Our Guiding Lights
The founders of the Sivananda Yoga Vidya Peetham are part of a Guruparampara - a traditional and ancient unbroken lineage, a chain of Guru and disciple; The Advaita Vedanta tradition of Sri Adi Sankaracharya.
Lord Dakshinamurti is the first Guru of this tradition, with Sage Sri Veda Vyasa and Sri Adi Sankaracharya as great links taking this lineage through to the branch containing Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj of Rishikesh, India and His disciple Sri Swami Vishnudevanandaji Maharaj, the Gurus who brought this knowledge to the present day.
Swami Sivananda (1887 – 1963)
One of the great saints of modern times, this renowned sage and humanitarian is the inspiration with which the ancient science of Yoga and Vedanta became a household name all over the world, by giving the knowledge according to the need of time. Born in South India, he served many years as a medical doctor before renouncing worldly life and establishing the Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh, North India. Founder of the Divine Life Society (www.dlshq.org) this Self realized master was an embodiment of love, humility and compassion. Sri Swami Sivananda's teachings continue to enrich the lives of millions worldwide through his more than 300 books.
“ Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Realise ” - Swami Sivananda Saraswati
“The only basis of true and lasting unity of all humanity is the religion of the heart. Religion of the heart is the religion of love” - Swami Sivananda Saraswati.
Swami Vishnudevananda (1927 - 1993)
Born in Kerala, South India, while serving in the Indian army, Swami Vishnudevananda met HIS Guru Swami Sivananda in his early years of adulthood and was trained in the ancient science of Yoga. Sent to the West in 1957 by his Guru Swami Sivananda, Swami Vishnudevananda is recognised worldwide as a leading authority on Hatha and Raja Yoga. He founded the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers (www.sivananda.org) and was a tireless campaigner for world peace. Swami Vishnudevananda is the author of the classics: "The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga" and "Meditation and Mantras" and was the inspiration behind the beautiful Sivananda Companion to Yoga. He also wrote a commentary on the "Hatha Yoga Pradipika," "Sivananda Upanishads" and “Karma and Disease”
Swami Vishnudevananda left his body on November 9, 1993.
Five basic principles of Yoga
"Health is Wealth, Peace of Mind is Happiness, Yoga shows the way" through
• Proper exercise – Yoga Asanas
• Proper breathing - Pranayama
• Proper relaxation - Savasana
• Proper diet – Satvic Vegetarian food
• Positive thinking, and meditation – Vedanta & Dhyana