on the soul level. Swami Muktananda's teachings were extremely sober and concise: not a word, not a gesture that
was superfluous. His teachings were without repetition, unforeseeable and ever new, because in total harmony with the ever-new constellations formed by Life herself.
Baba, as he was called affectionately, loved to go on rampages and to let his Shakti (his spiritual energy) burst out in unique ways. One morning Baba came to the Guru Gita (the early
morning chant) carrying his long stick. That stick was quite famous. He told everyone to look only at the Guru Gita text which we would usually chant in the early morning. No one was to look at him. That triggered vigilance. It created a dense atmosphere, a mixture of awe and fear. If he so much as saw you even glance at him, the stick came swirling toward you. In the perspective of the Tyrant Benefactor, this is an example of how a great teacher can destroy fixed ideas of what
"yoga" is supposed to be. In the Western world, many people have concepts of what a Guru is, or should be. I saw Baba continuously wipe out these mental representations so as to free people for the direct experience of the Guru's spiritual energy. In the evening of that day, Baba spoke of the people who worship the Guru's form, emphasizing the uselessness of such attachments to his human appearance.
Many times I heard him recommend that everyone just follow the general discipline and leave him alone in his old age, to enjoy the divine silence. Often he even scolded the whole crowd of students, telling us how we weighed on him with our lethargy and lack of understanding, forcing him to repeat a thousand times that we were god, and most often to no avail, because we did not listen with the ears of the heart. . . .
I will attempt to describe in detail some of the fascinating ways a great Siddha Master used to teach his disciples and how he embodied the Tyrant with full compassion for our sake, when this seemed beneficial for the seeker's evolution.
There were several buildings with dormitories around what was called 'the older buildings.'
The kitchen was located there. One early morning—it must have been around three o'clock—everybody's attention was aroused by mighty noises. Lights were on, which was not unusual. The noises were frightening. Suddenly pans were flying out the window, a voice in the air was saying, "Baba is in the kitchen." The setting had a breath-cutting quality. Our minds got incredibly sharp. Everybody was listening, stunned. Then the noises subsided. Meanwhile, by now
dressed, we rushed down, to do what Ashram discipline required. This meant many gathered in a big hall for tea in utter silence, followed by chant. . . .
Events of this nature shook everybody up. They were perfect mirrors. Facing the irrational, the unexplainable, our minds strained to make sense. These events had a direct impact on the
deepest level of consciousness; they were energy transmitters, and whatever discussions they triggered, they were always beyond all our speculation in their effects. We could simply assume that what we were seeing and commenting on was a perfect reflection of our own reality. We could listen to other people's interpretations. Could look at such events as "dreams" and go into dream interpretation. Whatever the choice, the wealth of their symbolic value drew everyone to magic inner spaces. . . .
Each time something so sudden, shocking and beyond reason happened in the community the whole field was shaken. Our usual patterns were broken. The awakening from mechanization opened space for new vitality.
Another fascinating aspect is the a-rational (beyond-reason) nature of the Siddha
teachings, as we got them from Baba Muktananda. The incident with the flying pans could not be absorbed and classified by the rational mind, as e.g., the consequence of some negligence. Here was a man endowed with the highest Siddhis (spiritual powers), from whom we continuously experienced love, and this same man was triggering something like a thunderstorm in the middle of the quiet night. With such natural forces in action, all concepts, all ideas of what a Guru should be,
of what the relationship to him should be, all rational analysis, was cut through. This created a formidable opening in consciousness. Also, these events remain recorded forever in the mind, unforgettable. [extracts from pp. 237-241]
 The concept of the Tyrant who is also, paradoxically, a Benefactor, is referred to here—as we
pick up far along into the manuscript, where the Muktananda memoirs are brought in. These are previously unpublished and not available anywhere at this time, except through the King-Adler email address or website.