Swami Sivananda – truly, a great Indian spiritual master (Swami Sivananda Sarsawati)

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Sivananda Saraswati (1887 – 1963) well-known spiritual teacher of India, doctor – scientist, who later became an ascetic and preacher of the Yoga and Vedanta systems, was born under the name of Kuppuswami in the small town of Pattamdai, in the Tiruvannamalai district of the Tamil Nadu region.
Swami Sivananda is a TRUE DIVINE MODEL, manifesting a superior human condition, generating a challenge for any man in the modern era.

He was known as the “argint-free doctor”

He graduated from medical school with exceptional results, practiced medicine brilliantly, often “without the same” and achieved very good results in hopeless cases.
He became a Swami and manifested himself as a sadhu for a long time, achieving the ultimate spiritual achievement.
He formed and guided numerous disciples who, in turn, had exceptional results,
He wrote about 300 books– living in a poor country like India, and when printing a book was a special event even in the rich Western countries.

In other words, understanding how much his life, in the reader’s heart there is an admiration for the excellence shown in what he did and what Swami Sivananda was.

Since his teens he has shown amazing qualities with a pleasant voice and an excellent memory, being an eminent student with very good results in teaching. After finishing high school he decided to study medicine at the Medical School of Tanjore, where he soon became known for his intellectual abilities, sometimes far surpassing his teachers, through his extensive knowledge.

In 1913, after completing his medical studies, the young Doctor Kuppuswamy, who lacked the spirit of adventure, decided to go to Malaysia where he began working as a resident doctor at the Estate Hospital in Singapore.

The young doctor worked hard, but he was always with a smile on his face, he was gentle, empathetic and humorous. He had hopeless cases, but success was certain, all his patients declared that he had a special gift from God, so that the treatments he prescribed had extraordinary, sometimes miraculous results, curing countless times cases considered impossible. For poor people, Dr Kuppuswamy offered free consultations and even gave them money or bought their treatments, being recognized for his generosity. He also treated the holy people, Sadhusi, Sannyasini and even beggars, in a totally disinterested way, his philanthropy and the spirit of being in the service of others, brought him recognition from the people, who called him ” the Heart of Love

He practiced a whole variety of forms of Yoga and traveled almost all over India

During this time he began to study spiritual teachings, reading books written by Swami Rama Tirtha, Swami Vivekananda, Sankara, the Bible and the literature of the Theosofic Society. His daily practice includes prayers, Yoga asanas, the study of sacred texts such as Gita, Mahabharata, or Ramayana. Sometimes he recites Songs by Bhanjas or Kirtans.

As time went on, he realized he wanted to give up the world. His heart had been purified by the service offered to others, so that in 1923, Dr. Kuppuswamy renounced his medical practice, and as Prince Siddharta left Malaysia, to return to India, beginning a new stage in his life – Sadhana.

His pilgrimage began at Benares, where he had his first vision (Darshan) of Lord Visvanath.

A year later, in 1924, he arrived at Rishikesh, where he met his master, Swami Visvananda. Swami Vishnudevanandaji Maharaj, who will initiate him in the order of Sannyas, giving the young doctor the name Swami Sivananda Saraswati.

A long period followed in which the young Swami Sivananda Saraswati travelled, following his sadhana. Even when practicing extremely intense Tapas he does not refuse to help people,providing them with the medical services they needed. During this time Swamiji practiced the full variety of forms of Yoga and studied the scriptures. He traveled almost all over India visiting pilgrimage sites in Southern India, including Rameswaram, visited Sri Aurobindo’s Asharam andmet Sri Ramana Maharishi in his ashram. After years of intense and uninterrupted practice he was blessed with the state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. He had reached the end of his spiritual journey, to the supreme realization.

Lay the Foundations of the Divine Life Society – Divine Life Society

In 1936, his pilgrimage ended, returning to Rishikesh, where he would establish the Society of Divine Life Society – Divine Life Society,near the Ganges River, in an old stable, but which soon became unwieldy, thanks to his many disciples who wanted to stand by him.

In this photo Swamiji shares Gurudev Brahma Vidya (or The Grace of Spiritual Knowledge that comes through the spiritual master,a blessing received from the master in a ritual way) to his disciples (left to right) Swami Venkatesananda, Swami Krishnananda, Swami Chidananda and Swami Satchidananda.

