The following letter is one of eighty-one letters written by Swami Satyananda Giri to the author during his monastic training from 1950 to 1971. Swami Satyananda Giri was initiated by Hangsa Swami Kebalananda and he was the chief monastic disciple and spiritual successor of Swami Sriyukteswas Giri in India.
Satyananda lived in the hermitages at the Karar Asram, Puri (from 1919 to 1921), at Ranchi (from 1922 to 1941), and at Sevayatan (from 1943 to 1971). When he was not at the hermitage, he would go around the country to help spiritual seekers from these hermitages and to visit the other branches. He was a divine yogi, poet, musicians, educationist and philanthropist. He held multiple postions and responsibilities as follows:
He was appointed “Asram Swami” (the monk of the hermitage) at Puri Karar Asram in 1921 by Sriyukteswar.
During the years 1922 to 1941, he was the principal pf Ranchi Brahmacharya Vidyalaya (school). He was the founder and Executive Secretary-General of Yogoda Sat Sanga (YSS) Society of India (1936 to 1941). He was a life member of YSS and the third president of Sadhu Sova (from 1952 to 1971), a society of Swamis, founded by his mentor Swami Sriyukteswar. In addition, he was the first president (from 1953 to 1971) of Sat Sang Mission, Sevayatan (Seva means “service,” ayatan means “house”; Sevayatan, then, means “Service Center”). The hermitage Sevayatan, where Satayananda lived the last twenty-seven years of his life, offers many programs, such as a postgraduate teacher training college, junior technical school, boys’ high school, basic education for boys, junior high school for girls, hospital with outdoor and indoor facilities, library, press, and a yoga temple. Some of these programs are financially sponsored by the State Government of West Bengal. The institutions mentioned are residential.
The author started his monastic training under Satyananda during his teen years, simultaneously continuing to study for eight years at Satyananda’s brother disciple Paramhansa Yogananda’s hermitage, YSS.
Satyananda was asked specifically by Babaji, the divine Himalayan Yogi, to train young Satyeswarananda, the author, in Kriya and to give appropriate monastic training. Later, the author lived several years with Babaji in the Himalayas to study further intricacies of Kriya Science.
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