Born on the 8th September, 1887, in the illustrious family of Saga Appayya Diskhita and several other renowned saints and savants, Sri Swami Sivananda had a natural flair for a life devoted to the study and practice of Vedanta. Added to this was an inborn eagerness to serve all and an innate feeling of unity with all mankind.
His passion for service drew him to the medical career; and soon he gravitated to where he thought that his service was most needed. Malaya claimed him. He had earlier been editing a Health Journal and wrote extensively on health problems. He discovered that people needed right knowledge most of all; dissemination of that knowledge he espoused as his own mission.
It was divine dispensation and the blessing of God upon mankind that the doctor of body and mind renounced his career and took to a life of renunciation to qualify himself for ministering to the soul of man. He settled down at Rishikesh in 1924, practiced intense austerities and shone as a great Yogi, Saint, Sage and Jivanmukta.
In 1932 he started the Sivanandashram. In 1936 was born The Divine Life Society. In 1948 the Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy was organized. Dissemination of spiritual knowledge and training of people in Yoga and Vedanta were their aim and object. In 1950 he undertook a lightning tour of India and Ceylon. In 1953 he convened a 'World Parliament Reliogions'. He is the author of over 300 volumes and has disciples all over the world, belonging to all nationalities, religions and creeds. To read his works is to drink at the fountain of Wisdom Supreme. On 14th July, 1963 he entered Mahasamadhi.
Patent drugs were heavily guarded by trade secrets; and the "Grandmother's remedies" were denied the wings of publicity. The Common Man, the Poor Man, had access to neither. Therefore, he had to pay a heavy penalty in the form of money (if he purchased the costly patent drugs) or of his own life, often, if he could not afford the expenditure.
From the very early days of his service to humanity, as a doctor, Sri Swami Sivananda (then Dr. Kuppuswami) had a burning passion to make available to all, the trade secrets of the few. As the Editor of "Ambrosia" in those days, he would publish cheap household remedies, easy, simple an cheap remedied for common ailments; and thus brought healing to all.
After renouncing the world, embracing Sannyasa and rising by the acquistion of Self-knowledge to be a World Teacher, Swami Sivanandaji has revealed the humanitarian trait in all fields of knowledge-all secrets he has revealed, and he has placed within the reach of all the highest truths of Yoga and Vedanta. Never has he neglected to take the human body into account; and his books on health and healing are as popular as his works on Yoga and Vedanta. The present one bringing, as it does, health and healing to the very kitchen of every man, would, we are certain, be welcomed by all.---THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY
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