Nina Rao visits Dr. Jaya Prasada in India for a conversation that explores the spiritual legacy of contemporary Indian Saint, Sri Siddhi Ma.
Dr Jaya Prasada is the author of the new book Sri Siddhi Ma: The Story of Neem Karoli Baba’s Spiritual Legacy. Jaya was born on 13 August 1948 in Lucknow, India. She graduated from Loreto College, and earned her master’s degree from the University of Lucknow. In 1981, she did her PhD on Prime Minister Indira Gandhi from the University of Rohilkhand. Jaya lived for thirty-seven years in the closest proximity to the divine mother Sri Siddhi Ma, who inherited the spiritual legacy of Neem Karoli Baba. Her debut book, Sri Siddhi Ma, is dedicated to her guru Sri Siddhi Ma and takes us into the life and times of the silent saint of Kainchi. Jaya lives between Kainchi Dham and her home ‘Teertham’ in Nainital, where Sri Siddhi Ma took mahasamadhi in December 2017. She is an ardent photographer, a keen mountain traveller and likes to keep up with technology.
This episode is an impromptu recording made on location in the hills of India. Due to these circumstances, this episode is a soundscape of daily life in the hills of India. If you have any trouble hearing Jaya and Nina’s conversation, please tune into the video version of this podcast for subtitles: youtu.be/ZobVBY0hCiY
Sri Siddhi Ma // Family & Destiny
Nina Rao and Dr. Jaya Prasada come together during May 2022 in Teertham, India—Siddhi Ma’s retreat home in the hills—for a Dharma-filled discussion reflecting on their time with contemporary Indian Saint and devoted Neem Karoli Baba lineage-holder, Sri Siddhi Ma. To begin, Nina invites Jaya to describe her early life and transformative destiny which brought her to the path of Bhakti with the grace of sitting at the feet of Saint. From here, Jaya describes the influence her mom and grandpa had on her spiritual path.
“If you ask me why I wrote this book—it was a deep desire within me to share with everyone that came my way the endless love that I received from [Siddhi] Ma.” – Dr. Jaya Prasada
Krishna Das touches on the essence of Siddhi Ma & Maharaj-ji, on Ep. 117 of Pilgrim Heart
Maharaj-ji & Kainchi // Nam Sadhana (12:12)
After sharing the story of her first visit to Maharaj-ji’s Kainchi ashram which led to many darshans of Sri Siddhi Ma, Nina describes how Ma would always point everything back to Maharaj-ji. Through this lens, she asks Jaya to describe the relationship between Maharaj-ji and Siddhi Ma; as well as how Ma would flip between being a humbly devoted bhakta, and the Mother of the Universe. Next, they share Siddhi Ma’s prescription for the Kali Yuga – Nam Sadhana, the repetition of the Holy Names.
“Where Ma starts, Maharaj-ji stops; and where Maharaj-ji stops, Ma starts. Thousands of people wanted to feel Maharaj-ji’s presence, and they came in Ma’s presence. Ma’s words—Ma’s constant repetition of ‘Maharaj-ji, Maharaj-ji. Maharaj-ji said this, Maharaj-ji did this’—reincarnated Maharaj-ji in their hearts, in their eyes, and in Kainchi. Kainchi was infused with the presence, the Being of Maharaj-ji.” – Dr. Jaya Prasada
Nina joins Ram Dev to discuss chanting & the miracle of Siddhi Ma, on Ep. 84 of Healing at the Edge
Ma’s Divine Intuition & Insight (28:01)
After sharing the small details of Ma’s astute and mindful care for her devotees, Nina invites Jaya to describe the ways in which she was able to closely care for and serve Ma. Next, they share the spiritual importance of sharing photographs of, and devotional relics from, Siddhi Ma. From here, they dive further into how Siddhi Ma’s divine intuition and insight helped guide their lives. To close, they share miracle stories illuminating Sri Siddhi Ma’s all-pervasive omniscience and unconditional love.
“[Siddhi Ma] saw what actually was going on, She could see into our own hearts, and She would answer the question that we hadn’t even thought to ask—and only when we heard what She had to say did we realize that that’s really what we were looking to know.” – Nina Rao