Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati was born at Pattamadai, (Tamil Nadu) in 1887. After serving as a medical doctor in Malaya, he renounced his practice to search for his Guru in the foothills of the Himalayas. He settled in the sacred valley of Rishikesh and was initiated into the Dashnami Sannyasa tradition in 1924 by Swami Vishwananda Saraswati.
In subsequent years he wrote hundreds of books and articles on yoga and spirituality to maintain and introduce yogic values in the minds of the general public. His emphasis was on breaking down the barriers which separated the needy from the teachings that could help them, whether this took the form of yoga for health, peace of mind or spiritual aspiration. This ideology continues to guide the work of the Satyananda branch of his lineage.
To this end Sri Swami Sivananda Saraswati toured India extensively, inspiring people to practice yoga and lead a divine life. He founded the Divine Life Society at Rishikesh in 1936, the Sivananda Ayurvedic Pharmacy in 1945, the Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy in 1948 and the Sivananda Eye Hospital in 1957 and attained Maha Samadhi on 14th July 1963.
The Sri Ramana Maharshi is among one of the greatest seers and sages who has walked the face of our Earth and belongs to the lineage of the great ancient Vedic Rishis like Ribbhu, Astavakra, Vasishtha and Mandukya. He clarified the doubts of aspirants of Truth - Awareness –Self for over 54 years from 1898 to 1950.
Sri Ramana’s message is timeless and issues forth from his own experience and state of Self abidance that “Our true nature is Awareness-Self which transcends the states of awake, dream, sleep, creation and death.”
To be and to abide as Awareness - Self is the highest purpose of our existence. This web site, as instructed by Sri Ramana is dedicated to assist seekers of Truth to find their way to Self abidance, Self Awareness and realisation of their Self.
A spiritual genius of commanding intellect and power, Vivekananda crammed immense labor and achievement into his short life, 1863-1902. Born in the Datta family of Calcutta, the youthful Vivekananda embraced the agnostic philosophies of the Western mind along with the worship of science.
At the same time, vehement in his desire to know the truth about God, he questioned people of holy reputation, asking them if they had seen God. He found such a person in Sri Ramakrishna, who became his master, allayed his doubts, gave him God vision, and transformed him into sage and prophet with authority to teach.
After Sri Ramakrishna's death, Vivekananda renounced the world and criss-crossed India as a wandering monk. His mounting compassion for India's people drove him to seek their material help from the West. Accepting an opportunity to represent Hinduism at Chicago's Parliament of Religions in 1893, Vivekananda won instant celebrity in America and a ready forum for his spiritual teaching.
For three years he spread the Vedanta philosophy and religion in America and England and then returned to India to found the Ramakrishna Math and Mission. Exhorting his nation to spiritual greatness, he wakened India to a new national consciousness. He died July 4, 1902, after a second, much shorter sojourn in the West. His lectures and writings have been gathered into nine volumes.
Osho was born on the 11th December in the year 1931 as Chandra Mohan Jain in a small village named Kuchwada that lies in the Narsinghpur District of Madhya Pradesh. During the period between 1970s and 1980s, he was known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Later on, he changed his name to Osho. He began the Osho movement that was spiritual but at the same time invited controversy. Well, in this article, we will provide you with the biography of Osho Zen master. Read further to know the complete Osho Rajneesh life history.
Till seven years of age, Osho lived with his maternal grandparents and this played a major role in his growth. It is due to the fact that, his grandmother was very cool and gave him liberty to live his life the way he wanted. Education was never imposed on him. His grandparents always said that, he should do whatever his heart feels right. Osho claims to have attained enlightenment at a young age of 21.
Osho did his graduation in philosophy from D. N. Jain College and completed masters from Saugar University in the year 1957. Thereafter, he began teaching philosophy at Raipur Sanskrit College. He traveled all over the country and gave lectures that opposed the concept of socialism. In the year 1964, Osho started his first meditation camp. The spiritual leader Osho died on the January 19, 1990.
One of the greatest philosophers of India, Adi Shankaracharya founded the Advaita Vedanta, which is one of the sub-schools of Vedanta. Adi Shankaracharya whole-heartedly believed in the concept of the Vedas but at the same time advocated against the rituals and religious practices that were over exaggerated. On a closer introspection of the life history of Sri Sankaracharya, we find that he also started the monastic order known as Dashanami and the Shanmata convention of worship.
Born in a simple Brahmin family approximately in the 8th century A.D in Kaladi, Kerala, he was named as Shankara and is considered to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva. It is said that Shankaracharya's mother Aryamba had a vision that Lord himself told her that he would incarnate in the form of her first-born child. Right from childhood he showed a penchant towards spiritual knowledge. He could easily recite the Puranas and the Epics and mastered the Vedas during his early years in Gurukul. Adi Shankara's teachings were thoroughly adopted by his disciples later on.
Right from childhood, Shankaracharya was interested in Sanyasa and wanted to lead a meaningful life detached from the worldly pleasures. Once, while taking a bath in Purna River, Shankaracharya was attacked by a crocodile. Though his mother wanted to rescue him, she could not and was helpless. Seeing the haplessness of his mother, he asked her permission for letting him renounce the world. She was left with no choice but to agree. As soon as he recited the mantra, the crocodile left him. Shankaracharya began his life as an ascetic from then on. He proceeded towards further down south of India in search of a Guru.
