Influential Past Teachers

Birth Place
Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, South India

Foundation of Teaching
Yoga, Meditation, Compassion, Love

Example of Teaching
“When even one virtue becomes our nature, the mind becomes clean and tranquil. Then there is no need to practice meditation; we will automatically be meditating always.”



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Swami Satchidananda

Swami Satchidananda born as C. K. Ramaswamy Gounder, was an Indian religious teacher, spiritual master and yoga adept, who gained fame and following in the West.  Sri Swami Satchidananda was one of the first Yoga masters to bring the classical Yoga tradition to the

Invited to America in 1966 by iconic pop artist Peter Max, he taught Yoga postures, meditation, and a compassionate vegetarian lifestyle. In 1969, he opened the Woodstock Festival and became known to an entire generation as “the Woodstock Guru.” He was the author of many philosophical and spiritual books, including a popular illustrative book on Hatha Yoga. He is widely known in India as the spiritual guru of the Indian cinema superstar Rajinikanth.

Swami Satchidananda received many honors for his public service including, the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award, the Juliet Hollister Interfaith Award and the U Thant Peace Award.  Swami Satchidananda dedicated his life to the cause of peace—both individual and universal—and to unity and harmony among all people.

Satchidananda’s group trademarked the term “Integral Yoga” in the United States. He characterized Integral Yoga as “…a flexible combination of specific methods to develop every aspect of the individual: physical, intellectual, and spiritual. It is a scientific system which integrates the various branches of Yoga in order to bring about a complete and harmonious development of the individual.”  Satchidananda’s center was given the name “Yogaville.”


    Articles and Posts

  • Awaken
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    On Woodstock’s 50th Anniversary: Namaste To “The Woodstock Guru.”

    by Philip Goldberg:We’re in the midst of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the event that came to define the 1960s counterculture, the Woodstock Festival… Watch for aging hippies waxing nostalgic about those three magical days, whether they were there or not, [...]

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    Living Yoga: The Life & Teachings of Sri Swami Satchidananda

    LA YOGA June 2008, Media Reviews: dvds/film Directed by Shiva Kumar  From the famous opening of the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival (pictured above), to impacting medical research, interfaith dialogue, teaching and providing spiritual guidance to countless students, Sri Swami Satchidananda was [...]

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    Swami Satchidananda: Apostle Of Peace

    “Who will be the happiest person? The one who brings happiness to others.” His holiness, Swami Satchidananda, affectionately called Gurudev by many, is one of the most revered Yoga masters of our time. He exemplified the teaching of yoga by living a [...]

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    Swami Satchidananda, Woodstock's Guru, Dies at 87

    by Douglas Martin: Swami Satchidananda, the guru with the gigantic cottony beard who opened the Woodstock festival by calling music ”the celestial sound that controls the whole universe,” died on Monday in Madras in South India. He was 87. He [...]

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    Why be a Vegetarian?

    Article from the Spring 2009 issueof Integral Yoga magazine – by Swami Satchidananda: Once I was asked the question: “Do the Vedas teach vegetarianism?” The answer is, there is no Veda without the mention of ahimsa (non-violence). “Ahimsa paramo dharmaha” means that the greatest dharma one [...]

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  1. “In not only the physical science, but in the real mental silence, the wisdom dawns.”
  2. “Know for sure that peace is worth more than anything else in this world.”
  3. “Happiness is not be sought outside. It can never come from outside or from inside--because it simply is. It is always. Where? Everywhere.”
  4. “It's very simple. Keep your body as clean as possible, your mind as clear as possible. That's all you need. And do it in anyway you can, in your own way. It doesn't matter. That's why I say 'peaceful body, peaceful mind'. And then you'll be useful. You don't have to become a useful person. You will be useful.”
  5. “The purification of the mind is very necessary.”
  6. “Mere philosophy will not satisfy us. We cannot reach the goal by mere words alone. Without practice, nothing can be achieved.”
  7. “You are not given the light by anyone—not even by a spiritual teacher. You are that light.”
  8. “God knows your breaking point. You simply don’t know your own strength.”
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