To work for spiritual uplift of mankind,
To bring peace and bliss to every home,
I established the Divine Life Mission.’
Thus proclaimed Worshipful Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, the illustrious founder of The Divine Life Society. With the sacred aim of bringing peace and joy in everyone’s life by dissemination of spiritual knowledge and charitable activities, Worshipful Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, a glittering star in the modern spiritual firmament, established The Divine Life Society in 1936.
In the Holy Master’s own words, “Divine Life Movement is a plan of life and a goal that is common and acceptable to all upon earth who wish to rise above sorrow and obtain lasting Bliss. The basis of this movement is adherence to the triple ideals of truth, non-violence and purity- the common fundamental tenets of all the religion throughout the world. Anyone with the above ideals is welcome to become a member of the Divine Life Society.”
Our Beloved Master Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj’s only religion was to serve humanity and his only mission was to remould man in the image of God and to make his life on earth a Life Divine. Therefore, his institution’s only motto is selfless service for the spiritual awakening of mankind. The Divine Life Society carries out its noble mission of world-wide revival of spirituality through publication of books, magazines and pamphlets dealing scientifically with all the aspects of Yoga and Vedanta, universal religion and philosophy, by organizing cultural and spiritual conferences and establishing training centers for the practice of Yoga and Vedanta. The Society also conducts three 2-month courses every year to give seekers the basic knowledge of India’s culture and to train them in the practice of Yoga and Vedanta. To inspire the young generation of India in their formative years, the Society organizes Spiritual and Personality Development Camps for the children and youth.
‘Love all and serve all‘ – Following the divine dictum of the Master, the Divine Life Society renders its loving services to the poor and the needy through its various service projects. Educational aid is offered to local needy children and children from the hill areas from kindergarten to post-graduate level. Poor patients are taken care of through Sivananda Charitable Hospital and handicapped, destitute and homeless patients are looked after in Sivananda Home. The Society supports three leper colonies of Brahmapuri, Laxmanjhula and Dhalwala in Rishikesh to enable the miserable lepers to lead their lives in a respectful way and it also contributes towards different relief works in the country. Thus, through its multifarious activities, the Society preaches the Holy Master’s universal religion of cosmic love and selfless service as a means to God-realisation.
The Society has branches all over the world and the Headquarters of the Society is at Sivananda Ashram, Shivanandanagar, Tehri-Garhwal, Uttarakhanda. Situated in the sylvan surroundings on the sacred banks of Mother Ganga, the Institution is basically a monastic set-up where 200 spiritual aspirants are engaged in Sadhana for their personal spiritual progress and selfless service for the welfare of the humanity. The beautiful, pure and serene atmosphere of the Ashram makes it an ideal place for Sadhana and attracts the spiritual seekers all over the world.
‘I live to serve. I live to make you all happy. I live to help you all in destroying the ignorance and in attaining the Goal of life – Kaivalya, the final Beatitude.’ – Swami Sivananda
What is Divine Life? – by Swami Sivananda
To shed the animal in man and to sublimate the human in him into the divine, to express this sublimation in his daily, hourly, life in thought, word and deed – that is truly divine life.
To speak the truth at all costs, to speak sweetly with love, to practise non-violence, celibacy, to behold the Lord in all forms is Divine life.
To be ever in communion with the Lord by annihilating mineness and egoism through faith, devotion and self-surrender is Divine life.
If you want to be a devotee of the Lord, you must also realize the evils of undivine life. This will surely save you, Repetition of the Lord’s Names will purify the mind. But along with these you must also practise vichara, When the mind entertains unholy thoughts, remember the consequences, viz. pain, disease and death. Also think of the advantages of leading a pure life. Remember the lives of saints and draw inspiration from them. Pray to God for more and more strength. Read Ramayana, Bhagavata and the Gita. All that is beautiful, all that gives some pleasure, appears so because of the beautiful, blissful God who is behind them all. Real beauty, real joy can be had only in God who eternally lives in your own heart.
