Divine Life Society

Divine Life Society
Divine Life Society

Serve, Love, Meditate, Realize
Formation 1936
Type Religious
Headquarters Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh
Website http://www.sivanandaonline.org/public_html/

The Divine Life Society is a religious organization and an ashram, founded by Swami Sivananda Saraswati in 1936, at Muni Ki Reti, Rishikesh, India. Today it has branches spread across many parts of the world as well as India, also several of Swami Sivananda's disciples went on to open several independent organizations in Mauritius, US, Australia, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa, South America, and Europe [1][2][3]



Sivananda Kutir at Sivananda Ghat, and Sivananda Ashram above, Rishikesh

Its aim is to disseminate spiritual knowledge in the following ways:

  • through publication of books, pamphlets and magazines on the subjects of Yoga and Vedanta
  • holding and arranging spiritual conferences and discourses (Satsang)
  • establishing training centers for the practice of Yoga
  • enabling aspirants to develop their spiritual lives via systematic training in yoga and philosophy
  • establishing charitable organizations
  • through the preservation of the ancient traditions and cultural practices of India


In 1936, after returning from a pilgrimage, Swami Sivananda took residence in an old kutir on the banks of the Ganges in Rishikesh. Other disciples seeking to live in his company also took up residence in the surrounding area, often in less than ideal conditions. In order to better serve the growing tide of disciples, he founded The Divine Life Society Trust. A grant of land from the ruler of Tehri-Garhwal eventually helped to provide space for new buildings and the continuing growth of the new ashram.[4] Swami Chidananda Saraswati served as president of the society from August 1963 to 28 August 2008, while Swami Krishnananda as the General-Secretary of the Society in Rishikesh, from 1958 until 2001.


Interiors of the Sivananda Samadhi temple, Divine Life Society, Muni Ki Reti, Rishikesh
Ram Jhula Bridge across the Ganges at Muni Ki Reti, built in 1980s, close to the Kutir of Swami Sivananda
  • Sivananda Ashram is the headquarters of the Divine Life Society.
  • Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy trains seekers in the practice of yoga as a general discipline for personal integration as well as for human welfare.
  • Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy Press prints the cultural and spiritual books as well as the journals and other literature of the Divine Life Society.
  • Sivananda Publication League is the publishing arm of the Divine Life Society.
  • The Free Literature Section freely distributes books and other literature to seekers and aspirants worldwide.
  • Sivananda Ayurvedic Pharmaceutical Works manufactures and distributes Ayurvedic medicines to the general public.
  • Sivananda Charitable Hospital renders free medical service to the public and conducts periodical medical relief camps freely.


Further reading

  • Sivananda and the Divine Life Society: A Paradigm of the "secularism," "puritanism" and "cultural Dissimulation" of a Neo-Hindu Religious Society, by Robert John Fornaro. Published by Syracuse University, 1969.
  • From man to God-man: the inspiring life-story of Swami Sivananda, by N. Ananthanarayanan. Published by Indian Publ. Trading Corp., 1970.
  • Swami Sivananda and the Divine Life Society: An Illustration of Revitalization Movement, by Satish Chandra Gyan. Published by s.n, 1979.
  • Swami Sivananda's books

See also

  • Survey of Hindu organisations


  1. ^ Divine Life Society Britannica.com
  2. ^ Divine Life Society Divine enterprise: Gurus and the Hindu Nationalist Movement, by Lise McKean. University of Chicago Press, 1996. ISBN 0226560090. Page 164=165.
  3. ^ Swami Shivananda Religion and anthropology: a critical introduction, by Brian Morris. Cambridge University Press, 2006. ISBN 0521852412. Page 144.
  4. ^ Introduction

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