In 1948, the Yoga Vedanta Forest University came into existence when regular classes began to be conducted on all branches of yoga. To help the students all over the world, the University Press was established for printing necessary works on the practical side and half a dozen periodicals, with a number of machines to do the work automatically.
The Critical Juncture
Students became irreligious,
They lost faith in religion,
Under the influence of science,
They neglected dharma,
They began to smoke and gamble,
Girls became fashionable,
Officers became materialists,
Health of people deteriorated,
People shunned the scriptures,
Materialism had its sway.
At this critical juncture,
To revive the Glory of the Lord,
To disseminate knowledge of yoga,
To preach the yoga of synthesis,
To instil devotion and faith in people,
To work for the spiritual uplift of mankind,
To bring peace and bliss to every home,
I established the Divine Life Mission,
And founded the Yoga-Vedanta Forest University,
In a sacred, charming spot in the Himalayas,
On the banks of the Holy Ganga in Rishikesh.
Many foreigners come to the Ashram and spend some weeks or months and admire the wonderful work turned out at the Ashram. The inhabitants of Shivanandanagar, young and old, men and women, enjoy the peace and bliss of this holy centre and help the world in a variety of ways. They all receive my careful, personal attention. I provide them with all comforts and conveniences and help them in their evolution.
There are a number of buildings, kutirs and guest houses for their stay. Over thirty typewriters work day and night attending to correspondence and book work.
The Yoga-Vedanta Forest University trains a large number of students through able and qualified professors and teachers. The students become well-versed in all the scriptures. The University Press is now equipped with several electrically operated automatic machines for composing, printing, folding and binding. For the dissemination of knowledge among youths, essay competitions are conducted and scholarships offered to advance their studies in colleges and high schools.
I trained my students in organisational work, typing, maintaining proper accounts, managing the affairs of the Society and in attending to the devotees, visitors and the sick. Thus even in the early stages, the Yoga-Vedanta Forest University was vigorous in its working.
From Autobiography, Swami Sivananda Saraswati