BORN IN 1908 IN MANGALORE, India, Swami Muktananda, like Neem Karoli Baba, was a disciple of the respected guru Bhagawan Nityananda, whom he met in 1947.
Not coincidentally, in 1970 Ram Dass introduced Muktananda to America.
To aid his world mission in furthering the practice of kundalini yoga, Muktananda in 1974 established the SYDA (Siddha Yoga) Foundation, with headquarters in South Fallsburg, NY.
SYDA admirers have included Jerry Brown, Carly Simon, James Taylor, Diana Ross and Isabella Rossellini. Also, Rosanna Arquette, Meg Ryan, The Cosby Show’s Phylicia Rashad, Miami Vice’s Don Johnson and his wife Melanie Griffith, and Marsha Mason (Neil Simon’s ex-wife). Plus, singer Mandy Patinkin, celebrated songwriter Jimmy Webb—composer of both “MacArthur Park” and “Up, Up and Away (With My Beautiful, My Beautiful Guru....)”—and astronaut Edgar Mitchell.
Whoever has attained spiritual perfection has done so through his Guru. The Guru grants a life full of grace, complete freedom, and liberation of the Self. The Guru’s favor is absolutely necessary for lasting attainment. Without a Guru man is unhappy; with a Guru he is full of joy. So surrender yourself completely to the Guru (Muktananda, 1978; italics added).
The Guru should possess every virtue.... He cannot be a true Guru if he ... indulges in sense pleasures....
Without the Guru, it is not possible for a person to understand the Truth (Muktananda, 1999).
Muktananda’s specific view toward conjugal relations, further, reportedly took the following form:
Muktananda advised his devotees to refrain from sex.... “For mediation,” he told a South Fallsburg audience in 1972, “what you need is ... seminal vigor. Therefore I insist on total celibacy as long as you are staying in the ashram” (Harris, 1994).
But then, those rules are obviously there only for the benefit of the disciples, not for the guru who no longer needs them.
At his Ganeshpuri, India, ashram, “he had a secret passageway from his house to the young girls’ dormitory,” one [ex-follower] reported. “Whoever he was carrying on with, he had switched to that dorm. [He] had girls marching in and out of his bedroom all night long” (Rae, 1991).
One of the girls thus allegedly marching—“Jennifer”—claimed to have been raped by the great guru in early 1978.
Muktananda had intercourse with Jennifer for an hour, she said, and was quite proud of the fact. “He kept saying, ‘Sixty minutes,’” she said (Rodarmor, 1983).