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.
Srimad Ramayana is the very soul of India. The highest ideals of every Indian are enshrined and portrayed in this holy scripture. It is a complete guide to God-realisation, the path to which lies in righteousness.
Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj has, in this invaluable work, given the essence of Srimad Ramayana in a beautiful way. In his characteristic style, he has given the story and the morals in a simple, direct and lucid style.
The lessons of Srimad Ramayana should be engraved on the tables of everyone's heart. This is the urgent need of the hour. The evils of Kaliyuga need not make you despair. Where there is Ram, where there is Ram Nam, where there is Ramayana, the evils of Kali dare not enter. Build this spiritual fortress in your own heart; you will live in Rama Rajya. You will enjoy illimitable peace and bliss.
Ramayana must be studied today, more than ever, by everyone. The ideals of man are beautifully portrayed in it. Everyone should emulate those ideals and grow into ideal citizens.
May His Message spread! May God bless you all May all people walk the path of Dharma! May Lord Rama be enshrined in the hearts of every man, woman and child in this holy land and the world at large!-THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY
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