Swami's Background

Brief Life Sketch

I, Pradeep Kumar Das, was born on 2nd Nov, 1953 to Sri Lal Mohan Das and Srimati Aparna Das.

I received my early education in a Christian Convent. I was grounded in Christian Theology very early in life and grew up with a genuine love for Jesus, His sacred teachings and a profound admiration for all His miracles and His life of self-less service and self-sacrifice. The convent was part of the Missionaries of Charity of Mother Teresa. My early boyhood was spent in the company of the nuns and looked upon Mother Teresa as my best ideal.

Thereafter at the age of 11, I was admitted into a Military school where I received my grounding in physical fitness, hard discipline and a very high standard of moral and ethical values. I eventually qualified and was admitted to the prestigious National Defense Academy. During my three year stay there, I studied Science, western psychology and philosophy and became familiar with western society their ideals, values and way of life. From there I moved on to Indian Military Academy and passed out from there as a commissioned officer in Jun 1976. I was awarded the Madras Gold medal for being the best cadet in sports.

During my Academy days I became interested in Yoga and began my initial study of Indian philosophy and Science of Yoga under the guidance of H.H. Late Shri Vishwaguruji Maharaj. He had his ashram known as International Vishwaguru Meditation and Yoga Institute, Ved Niketan Dham, Swargashram, Rishikesh, India. A strong inner call forced me to relinquish my promising military career and took refuge at the feet of my Guru. I began a new life of study and service in the ashram. I engaged in a systematic study of the sacred scriptures, including the Upanishads, the epics Ramayana and Mahābhārata, Bhagavad Gītā, Yoga Sutra and additional yoga philosophical texts.

On an auspicious and holy day called "Guru Purnima" in July '85, in the midst of many devotees and followers H. H. Shri Vishwaguruji Maharaj, the Founder-president of International Vishwaguru Meditation and Yoga Institute, initiated me into the sacred order of the Hindu monks. The initiating ceremony included shaving of the head, sacred vows, bathing in the Ganga, fasting and the traditional Vedic Fire Ritual. I was given a new name. I became Swami Dharmananda Saraswati.

Vishwaguruji Maharaj attained Mahasamadhi on 26th Oct 2007. He handed over the ashram to his beloved disciple Mata Santosh Bharti, her brother Sri Karam Chand Azad and me.

I stayed in the ashram till Nov 2010. I was invited to America persistently for almost 10 years. I had initially no desire to come to America. However, in 2010 I accepted the invitation and came over. On arrival I was persuaded to stay. I felt I have a destiny to fulfill here in America and decided to stay permanently. Since 20th Nov, 2010 I am permanently staying in America.

My present address:

5412 Misty Gull Ct, Loveland, CO 80537