Hundreds Mark Birthday of Integral Yoga's Leader  

The Virginian Pilot/December 5, 1994
By the Associated Press

People of different faiths gathered to honor Sri Swami Satchidananda, leader of the Integral Yoga International movement, in a celebration that emphasized the similarities between religions.

The celebration attended by hundreds Saturday at Charlottesville High School was linked to the swami's 80th birthday later this month.

Satchidananda is the founder of Yogaville in Buckingham County. He believes the path to global harmony can be found by focusing on the common threads among the world's 12 major religions.

The Integral Yoga movement spreads his beliefs and has at its heart the Light Of Truth Universal Shrine in Yogaville, built on 750 acres on the James River in 1986. The shrine houses altars for the different religions.

Sitting in lotus position on a chair set on center stage, Satchidananda told a parable of a man trying to cash a check. But the amount payable was only a string of zeroes. The man couldn't collect his money until a "1" was placed before the zeroes.

"That's how life is," the swami said. "You can have any amount of zeroes, but if you don't have that One, that Spirit, you are nothing."

Artist Peter Max, who was largely responsible for bringing Satchidananda to the United States from southern India, attended, as did actors Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern.


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