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His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda is a highly ordained Vedic monk who reveals to us a Himalayan tradition of Vedic wisdom based on his lineage of Sanskrit heritage. He hails from lineages of meditation adepts from Himalaya who are known for their combination of rishi sagely scholarship and nātha yogic practices. Deep meditation on the Sanskrit verses of cardinal philosophies and monastic inquiry methods led to his profound realization. His Holiness teaches Vedic philosophies with exquisite clarity and initiates seekers into Himalayan meditation techniques.

He is among the very few scholars in the West to hold the degree of Mahāmahopādhyāya (lit. great ordained teacher) awarded by the university system in India due to his scholarly and meditative interpretation of Sanskrit literature. His sublime recitation of Sanskrit peace chants opened the 54th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1999. He has lectured around the world as an emissary of peace, bridging spiritual traditions and sharing the universal teachings of Vedic wisdom. As the head of the Hansavedas Mission and the founding monk of the United States Nonprofit, Self Enquiry Life Fellowship, he is a guiding light to seekers and devotees.

A loving teacher and a philosopher monk, Swami Vidyadhishananda is a compassionate friend for those in need and a sincere server of humanity. Seekers from diverse religious backgrounds as well as intellectuals throng to be in his divine presence and listen to his presentation of Sanskrit knowledge from a universal perspective. Such a unique combination of a mystic, yogi and scholar is rarely seen in a saintly teacher. Shaped by the rugged yet enchanting Himalayan terrain and esoteric spiritual practices, he brings us the sublime peace of the mountains. Down to earth and endearing in his unassuming ways, he is a saintly monk of profound wisdom.

A fellowship brings about a direct experience of divinity. Meditation, wellness and spiritual lifestyle help define the path of inquiry. Fellowships form the core method of disseminating and sharing the precious teachings. Much of the Sanskrit literature lives on as a universal heritage for humankind with great relevance to modern society, easily integrating faith and evolution and as a bridge between science and spirituality. Our Nonprofit was founded to establish a legacy in the West by harnessing the wisdom of ancient meditation lineages, to restore Sanskrit spiritual wealth and make it more accessible.

His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda

Leadership Roles in USA & India

  • President, Self Enquiry Life Fellowship (Hansavedas), California, USA
  • President, Vedic Heritage Research Foundation (Vedanidhi), Varanasi, India
  • President, Sri Paramananda Ashram Trust (Consortium), Prayagraj, India
    • Swami Paramananda Ashram, Prayagraj
    • Swami Narottamananda Veda Vidyalaya (Veda Chanting School), Prayagraj
    • Sri Gangeshwar Sanskrit Vidyalaya (Sanskrit Language School), Prayagraj
    • Kapila Sangam Ashram, Amarkantak
    • Om Nivas Ashram, Haridwar
  • Vice President, Tripura Yogashram, Haridwar, India

The monks who study historical Sanskrit literature are seamless in their scholarly and meditative interpretation of cardinal Sanskrit philosophies, such as Vedanta, Samkhya and Yoga. What is taught has thus not only retained a sound philosophical basis grounded in a time-tested Vedic system of learning, but is also based on a living practice as part of the unbroken Himalayan adepts tradition. While most of these institutions (mațha) are located in northern India, including Himalaya (Shivalik mountains), their operations are headquartered in Varanasi, where four properties have an ongoing established curriculum of training, learning and meditating.

The Western mission of this consortium disseminates these teachings through the Nonprofit, Self Enquiry Life Fellowship. The Hansavedas Mission brings to the Nonprofit a vast repository of Vedic wisdom based on the Sanskrit texts. The authenticity of the teachings is safeguarded by the entire team of Vedic monks serving the mission. They hail from among the most ancient unbroken monastic lineages still surviving today. Therefore the dissemination of extant literature, meditative arts and historical archives is duly inspired by their meditative insights.

Devotees with HH Swami Vidyadhishananda at the Sri Paramananda Ashram in Prayagraj, India. February 2023.

Guiding Light of Inspiration

Swami Hariharananda Paramahansa, the monastic master of Swami Vidyadhishananda, is a great kindly light of inspiration for the teaching system of the Hansavedas Fellowship which adheres to the lineage-based tradition of transmission. His Holiness Swami Hariharananda closed his earthly life on 3rd December 2002 ending his nine and a half decades of radiant divine life. His passing was a colossal loss of a realized monk’s physical presence among us. He was a divine descension of Twasta, one of the twelve sacred forms of Surya (the Sun god). Twasta is said to dwell in corporeal forms as the Sun’s power (shakti) and is the ruler of the constellation Libra.

He was born on an auspicious combination of a full moon on a Monday, during the early morning. His birthdate of 27th May 1907 thereby is on Vaishākha purnimā also popularly known as Buddha purnimā, as the great Gautama Buddha was born on this same Vedic soli-lunar calendar day. Swami Hariharananda’s birthstar of Anuradha naxatra (a lunar asterism) accorded him a sweet endearing voice with a feminine quality, typical of males born under this star. Incidentally, he closed his life also during Anuradha naxatra but this time on a new moon evening.

