Early Western devotees of Sathya Sai Baba

Series: Westerners in India. Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s (1926 – 2011) early Western devotees and visitors to the ashram from the 1940s onwards… From The Hagiographer and the Avatar (2021) by Antonio Rigopoulos “Foreign interest in the guru of Puttaparthi grew rapidly, especially during the period 1965-1975. Through their testimony and books, a few select Westerners, …

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Judith Tyberg (Jyotipriya)

A Tribute to Jyotipriya (Dr Judith M. Tyberg) May16, 1902 – October 3, 1980. Text by Mandakini, Photo layout and design by Anie Nunnally. “By heaven’s illuminings one perceives her to be a bearer of the Truth.” Rig Veda, 111.61.6 Hymn to Usha ONCE Jyotipriya asked the great Sanskrit pandit Kapali Sastri if she could …

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Wanda Dynowska

Polish writer Wanda Dynowska (Uma Devi) (Tenzin Chordon) (1888 – 1971) lived in India from 1935 until her death in Mysore in 1971, often visited the ashram. Wanda Dynowska came to India in 1935 on a soul-searching mission. Born to Catholic parents of Polish nobility in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1888, Wanda was drawn to the Bhagavad …

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Maurice Frydman

Maurice Frydman (Maurycy Frydman or Maurycy Frydman-Mor in Polish) (1894 – 1976), aka Swami Bharatananda was a Polish Jew who subsequently converted to Hinduism. he was an engineer and humanitarian who spent the later part of his life in India. He lived on the ashram of Mahatma Gandhi and took an active part in India’s …

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Sita Sharan (Susan McCarthy)

Sita Sharan is the owner and founder of Surya Incense Company, LLC. Sita Sharan lived in Montreal until 1970, when she heard two Ram Dass recordings on the radio. After listening to Ram Dass’ experiences in India with Neem Karoli Baba, gurus and yogis, she went to India a few months later. Sita met Neem …

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Sadhu Uma (Marcelle Hanselaar)

The Spectator: 20 February 2021: Why is the smoky, febrile art of Marcelle Hanselaar so little known? by Laura Gascoigne. Her work is in the collections of the Ashmolean and Metropolitan Museum, New York, yet her powerful paintings and etchings remain under the radar. I first became aware of the work of Marcelle Hanselaar in a mixed …

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Jesus Lived in India: Suzanne Olsson

Suzanne Marie Olsson is an American author best known for investigating the bloodline and alleged tomb of Jesus in India. She wrote ‘Jesus in Kashmir, The Lost Tomb’ , research of the RozaBal in Srinagar, Kashmir alleged to contain the remains of Jesus, a claim first made widely known in the book titled ‘Book of Balauhar and Budasaf, the Ikmaj-ud-Din’, authored by …

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Thelma Rappold: In Search of Bhagavan

Article by Michael Highburger published in SARANAGATI SRI RAMANASRAMAM Magazine. Dear Devotees, In this issue, we begin a new biography of a devotee who spent more than two years in Bhagavan’s presence up until his Mahanirvana in Thelma Rappold took copious notes throughout her stay at Ramanasramam in the late 1940s and compiled them into …

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Somerset Maugham’s Swami

From the New York Times, A letter from India by David Shaftel. Books about Westerners seeking enlightenment in India seem to be everywhere these days, including in India itself. In Mumbai, Elizabeth Gilbert’s juggernaut of a memoir, “Eat, Pray, Love,” is prominently displayed in street corner bookstalls and hotel bookstores. Bootlegged copies are hawked to …

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When Utopia Met Dystopia, They Were There

For the New York Times by Alisha Haridasani Gupta. Akash Kapur and Auralice Graft are married now, but they first met in 1975 when they were just toddlers, racing around on wooden scooters, in a hut in utopia. Well, kind of. They were living in an “aspiring utopia,” as Kapur describes it in his new …

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How I came to Bhagavan by Katya Osborne

I had never read anything about Ramana Maharshi, I had not read much of anything at all. I had hardly ever heard the name. I was not a seeker. I was five years old and I came because my parents decided it was what they wanted to do and at five one doesn’t have a …

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6 Important Lessons From the Ashram

By Roger Gabriel, April 20 2017. The word ashram comes from the Sanskrit word, Srama, which means “religious exertion.” However, in more recent times the term “ashram” is used to describe any facility used by a spiritual community. They can vary in size from a small hermitage housing just a few people to multiple building complexes …

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Duchess Simonetta Colonna di Cesaro and Swami Chidananda

Duchess Simonetta Colonna di Cesaro was born in Rome in 1922. Descended from Russian aristocracy, the daughter of intellectual & politically inclined Giovanni Duke of Cesaro,’ she grew up in a sophisticated environment, and would end up halfway across the world not only geographically, but socially and ideologically, and then back again. Simonetta’s look, her …

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Blanca Schlamm (Atmananda)

Blanca Schlamm (Atmananda) (1904-1985) Blanca was born on the 7th of June 1904 in Vienna, the daughter of a wealthy Jewish businessman from a Polish family and her mother was from a Czechoslovakian family. There were early tragedies in her life. When Blanca was two years old her mother died after giving birth to a …

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Ella Maillart: Discovering the unknown by herself

Ella Maillart was the pioneer solo woman explorer who found her spiritual side in India. By Ravi Shankar. The New Indian Express. Published: 27th September 2020 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th October 2020 11:02 AM  | A casualty of the internet and satellite mapping is the explorer. Before technology, Huen Tsang, Marco Polo and Columbus explored uncharted lands, …

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Yogi Ramsuratkumar by Hilda Charlton

Extract from Saints Alive by Hilda Charlton Hilda Charlton was a spiritual teacher who taught meditation in New York City from 1965 to 1988. In her teachings Hilda stressed the importance of a life of giving and forgiving, unconditional love and remembrance of God. She uplifted the lives of thousands of people who sought her spiritual …

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Theos Bernard – The American Explorer of Tibet

Theos Casimir Bernard’s life story is one filled with adventure, spiritual encounters and a worthwhile determination. He pioneered expeditions to Tibet including the famed city of Lhasa in 1937, at a time when Tibet was closed to foreigners due to a policy of self-isolation. He was only the third American ever to set foot in …

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