India and spirituality go hand in hand, we all are born in a country that has had a spiritual culture since the Vedic period. We Indians find a great sense of pride in calling ourselves spiritual and our land of enchantment is the adobe of spirituality. We are all blessed to be living in a country as great as India.
We are privileged to be born in a country as great as India; where lord Rama and Lord Krishna were born, where Lord Buddha got his enlightenment, where the world’s largest religious gathering Kumbh is organized every year, where culture, tradition, heritage, and secularism are all in action on the grounds.
India is rich in tradition, culture, and heritage and is a multicultural, multilingual, and multifaceted country; yet the essence of “unity in diversity” makes it the best place on the Earth to live in. We live in a country where a Sikh man swears as the P.M of India, under a Muslim President to govern a country with a population of 80% Hindus. Indeed India is a great country with great people living here.
In addition to being “The world’s largest Democracy’, India can also be claimed to be the spiritual capital of the world, rich in n number of cultures, beliefs, and traditions. With each religion comes their own cultures, heritages, beliefs, spiritual leaders, and followers.
The number of religious practices in India is very high and so the number of religious leaders is too high as well. We here will see, some of the greatest and most followed spiritual leaders in India.
Before jumping into going through some of the top spiritual leaders in India, let us first understand what is meant by spirituality. The process of attaining complete self-awareness by identifying a state of mind or consciousness that is above any physical form of existence is referred to as spirituality. It helps people attain much more compassion for others.
There are many spiritual gurus in India, who are all very famous all around the world for promoting and propagating their cultures, practices, ethics, and teachings. Many people irrespective of their religions and caste follow these spiritual leaders and their preaching’s in search of the light and peace they were missing in their lives.
Let’s have a look at some of these eminent Spiritual leaders of the country.
List of some of the most eminent Spiritual leaders in India and around the world are:
SHRI SHRI RAVI SHANKAR
He is the most famous spiritual leader in India and around the world, who has staged many spiritual gatherings all around the globe. He has an NGO known as “Art of Living”, which aims to support the economically and socially backward class population in all the means that he can.
He is also known for the International Association For Human values which aims to perpetuate and promote global values among people irrespective of race, nationality, or religion.
He believes that it’s only loving that should be the basics of living for every human being and one should respect fellow people irrespective of their caste, color, region, religion, etc. He wants people to understand their purpose of existence and lead happy and peaceful life.
His dream is to build a world where people are content and happy with themselves and are not jealous and hateful towards others. His teachings are mostly based on topics related to spirituality and not on religious identities.
She is also known as Sister Shivani and is famous all over the country for her strong motivational courses and seminars. She is a teacher of the Brahma Kumaris Spiritual University has spoken all around the country on various platforms.
BK Shivani does not have a spiritual background as she herself is an electronic engineer and has a software business. She is married in real life but has thoughts much more beyond this materialistic satisfaction. She wanted to seek the answers to deeper questions of life and got them through meditation and preachings.
She promotes the same ideology among the people and her motivational speeches have helped many people recover from mental health problems and dilemmas, for this reason, she has been made an ambassador of the World Psychiatrist Association.
He is another very famous spiritual leader in India and belongs to the Akshardham Swami Narayan Mandir.
He is a mechanical engineer who established Swami Narayan Sanstha that is run by his volunteers. He and is Sanstha aims to promote the spiritual growth of individuals through the help of Hindu ideologies like selflessness, nonviolence, unity, good karma, and faith in oneself and the almighty.
He believes that people should always aim to walk on the path of Dharma and says that ethics is one of the most essential characteristics of a human being. Hence he teaches his devotees to be ethical as without ethics one cannot stay peaceful and never leave the path of Dharma.
Sadhvi Ritambhara is one of the most prominent figures in Hinduism and has apparently attained Nirvana at the marriage of 16. She is a religious preacher and also a political activist who is the most famous for narrating the Ram Katha in the most fluent and effective way all around the world.
