Swami Shankarananda

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Fast Facts
Siddha Yoga, Kundalini, Shaktipat
Main Countries of Activity: 
India, Australia
Date of Birth: 
Place of Birth: 
New York,USA
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 


Swami Shankarananda is an American-born guru, author and founder of the Shiva Ashram in Australia. He is also a spokesperson for Hinduism in Interfaith dialogue.


Born in New York in 1942, he taught English Literature at Indiana University. In 1970, a decisive encounter with the American yogi Ram Dass inspired him to go to India where he met his guru, Swami Muktananda Paramahamsa, the disciple of Bhagawan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri.[1].

In 1974 he was initiated by his guru to awaken people spiritually through touch (the awakening of spiritual energy by shaktipat diksha). Since that time, he has headed ashrams in Ann Arbor, Los Angeles, New York and Melbourne, Australia.

In 1977, at the request of his guru, he was initiated into the Saraswati order of monks by Mahamandaleshwar Swami Brahmananda.

In 1991 he founded the Shiva School of Meditation and Yoga in Melbourne, establishing a residential ashram[2] on the Mornington Peninsula.

[edit] Work

Swami Shankarananda is a prominent spiritual teacher in Australia. He often features in newspaper articles[3] and has appeared on national radio[4]. As a spokesperson for Interfaith in Australia he actively promotes Interfaith Dialogue and regularly participates in Interfaith conferences and symposia [5][6]. He is also the Hindu representative on the advisory board of the Asia Pacific Centre for Interreligious Dialogue. In public forums and appearances he emphasises practical methods such as Meditation and Self-inquiry for developing Self awareness and understanding in everyday life.

Swami Shankarananda's teaching emphasises Kashmir Shaivism which he calls a "philosophy of Consciousness", especially its transformative practice sadhana, and the awakening of kundalini[7].

Swami Shankarananda is the author of six books. Two important ones are: Happy for no Good Reason, an introductory guide to meditation, and Consciousness is Everything: The yoga of Kashmir Shaivism. The latter book focuses on the philosophy and practice of Kashmir Shaivism. The noted scholar Georg Feuerstein said in his review of it:

Swami Shankarananda has succeeded in making Kashmir's Shaiva Yoga come alive in these pages and I consider this work the best introduction to that tradition so far[8]

Swamiji has developed a method of Self-inquiry called the Shiva Process, which is based on his own practice and the techniques of Kashmir Shaivism. A book describing this method titled Self-Inquiry was published in January 2008.

In recognition of his international work in spreading the Sanatana Dharma, in early 2007 Swamiji was invested as a Mahant (spiritual leader) in a formal ceremony that took place in Haridwar, India. His official title is Sri Mahant 1008 Swami Shankarananda Saraswati of the Panch Agni Akhada.


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