Influential Past Teachers

Place of Birth
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 West.

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.”

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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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