Swami Sivananda was born on Sept. 8, 1887 in the village of Pattamadai in Madras State, in the lineage of the illustrious Appayya Dikshita. An inborn passion for service drew him to the medical career. Qualifying himself at an early age, he proceeded to distant Malaya where he endeared himself to the people as a kind and competent doctor and as a warm-hearted individual to whom any needy person could turn for assured help.
At the height of his career, this young doctor returned to India and renouncing wealth and home, position and prestige, took to the life of a wandering mendicant. Providence led him to Rishikesh, where one Swami Visvananda initiated him into the holy order of Sannyasa on June 1, 1924 and conferred on him the monastic name of Swami Sivananda. Following the instructions of his revered Guru, Swami Sivananda straightway plunged himself in strict self-discipline, austerities and meditation in the solitude of the Himalayan jungles.
And after years of spiritual struggle, when Swamiji was blessed by the beatific illumination, he heard the call of command from within: “Go thee forth and share thy wisdom with all”. Thus was born the Divine Life Society, founded by Swami Sivananda. in the year 1936, with the sole aim of, disseminating spiritual knowledge far and wide. From then on, Swami Sivananda’s life became a single round of tireless and loving spiritual ministration to suffering mankind. He started the Divine Life Magazine in 1938, went on a hectic preaching tour through India and Ceylon in 1950, and followed it up with a World Parliament of Religions in 1953.
Work increased on all sides, but Swamiji never tired. Service delighted him. Service invigorated him. He answered correspondents, spoke words of guidance and consolation to visiting devotees, trained disciples, recorded messages on tape and disc, wrote inspiring articles for innumerable journals, and books by the hundred. The Divine Life Society Branches grew in number and Swami Sivananda’s life-transforming works were translated into scores of languages both in India and abroad.
The end came rather abruptly. On July 14, 1963 the holy Master attained Mahasamadhi. His last written words were crisp and simple: “Remember. Forget”. He always advised people to ever remember all that was good and true, and forget all that was base and false, and act accordingly.
For links to the web site dedicated to Swami Sivananda
please click on the link below.
For a selection of writings from immediate disciples of Sri Swami Sivananda please click on the navigation buttons to the left or the images below.
Sri Swami Shivapremananda