Gurumayi Chidvilasananda (or Swami Chidvilasananda) is the current spiritual head of the Siddha Yoga path. She is formally known as Swami Chidvilasananda or more informally as Gurumayi (the word translates to "immersed in the Guru"). The Siddha Yoga lineage (parampara) was established by Bhagawan Nityananda, whose disciple and successor, Muktananda was Gurumayi's guru
Swami Chidvilasananda is the monastic name of Malti Shetty, who was the oldest child of a Mumbai couple who were devotees of Muktananda in the 1950s. Her parents took her the first time to the Gurudev Siddha Peeth ashram at Ganeshpuri when she was five years old. During her childhood, her parents brought her, her sister, and two brothers to the ashram on weekends.
After she had been initiated by Muktananda through shaktipat at age fourteen, she moved to the ashram as a formal disciple and yoga student. At age twenty, Muktananda made her his official English language translator and she accompanied him on his second and third world tours.
On 3 May 1982, she was initiated as a sannyasin into the SaraswatiSaraswati
The name Saraswati is a combination of two Sanskrit words... order of monks, taking vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience, and acquiring the title and monastic name of Swami Chidvilasananda, (literally "bliss of the play of consciousness"). At this time Muktananda formally designated her as one of his successors, along with her younger brother Subhash Shetty, whose monastic name was Swami Nityananda.
Sharing her experience, Chidvilasananda wrote:
At one point during the pattabhisheka, the ceremony during which Baba Muktananda passed on to me the power of his lineage, he whispered soham and aham Brahmasmi in my ear. I experienced the Mantra A group of sacred words chanted in order to gain something, be it materialistic pleasures or peaceful mindas an immensely powerful force which rocketed at lightning speed throughout my bloodstream and created an upheaval in my entire system. I instantly transcended body-consciousness and became aware that all distinctions such as inner and outer were false and artificial.
Everything was the same; what was within me was also without. My mind became completely blank. There was only the pulsating awareness 'I am That,' accompanied by great bliss and light. When my mind again began to function, all I could think was, 'What is Baba? Who is this being who looks so ordinary, yet has the capacity to transmit such an experience at will?"