SWAMI SIVANANDA SARASWATI
Swami Sivananda (1887-1963) of Rishikesh, India, was a medical doctor and Ayurvedic physician, as well as a sannyasin of the Dasnami tradition. He touched thousands of people in his lifetime with his boundless energy and compassion, inspiring people to live a divine life. His Motto was “Serve Love Give Purify Meditate Realise”.
Swami Sivananda established the Sivananda Ayurvedic Pharmacy, The Divine Life Society, the Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy, and Sivananda Eye Hospital. He also wrote over 200 books that are in print all over the world.
Swami Sivananda was particularly focused on removing the obstacles that prevented the needy from accessing yogic teachings that could help them, regardless of whether it was yoga for physical or mental health or for spiritual development. Swami Satyananda shares this conviction, and it remains a foundation of Satyananda Yoga.
SWAMI SATYANANDA SARASWATI
Swami Satyananda was born in 1923 and met his Guru, Swami Sivananda, in 1943. He spent the following 12 years building Swami Sivananda’s ashram from scratch. In 1956 he founded the International Yoga Fellowship Movement (IYFM) as an initial step in fulfilling Swami Sivananda’s mission to spread yoga world-wide from “door to door and shore to shore”.
Recognising the need for a centre to train people in the science of yoga, Swami Satyananda founded the Bihar School of Yoga in 1963. He was also one of the first yoga masters to bring yoga training to the West. He traveled extensively for 20 years to a multitude of countries, covering every continent on the globe. Because of his in-depth knowledge not only of yoga but also of many religions and scriptures he was able to share a universal wisdom, and people of many different faiths as well as no faith sought him out. In addition he brought the benefits of yoga to the people who needed it most, working in hospitals and jails and inspiring his students to do the same. There are now Satyananda teachers in most countries around the world.
Swami Satyananda adapted the ancient teachings for the people of today. He developed innovative and easily accessible practices suited to the modern mind, such as the renowned SATYANANDA YOGA NIDRA™. He has also written over 80 books on yoga, tantra and spirituality, many of which are used as textbooks in yoga institutions, colleges, and universities throughout the world.
Swami Satyananda retired from public life in 1988 to focus on the upliftment of humankind in a more universal way. He lived in a small village in Jarkhand, India, where he worked to support the local community and improve their quality of life. Paramahamsa Satyananda took Maha Samadhi (consciously leaving the body at time of death) on 6th December 2009 at 00:04 hours. He asked for his mala beads, sat in sidhasana and entered into deep meditation. Using yogic techniques he then left his body. Paramahamsa Satyananda mastered death in the same way that he mastered life.
Swami Niranjanananda (Swami Niranjan) first came to live with Swami Satyananda when he was four, and he was initiated into Sannyasa when he was aged 10. Between 1971 and 1983 he traveled world-wide, founding ashrams and centres in many countries. In 1983 he was recalled to India and made President of Bihar School of Yoga. He was appointed successor to Paramahamsa Satyananda in 1993, taking on the responsibility for carrying out the vision to bring yoga into the modern world.
In 1994 Swami Niranjan founded Bihar Yoga Bharati, the world’s first accredited yoga institute. The following year he founded the Bal Yoga Mitra Mandal movement for teaching yoga to children.
Swami Niranjan guides Satyananda Yoga activities world-wide and is a master of blending East with West, holding the ancient tradition while actively participating in the modern world. He is a great inspiration expressing humbleness as a disciple in complete service of the mission of Swami Satyananda while at the same time holding the role of spiritual guide to thousands.
He has been deeply involved with the development and management of Ganga Darshan, Sivananda Math, Yoga Publications Trust, and the Yoga Research Foundation. In addition to all of his management responsibilities, he also tours the world regularly and has written over 20 books.
In 2008 Swami Niranjan appointed Swami Suryaprakash as president of Bihar School of Yoga in Munger, and currently holds all administrative duties. Swami Niranjan continues to inspire and serve people worldwide in the tradition of his teachers and remains the spiritual guide of the Satyananda tradition.
SWAMI SATYASANGANANDA SARASWATI
Swami Satsangi is the Peethadhishwari, spiritual guide, of Rikhiapeeth - sadhana place of the great spiritual master, Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati. Since arriving to Rikhia in 1989, she has dedicated herself to the establishment of Rikhiapeeth as a place for higher vedic sadhanas as well as a spiritual destination where people from across the globe come to receive inspiration and experience ashram life, selfless service and surrender.
Sivananda Math Sivananda Ashram at Rikhia, are also creations of Swami Satsangi. These institutes work to uplift the impoverished local community under the three precepts: Serve, Love, Give. Her unceasing efforts have transformed the entire area into a vibrant centre that cares for over 2000 children who come to the ashram daily to learn English and computer as well as yoga, chanting of mantras, havan and pooja. These institutes also offer help to the widows and village elders as well as contributes economic and social assistance to over 30,000 Indian families from 160 villages.
From the early 80s Swami Satsangi travelled extensively with Swami Satyananda and worked closely with him until his Mahasamadhi in December 2009. In fact you can say that he groomed her for his mission which unfolded at Rikhia for the upliftment of the impoverished.
Swami Satsangi is a truly inspirational author with deep insight into Yoga and Tantra traditions, the Vedas and Puranas. She has been able to articulately elucidate these ancient texts of spiritual knowledge to the masses with clarity and eloquence. Her latest publication, The Descent, is a commentary on Adi Guru Shankaracharya’s famous poem of divine ecstasy, Sri Saundarya Lahari and her most acclaimed book, Tattwa Shuddhi: The Tantric Science of Inner Purification, outlines the essential practice for inner experience which she herself developed and presented.
Swami Satsangi is an ideal teacher who imbibes and transmits the wisdom of her guru’s teachings. In 2009 she was given direction by her guru, Swami Satyananda to travel internationally and carry the light of these extraordinary teachings to all.