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Latest Spoof News Story: Tuesday 15th March 2005
Spoofing since: Tuesday 15th March 2005
Profile: "The dedicated ever enjoy Supreme Peace. Therefore, live only to serve."
H. H. Sri Swami Satchidananda often said these words in talks all over the world. These two beautiful sentences of guiding light are even more powerful coming from this being who lived them every day of his life.
Sri Gurudev was born on December 22nd in 1914 during the month known as Margali, the Dawn of the Devas. He was the second son of Sri Kalyanasundaram Gounder and his wife Srimati Velammai. Their home had always been a meeting place for poets, musicians, philosophers and astrologers. Sannyasis (monks) and holy men passing through the area were directed to the home of Sri Kalyanasundaram and Srimati Velammai for food and lodging. Srimati Velammai was inspired by the holy men and decided that her next child should be this type of person. She and her husband traveled sixty miles to Palani, the holy hill, to the Ashram of Sri Sadhu Swamigal where she was given a mantra to invoke the Divine Light as manifested in the Sun. She repeated it constantly, developing a vibration conducive to receiving the type of soul she desired.
From the time he was a little boy, Sri Gurudev (then known as "Ramaswamy") was deeply spiritual. Even as a young child, he spoke truths and displayed insights far beyond his years. His devotion to God was strong, and he looked at people of all castes and faiths with an equal eye, always recognizing the same light within every being. That recognition of the universal light equally present in all people remained as he grew to adulthood, became a businessman and a husband.
When his young wife died, he turned his attention to spiritual practice and studying with many great spiritual masters, including Sri Ramana Maharshi. Finally, in 1949, Ramaswamy met his Guru—H. H. Sri Swami Sivanandaji of the Divine Life Society, Rishikesh. He received Sannyas Diksha (initiation into monkhood) from his spiritual master and was given the name Swami Satchidananda.
And so began a new level of dynamic service for Sri Gurudev. Sri Swami Sivanandaji recognized the gift that his newly-initiated Sannyasin had for touching the lives of others and did not let this disciple stay in the Rishikesh Ashram for long. Soon, he sent Swami Satchidananda to serve in various parts of India and Sri Lanka. That led to Sri Gurudev's service in many other countries, and eventually—at the insistence of his many American students—to his moving to the United States, as well as to the founding of Satchidananda Ashram—Yogaville, Virginia and the Integral Yoga Institutes around the world.
Sri Gurudev's message emphasized harmony among people of all races and faiths. His motto was: "Truth is One, Paths are Many." He believed that we are all one in Spirit and that throughout history great spiritual masters, such as Buddha, Moses, and Jesus, have come forward to teach the people of the world how to experience this spiritual oneness. After we have found that Spirit within ourselves, we will always recognize it in others. Then, we truly have power to help heal the world. Sri Gurudev exemplified these teachings. His beautiful message is that we, too, can exemplify them.
Sri Swami Satchidananda attained Mahasamadhi on August 19, 2002 in South India. Shortly before leaving the body, he told many people: "I will always be with you in Spirit. Even if my body is not there, you will never be without me." That is the reason we refer to his "having dropped the body" or as having "left the body." That is what the Yoga tradition teaches us about the ongoing relationship with one's Satguru.
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