So I picked up a book and I thought the man on the front cover was Patanjali himself. I thought, “OK that is what a yogi looks like… long bearded dude in robes sitting with his legs crossed… I get it. The picture seems pretty recent for this ancient system but whatever.” Through self-study, I learned Patanjali is supposed to be the father of yoga, having prescribed what is known as the 8-limbed path of Raja Yoga. Raja (or Royal) Yoga teaches about self-control and discipline as a way to master the mind and attain bliss consciousness in the waking life.
I also learned the dude on the cover wasn’t Patanjali but the man, Sri Swami Satchidananda, who translated the Sutras and gave commentary on the verses.
The first time I read Satchidananda’s translation of the Yoga Sutras, I felt as though I finally understood myself. It was as if his teachings spoke simultaneously to my heart and mind – relaying through words what I had been discovering through my yoga practice. A light bulb went off. There were hundreds of ‘ah ha!’ moments and new ways of looking at my own behaviors and patterns. I finally found a book to help me along my path!
Sat = truth
Chit = consciousness
Ananda = bliss
Yes – I agree. Now I understand why he has that name.
I’ve been looking at going to Yogaville – yes, there is a place called Yogaville – to study at the center set up by Swami Satchidananda for students to further their studies on the path. I even paid my deposit last year and opted not to go. While roaming around through the Yogaville/Integral Yoga website, I came across a documentary about Satchidananda’s life. I found out big names in health care such as Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Dean Ornish have studied Satchidananda’s teachings. Satchidananda spoke at Woodstock per suggestion of world-renowned Pop artist, Peter Max. I met Peter Max at a gallery showing of his work in 2007.
Screw Kevin Bacon – there are now reasons to believe there are six-degrees of separation between you and Satchidananda. That, my friend, is pretty groovy in my opinion!