Self Enquiry Life Fellowship

There is no way to truth, truthfulness is the way. There is no way to serve, service is the way. There is no way to love, love is the way.

aka Hansavedas   |   SANTA BARBARA, CA   |  hansavedas.org

Mission

Hansavedas sangha and the US Nonprofit, Self Enquiry Life Fellowship was founded to safeguard and disseminate the indigenous knowledge from the Sanskrit heritage, including: extant literature on spiritual philosophy that is meaningful to modern inquiry; spiritual practices of Vedic antiquity that bring about peace in our communities through compassion; Himalayan yoga-vinyāsa and Ayurveda that promote wellness and mindfulness in daily living; and Himalayan meditation techniques of unbroken lineages for self-empowerment and liberation. The Nonprofit makes accessible through its holistic curriculum of educational publications: wisdom teachings by Vedic monks, Himalayan meditation and yogic mindfulness practices, sublime chanting of Sanskrit hymns, Vedic fine arts and classical music.

Ruling year info

2006

Principal Officer

Swami Vidyadhishananda Giri

Main address

PO Box 30627

SANTA BARBARA, CA 93130 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

20-3478668

NTEE code info

Religion Related, Spiritual Development N.E.C. (X99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The organization has implemented a holistic learning curriculum from an ancient Sanskrit-based indigenous knowledge resource that uses whole-brain learning. This accelerated learning curriculum that is outlined in the hansavedas.org website fulfill a niche hitherto not available in the Western world. All aspects of a Sanskrit-based teaching system meant for human excellence are represented and shared by our platform. We seek to disseminate what the time-honoured Sanskrit tradition values to be truly empowering. We share how Sanskrit heritage integrates all aspects of the indigenous knowledge base, from mindfulness to meditation, yoga with art, spiritual philosophy and music, among many other seamlessly combined diverse parts. Multiple levels of our holistic curriculum guide seekers on a path of spiritual inquiry, living mindfully and building a regular practice of meditation. To this effect adept monks who are erudite Sanskrit scholars guide the organization to reach its noble goals.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

International Educational Lecture Series

Ancient Sanskrit philosophies live on as a universal heritage for humankind, especially as a bridge between science and spirituality. Seekers can study spiritual philosophy through the Nonprofit’s public lectures and fellowships, where wisdom teachings and their conceptual framework are disseminated. This includes invited lectures at institutions, public discourses, livestream fellowships, workshops on mindfulness and breathing techniques (prānāyāma), meditation retreats, and healing prayer services or peace masses.

Fellowships and public lectures are the core method for sharing indigenous wisdom of the Sanskrit heritage. These teachings and adhering affirmations purify the mind when practised, and allow the seeker to grasp subtle concepts and develop a vision of a spiritual life. The Sanskrit verses and aphorisms selected as the tenets of wisdom are primarily from the cardinal texts of Sankhya, Yoga and Vedanta philosophies.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The tradition of Indic indigenous knowledge is well known for its seamless combination of art and music with meditation and spirituality. In this light, the Nonprofit searches out music maestros, savants and chanters who are capable of reproducing the ancient mystique of the Vedic times through music. Drawing upon esoteric Sanskrit texts and manuscripts, our monastic council of Vedic monks guides the conception, recording and production of music publications. The music recordings showcase the sublime creations by legendary, renowned and budding artists of classical music.

The compositions unfold ancient Vedic classical music in the light of meditation and are inspired by the traditional repertoire of Vedic rhythms and melodies derived from the repository of Sāmaveda chanting and Sāmagāna singing. Most of the compositions are recorded following long arduous review of musical notes and soundscapes. Discussions on the relationship between chanting intonations and rāga based melody inflections play a pivotal role in creating the meditative mystique.

The collaboration between our Nonprofit and musicians has resulted in an archive of audio and video recordings which aptly preserves and represents Vedic classical music. Videos previews are made available free of cost on our online learning platform, multimedia.hansavedas.org, while complete music albums are made available on major music distribution platforms for the public.

Population(s) Served
Adults

This project goal is two-fold: firstly to continue sustaining the more widely known chanting lineages; and secondly to use this well-practiced platform to revive less common and esoteric branches of sublime recitation. The chanting project is conducted in the premises of our Nonprofit’s sister institutions in India, where students train in a boarding school environment based on an ancient and proven Vedic whole-brain learning curriculum. The students typically range from age eight to late-teens who memorize and learn the Sanskrit verses from a particular branch of the Veda-mantra collection for chanting and ceremonial applications.

Currently the Nonprofit helps conduct the boarding school for students of traditional Sanskrit chanting at Sri Paramananda Ashram in Prayag, Uttar Pradesh. Many of our Nonprofit’s initial chanting samples are the recordings of actual class sessions: https://hansavedasmultimedia.vhx.tv/free-content/season:7. More complete archival recordings by trained adepts will be forthcoming. Drawing upon esoteric Sanskrit texts and manuscripts, our highly ordained Vedic monks still attract the best students for this course of study. The curricula are overseen and the exams are conducted through the Sandipani University in Ujjain, India.

