Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati was born in 1923 at Almora (Uttaranchal) into a family of farmers. His ancestors were warriors and many of his kith and kin down the line, including his father, served in the army and police force. However, it became evident that Sri Swamiji had a different bent of mind, as he began to have spiritual experiences at the age of six, when his awareness spontaneously left the body and he saw himself lying motionless on the floor.
Many saints and sadhus blessed him and reassured his parents that he had a very developed awareness. This experience of disembodied awareness continued, which led him to many saints of that time such as Anandamayi Ma. Sri Swamiji also met a tantric bhairavi, Sukhman Giri, who gave him shaktipat and directed him to find a guru in order to stabilize his spiritual experiences.
In 1943, at the age of 20, he renounced his home and went in search of a guru. This search ultimately led him to Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati at Rishikesh, who initiated him into the Dashnam Order of Sannyasa on 12th September 1947 on the banks of the Ganges and gave him the name of Swami Satyananda Saraswati.
Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati was born in Rajnandgaon (Chhattisgarh) in 1960. Guided by his guru, Swami Satyananda Saraswati, from birth, at the age of four he came to live with him at the Bihar School of Yoga in Munger where he received training in yogic and spiritual sciences through yoga nidra.
In 1971 he was initiated into Dashnami sannyasa, and thereafter for eleven years he lived overseas, mastering skills in varied areas, acquiring an understanding of different cultures and helping establish Satyananda Yoga ashrams and centres in Europe, Australia, North and South America.
At the behest of his guru, he returned to India in 1983 to guide the activities of Bihar School of Yoga, Sivananda Math and the Yoga Research Foundation at Ganga Darshan. In 1990 he was initiated as a paramahamsa sannyasin and in 1995 anointed spiritual preceptor in succession to Swami Satyananda Saraswati. He established Bihar Yoga Bharati, the first university of yoga, in 1994 and the Yoga Publications Trust in 2000 in Munger. He also initiated a children’s yoga movement, Bal Yoga Mitra Mandal, in 1995. In addition to steering the activities at Munger, he travelled extensively to guide seekers around the world till 2009, when he received the command to embark on a new phase of sannyasa life.
Author of many classic books on yoga, tantra and the upanishads, Swami Niranjan is a magnetic source of wisdom on all aspects of yogic philosophy, practice and lifestyle. He ably combines tradition with modernity as he continues to nurture and spread his guru’s mission from his base at Munger.