If there had to be a two word biography of Swamini, it would be – I am
If that is too brief then glimpses of her journey follow –
Swamini Brahmaprajnananda Saraswati is a student-disciple of H.H. Sri Swami Dayananda Saraswati ji (1930-2015), acknowledged as the greatest teacher of Advaita Vedanta of his time. In keeping with the tradition, Swamini is a traditional and contemporary teacher of Advaita Vedanta. A Daśanami sannyāsini (monk) of Sankara Bhagavatpāda order, belonging to Niranjan Akhāda, Sringeri Matha, she received diksha, initiation from Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati ji on the banks of the Ganga.
Swamini-ji has dedicated her life to sharing the ancient Vedic teachings of oneness and dharma as her contribution to her gurus and to whoever is seeking.
Currently she has teaching programs of Vedanta, Sanskrit and Vedic chanting for different groups in Mumbai, India and for people online, across the world. Swamini-ji co-conducts Vedanta retreats in different parts of India and Brazil.
She is the first Hindu monk to run an online course on the ‘joy and wisdom of dharma’ on Udemy, the online learning platform. To enrol in this two hours programme which can be done at one’s own pace, please click here: https://www.udemy.com/discover-the-joy-and-wisdom-of-dharma-in-life-now/
A qualified psychologist, Swamini-ji’s teaching style seamlessly flows from areas of self growth to self discovery of the vision of oneness. Just like her gurus, she unfolds Vedanta as a means of knowledge to discover the reality of oneself. Disillusioned by the limiting framework of modern psychology, she found that Vedanta began where psychology ended. As her guru most eloquently said, ‘In psychology there is no solution to the human problem. In Vedanta, there is no problem.’
She does therapeutic work with those who need it. Some of her other programs include programs for children on the spiritual heritage of India and leadership programmes for the youth. In her inter religious dialogue practice, she upholds mutual respect and recognises all religions to be valid, neither one superior nor the other inferior.
She ran a popular facebook group ‘Arsha Vidya Parampara’ now called ‘The teaching of Vishnu Sahasranama’ from April 2015-17 which featured the teachings of Viṣṇu Sahasranāma (1000 words in praise of glory of Bhagavān Vishnu based on Pujya Swami Dayananda ji’s teaching.)
In her words, ” 3Gs have dominated my life – Guru, Grace and Gratitude.’
Born and raised in Mumbai in a middle class family, she was able to resume her abandoned quest of childhood of burning questions about God, suffering, nature of life etc, due to a chance attending of a workshop by Swami Brahmavidananda ji. She joined his classes and was blessed to study Vedanta part time from 1998 to 2010, with him. Further blessings came her way when she met Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati ji in 1999 and attended many meetings, retreats and camps with him. When the opportunity presented itself to study directly with him, the ‘guru of gurus’ she quit her career and did not look back. She was blessed to study the Prasthānatrayi with Sankara bhāṣya and much more with Pujya Swamiji full time in an intensive full time residential course for 31/2 years in Vedanta and Sanskrit in Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, Coimbatore in the 2010 course for which Swami Sakshatkrtanananda ji was the Acarya.
Prior to taking to a life in the ashram for full time study, she was academically trained as a psychologist and counselor M.A, 1996 and M.Phil (Psychology) 2001 at SNDT University, Mumbai. Seeing the suffering of many clients and many street children as well as a humbling gratitude of her own life, she visioned her life to be a life of contribution to society and particularly to India.
She 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 more than 15000 children every year. In recognition of her work, the Maharashtra state Government invited her to be a judge on the 3 member Juvenile Justice Board of Mumbai for justice for child offenders. Additionally, she served as the Visiting faculty of SNDT University, Department of Psychology for more than fourteen years and continues to teach the Masters students, the paper on Counselling and Therapy. She has 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 her gurus thanks to which she gratefully continues to serve the tradition. Om.
Interview with Swamini about Sannyasa and life in the gurukulam