Swami Vishnudevananda Mahasamadhi

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Come and celebrate the anniversary of our Guru Swami Vishnudevananda’s death and spiritual liberation with mantra chanting, stories and a special puja.

A close disciple of Swami Sivananda, Swami Vishnudevananda was born in Kerala, South India, on December 31, 1927. After a short career in the army, he ‘accidentally’ came to know of the teachings of Swami Sivananda after coming across a copy of Sadhana Tattwa (Spiritual Instructions) which began “An ounce of practice is worth tons of theory. Practice yoga, religion and philosophy in daily life and attain Self-realization.” This impressed him so much that he went to Rishikesh to meet his Master.

Swamiji entered the Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh in 1947 at the age of twenty, took sannyas (became a monk) 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. At the same time he continued his own practice, mastering difficult, advanced hatha yoga techniques. When asked how he perfected these ancient practices, which to a great extent had been lost to the modern world, Swamiji would say, “My Master touched me and opened my eye of intuition. All this knowledge returned to me from past lives.” For ten years, he lived and worked under the direct guidance of his Master.

In 1957, Swami Sivananda sent Swamiji to spread the ancient teachings of yoga to the West, with the words “people are waiting.” Swami Vishnudevananda established the first Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre in Montreal. The first Yoga Camp, in 1961, was at the summer home of some students. He was amazed  to see westerners, with all material comforts, willing to give them up to sleep on the floor and take cold showers. In February 1962, Swamiji came to the present site in Val Morin, Quebec, and that summer, the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp was opened.

Swami Vishnudevananda worked tirelessly to instill a strong, practical understanding of yoga and Vedanta in the people who came to him. He taught a synthesis of yoga designed to work on all aspects of the personality. His motto ”Health is Wealth. Peace of Mind is Happiness. Yoga Shows the Way.” continues to inspire all who come to learn about the yogic lifestyle at the Ashrams and Centres around the world. Author of the long-time bestselling ‘The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga’, Swami Vishnudevananda was recognized as a world authority on hatha and raja yoga. His other books are: ‘Meditation and Mantras’, ‘A Commentary on the Hatha Yoga Pradipika’, and ‘Karma and Disease’. Swami Vishnudevananda attained mahasamadhi on November 9, 1993.

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