Swamiji was born on the 19th September 1932, on the day of Ashweeja Krishna Chaturthi, in the city of Agra. His father, Shiva Shanker Pande who was a teacher, and his mother Triveni Devi both came from devout Brahmin families and they named him Ambika Prasad.
During his early years Ambika Prasad spent most of his time with his doting maternal grandparents, where he became absorbed in Satsang and Prayers. Around this time a sage who was visiting the house saw this charming boy and predicted that he was destined to perform a great service to humanity.
From childhood, his parents noticed that Ambika Prasad had a unique spiritual quality. On one occasion when the young boy was visiting a temple one evening he became immersed in a spiritual trance and had a vision of the Lord with whom he travelled on the sacred Garuda Viman. The Lord had blessed him. Since this time Ambika Prasad became deeply involved in the spiritual world and Satsang. At such a tender age the boy also began to display a natural flair for poetry which was inspired in him whilst in a state of Bhavsamadhi. The local Journal of Poetry, Sukavi, published his work thus making him their youngest poet ever.
Ambika Prasad proceeded to study in a Sanskrit school in Kanpur, where he studied the language and its literature leading him to a Gurukul which taught him both Hindi and Sanskrit. He studied the Vedas and modern education and passed the M A degree examination at Agra University. Ambika Prasad also acquired a degree in Sahitya Ratna, the highest degree in Hindi language and Literature and came under the influence of the famed scholar Shri Purushottam Tandon. His passion for learning earned him the coveted degree of Shastri from Varanasi Vidya Peeth.
At this point in time Ambika Prasad decided to take the path of Sanyasa. In Rishikesh he came into contact with the revered Swami Vedavyasananda, who accepted him as a disciple, conferred Sanyas and named him Satyamitranand.
In 1955 Swami Satyamitranand started editing a monthly magazine, Geeta Sandesh and his name became widely known for Scholarship. At the young age of 27 Swamiji accepted the Upapeeth at Jyotirmath and was coronated Jagatguru Shankaracharya, thus becoming the head of a renowned monastery, whereupon his many sided personality came into being in the spiritual and social service of humanity. He travelled far and wide preaching the sacred ideals of Sanatan Dharma. In June 1969 Swamiji abdicated his prestigious status of Jagatguru Shankaracharya in order to serve his devotees across India and overseas.
As a Sanyasi, Swamiji continued to serve humanity and lead them to the path of spiritual enlightenment and peace, thus continuing the mission started by Swami Vivekananda.
Travelling to all corners of the world including Africa, England, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Malayasia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Fiji, Mauritius and the Phillipines, where various centres of learning and worship have been established. It’s his gift of a deep spiritual experience and a power of the most effective oratory that has drawn thousands of loving devotees to him.
Samanvaya Kutir, Haridwar
Samanvaya Kutir at Haridwar and the Samanvaya Sewa Trust have been established by Swamiji. Samanvaya Kutir has many amenities, including a Satsang Bhavan, mobile dispensary, library and residential accomodation with modern facilities. Visitors to the Kutir may study, meditate, learn Yoga and participate in spiritual discourses during their stay. Beside the Samanvaya Kutir, on the banks of the pious Ganges, stands the unique eight storey Bharat Mata Mandir.
The Bharat Mata Mandir was inaugurated on 15 May 1983 by Rt.Hon.Smt. Indira Gandhi and stands along the River Ganges in Hardwar. It is situated adjacent to the ashram, and stands eight stories tall to the height of 180 feet. Each floor is devoted to a particular theme.
On the first floor is the statue of Bharat Mata.
The second floor ‘Shoor Mandir’ is dedicated to the well renowned heroes of India.
The third floor ‘Matru Mandir’ is dedicated to the achievements of India’s revered women; such as Meera Bai, Savitri, Maitri etc.
The great saints from various religions, including Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism are featured on the fourth floor ‘Sant Mandir’.
The Assembly Hall with walls depicting symbolic coexistance of all religions practiced in India and paintings portraying history and beauty in various provinces of India, is situated on the fifth floor.
The various forms of the Goddess of Shakti can be seen on the sixth floor, whilst the seventh floor is devoted to all incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
The eighth floor holds the shrine of Lord Shiva from which devotees can gain a panoramic view of Himalayas, Hardwar, and the splendour of the entire campus of Sapta Sarovar.
Situated next to the Bharat Mata Mandir is the Ashram, aptly named the Samanvaya Kutir. The Ashram has now been established for over 22 years, during which time it has developed into a complex, providing its guests with a wide variety of services. This includes amongst other things:
Prayers are held every morning at 5.30 a.m. and every evening at 6.00p.m. All students including residentials, sadhaks and guests join in at the beginning and end of the day in worship. The residential students have facilities for the study of yoga, meditation and spiritual discourses.
A Medical Service.
Comprising in-house doctors and nurses, with a provision for free medicines and on the spot diagnosis. Diagnostic camps are also arranged for cataract removal, lens implantation, free denture services and to treat other common diseases.
The VinobhaBhave Physiotherapy Centre is a permanent fixture of the Ashram. The Viklang Centre caters for those who are physically disabled and also provides facilites for fitting artifical limbs.
There is free lodging and boarding provision for 25 students. They receive free accomodation, all meals, clothing, books, and allowance for bicycles for travelling from the Ashram to their schools. The students undertake national curriculum in state approved schools and are also taught Vedic rituals and religious scriptures. The emphasis is on a Gurukul type of disciplined ,ethical moral living.
A self serving accommodation designed for the retired and elderly who wish to spend their life in the vicinity of the holy Ganga in Sadhna for spritual awakening. This unique complex has more than 75 modern well furnished rooms, facilities for satsang, communal kitchen/dining rooms and a reading/reception room. It is installed with an elevator for those who need it, and a generator to supplement power in an emergency.
The Ashram has a well equipped cowshed with modern facilities to look after the cows. The milk, curd, butter-milk etc. that are obtained everyday are used for the benefit of students, ashram residents and guests.