Swami Satyananda Saraswati was born at Almora, Uttar Pradesh, in 1923. In 1943 he met Swami Sivananda Saraswati at Rishikesh and became his disciple. Swami ji stayed with Swami Sivananda in his Ashram for the next 12 years as a sannyasin in the toughest of conditions. But Swami ji has stated those 12 year periods as the best period of his life. He immersed himself in Guru Seva. He simply followed the instructions of his Master. He was asked to look after administration, the printing work of Ashram books, kitchen work etc. which he did as was asked to him.
Of that glorious time when he lived and served his guru, Sri Swamiji says that it was a period of total communion and surrender to the guru tattva, whereby he felt that just to hear, speak of or see Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati was yoga. But most of all through his nishkama seva he gained an enlightened understanding of the secrets of spiritual life and became an authority on yoga, Tantra, Vedanta, Samkhya and kundalini yoga. Sri Swami Sivananda said of Swami Satyananda, “Few would exhibit such intense vairagya at such an early age.”
It can be said that Sri Swamiji was a pioneer in the field of yoga because his presentation had a novelty and freshness. Yog Nidra, Ajapa Japa, Antar Mouna, Pawanmuktasana series, kriya yoga and prana vidya are just some of the practices which he introduced in such a methodical and simple manner that it became possible for everyone to delve into this valuable and hitherto inaccessible science for their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual development.
Swami Satyananda founded the International Yoga Fellowship in 1956 and then in 1963, his gift to the world was Bihar School of Yoga. Lakhs of Yoga seekers have been benefitted by this Institute and the good work continues under the able guidance of Swami Niranjananand Saraswati. Over the next 20 years, Swami Ji toured internationally and authored over 80 books. The book ‘Asan Pranayam Mudra Bandh’ is like a textbook and serve as the best guide for every Yoga seeker.
In 1984 Swami Ji founded Sivananda Math, a charitable institution for aiding rural development, and the Yoga Research Foundation. In 1988, he adopted the kshetra sannyasa. He settled in Rikhia, where he lived as a Paramahamsa Sannyasin till his last breath on 5th December 2009.
Here I seek his blessings in my endeavor to contribute a bit to the vast field of Yoga.