H.H.Swami.Sivananda Saraswati Maharajji was born on 8 September 1887 was as Hindu spiritual teacher and a proponent of Yoga and Vedanta. Gurudev was born in Pattamadai, in the Thirunelveli district of Tamilnadu and his name was Kuppuswami . He studied medicine and served in Malaya as a physician for several years before taking up monasticism. He lived most of his life near MunikiReti, Rishikesh.

He was the founder of the Divine Life Society-DLS in 1936, Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy – 1948 and author of more than 300 books on yoga, Vedanta, and varied subjects. He established Sivananda Ashram,the headquarters of the DLS, on the bank of Ganges at Sivanandanagar, Rishikesh.

Upon his return to India in 1924, he visited Varanasi, Nashik and then to Rishikesh. where he met his Guru Viswananda Saraswati.  Swami.Vishwānanda who initiated him into the Sannyasa order, and gave him his monastic name Swami.Sivananda. After initiation, Sivananda settled in Rishikesh, and immersed himself in intense spiritual practices. Sivānanda performed austerities for many years but he also continued to nurse the sick. With some money from his insurance policy that had matured, he started a charitable dispensary at Lakshman Jhula in 1927, serving pilgrims, holy men and the poor using his medical expertise.In 1945, Sivananda created the Sivananda Ayurvedic Pharmacy, and organised the All-world Religions Federation. He established the All-world Sadhus Federation in 1947. He called his yoga as “The Yoga of Synthesis”.


Swami Sivananda entered Mahasamadhi (departure of a Self-realized saint from his mortal coil) on 14 July 1963 in his Kutir on the bank of the Ganges, in Sivanandanagar.

Sivananda’s two chief acting organizational disciples were Swami.Chidananda Sarawati and Swami.Krishnananda Saraswati. Swami.Chidananda Saraswati was appointed president of the DLS by Sivananda in 1963 and served in this capacity until his death in 2008. Swami.Krishnananda Saraswati was appointed General Secretary by Sivananda in 1958 and served in this capacity until his death in 2001.

Other prominent disciples were Swami.Venkatesananda Saraswati (South Africa, Mauritius, Madagascar, Australia),Swami.Pranavananda Saraswati (Malaysia) and Sivananda Radha Saraswati (Canada). Another prominent disciple was Swami.Sahajananda Saraswati (South Africa), who was directed by Sivananda to establish the Divine Life Society of South Africa.

Disciples who went on to grow new organisations

  1. Swami.Chinmayananda Saraswati – Founder of the Chinmaya Mission.
  2. Swami.Jyotirmayananda Sarawati – President of the Yoga Research Foundation,Miami,USA.
  3. Swami.Lalitananda Saraswati – Vice-President of the Yoga Research Foundation.
  4. Swami.Omkarananda Saraswati – Founder of Omkarananda Ashram,Himalayas.
  5. Swami.Satchidananda Saraswati – Founder of the Integral Yoga Institutes,Around the World.
  6. Swami.Satyananda Saraswati – Founder of Bihar School of Yoga.
  7. Swami.Shantananda Saraswati – Founder of Temple of Fine Arts (Malaysia & Singapore).
  8. Swami.Sivananda Radha Saraswati – Founder of Yasodhara Ashram,British Columbia,Canada.
  9. Swami.Vishnudevananda Saraswati – Founder of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta CentresHQ Canada.
  10. Swami.Venkatesananda Saraswati – Inspirer of Aananda Kutir Ashram in South Africa.
  11. Swami.Sahajananda Sarawati – Spritual Head of Divine Life Society of South Africa.
  12. Swami.Vedula Satyananda Rao – Founder of High-Tech Yoga Institute,Massachusetts,USA.
  13. Swami.Raja Rajeswarananda – Founder of Shivananda Satsang Society,
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