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After the sudden death of his wife, Ramaswamy traveled throughout India, meditating at holy shrines and studying with revered spiritual teachers. For years, Ramaswamy searched for real sages, saints, and spiritual masters. Eventually, he was initiated into pre-sannyasa in the Ramakrishna Thapovanam and given the name Brother Sambasiva Chaitanya. While at the ashram, his job was to care for orphaned young boys. During this period, he also studied along with the renowned Sri Ramana Maharshi. He eventually left the ashram when he could not bear the suffering of Sri Ramana's arm cancer and treatment procedures. Ramana Maharshi died shortly after his departure. He then traveled to Rishikesh, a holy town in the foothills of the Himalayas, located on the banks of the Ganges River. There, he discovered his guru, Sri Swami Sivananda who ordained him into the order of sannyasa in 1949 and gave him the name Swami Satchidananda.
During the late 1950s and into the 1960s, Swami Satchidananda headed, along with another swami female disciple of Sri Swami Sivananda, to the Kandy Thapovanam, one of Swami Sivananda's ashrams situated in the hill country of Sri Lanka. Here, Swami Satchidananda taught yoga, conceived and implemented innovative interfaith approaches to traditional Hindu festivals and modernized the ancient mode of living that renunciates had followed for many years. For instance, Swami Satchidanda drove a car (to teach throughout Sri Lanka), wore a watch (to be on time), and actively engaged the questions of seekers. These modernizations were ridiculed by certain individuals in the orthodoxy but he felt them to be necessary natural extensions and serving tools for betterment in his spiritual yogic work.