698. Swami Medhananda

Swami Medhananda is a monk of the Ramakrishna Order and an academic philosopher, currently serving as Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy at the Vedanta Society of Southern California in Hollywood. He is also the Hindu Chaplain at both UCLA and the University of Southern California. He is Section Editor for the International Journal of Hindu Studies (Springer), overseeing submissions in Hindu and Cross-Cultural Philosophy of Religion. From 2010 to 2021, he was Associate Professor and Head of the Program in Philosophy at the Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational and Research Institute in Belur Math, West Bengal. He received his PhD in 2009 from the University of California at Berkeley, where he specialized in German aesthetics. He was also a Fulbright Scholar at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (2006–7) and a Visiting Student at Oxford University (2000–1). His current research focuses on global philosophy of religion, the epistemology of mystical experience, cosmopsychism, Indian scriptural hermeneutics, and Vedāntic philosophical traditions, especially the philosophies of Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, and Sri Aurobindo.

He is the author of three books: Swami Vivekananda’s Vedāntic Cosmopolitanism (Oxford University Press, 2022), Infinite Paths to Infinite Reality: Sri Ramakrishna and Cross-Cultural Philosophy of Religion (Oxford University Press, 2018), and The Dialectics of Aesthetic Agency: Revaluating German Aesthetics from Kant to Adorno (Bloomsbury, 2013). He is the editor of The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Vedānta (2020) and co-editor, with Benedikt Paul Göcke, of Panentheism in Indian and Western Thought: Cosmopolitan Interventions (Routledge, 2023). He is also the editor of two special issues of the International Journal of Hindu Studies, one on “Swami Vivekananda as a Cosmopolitan Thinker” (2023) and one on “Vedāntic Theodicies” (2021). He has published over thirty articles in leading academic journals.

He is currently working on two book projects: Karma and Rebirth in Hinduism (Cambridge University Press, under contract) and An All-Embracing Oneness: Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Advaita and the Legacy of Sri Ramakrishna (Oxford University Press, under contract).

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Summary and transcript of this interview.

Interview recorded January 22, 2024.

Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

645. Anoop Kumar

Anoop KumarAnoop Kumar communicates a bold, new vision of healing and healthcare based in a more comprehensive understanding of whole human anatomy–a crucial step in the journey of healthcare transformation. He is the founder of Health Revolution, an emergency physician, public speaker, and author of Michelangelo’s Medicine: How Redefining the Human Body Will Transform Health and Healthcare and Is This a Dream?: Reflections on the Awakening Mind, and a columnist for Emergency Medicine News.

Integrating a deeper understanding of consciousness with our existing medical knowledge is foundational to Anoop’s work. To further this, he developed the Three Minds framework–a trans-disciplinary approach that develops and integrates our knowledge of consciousness, mind, body, and the environment. He applies the Three Minds framework to identify unexamined tenets ripe for disruption and rehabilitation in healthcare.

By training, Anoop is board-certified in emergency medicine and holds a master’s degree in management with a focus in health leadership.


YouTube Channels:

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Transcript of this interview

Interview recorded May 7, 2022

Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

YouTube Video Chapters:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction with Rick Archer
  • 00:04:39 – An Explosive Experience in the Bedroom
  • 00:08:48 – Remembering Past Lives
  • 00:13:06 – Timeless Experience
  • 00:17:25 – Defining Consciousness and Brahman
  • 00:21:55 – Taking a Scientific Approach to Spiritual Concepts
  • 00:26:23 – The Cleansing of Perception and Integration
  • 00:30:48 – The Three Minds Framework
  • 00:35:49 – The Formation of Identity
  • 00:40:57 – Moving from the Physical to the Mental World
  • 00:45:40 – The Relationship Between the Physical and Mental
  • 00:50:27 – The Three Minds Framework
  • 00:54:59 – The Nature of Light and Perception
  • 00:59:26 – Awareness of the Second Mind
  • 01:03:44 – The Three I’s and Existence Across Different Layers of Reality
  • 01:08:36 – The Difference Between Jesus and Hitler
  • 01:13:02 – The Perception of Existence
  • 01:17:46 – Speculation on Unity of Minds
  • 01:22:07 – The Three Minds: Jeeva, Saguna Brahman, and Nirguna Brahman
  • 01:26:53 – Integrating Fields of Knowledge and Society
  • 01:31:53 – Perception and Identity
  • 01:36:45 – The Sense of Identity in Spirituality and Psychosis
  • 01:41:18 – The Power of the Mind and Restructuring through Spirituality
  • 01:45:44 – The Importance of Guidance in Spiritual Practice
  • 01:50:00 – Setting Personal Standards
  • 01:54:19 – The Influence of Culture on Religion
  • 01:58:58 – The Process of Integration
  • 02:03:27 – The Power of Creativity and Connection
  • 02:07:56 – The Role of Intuition in Spiritual Guidance
  • 02:12:14 – Healing and Becoming Whole
  • 02:16:47 – Closing Remarks and Resources

