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17 November 1896
Vikrampur, Bengal, British India
|Died||2 August 1971(aged 74)|
Acharya Swami Satyananda Giri Maharaj (family name Manamohan Mazumder) was born to Mohinimohan Mazumder and Tarabasini Devi at Malkha Nagar of Bikrampore, undivided Bengal (currently Bangladesh) on November 17, 1896.
Later, his father Mohinimohan studied at the Government Art College of Calcutta and the family moved to Calcutta. Mohinimohan was one of the founding fathers of Calcutta Deaf and Dumb School. As a result, the Mazumder family used to live at the premises.
Across the premises of the school is Garpar Road, where Mukundalal Ghosh (later Paramhansa Yogananda) used to live with his parents. Thus they met each other when Manamohan was 11-years and Mukunda was 14-years old. They were boyhood best friends, brother disciples and colleagues.
Mohinimohan had seven children; Satyananda was the eldest. Manomohan Mazumder (Satyananda Giri), Nripendramohan Mazumder (Mukul), Khirodmohan Mazumder, Saileshmohan Mazumder (Suddhananda Giri), Nalinimohan Mazumder (Nanimohan, a journalist), Gopimohan Mazumder, the youngest son and Sarjubala, the only daughter (disciple of Swami Abhedananda, disciple of Ramakrishna).
Manomohan studied at the Mitra Institution of Calcutta in his school days. He knew Bengali, Sanskrit, Hindi, Oriya (learned while he was living at Puri with his Guru Yukteswar Giri), and English.
Thereafter, graduating in B. A. (Honours in Philosophy) from the University of Calcutta, he entered into the Swami Order. His B.A. classmate and good friend was Ananda Mohan Lahiri, bachelor grandson of Lahiri Mahasaya, and they later worked together at Ranchi school.
Teacher of yoga
Satyananda was one of the foremost disciples of Yukteswar Giri in India. He joined the Ranchi Brahmacharya School – which the three close friends (Yogananda, Dhirananda and Satyananda) started together at Calcutta with kind and generous help from the famous philanthropist, Maharaja Manindra Chandra Nandy. Later the school moved to Dihika in Bengal, finally to Ranchi.
After Yogananda left for the USA in 1920 and Dhirananda in 1922, Satyananda had to take charge as Principal and Secretary to run the school from 1922–1942.
During his tenure as director administering the school, the Maharaja’s estate went into bankruptcy. He could not help anymore like before. Teachers of the school resolved to ask help from Yogananda and accordingly Satyananda wrote to him for help but he was himself in financial trouble in USA. So all hopes were gone. Satyananda donated his salaries of the entire period (twenty years) and saved Ranchi School. Often he called Ranchi his blood-built institution.
Sriyukteswar Giri trained Satyananda at his Puri Karar Asram in 1919 when they lived together and subsequently appointed him as the “leader of the East”. He also appointed Satyananda at his Puri Karar Asram as the “Asram Swami” (the monk of the hermitage) for the Puri Karar Asram.
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). He had more than three thousand devotees in India and abroad.But his three disciples were Brahamachari Yogadananda (since deceased), Manabendra Of Guahati (Assam) and Kalyan Sengupta (presently practicing at Calcutta High Court).
He wrote the following biographies in Bengali:
- Yogiraj Sri Sri Shyama Charan Lahiri Mahasay,
- Hangsa Swami Kebalananda Maharaj,
- Swami Sriyukteswar Giri (Reminiscences - smritikona),
- Yogananda Sanga (As I Saw and understood Paramhansa Yogananda),
- Dibyajivan (Bengali Version of his Guru’s booklet The Holy Science)
- Swami Satyananda. Biography of a Yogi. 2nd Edition. Sanskrit Classics, 2002. ISBN 1-877854-26-3