Saturday, May 1, 2010

Read this, please

Born as Kuppuswamy Iyer at Pattamadai, he went on to study medicine, which he practiced in Malaya as the head of an 'Estate Hospital' there. Struck with a feeling there was more to helping people than just curing illnesses, Kuppuswamy gave up his position and travelled to Rishikesh. By the time he was 40, Kuppuswamy had been Swami Sivananda for nearly 4 years. After a further decade of travelling around India as a wandering monk, Swami Sivananda established the Divine Life Society on the banks of the Ganga at Rishikesh. Since its founding in 1936, the Divine Life Society has grown both within and outside India.

On the occasion of his birth centenary in 1987, Madras city named a road after him, turning Adams Road into Swami Sivananda Salai. A statue of the saint was set up at the eastern end of the road, just where it joins Kamaraj Salai. Somehow, the statue seems to be of a roadside bookseller, pressing his wares on the passer-by. True, Swami Sivananda wrote close to 300 books, but he is to be remembered for much more than that.

At the western end of Swami Sivananda Salai, there was (is it there still?) a statue of Lord Ampthill, who was Governor of Madras between 1901 and 1906. I'm not sure if it was planned that way, or if it is just coincidence; one of Kuppuswamy's first forays into the public eye was in 1901, when, as a 14-year old, he sang a song to welcome the newly appointed Governor of Madras at the Kumarapuram railway station!

I'm back, on the monthly Theme Day for the City Daily Photo community. To see photos of statues from cities around the world, check this link out!


Hobbes said...

As ever, great info .. thx again ...


Shantaram said...

@ Hobbes: It was a small world even then! Cheers!