SRI SWAMI SATCHIDANADA
period of life : 1914 - 2002 | place of birth : Tamil Nadu, INDIA
parents : Kalyanasundaram Gounder and Srimati Velamma
siblings : Brother Anachiappa
nationality : Born Indian (Later American in 1976) | occupation : Indian religious teacher, spiritual master and yoga adept
teacher/guru : Sivananda Saraswathi | education : Graduation from Agricultural College
website : www.swamisatchidananda.org
“ Truth is the same always.
Whoever ponders it will get the same answer.
Buddha got it. Patanjali got it.
Jesus got it. Mohammed got it.
The answer is the same,
but the method of working it out may vary this way or that. ”
“If you have done something meritorious,
you experience pleasure and happiness;
if wrong things, suffering.
A happy or unhappy life is your own creation.
Nobody else is responsible.
If you remember this, you won’t find fault with anybody.
You are your own best friend as well as your worst enemy. ”
“ When even one virtue becomes our nature,
the mind becomes clean and tranquil.
Then there is no need to practice meditation;
we will automatically be meditating always. ”
BOOKS BY THE MASTERS
Satchidananda was born in 1914 into a pious and devoted Gounder family in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu and was named as C.K. Ramaswamy Gounder. His parents affectionately called him Ramu. He remained a vegetarian all his life and abstained from eating meat at all times. After graduating from an agricultural college, he took a position with his uncle's firm, which imported motorcycles. By the age of 23 he became a manager at India's National Electric Works. During this period he got married and had two children.
His wife died five years later. Ramaswamy then left his two young sons with their paternal grandmother and decided to go on a spiritual journey. After the sudden death of his wife, Ramaswamy travelled throughout India, meditating at holy shrines and studying with revered spiritual teachers. For years, Ramaswamy searched for real sages, saints, and spiritual masters. Eventually, he was initiated into pre-sannyasa in the Ramakrishna Thapovanam and given the name Brother Sambasiva Chaitanya. While at the ashram, his job was to care for orphaned young boys. During this period, he also studied along with the renowned Sri Ramana Maharshi. He eventually left the ashram when he could not bear the suffering of Sri Ramana's arm cancer and treatment procedures. Ramana Maharshi died shortly after his departure. He then traveled to Rishikesh, a holy town in the foothills of the Himalayas, located on the banks of the Ganges River. There, he discovered his guru, Sivananda Saraswati who ordained him into the order of sannyasa in 1949 and gave him the name Satchidananda Saraswati.
Satcidānanda may be understood as the energetic state of non-duality, a manifestation of our spiritually natural, primordial and authentic state which is comparable in quality to that of deity.
During the late 1950s and into the 1960s, Satchidananda headed, along with another disciple of Sivananda Saraswati, to the Kandy Thapovanam, one of Sivananda's ashrams situated in the hill country of Sri Lanka. Here, Satchidananda taught yoga, conceived and implemented innovative interfaith approaches to traditional Hindu festivals and modernized the ancient mode of living that renunciates had followed for many years. For instance, Satchidanda drove a car (to teach throughout Sri Lanka), wore a watch (to be on time), and actively engaged the questions of seekers. These modernizations were ridiculed by certain individuals in the orthodoxy but he felt them to be necessary natural extensions and serving tools for betterment in his spiritual yogic work.
After serving his guru for many years, in 1966 he visited New York City at the request of the artist Peter Max. Soon after his initial visit, Satchidananda formally moved to the United States and eventually became a citizen. From his new home he spread his teachings of yoga, selfless service, ecumenism and enlightenment.
Satchidananda came to public attention as the opening speaker at the Woodstock music and arts festival in 1969. Over the years he wrote numerous books and gave hundreds of lectures. He also ordained a number of western disciples into the order of sannyasa.