His holiness Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj did not write text
books as such. The books he wrote were outpourings of wisdom
from his own direct relation 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
During recent years there has been a great spiritual revival
and people in India abroad have taken seriously to the study of
Yoga and Vedanta. But, in practice, it has been found that
there is in keeping with the rapid tempo of life itself in
the modern world an unpardonable hurry and neglect of
essentials, in the field of the practice of Yoga, too. Seekers
after Truth are impatient to enter into the Transcendental
Realm of Self-realisation; practitioners of Yoga expect to
enter into Samadhi a week after taking up the practice
'concentration and meditation'.
The all-important preparation is woefully neglected. Our
ancient scriptures have given the place of greatest prominence
to these preparatory steps Yama-Niyama or the Sadhana
Chatushtaya. His Holiness Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, too,
has been forewarning students of Yoga not to neglect this; and
as a matter of fact he has declared that the greater the
attention paid to these preparatory steps the cultivation of
virtues and the eradication of vices the more rapid would the
march of the seeker towards the Goal be.
To the sincere and earnest seeker after Truth therefore, this
book is a boon. It gives him the key to success in Yoga.
Born on the 8th September, 1887,in the illustrious family of
Sage Appayya Dikshitar 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 though 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 carrier and took
a life of renunciation 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 there aim and
object. In 1950 he undertook a lightning tour of India and
Ceylon. In 1953 he convened a 'World Parliament of Religions'.
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 Foundation of
Wisdom Supreme. On 14th July, 1963 he entered Mahasamadhi.
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