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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Self Enquiry Life Fellowship

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, International, Promotion of International Understanding, Religion, Religion-Related

Mission: The ancient Vedic order is a vast spiritual heritage rich with the esoteric sciences of prayer, meditation and monasticism. It is our goal to preserve the nonsectarian teachings of the authentic Vedic tradition, including that of the mystical Himalayan yoga lineages and to research the sacred Sanskrit scriptures, texts and manuscripts. We wish to create awareness through cultural exchange, introducing ayurvedic principles, Vedic arts, rituals, ceremonies and music to the Western culture while being a model of sustainability, living in harmony with nature.

Community Stories

148 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Self Enquiry Life Fellowship is by far at the most integrous organization I've ever encountered. I find them to be incredibly transparent and always true to their mission to disseminate Indigenous wisdom through as many means as possible. His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda Giri directs the most dedicated group of volunteers I've seen. Over all, the organization, their programs and educational platform, and production are nothing short of impeccable.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Living in the U.S. as has given me very many blessings. However, I have always felt that the philosophies, understandings and realizations that come from great old cultures is void in the U.S. Discovering Gurudev, his intent, his selflessness, and his learnings is truly a blessing to have access to in this country. I am thankful to have met him and have a connection to this great organization.

I have only learned about SELF within the last year and have been able to meet Gurudev at an annual event. Gurudev has an innate peace and depth of soul that makes me wish I lived in California to attend more of his events in person . The organization is full of selfless volunteers who dedicate their time and efforts to give back to the world around them. They are a very endearing, kind group of people who selflessly host visitors with an open heart.

I am thankful to have been introduced to SELF and as the chapters of my life unfold , I plan to continue to make many more visits to Gurudev and the amazing organization he has founded .

Ripneet S B.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've found refuge with Swami Vidyadhishananda and the Hansavedas wisdom teachings. They have enriched my life in all aspects, especially my inner self development. Their high quality audio and video recordings as well as their carefully curated masterpiece artworks shows the attention to detail and mindfullness Swamiji and the orginization bring to everything. I'm grateful to have found this sanctuary and would highly recommend it. Namaste

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SELF is an amazing source of authentic Vedic wisdom. The wealth of wisdom teachings made available to the public, free or very low cost, in accessible form even for the beginner student, is unparalleled anywhere. I am beyond grateful. The guidance and knowledge I receive is helping me find my correct path and become improved in body, mind and spirit.

His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda possesses so much knowledge and experience, yet He explains in the most complex concepts and relationships in such way they can connect and be understood.

Many teachings and lectures are accessible free from the web site, with additional teachings live-streamed by video every month and for auspicious occasions. One can participate in the teaching from anywhere in the world or subscribe for a very nominal fee to access the comprehensive library on demand.

The staff and volunteers are so very kind, welcoming and helpful people, filled with great love and respect. When I have been privileged to visit California to attend an event or volunteer, every detail from travel to shuttles to lodging is meticulously attended to with utmost care and kindness. Events and retreats are offered to the public at very low cost. Staff and volunteers often reach out with information, kind thoughts and prayers in times of concern.

His Holiness is approachable and has personally taken an interest to guide me through difficult times and choices. It is comforting and impressive to receive a personal message from the office offering personalized information and prayers.

Expressing my gratitude. it is a great privilege to serve as a volunteer.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was first introduced to His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda, by a dear friend at a public fellowship over a year ago. At the time, I did not truly realize or comprehend what Self Enquiry Life Fellowship truly embodied, nor did I anticipate how my participation as a seeker and later volunteer would set in motion such significant change in my life. I am immensely grateful to have been guided to a community that continues to help me recognize my true nature and develop practices which enable me to be my true self.

SELF’s multimedia platform is impressive. From discourses on spiritual philosophy to yogic breathing and pranayama, there is content that is accessible to meditation adepts and those whom are seeking an opportunity for initial exposure to Himalayan meditation techniques. While there are many opportunities to participate in or attend public discourses, livestream fellowships, and workshops, it is extremely beneficial to have unlimited access to digital curricula.

The opportunity to volunteer for the organization has provided me with a multitude of different learning experiences, opportunities for professional growth, and an ability to be of service to others and the community. I am thankful to have been given the opportunity to also be able to contribute to the fulfillment of the Hansavedas mission and vision.

I am profoundly grateful for His Holiness, his teachings, wisdom, blessings, and continued guidance.