In 2017 the Nonprofit facilitated the revival of a resonant and sublime branch of Vedic chanting recension known as the Rāṇāyaniya branch of Sāmaveda. This branch of intonated chanting and stylized singing is considered to be the sweetest among the Sāmagāna (singing of psalms) still alive today. The programme is run inside the premises of Vedanidhi in Varanasi, India. Vedanidhi, also known by the name Vedic Heritage Research Foundation, is one of the sister institutions of our Nonprofit. The facility is currently able to house 10 to 15 students providing all aspects of a supporting infrastructure needed for nurturing this chanting tradition.

The Nonprofit has thus honed in one of its unique strengths to safeguard the mystique of sublime chanting that uses the perfect phonetic construction of Sanskrit. This constitutes an important project because, few authentic chanting lineages are able to survive today due to the paucity of resources and lack of institutionalized funding. The degenerating infrastructure in India has resulted in broken lineages and as a result there is now a serious lack of trained teachers who can transmit their chanting techniques through a sustainable lineage of successors.

The recording and publication of chanting libraries will help sustain original and authentic branches of sublime recitation from the old world treasures. It is a rare opportunity for a seeker to gain access to such meditative voice intonations of the ancient world. These intonated vocalizations have been the bedrock of the entire Vedic worship paradigm as well as verses and aphorisms used in various meditation practices.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Nonprofit conducts Vedic fire ceremonies (Homa) for the sake of worldwide peace and prosperity, heritage revival by way of safeguarding ceremonial expertise, and an increase in the benevolent virtue of the Nonprofit. Conducting these Homa in India, the land where intricate fire ceremonies have been practised for thousands of years as methods of communion with the celestial world, allows preservation at the source while the benevolent peace effects are directed to communities worldwide. Our nonprofit platform values this offering as an important service, related to our cause.

This series of Homa is undertaken based on higher guidance from the ascended Sages, especially Sri Kashyap Rishi, Sri Durvasa Rishi and Sri Bhrigu Rishi. The detailed affirmations or Sankalpa are written in erudite Sanskrit by the monks of our monastic council – and then executed by the team of Vedic priests for initiating the entire fire ceremony at an auspicious time (muhurta). This is a rare blessing for the common good.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Monks of the Nonprofit’s monastic council have preserved antique paintings of altars and deities from over two centuries before the advent of photography. The paintings depict deep spiritual ethos and philosophical teachings of eternal dharma. Many of these paintings are dilapidated or damaged and thereby undergo restoration before we share them through our nonprofit platform.

The restoration process begins when a selected old-world painting is scanned and re-sampled before undergoing initial digital restoration to overcome the limitations of damage. Thereafter the image is printed on canvas and professionally painted with oil or acrylic, bringing the original to life, while also accentuating subtle nuances. The painted canvas is re-digitized for final micro level detailing and adjustments. By directly referencing Sanskrit scriptures, the Nonprofit’s monastics guide the restoration and artistic process so that the final painting is an accurate scriptural representation.

These paintings bring to life a divine ethos from the Sanskrit heritage, linking diverse aspects of heriatage as a singular object of contemplation. They take on the form of living altars in homes and sacred spaces, emitting an aura of divinity while beholding the rich lore and storyline they bring with them.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The enchanting mystique of vintage photographs is brought to life in our Fellowship Archives project. While our Nonprofit procures and digitizes both vintage and contemporary photography, the archival collection has a focus on original prints and digital images of rare meditative photos primarily from India, mostly taken during the second half of the 19th century.

Working with museums, universities, private collectors, galleries and antiquarian dealers, the Nonprofit continues to build a repository dedicated to the philosophical roots and spiritual depth of India’s architectural and natural wonders. Prints and images that would otherwise be lost to private collectors or the sands of time are preserved for sharing and inspiring current and future generations.

The archives are made accessible through educational publications, public lectures, museum exhibitions, and in the future, a web-based archival library. Currently, a selection of vintage photographs from the collection have been digitally remastered and restored and made available to the public as exquisite meditative art prints.

Population(s) Served
Adults

While Sanskrit is well known as a root language and for its vast literature, the depth of spiritual philosophy contained in its ancient literature is not adequately represented in English or other modern languages. Through the Nonprofit’s online learning platform, multimedia.hansavedas.org, a library of audio and video recordings representing the Sanskrit heritage is made accessible to the public.

The recordings consist of discourses from the cardinal texts of Sankhya, Yoga and Vedanta philosophies, guided meditation, guided mindfulness practices, live music recordings and Vedic chanting.

Currently there are over 60 audio and video recordings available free of cost to the public. In addition to the free content there is also subscriber-only content which consists of hundreds of hours of additional audio and video recordings. Our multimedia platform allows seekers to study spiritual philosophy and practice authentic Himalayan meditation and breathings techniques from anywhere in the world.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Top-Rated Nonprofit 2015

Great Nonprofits

Top-Rated Nonprofit 2014

Great Nonprofits

Top-Rated Nonprofit 2013

Great Nonprofits

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of public events held to further mission

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

International Educational Lecture Series

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This number includes public fellowships, but does not include regular fellowships which are held on a weekly basis.

