From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville
Yogaville - panoramio.jpg
MottoTruth is One, Paths are Many
PurposeTo disseminate the teachings of H.H. Sri Swami Satchidananda
HeadquartersSatchidananda Ashram-Yogaville Virginia
AffiliationsSivananda Ashram

Yogaville, or Satchidananda Ashram, was founded in 1980 by Yogiraj Sri Swami Satchidananda, whose western notability stems from his opening of the Woodstock festival. The ashram is the international organizational headquarters of Swami Satchidananda's documented teachings and is located in Buckingham County, Virginia. The primary goal of guru Yogiraj Sri Swami Satchidananda (1914-2002) was interfaith understanding as a vehicle to world peace. To this end, the LOTUS (Light Of Truth Universal Shrine) was constructed and inaugurated in 1986. Swami Satchidananda was living in Yogaville at the time of his death, though he was visiting Madras (city now known as Chennai), in South India at the time.[1]

The property in rural Virginia, along the James River, was identified for the community from the air as the swami flew over, looking for land farther south than his ashram in Pomfret, Connecticut. Swami Satchidananda acquired 600 acres in 1979 to form his town, financing it by selling property in Falls Village, Connecticut that had been given to him by Carole King.[1] As of 1986, when the LOTUS was dedicated, around 120 people were living on a total of 750 acres. Reports cited plans to eventually house a population between 600 and 1,000.[2] The ashram in Yogaville maintains a large kitchen and dining room for residents and guests. In 1996 a book of favorite ashram recipes was published and is now in its 9th printing.[3] According to the official website, there are around 200 residents as of 2015.[4] In May 2016 Yogaville received Landmark Status.

In addition to the Virginia and Connecticut ashrams, Yogaville-West was founded in Seigler Springs, California in 1972.[1]


Costing $2 million (financed through donations and tithes) and dedicated on July 20, 1986,[2] the shrine is the centerpiece of Yogaville. The structure is shaped like a lotus flower, features a gold-leaf dome, and houses 12 altars representing Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Shinto, Tao, Buddhist, Islam, Sikh, Native American, and African religions.[1] Blue neon tubes extend from each altar up along the spines of the vaulted ceiling.


  1. ^ a b c d Martin, Douglas (21 August 2002). "Swami Satchidananda, Woodstock Guru, Dies at 87". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b Baker, Donald P. (20 July 1986). "Swami Dedicates $2 Million Temple in Va". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  3. ^ Gangeshwarananda, Swami (1996). Yogaville Recipes: A collection of favorites from the kitchen of Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville (9th ed.). Buckingham, Virginia: Satchidananda Ashram. pp. 1–106.
  4. ^ "Yogaville - About Us".

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°39′56.9″N 78°41′8″W / 37.665806°N 78.68556°W / 37.665806; -78.68556