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Swami Shivapremananda

Sri Sukhendu Ray (Sri Shivaprem), as a young man, came to the Ashram from Calcutta in January, 1945, and like others got involved in the correspondence work of the Ashram directly under Sri Gurudev. He became proficient gradually in writing essays, contributing articles to journal and the like, due to the specialisation which he had for some years under Sri Gurudev. He became the Editor of the Society's monthly journal 'The Divine Life', since January 1949. He did this work with great sincerity, love and affection, in addition to serving in the different departments of the Headquarters. He has also been editing the monthly journal for the members of the Divine Life Society, Wisdom-Light, since its inception in January 1949.

Reticent, withdrawn and shy of publicity, Sri Shivaprem was not know to many as an able interpreter of comprehensive spiritual thought and a talented writer that he is. He has edited many of the publications of Gurudev, such as parliament of Religions: Commemoration Volume; wisdom of Siva; practice of Nature Cure; Religious Education; Every Man's Yoga-to mention a few. He is also the author of Maharshi Sivananda.

Acquainted with all the facets of religion and aspects of Yoga, amiable in disposition and capable of being at-home with everyone, widely informed and liberal in outlook, Sri Shivaprem was considered well suited by Sri Gurudev to propound the message of the East to the West, when there was an invitation from a devotee in Milwaukee (Wisconsin) in the United States of America. Sri Gurudev was also confident that his impact on the spiritual seekers in America (or wherever go) was bound to influence an inner awakening. Thus, in August 1961 Sri Gurudev gave him Sannyasa, named him Swami Shivapremananda and deputed him as a mouthpiece of his Mission in the West, which orders of Sri Gurudev he obeyed implicitly and left the Ashram for this noble work in September, 1961, for the States visiting some European countries and Canada en route.

From 1961 to 1964, Swami Shivapremananda was the founder-president of the Sivananda Yoga-Vedanta Centre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From 1964 to 1970, he was the director and prime mover of the Sivananda Yoga-Vedanta Centre in New York City. He has traveled extensively in the U. S.A., giving lectures n the universities and conducting seminars on Yoga and Vedanta. In the course of the years, Swami Shivapremananda has established three great totally independent spiritual Centers of India's spiritual culture and educational and public service in three South American countries,-Argentina, in Buenos Aires; Uruguay, in Montevideo; and Chile, in Santiago. Though these three are his main Centers, where he stays for two months at a time in each Centre giving regular programmes, he also tours extensively in U. S. A. and Europe.

 


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