Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy

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Sivananda Ashram above Sivananda Kutir at Sivananda Ghat, at the Ganges, Muni Ki Reti, Rishikesh

The Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy is a school of the Divine Life Society located within Sivananda Ashram, near Rishikesh. Its aim is to train seekers in the practice of yoga as a general discipline for personal integration as well as human welfare. The courses last two months and are open only to Indian men.


The Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy was set up by Swami Sivananda in 1948 to give systematic training to resident and visiting seekers.

Course Syllabus[edit]

The course follows the regular spiritual practices as followed by everyone in the Ashram. Students are expected to wake up at 4:00 AM and participate in daily meditation and mantra chanting which is followed by a series of lectures in the following subjects:

  1. History of Indian Philosophy: The Vedas, the Upanishads, Jainism, Buddhism, Nyaya, Vaiseshika, Samkhya, Yoga, Vedanta (Sankara, Ramanuja, Madhva)
  2. History of Western Philosophy
    1. Socrates (Concept of Virtue)
    2. Plato (Doctrine of Ideas)
    3. Aristotle (Metaphysics and Causation)
    4. St. Augustine
    5. St. Thomas Aquinas
    6. Kant (Critique of Reason, Ethical Norms)
    7. Hegel
  3. Indian Ethics: Four Purusharthas, Varna, Ashrama, Dharma, Karma, Moksha
  4. Philosophy of Swami Sivananda
  5. Studies in Religious Consciousness
  6. Study of the Bhagavad Gita
    1. The Despondency of Arjuna
    2. The Three Yogas: Karma, Bhakti and Jnana
    3. Daivi Sampat and Asuri Sampat
    4. The Concept of Svadharma
    5. Nature of Sthitaprajna
    6. God, World and Soul
  7. Study of the Upanishads
  8. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras
  9. Narada Bhakti Sutras
  10. Asana, Pranayama, and Meditation
  11. Karma Yoga

After the daily lectures, students engage in Karma Yoga around the Ashram. Students are then trained in Asana and Pranayama.


External links[edit]