Swami Sivananda was born on 8th September 1887. He had a natural flair for the study and practice of Vedanta, and he devoted his life to this pursuit. Swami Sivananda was eager to serve all and he bore an innate feeling of unity with all mankind. His passion for service drew him to a career in medicine, and soon he gravitated to where he thought his service was most needed.
Swami Sivananda went to Malaysia where he became very popular among the poor and needy for his service. He renounced his career and took to a life of renunciation.
Swami Sivananda settled down at Rishikesh in 1924, practiced intense austerities and shone as a great Yogi, saint, sage and Jivanmukta. He founded The Divine Life Society. He has disciples across the world belonging to all nationalities and religions.
On 14th July, 1963 he attained Mahasamadhi. His gospel inspired many erudite young men who renounced their worldly fetters and surrendered themselves at the lotus feet of the great master. One of them was Sridhar Rao, who was later known as Swami Chidananda.61 2
Just like his Guru, Swamiji was born with an insatiable desire to serve the sick and suffering. He was a sadhaka of very high order and possessed intuitive insight, extreme compassion, artless simplicity and humility. He was always engaged in serving others unselfishly with love and care without any distinction between humans or animals; royal or poor.
Swami Chidanandaji Maharaj spoke One universal language, that of the heart, adored only One God, the Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient One, followed only One commandment – the commandment of Truth, and worshipped One religion, the religion of Love. He thus fitted well with his guru’s teachings and became an embodiment of those teachings in thought, word and deed.
This servant of his master, as he always refers to himself, carried on the work of the master from city to city, country to country. We at Swami Chidananda Sevashram surrender ourselves at the feet of these two great spiritual masters and pray to them to shower their blessings so that we can try to emulate them and seek divinity and serve humanity.