Sri Swami Satchidananda lovingly recalls life with his own spiritual teacher, Sri Swami Sivananda, during a celabration of the 103rd anniversary of his birth. Master Sivananda, 1887-1963, was Spiritual Teacher to many of the great Yogis that are well known in the West today. They include Sri Swami Chidananda of the Divine Life Society, Sri Swamis Vishnudevananda and Sivananda Radha of Canada, and Sri Swami Venkatesananda of South Africa. In this video Swami Satchidananda describes his Master's place in Yoga's history, talks about his first meeting as a young seeker with the great master, and tells stories of ashram life. Emphasizing the depth of Master Sivananda's kindness, openness and generosity, he also discusses the essence of Master Sivananda's teachings, condensed as: "Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Realize." Includes rare, early film footage of Sri Swami Sivananda in Rishikesh, as well as audio of him speaking to disciples.
This historic video (filmed in 1990), offers 45 minutes of personal reflection from Sri Swami Satchidananda—the founder of Integral Yoga in the US—about his spiritual teacher, Sri Swami Sivananda. Satchidananda begins by explaining that years ago, there arose four holy sages in India: Swami Ram Das, whose focus was Bhakti Yoga (devotion), Ramana Maharshi, who practiced Jnana Yoga (knowledge), Sri Aurobindo, who emphasized Raja Yoga (meditation), and finally Swami Sivananda, who integrated all of the above. The result of this was Integral Yoga, known as Purna Yoga in Sanskrit, which Satchidananda translates as “complete in itself.” Satchidananda reveals that the main emphasis of Sivananda’s teachings was that one is always a yogi, no matter what the situation; in this way, Integral Yoga offers a balance of other yogic traditions.As Satchidananda continues, he maintains that Sivananda’s approach was unifying, attracting others to him from around and never necessitating that he leave India (with the exception of one 3-day tour to Ceylon). He emphasizes that Sivananda’s teachings were very simple and direct, offering as much repetition as needed to allow others to receive his spiritual message. Satchidananda also talks at length about Sivananda’s writings, which ranged from over 350 books to countless leaflets. Satchidananda’s reflections actually become quite comical here, as he reveals Sivananda’s habits of relentlessly distributing his pamphlets and books to anyone. He also jokes about Sivananda’s generosity, noting that Sivananda acquired the nickname “GIVE-ananda” because of his tendency to give books away for free; Satchidananda admits that he and the other disciples used to hide some of the books from Sivananda to keep the costs down. Satchidananda goes on to talk more about Sivananda’s personality, noting how he both believed in and found ways to inspire others, always encouraging enthusiasm while at the same time shunning extremes. Satchidananda also further describes Sivananda’s playful side, revealing that Sivananda eagerly joined in the games of children, never caring what others might think.Finally, Satchidananda suggests that Sivananda was the first person to emphasize the practice of hatha yoga. He maintained that Sivananda’s disciples have spread Sivananda’s teachings throughout the world, and he concludes with the simple, main message of Sivananda’s work: that we must be good and do good. The final 15 minutes of this download provide video footage of Swami Sivananda interacting with his followers, showing him both lecturing and at play. This is combined with actual audio voiceover of Sivananda’s sharing his advice. As Satchidananda contended, these teachings are quite simple, ranging from statements such as “you are the master of your destiny” to “draw strength from within.”Overall, this is a loving tribute to a spiritual guide who influenced many, including Swami Satchidananda. This video is likely to appeal mainly to those interested in learning more about the historic foundations of modern yoga, particularly those who are curious about the individuals who contributed to ensuring that the timeless practice of yoga is still relevant today.