Site Map
Swami Satyeswarananda and the Sanskrit Classics
Section › 1   Set    Search  Previous Next


Reservations   Contents    

Swami Satyeswarananda and the Sanskrit Classics

Swami Satyeswarananda Giri (1941–2017), born in Bengal, was instructed and trained in kriya yoga by the Indian Swami Satyananda Giri (1896–1971). Satyeswarananda served Satyananda for twenty years, completed an MA in Philosophy (specialising in Vedanta) and got a bachelor's degree of law at the University of Calcutta. The degree allowed him to practise as a lawyer.

Satyeswarananda entered the swami order shortly before Satyananda passed away. Afterwards he would go to the Himalayas to meditate. He says he spent time with Babaji at Dunagiri Hill there, and lived and stayed with him for periods in some caves and a small hut. He also tells he learnt the whole kriya system of Babaji, and in 1981 was told by him to re-establish the original kriya yoga of Shyama Charan Lahiri (1828–95) world-wide. A good reason to do it, was that the kriya-yogi Paramahansa Yogananda (1893–1952) had deviated much from it; he had taught only parts of the whole kriya system. In his Yogananda biography (2006, 109-10), Sailendra Dasgupta (1910?–1984) tells about it too.

In 1982, Babaji sent Satyeswarananda to the USA. He settled in San Diego. In 1984 he became a self-publisher by setting up the Sanskrit Classics in San Diego. The swami came to translate, write and publish many kriya yoga books. They were biographies of kriya yogis, books related to various scriptures, and in particular Shyama Lahiri's many commentaries on many texts.

Satyeswarananda tells that when he came to the States, two publishers who were interested in publishing his manuscripts, wanted to edit them; they wanted to make them polished and popular so that they could sell and make profits. But he saw that these publishers would not be able to understand the true "vibration" message and lived in a different world than him, namely the sense-world. So he decided to self-publish. He did so for years - translated, wrote, revised and published to his ability.

(Main sources: Satyeswarananda 2018; "Swami S. Giri" orbituary, published in The San Diego Union Tribune, Sept. 9, 2017)

The Swami Rendered and Quoted

During meditation practice many obstructions, physical and mental, are produced; and it is not within the capacity of the individual (Jiva) to overcome them without the help of the wife.

The husband and the wife together are able to meditate to be successful.

In the Vedic culture, the wife is called the partner in dharma and all the ancient Risis (sages) used to accept a wife/wives, and realised the Self. [Comment: All rishis (seers)? How might he know? Did Adi Shankara have a wife? Anyway, some were married; monks and nuns were for most part hardly so. - T. K.]

Babaji does not look like a body builder.

[P]rachhardan is inhaling and bidharan is exhaling.

How will one practitioner understand this by reading books and written lessons?

Certainly one cannot have the clue.

[The source is the index page of the Sanskrit Classics.]

He claims, "One cannot have the clue," but what about you? You may probably breathe in and out without clues. On top of it comes the refining of the breath by yoga methods. - We will go somewhat into it now.

In Patanjali's Yoga Sutras 1. 34 the two Sanskrit terms are taken to mean: (1) breathing out (not inhaling) and (2) holding the breath (not exhaling) in some measured way. Be prepared for an insight: Satyeswarananda's verse above is not just what the Yoga Sutras 1. 34 mean to say.

In Sanskrit the verse is: pracchardana-vidharanabhyam va pranasya. In the translation of Chip Hartranft (2003) the parts are taken to mean pracchardana = exhalation, expulsion; vidharanabhyam = pause, retention; va = or; pranasya = breath, life force.

The Yoga Sutras line is understood in different ways though, for the Sanskrit terms in it contain many meanings to choose among. For example,

Pracchardana means exhaling, vomiting, emitting, and emetic (causing vomiting).

Vidharana: checking; restraining; maintaining; retaining, restraining and tearing asunder, wasting, killing, explosion, and stopping.

(Source of both: Sanskrit Dictionary for Spoken Sanskrit)

Which will it be? The context and the old tradition well combined may contain some clues: In Patanjali's translations the terms are taken to refer to breathing and not vomiting (the first word), and to 'maintaining' and not wasting and tearing asunder. Or there could be figurative meanings involved . . .

As one ruminates over this one may settle on: "Mind-calm can be achieved by keeping the mind fixed on the vital energy of the breath while smoothly breathing out and holding the breath just a little (1.34)"

If you try that in a relaxed way, little by little you could grasp: "It is not difficult."


Swami Satyeswarananda and the Sanskrit Classics in San Diego, Literature  

Dasgupta, Sailendra. Paramhansa Swami Yogananda: Life-portrait and Reminiscences. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, 2006.

Hartranft, Chip. 2003. The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali: A New Translation with Commentary. Boston, MA: Shambhala Publications.

Satyeswarananda, Swami. Aug. 5. 2018. "About the Sanskrit Classics, Publisher." San Diego, CA: Sanskrit Classics. Accessed 2019.

Satyeswarananda, Swami. 2006. Lahiri Mahasay's Complete Works Volume 1: Gitas and Sanghitas. San Diego, CA: Sanskrit Classics.

Satyeswarananda, Swami. 2006. Lahiri Mahasay's Complete Works Volume 2: The Chandi. Glories of the Goddess and the other Scriptures. 2nd rev. ed. San Diego, CA: Sanskrit Classics.

Satyeswarananda, Swami. 2006. Complete Works of Lahiri Mahasay, Volume 3: The Spiritual Scriptures of Ancient India. The Upanisads. Rev. 2nd ed. San Diego, CA: Sanskrit Classics.

Satyeswarananda, Swami. 2006. Complete Works of Lahiri Mahasay, Volume 4: The Spiritual Disciplines of the Ancient Sages of India. The Six Systems Sardarsan. Rev. 2nd ed. San Diego, CA: Sanskrit Classics.

Harvesting the hay

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

Swami Satyeswarananda and the Sanskrit Classics in San Diego., To top    Section     Set    Next

Swami Satyeswarananda and the Sanskrit Classics in San Diego.. User's Guide   ᴥ    Disclaimer 
© 2019, Tormod Kinnes, MPhil [Email]