Newsletter December 2009
Paramahamsa Satyananda was born at Almora, Uttar Pradesh, in 1923. In 1943 he met Swami Sivananda in Rishikesh and adopted the Dashnami sannyasa way of life. In 1955 he left his Guru's ashram to live as a wandering mendicant and later founded the International Yoga Fellowship in 1956 and the Bihar School of Yoga in 1963. In 1987 he founded Sivananda Math, a charitable insitutuion for aiding rural development. It was in 1988 that he decided to withdraw from the main stage and after adopting kshetra sannyasa, spent the next period of his life in Rikhia, Jharkhand, India, where he performed high spiritual and vedic sadhanas whilst simultaneously working to uplift all his neighbors with various projects. In his life, Swami Satyananda wrote over 80 best-selling books on yoga and spiritual life and has guided and inspired thousands and thousands of people from around the world. Swami Satyananda, took Maha-samadhi, consciously leaving his body, on Dec. 5th, 2009 at mid-night.
Dedications to Guruji
The most remarkable and important thing in my life was to meet Paramahamsa Satyananda in the early seventies in my native Colombia. He told me to come to India, where I lived in His transformative presence. From 1980 to 1996 my little life was exposed to His oceanic presence as he enriched my heart with His unlimited wisdom and inspiration.
He was the perfect sannyasin, yogi, friend, organizer, builder, cook, teacher, everything. He was the Divine in human form. He told us that spirituality is not to be found in the clouds, but by participating in human life with full awareness. He used to say that the best yoga posture was not a head stand, but a feet stand.
Swamiji brought a new dimension of existence to the world that will remain as the perfect and most effective way for human evolution and expansion. Whoever He met, even once, was touched forever by His presence. He changed my life from a useless hippy to what I am today. I owe everything to Him and my life mission is to continue the path that He has given to me.
Now The Lion has left a physical frame and we can hear His roaring coming from all corners of the universe. His body is the whole cosmos and his glory covers all those who came across Him.
It is difficult to put into put into words my feelings about Swami Satyananda as they seem useless when trying to describe someone who gave so much to each and every person who crossed his path.
During the last decade, I have been honoured to have the opportunity to photograph Swamiji. When I was first in his presence, I used to cry every time with joy because my heart would feel so expanded. I eventually learnt to keep tears at bay and as I followed him with the camera, I learned so much from his actions .
Swami Satyananda led by example and served all in need. In the West, he gave us practices, books and inspiration to live a more balanced, healthy life using scientific tools for the intellectual mind.
In Rikhia, he provided access to education, medical care and housing. All, especially children, widows and pensioners received not only the necessities, but also pride and confidence. If we can follow even one of his deeds or teachings, then we will also contribute to the world being a better place.
While I do miss Swami Satyananda’s physical presence and long to see his face and hear him express a profound truth, my deepest self, knows that he is within and around us and will live on forever. May we all work towards sharing His ideals and serve our fellow beings.
With great thanks for the opportunity to have a little of Sri Swamiji’s time. Namo Narayan,
Swami Karma Karauna.
Dec. 8th, 2009 Letter from Atma Sundari (Age 13) to her parents
Dear Mum and Dad,
I know both of you are very sad about Sri Swamiji. When Mridula first told me I cried for about two hours, since then I haven't cried at all. Of course I am very sad, but I feel like I've got a mental message from him. I feel that it was the right time for him to go and that he wants us to accept that.
I feel that he doesn't want me to be sad. I also feel that he will always be there to guide me and that he will watch over me and be in my heart. I feel so blessed being able to witness part of his life.
I know that his body is gone now but all the great things he did and the beautiful memories of him are still here; he blessed and helped so many people. He will always be with us and be remembered as a great person who made change for the good of humanity.
Mahasamadhi of Paramahamsa Satyananda
Paramahamsaji's body rests in Parna Kutir
Each day Swami Niranjanananda and Swami Satsangananda performed puja am and pm.
People came from far and wide to pay respects
Swami Niranjanananda and Swami Satyasangananda serving a meal as part of 16 day departure ritual
Swami Niranjanananda outside the Kanya Kitchen built in 2009