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 Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Maharshi are the standard Text on Yoga and these Sutras constitute a philosophy as well as a practical technique of meditation. The purpose of the Yoga way of analysis is an overcoming of the limitations of both subjectivity and objectivity and a union of the deepest within us and the deepest in the Cosmos. Yoga is not one way of living among many. It is the only way-gathering of your personality with one purpose. The removal of the idea of externality of the object is the process of meditation. There are certain misconceptions about Yoga. It is based on a sound philosophy and deep psychology. It is an education process by which the human mind is trained to become more and more natural and weaned from the unnatural conditions of life.
Very few authentic commentaries on the Yoga Sutras are available today. And, the aspirants in this science-minded world of today take a keener interest in this Branch of Yoga. All the Western Sadhakas take to the pratice of Raja Yoga. In Europe and America, hundreds of men and women Sadhakas owe their progress in the practice of Raja Yoga to the practical and efficient guidance of Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj. Sri Swamiji's approach is direct, clear and positive.
There has been a persistent demand for a reprint of Sri Swamiji's Raja Yoga. We are happy now to be able to present the readers with a reprint of this precious volume.
28th July, 1999
Sri Guru Purnima
THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY
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