MISSION

Self Enquiry Life Fellowship is a United States nonprofit organization guided by the monastic wisdom of the Hansavedas Mission to preserve the indigenous knowledge from the Sanskrit heritage, including: extant literature on spiritual philosophy that is meaningful to modern inquiry; spiritual practices of Vedic antiquity that bring about peace in our communities through mindful participation; Himalayan yoga-vinyāsa and Ayurveda that promote wellness and mindfulness in daily living; and Himalayan meditation techniques of unbroken lineages which bring about mental clarity and compassion through self-empowerment, ultimately guiding the meditator to liberation.

Our holistic curriculum of transmission is designed to inspire those interested in enlightened living. The focus is on legacy building in the United States, while harnessing the ancient wisdom tradition. This is aimed at heritage revival at the source as well as preservation of that precious heritage in the West by disseminating the salient features of a living tradition for the benefit of modern society.

The curriculum interprets esoteric Sanskrit scriptures, revives intonated Sanskrit chanting methods, safeguards historic archival imagery and rare meditative arts, and undertakes educational publications on spiritual philosophy. Our nonprofit forum also facilitates a cultural transmission of the Sanskrit heritage by presenting Vedic fine arts and classical music related to the theme of meditation.

The educational publications reflect the holistic curriculum that is based on an accelerated learning system derived from the Vedic shruti method and the Himalayan meditation techniques taught by the adepts. The organization is enriched with extraordinary guidance from several Vedic monks of ancient monastic orders. It is rare for reclusive Himalayan monks, who have penanced in Himalaya, to become available to seekers or devotees and serve by disseminating precious streams of knowledge. His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda, who is one such ordained Vedic monk of the Giri monastic order, is the spiritual head of the Hansavedas Mission and the spiritual founder of the Nonprofit.




His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda
Photo by Fran Collin

Vision

Meditation Temple


The vision embraces our contemplative (upāsanā) tradition that precipitates the Sanskrit scriptural wisdom through a sequence of transmission to exalted monks and adepts, monastic trainees, ardent meditators, mindful servers, seekers and devotees, all the way to spiritual novices and pupils. Our interactive and complementary teaching material supplements the direct in person fellowship experience with digital online learning. To facilitate the direct experience of divinity, we envision the establishment of properties that host Vedic temples of meditation and act as receptacles of sustainable living where services, retreats, Vedic fire ceremonies and other curricular services can be conducted.

The vision for mother centres as per the Vedic vāstu principles includes monastic cloisters and silent enclaves, meditation retreat coves, a resource library on Sanskrit scriptures, an Ayurvedic herb garden, and an archive vault and gallery to house and display the collection of ancient Sanskrit manuscripts, worship altar iconography, monastic artefacts, antique photographs, Vedic fine arts and other heritage relics. These holy receptacles of peaceful abundance are meant to establish a legacy in the West by furthering the Hansavedas mission, one of the most esoteric living spiritual traditions founded upon Himalayan meditation as its core.


Name of the Non Profit

The Nonprofit’s name Self Enquiry Life Fellowship captures the spirit of subtle inquiry and the pursuit of human excellence, whereas the Sanskrit name, Hansavedas, embodies the mission. Hansavedas translates as “Self-realized being who is the knower of consciousness and beholds resplendent wisdom.”

Indeed, such a name reflects the spiritual force of this profound collective effort – a forum where a server, seeker or a devotee nurtures spiritual purpose and yearning; and explores the mysteries of life and beyond through self-enquiry. As per the terminology used in cardinal philosophy, the acronym for Self Enquiry Life Fellowship denotes the consciousness or the immortal conscious entity as in Self-realization.

The lineages of adepts, teachers, initiates, volunteers and the fellowship of seekers and devotees who serve this nonprofit platform make up the Hansavedas sangha. Outreach programmes are sustained solely by the participation and support of the spiritual, professional and academic communities. Grassroots volunteers and supporters bring to fruition exemplary projects embracing our vision. The Hansavedas fellowship welcomes you to explore, enquire, experience and get enlightened.




Host of Colourful Possibilities

Philosophical description of name and logo

Hansavedas
Self-realized being who is the knower of consciousness and beholds resplendent wisdom.

Hansah Śuchişad
Sanskrit motto at the bottom of the logo – That consciousness ever manifest beyond time and space is free like the Sun, permeating and lighting all worlds.

Logo Colours. The logo evokes the vision of the coruscating golden Sun solitarily rising in the clear blue skies, melting the clouds away and leaving behind an aurora of resplendent colours on the horizon. The Sun is the light of the soul, self-lit on its own amidst the vastness of blue that symbolizes the expanse of the mind. The colour logo is based on the two primary colours of gold and sky-blue with two secondary colours of crimson-red and white.

