Swami Sivananda (1887 – 1963)

Swami SivanandaSwami Sivananda is recognised as one of the great Masters of modern times.

Born in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu in 1887, he became a medical doctor to serve humanity. After serving the sick and poor in Malaysia with all of his heart and soul for over a decade, he discovered that healing physical ailments can only go so far, for true peace and happiness comes from the spirit.

Renouncing his successful career, he went empty handed to the Himalayas to start his spiritual quest. For more than a decade Swami Sivananda performed austerities and spiritual practices that were beyond human imagination. During that time he would nurse and serve other pilgrims, monks and mendicants. At the end of his penance period, he achieved enlightenment.

Swami Sivananda’s many articles about his spiritual experiences and practices drew many aspirants who wanted guidance on their paths. In order to serve them as well as humanity at large, he founded Sivananda Ashram and the Divine Life Society in Rishikesh on the banks of the holy Ganga river. For the next thirty years he tirelessly trained many disciples, many who became great masters. He wrote nearly three hundred books on all aspects of spiritual life, yoga practice, and Vedanta philosophy. His writings are simple, practical, and speak directly to the heart of the reader.

Swami Sivananda taught the Yoga of Synthesis, in which all four paths of yoga – Bhakti (devotion), Karma (selfless service), Raja Yoga (mind control), and Jnana (introspection) are combined for balanced spiritual progress. He entered Maha-Samadhi (the departure of a realised master from the physical world) on July 14th, 1963.