Swami Muruganandaji

On Jan. 6, 2024, after some time at the Acute Care Center at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, our dear brother Swami Murugananda has passed into the Divine Light, embraced by the eternal love of his beloved Sri Gurudev Swami Satchidananda. After a unique life of dedicated service and spiritual practice, we pray that his soul may rest in peace. There will be a public memorial for Swami Muruganandaji at Sivananda Satsang Hall, which will also be live-streamed, date to be determined and announced.

Born on January 19, 1942 in Brooklyn, New York, he and his younger brother Milton were raised by their mother and father in an Orthodox Jewish tradition. His father served as a rabbi. Going back to 1482, there were generations of rabbis in his family history.

Swami Murugananda was a disciple of Sri Gurudev since 1966 and was initiated as a sannyasin on July 23, 1975 in the first group of Integral Yoga sannyasis at Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville. He served in the various Integral Yoga Institutes and the Ashrams of California, Connecticut, and Virginia, with roles including advanced Yoga teacher, counselor, gardener, farmer, chef, bookstore manager, “Rabbi,” herbalist, and more.

At Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville Virginia, he created the first website and registered the domain name Yogaville.org. He also created the SASTRI project (Satchidananda Automated Satsang Text Retrieval & Indexing). This is a master archive database containing many transcripts of Sri Gurudev’s satsangs and talks covering over 36 years. Muruganandaji created and maintained the Yogaville Library of over 25,000 holdings. In his spare time he wrote and performed standup comedy at many Ashram events and tended to his beloved fish pond in front of the monastery at the Ashram.

We are grateful to the medical staff of Martha Jefferson Sentara Hospital, Albemarle Health & Rehabilitation, Hospice of the Piedmont, and David Campanelli, MD for their dedicated service to Muruganandaji. We are also very grateful for the countless hours that Ashramites and Yogaville community members offered in caring for Muruganandaji during his illness, as well as for his many friends who helped in various ways.

Memorial Service information: The timing for the memorial is updated below due to weather. The sharing circle will probably be livestreamed as well. Due to freezing weather the interment is postponed.