Love, Service, Devotion, Yoga


Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati (1923 - 2009)



At midnight (Indian Time) on December 5th, Swamiji left his body while sitting up doing Japa, a smile in his face. He was born in Almora, at the Himalayan Foothills and it is impressive to feel and think of all the light, all the peace, all the wisdom, all the health, all the service, all the compassion that he imparted in all his disciples, all the teachers he trained, all the students who ever took a class, learned a practice, picked up one of his books. One being can bring so much light into the world, and while his will be missed, he will live on in the minds and hearts of those who he touched.

Swami-ji's teachings and the work of the Swamis that studied with him have been the source of much of the Yoga Therapy knowledge that has enlightened our professional lives. The practices he brought to life have been tremendously instrumental in our understanding of Yoga and their effect had only made us a better person. May we do service to his greatness by spreading the deep knowledge that he so generously brought to our time.

Swami-ji's parents were landowners. At the age of six, Satyananda started having spontaneous psychic and spiritual experiences, during which he used to become completely unaware of his body for quite a long time. By age fifteen, Satyananda started practicing Kundalini Yoga. Two years later, he started asking questions like "What is the difference between perception and experience?"

At nineteen years, he decided to find a Guru who would guide him towards the highest state of consciousness and left his house in this pursuit. In 1943 his search ended when he met Yoga Master Swami Sivananda Saraswati in Rishikesh city of Uttar Pradesh. He stayed with the Guru for a period of three years and was then initiated by Sivananda Saraswati into the Dashnami order, as a Poorna as well as a Paramahamsa Sanyasi. He was given the name of 'Swami Satyananda Saraswati'.

Paramahamsa Satyananda completed his initial sanyas training of twelve years in the year 1956. This was followed by his initiation into Kriya Yoga, again by Swami Sivananda. He then began to practice Parivrajaka (Mendicant) stage of sanyasa. During this period, Swami Satyananda Saraswati traveled all over the Indian subcontinent. This travel helped him in meeting numerous saints of that time as well as knowing the needs of the society. Swamiji spent years in seclusion, practicing and perfecting his Yoga Sadhana.

Swami Satyananda Saraswati went on his first World Tour in 1968, under the guidance of his Guru. This was followed by several international and national tours, to promote the teaching of yoga. In July 1963, after Swami Sivananda Saraswati passed away, Swami Satyananda established the headquarters of his mission in Munger city of Bihar. In the subsequent years, he set up the Bihar School of Yoga, International Yoga Fellowship Movement, Sivananda Math and the Yoga Research Foundation.

In 1973, Paramahamsa Satyananda Saraswati was recognized as an Adept (God realized Yogi). The International Yoga Convention was held to commemorate the Sanyasa Golden Jubilee renunciation of Swami Sivananda. It was here that the renowned saints and sages of India accepted him as one of the principal experts in the filed of esoteric knowledge as well as the leading proponent of Yoga.

In the years that he devoted to Yoga teaching, Swami Satyananda Saraswati mastered over eighty masterful Yoga texts. He renounced teaching, in 1988, to take up the lifestyle of a Paramahamsa, and after settling in the small village of Rikhia, he led a life of meditative seclusion.


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