Swami Sivananda
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Swami Sivananda was born in 1887 in Tamil Nadu (South India). As a child he was very spiritually inclined and interested in serving the sadhus who came to his area. Even as a young man he was able to see beyond class distinctions, accepting all people as equal. He was also very athletic and a world-class gymnast.

When he grew up he became a M.D. and directed a hospital in Malaysia to serve the Indian community working in a Rubber Plantation. He often accepted no payment for his services. At this time he started a newsletter with the goal of disseminating knowledge - the dissemination of spiritual knowledge and health information became one of his lifelong ambitions.

When he approached 40 years old he renounced the world and traveled up to Rishikesh, via Varanasi in India. Soon he took Sannyasa (became a Swami).


He reached Self-realization within 10 years of incredibly intense sadhana at Swargashram in the Himalayas. When he started the Sivananda Ashram he lived and taught there until his final days in July, 1963.
He was one of the greatest Yoga masters of the 20th century and has multitudes of followers and disciples. Dozens of his closest students became masters and prominent teachers and gurus. Some of them stayed in India, others went to most continents and countries around the world. One of his main disciples was Swami Vishnu-devananda.

Swami Sivananda was a prolific writer and authored over 200 books on different topics revolving around yoga, spirituality and health. Through his writing he drew thousands of visitors and students from all around the world, many of them who ended up going to Rishikesh.

Swami Sivananda was very influential and one of the main reasons yoga became so well known around the world. He left his body on July 14th, 1963.


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