Swami Vishnudevananda Giriji Maharaj

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Fast Facts
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Other Names and Nicknames: 
Swami Vishnu Dev, Shri Vishnudevananda Giri Ji Maharaj, Shri Mahamandalishvar Maharaj, Swami Vishnu Devand, Satguru Swami Vishnu Dev
Advaita Laya Yoga, Advaita Vedanta
Main Countries of Activity: 
Russia, Europe
Date of Birth: 
Place of Birth: 
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
Other Related Gurus: 
Shri Mahayogi Pilot Baba, Swami Vishvananda, Shri Parmanandji Maharaj


Swami Vishnu Dev was born in 1967.

He had several spontaneous experience of Nirvikalpa-samadhi at the age of 9. After that his life completely changed. At the age of 15, he began to engage in yoga and east philosophy. He began to search for teachers and to practise various east doctrines. And in the beginning of 1987 he met the radical Guru — Brahmananda from Kailasa Achintiya Baba. Who was siddha, sacred yogin from the Indian State Kashmir, the follower of a way «Anupaya» (not-method), which made on him deep impression. Swami Vishnu Dev became his pupil. After this meeting he had constant contacts to the teacher in meditations, dreams. At this time he also intensively followed a way of worship Krishna.

During the next years of training he received dedication and initiations in various sadhana: Bhakti — Yoga, Jnana-Yoga, Kundalini-Yoga, Raja-Yoga and Yoga-Nidra, and also the supreme Kashmir's Yoga — Advayta-Laya Yoga. These doctrines belong to tradition Kashmir's Advayta-Vedanta and practices of Siddha-Yoga of the school «Pratyabhidjnya», self-recognition.

Reading lecture on Shrimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavat Gita some time he conducted programs in one of ISSCON's Temples. Except Swami Brahmananda, he studied at Sri Guru Swami Majtrejananda and received transfer of the teaching Anutara-Yoga-Tantra at known Tibetan lama.

About eight years he devoted to zealous studying of various accessible texts of yoga (Upanishads, Veda,Tantric Upanishads,Upadeshes,and Tantra of Buddhism and Hinduism). In particular he learnt and himself tried to translate and wrote comments on texts of Shankarachariya «Atma Bodha», «Tattva Bodha», «Viveka Chudamani», «Aparokshanubhuti», «Sri Ramana Gita», «Avadhuta Gita», «Uddhava Gita», «Kularnava Tantra», «Amrita Bindu Upanishad», «Yoga-Tattva Upanishad», «Ushvasya Upanishad», «Yoga Kundalya Upanishad», «Vijnana Bhairava Tantra», «Maha Nirvana Tantra».

From initial Buddhist texts he especially studied in detail: «Vadjra Chhedika Pradjnya Paramita Sutra», «Shurangama Sutra», «Ratnakuta Sutra», «Satipatthana Sutra», «Pradjnya Paramita Hridaya Sutra», «Vishuddhi Marga», «Vimalakirti Nirdesha Sutra». In a consequence he studied Buddhist Tantra and he was made the big impression by «Jnana Guhya Ratna Upadesha Tantra», «Guhyasamadja Tantra» and the text of Guru Padmasambhava «the Crystal Diadem of Faultless Practice», and as works of Naczog Randol, in particular his Upadesha about the teaching of «Great Perfection» and posthumous statuses of Bardo.

From Chinese Zen he especially esteemed masters Bankey and his teaching about Zen Not-given-birth, Lin Czi, Hakuin, Dogen, Huai-nen, as very much close to state of Presence (sahaja-sthitti) to which he teaches.

While practice the sadhana in a solitude he had numerous images of deities: Krishna, Vishnu, Shiva, and as White Tara and Saints of Buddhism, in particular Mandjushri Mitra. In one of the visions, God Shiva transferred a trident to him, and Mandjushri Mitra given manual (upadesha) about essence of stay in a natural state of not dual mind outside of dharma and concepts. Also he received shakti path-diksha (transfer of energy) wakening energy Kundalini and direct transfer of the Teaching about spontaneous self-recognition of primary emptiness from other deities and sacred-siddha.

In 1990 Swami Vishnu Dev received the initiation of a spiritual name from his guru and in 1992 initiation of sannyasi.

As a result of daily intensive sadhana,which he had been practising more than nine years (from them two and a half years in ritrit), he realized some siddhi : separation and manifestation of a thin body, clairvoyance about which he distributed very reservedly, even among the pupils. The culmination of his sadhana was continuous unsupported deep realization without efforts (sahaja-sthitti) about one and a half year and lasting many hours Nirvikalpa-samadhi. After which his false person (ego) completely had disappeared, and he declared itself as about an essence not having biographies, relatives, a sex, the nation and any identifications connected to mind and a body.

In 1993 Swami Vishnu Dev wrote down manuals of the Teacher as the compressed poetic treatise — «Yoga Sadhana Hridaya Sutra» and also some research-analytical clauses about the general sources Advayta-Vedanta, Zen, Buddhism of Mahamudra and distinctions between them. In too time he wrote short fundamental texts: «Bases of practice of Sahaja-Sthitti», «the Teaching about seven bhavana», «the Analysis of 35 deviations from a natural state», in which he stated the essence of the doctrine of Laya-yoga and practice of maintenance of presence state.

