Swami Muktananda (1908-1982) was born in a small town south of Mangalore (Karnataka). When he was fifteen he met Bhagavan Nityananda who awoke in him an intense desire of attaining liberation. Shortly after, he left home searching for a Guru who could guide him in his spiritual path. Young Muktananda lived for some years with Sri Siddharudha Swami in his ashram in Hubli, where he studied the various branches of Yoga, Vedanta, Shaivism and was initiated in sannyasa (renunciation).
Afterwards, Muktananda went on a pilgrimage across India for over eighteen years, traveling alone and practicing great austerity. During this period he met great teachers from whom he received various teachings, but none filled the genuine desire of his heart. Finally, Sri Zipruanna, a Mahatma of Maharastra, told him to visit Bhagavan Nityananda in Ganeshpuri because “there he would find his treasure”. This is how Muktananda reunited with Bhagavan Nityananda, and recognized him as his Guru.
Muktananda received initiation (shaktipata) from his guru in 1947. Following his orders, he lived in retreat for eight years near Yeola, undergoing an intense meditation practice.
In 1956 Bhagavan Nityananda asked him to return to Ganeshpuri. His disciple had reached the full realization of the Self. Sri Nityananda offered him a place in Gavdevi, near Ganeshpuri, and asked him to reside there. Swami Muktananda followed his guru’s instructions and that small place grew until it became the Gurudev Siddha Peeth Ashram.
Baba Muktananda received many invitations to travel to the West. He made three world tours between 1970 and 1980, awakening the kundalini energy in countless seekers through shaktipat diksha (spiritual initiation or transmission).
Until the last day of his life, he led many seekers through the path of liberation. His basic teaching was: “Honor your Self. Worship your Self. Meditate on your Self. God dwells within you as you”.
Swami Muktananda left his body on October 2, 1982. He left two successors as well as several swamis and disciples who have continued transmitting the blessings and teachings of this lineage all over the world. Swami Satyananda Saraswati is one of his direct disciples.