Had a concept of synthesis in medical practice, but also in yoga practice

Swami Sivananda believed in the concept of synthesis, which he applied not only in Yoga (the yoga he taught as Yoga of Synthesis) but also in medicine. In him the allopathic treatment was inseparable from the naturist, Ayurvedic, based on treatment with Himalayan plants, reaching in 1945 to found Ayurvedica Sivananda Pharmacy.

During this time, his work experienced an astonishing expansion, so in 1948 he founded Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy,to give a systematic content to his teachings, offered to his disciples or to the seekers who came to visit him.

In 1957, from the small dispensary that existed in addition to the ashram, a real hospital was born, with X-ray technology and other facilities, special for that time, called Sivananda Eye Hospital.

He was a prolific writer

Sivananda was not only an exceptional doctor but also a prolific writer, with over 300 books written in his entire life.

The topic of topics addressed by Sivananda is exhaustive, ranging from metaphysics, yoga, religion, Western philosophy, ethics, education, health, to biography and poems. His books emphasize the importance of the partic applicability of the Yoga philosophy more than its theoretical knowledge.

He used to say, “ A gram of practice is better than a ton of theory. Practice Yoga, religion and philosophy in your daily life and you will achieve self-realization“.

Through all these writings, (apart from the books mentioned above, there were many other periodicals and letters) Swami Sivananda spread his divinely inspired and grand message, being considered one of the most famous contemporary Indian masters.

The style of Yoga, which was taught by Shivananda, called by himself “Yoga Synthesesi”

His divine message was greatly spread by his disciple Swami Vishnudevananda, who received from him the investiture to spread in the Western world of yoga under the aegis of Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres.

The style of Yoga, which was taught by Sivananda, called by him“Yoga Synthesisi”, represents a complete spiritual-scientific perspective of this system.

This Yoga follows the effects of a harmonious development of man as a whole, bringing together the practices of Karma Yoga, with Janana Yoga and Bhakti Yoga and is the foundation of the non-dualistic practices Abheda – Yoga in Life.

Swami Sivananda left this world, entering Mahasamadhi on July 14, 1963.

Selective bibilography:

Sivananda (Swami) – Siva – Gita: an epistolary autobiography. The Sivananda Publication League, 1946
Sivananda (Swami) – The main upanishads: with text, notes and comments. Yoga Vedanta Forest University, Divine Life Society, 1950
Sivananda (Swami) – Raja Yoga, theory and practice. Yoga Vedanta Forest University, Divine Life Society, 1950
Sivananda (Swami) – Inspired songs and kirtans. Yoga Vedanta Forest University, Divine Life Society, 1953
Sivananda (Swami) – Yoga Synthesis. Yoga Vedanta Forest University – 1956
Sivananda (Swami) – Adoration of Shiva. Yoga-Vedanta forest academy, Divine life Society, 1962
Sivananda (Swami) – Practice yoga, for the development and growth of physical, mental and spiritual powers. D.B. Taraporemala Sons, 1966.
Sivananda (Swami) – Fourteen lessons in Raja Yoga. Divine Life Society, 1970
Sivananda (Swami) – Vedanta Yoga Dictionary. Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy. 1970
Sivananda (Swami) – Kundalini Yoga. Divine Life Society, 1971.
Sivananda (Swami) – The science of pranaya. Divine Life Society,1971.
Sivananda (Swami) – Ten Upanishade: with notes and comments. Divine Life Society,1973.
Swami Sivananda – Practice yoga. Divine Life Society, 1979.
Sivananda (Swami) – The autobiography of Swami Sivananda. Divine Life Society,1980.
Sivananda (Swami) – Japan Yoga: a comprehensive treatise on Mantra-Sastra. Divine Life Society,1981
Sivananda (Swami) – Stinta Rajayoga. Divine Life Society,1981
Sivananda (Swami) – Moksha Gita, Divine Life Society,1982
Sivananda (Swami) – Samadhi Yoga. Divine Life Society,1983
Sivananda (Swami) – Samhita Yoga. Divine Life Society,1984
Sivananda (Swami) – Upanishad Brihadaranyaka: Sanskrit text with translation in lb. English and comments. Divine Life Society,1985
Sivananda (Swami) – Karma Yoga. Divine Life Society,1985
Sivananda (Swami) – Bhakty Yoga,. Divine Life Society,1987
Sivananda (Swami) – Mr. Shangukha and his adoration. Divine Life Society,1996
Sivananda (Swami) – Raja Yoga. Kessinger Publishing, 2005.

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