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.
His Holiness Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj did not write text books as such. The books he wrote were the outpourings of wisdom from his own direct realisation of the Truth.
From his books you will derive not only the benefit of his wisdom and knowledge of both practical and esoteric matters pertaining to Yoga, but also the power of his spiritual force.
Sri Swami Sivanandaji had a unique style-simple, direct and compelling. His books are not dull treatises on Yoga and philosophy, rather his enthusiasm and eagerness to help all is evident in every page, lifting the reader to new heights of understanding.
Sri Gurudev's great utterances about the need for a Guru to lead the aspirant along the path to God-realisation, and of the devotion that the aspirant should have towards his Guru, are scattered over a number of his works. That great disciple of Sri Gurudaev, Sri Swami Satchidanandaaji (Private Secretary to H.H. Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj) felt the urge to compile Sri Swamiji's "saying" on Guru and Guru Bhakti Yoga into a single volume. Guru Bhakti Yoga is the result.
May Sri Gurudev's Grace lead you to the Highest Realms of Immortality, Eternal Bliss and Supreme Peace. ---THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY
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