Swami Muktananda (1908-1982) was born in a small town in southern Mangalore (Karnataka). At the age of fifteen he had an encounter with Bhagavan Nityananda that produced an intense desire to achieve liberation. Before long, he left his house in search of a guru to guide him on his path. The young Muktananda lived for a few years with Sri Siddharuda Swami, with whom he studied the different branches of yoga, vedanta and shaivism, and from whom he received initiation in sannyasa.
Muktananda later pilgrimed throughout India for over eighteen years, travelling alone and with great austerity. In this period he met great teachers from whom he received various teachings. Finally, as told by the holy Zipruana, he visited Nityananda at Ganeshpuri and later recognised him as his guru.
He received the initiation (śaktipāta) from his guru in 1947 and, following his instructions, he spent eight years retired near Yeloa, immersed in an intense practice of meditation. In 1956, Bhagavan Nityananda instructed him to return to Ganeshpuri, since he had reached the plenitude of Self-knowledge. Sri Nityananda offered him a place at Gavdevi, near Ganeshpuri. That little place grew until it became a great ashram called Gurudev Siddha Peeth, which for years welcomed applicants from all over the world.
Between 1970-1980, Baba Muktananda undertook several world tours awakening the kundalini energy, through shaktipat diksha, on countless seekers. Until the last day of his life he continued his role of guiding many sincere aspirants on the path of liberation. The essence of his teaching is: “Honour your own Self. Worship your own Self. Meditate on your own Self. God lives within you as yourself.”
Swami Muktananda left the body on October 2, 1982. He left two successors, as well as several Swamis and disciples whom have continued to transmit the blessings and teachings of this lineage to the world. Among his Swamis and direct disciples, we find Swami Satyananda Saraswati.