The Life of a Master - His Holiness Swami Sivananda
One of the greatest Yoga masters of the twentieth century, Swami Sivananda, is the inspiration behind the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres. The teachings of Master Sivananda are summarised in these six words: Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Realise.
His Early Life
Born in 1887 in Pattamadai, Tamil Nadu, South India, Swami Sivananda whose name was then Kuppuswami, was a brilliant boy at studying as well as gymnastics and naturally inclined toward spiritual and religious practices. His parents were very devoted to Lord Siva and Kuppuswami was eager to join them twice daily for worship (puja) and mantra chanting (kirtan).
His natural selfless spirit lead him to a career in the medical field. His amazing eagerness and ability to learn and assimilate his studies earned him the respect of his professors who invited him to attend surgeries while still in his first year of medical school.
The young Dr. Kuppuswami felt a strong urge to go to Malaysia where he felt there was great need. In a short time he was given the responsibility of running a hospital. During these years Dr. Kuppuswami was renowned as being both an excellent doctor and a true humanitarian. Very often he waived consultation fees for patients too poor to afford his services and on many occasions provided medicine for free to his neediest patients.
One day Dr. Kuppuswami had the opportunity to cure a wandering sannyasin (renunciate or monk) who then gave the doctor instruction on yoga and Vedanta. From that day on his life changed, and gradually Dr. Kuppuswami became more introspective. Now he felt the need to help people on a more profound level, not just healing their physical body, but helping them to find a cure for all suffering.