About the Author:
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.
The present work, "Practice of Bhakti Yoga" is yet another of Sri Swamiji's thrilling works. Consistent with the spirit of his earlier works, the revered author has employed a language which cannot be easily surpassed for its simplicity, fluency and spiritual force. Very few books there are today dealing with Bhakti Yoga that make such a marvellously comprehensive survey of this intricate and elaborate subject with such scientific accuracy as this book. And we are really proud to claim this as the first and foremost reason for publishing "Practice of Bhakti Yoga".
All the pages of this book ring with the sublime note that the dire need of the hour is Love, and Love alone. Says the author: "A life without love, faith and devotion is a dreary waste. It is real death. Love is Divine. Love is the greatest power on earth. It is real death. It is irresistible. It is love that can really conquer an enemy. Its power is infinite. Its depth is unfathomable. Its nature is ineffable. Its glory is indescribable. The essence of religion is Love," and exhorts all his readers to develop pure Love which, if possessed even to the magnitude of a ray, can cure all ills and bestow real joy and happiness.
If this book should go perchance into the hands of the dictators of some of the countries of the world and if they should interpret the message in the spirit in which it was intended by us, then all the ills to which this world is heir today will melt away and there will once again emerge a veritable heaven on earth.
May the Lord Krishna, the Source of all Love, the embodiment of Prem, the Lover of Radha, and the Protector of the fallen, bless this war-ridden world and bestow peace. joy, happiness, prosperity and long life for ever and ever!
[THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY]
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