Swami Sivananda Saraswati was born in Pattamadai near Tinunelveli, Tamil nadu, India. His birth name was Kuppuswamy. In childhood, he showed a great perseverance in academics and gymnastics.
Academics and Job in Malay:
For academics, he attended a medical school in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu where he performed excellently. During this time he ran a medical Journal called Ambrosia.
After graduation , he practiced medicine. He started working as a doctor in British Malay region for about 10 years. In those ten years, he was known with a reputation for providing free services to poor people.
Return to India
As the time passed, a sense grew in Sivananda: The sense that medicine is healing people on superficial level. This made him start his quest for spiritual development. For that purpose, he returned to India in 1923, at the age of 36.
Initiation in monastic order:
On returning to India, he started traveling to seek for the guru. After visiting Varanasi and Nashik, he went to Rishikesh. Here, his quest for guru got finished after meeting with Vishwananda Saraswati.
Swami Vishwananda Saraswati initiated Swami Sivananda in monastic order. As part of this, he was given his monastic name: Swami Sivananda Saraswati.
His meeting with his guru was only for several hours only because of which his monastic ceremonies could not be done. Later on, all the formal ceremonies, THE Viraja Homa ceremonies, were done under the guidance of Swami Vishnudevananda, the mandaleshwar of Sri Kailash Ashram.
After initiation, he immersed himself in intense spiritual practices. Beside that he also continued his medical nursing. In 1927, at age 40, he opened a charitable dispendary in Lakshan Jhula, Rishikesh. He money for this came from his insurance policy.
Parivajka: The Monastic Travels
For several years, he traveled through length and breath of India visiting and meditating at various popular shrines. He met Maharishi Shuddhananda in Aurobindo Ashram, Ramana maharshi in Ramana Ashram. He traveled to various pilgrimage in north like Kedarnath, Badrinath and kailash-mansarovar.
During his different visits and meetings, he delivered lectures too.
Founding of Divine Life Society:
After finished travelling, Sivananda settled in Rishikesh again. Because of his and his travels to various spiritual masters, many people started coming to him to seek Spiritual Guidance. To some, he gave permission to stay with him. During this time, he aksed him disciples to take notes and send them to publication.
In 1936, at the age of 49, he founded Divine Life Society in Rishikesh. His continuous dissemination of his thoughts and free distribution of his works got him continuous growth in following.
On 14th of July 1963, at the age of 76, Swami Sivananda Saraswati entered Mahasamadhi.
Synthesis of Yoga