Swami Sivananda founded the Divine Life Trust Society in 1936 with the aims of world wide dissemination of spiritual knowledge and service to mankind. The ideals of the society were lofty, practical and within the reach of every human being, irrespective of caste, colour, country or creed. It catered to the needs of all people, whatever class they belonged to.
As early as 1936, branches were established at Munger (Bihar), Jangh Maghia (Punjab), Akidu (A.P.), Ambala City (Punjab), Mandya (Mysore) and Madras in India, and at Jaffna (Ceylon), Latvija Riga (Eastern Europe) and Heidelberg (Germany), abroad. Branches of the Divine Life Society grew in number and strength from year to year, some becoming large and dynamic centres of training such as the Divine Life Society of South Africa (Durban) and the Divine Life Society of Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur).
The Sivananda Publication League was established in 1939 to revive spirituality world wide through publication of books, journals and pamphlets, dealing scientifically with all the aspects of Yoga and Vedanta. Over the years, all the books authored by Swami Sivananda were published by this organisation.
In 1942, the Bhajan Hall opened, and in 1943, the Akhanda Mahamantra Kirtan (non-step chanting of' the mantra around the clock) was commenced in the Bhajan Hall. The Lord Vishwanath Mandir was begun with regular worship three times daily in the same year.
In 1945, the Sivananda Ayurvedic Pharmacy was established to serve the people with genuine herbal preparations.
In the same year, Swami Sivananda organised the World Religions Federation, and in 1947, the All World Sadhus Federation.
The Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy was set up in 1948 to give systematic training to the resident Sadhakas and visiting seekers.
The Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy Press was established in 1951, as a means for the wide dissemination of spiritual knowledge.
In 1953, Swami Sivananda convened the World Parliament of Religions at Sivanandashram.
The Charitable Dispensary that was inseparable from Swami Sivananda ever since the early 1930's, grew slowly and in 1950 it was upgraded as a general hospital with X-ray and other facilities. The Sivananda Eye Hospital was opened in 1957.
In 1958, the Sivananda Literature Research Institute was formed in order to have all the works of the master translated and published systematically in all the regional languages of India. In 1959, the Sivananda Literature Dissemination Committee was established which has regional committees for each regional language.
Thus Swami Sivananda saw the fulfilment of his mission in his own lifetime before he attained maha samadhi in 1963.
From within the four walls of his small kutir on the banks of the Ganga, Swami Sivananda's influence spread throughout the world. He understood the problems of people living in countries he had never seen and guided them along the spiritual path. The ashram, the inmates, the Divine Life Society, and other institutions founded by Swami Sivananda, were only instruments for the spiritual awakening of mankind at large.
It was not enough for the aspirants who had gathered around him at the ashram to elevate themselves. Swami Sivananda never let them forget for one moment that their own salvation lay in the spiritual awakening of humanity.
He distributed so much spiritual literature and deputed so many disciples that Yoga became a byword in every nook and corner of the world. By making use of every possible method and every available avenue, he flooded the world with spiritual knowledge. He acquainted thousands with the facts and details of spiritual life. He constantly raised the goal of God realisation before the eyes of the people, as the only real purpose for human birth.
His mission was to bring about a needed transformation in mankind, to eradicate the lower qualities and unfold the divinity. This transformation was needed universally, and his mission therefore attracted seeking souls from all walks of life and from every country. He trained many sannyasins of a stupendous calibre, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that on his attainment of maha samadhi, he verily entered those sannyasins, in and through whom he carries on his mission, in a more vigorous manner, even to this day. Notable among his sannyasin disciples are: Swami Chidananda, Swami Krishnananda, Swami Venkatesananda, Swami Vishnudevananda, Swami Satchidananda, Swami Nadabrahmananda, Swami Sivapremananda, and Satyananda Paramahamsa.