Every attempt to cultivate divine virtues, selflessness, straight-forwardness, courage, serenity, generosity, mercy and self-restraint, this in reality is Divine life or life in God. Ever keep up a balanced mind in success and failures, censures and praise, honour and dishonour, gain and loss, heat and cold. Give up identification with the body, wife, children and all kinds of property. Identify yourself with the all-pervading immortal blissful Atman and rest peacefully in Brahman.
Of all creations of the Lord, man alone can comprehend and love God and attain to liberation. Really, man’s knowledge should embrace the whole universe. There is nothing in the universe that man cannot know. It is the love of knowledge for its own sake, not because it brings us food not because it enables us to practise a profession but love of truth for its own sake. That is the destiny and glory of man.
Man’s life must not be confined to the limits of his family: but should take in the entire village or town, nay, the whole state, the whole country, the whole earth and the whole universe. His love must embrace the entire universe. Therefore, when he loves knowledge for its own sake and his love is universal and boundless, then the mighty protector God is pleased because man attains the summit of his glory.
The true goal of life is to get back to the source from which we came. Just as the river flow restlessly till they join the ocean, the ultimate source from which they got their supply of water, just as fire leaps and burns furiously till it merges in its own origin, so too, we should be restless here till we obtain His grace and become one with him.
All is God: God is all. This world is your best teacher or Guru. There is a lesson in each and every experience. Learn it and try to become wise. Every failure is a stepping stone of your faith in God. Every disease is a Karmic purgation. Every unpleasant incident is test of your inner spiritual strength.
If you have faith and absolute trust in the Lord the source for everything, your only deliverer, the only Reality, the power within you the powerful fountain of eternal Bliss and joy, you are indeed most blessed. He will surely take his seat in your noble and pure heart. Think of the beautiful lotus flower within your heart. Everything that comes your way is an expression of his beautiful grace. God is your Divine parent, friend, guide, goal and support. He is your all. Faith in the Lord will lead you to Him
H. H. SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA SARASWATI
BIRTH AND BOYHOOD
On Thursday, the 8th. of September, 1887, in the early hours of the morning, when the star Bharani was in the ascendant was born a boy-child in the village of Pattamadai on the bank of the river Tamraparani in South India. Sri P.S. Vengu Iyer, a revenue officer and a great Siva Bhakta (devotee of Lord Siva), and Srimati Parvati Ammal, an equally great god-fearing lady, were the fortunate parents of this child. The happy couple christened this last and third son of theirs Kuppuswamy.
Boy Kuppuswamy was intelligent and mischievous. In his boyhood itself he showed signs of Tyaga (renunciation) and love for fellow-beings. He used to pity the poor, feed the hungry at the door, and make his father throw a pie into the hands of pauper passing by. He often got cakes and sweetmeats from his mother and distributed them liberally to his younger companions, dogs, cats, crows, and sparrows, himself not eating a bit. He used to bring flowers and bael leaves for his father’s Siva Puja.
At the Rajah’s High School, Ettayapuram, where he studied, Kuppuswamy always topped the class and won prizes every year. He had a sweet voice and wonderful memory. When His Excellency Lord Ampthil, the Governor of Madras, visited the Kuru Malai Hills in 1901 for hunting, Kuppuswamy sang a song of welcome on the Kumarapuram railway platform. After the completion of the Matriculation examination, he studied at the S.P.G. College, Tiruchirapalli. In the college he used to take part in debates and dramas. He played the part of Helena beautifully when Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” was staged in 1905.
After the completion of the First Arts Examination, Kuppuswamy went to the Medical School in Tanjore to study medicine. He used to be tremendously industrious and never went home during the holidays. He would spend the entire period in the hospital. He had free admission into the operation theater. Kuppuswamy was first in all subjects. He possessed more knowledge than doctors with covetable degrees, and in the first year itself he could answer the papers which the final year students could not.
