Swami Sivananda, founder of the Divine Life Society and the diksha guru of Pujya Gurudev, was born on 8 th September, 1887 in the village of Pattamadai on the bank of the river Tamraparani in South India to Sri P.S. Vengu Iyer and Srimati Parvati Ammal. The happy couple named their son Kuppuswamy. Kuppuswamy was an intelligent and mischievous boy who showed signs of renunciation and love for his fellow beings since his early childhood. After completing his medical studies in Tanjore, Swamiji started his practice in Tiruchi. In 1913 he left India to go to Malaysia where he was highly acclaimed as a kind and sympathetic doctor with a charming and majestic personality, who was always ready to serve those in need. His immense philanthropy and spirit of service and renunciation endeared him to all. People lovingly called him the "Heart of Love". The dormant spirituality in Swamiji was ignited by a gift; a book by Sri Swami Satchidananda entitled Jiva Brahma Aikyam. He began to study the works of Swami Rama Tirtha, Swami Vivekananda, Sankara, Imitation of Christ, the Bible, and literature of the Theosophical Society. After much intense reflection, he left his lucrative practice, returned to India in 1924, where he was initiated into sannyasa by Swami Visvananda and given the name Swami Sivananda Saraswati. Swamiji founded the Divine Life Society in Rishikesh, in the year 1936 in a small, dilapidated kutir on the banks of the Ganga. From this humble beginning the Society grew imperceptibly and it is now the headquarters of a world-wide organization with a large number of branches both within the country and outside. The Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy Press was established in September 1951, a powerful means of wide dissemination of knowledge. The small dispensary that was inseparable from Swamiji grew slowly and became a regular hospital with x-ray and other facilities. The Sivananda Eye Hospital was formally opened in December 1957. The Society's Silver Jubilee was celebrated in 1961, by which time the Master saw the fulfillment of his mission in his own lifetime. Swami Sivananda radiated his divine and lofty message of service, meditation and God-realization to all parts of the world through his numerous books, periodicals and letters. Swamiji taught the Yoga of Synthesis, a harmonious development of the 'hand', 'head' and 'heart' through the practice of Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. Swamiji attained mahasamadhi on the 14th of July 1963 in his kutir on the banks of the Ganga in Shivanandanagar.