Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Life Sketch, Books and Yoga Nidra

Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Swami Satyananda Saraswati (25 December 1923 – 5 December 2009) was born in Almora, Uttarakhand, into a family of farmers. Despite coming from a family who has served in the Army and police, Swamiji chose spiritualism and started experiencing it at the tender age of six. When Swamiji was 20, he renounced his home and searched for a guru. He popularised Yoga both in India and the West. The guru founded the Bihar School of Yoga in 1964 and wrote over 80 books, including the most sought-after books, Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, and Bandha, 0f 1969.

Satyananda Saraswati Guru

Satyananda Saraswati met Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati in Rishikesh when he renounced his home. Swami Sivananda gave him the name Swami Satyananda Saraswati and initiated him into the Dashnami Order of Paramahamsa Sannyasins. Through his nishkama seva, he profoundly understood the mysteries of spiritual life and became an expert in yoga, tantra, Vedanta, Samkhya, and Kundalini yoga. Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati taught him Kriya Yoga and told him to “spread Yoga from door to door and shore to shore.”

Spread Yoga across the world

Sri Swamiji travelled extensively throughout India, Afghanistan, Burma, Nepal, Tibet, Ceylon, and Asia. During his travels, he made friends from various social classes and began formulating theories about how to spread the knowledge of Yoga. From 1963 to 1982, he took Yoga across the world. He toured Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, and North America. Sri Swamiji is credited with raising the flag of Yoga in every corner of the globe without any opposition, resistance, or criticism from anywhere.

Satyananda System of Yoga

As a Yoga pioneer, he presented Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, and Bandha techniques in such a simple manner that anyone could experience physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual development. Swami Satyananda’s teachings are based on Swami Sivananda’s Yoga teachings, emphasising an integrated approach known as the Satyananda System of Yoga. They promote Yoga as a lifestyle to improve one’s daily activities, interactions, ideas, and emotions rather than as a practice or concept.

Swami Satyananda’s yoga nidra

Swami Satyananda’s name is synonymous with the modern form of Yoga Nidra, widely known as a deep relaxation and meditation technique. The Satyananda Yoga system aims to incorporate the physical, psychological, and spiritual aspects of Yoga into each practice while also addressing the attributes of the head, heart, and hands, or intellect, emotion, and action.

Swami Satyananda books

Swami Satyananda has more than 80 books, including the 1969 book Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha, based on the classical scriptures of Hatha Yoga and his own experience. Satyananda was a great writer who touched different domains in his writings, which have been published by the Bihar School of Yoga and, since 2000, by the Yoga Publications Trust established by his disciple Swami Niranjanananda. His books are translated into many languages of the world, including Italian, German, Spanish, Russian, Yugoslavian, Chinese, French, Greek, Iranian, etc.

Bihar School of Yoga

The International Yoga Fellowship Movement was founded in Rajnandgaon by Satyananda in 1962. This inspired Swami Satyananda to create ashrams and Yoga centres in India and abroad. He established the Bihar School of Yoga in Munger in 1964 to develop future Yoga teachers and provide courses. Bihar School of Yoga is a renowned yoga ashram that attracts students across the globe, being a reputed and authentic centre for Yoga and the spiritual sciences.

Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Life Sketch, Books and Yoga Nidra
Image credit: style.EU/swami-Satyananda 

Rikhia, deoghar’s journey

He handed over the responsibilities of the Bihar School of Yoga to Niranjanananda Saraswati in 1988. He left Munger for Rikhia, Deoghar, Jharkhand, wherein he lived as a Paramahamsa sannyasin and performed vedic sadhana and panchagni. He constructed homes for people experiencing homelessness and established the Rikhiapeeth ashram there. He also spread his Guru Swami Sivananda’s teachings: serve, love, and provide free medical care and basic amenities to the people to make them self-sustained.

Major contributions

  • He brought freshness to the field of Yoga.
  • He was the first one who makes Ajapa japa, antar mouna, pawanmuktasana, kriya yoga and prana vidya so simple to practice.
  • He was a pioneer in yoga nidra. He authored over 80 books on yoga and tantra and was accepted as a textbook in schools and universities worldwide.
  • By 1983, through Swami Ji’s tireless efforts, the message of yoga had been disseminated to the entire world.
  • He trained a core of sannyasins to take the message of Yoga to different parts of the world.
  • Established many Satyananda Yoga ashrams, schools, and centres worldwide.
  • It is due to his efforts that Yoga moved from the caves of a hermit to hospitals, jails, schools, colleges, business houses, the sporting and fashion, and the Army.
  • Yoga had become a household word.


His system of sadhana includes the worship of Chandi, fire ceremony, the yajña, meditation, tapasya, and great austerities. His teachings are beyond “whys” and “hows”; they focus on being one with the Goddess. Swamiji’s chanting tools were mantra, pranayama, asana, and offering, bringing him closer to the presence of the Divine Mother.

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