Divine Life Society

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Divine Life Society
Divine Life Society, crest.jpg
Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Realize
FounderSwami Sivananda
TypeReligious organisation
Legal statusFoundation
PurposeEducational, Philanthropic, Religious studies, Spirituality
HeadquartersRishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
  • 300 Branches
Area served

The Divine Life Society (DLS) is a Hindu spiritual organisation and an ashram, founded by Swami Sivananda Saraswati in 1936, at Muni Ki Reti, Rishikesh, India. Today it has branches around the world, the headquarters being situated in Rishikesh. Also, many disciples of Swami Sivananda have started independent organisations in Mauritius, the 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 organisations
  • through the preservation of the ancient traditions and cultural practices of India


In 1936, after returning from a pilgrimage, Swami Sivananda stayed in an old hut on the banks of the Ganges in Rishikesh. Other disciples desirous of his company stayed with him in difficult circumstances. Eventually, he started the Divine Life Society to serve mankind. The King of Tehri Garhwal granted him a plot of land to construct the present day Shivanandashram.[4] Chidananda Saraswati served as president of the society from August 1963 to 28 August 2008, while Krishnananda Saraswati served 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
Sivananda 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 Charitable Hospital renders free medical service to the public and conducts periodical medical relief camps freely.
  • Sivananda Home Takes care of food, clothing and medical needs of Destitute Patients


Branches are found in Australia, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago

See also[edit]


  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 0-226-56009-0. Page 164=165.
  3. ^ Swami Shivananda Religion and anthropology: a critical introduction, by Brian Morris. Cambridge University Press, 2006. ISBN 0-521-85241-2. Page 144.
  4. ^ Introduction Archived 26 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine

Further reading[edit]

  • 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

Related links[edit]