(Mahamandaleshwara) Swami Veda Bharati
Disciple of Swami Rama of the Himalayas
Founder and Spiritual Guide of the Association of Himalayan Yoga Meditation Societies International (AHYMSIN)
- He taught Patañjali’s Yoga-sūtras for the first time at the early age of 9.
- Impressed by his extraordinary scholarship at the early age of 13-14, several prominent scholars published articles in praise of him and that started his career as a travelling lecturer. He was known for his competency to lecture instantly, without prior notice, on any mantra of the four Vedas. At that age, he lectured extensively in colleges and universities. In North India, thousands of people attended his lectures.
- Since February, 1947, he has been travelling and promulgating Yogic and Vedic knowledge in numerous countries.
- He has access to 17 languages with varying degrees of fluency. He leads students into a meditative avenue in their own languages, such as Spanish, Italian, and French. He learned Italian in one night by fusing the language with the yoga-nidrā state. His expertise in philosophical and meditative traditions of the world enables him to instruct students in accordance with their own religio-philosophical background.
- He guides yoga and meditation groups in 30 countries from all continents. It is not unusual for him to settle up to a hundred thousand meditators into meditation within a few minutes.
- Scholars of yoga philosophy all over the world esteem his two-volume 1300 pages comprehensive commentary on the first two chapters of Patañjali’s Yoga-sūtras. Some scholars equate him with Vijñāna-bhikshu, a famous Vedantic-Yogi commentator on the Yoga-sūtras in the 16th century.
- He acquired his academic degrees [B.A. (Honors) (London), M.A. (London), Dr.Litt. (Holland), F.R.A.S.] in merely two years (1965-1967). Never having been taught in formal schooling, his knowledge has come intuitively.He held the post of Sanskrit Professor at the University of Minnesota, USA, and in 1969, was awarded the Distinguished Teacher Award. As a research guide, he has guided many scholars in their research in numerous fields. He serves now as Chancellor of HIHT University Dehradun, India.
- Writing in both prose and poetry, he has 13 books and 30 booklets to his credit. He has produced more than 3000 hours of audio recordings on all aspects of spiritual life and philosophy. In addition, various magazines have published articles written by him.
- In 1969, he was initiated into the subtlest state of mediation by his teacher, Swami Rama of the Himalayas. That same year he founded The Meditation Center in Minneapolis (http://www.themeditationcenter.org/jnana/), USA.
- In late 1981, he was appointed as the head of the Swami Rama's Ashram, Sadhana Mandir, his guru’s seat, in Rishikesh, India. Since his master’s maha-samadhi in November 1996, he has continued to touch the hearts and minds of thousands of aspirants by leading them into deep meditation.
- Before taking sannyas in 1992, Swami Veda Bharati was known as Pandit Usharbudh Arya.
- In recent years he has been deeply involved in the study of the neurophysiology of meditative states in a number of highly recognized research laboratories in several continents. He has demonstrated his capability for changing brain wave patterns in various meditative states as well as the power of the mind over external matter, for example, through his concentration making a random numbers producing machine produce coherent numbers. Such experiments have taken place in laboratories such as those at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (founded by the astronaut Edgar Mitchel) in California and at Bremen University in Germany. In one experiment at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, he demonstrated deflecting photon beams in an interferometer (placed in a soundproof Faraday Chamber with a one foot thick steel wall between the machine and the experimenters) through the concentration of mind; the result obtained statistically showed a chance of one one billion one million to one. See the publication Yogi in the Lab. He also directs a small laboratory at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama in Rishikesh, India, to study beneficial changes in brain wave patterns during various states of yoga meditation practices.
- Following on the footsteps of his Master, he has maintained a keen interest in the scientific, medical, and therapeutic studies of yoga mediation.
- In 2002, he founded Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama in Rishikesh, which houses the headquarters of the Association of Himalayan Yoga Meditation Societies International (AHYMSIN) and serves as a centre for his global network, as well as Swami Rama Dhyana Gurukulam, also known as Swami Rama Institute of Meditation and Interfaith Studies, under the auspices of Dhyana Mandiram Trust.
- He has participated in numerous interfaith dialogues, activities, and conferences throughout his entire public speaking and teaching career. He has found the experience of meditation to be the common ground among all religions. Prepared on the occasion of the 2000 World Peace Summit of Leaders in Religion and Spirituality at the United Nations, his short work, "Unifying Streams in Religions," provides a fresh perspective for bringing the different faiths closer together.
- In 1999, he was consecrated to the position of Maha-mandaleshvara in the Niranjani Akhara of the Swami Order presided over by the Acharya Maha-mandaleshvara Shri 108 Swami Punyanandaji Maharaj. A person called Mahamandaleshwar has been elevated by his peers to the highest level of traditional spiritual guardianship.
- With all of the above undertakings, he has also maintained a life of giving charitable assistance to the needy in various ways.
- In addition to being the founder-spiritual guide of the Association of Himalayan Yoga Meditation Socieities International (AHYMSIN) and Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, he holds the positions of president and preceptor of Swami Rama’s Ashram, Sadhana Mandir, and spiritual guide to the Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust.
- He has been interviewed many times by such media as BBC and CNN(Asia).
- The entire month of February 2007 was devoted by his students and disciples worldwide to celebrate his 60 years of teaching and lecturing throughout the world. Delegates from all continents gathered at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, Rishikesh, to felicitate him in a series of conferences and cultural-philosophical events.
- A few of the places where he has lectured or participated in conferences include :
(A) Numerous universities and colleges, Churches, conferences of interfaith leaders in India, Europe and USA, as well as such prestigious institutions as Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan in London and Bangalore, Nehru Centre in London, Kaivalya Dham at Lonavla, India – and so forth.
(B) Numerous conferences of the European Yoga Union, as well as national yoga unions in Europe,
(C) Dag Hammerskold Hall of the United Nations (conferences of the World Council of Religious Leaders),
(D) World Parliament of Religions, Cape Town (2000), and Barcelona, Spain (2004).
(E) Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre,
(F) Site of Plato’s Academy in Athens, Greece,
(G) Delegation of the World Council of Religious Leaders visiting Israel-Palestine 2004,
(H)Yoga Conference on bringing together African and Indian Spirituality, sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and the Foreign Ministry, Burkina Faso (French West Africa), 2002,
(I) Congregational dialogue with Bishop Otis at the Episcopalian Cathedral in Salt Lake City, Utah,
(J) Dialogue (2005) with the Taoist guides at the Chinese Taoist Association Headquarters in Beijing and with the director of China Taoism at the Seat where Lao Tzu had taught,
(K) Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Chicago,
(L) World Trade Centre, Rotterdam, Holland,
(M) Commonwealth Club, San Francisco,
(N) Institute of Noetic Sciences, California,
(O) Industrial Society Group, London,
(P) UNESCO Institute of Hydraulic Engineering, Delft, Holland,
(Q) Many conferences of leaders in improving understanding among various religions,