Yoga Master Swami Vishnu-devananda

Swami Vishnu-devananda was an internationally renowned authority on Hatha as well as Raja Yoga.

He was also called the "Flying Swami" due to the various peace missions he went on throughout the world. He was born in Kerala in 1927.

He founded the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers.

As a young man he saw a publication entitled "20 Spiritual Instructions" by Swami Sivananda which began with the words: "An ounce of practice is better than tons of theory".

The power and practicality of the above words led Swamiji to travel across India to meet Swami Sivananda in distant Rishsikesh in the Himalayas.

On his second visit, Vishnu-devananda received a powerful lesson in humility from Swami Sivananda. The former was too arrogant to bow to the Guru Swami Sivananda. Therefore, Swami Sivananda prostrated himself fully before his young student to demonstrate humility.

Vishnu-devananda was to experience his second lesson when during an Aarti (worship ceremony) to the Ganges river he was bewildered as to the relevance of supposedly intelligent individuals worshipping water. The Master just smiled at Swamij who then beheld the river as an immense, bright, cosmic light.

The young Vishnu-devananda was then invited by Swami Sivananda to remain at the Ashram for studies and to become a Yogi to which he received an affirmative response. Swami Vishnu-devananda became a master of Hatha Yoga as well as a selfless karam yogi. Swami Sivananda gave Vishnu-devananda a ten rupee note and the blessings of travelling the world to spread his wisdom. Swami Vishnu-devananda tireless efforts led him to establish the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres, of which there are now more than 20 as well as 7 ashrams and multiple affiliated centres as well as teachers. Swamiji also created the first Yoga Teachers Training Course which has hitherto trained 8,000 plus certified teachers in Yoga and spirituality. Swamiji's brilliance is exemplified in his skill of summarizing the five principles of Yoga into simple, easy to follow daily practices. Swamiji travelled to troubled areas of the world on peace missions which included bombarding these areas with the peace Mantra: "Om Namo Narayanaya".