Inspirer Gurus of Swami Indrananda Ji
Biography of Swami Indrananda Ji
Swami Indrananda (Sri Indar Ji as he was previously called) was born in Punjab, a State of Northern India on November 9th, 1923. He came to London with his wife and children in 1957 on the staff of the High Commission of India. He later joined the British Post Office and worked at its Headquarters for more than twenty-one years until his retirement in 1983.
Born of a devout Hindu family, his interest in Yoga goes back to childhood, but his deep devotion to classical Yoga developed in England.
During his years as Secretary of Hindu Centre of London, Sri Indar Ji met and entertained many visiting Swamis. In 1967 he met Maha Mandaleshwar Ma Yoga Shakti Saraswati, the first lady Swami to tour abroad. She encouraged him to devote himself to practising and spreading the true message of Yoga. In the following year he derived further inspiration from Swami Satyananda Saraswati. Sri Indar Ji’s first response was to start a Yoga class at the Hindu Centre and then to set up a Yoga Club at the Post Office Headquarters, of which he remained Secretary until his retirement.
In 1972, he founded the Yoga Centre of North London, later to be renamed the Patanjali Centre for Classical Yoga to reflect his dedication to traditional Yoga.
After his retirement, he devoted all his time to the Centre and the cause of Yoga. He ran Teacher Training courses for the British Wheel of Yoga and conducted many seminars, workshops and retreats for other Yoga groups in this country and abroad. He also took classes for the Inner London Education Authority’s Evening Institutes. He was a representative for the United Kingdom of the International Yoga Co-ordination Centre, Delhi.
In 1986 he was initiated into Mantra Yoga by the great Master Swami Krishnananda Ji of the Sivananda Vedanta Society of Rishikesh during one of his tours to India. He led six tours of the whole of India, including three of them as as Himalayan pilgrimage visiting Ashrams and Institues and paying tribute to their Masters.
He was awarded title of Yogashri (Lord of Yoga) by Vishwa Yoga Samaj for his services in the field of Yoga, and has been honoured with the title of Vishwa Yoga Ratna (Jewel of the World Wide Yoga) and Yogacharya by the World Development Parliament. The Indian Society for Clinical Yoga elected him as Fellow Member in 1988.
In 1988 the Centre acquired a property on the outskirts of Battle, East Sussex, England to establish an Ashram to spread the teachings of Classical Yoga without any interference from other systems prevalent in the West as well as in the East. It is a town where the Battle of Hastings was fought in 1066 and is a most beautiful and scenic place for an Ashram where peace and tranquillity prevails. Swami Indrananda considered it a place to fight the yogic battle!
In 1989, when the most devoted and dedicated of Yoga aspirants – Geoffrey Cole, and others had completed the renovation, Swami Ji moved his residence permanently from London to this place, to establish an ashram, now also known as the “Patanjali Kutir”.
On 18th March 1999 he was initiated as Reverent Swami Yogi Indrananda by his first guru Ma Yoga Shakti.
In May 2000 he was elected Associate to the Honorary Advisory Faculty of American Yoga College and the Centre as an Associate organisation.
In 2003 he was awarded ‘Yoga Alankara’ by the Ayurveda and Yoga Expo Company of London.
The television programme ‘Checkout Yoga’ was aired in October 2006 in which he took people with no experience of classical yoga and guided them through a period of intense practice. His aim of the programme was to show what the classical teachings are about and how they can make a difference to our lives.
He ardently believed that Yoga is a practical science, and should be taught in accordance with the classical teachings of the Masters of yore. His motto was that one should only teach what one practises; theory is of no avail without practice. Also to remember the three p’s i.e. PRACTISE, PATIENCE AND PERSEVERANCE.
Swami Indrananda Ji left his physical body on December 19th 2007. He died very peacefully surrounded by his loving family throughout his final hours. He touched the hearts of all who met him and was a profound source of peace, comfort and joy to all those who were blessed to have spent time in his presence.
Here is a spiritual message received from Maha Ma Yoga Shakti Saraswati:
A Divine Mission Accomplished
Maha Mandaleshwar Ma Yogashakti Saraswati, USA
A great soul descends from Heaven to improve Humanity and to spread the message of Joy, Health and Happiness on earth.
I feel very proud to be the First Inspirer Guru of a great soul Sri Indar Nathji from the year 1966 when I started travelling and teaching Yoga throughout the world. Later Sri Indar Nathji became a Great Teacher of Yoga himself in UK and Europe and founded his own Ashram, the Patanjali Yoga Centre in Battle, East Sussex in 1989. He took Sannyaas Diksha in 1986 from the Sivananda Vedanta Society of Rishikesh, India and was known as Swami Indranandaji.
The final departure of a soul after accomplishing one’s earthly Mission is known as Mahaa Prayaana.
To me, he has not gone anywhere. He will always be present in the Patanjali Ashram as usual and always guiding his ardent pupils in each and every moment of his/her yoga practices. Think of him watching over you in every step of your Yoga Posture and Techniques since Soul is Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent.
May you be blessed by him at every step of your Yoga Practice.
In prayers, one with You,
Ma Yoga Shakti