Kuppuswamy completed the course and earned the title of M.B.,C.M. He practiced at Tiruchi. While practicing, he started a medical journal called “The Ambrosia“. He got one hundred rupees from his mother for the initial expenses of running the journal. Later, when his mother wanted a hundred and fifty rupees for celebrating some festival, Dr. Kuppuswamy had the money ready for her. Even then he used to distribute the journal freely; he was very shy to ask people for contribution.
DOCTOR IN MALAYA (MALAYSIA)
A call came to Dr. Kuppuswamy from Malaya, soon after the death of his father. He used to have an adventurous spirit in him. In 1913 he left India in the “S.S. Tara“. Kuppuswamy belonged to an orthodox Brahmin family and was afraid to take non-vegetarian food in the ship. So he carried with him a good quantity of sweets which his mother had prepared for him. When he arrived in Singapore, he was almost half dead!
Dr. Kuppuswamy describes his experiences in Malaya: “Immediately after disembarking, I went to the residence of Dr. Iyengar. He gave me a letter of introduction to his friend, Dr. Harold Parsons, a medical practitioner in Seremban. When I arrived there, Dr. Parsons introduced me to Mr. A.G. Robins, the manager of a nearby rubber estate which had its own hospital. Fortunately for me, Mr. Robins was just in need of an assistant to work in the Estate Hospital. He was a terrible man with a violent temper, a giant figure, tall and stout. He asked me, ‘Can you manage a hospital all by yourself?’ I replied ‘Yes, I can manage even three hospitals’. I was appointed at once. I had been told by a local Indian resident that I ought not to accept, in accordance with their policy, anything less than a hundred dollars a month. Mr. Robins agreed to give me one hundred and fifty to start with”.
The young doctor worked very hard. Unusual handicaps began to tell upon him and he felt like resigning the job after some time, but Mr. Robins would not allow him to go.
Dr. Kuppuswamy was very kind, sympathetic, humorous, witty, and sweet-speaking. Hopeless cases came to him, but success was sure. Everywhere people declared that he had a special gift from God for the miraculous cures effected in the patients and acclaimed him as a very kind and sympathetic doctor with a charming and majestic personality. In serious cases, he kept vigil all night. In his private practice, Dr. Kuppuswamy used to attend to the poor and often not charge them even visiting or consulting fees. Instead he would give them money for special diet or to cover their own expenses after discharge from hospital. He gave money like water.
Once a poor man, drenched to the skin, came to the doctor at night. His wife was in birth pangs. The doctor went there at once to her aid, and after attending to her, stayed outside the hut in spite of the heavy rain. Only after the save delivery of the child did the doctor return home the next morning.
In spite of his busy life, Dr. Kuppuswamy served the Sadhus, Sannyasins, and beggars. He attended marriage functions, parties, and other social gatherings. Once a Sadhu gave him a book “Jiva Brahma Aikyam” by Sri Swami Satchidananda. It ignited the dormant spirituality in him. He began to study the books of Swami Rama Tirtha, Swami Vivekananda, Sankara, Imitation of Christ, the Bible, and literature of the Theosophical Society. He was very regular in his daily worship, prayer and Yoga Asanas. Study of sacred scriptures like the Gita, the Mahabharata, the Bhagavata, and the Ramayana was done with great devotion. Sometimes he conducted Nandan Charitam and sang Bhajans and Kirtans. He practiced Anahat Laya Yoga and Swara Sadhana.
High-class dress, and collection of curious and fancy articles of gold, silver, and sandalwood always attracted the doctor. Sometimes he purchased various kinds of gold rings and necklaces and wore them all at the same time. He used to wear ten rings on ten fingers! When he entered shops, he never wasted his time in selection, haggling, and bargaining. He gathered all that he saw. He paid the shopkeepers’ bills without scrutiny.
Nothing could tempt the doctor. His heart was as pure as the Himalayan snow. His immense philanthropy and spirit of service and renunciation endeared him to all. People lovingly called him the “Heart of Love“.
The rich doctor did not engage a cook permanently. He was his own cook though he had work that gave him no leisure. Occasionally he engaged a cook. One such cook of his one day wanted to have a photograph of himself taken. The doctor took him with great joy to a first class studio, made the cook put on his own suit, shoes, and hat and had a photo taken.