As a result of intensive sadhana (services and practice) Swami Vishnu Dev experienced in September 1994 the full deep Enlightenment named in Jnana-Yoga — sahaja-sthitti or sahaja-samadhi.

Having experienced full Enlightenment, Swami Vishnu Dev directly gave to the first pupils the state of unsupported awakening of mind, outside of sects, doctrines and concepts. He insisted that only when any communication with conceptual thinking would be rejected, it would be possible to overtake a state of «Niralambha manas» (unsupported mind), and to enter in Nirvikalpa-samadhi.

Distinctive feature of the doctrine of Guru Swami Vishnu Dev is non-sectarianly universal the approach to Dharma: «to achieve an enlightenment, you should reject anyone «ism», beliefs, philosophical systems and should become originally free, open to consciousness of non - duality. Beliefs, the philosophy are only the mind withdrawing us in illusion. Learn their emptiness...»

Despite of a statement of various doctrines and teachings that he owns, his self-expression is not intellectual, and rather close to behavior of masters of Zen.

In 1995 he opened school of yoga «Guhya Samadja» in city of Simferopol, and his first pupils accepted monastic vows in 1996. In 1996 in Simferopol the Ashram (Monastery of yoga) constantly had begun to operate, where monks and laymen-followers of Swami practised and trained. The first ritrit-centres were opened for passage long practices in solitude.

The monastery of yoga is universal, non-sectarianly an educational institution professing philosophy of Advayta where monks train on the following disciplines:

~ Jnana-yoga;

~ Kundalini-yoga;

~ Laya-yoga;

~ Yoga-Nidra;

~ Djoti-yoga;

~ Nada-yoga;

~ Agiography (the biography of saints- siddha various traditions);

~ Initial texts (Sutra, Tantra, Upanishad, Upadesha, and Purans);

In section of texts is studied more than 80 various primary sources, sutra and tantra of Hinduism, Tantrism, and as the additional Buddhism, the Zen-Buddhism.

The main Teaching which monks adhere is a Laya-yoga, esoteric line of the doctrine of siddha which is universally considered the top and uniting essence of various religious traditions and has analogues in the Buddhism as Mahamudra and Anuttara-Tantra.

The basic practice in a monastery is the way outside of a method, outside of concepts and efforts — Anupaya, a way of spontaneous contemplation, which contains in continuous maintenance of special meditative, vigilant presence. Also the big attention is given practice of daily sedentary meditation that introduces in practice of monks a certain element of the atmosphere of Zen.

Into a course for monks enter profound practice of Laya-siddhi (skill of samyama), including:

~ the mastering of the clairvoyance, divine abilities of sight and hearing, knowledge of the last and future lifes;

~ the technique of fast walking;

~ the skill to increase or to reduce weight of a body, the levitation (dardri, bhuchari siddhi);

~ the skill to leave a physical body at the desire and to travel in a thin body on all universe, to stars and planets (khechari siddhi) and to enter into another body (prakaya praveshana);

~ skill to merge with five elements;

~ skill to send the double and to arrive in different places (kamachari siddhi);

~ skill to change the shape and to accept any image at will (vigraha siddhi) or to disappear, to be invisible;

~ skill to have superforce.

Monks devote long time lonely practices where in quiet conditions, continuously are engaged in meditative contemplation. At leisure monks express meditative an enlightenment through creations (poetry, singing of the bha djans, production of stages from life of saints and siddha, dances of presence (Bharat-natyam, Odissi)).

The monastery is engaged in collecting, translations and publishing of initial texts of yoga and tantra,and training of practising laymen of meditation.

Monks carry out two years Basic Practices, three years practise Sutra,three years practise Tantra and three years practice Anuttara-Tantra. The structure of training consists of three consecutive steps covering all depth of doctrines of a monastery. Once a year monks and novices have an examination in investigated disciplines. By results of examinations the Council of monastery appropriates them the certain stage confirming quality of their knowledge and achievements.

Constantly working yoga-centers of the Ashram had opened in cities of Moscow, Kiev, Evpatoria, Berdyansk, Mariupol, and Odessa by 2000. Now in the Ashram 40 monks and the big number of laymen-followers train and practise from all countries of the CIS under manual of Swami Vishnu Dev.

During practice some pupils of Swami realized deep states of Nirvikalpa-samadhi and at present they independently train and give lectures for followers of the Ashram in other cities. Swami Vishnu Dev spent many years in ritrits, including one for 2 years and 9 months.

Now Swami Vishnu Dev lives in «Divya Loka» — space of sacred Dharma, a settlement of practising monks and laymen.



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Divya Loka

Russia, Nijegorodskaya oblast/area, Vetlujski region, near Saint Gerasim's Spring and Chukhlomka village.


people can stay at the territory of Ashram

Prices and Fees: 
staing in Ashram is $6-10 per day

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World Academy of Advaita Laya Yoga - the doctrine that leads to hell Monastery of Yoga "Guhya Samaj"

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World Academy of Advaita Laya Yoga - the doctrine that leads to hell