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123 The Happiest Man

Ageless & Agile

A lifespan of 13 decades across two centuries. Witness to one of the most action-packed eras in human history. People always ask Swami Sivananda for the secret of his health and longevity. His answer is deceptively simple: simplicity. He adheres faithfully to prescribed principles of yama-niyama, the famous dos and don’ts laid down for a yoga practitioner or sadhaka. Things to do and things to avoid. The rigour seems natural on him, utterly unforced. He radiates a contentment that can only come from sharp clarity of purpose.

There is no doubt his discipline and restraint have served him well. For a human body that has seen the wear and tear of over a century and a quarter, what an impressive sight it is to see him bend, ever so easily, into balasana, the supple ‘child’ pose!

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A Meandering Life

The venerable yoga guru caught the imagination of the people in March 2022, when he walked up at Rashtrapati Bhavan to accept the Padma Shri from President Ramnath Kovind. Barefoot, clad in his habitual dhoti-jubba, his disarming humility endeared him to millions who heard about him for the first time. His long years of service to society now widely acknowledged… at the age of 125.

Swami Sivananda was born to an extremely poor family in 1896, in Sylhet, which is now in Bangladesh. Tragedy struck early. By the age of six, he had lost both parents and a sister. He was handed over to Swami Onkarananda Goswami in Nabadwip, and from then, in his Master’s wake, he travelled first to Vrindavan and then to Varanasi, where he would stay for the rest of his years.

The lack of roots and family led him to treat the whole world as his home, take everyone as his own… true inclusiveness that yoga is essentially all about. Apart from spreading the technology of yoga, his particular project is to provide relief to those affected by leprosy, which he has been doing for over 50 years.

123 The Happiest Man Short Film Poster By Virtual Bharat

By the Ganga

There is something about the ancient city of Kashi. Its innumerable temples, its lofty legends, its photogenic ghats and its sheer vibrance. A spiritual beacon, Varanasi seems to particularly summon those who yearn for mukti. Liberation from the cycle of life and death. For centuries spiritual seekers have come to live in Kashi, or failing that, at least to die here.

Is it any wonder then that Swami Sivananda gravitated, like a homing pigeon, to this holy city? He has roamed the world to share what he knows but his happiness is here, in these narrow lanes, in its shrines, in the sun-kissed ghats by the timeless Ganga. His life is extraordinary not only for its length, but for the quality of joy it is imbued with.


Created By:
Sudeep Elamon, Rohit More
Mukund Ambarish
Christy Sebastian
Abhijeet Deolekar
Sumanth Shetty
Omkar Dhumal
Bhavya Pandit
Executive Producer:
Mrinalini Mitra
Assistant Director:
Shruti Mishra
Camera Assistants:
Yash Khaire, Prakash Bamne
Post Production Studio:
Open Mind
Production House:
Bharatbala Productions
For Studio Virtual Bharat
Mrinalini Mitra
Lynette D’mello
Varsha Ramachandran
Sayan Debnath
Shruti Mishra
Akshay Parvatkar
Yash Khaire
Prakash Bamne
Kannan Rajaram
Ghanshyam Patil
Project Virtual Bharat:
Hari Krishnan
Jawahar Sharma
Abhijeet Deolekar
Special Thanks:
Sanjoy Sarbajna
Sipra Devi (Mamoni)
Hiramon Biswas
Produced By Studio Virtual Bharat

Behind The Scenes