Nelli T.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have met Swami Vidyadhisananda once before I went to the Guru Purnima this year. Being part of this organization for three days gave me a feeling of home, so much love and support in this community, everything was so well organized that I didn’t have any worries and I have had the opportunity to concentrate on the teachings. Being around his holiness opens my heart, I drop into Being instead of constant Doing. All possible questions are answered in such a detail, he makes it understandable for everyone.
It is fascinating how Swami Vidyadhisananda remembers each person and gives individual lessons to everyone.
There are no words to express my gratitude. I would definitely recommend to explore the multimedia platform where you can find endless University level knowledge that will change your life !
Namaste

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What a true blessing to have found the Hansavedas Self Enquiry Life Fellowship!
Words cannot truly express the authentic compassion and detailed commitment to integrity that this organization brings to every facet of its operation. It truly is a shining gem!
I was introduced to the Fellowship through a dear friend, and over the years, I continue to deepen in my gratitude for this opportunity to learn from and be inspired by His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda. The message of peace and selfless service shines through the smiling eyes of everyone I meet within the organization. I feel warmly welcomed and inspired with every fellowship I attend. I have found immense personal growth and learning though the multitude of offerings the organization provides. The website and online multimedia platform offers a wealth of immensely valuable teachings and resources.
I can with a full and happy heart recommend this nonprofit as a shining example of heartfelt service, commitment to excellence with full transparency and openness to all.

Rob B.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They take care of every detail of projects and events. Costs are always minimal and offerings generous. Amazing !

Donor

Rating: 5

8 years ago i met Gurudev giving us a talk in the SV temple in Pittsburgh. I never imagined that I would one day join the Self Enquiry Life Fellowship and gain so much spiritual insight. Gurudev provides the tools and knowledge to continue practicing difficult yet life changing spirituality on your own in your daily life. I hope that everyone can gain the kinds of amazing things I have been introduced to through the Self Enquiry Life Fellowship.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came to know about Swamiji and SELF around 8 years ago through dear and respected friends. My journey in kriya yoga began 4 years ago and it really is Devine. Gurudev' s compassion towards disciples and uncompromising discipline towards the sadhana are exactly what I needed. My meeting with gurudev is the fructification of all my past good karma. There is nothing more or better or sweeter than gurudev. Gurudev is God for me.

Jai gurudev.

Kirti Vashee

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In this age of spiritual materialism and previously trusted institutions who disappoint us at every turn, SELF is a beacon of hope on what transparency and integrity mean. The organization is built on time-honored principles of integrity and honor that have been forgotten but not lost. Here you will see leadership that leads through service, competence, love, and complete lack of self-aggrandizement.

The digital platform that is being built will become a resource for the future and the care and attention that is being applied in building it is exemplary and unique. This will ensure that the content will remain authentic and incorruptible, possibly even hundreds of years from now. The knowledge is shared, based on the principle established at the ancient university of Taxashila where learning could happen dynamically and with a degree of personalization that is unknown in today's university programs, that allow a learning momentum that accelerates exponentially and that can lead to "realization". This approach which is holistic, mindful and deeply respectful of the root Sanskritic Knowledge, the teacher, and the longer term social responsibility of the student, I believe will be an example of what education really means. It will produce humans who have values with a concern to contribute to the common good. It is my feeling that one is unlikely to find a truer source of this knowledge in English than is offered on this platform.

I am honored to be a volunteer at the SELF-organization and have the privilege to have as much interaction with the spiritual founder Shri Swami Vidyadhishananda, as I have had. To be a regular witness to such a clear example of integrity, clarity, single-mindedness, and selflessness is my great good fortune.

I heartily endorse the organization and its teaching platform to any who are serious seekers of the ancient wisdom teachings of Indic and Vedic lineage. Here you will find what Yoga really means.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Like so many others, my introduction to SELF came amidst a lifelong search for answers to life’s biggest questions. What is the purpose of this life and my relationship with others? Who am I, where do I come from, and where am I going?
These questions are difficult to answer without the help of a wise spiritual master who has established the highest level of intellect and communion to assist with any human dilemma. The spiritual founder of Self Enquiry Life Fellowship, Swami Vidyadhishananda is a master of this stature.
I consider myself extremely fortunate to have come across this nonprofit under the guiding wisdom of Gurudev. My life has been reshaped thanks to the teachings. It is much easier to follow one’s life journey when guided by the light of a Guru who knows the way. Furthermore, it is a joy to share this journey with so many others who yearn to know the truth and to discover their true nature and to express it fully.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is rare to find an organization with such integrity and transparency, one that lives it's teachings through countless acts of kindness. People from all walks of life find their spiritual home in this rich and varied traditional wisdom teaching.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been to programs, events organized by various spiritual organizations in the past yet I have never experienced such authenticity in the Vedic wisdom teachings, Himalayan meditation and pranayama techniques as that offered through SELF.
SELF organization founded and led by His Holiness Swami Vidhyadhishananda is one of the very rare gems that I am fortunate and grateful to be a part of.
His Holiness is a highly ordained Vedic monk who hails from unbroken lineages of meditation adepts from Himalaya.
The ancient Vedic wisdom teachings from the Sanskrit scriptures are profound and very much applicable to our lives.
Himalayan meditation guided by His Holiness has had a calming, deeply peaceful effect on me every time I have practiced it.
The organization also imparts wellness, mindfulness in the form of Yoga vinyasa, Ayurveda teachings derived from Atharvaveda, Vedic Classical music rooted in the Samaveda, Sacred paintings of altars and deities.
Each of the above offerings under the direction of His Holiness is disseminated as per Vedic tradition with utmost quality and standards that I have not come across anywhere else.

