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Manmohan (Swami Satyananda giri) was a philosopher, singer, composer, poet, social worker, and above all, a gifted disciple and truly divine master in the lineage of Kriya Yoga. By the age of ten, his quest for liberation was extremely deep-rooted, making strong his burning quest for the independence of India as well as for the ultimate liberation of mankind from the fetters of worldly sufferings, bondage, and body consciousness.
Manmohan visited holy places, spiritual people, and saints with Mukunda (Paramahamsa Yogananda). Hamsa Swami Kevalananda, the great Sanskrit tutor of Mukunda, who taught him the basics of Kriya Yoga, laid the foundation for his spiritual life. His long cherished dream was fulfilled during his college years when he met his guru of destiny, Swami Shriyukteshwar, and was initiated into Kriya Yoga. In 1919, under the direction of his guru, he was initiated into the monastic order and became known as Swami Satyananda giri. He spent most of his time and energy meditating and organizing the residential ashram school founded by Paramahamsa Yogananda in Ranchi, along with his schoolmate turned sannyasi, Swami Dhirananda.
Yukteswar Giri trained Satyananda at his Puri Karar Ashram in 1919 when they lived together and subsequently appointed him as the “leader of the East”. He also appointed Satyananda at his Puri Karar Ashram as the “Ashram Swami” (the monk of the hermitage) for the Puri Karar Ashram. Swami Satyananda's illustrious character, honesty, and purity, his exemplary lifestyle, selfless love, and care for his disciples and students, inspired Mahatma Gandhi to visit Ranchi Ashram, after which he praised the ashram and invited Swami Satyananda to visit his own Sabarmati ashram.
Yukteswar Giri trained Satyananda at his Puri Karar Ashram in 1919 when they lived together and subsequently appointed him as the “leader of the East”. He also appointed Satyananda at his Puri Karar Ashram as the “Ashram Swami” (the monk of the hermitage) for the Puri Karar Ashram.
Satyananda lived in the hermitages at the Karar Ashram, 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, Manabendra Of Guwahati and Kalyan Sengupta.
Leaving the work and management of Puri Ashram to Rabinaryan Brahmachari, he accepted the life of a wandering monk, preaching and teaching Kriya Yoga all over India. His encounter in South India with Ramana Maharshi, a luminous saint renowned for his deep spiritual experience, turned into a unique, intense love.