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In 1989, the village of Rikhia in the eastern state of Jharkhand was a forgotten corner of the world - its inhabitants living in impoverished and dismal conditions. The primarily Santali population seemed to be stuck in the dark ages - without electricity, water, roads, or sanitation. Disease and illness was rampant, malnutrition widespread and no scope for education or a better future. Today, however, there has been a 360 degrees transformation in this village - you can see well-fed toddlers playing on quiet roadsides, calling out 'Namo Narayan' to a passerby, older children cycling to well-attended schools, and everyone is busy in a productive and positive way.What happened? That is the story Barbara Pidgeon tells and, in doing so, reveals the extraordinary lives of the two people, the principal architects of this change and their relationship to one another. One of them, the guru, Swami Satyananada, a stalwart of yogic philosophy, founder of the Bihar School of Yoga, and follower of Swami Sivananda, the Saraswati lineage of yogis, and the other, his disciple, Swami Satyasangananda, popularly known as Swami Satsangi, one of the first women yogis. The two, as Swami Satsangi says, are like the Shiva and Shakti and, in essence, just as Shakti and Shiva are one, they are one - he the consciousness and she the energy - making for a beautiful balance and synergy.
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