(Photo: Swami Satchidananda filming at the LOTUS, mid-1980s.)

Rev. Kumari de Sachy, Ed.D., served as editor of Integral Yoga Magazine for over a decade, beginning in 1991. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the launch of Integral Yoga Magazine (December 1969), we asked her to talk about how she became the editor and for her reflections on her role at the magazine. Rev. Kumari generously shared the following:

“I was in grad school in early 1981 when I first met Swami Satchidananda (Gurudev). It was my first visit to the Connecticut Ashram; and after the Saturday evening satsang, I introduced myself, told Gurudev a little about myself, and then said to him, ‘If you can use my skills (as a writer and a writing teacher) in any way, please call on me.’ Little did I know then that several years later, he would remember my offer.

“After completing my doctorate and then working for a year at the university, on December 31, 1986, I began the new year and my new life when I moved to Satchidananda Ashram in Virginia. Then, in 1991, after having served in various Ashram areas, I was asked to become the editor of our Integral Yoga Magazine and manager of Integral Yoga Publications.

“I felt blessed to have been given this opportunity to immerse myself in Gurudev’s teachings and to play some part in disseminating these teachings and sharing news about Gurudev’s travels and global service. In putting together the magazine, I spent my days reading Gurudev’s words of wisdom and those of other great Yoga masters and spiritual teachers, experiencing a continual flow of inspiration and spiritual guidance. I felt not only absorbed in the highest teachings, but also enveloped in an environment imbued with spiritual energy. It was magical.

“During the time that I served in this capacity, I worked alone in the large office located at the rear of the Light Of Truth Universal Shrine’s (LOTUS) All Faiths Hall. What a boon it was to be able to spend each day at the LOTUS. I was responsible for curating and editing articles, writing articles, and even mailing the magazines to hundreds of subscribers, so there was always lots to do. But I’ll never forget how sometimes, in the midst of the busyness, I would suddenly have a strong feeling that Gurudev was inside the building or simply that I had to take a break and leave the office.

“During those times, I felt as though I were being nudged out of the room. And that sensation would prompt me to leave the office. Invariably, no sooner would I step out the door, then I would see Gurudev standing right there in the All Faiths Hall, either alone or at times with a guest or guests. During the times when there were guests with Gurudev, I would just know intuitively that I was supposed to accompany them outside the shrine to answer any questions about the Ashram and its activities. Several times, Gurudev came alone to the LOTUS equipped with his camera and tripod. He wouldn’t say a word—silence is maintained in LOTUS—but he’d hand me the tripod and indicate that I should follow to assist him as he set up the camera and began taking photos in the upper meditation sanctuary.

“How grateful I am to have had the opportunity to be involved with the Integral Yoga Magazine and with Publications; to have spent so much time at LOTUS, experiencing the special moments with Gurudev, observing and learning from him in silence; to have walked to the office down the beautiful LOTUS road early in the morning mist, coming upon a motionless owl sitting on an overhanging branch;  to have strolled among the peacocks whose cries sounded like a Hari OM chant;  and to have gazed at the swans and geese for whom the LOTUS Lake was home.  It was all so magical. Yes, truly magical and mystical.”


About Rev. Kumari de Sachy, Ed.D.:
Rev. Kumari served as editor of Integral Yoga Magazine for more than a decade, as well as manager of Integral Yoga Publications. More recently, she served as head of Resident Services at Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville. She has taught Yoga in prisons for many years and is author of A Vision of Peace: The Interfaith Teachings of Sri Swami Satchidananda and Bound to be Free: The Liberating Power of Prison Yoga.