As days passed, he reflected more and more and wanted to renounce the world. His heart was purified through loving service. At last, Dr. Kuppuswamy, enjoying a lucrative practice, renounced the world like Prince Siddartha, in 1923. He left Malaya for India.
At Madras he proceeded to the house of a friend and left his luggage there. He began his pilgrimage. At Benares, he had the Darshan (vision) of Lord Visvanath. He visited Mahatmas (great souls) and temples. At Dhalaj, a village on the bank of the Chandrabaga river, he met a postmaster and lived with him. He acted as the postmaster’s cook, and when the latter arrived home in the evening, the doctor was ready to shampoo his legs in spite of his remonstrances! It was the postmaster who suggested Rishikesh when the aspiring doctor wanted a place for solitary meditation.
Dr. Kuppuswamy reached Rishikesh on the 8th of May, 1924. On the 1st of June, 1924, there came His Holiness Sri Swami Visvananda Saraswati. The doctor saw a Guru in the monk and the monk saw a Chela (disciple) in the doctor. After a brief exchange of words, Dr. Kuppuswamy was initiated into the Sannyas order by Swami Visvananda. Swami Vishnudevanandaji Maharaj, the Mahant of Sri Kailas Ashram, performed the Viraja Homa ceremonies. The Guru named the doctor Swami Sivananda Saraswati. Swami Visvananda wrote the necessary instructions about Sannyas Dharma from Benares. Swami Sivanandaji stayed at Swargashram for Sadhana.
Swami Sivananda dressed to clothe himself, ate to live, and lived to serve humanity. A small dilapidated Kutir (hut), not resorted to by others and infested with scorpions, protected him from rain and sun. Living in that Kutir, he did intense Tapas (austerities), observed silence, and fasted. Often he fasted for days on end. He would keep a good stock of bread in his room, and for a week have this, together with Ganges water. He would stand up to the hips in the ice-cold Ganges in winter mornings and commence his Japa, coming out only when the sun appeared. He would spend more than twelve hours in daily meditation. With all his intense Tapas, Swamiji did not neglect service of the sick. He visited the huts of the Sadhus with medicines, served them, and shampooed their legs. He begged food on their behalf and fed them with his own hands when they fell sick. He brought water from the Ganges and washed their Kutirs. He attended upon cholera and small-pox cases. If necessary, he kept vigil through the night by the side of the bed of the ailing Sadhu. He carried sick persons on his back to the hospital. With some money from his insurance policy that had matured, Swamiji started a charitable dispensary at Lakshmanjula in 1927. He served the pilgrims and saw Narayana in them.
Swamiji practiced all the various Yogas and studied the scriptures. After years of intense and unbroken Sadhana, he enjoyed the bliss of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. He had come to the end of his spiritual journey.
He used to gather bits of paper and used envelopes, and stitch them into little notebooks. He entered some self-instructions in them. Some of the instructions found in them read thus: “Give up salt, give up sugar, give up spices, give up vegetables, give up chutnies, give up tamarind“. In another we read: “Serve Bhangis, serve rogues, serve inferiors, remove faecal matter, clean clothes of Sadhus – take delight, carry water“. In another page: “Do not revenge, resist not evil, return good for evil, bear insult and injury“. On some neat little pages we again read: “Forget like a child any injury done by somebody immediately. Never keep it in the heart. It kindles hatred. Cultivate Maitri (friendship), Karuna (compassion), Daya (mercy), Prema (love), Kshama (forgiveness)“. In another paragraph we see: “Develop good manners, extreme politeness, courtesy, etiquette, good demeanour, nobility, gentleness, mildness. Never be rude, harsh, or cruel. There is nothing to be hated in the world. Hatred is ignorance. All contempt for anything or being must be removed through love and Vichara (enquiry)“.
