SWAMY SIVANANDA SARASWATI
Swami Sivananda Saraswati
“ With solid courage, patience and sound health, if one is persistent and fair-minded and willing to do some selfless service to mankind, then there is no need to worry about money.”
? Sivananda Saraswati, Autobiography of Swami Sivananda
Yes! Today we are here to cherish the life events of the Guru Swami Sivananda ji. A guru who is known for his sense of humour, kindness, compassion to those in need Swamy Sivananda Ji was a Doctor before becoming a monk. Author, orator, yogi Swamy Sivanadji’s childhood name was Kuppuswamy.
In the year 1887, on the 8th. of September in the village of Pattamadai, Tamil Nadu kuppuswamy was born. His parents are father Sri P.S. Vengu Iyer, a revenue officer and mother, Srimati Parvati Ammal. The qualities of a spiritual person are seen in him right from his childhood. He is compassionate to creatures- birds and animals, beggars, sadhus, etc., Tyaga- sacrifice and love for fellow-beings, respect to elders and service minded and called as “Heart Of Love“ by people.
Highly intellectual and one who stood first among the peers Kuppuswamy –Swamy sivanandji studied medicine in Tanjore/Thanjavur. In 1913, he left to Malaya by sea as he got an opportunity to serve as a physician which he continued for a couple of years in spite of challenging situations. It was his down to earth nature, simple loving service to others is what people remember him and honour in their hearts. In the year 1924, around June, i.e. within a month of his returning to Rishikesh, India from Malaya met His Holiness Sri Swami Visvananda Saraswati. Puranas say, “ When the disciple is ready, the guru presents himself to guide at the right moment.” After knowing his interest in sadhana through the exchange of words, Swamy Visvanada initiated Dr Kuppuswamy into Sannyasa. It was during that time he was named as Swami Sivananda Saraswati by his guru and was instructed regarding the necessary Sannyasa Dharma to be followed. Swami Sivanandaji stayed at Swargashram for Sadhana.
Swamy Sivananda happened to read a book "Jiva Brahma Aikyam" written by Sri Swami Satchidananda ji which had a positive effect in kindling the dormant spirituality within. Later studied books by various spiritual gurus like Adi Sankara, Bhagavad Geeta, the Bible, Swami Rama Tirtha, Swami Vivekanand. His daily routine involves daily prayers, yoga asanas, the study of sacred scriptures, singing bhajans. Along with the practice of Anahat Laya Yoga and Swara Sadhana Sadana, did intense tapas, observed silence, and fasted times yet for days.
Swamy Sivananda Ji says’s,” I understood clearly, much earlier that human life is not complete and that there is something above human perception that is controlling all that is visible. It’s the practice of self-discipline and strict penance that equipped me with the required strength. Also, I felt the urge to share this vision of mine for I believe the good it does to the humanity which I call by the name work, “The Divine Life Society” which took form in the year 1936 on the bank of the holy Ganges and at its headquarters established Sivananda Ashram. A monthly publication, 'The Divine Life', started from September 1938 the main objective being spreading spiritual knowledge and serve humanity.
Swami Sivananda Ji taught yoga the 'Yoga of Synthesis'. His way of teaching is a synchronised programme that involves the movement of hand, head and heart through the practice of Karma, Gyana and Bhakti Yoga. Writer, guru Sri Swamy Sivananda wrote about the qualities of a yogi humorously. His teachings emphasise that the goal of a spiritual aspirant if to be achieved one should first discipline the senses, conquest the mind, purify the heart, and attain a state of inner peace and strength. He preached what he believes and practices, “Aham Brahmaasmi—I am Brahman.” He enjoyed the bliss of Nirvikalpa Samadhi through his intense sadhana.
Service to humankind is service to God. Swamy Sivananda Ji saw God in every individual and served them through various activities. He once organised a charitable dispensary at Lakshmanjula in 1927 to serve the pilgrims. During the period of World War- II, he organised Akhanda Mahamantra Kirtan of Hare Rama Hare Rama….Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, on 3rd of December 1943 or spreading peace as well as was the organiser of the All-world Religions Federation in 1945 on the 28th December and established the All-world Sadhus Federation on 19th February 1947. He travelled throughout Sri Lanka in 1950 to deliver his divine message which led to an increased number of followers and communication with Swamy for spiritual knowledge.
Sivananda Literature Research Institute that began in the year 1958, for translating the works of Swamy Sivananda Ji to various regional languages in India. It was through his books he guided regarding meditation and God-realization to all his devotees from all over the world. Books written by Swamy depict the message intended as well reveals his lifestyle. They are resources of valuable advice to sannyasins regarding proper meditation, real service, about who can and cannot start Ashrams, the relation between Sannyasins and politics as well as the value of initiation by a Guru.
His Divine Soul Merged with the Paramatma on the 14th of July 1963, in his Kutir on the bank of Ganga, in Shivanandanagar.
” Live, spread and to dissolve in God, is my creed.”-Swami Sivananda