From Mumtaz Ali Khan to Sri Madhukarnathji: The Biography of Sri M

An Indian yogi, initiate of the Nath tradition of Hinduism, student of Sri Maheshwarnath Babaji, receiver of Padma Bhushan, and author of several books on spirituality – Sri M. This writeup tells you more about his life and teachings.

Life Story of Sri M

Sri M was born on November 6. 1949 in Trivandrum in a Muslim family. His birth name was Mumtaz Ali Khan. He was also called Sri Madhukar Nath. At his residence in Trivandrum, at an early age of 9, he happened to meet Sri Maheshwarnath Babaji, who was a young man with matted hair and standing near a jackfruit tree. They spoke to each other for a little while and the man disappeared. This incident turned out to be a life-changer for Sri M. The interaction brought about a big transformation in his personality. He started meditating, before even knowing what it means, and his journey towards self-realization had begun.

Sri M was drawn to spirituality since then, for which he communicated with many sages from South India. At a young age of 19, he left in search of his guru and travelled to the Himalayas. At the Vyasa Gufa near Badrinath, he met Sri Maheshwarnath, the same person he had earlier encountered with, at his place near a jackfruit tree. He spent over 3 years seeking guidance from Sri Maheshwarnath, whom he accepted as his Guru. During this time, Sri M was initiated into the Nath tradition, his Kundalini energy was awakened, and he could meet the Himalayan yogi Mahavatar Babaji.

On the advice of his Guru, Sri M returned from the Himalayas and embarked on his life’s mission. He travelled across India, met other spiritual gurus, and worked with Ramkrishna Mission and Krishnamurti Foundation. Here, he met Sunanda Sanadi who would later be his wife. The couple had two children Roshan Ali and Aisha Ali.

Currently, he stays in Madanpalle, Andhra Pradesh, and leads a simple life. He is often invited as a speaker by well-known organizations around the world. He takes an active part in the work undertaken by Satsang Foundation established by him. His hobbies include painting and an appreciation of music.

The Walk of Hope

In 2015, Sri M started a 7500-km padayatra (or walk) from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. Starting on January 12, he, with other travelers who had joined him, walked through 11 Indian states in an effort to restore spirituality. The walk was completed on April 29, 2016 in Srinagar.

Teachings of Sri M

Sri M has acquired knowledge from various spiritual traditions and many different teachers. He has absorbed the meaning of Hinduism, Buddhism and Sufism, combined what he has learned on different spiritual paths, and from different gurus, and thus his teachings are profound and all-encompassing.

According to Sri M, spirituality is universal, not limited by any particular religion or faith. He thinks that being spiritual is about feeling love and compassion for fellow beings and experiencing inner peace. Through his teachings, he aims to achieve global harmony, for which, he thinks it is essential to transform oneself. His life’s mission is to guide and teach people as per his Master’s instructions. He says that satsang removes barriers of caste and creed. He believes that spiritual evolution is not different from living, and that the world around us is our touchstone to spiritual practice. He says that we should go beneath the outer shell of religions and explore their mystical core. In his own words; ‘Go to the core. Theories are of no use’. His teachings are relevant to modern times and focus on attaining peace and harmony by taming the chaos in the world around and within.


  • Sri M is the head of Satsang Foundation, under which two schools and a yoga institute are being run, and various projects for societal development are undertaken.
  • The two schools run under the Satsang Foundation are Peepal Grove School, which is a boarding school that started in 2006 and Satsang Vidyalaya which is a free school for children residing in Madanapalle.
  • Bharat Yoga Kendra conducts training programs for yoga teachers.
  • Under the Satsang Foundation, Sri M has started many projects in the fields of education, skill development, environment and health.
  • A well-equipped 50-bed hospital is also being run under this foundation.
  • The Satsang Foundation has also established a Yoga Research Center, the International Yoga Research Foundation in Kerala, through which research is being carried out in yoga and related therapies.
  • MyTree is another initiative by Sri M, which works in tree plantation.
  • The Sacred Grove, is a center for exploring consciousness, established by Sri M in the town of Chowdepalle. Arogyam is a wellness center in the Sacred Grove that provides yoga services and ayurvedic treatments.
  • Sri M travels to various cities in India and abroad, and conducts public programs where followers can meet him.
  • Residential programs called ‘Satsangs with Sri M’ are organized in India and other countries, during which people can interact with him and also enroll for Kriya Initiation.
  • Usually, he conducts Satsangs in Madanapalle on Gurupornima and Shivaratri.
  • He writes for Speaking Tree, a column in The Times of India.
  • He has authored ‘Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master: A Yogi’s Autobiography’, and its sequel, ‘Sri M: The Journey Continues’, which together form his autobiography. He has narrated many mystical incidents in the autobiography, which include stories about his previous lives, which, according to him, span over 5000 years, during which he was a man in some lives, woman in some, and had encountered with many Indian sages.
  • Apart from his autobiography, he has written many other books on spirituality and many of them have been translated into Indian and foreign languages.


  • Sri M has been invited as a keynote speaker to many prestigious organizations like the WHO, United Nations Office in Switzerland, Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and World Bank in USA.
  • He has been called upon for talks by big businesses like Google and Yahoo, and renowned educational institutes like IIM and IIT.
  • He is the chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University.
  • He has been given the position in the Faculty of IIT, Delhi.
  • He is an honorary professor of Human Values at IIM, Kolkata.
  • He is the proud receiver of Padma Bhushan, which he has been honoured with, for his distinguished service of high order in spirituality.

If reading this has inspired you to meet Sri M or seek his guidance, you should refer to the Official website of Satsang Foundation, as here you will get updates about his ongoing programs and gain a greater insight into his life. You could follow him on social media to listen to his philosophy and teachings. He seems approachable and friendly; and is one of the most unassuming spiritual masters, interacting with whom, can take you a few steps closer to spiritual evolution.

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