Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati

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Fast Facts
Other Names and Nicknames: 
swamij, Dandi Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
Spiritual Teacher
Shakti, Yoga, Vedanta, Internal Tantra
Main Countries of Activity: 
India, USA
Date of Birth: 
Place of Birth: 
Ohio, USA
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
Ancestor Gurus: 


Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati was born in 1948 in Ohio, USA, spent most of his youth in Florida, and later lived in several other states, including California, Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Texas. His education includes a BS in Management from Florida State University and an MA in Consciousness, with emphasis in Transpersonal Psychology from John F. Kennedy University, in California. He previously worked in advertising, retail store management, counseling and psychiatric social work. He was never married and has no children.

Spontaneously practicing meditation and other yogic practices from early childhood, Swami Jnaneshvara has been a student of the Himalayan Tradition of yoga meditation since 1986 when initiated in meditation by Swami Rama (10 years to the day prior to Swami Rama leaving the body). Several months later he met Pandit Usharbudh Arya, through whom supplemental training was given from time to time during the next few years. Swami Jnaneshvara was given novice monastic initiation in 1990, was ordained as a monk (swami) of the Himalayan tradition and the order of Shankaracharya in 1993 by Swami Rama, and was given one of the highest yogic initiations of direct experience in 1996, with final teachings and instructions being imparted shortly before Swami Rama left the body in November, 1996.

In 1998 and 1999 Swami Jnaneshvara received training, practices and grace from the venerated sage Naga Swami Hanuman Giri at the cave hermitages in the high Himalayas beyond Badrinath and Mana (He left the body in 2002). In 1999, initiation as Dandi Swami (a most honorific swami initiation in the Shankara tradition, in which a Danda, or staff is bestowed) was given at the bank of the Ganges in Haridwar, India by a highly revered Acharya (teacher) of Dandi Swamis, Acharya Dandi Swami Indradev Ashram. In 2000, the sage Vratti Baba of Kalimath, Himalayas passed on his initiatory transmissions at the time of his dropping the body (Vratti Baba was a long time friend and spiritual brother of Swami Rama). Swami Jnaneshvara has also been invited to be initiated as Mahamandaleshwar, said to be one of the highest leadership posts within the swami orders. The invitation has been respectfully declined so as to remain focused on the service work at hand.

In 1994 Swami Rama asked Swami Jnaneshvara to remain in his Rishikesh, India ashram, saying it should be home for intensified practices and teaching. In 1995 Swami Rama said he wanted an ongoing, 12-month per year Residential Program in his ashram, directing Swami Jnaneshvara to teach in that program. The Residential Program was created over ensuing months and emphasized Swami Rama's teachings, with the program itself starting in 1996.

After Swami Rama left the body in 1996, there were intense institutional politics and Swami Jnaneshvara moved out of Swami Rama's Rishikesh ashram in 2001, returning to the US.

In 2007 the trustees of Swami Rama's Rishikesh ashram have started to reorganize the ashram programs. Swami Jnaneshvara has accepted the 2007 invitation of the trustees to be on faculty of the new programs, and has once again started teaching at the ashram.

While Swami Rama named no single successor of the lineage, Swami Jnaneshvara is one of those whom Swami Rama empowered as a conduit of the teachings of this over 5,000 year old tradition. Inspired by the goal of providing the ancient wisdom and practices in what Swami Rama has called the "simplest manner possible," Swami Jnaneshvara provides spiritual counseling and teaches practical aspects of Meditation, Yoga, Vedanta, and internal Tantra from his home base in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA, while holding in heart his spiritual home of the Himalayas. As instructed by the Himalayan masters, he teaches from direct experience, teaching orally and by transmission.

Our tradition is a shakti tradition and the bestowing of shakti (shaktipata) occurs along the way in the journey of sadhana, especially as it removes the final barrier leading to the realization of the Self. Although Swami Rama left no single successor and no single possessor of shakti, that shaktipata by (and of) the tradition operates through Swami Jnaneshvara and others. It is grace of formless guru that determines when and under what circumstances that gift of grace comes.


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