Swami Veda (Mahamandaleshwara) Bharati
Bharati, Swami Veda Mahamandaleshwara (1933-2015) Prior to monastic vows, Swami Veda was known as Dr. Usharbudh Arya. A profound and gentle man with a wonderful sense of humor, he is survived by his wife Lalita, children Sushumna, Stomya (Hem), Saumya (Urban), Angiras (Kani), and grandchildren Shalini, Dharani, Ameya and Aavani. Born in 1933 in Dehradun, India, Swami Veda took Mahasamadhi on July 14 at his ashram in Rishikesh, India. He spent over 60 years teaching and providing spiritual guidance around the world. In 1947 he began traveling through numerous countries, spreading Vedic teachings and serving as a Hindu priest. He later provided guidance for the establishment of over 50 meditation centers world-wide, conducting lectures in ten languages and meditation in seventeen languages. He authored over 60 books and booklets and over 4000 hours of audio recordings. He wrote on a wide range of topics, from poetry to exhaustive scholarly commentaries on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Having never attended any school, he received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of London and a D.Litt. from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands in consecutive years during the 1960s. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Between 1967 and 1973, he was Assistant Professor of South Asian Studies at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis where he lived for many years. He received the Distinguished Teacher Award in 1969. In 1972 he founded The Meditation Center in Minneapolis. Married to Lalita Arya in 1961, the couple established the charitable organization KHEL ("Kindness, Health, Education and Laughter") in 1983 where thousands of children of leprosy patients and other indigent population have received nutrition, medical care and education. In 1992 he took monastic vows in the Shankaracharya tradition and received the name Swami Veda Bharati from his spiritual preceptor Swami Rama. In 1999 he was conferred with the title of Mahamandaleshwara by his monastic order, the Niranjani Akhara. In 1999, he was an invited speaker at the Council for The Parliament of World Religions in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2001, he and the Dalai Lama collaborated to bring the Buddhist and Hindu communities together at the Kumbha Mela, the largest gathering of people ever seen on the planet. Throughout his life he honored the religious views of all people, and while attending The Parliament of World Religions he met with leaders of many faiths to work towards interfaith understanding. He was invited to the Millennium Global Peace Summit at the UN in 2000 and proposed a resolution to be adopted by the World Council of Religious Leaders as a recommendation to the Secretary General of the United Nations on May 21, 2003. In 2004 he submitted a proposal for UNESCO titled "Education and Parenting for World Peace." In 2002, he founded Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama Ashram (SRSG) in Rishikesh, India. He was the Spiritual Director of Sadhana Mandir (Swami Rama's Ashram) and of Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, both in Rishikesh, as well as the spiritual guide of the Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust and Chancellor of HIHT University in Dehradun, India. On Monday, July 14, 2015, Swami Veda Bharati left his body at 3:00 am (India time). Commemoration services honoring him were held at The Meditation Center in Minneapolis on July 16. In India special prayers, which began on the 14th, will conclude with a memorial service on July 29th. Memorials khelcharities.org or KHEL Charities c/o The Meditation Center 631 University Ave NE Mpls., MN 55413
Published on July 26, 2015
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