ABOUT SWAMI SATCHIDANANDA
Swami Satchidananda (Sri Gurudev) was born on December 22, 1914 in South India. In
1949, he met his Guru—His Holiness Sri Swami Sivanandaji of the Divine Life Society,
Rishikesh. He received his initiation into Sannyas (monkhood), from his spiritual master
and was given the name Swami Satchidananda.
So began a new level of dynamic service for Sri Gurudev. Sri Swami Sivanandaji
recognized the gift that his newly-initiated swami had for touching the lives of others and
soon sent Swami Satchidananda to serve in various parts of India and Sri Lanka.
In 1966, Sri Gurudev was invited to Europe by filmmaker Conrad Rooks and at the end
of this visit, pop artist Peter Max hosted Sri Gurudev in New York. The intended two-day
visit extended to five months as he was surrounded by hundreds of students, eager for his
teachings and guidance. In 1969, he opened the Woodstock Festival. The peaceful
atmosphere that prevailed throughout the event has often been attributed to his message
Sri Gurudev is the founder and guiding light for the Integral Yoga® Institutes and
Centers, located throughout the world. Integral Yoga, as taught by Sri Gurudev, combines
various methods of Yoga, including Hatha Yoga, selfless service, meditation, prayer, and
a 5,000-year-old philosophy that helps one find the peace and joy within. The teachings
of Swami Satchidananda have spread into the mainstream and thousands of people now
teach Yoga. Integral Yoga is the foundation for Dr. Dean Ornish’s landmark work in
reversing heart disease and Dr. Michael Lerner’s noted Commonweal Cancer Help
In 1979, Sri Gurudev was inspired to establish Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville® in
Virginia, USA. Based on his teachings, it is a place where people of different faiths and
backgrounds can come to realize their essential oneness. Yogaville is the home of the
Light Of Truth Universal Shrine (LOTUS). This unique interfaith shrine honors the Spirit
that unites all the world religions, while celebrating their diversity. People from all over
the world come there to meditate and pray.
Not limited to any one organization, religion or country, Sri Gurudev received invitations
from around the world to speak about the way to peace. He was invited to share his
message of peace with many world leaders and dignitaries, and received numerous
honors for his public service. Among them were the prestigious Juliet Hollister Interfaith
Award presented at the United Nations in 1994 and the U Thant Peace Award presented
on behalf of the Peace Meditation at the UN in 2002. In addition, he served on the
advisory boards of many world peace and interfaith organizations.
Sri Gurudev is the author of many books, including Integral Yoga Hatha, the Yoga Sutras
of Patanjali, To Know Your Self, The Living Gita, and The Golden Present. He is the
subject of three biographies, Apostle of Peace, Portrait of a Modern Sage and Boundless
Giving, and the film, Living Yoga: The Life and Teachings of Swami Satchidananda.
In August 2002, Sri Gurudev entered Mahasamadhi, the God-realized soul’s conscious
final exit from the body. His Mahasamadhi Shrine, known as Chidambaram, is located at
For more information, visit: www.swamisatchidananda.org
ABOUT SWAMI SATCHIDANANDA