Master Sirio is a unique western Master of Surat Shabd Yoga or Sant Mat. He both teaches and sets an example of practice of this spiritual path as his knowledge is not only theoretical; he has many decades of personal experience and practice, making his work credible and authentic.
He was born on the 12th of May, 1952 in Borgagne, Puglia, the southernmost province of Italy. He lived there with his parents and four siblings until the age of 10, then in 1962 the family moved to Milan. In 1979 he moved to Tuscany, where he founded the Sant Bani Ashram in Ribolla.
He had his first spontaneous spiritual awakening in 1972, when he was 19 years old, following which he started intense yoga and meditation practice to maintain and safeguard this uplifted level of consciousness. Driven by these experiences, in 1973 he went to India to look for a Master who could guide him on his inner path. Travelling overland (the trip itself took one month), he passed through Greece, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Not long after arriving in India, he met Sant Kirpal Singh, who he recognized as his Teacher and on the 25th of April, 1973 he received initiation from the Great Master Himself into the practice of Surat Shabd Yoga (meditation on Inner Light and Sound). He experienced such an immense and incredible upliftment in spirit and consciousness that on his return home to Italy from India, he spent the next two years in the practice of continous meditation in complete retreat from the world.
Master Sirio talks about initiation in an interview in the following way: "Every spiritual way or path has its own unique initiation, so naturally Surat Shabd Yoga does too. In Surat Shabd Yoga, initiation means to be initiated into the supreme mystery, which is none other than having first hand, personal experience of reality and coming in contact with the Divine Light and the Music of the Spheres or, in other words, the Sound of Silence, the Sound Current. Light and Sound are the two manifestations of the God-into-expression power. So at initiation the initiated gets or receives a personal experience, through the Master Power, of what it means to be in contact with the Divine Light and the Sound Current. This is a very powerful experience, because the individual goes through something spiritual, something that is above the physical consciousness and mental processes, something that is not physical or mental, but pure consciousness. The Surat is our attention, our consciousness; the Shabd is the Divine Light and Sound Current, and Yoga means the union of the two. Thus when Consciousness, Divine Light and the Sound Current unite completely and become one, then it is called Surat Shabd Yoga.
During my initiation on the 25th of April, 1973, I experienced something incredibly powerful, I received such a contact with the God-into-expression power, that it fundamentally changed my life. From that moment on I became a completely different man, my life changed radically.
After I was initiated, my Master told us that after the initiation we all should meditate at least two hours a day. But I thought I would like to do much more, I would meditate all day. Whether you believe it or not, this is exactly what I did for the next two years. About ten days after my initiation my Master told me to return to Italy and do my practices and not to waste my time. So I went home and locked myself into my room and just meditated all day long. I experienced incredible things in that period, which, as I said, lasted two years, continously."
Kirpal Singh was his first Master, whom he met and by whom he was initiated in 1973. He met Master Kirpal on two occasions, in 1973 and in 1974 and both times were incredibly uplifiting and fulfilling spiritually. Master Sirio talked about the period when his Master left this world and what happened afterwards: "He left this world in 1974. At that time I was very young and I felt the need to follow a living Master, because I had to learn how to do this spiritual work. I needed training. I was at a very high spiritual level, but being a young man, the process of becoming a real man was still ahead. I experienced this process with my second Master, Ajaib Singh, who was also a disciple of Kirpal Singh. Ajaib Singh was a very holy person who lived in the Thar desert in Rajasthan and with whom I had a 20-year long deep spiritual relationship. He appointed me to be his European Representative in 1977 when I was only 25, and he told me to give initiations in his name. Since then I have given initiations into this yoga tradition.
I received the first signs that I would one day take on the role of a Master, that this was to be my destiny, when I meditated together with my Master for the very first time in 1973, before my initiation, in India. This was the beginning of this process. In later years the Divine Will showed from so many sides, from so many aspects, whether I wanted it or not, this was my destiny. What is written in our destiny, what is in the Will of God, whether we want it or not, or accept it or not, will happen anyhow.
In 2001 I felt a strong inclination and inner guidance to have three months in complete, continous meditation. Obeying this inner urge, I promised myself that I would meditate at least fourteen to fifteen hours a day. Thus from the July 2001 to September 2001 I didn't do anything else apart from meditate through these hours every day. I went through an incredible upliftment of consciousness and I had many inner experiences, which showed much, much stronger than ever before, that this was what I had to do. So, according to my Master's will, I have done this spiritual work since then.
In 1977, when I first met Ajaib Singh, I told him about my intention to buy a piece of land and found an ashram. He was very happy about it and told me that this would be a good service for my soul. So the next year, when I got some money, I bought a derelict house with 17 acres of land on the outskirts of Ribolla. Then, in 1979 I moved on to the land, founding the Sant Bani Ashram, and I've lived there ever since."
Since then Master Sirio has continously held spiritual retreats in this beautiful place, and Ajaib Singh also led three programmes here in 1980, 1984 and 1989, in which hundreds of people participated. Such intense spiritual retreats with Master Sirio aren't held only in the ashram: his devotees arrange programmes for him all over the world. These have been mainly in Europe, but he has also been invited to the USA and Mexico.
In some countries of the world there are Sant Sirio groups which regularly meet to practice this spiritual path together. If somebody feels curious about the Teachings of the Master or would like to join the practice, he or she is welcome to do so. Please contact us to find out about regional arrangements in your area. All our programmes are completely free and Master Sirio himself never accepts or receives a single penny for his spiritual work. He earns his own living through being an Ayurvedic therapist and maintains the ashram on his own.