Sri Swami Sivananda Maharaj's main purpose in life is to serve aspiring souls and humanity, and one of the forms it has taken has been the production of over three hundred books on almost all aspects of religion and culture of India.
Sri Swamiji has rightly called the Ramayana as being Dharma in theory and practice. It has influenced and moulded Indian life and thought for hundreds of years and is still a living force in the inner depths of Indian consciousness.
Born on the 8th September, 1887, in the illustrious family of Sage Appayya Dikshita and several other renowned saints and savants, Sri Swamiji 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 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 organised. Dissemination of spiritual knowledge and training of people in Yoga and Vedanta were their aim and object. In 1950 he convened a 'World Parliament of Religions'. He is the author of over 300 volumes and has disciples all over the world, belonging to all nationalities, religion and creeds. To read his works is to drink at the Fountain of Wisdom Supreme. On 14th July, 1963 he entered Mahasamadhi.
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