In the past year and half of being a volunteer with the organization, I can say that my outlook towards life has been more positive, inspired me to be a better human being by inculcating the wisdom teachings into my daily life.
If you are looking for authentic meditation and ancient Vedic wisdom teachings, I would highly recommend the non-profit organization and would encourage you to
learn more on www.hansavedas.org.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have known our dear teacher Swami Vidyadhishananda since 1999 and I can say that anything I know today that is of any value has come from his loving teachings and his gentle encouragement to practice meditation daily.
Cultivation of truth, wisdom, sacrifice, compassion, strength and peace.
These are all possible when in the presence of a realized monk.
His meditation teachings along with lifestyle guidance are deeply transformative.
Swami’s tireless work to build a sustainable platform for genuine seekers is his gift to the world.
If there is a way to end suffering and live in peace and joy, then surely Sanskrit based teachings point the way.


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Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has always been necessary for human beings to find ways and means to cultivate inner peace, acquire wisdom and eradicate suffering. Some do make it.
And although many have expounded on how to achieve this, my question is why not go directly to the source, to the enlightened definitive guide, the miraculously compiled Vedic Sanskrit texts; those beautiful verses addressing every angst we have in a wise and loving way. It is not possible to find better advice to achieve peace in one's own Self and make sense of life. Its sheer wisdom and loving proses melt your heart and mind and lifts you into permanent positive action.
The combination of the magical texts and an equally magical teacher monk to spoon feed us this wisdom and to gently encourage us, has transformed myself and countless of others.
Through teachings, retreats, meditations, soothing divine melodies and personal guidance, your heart becomes lighter, more loving and compassionate and your mind more in your control where finally anxiety can give way to inspiring action.
This is it, the winning combination of love and peace versus suffering.
This has all been made possible due to one simple monk who has sacrificed much to become an exalted teacher to all of us here in the West who are yearning and ready to let in the light.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am based in Europe and have been involved as a volunteer with Self Enquiry Life Fellowship since 2005 when the organization was first founded in the US. Right from its humble beginnings, it has always had a lofty vision of spreading and preserving the wisdom of the Vedic scriptures and ancient India for the benefit of seekers everywhere. Authentic meditation techniques are taught as well as mindfulness and a healthy lifestyle conducive to meditation.

What strikes me in my volunteering for the organization is the professionalism I meet. The motto is: if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well. My volunteering skills are honed by working with such a highly-motivated and professional group of people. The organization has a great team of volunteers. For example, when programmes are arranged in Europe, many volunteers give their time to arrange events and take care of guests. The staff are there to support them in their efforts. Such was the case in England in 2017.

The nonprofit is not slow to adopt the latest information technology to disseminate wisdom. I have watched how the website has come to fruition in the last two years as a prime resource for seekers of truth and knowledge. The multimedia part of the website is expanding rapidly into a wealth of discourses and guided meditations.

The regular livestreaming of discourses enables people like me who are far away to follow the teachings on a monthly basis. These livestreams are also an opportunity for like-minded people to gather and watch the broadcasts together.

The nonprofit is based in California but draws on the wisdom and knowledge of an advisory council of Vedic monks hailing from India. The head monk of the nonprofit organization is His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda who has the rare skill of explaining the deeper meaning of Sanskrit scriptures in clear, eloquent English. He has been a profound influence on me with his teachings and I can recommend his discourses and guided meditations highly.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found this organisation when I was deeply seeking truth. It has given me more than I could have asked or imagined in terms of truth, faith and divinity. A platform that is in complete alignment from the way a file is stored in their office to the teachings of the saintly monk who founded this non profit.

Often I hear how rare it is to find teachings like these in the West. But as a person who was raised in India and moved to the West, finding these teachings are a rarity and privilege anywhere in the world.

