Dakshaji Becomes Swami Advayatmananda: Saṃnyāsa Initiation March 22, 2015


2015 - Swami Advayatmananda after initiation into saṃnyāsa by Pujya Swami Dayananda

2015 – Swami Advayatmananda after initiation into saṃnyāsa by Pujya Swami Dayananda

Daksha Chaitanya was given Saṃnyāsa-Dīkṣā – initiation into the Daśanāmī monastic order – on March 22, 2015 in Rishikesh, India by Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati.  Pujya Swamiji blessed him with the name  Swami Advayatmananda Saraswati (स्वामी अद्वयात्मानन्द सरस्वती) – “One who finds his joy and completeness in the truth of the non-dual self from which nothing is separate.”

The vows taken by a saṃnyāsī, a Hindu monk, reflect his commitment to lead a simple life of non-injury, study, teaching, and contemplation.  These vows of renunciation spring from the depths of one’s own vision of inherent inner freedom and fullness, and reveal the intention to fully express the wisdom and joy of the teachings of the ancient sages in one’s life .

The Initiation

The initiation activities span over two days, beginning the day before the main vows are taken with a shave and a purifying Gaṇgā-snānam (dip in the Ganges river).  Another trip to the Gaṇgā for changing the yajñopavīta (sacred thread) is followed by tarpanā – offering libations of water to the sages, gods, and ancestors, said to bless seven generations back.

At the yajñaśāla, the building wherein most of the rituals will take place, pūjās to Ganesha (remover of obstacles), Navagraha (the universe), and Devī (Goddess) are performed – rituals to invoke the Lord’s grace to bless our coming lives as saṃnyāsīs.  The elaborate aṣṭaśrāddha ritual was next – a ritual of final offerings of food to the departed forefathers, mothers, gods, rṣis (ancient sages), and elements.  This includes the final funeral ceremony even for oneself, since the initiate will die to his old life to be transformed anew.

Mid-morning begins the chanting of Gāyatrī mantra, followed several hours later by Gāyatrī Homa, a prayer for brilliance in one’s knowledge and teaching.  Chanting of Gāyatrī mantra and offerings into the sacred fire continue until sunrise the following day.  Morning brings the performance of the powerful Viraja Homa, a ritual to purify all aspects of one’s being in preparation for saṃnyāsa.

Finally the formal Saṃnyāsa-dīkṣā (initiation) commences in which, with sun and moon, sky and earth, sunrise and sunset,  the gods and sadhus as witnesses, all aspects of one’s previous life –  one’s ego, personal history, possessions, all small pursuits and identifications, everything in this world and the next – are renounced.  Then with an offering of water, the vow of ahiṃsā, to cause no harm to any living being is taken: Abhayaṃ sarvabhūtebhyo mattaḥ svāhā – For all living beings may there be no fear from me.

Then standing in the Gaṇgā, discarding his sacred thread and even his white clothing into the river, having abandoned all worldly aspirations, and in the spirit of total renunciation and freedom, the freshly-minted saṃnyāsī begins walking north, the north being a symbol of mokṣa, liberation.  He is ceremonially called back by fellow sādhus who offer him the traditional orange robes of a monk.  Pujya Swamiji then gives a new name which reflects one’s true nature, and the saṃnyāsa mantra.  This is followed by the performance of a pādapūjā for Pujya Swamiji to honor the guru and the lineage.

Finally the new saṃnyāsīs journey to Kalikamaliwale Annakṣetra (a Rishikesh establishment that freely feeds hundreds of sādhus a day) for bhikṣā (taking alms), dal and roti, in the same manner as Pujya Swamiji did some 50 years ago.

Sannyasa Diksha March 22, 2015

Sannyasa Diksha March 22, 2015


Read about Swami Dayananda

Read about Swami Advayatmananda


A Handful of Sanskrit Tools

A Handful of Sanskrit Tools is now available on ArshaDrishti.org.

There are many online and offline digital tools available to help those interested in reading Sanskrit.  It is best to study Sanskrit with a teacher, so the resources below are not meant to teach Sanskrit. They are simply a handful of recommended tools useful to have at your fingertips to help along the way.  Pāṇini tools will be posted separately.

Let me know what your favorite Sanskrit tools are!


Arsha Drishti Newsletter – Facebook, Twitter, and More

AD FB Header


Read the newest email newsletter sent to the Arsha Drishti Email List.  Newsletter includes class recording descriptions and links.

See the new Arsha Drishti Facebook Page.

Follow us on Twitter. 

Look For New Upcoming Classes

Bhagavad Gītā with Śaṇkarācārya’s Sanskrit commentary with reference to Bhāṣyārkaprakāśaṭīkā subcommentary

Beginning Chanting

Universal Peace Prayer (svasti prajābhyaḥ);

Teacher-Student Prayer  (sahanāvavatu)

Vision of Non-duality (pūrṇamadaḥ)

Additional Śāntipāṭhāḥ

You can up sign for the Arsha Drishti Email to keep you abreast of visiting teachers, special events, and class offerings and in the San Diego area as well as online.  It is a low volume list, and is easy to unsubscribe from if it fails to tickle your fancy.

