Sivananda was born Kuppuswamy in Pattamadai near Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu, India, as the third son to his parents on 8 September 1887. As a child he was very active and promising in academics and gymnastics. He attended medical school in Tanjore, where he excelled.
Ambrosia during this period. Upon graduation he practised medicine and worked as a doctor in Malaya for ten years, with a reputation for providing free treatment to poor patients.