One fine day on the banks of River Narmada he met a man named Govinda Bhagavatpada. Since Shankaracharya was much learned about the Vedas and the Puranas, Govinda Bhagavatpada agreed to be his Guru for attaining spiritual knowledge. Under his tutelage, Shankaracharya gained expertise in different forms of Yoga that included Hatha, Raja and Jnana yoga. He then received the knowledge of Brahma. Thereafter he was known as Adi Shankaracharya whose sole purpose of life was to spread the teachings of Brahma Sutras all over the world.
Adi Sankaracharya believed in the philosophy of "non-dualism". He believed in the fact that every individual has a divine existence, which can be identified with the Supreme cosmic power. Though bodies are diverse, the soul is one. The moment someone believes that the concept of life is finite; they are discarding an entirely higher and different dimension of life and knowledge. Self-realization is the key to attain Moksha and connect with God. Though he died young, he left an invaluable treasure of spiritual knowledge for future generations.
Sri Ramakrishna, who was born in 1836 and passed away in 1886, represents the very core of the spiritual realizations of the seers and sages of India. His whole life was literally an uninterrupted contemplation of God. He reached a depth of God-consciousness that transcends all time and place and has a universal appeal. Seekers of God of all religions feel irresistibly drawn to his life and teachings. Sri Ramakrishna, as a silent force, influences the spiritual thought currents of our time. He is a figure of recent history and his life and teachings have not yet been obscured by loving legends and doubtful myths. Through his God-intoxicated life Sri Ramakrishna proved that the revelation of God takes place at all times and that God-realization is not the monopoly of any particular age, country, or people. In him, deepest spirituality and broadest catholicity stood side by side. The God-man of nineteenth-century India did not found any cult, nor did he show a new path to salvation. His message was his God-consciousness. When God-consciousness falls short, traditions become dogmatic and oppressive and religious teachings lose their transforming power.
At a time when the very foundation of religion, faith in God, was crumbling under the relentless blows of materialism and skepticism, Sri Ramakrishna, through his burning spiritual realizations, demonstrated beyond doubt the reality of God and the validity of the time-honored teachings of all the prophets and saviors of the past, and thus restored the falling edifice of religion on a secure foundation. Drawn by the magnetism of Sri Ramakrishna's divine personality, people flocked to him from far and near -- men and women, young and old, philosophers and theologians, philanthropists and humanists, atheists and agnostics, Hindus and Brahmos, Christians and Muslims, seekers of truth of all races, creeds and castes. His small room in the Dakshineswar temple garden on the outskirts of the city of Calcutta became a veritable parliament of religions. Everyone who came to him felt uplifted by his profound God-consciousness, boundless love, and universal outlook. Each seeker saw in him the highest manifestation of his own ideal. By coming near him the impure became pure, the pure became purer, and the sinner was transformed into a saint.
The greatest contribution of Sri Ramakrishna to the modern world is his message of the harmony of religions. To Sri Ramakrishna all religions are the revelation of God in His diverse aspects to satisfy the manifold demands of human minds. Like different photographs of a building taken from different angles, different religions give us the pictures of one truth from different standpoints. They are not contradictory but complementary. Sri Ramakrishna faithfully practiced the spiritual disciplines of different religions and came to the realization that all of them lead to the same goal. Thus he declared, "As many faiths, so many paths." The paths vary, but the goal remains the same. Harmony of religions is not uniformity; it is unity in diversity. It is not a fusion of religions, but a fellowship of religions based on their common goal -- communion with God. This harmony is to be realized by deepening our individual God-consciousness. In the present-day world, threatened by nuclear war and torn by religious intolerance, Sri Ramakrishna's message of harmony gives us hope and shows the way. May his life and teachings ever inspire us.
Swami Dayananda Saraswati is a contemporary teacher of Vedanta and a scholar in Sanskrit in the tradition of Sankara. Swamiji has been teaching Vedanta in India for more than five decades and around the world since 1976. His deep scholarship and assimilation of Vedanta combined with a subtle appreciation of contemporary problems make him that rare teacher who can reach both traditional and modern students.
A teacher of teachers, Swami Dayananda taught six resident in-depth Vedanta courses, each spanning 30 to 36 months. Four of them were conducted in India and two in the United States. Each course graduated about 60 qualified teachers, who are now teaching throughout India and abroad. Under his guidance, various centers for teaching of Vedanta have been founded around the world;
Among these, there are three primary centers in India at Rishikesh, Coimbatore, Nagpur and one in the U.S. at Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. There are more than one hundred centers in India and abroad that carry on the same tradition of Vedantic teaching.
In addition to teaching, Swami Dayananda has initiated and supported various humanitarian efforts for the last forty-five years. The most far-reaching of these is the establishment of All India Movement for Seva in 2000. Awarded consultative status with ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) by the United Nations in 2005, this organization is devoted to serving people in the remote areas of India, mainly in the field of Education and Health Care.
Swami Dayananda Saraswati has also promoted several international events and participated as a speaker in several global forums, among which are: the United Nations gathering of NGO's, the UNESCO Seoul Global Convention, the United Nations 50th Anniversary Celebration, the Millennium World Peace Summit, the International Congress for the Preservation of Religious Diversity, the Conference on the Preservation of Sacred Sites, the World Council for Preservation of Religious Diversity, the Youth Peace Summit, the Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders, a Hindu-Christian dialogue with the World Council of Churches, and the Hindu-Jewish Leadership Summit.