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Swami Satchidananda Dies

Swami Satchidananda, the Indian guru who recites an invocation within the version “A Love Supreme” on Alice Coltrane’s 1971 album World Galaxy, died Aug. 18 in Madras in South India. He was 87.

After growing up in India and becoming wise to the ways of meditation and yoga, Satchidananda came to America in 1966 via an invitation by psychedelic artist Peter Max. The summer of love was only a year away and youth culture was discovering the happiness found in free love and non-prescription drugs. Eastern culture was in and a guru like Satchidananda was a welcome spiritual guide. The guru set up shop with his Integral Yoga Institute in New York and became a prominent figure in the flower-power movement.

In 1969 Satchidananda met Alice Coltrane and soon became her own personal guru. In addition to appearing on the World Galaxy album, for which Peter Max designed the cover, Satchidananda inspired Coltrane’s 1970 album, Journey in Satchidananda. “Direct inspiration for Journey in Satchidananda comes from my meeting and association with…my own beloved spiritual perceptor, Swami Satchidananda,” Coltrane wrote in the album’s liner notes. “Satchidananda means knowledge, existence, bliss….I hope that this album will be a form of meditation and a spiritual awakening for those who listen with their inner ear.”

Satchidananda is survived by a son, six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Originally Published