Sri Swami Satchidananda
The beloved Master Sri Swami Satchidananda is the founder of the global Integral Yoga Association. He is respected as a Yoga Master and a spiritual leader. He is also regarded as a peace messenger.
He is often called Woodstock Guru because he created the famous Woodstock Festival, where a gathering of sixty thousand youths attended a three-day music show at a New York Ustak square in 1966. This was the first time for such a grand music show. Master Satchidananda was invited to address at the opening ceremony, where he took the opportunity to introduce the benefits of yoga to the attending youths and received huge cheers. The master frequently receives invitations from around the world to speak on the subject of “The path that Leads to Peace.” He serves on the consulting committee of the International Yoga Teacher’s Association. He also works at the European International Yoga Alliance, the British Yoga Society, and many other peace and religious exchange organizations.
Master Satchidananda was born in 1914 into a wealthy family in Southern India. His father was a rich landlord, and both parents were dedicated religionists. During his childhood, his parents wished to make him an entrepreneur. However, after Master Satchidananda’s wife passed away, his perception to life changed and he decided to devote to religion, away from all social bindings from real life.
He made acquaintances with many great philosophers of the 20th century, including Sri Ramana Maharshi and Aurobindo.The teachings of Sri Chidbhavanandaji of the Ramakrishna inspired him before he initiated to be the Swami.Soon after, he followed Master Sri Swami Sivananda from Rishikesh in continuously learning and training.
In 1949, the noted spiritual leaderof the Divine Life Society of the Himalayas nominated him as a monk. Thereafter, he became an instructor at the Yoga Vedanta Forest University. He directed religious and yoga activities at the various branches of the Divine Life Society in India and Sri Lanka and the Far East.
In 1966, he visited the US at the invitation of movie producer Conrad Rooks and Artist Peter Mex. During the stay, his remarkable speeches received overwhelming repercussion and he had to extended his stay in the US. He obtained his visa and continually extended his visa, eventually becoming a US citizen.
Master is the founder of the Integral Yoga Institute, which has campus locations throughout India and the U.S.
Under his guidance, Integral Yoga comprised of various yoga practices, including Hatha Yoga, breathing technology and relaxation, selfless service, meditation, and prayer, in addition to the learning of a five thousand year old philosophy to help individuals seeking peace and happiness of the mind.
The practice of Integral Yoga and its rules provide the foundation for how Dr. Dean Ornish helps his cardiovascular patients. It is also the basis for Dr.Michael Lerner’s public welfare program in helping cancer patients. Master has many publishings, including Integral Yoga Hatha, To Know Yourself, Beyond Words, etc. He is also the figure in two biographers – Apostle Of Peace and Portrait Of a Modern Sage.
In the modern world of material civilization with social chaos and impatience, Master has become the virtual and spiritual leader in the western world. Master has proof of practicing what he advocates; in 1986, he created a monument that combines faith and belief and named it “Light On Truth Universal Shrine (Lotus).” It is the first shrine ever built to house altars for every major faith and also faiths less well-known and those not yet known. And is located in Yogaville, Virginia, USA.It is a spiritual center under the guidance of Master. Based on the principles of yoga and religion, it can bring serenity,harmony, great love, and peace to all human kind.
Master has hosted numerous sessions of yoga/religious seminars, training, and retreats, etc. He has been presented a few times to H.H. Pope Paul VI, who commended Master for his efforts and accomplishments in promoting the interfaith exchange. Master has also been presented to H.H. Pope John Paul II.
In promoting religious accord around the world, he has met with governmental leaders, spiritual leaders, high ranking officials, and many other leaders. These great leaders include the country father of India Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Ex-Secretary General of the UN U Thant, the Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Nobel Prize winner Mother Teresa, Peace Messenger Mrs. Coretta Scott King, and many more.
Swami Satchidananda received many medals and honors for his public service including, the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award, Anti-Defamation League Humanitarian, and two Honorary Doctorate. In October of 1996, the United Nations presented him with The Juliet Hollister Interfaith Award. In 1998, he was the honorary chairman of the Juliet Hollister Interfaith Exchange of Pulitzer Prize. During the same period, Dalai Lama won the same medal. Sri Gurudev dedicated his life to the cause of peace - both individual and universal - and to religious harmony among all people. and he is a beloved master of everyone.
Sri Swami Satchidananda took Mahasamadhi on August 19, 2002 In South India. He is out of his body but stays with us forever.
