Satguru Swami Nirmalananda Saraswati
We call her "Gurudevi," whiich means Divine Teacher. She is the spiritual head of the Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram. She was honored with the title "Satguru" in 2015 by the Brahmin priests in her Guru's home town of Ganeshpuri. As a Kundalini Master and renunciant, she has dedicated her life to serving those who want to become Self-Realized.
“She has so much love, compassion, understanding, and awareness. She sees so much." — Phil (Krishna) Milgrom, Warren MA
“Hosting Gurudevi in Brisbane, Australia, I found her wonderfully personable and relatable.” — Lyndall (Leela) Madden, Bulimba QLD, Australia
As a modern-day sage and Guru, she awakens Kundalini, your inner spiritual energy, through Shaktipat. As a Kundalini Master, she addresses your yearning to know your inherent Divinity by propelling you into it. She supports you in the process of learning to live in the recognition of your own Divinity as well as to recognize the Divine in everyone and everything. With Gurudevi as your teacher, the inner process is deep and easy.
She pioneered the Svaroopa® Sciences, based in the ancient teachings of Kashmiri Shaivism. She learned them from her Guru, Swami Muktananda, which enlivens these comprehensive practices including:
- sutra study
- guided self-inquiry
- breathing practices
- yoga poses (asana)
- and seva.
One branch of the Svaroopa® Sciences is Svaroopa® yoga. Gurudevi created it in order to bring asana practice back to its original purpose, the awakening of Kundalini and the knowing of Self. Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram continues to offer Svaroopa® yoga teacher training, with Gurudevi serving as Master Teacher, directing and supporting our other Teacher Trainers.
In “Yoga, Sweat and Mysticism,” an article written for Yoga Alliance, she explains,
"Yoga itself claims to be a science. It uses proven methodology to get predictable results, just like the battery in your car. On the physical level, the methodologies provide reliable results, often likened to medical therapies, yet the sages always targeted a deeper goal… [to] become one with consciousness… to know your own Divine Self (svaroopa), inherent within you.
The results are reliable: if you do what the sages teach, you will experience what they promise. This is yoga — pure mysticism, meaning it is about the mystery of life, the mystery that is hidden inside every human heart and being."
This perspective informs all of Gurudevi Nirmalananda’s teaching. Warm, lighthearted and down-to-earth, she makes the mystical teachings accessible through examples from our everyday lives and relationships. Students cherish their relationship with Gurudevi Nirmalananda, as it carries them forward into yoga’s ancient promise:
"Gurudevi Nirmalananda never ceases to amaze me… she is a master teacher and is both forthcoming and real in every moment.” — Rosemary (Rudrani) Nogue, Calgary AB, Canada
"Her presence is like tapping into the main stream. The hot socket." — Lori (Priya) Kenney, Portland OR
“She knows my mind better than I do.” — Melissa (Yogeshwari) Fountain, Southborough MA
Gurudevi Nirmalananda credits her own Guru, Swami Muktananda, with everything. She describes that years of living in Baba’s Ashrams in the USA, Europe and India allowed her to indulge her total focus on Baba and his teachings. She says, “Six weeks before he left this world, he sent me back to America to raise my children and to teach.”
Now Gurudevi Nirmalananda ensures these ancient teachings are alive and thriving. In Downingtown PA, the Ashram provides Lokananda, your “Bliss Place,” a full-service retreat facility for immersion programs, including Gurudevi’s Shaktipat retreats, immersions for deeper practices, and professional training courses for yoga teachers, yoga therapists and meditation teachers. Weekly, Gurudevi offers satsangs (free meditation programs) including chanting, meditation and teachings to guide you on your path.
Gurudevi Nirmalananda also travels throughout the USA, Canada and Australia, offering free programs as well as weekend Shaktipat Retreats. She regularly leads pilgrimages to Ganeshpuri India, the home village of her Guru with the Samadhi Temple of his Guru, Bhagawan Nityananda.
Her generosity is legendary, including an enormous library of free online teachings on this website. They include contemplation articles, daily e-quotes and recordings from her satsangs. She also offers tuition-based, multimedia distance learning in a year-long programme, beginning each spring.
Under her guidance, the Ashram runs charitable projects in the USA and India. In Downingtown PA, we offer Stress Relief Inservice, training schoolteachers in centering self-care, so they can better serve their students. In India, we have partnered with Fire Mountain Ashram to offer Yoga in the Village, bringing yoga to school children in impoverished areas.
Gurudevi says, “It is such a privilege to give yoga back to the land of its origin, especially in the local schools in Ganeshpuri and the whole Tansa River valley. The native population of this region never had access to the yogic or Vedic tradition. Like Native Americans or Australian Aborigines, they were the forgotten people, now working to find their place in mainstream society in India. To bring them the heritage of their own land is a deeply fulfilling project.”