Swamiji traveled the whole length and breadth of India during his Parivrajaka (wandering monk) life. He visited important places of pilgrimage in the South, including Rameswaram. He conducted Sankirtan and delivered lectures. He visited Aurobindo Ashram and met Maharishi Suddhananda Bharati. At Ramana Ashram, he had Darshan of Sri Ramana Maharishi on the Maharishi’s birthday. He sang Bhajans and danced in ecstasy with the Bhaktas of Ramana. Swamiji went on a trip to Kailas-Manasarovar and Badri.
He returned after the pilgrimage, to Rishikesh, and in the year 1936 sowed the seed of The Divine Life Society on the bank of the holy Ganga. He found an old Kutir, dilapidated and disused, which looked like an abandoned cowshed. To him it was more than a palace. It had four ‘rooms’. He cleaned the Kutir, and occupied it. Then, the increasing number of disciples who sought his lotus-feet, undaunted by forbidding conditions of living, necessitated expansion. They found more cowsheds, vacant, but uninhabitably filthy. In one room, an old cowherd was living; the others were full of hay and dung. In about a year or so, the old cowherd also vacated his ‘room’, and the Divine Life army completed the occupation. Thus began the early life of The Divine Life Society.
From this small beginning the Society grew imperceptibly and it is now the headquarters of a world-wide Organization having a large number of Branches both within the country and outside. He got the Divine Life Society Registered as a Trust in the year 1936, with the main objects of dissemination of spiritual knowledge and selfless service of humanity. The free distribution of spiritual literature drew a steady flow of disciples of Sri Swamiji. With the getting of able hands, he started the various departments of the Society to provide suitable fields of activity for the purification of their hearts and to grow spiritually. The publication of the monthly journal, ‘The Divine Life’, was commenced in September 1938, to coincide with the celebration of his birthday. The world was in grip of the 2nd world-war and in order to release a continuous stream of peace-current in the whole world, to help the distressed minds of the people, he started the Akhanda Mahamantra Kirtan (non-stop chanting of the Mahamantra, Hare Rama Hare Rama; Rama Rama Hare Hare; Hare Krishna Hare Krishna; Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, round-the-clock) on the 3rd of December 1943, and also instituted the Lord Sri Visvanath Mandir with three-time regular worship, daily, on the 31st December 1943.
Swami Sivananda believed in synthesis in everything, in Yoga as well as in the alleviation of human suffering. The Allopathic treatment was inseparable from him and the Society, even from the earliest days of his life at Swargashram. He now felt the need to serve the people with genuine Ayurvedic preparations out of the rare Himalayan herbs. He therefore instituted the Sivananda Ayurvedic Pharmacy in 1945, which now has grown to such an extent that it is even unable to cope up with the increasing demands from people.
Swami Sivananda organized the All-world Religions Federation on the 28th December 1945 and established the All-world Sadhus Federation on 19th February 1947. The year 1947 saw a great expansion in the activities of the Society. It was the year of the Diamond Jubilee of the Great Soul, when a number of buildings sprang up. The Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy was established in the year 1948 to give a systematic spiritual training to the resident Sadhaks, and also to benefit the visiting seekers.
Swami Sivananda undertook a lightning All-India and Ceylon (Sri Lanka) tour in 1950 to deliver his divine message throughout the length and breadth of the country. He virtually awakened the moral and spiritual consciousness in the hearts of the people. The effect was tremendous. Since then there was an incessant flow of seeking souls to the Ashram, as also a greater inflow of letters from aspirants from the entire country, which demanded more intense dissemination of knowledge. The Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy Press was established in September 1951, a powerful means of wide dissemination of knowledge. Sri Swamiji convened the World Parliament of Religions in 1953, at the Sivanandashram.
The small dispensary that was inseparable from Swami Sivananda, grew slowly and became regular Hospital with X-Ray and other facilities. The Sivananda Eye Hospital was formally opened in December 1957. The Hospital has 10 beds for in-patients at present and is being expanded to have 30 beds.
