Jugal Sahoo was born into a family of farmers in a little hamlet near the Cuttack district of Orissa, India. As a child, he flourished in the natural beauty of the rural environment. Jugal grew up under the attentive care of his parents, who instructed him in the traditional Indian values and the rich heritage of Indian scriptures, which shaped his character.
Even at a young age, Jugal had an innate longing to lead a monastic life. He once left his home to live at an ashram. However, after a short time, at the request of his parents, he obediently returned to their farm and continued helping his father. Upon becoming a young man he lived the life of a householder, performing his duties faithfully as a husband and a father.
In 1973 his long pursuit for a spiritual master was rewarded when he met Paramahamsa Hariharananda at the Karar Ashram in Puri and was initiated by him into Kriya Yoga. For many years he visited the ashram, taking part in the annual Foundation Day celebrations and receiving the holy darshan of his guru. At the mahasamadhi of his beloved Gurudev, in 2002, his life was once again blessed when he met his master, Paramahamsa Prajnanananda.
The longing to lead a monastic life never diminished; so, in 2004, at the age of sixty-five, he left the comforts of home to become an ashram resident. Humble, meek, and dutiful, he began living a simple life with little or no needs, while selflessly working in the kitchen and ashram temples.
On February 23, 2009, he was initiated into the monastic order by his master, Paramahamsa Prajnanananda, and was renamed Swami Apurvananda Giri, which means the “bliss of uniqueness.” Serving his master with love and devotion, he currently resides at Hariharananda Gurukulam, in Balighai, Orissa, India.
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