Swami Vishnudevananda

The journey of man from the military into a yoga sage

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A disciple of Swami Sivananda, Swami Vishnudevananda was born in Kerala, south India on December 31, 1927. During his career in the army, he discovered Swami Sivananda’s teachings from a leaflet entitled Sadhana Tattwa (Spiritual Instructions) which began ‘An ounce of practice is worth tons of theory.’ Impressed by the immediacy of the teachings he took some leave and journeyed to Rishikesh, a holy town at the foot of the Himalayas to meet the Master at his Ashram.

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Swami Vishnudevananda, after some consideration, decided to forsake his worldly life and entered the Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh in 1947 at the age of twenty, took sannyas (holy orders) and was appointed the first professor of hatha yoga at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy. There he trained thousands of students, both Indian and western.

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At the same time he continued his own practice, mastering difficult, advanced hatha yoga techniques.

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For ten years, he lived and worked under the direct guidance of his Master.

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In 1957 he set out from Swami Sivananda’s Ashram to carry out the instructions of his Master — to spread the teachings of yoga in the West. He established the first Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre in Montreal and from there for the following thirty-seven years he worked tirelessly as a dedicated spiritual teacher and peace missionary; travelling the world establishing centres and ashrams from where this work could be accomplished. His teachings, following in the tradition of Swami Sivananda, were based on an integrated approach to yoga.

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Swami Vishnudevananda worked tirelessly to instil a strong, practical understanding of yoga and vedanta in the people who came to him. Through his dedication, his infinite love and kindness, his devotion to his Guru and his sheer undaunted fearlessness, he planted the seeds for yoga to grow into the world-wide phenomenon that it is today.

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His motto ‘Health is Wealth. Peace of Mind is Happiness. Yoga Shows the Way’ continues to inspire all who come to learn about yoga at the Sivananda Ashrams and Centres around the world.

Swami VishnudevanandaSivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres & Ashrams

As a peace missionary during the 1970s Swamiji made headlines by flying around the world in his small two-seater plane dropping flowers and leaflets for peace over trouble-spots and war-torn countries of the world. Recognised as a world authority on hatha and raja yoga, he is author of the bestselling 'The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga'.

Swami VishnudevanandaSivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres & Ashrams

He left his body on November 9, 1993, his legacy – a worldwide organisation dedicated to propagating the ancient and timeless wisdom of yoga.

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