The Publication League had published almost all the writings of the Master and a need was felt by his disciples to do research in his works. This gave rise to the establishment of the Sivananda Literature Research Institute in 1958, which, among many things, decided to get the works of the Master translated and published systematically in all the regional languages in India. Thus the S.L.D. Committees was established in 1959 which has Regional Committees for each language.
The Society’s Silver Jubilee was celebrated in 1961, by which time the Master saw the fulfillment of his mission in his own lifetime.
Swami Sivananda radiated his divine and lofty message of service, meditation and God-realization to all parts of the world through his books, running to more than three hundred, through periodicals and letters. His devoted disciples are drawn from all religions, cults and creeds in the world.
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.
On the 14th of July 1963, the Great Soul Swami Sivananda entered Mahasamadhi (departure of a Self-realized saint from his mortal coil) in his Kutir on the bank of Ganga, in Shivanandanagar.
Introduction to the Sivananda Ashram
On the one hand, the Sivananda Ashram is a physical place, located somewhere with buildings, residents, and offices. On the other hand, it is not a place at all. It is the spiritual expression of the divine mission of its founder, Swami Sivananda. If a natural calamity was to occur, and all the buildings were destroyed and all the residents dispersed, there would still be a Sivananda Ashram. To the extent that people devoted to carrying on his work share Swami Sivananda’s vision, to that same extent Sivananda Ashram would continue to exist.
So often people in the Ashram will remark how they still feel the spiritual presence of Swami Sivananda and see his hand in the affairs of the Ashram. They will say, “It is not I who works, but Gurudev who works through me.” The residents also feel that it is in this very place that they can be led more firmly to their goal of God-realisation. In this place of selfless service, contemplation and ego-annihilation, is an atmosphere vibrant with the spiritual power that can carry the aspirant to that realisation. Swami Chidanandaji once said in response to a request of an Ashram resident to go elsewhere to do sadhana, “Yes, there may be many other places more suited for good spiritual practice. But if it is God-realisation you want, there is no better place than here.”
The Sivananda Ashram is the headquarters and spiritual focal point of a vast worldwide organisation called “The Divine Life Society.” The Society encompasses more than 300 branches around the world, as well as individual devotees in India and abroad. At the centre of this vast network of spiritual uplift throughout the world, in the form of the Divine Life Society, stands the Sivananda Ashram as the guiding light. The Ashram is dedicated to the service of all and is itself benefited by the generous donations of the devotees who want to see that service continue. It is in the Ashram that any person interested in the spiritual life, whether a member of the DLS or not, can come and be nurtured by the spirit that pervades this place.
THE SIVANANDA PILLAR
INSCRIPTIONS – I
CARDINAL DOCTRINES OF
THE MAIN RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD
Know the Self and be free – Hinduism
The Kingdom of Heaven is within you – Christianity
There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is the prophet of Allah – Islam
For the whole world this is the law: all is impermanent – Buddhism
Non‑injury is verily the only religion – Jainism
Purity of thought, word and deed is the essence of religion – Zoroastrianism
I am that I am – Judaism
He who has overcome himself is mighty – Taoism
Blame yourself as you would blame others. Excuse others as you would excuse yourself – Confucianism
There is but one God and His name is truth; wonderful is the guru – Sikhism
I am that Real – Sufism
See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil – Shintoism
All religions are one. They teach a divine life. Love all. Serve all.
Practise ahimsa, satya, brahmacharya. Be selfless. Seek the Immortal – Divine Life
Heart of Religion
God is love. The only true religion is the religion of love or the religion of the heart.
Feel for others as you feel for yourself.
This universal religion will bring world‑peace and happiness.
SEEK FIND ENTER
REST IN GOD
1.Get up at 4. a.m. daily. Do japa and meditation.
