It has been over hundred twenty years since Vivekanand address the World Religion conference on 15th September 1893 , in Chicago with his unique salutation of ‘Brothers & Sisters of America’. That one address was a landmark in official recognition of Indian spirituality in modern era. Indian spirituality was known even before that an had influx of wise men coming to India, over the long period of time in history.
Throughout the history elite group of learned people across globe have been deeply inspired by Indian philosophy and thinking. Vivekanada’s visit to America and later on Yogananda’s visit to US and his world famous book ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ has been instrumental in bringing people closer to Indian spirituality. In more recent times, Srila Prabhupada’s Bhakti movement in West has brought many spiritual seekers to India.
Neem Karoli Baba has world wide renowned and famous personalities like Julia Roberts,Steve Jobs & Mark Zuckerberg consider him as a great yogi & Guru.
The wider reach of these Saints and Philosophers has been face of Indian spirituality in western world.
However more recently trend to travel has taken the return route, Inspired by the various Indian spiritual masters and the books on Indian Philosophy, many spiritual seekers came to Indian in search of spirituality. Some of them were travelers, tourists and few other were more serious and chose the ultimate path of total renunciation and took Sanyasa and became monks of high order. Deeply immersed in their drive for spiritual quest nothing could bar them from being one with their spiritual motherland India.
They didn’t know the local language, they we rot ware of the customs not had any means to make any earning yet they left their cozy and affluent western lives and became true children of Mother India.
We have tried to cover few ascetics here of western origin here with the links to their webpages(if it is available).
Acharya Mangalananda is from San Diego, California . He lives in Novato, California . He is currently a teacher in a school at Omkareshwar.
Acharya Mangalanada says about himself thus on his Facebook page (public info ):
“Where is the “self” to write anything about? Does anything exist separate from Ma?
I am an American living in India for many years. I teach in our ashram village school, and I travel three months a year in Europe and US singing concerts and giving classes to raise money for our school. I love people and see all as forms of Ma. I worship the Divine Mother and try to see Her in all forms. I mix freely with all and am everyone’s friend.
I am a direct disciple of Sri Anandamayi Ma, and received mantra diksha from Ma, traveling all over north India with Her.”
Mangalananda is the author of ‘OM MA: Anandamayi Ma’, a short life sketch of one of the twentieth century’s greatest saints. The book contains never before published stories, including the author’s own memories of his time with Ma.
Acharya Mangalananda also performs Bhajans and spiritual meetings along with his group in India and abroad.
Hi Website is : http://mangalananda.org/
Radhanath Swami was born Richard Slavin in Chicago in the year 1950. He was drawn to spirituality from his very early childhood. He preferred to sit on ground while eating adn had strong aversion to non vegetarian food, which he claims were the seeds of karma from his previous births. He grew fond of hippy culture in his young age of sixties and went to a tour of Europe which his hippie friend. He landed up in Greece finally, where while meditating in cave on sea shore he heard his inner voice to go to India. He traveled to India via famous hippie route ta that time via Turkey, Iran, Afganistan, Pakistan to India. He met met many great spiritual master in his journey through India and detailed all these experiences in his book title ” Journey Home”.
He eventually found his Guru Srila Prabhupada and took diksha from Him. He became Sanyasi later on and was conferred Title of Swami and received his monastic name Radhanath. He is addressed as Radhanath Swami now and currently lives in Mumbai.
His website is::
Swami Bodhichitananda Saraswati :
Swami Bodhichitananda Saraswati is from North Carolina from United states and studied Architecture from North carolina university. He has been a member of Swami Sivananda – Divine Life Society , He is Kriya Yogi who has lived in the Indian Himalayas since 1991.
He received monastic vows from the Self-Realization Fellowship, founded by Paramahansa Yogananda in California, and from Sri Swami Chidananda Saraswati, Rishikesh, in 1999.
He was a personal assistant to Swami Chidananda, and had many roles at the Divine Life Society.
His Kriya Yoga Guru is a Himalayan Yogi, Swami Jnanananda Giri, who walked to India in 1952 after reading Autobiography of a Yogi.
Swami Bodhichitananda primarily teaches Kriya Yoga of Babaji, Integral and Evolutionary Spirituality.
His 35 years of yoga experience gives him much inner knowledge that he shares in a simple and joyful with all students.
Swamiji is a lifelong student of the Great Saints, Yogis and Holy Men of all spiritual traditions; always learning, not an expert. His special interests and teaching skills are in Kriya Yoga, both from the tradition of Paramahansa Yogananda and H.H. Swami Sivananda, especially Raja Yoga, as well as all traditional Yogic knowledge and practice coming from Swami Sivananda and the Yogic traditions of India.
By invitations from spiritual communities, ashrams, yoga centers, individuals, etc., Swami Bodhichitananda tours during the Indian summer monsoons in Europe & sometimes the USA, conducting meditation retreats, spiritual discourses, etc.
He is founder of the Himalayan Yogi’s Ashram, Rishikesh.
Its mission as an ashram and spiritual retreat is to promote Indian spiritual knowledge and culture, embrace all religions and saints of the world, and for a means to gain direct knowledge and experience of Truth.
His website is : http://www.himalayanyogis.org
Baba Rampuri :
Baba Rampuri, born William A. Gans (July 14, 1950), is an American born Sadhu. He is one of the first westerners to become a Naga Sadhu and was initiated into Sanyas in 1970. He also wrote a book about his expereinec adn journey to become a Sadhu and his sanyasi life in the book titled as ‘Autobiography of a Sadhu: A Journey into Mystic India’ originally published in 2005 as Baba: Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Yogi, which has also been translated into German, Russian, Czech, Croatian, and Serbian. He was initiated as Naga Sannyasis after traveling to India on a spiritual quest from his native California in 1969, at the age of 18.
Baba Rampuri is currently Mahant at Shri Panch Dashnam June Akhara.
His website is : https://rampuri.com/
Swami Atmalokananda has manged activities at Vivekananda Monastery 1983 Belur Math served Vireshwarananda. He is fromChicago , Illinois and lives in Michigan
….More shortly on him
- Yogi Baba Prem
- Swami Shankardev Saraswati
- Swami Pranavananda
- Swamini Tapasyananda
- Ma Nithya Brahmanjnana
- Nandikara Kaula
- Parama Karuna Devi
- Ma Durgananda
- Swami Swarupananda- James-E-de-Jarnette
- Bhaktananda Yogi
- Arvinda Mcclean
- Lakshmi nath
- Kalindi Devi
- Maha Bhakti Brahmi (Caro Chioli)
- Nayaswami Premdas
All of them are actively following Indian spiritual system and have become more Indian than we might have expected from any foreigner. The list is only a small fraction of the growing number of foreigners seeking the blessings of spiritual heritage of Mother India.