FOUNDER / PRESIDENT
SRIMA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF TRANSFORMATIONAL YOGA INDIA
Swami Vidyanand is a renowned yoga master from India. He is the founder and spiritual head of SriMa International School of Transformational Yoga® and the Founder and President of Yoga Alliance International® (YAI), World Yoga Federation® and Meditation Alliance International® (MAI) spread over all continents.
Hailing from a long line of renowned Bhakti yogis, Swami Vidyanand was born into the deeply spiritual environment of Datiya (Madhya Pradesh) recognized as being one of the seventeen sacred centers of Tantra in India. His first master was his father himself : Dr. Sri Harihar Goswami who was a very prominent spiritual speaker, he would give satsang about ancient Indian philosophy and sacred texts. Swami Vidyanand was bathed into spirituality from birth, gained awareness of the spiritual world at an early age and was able to speak along with his father and give teachings about the Vedas, the Gita, Ramayana etc. Though he was a good speaker himself, he was feeling incomplete giving teachings about things he had not experienced. This is how his spiritual quest started. The constant questions in his heart were “What is the Divine? How can I experience the Divine?” and though he would study and look for answers from revered masters, he was never satisfied with the answers he was getting, this feeling of incompleteness went on intensifying.
At the age of sixteen he went to meet a famous enlightened master of the area who was known to have miraculous powers: the white tantra master known as Shree Swamiji of Peetambra Peeth. Upon the first encounter with this enlightened being who immediately recognized in him a seeker of the divine truth, he felt a very strong energy field that he had never felt before and when the master invited him to stay alongside, he happily took the chance to dwell in this spiritual atmosphere. He started coming every day, sitting on the side of the master, enjoying the atmosphere and activities around. Within a few days he was feeling a very different energy run through his body and was experiencing a higher kind of joy gradually rising. When one day the energy was very high, he thought “Oh! This is very nice, this is the real Joy, this is the Divine!” the master turned towards him and said “No! This is not it, this is just the beginning”. In the next days, he experienced highest levels of awareness and Samadhi. Shree Swamiji of Peetambra Peeth encouraged him to use the name of “Swami Vidyanand” as a reminder if his true mission on Earth: experience and deliver the right knowledge (Vidya). The master entrusted him to go and experience other systems of yoga and spiritual practices in order to further his knowledge and share his wisdom.
Complying with the requirements of ordinary life and accepting the demand of his parents as part of his integral experience and knowledge of life, he got married in the traditional Indian way and carried on walking the spiritual path, his wife supporting him in his quest.
This quest led him to Mahavira temple near Sonagiri (Madhya Pradesh) where he experienced the Jain dharma and learnt techniques of physical meditation with the aim of gaining knowledge about physical body meditation and come closer to the connection with the eternal physical consciousness. In Rishikesh, he stayed at Shivananda ashram, lived with the disciples and several other masters in order to get a better understanding of the systems taught there. Following these varied experiences centered on the physical body, his mind and heart were still full of questionings and Swami Vidyanand was feeling incomplete in his spiritual search. All the great masters he had met and lived with were not able to completely answer his questions. He got attracted towards other practices and went to experience the life and philosophical teachings of the Buddhist dharma in various monasteries, he encountered Vipassana meditation. Every time, he would absorb the knowledge and feel the urge to carry on his journey and go learn from other places, other masters. This is how he took interest in the principles taught by Vivekananda and the Raja yoga systems to get the experience of the mental body. Wherever he would travel, he would also share the knowledge and teach what he had learnt and experienced.
His research and connections guided him to Punjab where, while providing yoga courses in a temple, for a few years he was also part of a television program dedicated to yoga education.
Swami Vidyanand then settled in New Delhi with his family and upon invitation of a famous chain of hotels started teaching courses to their clients: “Yoga for perfect health”. Someday a new student came to the class and Swamiji felt a very bright energy radiating from this person, he was intrigued and inquired where this lady was coming from, this was his first indirect contact with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
“What is beyond Ananda? What is the purpose behind?” these questions were still vivid in his heart and mind. Following the encounter with the disciple, he went himself to Sri Aurobindo Ashram in New Delhi and immediately as he laid his head onto the Samadhi felt the connection with the true eternal consciousness and got a clear answer to his question “what is beyond the state of samadhi?”. His aim became very clear through the guidance of the Mother: “how to express the eternal consciousness in all four layers?” During the following ten years he spent time learning the methods of the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and simultaneously was giving classes as a service for the ashram devotees. Transformational yoga was born through the Mother’s guidance and support, it is at this point that he felt the urge to change his “Swami dress” from orange to white. He became a life-time member of the Sri Aurobindo Educational Society, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Delhi branch.
Meanwhile Swami Vidyanand was still committed to the hotel chains and worked in Hong Kong where he later received an invitation from the Center of Behavioral Health of the Hong Kong University to give Transformational Yoga courses and workshops as part of a research program about the effects of the method of Transformational Yoga on the health of practitioners.
Upon his final return to India, SriMa International School of Transformational Yoga was established, a few years later Yoga Alliance International was born and even later Meditation Alliance International was created. The first books “Self-Transformation through Transformational Yoga” and “TIME Meditation” were released in 2015.
Having founded SriMa International School of Transformational Integral Hatha Yoga in New Delhi and later established its headquarters near Pondicherry in South India. He is presently dedicating his energy at creating awareness and improving the general quality of Yoga and Meditation education around the world through authentic teachings, he developed specialized Grand Master courses in Yoga, Meditation and Kundalini in order to disclose some of the deepest secrets of these disciplines. His organizations Yoga Alliance International, founded in 2007 and Meditation Alliance International are actively involved in globally supporting the authentic practices and education of yoga and meditation. Yoga Alliance International is present in Asia, Africa, Europe, New Zealand and the Americas. Today, Meditation Alliance International is following the path of YAI in its endeavor to promote the right practices of meditation around the world.
Swami Vidyanand’s teachings are well recognized in India, evident from the respect he has received from educational and cultural bodies, such as Annamalai University to which he was the chief guest on the occasion of the International day of Yoga 2017, he received distinction from organizations that recognize individual efforts to promote ancient Indian wisdom systems and practices, such as the The Bhaskar Award from the prestigious Bharat Nirman. Swami Vidyanand’s influence goes beyond the borders of India: he was invited to represent India at the Berlin International Trade Fair and conducts workshops and trainings all over the world.