2. Sit on padma or siddha asana for japa and dhyana.
3. Take sattvic food. Do not overload the stomach.
4. Do charity ‑ one tenth of your income or one anna per rupee.
5. Study daily one chapter of the Bhagavad Gita.
6. Preserve veerya (vital force). Sleep separately.
7. Give up smoking, narcotics, intoxicant drinks and rajasic food.
8. Fast on Ekadasi days or take milk and fruits only.
9. Observe mouna for two hours daily and during meals also.
10. Speak the truth at any cost. Speak a little and sweetly.
11. Reduce your wants. Lead a happy, contented life.
12. Never hurt the feelings of others. Be kind to all.
13. Think of the mistakes that you have made (self‑analysis).
14. Do not depend upon servants. Have self‑reliance.
15. Think of God as soon as you wake up and when you go to bed.
16. Have always a japa‑mala on your neck or in your pocket.
17. Adhere to the motto ‑ ‘Simple living and high thinking’.
18. Serve the sadhus, sannyasins and the poor, the sick and the suffering.
19. Have a separate meditation room under lock and key.
20. Keep a daily spiritual diary. Stick to your routine.
These 20 instructions contain the essence of yoga and vedanta.
Follow them strictly. Do not be lenient to your mind. You will attain supreme happiness. Swami Sivananda
BE GOOD DO GOOD
INSCRIPTIONS – III
0 Adorable Lord of mercy and love!
Salutations and prostrations unto Thee.
Thou art Satchidananda.
Thou art Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient.
Thou art the Indweller of all beings.
Grant us an understanding heart,
Equal vision, balanced mind,
Faith, devotion and wisdom.
Grant us inner spiritual strength
To resist temptations and to control the mind.
Free us from egoism, lust, greed, anger and hatred.
Fill our hearts with divine virtues.
Let us behold Thee in all these names and forms.
Let us serve Thee in all these names and forms.
Let us ever remember Thee.
Let us ever sing Thy glories.
Let Thy name be ever on our lips.
Let us abide in Thee for ever and ever.
The above non‑sectarian prayer is most suitable
for being repeated during all common gatherings.
It is cosmopolitan and all‑embracing.
This is a beautiful universal prayer that you should repeat daily
at home as well as on public occasions.
This is a prayer that will unite all,
spiritualise your activities and reveal the golden Secret of Divine Living.
INSCRIPTIONS – IV
SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA
Hailed as the Prophet of the new age
For his inestimable services in the cause of raising
The Moral and Spiritual standard of modern mankind,
Was born on 8th September 1887 at Pattamadai, South India.
Took to the medical profession.
Published ‘AMBROSIA’, a medical journal.
Served for over 10 years as doctor in Malaya.
Renounced the world in 1923.
Entered the holy order of Sannyasa in 1924.
After twelve years of intense austerities
Founded the Divine Life Society in 1936.
The All‑world Religions ‘Federation’ in 1945.
The Yoga‑Vedanta Forest Academy in 1948.
The Divine Life Society has branches and members all over the world,
Belonging to all religions and nationalities.
Swami Sivananda has written over 300 books
on Yoga and Vedanta, Health and Healing.
He toured all India and Ceylon in 1950 and created a spiritual stir
And awakening throughout the country.
He convened the World Parliament of Religions in 1953,
Attended by delegates from all over the world.
His inspiring, godly, dedicated life has brought about
the resurgence of Bharatavarsha’s dharma and Spiritual Ideals,
And made the vibrant
MESSAGE OF INDIA
To reach all parts of the modern world.
Our devotion and homage to Swami Sivananda,
The World Preceptor.
This short sketch is preserved above as a token of reverence,
infinite gratitude and eternal love to the beloved Master Sivananda,
the blessed saint of Ananda Kutir.
