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Sathyananda Saraswathi

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Sathyananda Saraswathi
Shekharan Nair

(1935-09-22)22 September 1935
Died24 November 2006(2006-11-24) (aged 71)
Religious career
GuruNeelakanta Gurupadar

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Swami Sathyananda Saraswathi (also known as Chenkottukonam Swamiji; 22 September 1935 – 23 November 2006), was a Hindu spiritual teacher, orator, historian and dharmic scholar.[1][full citation needed] He was the founder of Hindu Aikya Vedi,[2] and remained its chairman until his death.[3][full citation needed] He is sometimes referred to as His Holiness Jagadguru Swami Sathyananda Saraswathi as the Head of the Sree Rama Dasa Monastery in Trivandrum. He is perhaps best remembered for initiating the Ram Rath Yatra across Southern, Central and Northern India in order to motivate and inspire the people to construct the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, which brought the Bharatiya Janata Party to power for the first time in India.[4]

Swami Sathyananda Saraswathi established Sree Rama Dasa Mission.[5][6] He was an exponent of the four spiritual paths - Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga and Karma Yoga - as well as a devotee of the Divine mother goddess, and a yogi.[7][full citation needed]

He was known for his efforts for the cause of Hindu unity in India and the temple rights restoration movement.[8][9]

He conducted Sathakoti Archana (1 Billion Holy Names of the Divine Mother) in Thiruvananthapuram in 2000.

Early life[edit]

Sathyananda Saraswathi was born Shekharan on 22 September 1935 in a Nair family, in the village Andoorkonam near Thiruvananthapuram.[8]


While Shekharan was working as a teacher at a high school, he was summoned to the ashram[clarification needed] on the eve of his proposed departure to the Himalayas by Neelakanta Gurupadar.[10][11][12] He was initiated in to Sannyasa and trained by his guru, and after the samadhi he started building his organization.


Sathyananda Saraswathi registered Sree Rama Dasa Mission with its motto "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" in 1981.


As the president of the Nilackal Action Committee Sathyananda Saraswathi restored the holy place for Ayyappa devotees near Sabarimala and settled the dispute between Hindu and Christian religious groups.[8]

He played the key-role in Guruvayoor Temple Liberation Struggle and agitations against Devaswom Bill in 1996.[clarification needed]

Sathyananda Saraswathi continued Gurupadar's tradition of Parayanam (recitation) of entire Adhyatma Ramayana daily at the temple at Chenkottukonam for more than 8 decades; this still continues.

In 1989 Sathyananda Saraswathi started the Rama Navami Rathyatra covering the southern States of India annually since then.

Sathyananda Saraswathi founded Manishi Herbal Research Foundation for ayurvedic research and production, and prescribed the formulations of many previously unknown medicines claimed to be potent, e.g. launching a health drink called "Herbal Cola".[8]

A spiritual nucleus in the ashram premises at Trivandrum in the form of a 108 foot high temple was named "Jyotikshetra" by Saraswathi. The temple is supposed to have more than hundred sacred flames which would be bought from all the main temples all over India. The beauty of the temple with a spiral walkway going upward is equally admirable as much as the feel and tranquility of the place refreshed and energized with more than hundred cores of vedic chanting and tantric activities.[13][full citation needed]

Sree Rama Dasa mission under Saraswathi worked for the spiritual resurrection by putting an end to inequalities and caste-based discrimination in Indian society.

In 2000 Sathyananda Saraswathi organized and carried out Shatakoti Archana (1 Billion Chants of Divine Mother's Name), in which thousands of people chanted and prayed.[14][full citation needed][15]

Saraswathi also inaugurated the Second and Third National Conventions of the Kerala Hindus of North America in November 2003 and July 2005 respectively.[16]


Swami Sathyananda Saraswathi died on 24 November 2006 at Thiruvananthapuram after a prolonged illness[6] and was interred in the sanctum sanctorum at the Temple of Luminance in Chenkottukonam, Trivandrum.

Mission abroad and travels[edit]

Saraswathi established centres of Sree Rama Dasa Mission in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Richmond, Virginia, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and San Jose in the United States. There are disciples and active centers in Malaysia, New Zealand, Switzerland, the Caribbean Islands and the United Kingdom.[14] He conducted tours all over India and countries including USA, Canada, Singapore, Switzerland, Malaysia, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Suriname.[17][full citation needed]


External links[edit]

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