Sri Swami Satchidananda

Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville was founded by Sri Swami Satchidananda (Sri Gurudev), an esteemed spiritual leader whose message of peace has been heard around the globe. Honored with the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award, Sri Gurudev dedicated his life to the cause of peace – both individual and universal – and to religious harmony among all people. His teachings are the Ashram’s guiding principles.

His Service

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. In 1999, the 50th anniversary of his ministerial ordination was commemorated during the interfaith service prior to the opening of the 54th General Assembly of the United Nations. Swami Satchidananda dedicated his life to the cause of peace – both individual and universal – and to unity and harmony among all people.


Witnessing the genuine peace and joy experienced by all who participated in these gatherings, Sri Gurudev was inspired to create a permanent place where all people could come to realize their essential oneness. Built in Yogaville, in Central Virginia, the Light Of Truth Universal Shrine (known as LOTUS) is unique in the world because it has altars for all the world faiths. Dedicated to the Light of all faiths and to world peace, the LOTUS is an enduring symbol of unity in diversity. It was completed in 1986 and is open to the public.


Sri Swami Satchidananda took Mahasamadhi on August 19, 2002 in South India. Shortly before leaving the body, he told many people: “I will always be with you in Spirit. Even if my body is not there, you will never be without me.” That is the reason we refer to his “having dropped the body” or as having “left the body.” That is what the Yoga tradition teaches us about the ongoing relationship with one’s Satguru.

His Teachings

The teachings and practices of Integral Yoga®, as taught by Sri Swami Satchidananda, integrate the various branches of Yoga in order to help one find inner peace and joy. These teachings are the foundation of Dr. Dean Ornish’s work in reversing heart disease at the Preventive Medicine Research Institute and Dr. Michael Lerner’s notable work with cancer patients at the Commonweal Cancer Help program. Sri Swami Satchidananda authored many books, among them: Integral Yoga Hatha, To Know Your Self, The Living Gita, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and The Golden Present.  Many of these books are also available on DVD.  He is the subject of two biographies, Sri Swami Satchidananda – Apostle of Peace and Portrait of a Modern Sage.

There is also a beautiful documentary entitled Living Yoga available on DVD at

Click here to order your copy of the Living Yoga Movie

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