644. Pravrajika Divyanandaprana Mataji

Pravrajika DivyanandapranaPravrajika Divyanandaprana is a monastic member of Sri Sarada Math and is currently the Editor of the English journal Samvit published in New Delhi. She has been Principal of Nivedita Vidya Mandir School from 2014 to 2019.

She specializes in Yoga-Vedanta. In addition to studying the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda literature, she has extensively studied the Yoga-Vedanta texts based on these twin philosophies which include the Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Raja Yoga, Upanishads, and the Prakarana Granthas (auxiliary scriptures of Vedanta like Vedantasara, Vivekachudamani, etc.) along with their commentaries.

A gold medallist and topper, Pravrajika Divyanandaprana has a unique combination of knowledge in the conventional sciences and traditional Yogic and Vedantic texts. Pravrajika Divyanandaprana has been lecturing all over India since 2010, including at the Indian Institute of Technology campuses in Madras, Delhi (she has spoken many times at Vivekananda Study Circle of IIT-Delhi), Kharagpur, Mumbai, and Kanpur; Indian Institute of Science Bangalore; Delhi University; Vivekananda International Centre; Ramakrishna Mission; Engineering and Medical Colleges in Mumbai, Pune, and Kolkata; and sometimes in schools. She offers courses on Yoga-Vedanta every semester at IIT Delhi. The courses are available on YouTube at IIT’s official channel: NRCVEE IIT Delhi.

She has traveled to hold classes or deliver lectures in South Africa at Cape Town, Durban, Ladysmith, and Kwa Zulu Natal University among other places. Subsequently, she traveled to Ireland, Great Britain, UAE, and recently to Canada for talks, lectures, and scriptural discussions. She has spoken at Imperial College and Logan Hall, London University in 2013. In May 2018, she was in Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, and Nova Scotia where she gave a number of talks on Self-Knowledge, exploring the Subjective Sciences, and finding the interface between Subjective-Objective Sciences. She has extensively traveled in the US and addressed Vedanta Societies of Iowa, Washington DC, and so on. Purdue University hosted her talk on Mind Management recently.


Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Transcript of this interview

Interview recorded May 1, 2022.

Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

YouTube Video Chapters:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction to Buddha at the Gas Pump
  • 00:06:06 – The Importance of Method and Sadhana
  • 00:11:18 – Samskaras: The Building Blocks of Character and Behavior
  • 00:16:12 – Importance of Manana and Dwelling on Scripture
  • 00:21:02 – Becoming Intensely Aware
  • 00:25:39 – Intensified Awareness and Conscious Knowledge
  • 00:30:43 – The Significance of Being and Becoming
  • 00:36:01 – The Science of Happiness and its Connection to Awareness and Advaita Vedanta
  • 00:41:32 – The Source of Awareness
  • 00:46:50 – High Energy Output and Engagement in Activity
  • 00:51:54 – The Power of the Spirit and the Meissner Effect
  • 00:57:21 – Universal Values of Ethics and the Mind
  • 01:02:42 – Ending Mental Afflictions with Ashtanga Yoga
  • 01:08:04 – Mediums and Psychics in Vedantic Perspective
  • 01:13:22 – Engaging in Various Yogas
  • 01:18:36 – Developing Vairagya
  • 01:23:57 – The Ramakrishna Math and Mission
  • 01:29:00 – Renouncing the Essential Bliss of Life
  • 01:34:21 – Finding Happiness Within
  • 01:39:33 – Distinguishing between different types of happiness
  • 01:44:33 – Understanding the Factors of Happiness
  • 01:50:07 – Experiencing Bliss in Samadhi
  • 01:55:31 – Peace within the Radius of the Realized Being
  • 02:00:58 – The Five Sheaths and Self-Awareness
  • 02:06:03 – The Experience of Absence during Sleep
  • 02:11:27 – The long dream of ignorance
  • 02:16:23 – Experiences of Expanded Consciousness
  • 02:21:30 – The Importance of Yogic Life and Samskaras
  • 02:26:42 – The Importance of Inner-Outer Purity
  • 02:31:49 – The Concept of Worship and Praising God
  • 02:36:56 – Wrapping up and future plans