INDIAN YOGA GURUS, SAGES, SAINTS AND SPIRITUAL LEADERS

MAHARISHI PATANJALI

Patanjali is a Sanskrit proper name. Several important Sanskrit works are ascribed to one or more authors of this name, and a great deal of scholarship has been devoted over the last century or so to the issue of disambiguation.

Patanjali is one of the 18 siddhars in the Tamil siddha (Shaiva) tradition. The author of an unspecified work of medicine (ayurveda).

SRI AUROBINDO

Sri Aurobindo, born Aurobindo Ghose, was an Indian nationalist, philosopher, yogi, guru, and poet. He joined the Indian movement for independence from British rule, for a while became one of its influential leaders and then became a spiritual reformer, introducing his visions on human progress and spiritual evolution.

SWAMI VIVEKANANDA

Swami Vivekananda, born Narendra Nath Datta, was an Indian Hindu monk and chief disciple of the 19th-century saint Ramakrishna. He was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world and is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the late 19th century. He was a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India, and contributed to the concept of nationalism in colonial India. Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission.

BELLUR KRISHNAMACHAR SUNDARARAJA IYENGAR

Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar better known as B.K.S. Iyengar, was the founder of the style of yoga known as "Iyengar Yoga" and was considered one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world. He was the author of many books on yoga practice and philosophy including Light on Yoga, Light on Pranayama, Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and Light on Life. Iyengar was one of the earliest students of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who is often referred to as "the father of modern yoga".

SRI K. PATTABHI JOIS

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois was an Indian yoga teacher who developed the popular style of yoga referred to as Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga. In 1948, Jois established the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute (now known as the Shri K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute) in Mysore, India.

SWAMI KUVALAYANANDA

Swami Kuvalayananda was a researcher and educator who is primarily known for his pioneering research into the scientific foundations of yoga. He started scientific research on yoga in 1920, and published the first scientific journal specifically devoted to studying yoga, Yoga Mimamsa, in 1924. Most of his research took place at the Kaivalyadhama Health and Yoga Research Center which he also founded in 1924.

SWAMI SIVANANDA SARASWATI-YOGA OF SYNTHESIS

Sivananda Saraswati was a Hindu spiritual teacher and a proponent of Yoga and Vedanta. Sivananda was born Kuppuswami in Pattamadai, in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. He studied medicine and served in British Malaya as a physician for several years before taking up monasticism. He lived most part of his life near Muni Ki Reti, Rishikesh.

He was the founder of the Divine Life Society (DLS) in 1936, Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy (1948) and author of over 200 books on yoga, Vedanta and a variety of subjects.

SWAMI CHIDANANDA SARASWATI

Chidananda Saraswati was President of the Divine Life Society, Rishikesh, India. He is well known in India as a yogi, jnani and spiritual leader. He succeeded as President of the Divine Life Society in 1963, after the death of his predecessor, Sivananda Saraswati, who founded the Society.

MAHARISHI MAHESH YOGI

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was born Mahesh Prasad Varma and obtained the honorific Maharishi and Yogi as an adult. He developed the Transcendental Meditation technique and was the leader and guru of a worldwide organization that has been characterized in multiple ways including as a new religious movement and as non-religious.

PARAMAHANSA YOGANANDA

Paramahansa Yogananda or Paramhansa Yogananda, born Mukunda Lal Ghosh, was an Indian yogi and guru who introduced millions of westerners to the teachings of meditation and Kriya Yoga through his book, Autobiography of a Yogi.

SRI SRI RAVI SHANKAR

Ravi Shankar, commonly known as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, was born on 13 May 1956. He is also frequently referred to simply as "Sri Sri" (honorific) or as Guruji or Gurudev. He is a spiritual leader and founder of the Art of Living Foundation created in 1981, which aims to relieve individual stress, societal problems, and violence. In 1997, he established a Geneva-based charity, the International Association for Human Values, an NGO that engages in relief work and rural development and aims to foster shared global values.

SWAMI RAMDEV-PATANJALI YOGPEETH

Baba Ramdev (born as Ramkrishna Yadav in Haryana) is a spiritual leader known for his contributions in yoga, Ayurveda, politics and agriculture. He is best known for popularising yoga among Indians through his mass yoga camps. He founded the Patanjali group of institutions. Ramdev has more recently become a vocal advocate on Indian political issues.

BIKRAM CHOUDHURY-BIKRAM YOGA

Bikram Choudhury is an Indian yoga teacher and the founder of Bikram Yoga, a form of hot yoga performed in a series of 26 hatha yoga postures done in a hot environment of 40 °C (104 °F).

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