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About

A life dedicated to spirituality & service

Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji

Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Ph.D, was raised in an American family in Hollywood, California and graduated from Stanford University. She was completing her Ph.D. when she left America in 1996 to live at Parmarth Niketan in Rishikesh, India. She has been living there for 23 years, engaged in spiritual practice and service.

She was officially initiated into the order of Sanyas (monastic renunciation) in the year 2000, by His Holiness Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, one of the most revered spiritual leaders in India and the President of Parmarth Niketan.

At Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, where she lives most of the year, she gives daily spiritual discourses and satsang, teaches meditation, provides counseling and oversees myriad charitable and humanitarian projects and activities.

Sadhviji serves as:

  • Secretary-General of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, an international interfaith organization dedicated to clean water, sanitation & hygiene(WASH)
  • President of Divine Shakti Foundation, a foundation which runs free schools, vocational training programs and empowerment programs
  • Director of the world-famous International Yoga Festival at Parmarth which has been covered in Time Magazine, CNN, New York Times and other prestigious publications

Sadhviji is a renowned speaker who gives keynote addresses at large forums, on a wide variety of topics ranging from conscious business to science and spirituality to sustainable development to the keys of happiness and peace in life to all aspects of yoga. Her talks blend the knowledge and logic of the West with the insights, spirituality and wisdom of the East, and she is renowned as a spiritual bridge between the two cultures. Her TEDx talk on her journey from “Hollywood to the HolyWoods” has been watched by over 160,000 people and the documentary on her life has been watched online by nearly a quarter of a million people.

She has spoken at several United Nations events, including with the Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, and at many high-level international conferences and summits.

Sadhviji has received numerous national and international awards and recognition for her work with Water, Sanitation and Hygiene as well as women’s upliftment and empowerment including from the Cabinet Minister of Water Resources, Government of India as well as from the Ambassador of the United States to India.

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Sadhviji also serves on:

  • United Nations Faith Advisory Council on Religion as Vice Chair
  • The Steering Committee for Partnership for Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD), an international body comprising the governments of twelve countries (including United States, UK, and Germany), the United Nations, the World Bank, the African Union, and the world’s renowned faith based organizations
  • The Steering Committee for the World Bank-United Nations campaign with international faith based organizations of the “Moral Imperative to End Extreme Poverty”

Sadhviji has a Ph.D in Psychology and was the Managing Editor for the monumental project of the 11-volume Encyclopedia of Hinduism. In addition, she contributes regularly Huffington Post, Dainik Jagran, Speaking Tree/Times of India, Thrive Global, The Pioneer, and other renowned publications.

Short Bio (Approx. 300 words)

Sadhviji was raised in an American family in Hollywood, California and graduated from Stanford University. She was completing her Ph.D. when she left America in 1996 to come and live permanently at Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, India. She has been living there for 23 years, engaged in spiritual practice and service.

She was officially initiated into the order of Sanyas (monastic renunciation) in the year 2000, by her Guru, His Holiness Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji.

At Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, where she lives most of the year, she teaches meditation, gives spiritual discourses and daily satsang, provides counseling and oversees myriad charitable and humanitarian projects and activities.

Sadhviji serves as:

  • Secretary-General of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, an international interfaith organization dedicated to clean water, sanitation & hygiene(WASH)
  • President of Divine Shakti Foundation, a foundation which runs free schools, vocational training programs and empowerment programs
  • Director of the world-famous International Yoga Festival at Parmarth which has been covered in Time Magazine, CNN, New York Times and other prestigious publications

Additionally, Sadhviji serves as Vice-Chair of the United Nations’ Advisory Council on Religion, and on the Steering Committees of the international Partnership for Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD) and the World Bank’s Moral Imperative To End Extreme Poverty.

Sadhviji is a renowned speaker who gives keynote addresses at large forums, on a wide variety of topics ranging from conscious business to science and spirituality to sustainable development to the keys of happiness and peace in life to all aspects of yoga. Her talks blend the knowledge and logic of the West with the insights, spirituality and wisdom of the East, and she is renowned as a spiritual bridge between the two cultures. Her TEDx talk on her journey from “Hollywood to the Holy Woods” has been watched by over 160,000 people and the documentary on her life has been watched online by nearly a quarter of a million people.

She has also spoken at several United Nations events, including with the Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, and at many international conferences and summits.  She has received numerous awards and recognition for her leadership role in India, including from the Cabinet Minister of Water Resources, Government of India as well as from the Ambassador of the United States to India.

Sadhviji has a Ph.D in Psychology and was the Managing Editor for the monumental project of the 11-volume Encyclopedia of Hinduism.

Short Bio (Approx. 175 words)

Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, PhD is a renowned female spiritual leader in India. She is Secretary-General of Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, launched by UNICEF, the world’s first alliance of religious leaders for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. She is President of Divine Shakti Foundation, a charitable organization bringing education and empowerment to women and children. She is also Director of the world-famous International Yoga Festival. Additionally, she serves as Vice-Chair of the United Nations’ Advisory Council on Religion, and on the Steering Committees of the international Partnership for Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD) and the World Bank’s Moral Imperative To End Extreme Poverty. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her leadership role in India, including from the Cabinet Minister of Water Resources, Government of India as well as from the Ambassador of the United States to India. Originally from Los Angeles, and a graduate of Stanford University, Sadhviji has lived at Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh in the HImalayas for 23 years, where she gives spiritual discourses, satsang and meditation, and leads myriad humanitarian programs.

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