She has also founded the Ram Shakti Peeth that is a non-profitable organization run by volunteers who help people in all means and also help women who are inclined towards the religion and are devotional. She is also a very prominent member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
MAHARISHI MAHESH YOGI
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was a physics student at the Allahabad University, who after completing his masters had a quest for the deeper meaning in life. He was regularly practicing yoga and meditation under a Gurudev and started teaching the same himself after his teacher’s death.
He even flew to the States and Europe to spread his preachings. He used to teach Transcendental Meditation, where a person has to close his eyes for 20 minutes and repeat hymes in his mind. This technique is regarded as a great one and is also suggested by many physiologists as a therapy for better mental health.
His teachings have emerged to be very beneficial for the people as it has helped them attain a deep state of relaxation and consciousness, eliminating stress and other negative emotions which people have to face in their day to day lives.
SADHGURU JAGGI VASUDEV
Sadhguru was born in Mysore and has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. He at a very young age started taking Yoga classes and practicing yoga for a youthful living.
He became a very successful businessman at the young age of 25, but that didn’t satisfy him. He wanted to dig deeper to see the various prospects of life. He continued to practice yoga and became a yoga teacher, teaching yoga to many of his students for their betterment.
He started to propagate the practice of Yoga and spirituality and went on to become an excessively famous motivational speaker in the country and around the world. His modern thinking and fluent way of delivering thoughts have made him the most popular spiritual leader among the Youth. He has the answers to most of the questions his followers put up for him.
He has an extremely charming personality that attracts people from around the world to his teachings. Hollywood star Will Smith is a Sadhguru fan. People who never were interested in this genre even seem to be quite fascinated after listening to him.
Mata Amritanandamayi is called Amma by her followers and is very famous for accepting everyone who comes to her and giving unconditional love and hugs to them. For this reason, she is also called the “hugging saint”.
She was born to a family of poor fishermen in Kerala, and hence always spends most of her time taking care of her family. She never got the proper education and was deprived of it. But she was an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna and is believed to have gotten the spiritual awakening from there.
She believes in loving everyone and teaches her followers to perform three things in order to attain absolute bliss; i.e. knowledge, action, and devotion. Her purpose in life is to serve Lord Krishna and help people. She always encourages people to be kind and practice mankind in whichever way it is possible.
She is the hugging saint and has hugged around 33 million people all around the world. Her selfless services have got her many appreciations and awards.
Dalai Lama born in 1935 in China, is considered to be the living Buddha.
His name is Tenzin Gyatso, is the 14th Dalai Lama, and is considered the spiritual leader of the highest order in Tibet. According to the ancient beliefs, each Dalai Lama is the reincarnation of the previous Dalai Lama and he was renamed after the predecessor.
Dalai Lama is a Nobel award winner and received his honor under the peace category in 1989. Dalai Lama and many of his devotees escaped to India due to the fear of the Tibetan uprising and has continued with his humanitarian work in the country since then.
He has also travelled around the world to promote Buddhist teachings in schools, colleges, offices, and other institutions. He is regarded and loved for his great services towards humanity all around the world.
Born in Gorakhpur in 1893, Yogananda lost his mother at a very young age and he found his solace in spiritual practices and started seeking more of this experience.
Yogananda became increasingly interested in religion and often practiced meditation to discipline himself, he even travelled to Bengal in search of a teacher who could discipline him. He attained his Samadhi under his guru Shri Yukteswar and then started teaching at a school in Ranchi.
He felt to spread his teachings throughout the world and flew to the United States and started teaching Yoga. His organization “Self Realization Fellowship”, founded long back still promotes yoga and spirituality among modern people.
Osho was born in India in 1931 and attained his Samadhi at the young age of 21 years. He was initially teaching philosophy at the Jabalpur University after completing his master’s degree but became a full-time spiritual Guru in 1966.
He established his ashram in Pune on 6 acres of land and propagated his ideologies among his devotees.