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Swami Sankarananda Saraswati  (Peace Swami)

 

Swami Sankarananda is a simple pilgrim of peace and a servant of God in our path of awakening to the One Truth. Living much of his adult life as a businessman in the tech industry, he realized the selfish pursuits were meaningless and through grace came to the pursuit of God, or highest Self. Having given up his old life, he dedicated his new life to service of this Self in all. In 2012, Swamiji renounced his worldly way of life and traveled to the Himalayas, receiving darshan and life guidance at the feet of Swami Premananda and Swami Ramaswarupananda, disciples of Swami Sivananda. He took initiation as a Sanyassi, or monk, in 2013. 

During his time in India, he received Divine Guidance to walk pilgrimage. Having been inspired by the life and teachings of Peace Pilgrim, he chose to follow her footsteps in traveling on foot and in faith, asking for nothing. Starting in 2013, he walked coast to coast, and continued to walk 7,000 miles across the United States over a period of 2 ½ years. He shared parts of the journey on social media and also documented the process in his book “Pilgrimage Home”.   When asked about the inevitable challenges that must have been experienced in such a pilgrimage, Swami smiles and shares, “really the only problems which I have ever encountered were in my mind”.

In 2016, he completed the walking pilgrimage, and continued to travel in a donated motorhome named “Prema” (“Divine Love”). Today he continues to meet with many spiritual aspirants who have invited him into their communities. As he tours the U.S., he offers talks, workshops and retreats in the same spirit of pilgrimage, including the “Be Still and Know” Silent Retreats held at various yoga studios and spiritual centers across the country. 

 

In 2017, he was approached by devotees he had met in his travels about stewarding a new Ashram in Arizona, called Divine Grace Yoga. He has been its steward since that time. He leads daily Satsangs, weekly workshops, and he continues to guide many aspirants, both in and out of Ashram, on the path towards inner peace and happiness. 

Swamiji has been adamant from the beginning in guiding the Ashram and outreach to be in the same spirit as his pilgrimage and of many Ashrams in India—that it be run on a donation basis, and that it be a sacred container that provides environment, tools and support for spiritual transformation and the cultivation of inner peace. 

Whether it be through pilgrimage, through retreats, through providing individual counsel, through gifting spiritual books, through teaching at the Ashram, or through offering a smile and kind word to a stranger — Swamiji continues in offering his life to the service of All,  to spreading Yoga and Vedanta teachings, and sharing the universal wisdom of Swami Sivananda and many other great saints.

May all beings be happy and at Peace.