About the Author:
Swami Chidananda was born as Sridhar Rao in Mangalore, South India, on September 24, 1916, the first son of an orthodox Hindu Brahmin family. When he was sixteen, he shifted to Madras where, in 1938, he graduated with a B.A. from the prestigious Loyola College. During these years, devotional songs and stories from the scriptures, as well as the lives and teachings of modern saints such as Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, Ramana Maharshi and Swami Ramdas awakened in him a fiery aspiration for the life spiritual.
In 1943 he joined the Himalayan Ashram of the sage and saint Swami Sivananda, the founder of the Divine Life Society, whose dynamic spiritual writings had long attracted him. Soon he was put in charge of the Sivananda Ashram medical dispensary, where his compassionate service to all, including the lepers, earned him the affectionate title of Dr. Raoji. He also headed up the Correspondence Section and was frequently called upon to give lectures as well as attend to the special needs of many of the guests. In 1948 he was appointed General Secretary of the Society and on Guru Purnima, 1949, was initiated into the holy order of Sannyasa.
Ten years later, in 1959, in response to many requests, Swami Sivananda sent him to the West, a trip that lasted for over two years. Succeeding Swami Sivananda as President of the Divine Life Society in 1963, his life since has been one of almost continuous travel throughout India and to all continents of the globe in the holy Master's service and in the cause of the central objective of the Divine Life Society, dissemination of spiritual knowledge.
Although, in his travels, he is frequently received by high dignitaries and he is the head of an institution with many branches both in India and abroad," yet he still remains at heart a simple monk, whose aim in life is to do as much good as possible for as many people as possible and, above all, bring to them the heart-solacing and liberating message of Yoga, Vedanta and the living of a divine life.