Personification. The name Hansavedas personifies that Self-realized being (symbolized as a swan or hansa), who is the knower of consciousness, always self-reposed in highest wisdom and also reveals the Veda in the form of a hansa. The motto of the organization in Sanskrit “Hansah Śuchişad” means “That Self-realized conscious entity, which is the supreme swan ever manifest beyond time and space and free like the Sun, permeates and lights all worlds.” Thus, while the logo with its colours and shapes represents the divine persona of Hansavedas, its expression symbolizes the spiritual aspirations of mindful servers, seekers and devotees. It is urging us to let our spiritual life take lotus-like roots, expressing sublime beauty while remaining detached from the murky world, ready to take off at any moment bearing the flight of the swan and thus merging into the essence of being.

White. The white swan is agile even while reposed on a red lotus in full blossom. The white colour represents spiritual purity and is also symbolic of merging. A highly realized soul is identified in Sanskrit scriptures as the Paramahansa or literally, “the great swan.” The white swan is fabled to be astutely discriminating while absorbing only the essence, as in merely drinking the milk even when mixed with water. Ready to fly gracefully and float effortlessly, it is able to merge into the being-ness of all. In this logo, the swan also symbolizes the Shiva characteristic or the auspicious aspect.

Red. The red lotus represents abundance and beatific expression of creation. Metaphorically, it hints at continuity and sustenance, as the lotus is known to regenerate and multiply. The nine upward petals and nine downward petals, totalling eighteen, are symbolic of victory or exalted spirit. The colour red also symbolizes fertility in its nubile expression, awaiting manifestation of the plenitude in nature. The lotus is also known to be the seat of individual subtle beings of the divine abodes. Born from the murky depths of the pond, the lotus embraces the soothing Moon and the refulgence of the Sun; it is steeped in love without even leaving its place. A chalice opens up to gather the shining glory, trickling tiny water pearls of grace from its abode when the stem dances to the rhythm of the divine. In all of this, the water does not wet the lotus leaf; the mud does not dirty the stem; wind does not wither the beauty of the lotus bloom. The lotus remains unfettered by its surroundings. Firm in the face of a storm and yet tender and humble by its bending, a lotus does not even get wet by the water it lives in. In this logo, the lotus is also symbolic of the Vishnu characteristic or the thriving palpable aspect.

Gold. The rising golden sun represents self-refulgence and the light of knowledge. Here, the colour gold also represents the tangible. It symbolizes the most precious metal among cultivated wealth. It is a symbol of purity. It glorifies a heritage and indicates old wealth, as in ancient treasure. Gold is the treasure trove of legacy, our precious precipitated wealth. It is hard as well as soft, solid as well as flexible. It symbolizes divine motherhood and her radiance. The golden yellow hue represents resplendence.

Blue. Below the lotus, the blue represents the intangible. Blue is the depth of yonder and the unknown, as in the blue of the limitless sky. This colour symbolizes the mystery of yonder. The blue of the water portrays divine love and subtle feelings. The word blue is also used to measure human excellence in entrepreneurship and investment. From deep space, Mother Earth looks blue, and hence is often called the Blue Planet. Here, blue beholds the tangible in its own intangible abode.

Black. The looping black serpentine border with five hoods symbolizes the cosmic link that ties in the visible part of our world with the invisible parts. Aptly called in Sanskrit as Ādiśeṣa< or the end looping into the beginning, it also symbolizes the cyclicity of time.

Heart. The ellipsoid lingam encapsulating the swan and the lotus is representative of the emerging form in the formless, just about to reveal the duality of creation but retaining the expansive mind amidst tangible creative expressions. Furthermore, the lingam depicts the causal body or the subtle heart in its shape; symmetrical along the axes and shaped like a grape. The imaginary outline connecting the names and motto surrounds the lingam, forming a pitcher – a pot filled with divine nectar imbibing an elixir of knowledge and steeped in love. Even though the gold colour represents the tangible and precipitated aspects, it is shown radiating in the rising Sun and its aura. The blue colour, otherwise representing the intangible and the vastness of mind, is captured in the water below. Thus the placement of colours with respect to the degrees of tangibility is switched. This reverse juxtaposition metaphorically expresses the symbiosis of the dual expression of the unified spirit of being, knowing and love.




Governing Volunteer Team

Advisors from the Monastic Council
His Holiness Swami Sharadananda
His Holiness Swami Atmananda
His Holiness Swami Samsuddhananda
His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda

Nun in the West
Sadhvi Girija

Head of Mission and President
His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda

Board of Directors
Kavita Advani (Secretary)
Radhika Pathy (Treasurer)
Bidlur Shivaprakash
Lisa Faiman

Officers
Aparna Mathur (Asst. Secretary)

Ambassadors
Deviprasad Rungta
Manish Rungta
Susan Jay
Carmen Joy
Robert Boustany