他也常被親切的封為「烏思塔克大師Woodstock Guru」，因為他創造了有名的「烏思塔克節日Woodstock Festival」。一九六六年在紐約烏思塔克的一個大廣場上聚集了六萬多名美國的年青人，在這裡聆聽為期三日的熱門音樂會，這是第一次舉辦場面如此浩大的音樂會，沙吉難陀大師應邀在開幕儀式時致詞，他將瑜珈的好處介紹給所有年輕人，贏得了滿堂喝采。
大師結交了許多二十世紀的偉大哲人，包括拉曼納瑪哈西大師Sri Ramana Maharshi和奧羅賓多Aurobindo，他接受了Ramakrishna教派的奇巴凡南達大師Sri Swami Chidbhavanandaji，在他出家前給他的啟引，隨後追隨印度瑞希克斯 Reshikesh 的大師希瓦難陀Sri Swami Sivananda，不斷的學習，並接受訓練。
一九四九年他被這位非常著名的喜馬拉雅神聖生命協會Divine Life Society, Himalayas偉大的精神大師任命為印度出家和尚。這麼多年來大師在維丹他森林瑜珈大學Yoga Vedanta Forest University教學，並在喜馬拉雅神聖生命協會在印度各地的分會以及斯里蘭卡、遠東地區指導許多宗教、瑜珈活動。
一九六六年大師應電影製片人康納路克Conrad Rooks和藝術家彼得邁思Peter Mex的邀請，前往美國訪問，由於大師世紀性的演講引起了熱烈反響，大師被熱情的要求延長他的美國停留時間，他是第一位因為這個原因得到簽證的，他被一而再的要求延長停留，最後終於成為了美國的公民。
大師是「整體瑜珈學院Integral Yoga Institute」的創辦人，這個學院已有各個分院在印度、美國各地。
整體瑜珈的練習與規則是迪恩歐尼斯博士Dr.Dean Ornish救助心臟病患的主要依據，也是邁可勒納博士Dr.Michael Lerner卓然有成的救助癌症公益節目的主要根據。大師有許多著作：《哈塔整體瑜珈Integral Yoga Hatha》、《認識你自己To Know Yourself》、《超越文字語言Beyond Words》等。他也是兩本傳記的主角：《和平使者Apostle Of Peace》和《一位現代哲人的描述Portrait Of a Modern Sage》等。
在現在物質文明的世界裏，社會混亂，人心浮燥，大師已成為歐、美、印度各地區道德與精神的領袖。大師有一個身體力行的證明，他建造了一個信仰合一的偉大工程，就是宇宙真理之光寺院 Light On Truth Universal Shrine（LOTUS蓮花），一九八六年在這世界獨一無二的蓮花寺院裏，容納了世界所有主要宗教的神壇，它就座落在美國維吉尼亞州的瑜珈村Yogaville，一個在大師領導下的精神中心，是依據瑜珈與宗教原理，能為全人類帶來安祥、協和、大愛與和平。
大師舉辦過無數次瑜珈與宗教的研討會、研習會、研修會、退隱避靜活動Retreat等。大師幾次私下覲見教宗保祿六世H.H.Pope Paul VI，教宗讚許大師對推動信仰交流的努力貢獻。大師也曾覲見教宗保祿約翰二世H.H.Pope John Paul II。
大師旅行世界各地去推動宗教的協和、會見一些政府領袖、精神領袖和一些達官貴人，許多年來他會見過印度國父馬哈馬.甘地Mahatma Gandhi、達賴喇嘛the Dalai Lama、前聯合國秘書長及緬甸政治家烏坦U Thant、印度總理印迪拉.甘地夫人 Indira Gandhi、諾貝爾和平獎得主泰瑞莎修女Mother Teresa、和平使者可利亞.斯考特.金恩太太Mrs.Coretta, Scott King等。
大師曾經因服務公益而得到許多榮譽、獎章，這其中有Albert Schweitzer 人道主義慈善家獎Humanitarian Award、反破壞聯盟慈善家獎 Anti-Defamation League Humanitarian Award和兩個榮譽博士。朱麗葉.郝立茲信仰交流獎The Juliet Hollister Interfaith Award是一九九六年十月在聯合國頒發給大師的。一九九八年他被賦予殊榮，擔任朱麗葉.郝立茲信仰交流獎的榮譽主席。在這段其間，達賴喇嘛也獲得了同樣的獎章。大師為和平奉獻一生，無論是個人的和平或全宇宙的和平，並致力於全人類的宗教協和，是一位人人敬愛的大師。