Bihar Yoga Lineage

'In ancient times, yoga techniques were kept secret and were never written down or exposed to public view. They were passed on from teacher to disciple by word of mouth. In this way there was a clear understanding of their meaning and aim. Through personal experience, realised yogis and sages were able to guide sincere aspirants along the correct path, removing any confusion, misunderstanding and excessive intellectual contemplation.' - Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha.

Although yoga is now very popular and exposed to the mainstream, the unbroken link between teacher and disciple still remains.

The following text is taken directly from the web site of the Bihar School of Yoga, India, home of Bihar Yoga.

Swami Sivananda Saraswati

was born at Pattamadai, (Tamil Nadu) in 1887. After serving as a medical doctor in Malaya, he renounced his practice to search for his Guru in the foothills of the Himalayas. He settled in the sacred valley of Rishikesh and was initiated into the Dashnami Sannyasa tradition in 1924 by Swami Vishwananda Saraswati.

In subsequent years he wrote hundreds of books and articles on yoga and spirituality to maintain and introduce yogic values in the minds of the general public. His emphasis was on breaking down the barriers which separated the needy from the teachings that could help them, whether this took the form of yoga for health, peace of mind or spiritual aspiration. This ideology continues to guide the work of the Satyananda branch of his lineage.

To this end Swami Sivananda toured India extensively, inspiring people to practice yoga and lead a divine life. He founded the Divine Life Society at Rishikesh in 1936, the Sivananda Ayurvedic Pharmacy in 1945, the Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy in 1948 and the Sivananda Eye Hospital in 1957 and attained Maha Samadhi on 14th July 1963.

As a major spiritual voice of his time, Swami Sivananda guided thousands of spiritual seekers, disciples and aspirants all over the world.

Swami Satyananda Saraswati

was born in Almorah (UP) in 1923. He joined his Guru, Swami Sivananda Saraswati, in Rishikesh (UP), and adopted the Dashnami Sannyasa life in 1943. He served his Guru's mission for 12 years in many capacities.

In 1955 he left Rishikesh to travel throughout India as a wandering ascetic to assess the needs of modern society. In 1956 he founded the International Yoga Fellowship Movement and, in 1963, the Bihar School of Yoga. He founded Sivananda Math, a social and charitable institution to help the weaker, underprivileged sections of society in 1984 and the Yoga Research Foundation, a scientific research oriented yoga organisation, in 1984.

Swami Satyananda has authored over 80 best-sellers and classical texts on yoga and spiritual life, he is the spiritual guide to thousands of aspirants and the inspiration behind many Yoga Ashrams and Yoga Mitra Mandals in India and abroad.

In 1988 he renounced his mission, adopting kshetra sannyasa, and now lives as a Paramahamsa Sannyasin performing higher spiritual and vedic sadhanas, thus guiding sannyasins and house-holders in their spiritual journey to develop a universal vision.

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

was born in Rajnandgaon (MP) in 1960 and joined the Bihar School of Yoga, Munger (Bihar) in 1964. Initiated into the Dashnami Sannyasa tradition in 1970 by his Guru, Swami Satyananda Saraswati, he traveled overseas in 1971, establishing Ashrams and Yoga Centres in Europe, Australia, North and South America.

Initiated as a Paramahamsa Sannyasin at the age of thirty, he was anointed Preceptor in succession to Swami Satyananda Saraswati by the leading luminaries of the Sannyasa tradition in 1993.

Swami Niranjanananda has been guiding the activities of Bihar School of Yoga, Sivananda Math and the Yoga Research Foundation since 1983. He founded Sri Panchdashnam Paramahamsa Alakh Bara in 1991 to further the work of his Guru, Swami Satyananda Saraswati. In 1994 he founded the Bihar Yoga Bharati, an Institute for Advanced Studies in Yogic Sciences, and the Bal Yoga Mitra Mandal movement in 1995 to introduce children to yoga.

Author of many classic books on Yoga, Tantra and the Upanishads, Swami Niranjanananda at present divides his time between management of institutional activities, national and international tours and residence at the Indian Head Office, Munger.


Swami Satyasangananda Saraswati (Satsangi)

was born in 1953, in Chandornagore, West Bengal. From the age of 22 she experienced a series of inner awakenings which led her to her guru, Swami Satyananda. From 1981 she traveled ceaselessly with her guru in India and overseas and developed into a scholar with deep insight into the yogic and tantric traditions as well as modern sciences and philosophies.

She is an efficient channel for the transmission of her guru's teachings. The establishment of Sivananda Math in Rikhia is her creation and mission, and she guides all its activities there, working tirelessly to uplift the weaker and underprivileged areas. She embodies compassion with clear reason and is the foundation of her guru's vision.