Swami Ritavan Bharati has lived a life dedicated to serving H.H. Swami Rama of the Himalayas and Swami Veda Bharati since 1970. By way of the blessings bestowed following the maha-samadhi of Swami Veda, he now serves as the Spiritual Guide of AHYMSIN (Association of Himalayan Yoga Meditation Societies International), and Ashrama Pramukha and Spiritual Director of Sadhaka Grama (SRSG) in Rishikesh, India.
Born Daniel Richey, in 1970 he joined the Dhyana-Mandiram (The Meditation Center), which was founded by Dr. Usharbudh Arya (who later became Swami Veda Bharati) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Since then, he remained in spiritual life in a steadfast manner.
Daniel Richey married, and after the Vedic Wedding by Dr. Arya, he and his wife continued to assist at The Meditation Center, and then departed for the Himalayan Institute in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, USA, which was founded by H.H. Swami Rama of the Himalayas. Along with completing the Eastern Studies Program, they worked and participated actively in the ashram community, where their three children, among the other faculty’s children, were known as “Baba’s Kids”.
He later returned to Minneapolis to teach and manage The Meditation Center, and his travels to India became more frequent.
In 1995, he received the sacred thread, the title of Pandit and the name Pandit Ananta by Swami Veda Bharati.
He holds master’s degrees in management, in education and in holistic philosophy and many certifications including Yoga Alliance certified E-RYT-500.
He has taught the practices of the Lineage throughout North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Southeast Asia and has been instrumental in guiding the international Himalayan Yoga Teacher – Teacher Training Program (HYT-TTP) and in training numerous yoga teachers.
By the grace of Swami Rama of the Himalayas and with Swami Veda Bharati acting as initiator, he was conferred the monastic vows of sanyasa (swami) in 2007 and given the name Swami Ritavan Bharati.
In 2008, he was made a mantra initiator.
Swami Veda Bharati took his Mahasamadhi 14 July 2015 and wrote in his will that Swami Ritavan Bharati will hold the title of “Ashrama-pramukha” and shall hold the position of the head of Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, and of a spiritual guide to all organisations and institutions in which he has held this position.
Swami Ritavan now resides in India at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG) giving attention to spiritual life.
Swami Ritavan is gifted in guiding and conducting silence and meditation retreats within the cultures of each region. A man of few words, his primary focus is on the inner life.
He has written, “As many tears poured forth as did mantras from this dharma-megha, this cloud of yearning. Knowing intimately only these two luminaries of the Tradition, nothing more was needed. They reminded me again and again, becoming a billionaire in this life was easy, just remember God’s name in each of the millions of moments, God’s bank-vault continually opened as a single stream of bountiful awareness. Mantra(s) have been my constant companion. And, now upon entering Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama we are all reminded of those blessed words from Gurudeva to contemplate: ‘Serve, Love, Remember.’”