Number of unique website visitors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Hours of volunteer service

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of people on the organization's email list

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of Facebook followers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of new donors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Total number of hours of published video & audio content

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Online Learning

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of subscribers on our Hansavedas Academy (online learning and mobile app)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Online Learning

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total number of plays of a guided meditation recording on our Hansavedas Academy (since launch of the site)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Online Learning

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This includes the total number of plays of a guided meditation recording since the launching of our online learning website.

Dollar value of retreat and workshop scholarships offered to the public

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Total number of cities worldwide where public events have been hosted since inception

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

International Educational Lecture Series

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of livestreamed events

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

International Educational Lecture Series

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of students served in affiliated schools in India

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Sanskrit Chanting

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Total number of public events held since inception

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

International Educational Lecture Series

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Percentage of public programs offered free

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

International Educational Lecture Series

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of active initiated meditators studying with a monastic

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

IRS Public support test percentage (percent of donations from donors who give less than 2% of the nonprofit’s overall receipts)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The IRS public support test states that at least 33.3% of donations must be given by donors who give less than 2% of the nonprofit’s overall receipts.

Percentage of expenses spent on Program Services

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The organization safeguards and shares indigenous knowledge from the ancient Sanskrit heritage including: extant literature on spiritual philosophy that is meaningful to modern society; spiritual practices of Indic antiquity meant for peaceful sustainable coexistence; Himalayan yoga and Ayurveda that promote wellness and mindfulness; and Himalayan meditation techniques of unbroken lineages which bring about mental clarity and compassion through self-empowerment. Our Nonprofit is working to establish Centres of Himalayan meditation and Vedic wisdom for spiritual seekers from all backgrounds. Our growing digital resource is accessible worldwide at each subscriber’s own location. In the next five years, we are aiming to build properties where spiritual aspirants will create communities of peace so that the teachings and techniques are practiced together in a retreat ambience. The cultural transmission of our holistic curriculum to the West is meant to inspire enlightened living.

We are committed to upskilling delivery methods to integrate and share meditation techniques, spiritual philosophy, Ayurvedic wellness principles, Himalayan yoga, Vedic fine arts and music. We utilize the latest technologies and software and our diverse resources are compounding together. We have a growing Facebook following and worldwide livestream audience. In addition, building physical resources has strengthened our cause, such as trained volunteers, meditators’ community, fellowship congregations, and exquisite printed material including vintage photographs and sacred paintings. Our current strategic priorities include: (a) developing a property which will attract the practitioners of our teachings, (b) populating the digital resource library and growing our multimedia subscription base while working toward an online coursework, and (c) expanding our current website outreach through our Google AdWords grant by driving traffic to niche content valuable to global seekers.

Our Nonprofit is guided by a team of ordained Vedic monks who are meditation adepts and erudite Sanskrit scholars. They access Sanskrit indigenous knowledge due to their own unbroken lineages and tutelage. The President monk was awarded the degree of Mahamahopadhyay (DLitt et Phil) by the university system in India, and provides fellowship services. Authentic spiritual philosophy attracts serious seekers many of whom enroll as volunteers. Himalayan meditation techniques attract spiritual aspirants who become initiates. 400 core volunteers and initiates provide 10K volunteering hours/yr. 500 donors support the basic needs as we aim to increase the dedicated donors to 1000. A trained Program Director, two exempt staff and an AV staff are supported by trained volunteers who upkeep the program services. Our 10 sister institutional properties in India provide a wider connectivity and a ready resource. The acquisition of our own property in the near future will fructify long-term goals.

Our short-term goal of populating website and multimedia content has been received with great enthusiasm by subscribers. A quick boost was effected by launching Google-Ads to drive web traffic and by building a Facebook community. These digital breakthroughs have given us better visibility for the long-term goal of curriculum implementation at our acquired property. So far we are dependent on rented venues and email notices, which we will overcome by acquiring a Meditation Centre. The Nonprofit has offered an average of 2.5 special events to the public per month, which has far exceeded expectation. Over 80% of these events were free, thus allowing low/moderate income families to participate. In addition, growing attendance at our regular free events on Full Moons, monthly livestreams and group meditations adds momentum. We consider our expense allocation of over 80% for program services and our 78% figure for the IRS Public Support Test as excellent markers of progress.

Financials

Self Enquiry Life Fellowship
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Self Enquiry Life Fellowship

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda Giri

No Affiliation

Term: 2005 -

Swami Vidyadhishananda Giri

No Affiliation

Radhika Pathy

No Affiliation

Ashok Hanumanth

No Affiliation

Suresh Naranayamoorthy

No Affiliation

Minakshi Acharya

No Affiliation

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/5/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Gender identity
Male

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data