Tattvabodha and Meditation Class Recordings Available Weekly

Audio recordings of the Thursday Tattvabodha classes and meditations will be made available on a weekly basis for downloading.   Meditations will be broken out separately from the classes themselves.  The plan is to post the Thursday evening classes on the Sunday following the class.





Swamini Atmaprakashananda Saraswati’s Southern California Visit


Southern California was recently blessed with a visit from Swamini Atmaprakashananda Saraswati.  Swaminiji studied traditional Vedanta from her teacher Pujya Swami Dayananda and is the founder of Arsha Vidya UK. While she is called to travel and teach world-wide, her primary residence is in London, England.

During her time in Southern California Swaminiji presented several very beautiful discourses in the San Clemente area.  LISTEN HERE


Swami Viditatmananda’s 2014 San Diego Discourses
Watch & Listen

Intelligent Living:
Dharma in the 21st Century
Download Audio Watch Video
Freedom From Sadness Download Audio Watch Video

Swami Viditatmananda Saraswati was warmly received by devotees and students during his recent visit to San Diego.  Nearly 150 sādhaka-s (spiritual aspirants), including a number of long-time students attended Swamiji’s talks and met with him to receive his blessings.  The display of love and respect with which he was welcomed was heartwarming, and reflects the deep value that the San Diego community has for the Vedic teachings and tradition.

Swami Viditatmananda received at San Diego Shiva Vishnu temple

Swami Viditatmananda received at San Diego Shiva Vishnu temple

Swami Viditatmananda speaking on "Freedom From Sadness" at the San Diego Unitarian Universalist Church

Swami Viditatmananda speaking on “Freedom From Sadness” at the San Diego Unitarian Universalist Church









Swamiji presented two beautiful, thought-provoking discourses, each of which was followed by an engaging question and answer session.  You can download or stream the audio or watch the videos above.

In addition, during his brief stay a pādapūjā for Swamiji was performed by a devotee at his home, and later that day another devotee offered a lovely bhikṣā at her home.  The parents of both of these devotees have been serious students of Pujya Swami Dayananda for decades, and introduced their children to Swami Viditatmananda at a very young age.  It is beautiful to now see these new parents introducing their own young children to Swamiji and exposing them to the teachings and values of Sanātana Dharma.

Swami Viditatmananda Pādapūjā Ārati by devotee in San Diego

Swami Viditatmananda pādapūjā by devotees in San Diego

San Diego Bhikṣā

Swami Viditatmananda enjoying bhikṣā in San Diego











PadaPuja 1

We would like express our deepest gratitude to Swamiji for rearranging his busy travel and teaching schedule to bless us with his gentle presence and words of wisdom to guide us along our spiritual journey.  We would also like to express our heart-felt thanks to the  hard-working volunteers, host, and venue coordinators who together helped make Swamiji’s visit such a beautiful and successful one.



Swami Viditatmananda To Visit San Diego in June 2014

Swami V SD 2014 Consolidated Flyer v2.2 PNG

Sri Swami Viditatmananda Saraswati will be visiting San Diego June 30 – July 2, 2014. Swamiji will be giving two public talks:

Intelligent Living:

Dharma in the 21st Century

Monday, June 30th
7:30  PM
Shiva Vishnu Temple
9252 Miramar Road
San Diego, California 92126
Click here for directions
 SwamiV Intelligent Living flyer SD 2014 PNG v1.1


Freedom From Sadness

Tuesday July 1st, 2014
7:30 PM
First Unitarian Universalist Church
Clark Chapel, Hillcrest Campus
298 West Arbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92103.
Campus is opposite the UCSD Medical Center.  
Validated parking.
Click here for directions
(Free-will donation accepted)

 Freedom From Sadness 1.2



Please contact Daksha@arshadrishti.org for more information.

Sri Swami Viditatmananda, a senior disciple of Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati, expounds Vedanta with a simplicity and directness that make it easy to assimilate. Having lived and worked in the United States prior to becoming a renunciate, Swami Viditatmananda is familiar with the lifestyles in India and the West. With his insight into both cultures, he reaches out to everyone with equal ease.

Swami Viditatmananda graduated in 1978 from the course taught by Pujya Swamiji in Bombay, India. Since then he has been extremely active, teaching, writing books and preparing Pujya Swamiji’s words for publication. He visits the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam in Saylorsburg PA every year during spring/summer and conducts classes.

Under the banner of Adhyatma Vidya Mandir, Swami Viditatmananda conducts various programs to disseminate the knowledge of the scriptures. He gives talks on the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita all over Gujarat, India. He also conducts management seminars with a view of showing the relevance of Vedanta in management.

Swami Viditatmananda’s TatvatirthaAshrama is situated in the western outskirts of Ahmedabad in Gujarat. As its name suggests, it is a center for learning the Tattva, i.e. the truth.