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.
This is an age in which all disciples cannot sit at the feet of a Guru in obedience to the Gita-teaching: Tad-viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya.
Specially so in the case of a World-Guru like Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj who has disciples all over the world. They have all their own ways of prostrating to him, doing total self-surrender unto hi, 'questioning him on matters pertaining to Yoga-practice and Vedantic philosophy, and serving him. They have his picture in their meditation-chamber; and as it is aglow with spiritual light, they prostrate to it. Sri Swamiji is easily accessible to them by post and the aspirants get his guidance and he clears their doubts and leads them on the path. And, they take upon themselves the sacred task of serving Sri Swamiji's mission in every way they can-by dissemination of spiritual knowledge, by broadcasting his message, by helping the parent institution (the Divine Life Society, etc. Thus they fulfil the three-fold injunction of the Gita.
The questions asked by the average aspirant and Sri Swamiji's answers to them have been arranged nicely and published in this volume for the benefit of all spiritual aspirants. 22nd December 1957 THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY
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