His incarnation was preceded with a divine omen. A holy basil leaf got stuck on the belly button of his mother following her bath at the local pond at their residential estate in Habibpur, Bengal. Upon learning about this sign, his father forecast that a great divine soul was descending into her womb. Indeed Swami Hariharananda had trivallyādi laxaṇam (special marks) on his abdomen that confirmed along with other signs that he was a very exalted soul.

He had five main satguru (enlightened masters), out of which Swami Sriyukteshwar made an indelible memory on him starting from 1932 for a period spanning a little over three years of direct interaction. His attainment of nirvichāra samādhi was perfected as he frequently slipped into pulseless and breathless states of meditation, often demonstrating such communion at will. The great mahā-siddha adept of Himalaya, Tryambaknath, visited and blessed Swami Hariharananda multiple times and had a great influence on maturing his realization.

His Holiness Swami Hariharananda

His Holiness Swami Sriyukteshwar

Background of Swami Vidyadhishananda

Monastic Tree
The name Vidyadhishananda means “one who is in the bliss of being absorbed at the source of knowledge.” Formally ordained into the Giri order of monks by the late Swami Hariharananda Giri who was initiated into monkhood by the late Swami Bharati-Krishna Tirtha; the latter was the renowned Head Pontiff (Shankaracharya) of the mațha in Puri – one of the five principal monastic institutions in India as per the Shankara system. Connected to the lineages of stalwart monks of Sanskrit learning, such as Swami Sharadananda Giri, Swami Maheshananda Giri, Swami Kashikananda Giri and Swami Hariharananda Saraswati. Even though the monastic branches were formalized into the current orders in and around 500 BCE, the roots of the lineages date back to antiquity.

Sanskrit Philosophies
Hails from an esoteric lineage of monks who specialize in seamlessly combining cardinal philosophies of the ancient Sanskrit heritage, viz. Vedānta, Yoga and Sāmkhya. Trained in the original tradition of linguistics, grammar and philosophical texts from adept and scholarly monks in principal centres of Sanskrit learning including in Varanasi, Haridwar, Uttarkashi and in remote parts of the Himalayan terrain.

Trekking and Meditation
Has trekked and trained in the lower and middle Himalayan mountain ranges of the Garhwal and Kumaon regions for meditative realization of Sanskrit sutra from cardinal Sanskrit philosophical texts. Has fully practised the Himalayan meditation system of Tryambaknāth, a great Himalayan siddha of the current age, and thus was ordained to teach authentic Kriya meditation techniques to sincere seekers. Hails from a rigorous training tradition of monks who put in about 3,000 hours of silence and meditation per year and a similar number of hours in the study of Sanskrit literature.

Lectures and Fellowships
His sublime recitation of Sanskrit peace chants opened the 54th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1999. He has lectured around the world as an emissary of peace, bridging spiritual traditions and sharing the universal teachings of the Vedic wisdom. A sought-after speaker, he has delivered more than 300 formal public lectures, most by invitation to esteemed institutions. He has offered an additional 700 formal public fellowships on spiritual philosophy and meditation. Has guided or presided over several meditation retreats.

Safeguarding Heritage
Has safeguarded the original value-based Vedic accelerated learning for children. He identified how traditional Vedic learning is non-linear and promotes accelerated learning due to a whole-brain approach. He supports traditional Vedic schools where students successfully practise this holistic method to improve memory and preserve indigenous knowledge. Facilitates support and continuity for several traditional Vedic schools which teach techniques for the sublime recitation of Vedic Sanskrit. Creates publications that safeguard holistic learning and bring about cultural transmission for the benefit of modern society. Has revived precious architectural and ceremonial traditions (Jirnoddhara) at over 100 ancient Vedic temples and other esteemed spiritual institutions spanning several states of India. Has presided over ceremonies and ordinations at highly reputed spiritual institutions. Has directed over 16 authentic Vedic fire ceremonies in India since 2012, based on the detailed interpretation of Rigveda, for the sake of world peace and benevolence. He maintains a manuscript library of ancient Sanskrit literature in Varanasi, India.

Sanskritist Accolade
Awarded Mahāmahopādhyāya (lit. great ordained teacher) at a special convocation held at Jadavpur University in Calcutta on 19th January 2006 – one of the highest degrees conferred through the university system in India. This rare honour is only given to a few outstanding individuals, most of whom receive it in their later years after a lifetime of service to Sanskrit and its philosophical heritage. He received the award in recognition of his meditative insights, scholarly interpretation and ability to articulate philosophical nuances. In his convocation address, the then President of the Indian Association of Universities, Professor Ramaranjan Mukherji, referred to the award as “the blue ribbon of oriental learning.” He continued by describing Swami Vidyadhishananda as “a meeting place between East and West.”

His Holiness Shankara Bhagavadpada

His Holiness Swami Bharati Krishna Tirtha

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