Chapter One: The Making of an American Swami
The Incarnation circa 1979
Swamiji was born in Norfolk, VA on Makara Shankaranti in 1979
Beginnings of Ministry circa 1993
At 14 years old Swamiji dropped out of high school started a program feeding homeless people in his community. He also started studying religious texts and reading various scriptures from every major religious tradition. Swamiji has said that his studying during the time was book knowledge and the learnings remained intellectual as the was no spiritual experience to awaken the spiritual teachings . In realizing that those he fed, always returned the next day hungry, Swamiji realized a need to find ways to identify and address the root issues leading to hunger / suffering.
Spiritual Awakening circa 1997
However this all changed when he was 18 years old and journeyed to Ireland. Where he had a spiritual awakening and many mystical experiences at both New Grange, the Irish prehistoric spiritual site, and the grave of Saint Patrick. Many mystical powers and awarenesses began to unfold at that time and he began to leave the body often to visit distant people and places. Swamiji saw many Devas at New Grange and Saint Patrick spoke to him and gave him blessings and specific instructions.
Finding his Guru & Mastering Ayurveda circa 1998
In 1998 Swamiji left home and attended university for one year. While in school Swamiji unintentionally began intense meditative and contemplative practices, experienced a dramatic awakening realizing he was not the mind, while he never felt he was the body even in youth, these experiences were different for him, and no doubt stimulated by the visit to sacred sites in Ireland the previous year. Without the guidance of a master, he was unable to adjust to the awakenings he has experience and felt very lost. Praying Intensely for guidance, he began to receive astral visitations from his first master, Subramuniyaswami. Later that year he found the teachings of his guru Subramuniyaswami and at this time he began formal study of Ayurveda. Having dropped out of high school and never completed college, Ayurveda the only subject he ever received any degree in.
Secluded Sadhana circa 2000
In 2000, Swamiji moved to historic town of Williamsburg, Va where he conducted intense sadhana for two years. This time was an intense time of purification for Swamiji, facing and releasing various karmas of this incarnation. He remained most of the time in a small apartment, secluded from human interactions, often conducting 10-16 hours of chanting and worship per day. During the time, he occassionally visited the historic area of Williamsburg where he encountered many ghosts and spiritual beings and learned to communicate with the plants and animals and spiritual beings.
Life as a Sadhu circa 2002
After his time in Williamsburg Swamiji returned to his hometown of Norfolk. While living with family for a year or two, he kept a brick homa kund in the garage and often performed elaborate yajnas all day long. While performing yajnas, another one of Swamiji's masters began to appear to him in visions, Swami Paramanandaji of Haridwar. After meeting Swami Paramandandaji, Swamiji was blessed with a vision Divine bright light like a flame over his head. For several weeks, this light was so bright, that Swamiji had trouble to see other things or move around. Eventually, this light decended into his body and normal body consciousness returned. Sometimes Swamiji would venture out and greet people, but mainly he remained in sadhana. During this time, Swamiji was blessed by one of his gurus with the experience of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Swmiji continues to remain engaged in sadhana in order to deepen that experience and bring it more fully into his every word and breath.
Then according to the instructions of his master, Swamiji lived as a sadhu - traveling from place to place - going without food or water for nearly 7 months. When temperatures dropped below freezing, he practiced yoga to remain warm. He traveled to various temples and many priests greeted him as a Saint. Others felt threatened by his presence, especially when they heard him chanting the Vedas. Though Swamiji has never formally studied Vedas, many have said that he chants as if he had been taught in a traditional Veda pathashala. Many people were very kind to him, offering him food and clothing and places to sleep. In those days, he always turned down places to sleep, prefering to be outside than in the energy of the dwelling space of householders, but sometimes would sleep in the temples themselves or the parking lots thereof.
At that time, one local business man and avid meditator, Buddhist adherent, and Ayurvedic practitioner allowed Swamiji to use an office where he established an altar in Portmouth Virginia. He stayed for a brief time at several people's homes which they graciously opened to him. The spiritual energy of Swamiji's sadhana proved quickly to be more than these people could endure, and it became clear, that he needed to find a space of his own.