608. Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, 2nd Interview

Sadhvi Bhagawati SaraswatiThis 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.
  • Grace doesn’t discriminate. Spirituality is available for everyone!
  • The ecstatic story of Sadhvi’s awakening on the banks of the Ganga and the healing and transformation that followed.
  • The lifelong process of integration and embodiment of spiritual awakening experiences.
  • How we can see the Divine in all beings and how that increases our spiritual experience.
  • The role of the guru: the guru shines the light that enables us to see our own light, thus dispelling our darkness of ignorance.
  • How Sadhviji’s guru Pujya Swamiji inspires her to dedicate herself to awareness of that which is eternal rather than things that quickly fade.
  • Becoming a vessel for the flow of grace.
  • Everyone enters the world with their own karmic packages, and awareness of our own and others’ packages is key.
  • Mindfulness teaches us how to stay conscious and present.
  • In order to experience grace, sometimes there’s a lot of work to be done!
  • Sadhviji’s childhood trauma and how she was taught to forgive and let go so she could be free.
  • Forgiveness: regardless of what others have done we deserve to be free. Freedom is our birthright, our highest dharma, purpose, and calling.


Book: Vegetarianism: For Our Bodies, Our Minds, Our Souls & Our Planet

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Transcript of this interview.

First BatGap interview with Sadhvi.

Interview recorded July 25, 2021.

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

YouTube Video Chapters:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction to Buddha at the Gas Pump interview
  • 00:03:30 – Honesty and Humaneness in Spiritual Awakening
  • 00:07:49 – Bridging the Gap: Hollywood to the Himalayas
  • 00:11:38 – The Shift in Perception
  • 00:15:15 – A Sudden Knowing in Rishikesh
  • 00:19:19 – A Profound Spiritual Experience on the Banks of Ganga
  • 00:23:52 – Swarg Ashram: The Heavenly Abode
  • 00:27:41 – The Beauty of Being Non-Verbal
  • 00:31:29 – Living in the Deepest Level of Awareness
  • 00:34:52 – Shame and Authenticity
  • 00:38:01 – The Humility of an Enlightened Master
  • 00:41:14 – The Qualities of the Guru
  • 00:44:41 – The Light of the Guru
  • 00:48:02 – The Garden and its Animals
  • 00:51:03 – The Story of the Sleeves and the Cat
  • 00:54:17 – Emptying the Cup and Finding the Guru
  • 00:57:46 – Overcoming Unconscious Patterns with Mindfulness
  • 01:01:24 – Being Present in Daily Life
  • 01:04:39 – Productivity in Moments of Freedom
  • 01:07:10 – The Experience of Grace without Spiritual Practice
  • 01:10:43 – A Transformational Experience
  • 01:14:11 – Renunciation and Transformation
  • 01:17:36 – The Biological Urge for a Baby
  • 01:21:01 – The Journey of Forgiveness
  • 01:24:25 – The Power of Forgiveness
  • 01:27:47 – The Stain on Our Hearts
  • 01:30:53 – Letting Go with Forgiveness
  • 01:34:05 – Understanding Dis-ease and Harm towards Others
  • 01:37:10 – The Transformation and Healing Journey
  • 01:40:39 – Sharing and Appreciation
  • 01:43:26 – The Spiritual Path