If there had to be a two word biography of me, it would be – I am
3Gs have dominated my life – Guru, Grace and Gratitude.
....Me and the journey so far ...
I am Swamini Brahmaprajnananda Saraswati (everyone calls me Swamini ji), a traditional Hindu monk and a contemporary teacher of Advaita Vedanta (knowledge of non duality/oneness). My greatest blessing was to be a student-disciple of H.H. Sri Swami Dayananda Saraswati ji (1930-2015), acknowledged as the greatest guru of Advaita Vedanta of his time. I am not an old monk :). I received diksha, initiation into monkhood (Shankara bhagavatpada order of Dasanamis) from my guru on the banks of the Ganga, in India at the age of 40.
I have dedicated my life to sharing the ancient Vedic teachings of oneness and dharma as my contribution to my gurus and to whoever is seeking. That's part of the reason I am on Udemy as well.
Currently I have teaching programs of Vedanta, Sanskrit and Vedic chanting for different groups in Mumbai, India and to students online, across the world. I also co-conduct Vedanta retreats in different parts of India and Brazil. I have a podcast called River of Wisdom which is a gentle glide into different topics of harmony and oneness and can be accessed through the website in the section - Listen
My strength in the form of blessings from my gurus lies in unfolding the vision of Vedanta, not as a theory for practice, but a pramana, a valid means of knowledge. It is a vision that transforms your life. It certainly did, mine.
My teaching style seamlessly flows from areas of self growth to self discovery of the vision of oneness. I draw from the well of insights into the human nature as unfolded by the Upanishads also aided by being a former psychologist as well as my rich and varied experiences of life. I do therapeutic work with those who need it. Some of my other programs include programs for children on the spiritual heritage of India and leadership programmes for the youth. I uphold mutual respect and recognise all religions to be valid, neither one superior nor the other inferior and incorporate this into my inter religious dialogue practice.
A chance attending of a workshop by Swami Brahmavidananda ji in 1998 led me to commit to attending his Vedanta classes in Mumbai. For more than twelve years, I studied part time with Swami Brahmavidananda ji, alongside work. Disillusioned by the limiting framework of modern psychology, I found that Vedanta began where psychology ended. In psychology there was no solution to the human problem. in Vedanta, there is no problem.
Born and raised in Mumbai in a middle class family, I was able to resume my abandoned quest of childhood of burning questions about God, suffering, nature of life etc, due to Swami Brahmavidananda ji’s grace and crystal clear clarity. I was blessed to meet Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati ji in 1999 and through meetings, retreats and camps resolved to commit to full time study. When the opportunity presented itself to study directly with him, the ‘guru of gurus’ I did not look back. Quit my career as the full time intensive residential course for 31/2 years in Vedanta and Sanskrit beckoned, in Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, Coimbatore, 2010. Was blessed to learn with Swami Sakshatkrtanananda ji too.
Prior to taking to a life in the ashram for full time study, I was academically trained as a psychologist and counselor M.A,1996 and M.Phil (Psychology) 2001. Seeing the suffering of many clients and many street children as well as a humbling gratitude of my own life, I visioned my life to be a life of contribution to society and particularly to India. I worked professionally in many capacities for fifteen years and last served as the Country head of Railway Children, an international organisation for street children impacting 15000 children every year. In recognition of my work, the Maharashtra state Government invited me to be a judge on the 3 member Juvenile Justice Board of Mumbai for justice for child offenders. Additionally, I served as the Visiting faculty of SNDT University, Department of Psychology for more than fourteen years and continue to teach the Masters students, the paper on Counselling and Therapy. Additionally, I have been involved with contributing to revival of Indian thought in psychology and has presented a few papers in conferences on Indian psychology.
It has been a journey of grace because of the depth and wisdom of my gurus for which I will always be grateful and serve the tradition by my humble offerings, which includes this course.
May all beings be happy. Om.