Swami Sivananda Life Story- Birth, Sayings, Instructions And Disciples

Swami Sivananda’s early life

Swami Shivananda Saraswati, a great yoga guru, spiritual teacher and propagandist of Vedanta, was born on 8 September 1887 in the village of Pattamadai on the bank of the river Tamraparani in South India. He was named Kuppuswamy at birth. Swami Shivanand Saraswati met Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati in Rishikesh and turned his pupil from there. He was the one who called him Swami Shivanand Saraswati from Kuppuswamy.

Swami Sivananda Life Story- Birth, Sayings, Instructions And Disciples
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Founder of the Divine Life Society

He laid the foundation of The Divine Life Society, his trust in 1936 on the banks of River Ganga. The organisation aimed to disseminate spiritual knowledge and selfless service to humanity. He also started Sivananda Ayurvedic Pharmacy in 1945. Swami Saraswati organised the All-world Religions Federation in 1945 and established the All-world Sadhus Federation in 1947. He also established Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy in 1948 to give systematic spiritual training to the resident Sadhaks and benefit the visiting seekers.

Yoga of Synthesis

Swami Sivananda’s Yoga, which he has significantly called the ‘Yoga of Synthesis’, effects a harmonious development of the ‘hand’, ‘head’ and ‘heart’ through the practice of Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. He impacted a massive number of lives before passing away in 1963.

Books and publications

He authored 296 books on yoga, Vedanta and many other disciplines such as metaphysics, religion, western philosophy, psychology, ethics, etc. He also started his medical journal, “The Ambrosia”, initially financed by his mom. His books focus on the practical aspects of yoga rather than the theoretical ones.

Sivananda yoga

This is the yoga form propagated by his disciple Vishnudevananda worldwide through Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres.

Swami Sivananda initiation

After returning to India from British Malay in 1924, he went to Rishikesh, where he met his guru, Vishvananda Saraswati, who initiated him into the Sannyasa family and became part of the monastic family.

Sivananda’s disciples

Sivananda has so many disciples who have excelled in their journey.

  • Chidananda Saraswati was the President of the Divine Life Society from 1963 to 2008.
  • Krishnananda Saraswati was the general secretary from 1959 to 2001.
  • Chinmayananda Saraswati founder of Chinmaya Mission.
  • Karunananda Saraswati founded the Valley of Peace Yoga Ashram in Australia.
  • Sahajananda Saraswati is the spiritual head of Divine Life Society, South Africa.
  • Satchidananda Saraswati is the founder of Integral yoga institutes across the world.
  • Satyananda Saraswati, founder of Bihar School of Yoga, Munger
  • Shantanada Saraswati founded the Temple of Fine Arts Singapore.
  • Sivananda Radha Saraswati is the founder of Yasodhara Ashram, Canada.
  • Venkatesananda Saraswati, founder of Ananda Kurir Ashram, South Africa.
  • Vishnudevananda Saraswati is the founder of Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Canada.

Sivananda’s favourite yoga poses

  1. Sirsasana is undoubtedly his most favourite yoga pose.
  2. Rabbit-Pose
  3. Sarvangasana
  4. Paschimottanasana
  5. Vajrasana

Daily routine

  • He woke up at 3 a.m. and did morning recitation and hymns.
  • Morning meditation at 4 am
  • Yogasanas and bed exercises at 6 am.
  • After a light breakfast, he attends to his office work—interviewing visitors, instructing Sadhakas, inspecting Ashram’s work, etc.
  • Returns to Kutir for lunch and a brief rest at mid-day.
  • The evening is spent studying the incoming letters and interviewing visitors again, followed by evening meditation and Satsanga
  • At about 10 p.m., he likes to go to bed after ensuring every guest has been adequately served, and every inmate is comfortable.

Sivananda’s doctrine

  • Eat a little, drink a little, talk a little, sleep a little
  • Mix a little, move a little, serve a little, rest a little
  • Work a little, rest a little, study a little, worship a little
  • Do Asana a little, Pranayama a little, reflect a little, meditate a little
  • Do Japa a little, Kirtan a little, write Mantra a little, and have Satsanga a little.

Sivananda’s top 10 sayings

  1. Remember God at all times.
  2. Hear the wise words of great souls and follow them.
  3. Don’t talk much before great souls.
  4. Avoid unnecessary discussions.
  5. Don’t exaggerate, concoct or twist when you talk.
  6. Develop mercy and cosmic love.
  7. Share what you have with others.
  8. Good and bad, friend and enemy, pleasure and pain, virtue and sin are in the mind only.
  9. Patience and perseverance are indispensable for reaching the goal.
  10. Purity of food leads to purity of mind.

Sivananda’s top 10 instructions

  1. Get up at 4 a.m. daily.
  2. Take Sattvic food. Do not overload the stomach.
  3. Sit on Padma or Siddha Asana for Japa and Dhyana.
  4. Study systematically one chapter of the Bhagavad Gita.
  5. Give up smoking, intoxicating drinks and Rajasic food.
  6. Observe Mouna for 2 hours daily and during meals.
  7. Speak the truth at any cost. Speak little, sweetly.
  8. Never hurt the feelings of others. Be kind to all.
  9. Think of the mistakes you have made (self-analysis).
  10. Do not depend upon servants. Have self-reliance.

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