Previous article Next article

Sri Swami Satchidananda Attains Maha Samadhi at Age 87

on 2002/8/20 2:49:02 ( 3761 reads )


YOGAVILLE, VIRGINIA, August 19, 2002: One of the world's most beloved spiritual masters passed away on Monday, August 19, 2002, at 5:45 am, Indian time, in Chennai (Madras), South India. Swami Satchidananda died of cardiovascular complications. He had just attended the Global Peace Conference in South India as its keynote speaker. Invited to come to the US in1966 by artist Peter Max and filmmaker Conrad Rooks, Swami Satchidananda was quickly embraced by young Americans looking for lasting peace during the turbulent 1960's. In 1969, he opened the Woodstock Festival with the words: "The whole world is watching you. The entire world is going to know what the American youth can do for humanity. America is helping everybody in the material field, but the time has come for America to help the whole world with spirituality also." The peaceful atmosphere that prevailed throughout the event was often attributed to his blessings and message. Sri Swami Satchidananda was ordained as a monk in 1949 by his master, His Holiness Sri Swami Sivananda Maharaj, founder of the Divine Life Society, Rishikesh, India. From the beginning of his spiritual service, Swami Satchidananda was a leader in the interfaith movement. His motto, "Truth is One, Paths are Many," was an integral part of his teachings. For more than forty years, he sponsored interfaith worship services and conferences. He advocated respecting and honoring all faiths, and was invited to share his message of peace with such world leaders and dignitaries as former U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter, George Bush, Bill Clinton, His Holiness Pope Paul VI, His Holiness Pope John Paul II, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and former Secretary-General of the United Nations U Thant. Swami Satchidananda was the founder and spiritual guide for the worldwide Integral Yoga Institutes. Integral Yoga, as taught by Swami Satchidananda, combines various methods of Yoga, including Hatha Yoga, selfless service, meditation, prayer, and a 5,000-year-old philosophy that helps one find the peace and joy within. Integral Yoga is the foundation for Dr. Dean Ornish's landmark work in reversing heart disease and Dr. Michael Lerner's noted Commonweal Cancer Help program. In 1979, Swami Satchidananda was inspired to create a permanent place where all people could come to realize their essential oneness. He established Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville near Charlottesville, Virginia. The community is founded on his teachings, which include the principles of nonviolence and universal harmony. The focal point of Yogaville is the Light Of Truth Universal Shrine (LOTUS), which was dedicated in 1986. This unique interfaith shrine honors the Spirit that unites all the world religions, while celebrating their diversity. People from all faiths and backgrounds, from all over the world, come there to meditate and pray. Swami Satchidananda served on the advisory boards of the Temple of Understanding, the Interfaith Center of New York, the Center for International Dialogue, and numerous other world peace and interfaith organizations. Over the years, he received many honors for his public service, including the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award and the Anti-Defamation League Humanitarian Award. In October 1994, on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, he was awarded the highest citation of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. He was named an Honorary Patron, joining the list of luminaries to receive this award such as Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Mother Teresa, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In 1994 he was named "Hindu of the Year" by Hinduism Today magazine. In 1996, he was presented with the Juliet Hollister Interfaith Award at the United Nations. In April 2002, he was honored with the prestigious U Thant Peace Award. Previous recipients include Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Nelson Mandela. He is the author of many books, including Integral Yoga Hatha, To Know Your Self, The Living Gita, and The Golden Present and is the subject of two biographies, Apostle of Peace and Portrait of a Modern Sage. For further information and photographs for publication, e-mail "source" above.

Previous article Next article
The comments are owned by the author. We aren't responsible for their content.
Publish Comment
Comment Rules*
Comments are always approved
Confirmation Code*

Click to refresh the image if it is not clear enough.

Input letters in the image
The code is case-insensitive
Maximum attempts you can try: 10
Copyright Himalayan Academy. All rights reserved.

Get from the App Store Android app on Google Play