This interview centered around Sadhvi’s new book, Hollywood to the Himalayas: A Journey of Healing and Transformation. Her website dedicated to the book is hollywoodtothehimalayas.com.
Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Ph.D. is a renowned spiritual leader, author, and motivational speaker based in Rishikesh, India. Originally from Los Angeles and a graduate of Stanford University, Sadhviji has been ordained into the sacred order of Sanyas by her guru HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji and has been living at Parmarth Niketan Ashram for the past twenty-five years. She is the Secretary-General of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, an international interfaith organization dedicated to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene; president of Divine Shakti Foundation, a foundation that runs free schools, vocational training programs, and empowerment programs; and director of the world-famous International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh—which has been covered in Time, CNN, the New York Times and other prestigious publications and has been addressed by both the Prime Minister and Vice President of India. She serves on the United Nations Advisory Council on Religion and on the steering committees of the International Partnership for Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD) and the Moral Imperative to End Extreme Poverty, a campaign by the United Nations and World Bank. She was also the Managing Editor for the monumental project of the 11-volume Encyclopedia of Hinduism. She oversees a variety of humanitarian projects, teaches meditation, lectures, writes, counsels individuals and families, and serves as a unique female voice of spiritual leadership throughout India and the world.
Some of the topics discussed in this interview:
- How Sadhvi’s journey has bridged spirituality and humanness.
- Everyone is qualified to lead a spiritual life.
- Sadhvi’s initial awakening on the banks of the Ganges and the feeling that she had returned home.
- The lifelong process of integration and embodiment.
- Seeing the divine in all things.
- The importance of humility regarding one’s spiritual attainment.
- The role of the guru: to shine the light that enables us to see our own light, thus dispelling the darkness of ignorance.
- How Sadhvi’s guru Pujya Swamiji inspires her to dedicate herself to the eternal rather than to things that forever fade.
- Becoming a fit vessel for the grace of a teacher.
- Everyone enters the world with karmic packages.
- Mindfulness teaches us how to stay conscious and present.
- In order to experience grace, sometimes there’s a lot of work to be done.
- Sadhvi’s childhood trauma.
- Forgiveness: regardless of what others have done we deserve to be free. Freedom is our birthright, our highest dharma, purpose, and calling.
- Don’t feel bad if healing from trauma takes a long time.
- Sadhviji.org (personal site)
- Sadhviji’s TED talk
- @SadhviBhagawatiSaraswati (Sadhviji’s Facebook page with announcements of events, videos, etc.)
- @ParmarthNiketan (Parmarth’s Facebook page where they stream Sadhviji’s satsangs live daily when she is in town.)
- Youtube channel with all of the videos of Sadhviji’s lectures (and also a lot of other good stuff…)
- Twitter: @SadhviBhagawati
Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.
Interview recorded July 25, 2021.
Video below. Audio coming soon.