In Memoriam — Swami Sivananda Giri (1936-2022)

January 22, 2022

Our beloved Swami Sivananda Giri, a senior sannyasi of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India, left for the heavenly abode peacefully in his sleep on January 18, 2022, around 6 a.m.

Born on September 20, 1936, as Sri Durga Charan Mahato in a remote village Hullung, Kulabahal of Purulia District in West Bengal, Swami Sivanandaji hailed from a humble background.

Endowed with an inherent spiritual disposition, Swamiji was introduced to the spiritual life at a very early age as a student of Yogoda Satsanga Kshirodamoyee Vidyapith, Lakhanpur. He immersed himself in the sublime life-transforming Kriya Yoga teachings of our beloved Gurudeva Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda.

In 1962, he decided to fully dedicate himself to the spiritual path as a YSS monastic at the age of 26 years. He received his Brahmacharya vows on February 3, 1968 and his Sannyas vows on December 14, 1972, both from Sri Sri Daya Mata, the third president and sanghamata of YSS/SRF.

He always manifested exemplary humility and simplicity, and faced difficulties with unperturbed equanimity. In the later years of his life, though he had health challenges, he showed remarkable courage and fortitude.

Swami Sivananda Giri served as a teacher at Kulabahal and later at the Lakhanpur primary schools, part of Yogoda Satsanga Educational Institutions (YSEI) — a group of educational institutions running under the aegis of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (YSS), for 37 years. As reminisced by some of his erstwhile colleagues, Swami Sivananda was strict with his students to ensure they did not stray away from the path of discipline. He was also immensely interested in sports.

Swami Sivanandaji played a key role in the spread of basic education among the downtrodden sections of society in the remote and poverty-stricken areas of Kulabahal so that they may gradually come up and join the national mainstream. With immense patience and foresight, Swamiji ensured that the lower and middle sections of society in the Hullung, Hatibari, Kulabahal, and Lakhanpur villages were not deprived of basic education.

Very early in his life, Swamiji got drawn to the practice of hatha yoga. He could perform many difficult asanas. He was also a lover of Nature and an avid gardener. After completing his afternoon gardening, Swamiji would occasionally gather the ashram staff and workers to the Dhyana Mandir in Lakhanpur and teach them basic hatha yoga postures for maintaining good health.

Till his last day, Swamiji remained sincere, loyal, and regular in his Kriya Yoga sadhana given by Gurudeva Paramahansa Yogananda. He lived an exemplary monastic life and served Yogoda Satsanga Society of India in various capacities at YSS Sakha Kendra, Kulabahal and YSS Sakha Ashram, Lakhanpur in Purulia District of West Bengal.

Swami Sivananda will always be remembered for his joyous and humble nature. Let us all send out our love and prayers to him as he continues his journey to the ultimate goal of complete Self-realization.

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