Each discourse and interaction with Swami Vidyadhishananda peels away layers of teachings that are deeply rooted in an unbroken lineage of ancient Sanskrit Vedic wisdom.

I could write essays about the past four years with the organisation and how much it has changed me from the core to every part of my being. But no words can do justice in describing the experience of it.

Here you will find an inclusive eclectic fellowship of the most heart open, generous and sincerely devoted people.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been an incredible journey since I had the privilege of meeting His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda a few years ago. I remember the day when I had the honor of being in presence of His Holiness for the first time – I was waiting outside the meditation alter in the Nonprofit’s office in Santa Barbara to attend a fellowship when a saintly monk walked up to me, asked my name and guided me to the alter room offering me a seat right in front of His seat. Such humility! The ease and clarity with which He presented the profound teachings from the ancient indigenous Sanskrit scriptures and how He delivered the teachings such that it can be relevant and meaningful to those us living in today’s world, was truly remarkable! Fully present at every moment, He was an embodiment of wisdom, humility, compassion, patience and fairness.

Looking back at my life for last few years, I am profoundly grateful for His presence, blessings, teachings and guidance in my journey. It is an incredible and enormous undertaking by the Nonprofit to preserve and disseminate such authentic spiritual teachings and Himalayan meditations not only to local communities but also to global communities through its digital learning platform, a precious resource of wisdom teachings and guidance for both present and future generations to imbibe!

For those of you who are not familiar with the Nonprofit or have never been in presence of His Holiness, if I may share one more thought, it would be that don’t be satisfied by reading about experiences of others – go ahead and directly experience it yourself – nothing can supersede that direct experience!

Thank you!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to Self Enquiry Life Fellowship in July of 2013, at a local gathering in Pacific Palisades. This meeting was a catalyst for the greatest shift in my life. At that time, I was in a fairly tumultuous state of mind with nearly every category of my life accompanied by varying degrees of dissatisfaction. As a result, I was flooded with existential questions that compelled me to search for clarity and higher understanding.

Immediately after listening to Swami Vidyadhishananda speak, I was enraptured by the stories he shared, depicting his life in India where he meditated over 55 thousand hours in the frigid Himalayan climate, living amongst the greatest yogis and hailing from an ancient tradition and linage. His stories were always coupled with invaluable teachings that I was able to apply to my life and daily experiences. It was apparent that all those who were involved with the nonprofit were selflessly dedicated to sharing this profound wisdom with all yearning seekers.

After my initial meeting, I made every attempt to see His Holiness whenever I could. In time, I noticed that where I once had confusion, now there was clarity. Peace began to override the anger and discontent, selfishness evolved into selfless service, and the all too familiar internal roller coaster I was previously accustomed to started to dissipate as I became more grounded.

Now here I am, 4 years later, a completely renovated individual in every capacity. In truth, no amount of writing can suffice to accurately describe the impact that this nonprofit has had on my life. Those who know me personally can attest to the positive changes I have experienced over the years. I consider SELF my home, and the volunteers my family. Swami Vidyadhishananda has been a priceless treasure in my personal and spiritual journey.

Jaya Gurudeva

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have generally been content and blessed in my life and career thus far. And yet the skeptical scientific side of my mind can not satisfy something the soul wants. Self Enquiry Life Fellowship is a group composed of old souls with young hearts and bright minds. I kid you not. It has been the answer to my yearning to dive deeper into discovering the more authentic Self. GuruDev is a guinuine realized monk that has helped facilitate this journey for so many of us through his devine wisdom and compassion. By identifying with this organization I have not become a mindless trivial number amongst many devotes. My own freedom and self impowerment over the ups and downs of life has strengthened. I am truly thrilled about all the things I have yet to learn, discover and practice to help me navigate this journey.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SELF organization led by spiritual founder HH Swami Vidhyadhishananda is a very rare institution that imparts authentic Vedic wisdom teachings and Himalayan meditations. All of the meditations are based on a Sanskrit sutra and is extremely powerful. I have not come across such meditations until here. The pranayama techniques are extremely rejuvenating.

The organization offers other branches of Vedic based teachings like ayurveda, vedic art work, musical recordings which are excellent in their respective areas. I am always amazed at the diversity and the standards of the offerings. This is possible only because the organization is led by Swami who is so highly ordained from an unbroken lineage of vedic tradition. As a volunteer I have been exposed to many opportunities which enabled me to view life from a higher perspective. The learnings learnt here definitely adds to build a character to be able to discriminate wisely.I would highly recommend anyone who is interested in learning authentic meditation, yoga , pranayama to this organization .