Disciples of Sivananda
Heritage of Swami Sivananda
The ways of gods are said to be mysterious; and equally mysterious are the ways of saints, sages and great masters. Whenever there is an “Avatara“-Incarnation or descent of the Lord in this phenomenal world, He has a specific purpose and he brings with him the needed forces for the accomplishment of his purpose. Ever so great masters are born on this earth, to fulfill the mission of god, at different times for different purposes, who draw towards themselves the necessary forces in the form of disciples, devotees and well-wishers who contribute to the fulfillment of their purpose. The masters do so not because they need the help of those forces for their purpose, for they can work single-handed, but to provide the favorable atmosphere for the ripening of evolve souls, while fulfilling their purpose. The purpose of “Avataras“-Incarnations and great masters is never single, but multifaceted and, rather, cosmic. Thus does the divine work in this creation of His – the transformation of negative forces and, simultaneously, the evolution of positive forces by providing them with the favorable circumstances needed for it. Thus did Swami Sivananda cause the gravitating of exceptionally talented, rare and evolved souls towards himself. These fortunate ones who were drawn towards the master, like iron filings towards a magnet, formed the stones, the bricks and the mortar of which the beautiful mansion of his mission was built and completed,-the stones and the boulders which went to make the foundation and supporting pillars; the bricks with which provided the cementing force that brought shape, beauty and smooth finish to the mansion,-the Divine Light emanating from which illumined the hearts of countless seeking souls around the world. A brief account of the life and contribution of these rare and blessed souls is given in the Top-Menu; if we can imbibe a fraction of the spirit of their devotion, dedication and utter selflessness, our lives would become fulfilled.
His Legacy: Gurudev Swami Sivananda was a very versatile man, and his personality and life had many facets. It is, therefore, difficult to pinpoint any particular legacy as his sole legacy. Some of them are: (a) a large band of sannyasin and non-sannyasin disciples of very high spiritual states; (b) his writings; (c) the Divine Life Society; (d) free medical aid to the poor through the free medical camps, charitable hospitals and dispensaries and the leprosy relief colonies; (e) his own exemplary life as reflected in so many biographies.
- A) Disciples:When Gurudev was asked what is his legacy, he had pointed out that Swami Chidananda is his legacy. Even if he had not left behind anything else worth mentioning, Gurudev would have been remembered respectfully for a very long time as the Guru of his great disciples. A guru who can give to the mankind a saint of the caliber of Swamiji must be himself a great saint. Gurudev continues to live through his disciples and his teachings. In fact, Gurudev gave many capable sannyasins who initiated a new spiritual awakening throughout the world through the institutions they established and through their writings.
- B) His Writings:A common problem with the spiritual literature is that the reader is lost in the maze of the words, verbosity and intricacy. He fails to understand what the writer has to convey. But, Gurudev had a distinct inimitable style of his own. He did not write scholarly or erudite treatises of abstruse and abstract principles. He wrote in easy-to-understand simple language. His was the language of the heart. The force of his Experience took shape of a powerful fountain through his pen. His writings were more like a father speaking a few words of advice to his son, or a guru to his disciple. He preached only that which he had practised to perfection. As such, his words had spiritual vibrations and force that will penetrate the hearts of the readers. His writings continue to guide and inspire many thousand of spiritual seekers even today. His books are always in good demand, and will continue to be in future also.
- C) Medical Aid:Helping the poor was the main mission of Gurudev’s life. Be good, do good was his mantra. Even during the days of most intense sadhana, he had continued to serve others, mainly the poor. In the year 1927, he started Satya Sevashram, a charitable dispensary. And when he moved to this side on Ganga on January 17th 1934, on the very same day he started a charitable dispensary. He kept one room for this purpose though there was acute shortage of rooms. Major General Dr. A.N. Sharma and good many eminent specialist doctors were Gurudev’s disciples. They imbibed Gurudev’s spirit, and Gurudev organised free medical camps with their help from 1950 onwards. Swami Chidananda became the champion of the leprosy-affected persons. The Divine Life Society established three leprosy relief colonies and gave direct and indirect help to two others. The Society looked after these partially disabled persons provided physiotherapy, rehabilitation, and even built houses for them. Sivananda Home is providing invaluable service to the poorest of poor destitutes.
- D) Exemplary Life:As per the ancient Indian tradition, guru’s life itself is his best teachings. The disciples learn more from his exemplary life than his writings. The best example of this tradition is found in Gurudev’s life. All about his life was a lesson for his disciples. All those who came in his contact found an invisible force leading to spiritual elevation. Even during his own lifetime more than a hundred biographies were written on him, and more have come out afterwards also.