David Frawley

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Fast Facts
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Pandit Vamadeva Shastri, Dr. David Frawley
Spiritual Teacher
Sanatan Dharma, Scientific Spirituality,Vedanta, Vedic Astrology
Main Countries of Activity: 
USA, India
Date of Birth: 
Place of Birth: 
La Crosse, Wisconsin, United States
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
Ancestor Gurus: 


David Frawley is an author on Hinduism, Yoga and Ayurveda, and the founder and director of the American Institute for Vedic Studies in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which offers courses on Yoga philosophy, Ayurveda, and Hindu astrology. He is also a Professor of Vedic Astrology and Ayurveda at the International Vedic Hindu University). He is a Vaidya (Ayurvedic doctor), and a Jyotishi (Vedic astrologer).

Frawley was born in 1950 into a Catholic family in La Crosse, Wisconsin, United States. He was the second of ten children: the first and he and another were boys, the rest girls. He attended a Catholic school until he was about ten years old. After that he and his family moved to Denver, Colorado.

As an American Hindu, Frawley is one of the few Westerners to be recognized by a major Hindu sect in India as a Vedacharya or teacher of the ancient wisdom.

In 2000, his book How I Became a Hindu, details his own spiritual journey from his earlier Catholic upbringing to finally embracing Hinduism as his religion.

He had first contact with Hindu writings about 1970 and after that got more interested in the Vedas
He learned Sanskrit from a Sanskrit grammar and a copy of the Vedas: as a result he learned Sanskrit the difficult way (Vedic first).

Frawley founded and is the director of the American Institute for Vedic Studies in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Through his institute, he offers courses on Yoga philosophy, Hindu astrology (jyotisha), and Ayurveda. In addition to directing his institute, he conducts major lecture tours in India every year, delivering talks at universities, Hindu conferences, and to the general public.

In 1991, under the auspices of the Hindu teacher Avadhuta Shastri, he was named Vamadeva Shastri (वामदेव शास्‍त्री), after the great Vedic rishi Vamadeva.

"Vamadeva was one of the first Americans to receive Jyotish Kovid title from the Indian Council of Astrological Sciences (ICAS, 1993), the largest Vedic astrology association in the world,"

In 1995, he was given the title of Pandit along with the Brahmachari Vishwanathji award in Mumbai for his knowledge of the Vedic teaching.

In 1996 he received the Brahmachari Vishwanathji Award in Mumbai: this recognized him a Pandit and Dharmacharya.



"Vamadeva [Dr. David Frawley's chosen name] sees his role as helping to revive Vedic knowledge in an interdisciplinary approach for the planetary age. He sees himself as a teacher and translator to help empower people to use Vedic systems to enhance their lives and aid in their own Self-realization. He sees Vedic wisdom as a tool for liberation of the spirit, not as a dogma to bind people or to take power over them. Vedic knowledge is a means of communing with the conscious universe and learning to embody it in our own life and perception."

Frawley says, "True religion, whether it predominates in the Eastern or Western parts of the world, is not a matter of geography... Why should it be a problem for us if anyone finds spiritual benefit from a teaching that arises outside of their given cultural context?"... Before we think that we are Westerners or Easterners, we should know that we are human beings. "Identity is something that we are going to lose anyway."