Swami Sivananda is know as one of the greatest Yoga masters of the 20th
century and is the inspiration
behind the Sivananda Ashram and Beacon Yoga Centre.
Here is a brief outline of his life.
His Early Life
Born in 1887 in Pattamadai, Tamil Nadu, South India, Swami Sivananda
whose name was
then Kuppuswami, was a brilliant boy at studying as well as gymnastics
inclined toward spiritual and religious practices. His parents were
very devoted to Lord Siva and Kuppuswami was eager to
them twice daily for worship (Puja) and Kirtan (Mantra chanting). His
natural selfless spirit lead him to a career in the medical field.
eagerness and ability to learn and assimilate his studies earned him the
of his professors who invited him to attend surgeries while still in his
year of medical school. Graduated to become Dr. Kuppuswami.
The young Dr. Kuppuswami felt a strong urge to go to Malaysia where
he felt there
was great need. In a short time he was given the responsibility of
hospital. During these years Dr. Kuppuswami was renowned as being both
doctor and a true humanitarian. Very often he waived consultation fees
too poor to afford his services and on many occasions provided medicine
free to his neediest patients.
One day Dr. Kuppuswami had the opportunity to cure a wandering
or Monk) who then gave the doctor instruction on Yoga
From that day on his life changed, and
gradually Dr. Kuppuswami became more introspective and could not stop
the great questions of life. Now he felt the need to help people
level, not just healing their physical body, but helping them to find a
for all suffering.
His Spiritual journey to become Swami Sivananda
Filled with a tremendous desire for spiritual growth and
enlightenment Kuppuswami went
to North India in search of his Guru.
time in Varanasi (Banaras) he travelled north to the Himalayas. There in
holy town of Rishikesh (which means "the abode of the sages") Kuppuswami
his Guru who gave him Sannyas (a monk's vows of renunciation). After
these vows, Swami Sivananda Saraswati, as he would be known
an extremely intense daily Sadhana (spiritual practices) and Tapas
for the next 10 years or so. By the end of that period many co-Sadhus
to Swami Sivananda for his instruction and his spiritual inspiration.
Swami Sivananda, The World Teacher
From that time Swami Sivananda became one of the most prolific
has ever existed. Although he rarely left the little town of Rishikesh
only 2 India tours and no visits abroad) Swami Sivananda's teachings
quickly throughout our entire planet. He personally wrote - by hand,
more than 200 books on topics connected to Yoga and
He wrote in a style that is very direct and bursting with dynamic,
energy. As a result many who read his books felt their lives deeply
and transformed and so came from all of India, all of the world, to
him directly, and to bask in his holy presence. The teachings of Master
are summarized in these 6 words: