Kuppuswami was born on September 8, 1887 in a small hamlet in South India (Tamil Nadu). While still a child, he exuded exemplary care and compassion towards the downtrodden and the pariah section of the society. He was zealous to offer alms to every beggar he encountered on his way. Whenever his mother offered him sweets, he would share it with everybody around him not even sparing the stray dogs, cats and birds.
Then happened a deciding moment to chalk out Kuppuswami'sline of action. A poor man kept entreating before a doctor to visit his ailing son. He was demanded fees beforehand. The poor man couldn'tshell out one rupee. The doctor didn'tbudge and remained adamant. Kuppuswami was appalled and disgusted. He vowed to become a doctor and not charge his poor patients and also dispense medicines freely to them. Money should not deter any patient from his treatment. And thus he stood steely in his resolve throughout.
Kuppuswami turned out an outstanding student. He ranked first in his class while at school. He put up an impressive extra-curricular performance in debates, dramas and elocutions as well. He was readily accorded admission to the Tanjore Medical College. To Kuppuswami, medicine was not just a lucrative career but also his avowal to serve humanity at the same time. Even during summer holidays, he would stay back to persevere over his studies.
After passing out, he took up practising as a doctor at Tiruchi and at the same time edited a medicine journal. Soon, he got a chance to go to Malaya. There he took up the charge of a hospital of a rubber estate. His salary was a whopping sum. At the estate hospital, he abounded in doing charitable treatment. He proved his munificence at every point of his life. Young Kuppuswami had no bad habit to squander his wealth. But he had profligate ways over sartorial collection, penchant for sandalwood objects and an array of trinkets of gold and silver. He would often purchase several gold rings and chains at a time and wear ten rings on ten fingers. While purchasing he never bothered haggling or bargaining without any ado.
Kuppuswami longed company of sadhus. Once a sadhu presented him with a book, Jeeva Brahma Aikyam, that invoked a tumultuous transformation into him. He was jolted to read works of Adi Shankara, Swami Vivekananda and literature of the Theosphical Society as well as the Bible and The Imitation of Christ. He took to reading the Hindu scriptures and followed a strict regimen of yoga and meditation. In 1924, when he was 37 years old, he felt a change in his erstwhile lifestyle. His benediction of brahmacharya had kindled a surge of spirituality. He decided to give up his money spinning practice in Malaya and get back to India.
Once in India, he went on a binge of pilgrimage finally culminating in Rishikesh. There he met Swami Visvananda Saraswati. He was revered by his divination and knew him to be his guru. Swami Visvananda Saraswati appeared ecstatic over having long waited for his appearance. Kuppuswami cajoled him to be enunciated into sanyas. He was ordained into sanyas and henceforth became Sivananda Saraswati. Now, he took to strict penance and underwent tapasya. He stayed in a hutment engrossed in meditation and nama-japa. His regimen consisted of bathing in the freezing Ganga and often fasting for days. At the same time, he dispensed free medicines to ailing sadhus who were often afflicted with cholera and smallpox and begged on their behalf and nursed them. In 1927, he started a charitable dispensary at Lakshmanjhula. He served nara (human being) to appease Narayana (Godhead). Thereafter, Swami Sivananda became a peripatetic monk intrepidly trudging across India. He extensively invoked naam-sankirtan and delivered discourses. He even met Ramana Maharshi on his birthday.
In 1936, he returned back to Rishikesh and formed the Divine Life Society in a cowherd hovel. The organisation steadily grew professing spiritual knowledge and selfless service of humanity. He acquired Himalayan herbs and in 1945 started with Sivananda Ayurvedic Pharmacy. Swami Sivananda wrote copiously running to more than three hundred books. His disciples are spread across world. Swami Sivananda Yoga touted as the ?Yoga of Synthesis? blends a communion of ?hand?, ?head? and ?heart? streamlined through Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. On July 14, 1963, this divine seer attained mahasamadhi in his kutir, shanty on the riparian banks of the Ganges in Shivanandanagar.
If anyone speaks ill of you,
Praise him always.
If anyone injures you,
Serve him nicely.
If anyone persecutes you,
Help him in all possible ways.
You will attain immense strength.
You will control anger and pride.
You will enjoy peace, poise and serenity.
You will become divine.