Swami Sivananda

Swami Chinmayananda wrote about Sri Swami Sivananda Maharaj, his Diksha Guru, that he was “a seer, a sage, a prophet, a guide, all rolled into one.”


He was a towering personality, extremely dynamic, a rare combination of intense asceticism and inspired seva. A doctor by profession, he treated the body as well as the mind with his insight into the secrets of pharmaceutical preparations and his uplifting humour and innate joy. His vibrant exhortations to seek the highest found expression in his spontaneous outburst of songs. Many were the spiritual stalwarts moulded under the hands of Swami Sivananda.


It was Sri Swami Sivananda Maharaj who found the massive treasure of spiritual wealth hidden in the heart of Balakrishna Menon and made it shine forth in the form of Swami Chinmayananda. The Guru left a deep impact on his student in the method of approaching seekers and the style of addressing them with direct and inspiring spiritual advice. For further in-depth scriptural studies he sent Chinmaya to Sri Swami Tapovan Maharaj

Sri Swami Sivananda Maharaj and Sri Swami Tapovan Maharaj were close friends and interacted frequently. In the early years, both of them lived in Swargashram and would often spend long hours in meditation.


Swami Tapovan Maharaj describes an interesting anecdote in his autobiographical work Ishwara Dharshan:. “Once, when Swamiji (Tapovanji) was residing somewhere beow Brhmanandashrama, Sri Sivanandaji came thim one day at noon and said in English, ‘A Bengali sadhu is residing with me. For the last few days he has been very ill. Just to give him, I want a little milk. I have been going from ashram to ashram for a few ounces. But it has not been available. There is no way to get it except on payment from some shop. If only I had two annas!’ Sri Tapovanji too had been depending entirely on bhiksha. He kept no pie of his own. Yet, somehow, he managed to get four annas and with humble prostrations, handed it over to swami Sivananda, praising his great kindness and love of service. Swamiji (Tapovanji) whole-heartedly admired and respected Swami Sivananda for his loving act of kindness and noble qualities.”


His Books

Besides being a great orator, Pujya Swami Sivananda Maharaj was also a prolific writer. He used the power of the written word to its fullest extent. Books, pamhlets and brochures flowed from his pen with great ease. He wrote on a variety of subjects – Vedanta, Sadhana, Yoga, Saints and Sages and many other topics of general interest.


In September 1951, Swami Sivananda established the Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy Press, a powerful means of wide dissemination of knowledge through various publications.


The Divine Life Society website displays various books written by Swami Sivananda, on everything from Blood Pressure to the Brahma Sutras.


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