Swami Sivananda Saraswati (September 8, 1887—July 14, 1963) was a Hindu spiritual teacher and a well known proponent of Sivananda Yoga and Vedanta. Sivananda was born Kuppuswami in Pattamadai, in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. He studied medicine and served in Malaya as a physician for several years before taking up sannyasa (loosely translated into English as 'monasticism'). He lived most of the later part of his life near Muni Ki Reti, Rishikesh. He is the founder of The Divine Life Society (1936), Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy (1948) and author of over 200 books on Yoga, Vedanta and a variety of other spiritual subjects. He established Sivananda Ashram, the location of the headquarters of The Divine Life Society (DLS), on the bank of the Ganges at Shivanandanagar, at a distance of 3 kilometres from Rishikesh. Sivananda Yoga, the yoga form propagated by him, is now spread in many parts of the world through Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres, but these centres are not affiliated with Swami Sivananda's original ashrams which are run by the Divine Life Society.