Skip to Content

Swami Satchidananda Saraswati

« Back to Glossary Index

**Biography of Swami Satchidananda Saraswati**:
– Early Life and Education:
– Born as C. K. Ramaswamy Gounder in 1914 in Chettipalayam, India.
– Family background and upbringing in a spiritual environment.
– Educational journey at an agricultural college.
– Early Career and Marriage:
– Worked in the family business before managing India’s National Electric Works.
– Marriage, family life, and personal loss.
– Spiritual Journey:
– Traveling India, studying with spiritual teachers, and eventually becoming Swami Satchidananda Saraswati.
– Influence of mentors like Sivananda and mission work.
– Global Influence and Achievements:
– Arrival in the US, participation in Woodstock, and establishment of Integral Yoga Institute branches.
– Citizenship, global travels, and participation in various conferences and festivals.
– Death and Legacy:
– Passing away in 2002 after a peace conference in South India.
– Funeral and lasting impact on the yoga and spiritual community.

**Philosophy and Advocacy of Swami Satchidananda Saraswati**:
– Promotion of Vegetarianism:
– Advocacy for a vegetarian diet for health, ecological, and spiritual reasons.
– Establishment of the first vegetarian health food store in NYC and authorship of ‘The Healthy Vegetarian.’
Vegetarianism Works and Influences:
– Titles advocating vegetarianism and their impact.
– Notable figures, chefs, and cookbook authors in the vegetarian movement.
– Legacy in Vegetarian Advocacy:
– Influence on dietary research, like Dean Ornish’s work.
– Lasting impact on vegetarianism through teachings and writings.

**Controversy and Allegations**:
– Sexual Misconduct Allegations:
– Accusations of misconduct and abuse by former disciples.
– Denials of allegations and the ensuing controversies.
– Response and Fallout:
– Refusal of interviews, resignations of board members, and formation of support networks for alleged victims.
– Impact on Integral Yoga Institute:
– Organizational changes and responses to the controversies.

**Literary Contributions and Publications**:
– Books Authored by Swami Satchidananda Saraswati:
– Titles like ‘Yoga Sutras of Patanjali,’ ‘Beyond Words,’ and ‘Integral Yoga Hatha.’
– ‘The Yoga Way: Food for Body, Mind & Spirit’ and ‘The Woodstock Guru.’
– References and External Links:
– Notable obituaries and articles on Swami Satchidananda.
– External resources and links for further information on his teachings and legacy.

**Influence on Yoga and Spiritual Practices**:
– Establishment of Schools and Gurus:
– Founding of The Yoga Institute and associations with spiritual leaders like Shri Yogendra and Swami Kuvalayananda.
– Global Impact on Yoga:
– Contributions to modernizing Hindu festivals and living practices.
– Participation in citizen-diplomacy delegations and global yoga, peace, and health conferences.

Satchidananda Saraswati (IAST: Saccidānanda Sarasvatī; 22 December 1914 – 19 August 2002), born C. K. Ramaswamy Gounder and known as Swami Satchidananda, was an Indian yoga guru and religious teacher, who gained following in the West. He founded his own brand of Integral Yoga, and its Yogaville headquarters in Virginia. He was the author of philosophical and spiritual books and had a core of founding disciples who compiled his translations and updated commentaries on traditional handbooks of yoga such as the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the Bhagavad Gita for modern readers.

Swami Satchidananda
Satchidananda giving an informal talk to students in Yogaville (1982)
Satchidananda giving an informal talk to students in Yogaville (1982)
C. K. Ramaswamy Gounder

(1914-12-22)22 December 1914
Died19 August 2002(2002-08-19) (aged 87)
Madras, South India
Resting placeYogaville, Buckingham, Virginia
ReligionHinduism, Interfaith universalism
NationalityIndian-American (naturalized, 1976)
OrderSaraswati order
InstituteIntegral Yoga Institute
ChurchIntegral Yoga Ministry
PhilosophyIntegral Yoga
HonorsU Thant Peace Award; Juliet Hollister Award
« Back to Glossary Index