Dimensions of His Personality
The Founder of
the Omkarananda International Ashram
The Biographies of distinguished personalities are brief. Swami Omkarananda’s
life could be summed up in three sentences: He was born with high spirituality.
He lives the Truth and cannot be separated from it. He works intensively
to spread the light of Truth.
Swami Omkarananda was abundantly gifted for the realization of the Divine
from his early childhood. In fact at the time of birth a strong nimbus
of light seen by everyone present surrounded the head of the baby.
From the time he was thirteen Swamiji was blessed with a growing number
of divine visions of greatest mystics and sages. Decisive and intimate
experiences of the divine omnipresence started revealing themselves
ever more dominating his young life. He went on maintaining daily diaries.
Several such diaries were filled with the constantly flowing, inspiring
divine thoughts. Then one day in an experience of the inner spirit
as the author of everything that was and will be written, he consigned
all his diaries to Ganga. They were lost for ever.
In 1946, at the age of sixteen, Swamiji disappeared from his from his
home in South India, and reached the banks of Ganga in Rishikesh at
the foothills of the Himalayas. Looking at the boy, full of transcendental
wisdom, advaita bhava, fiery spirit of renunciation, perpetual inner
peace and joy, one of the greatest sages of our times, H.H.
Shri Swami Shivananda Saraswati, lovingly called him a Bala-Yogi and
Bala-Gyani and initiated him into Sannyasa.
The period from 1950 to 1962 was characterized by tireless work. Swamiji
became the author and editor of numerous great literary masterpieces.
Through his monumental works in the English language, embracing his intensive
studies and research work in Eastern and Western philosophies, arts, sciences,
education, psychology and sociology, he won international public and academic
recognition as a writer of unusual gifts. In 1954, the degree of M. Phil.
was conferred upon Swami Omkarananda by the Yoga Vedanta Forest University.
In 1957 he was elected Member of The International American Institute,
and he got the Honorary Ph.D., Litt.D., I.A.I., Washington, D.C.
From 1962 to 1965, Swami Omkarananda plunged himself into intensive inner
spiritual silence. This was the time in which he withdrew himself completely
from outer intellectual and literary activities only to open and explore
by inner experience other dimensions of the supreme Divine Reality.
In 1965 Swami Omkarananda came to the West for the first time at the invitation
of a group of Swiss scientists and seekers after Truth. On 11th October,
1966, the Omkarananda Ashram was established in Winterthur, Switzerland.
Since that time a continuous stream of literature on various aspects of
modern thinking has been issuing from the Ashram, born out of the awareness
of the Divine. As an author the Swami possesses that intellectual power,
literary ingenuity, mental brilliance and cultural background which are
necessary to meet the challenges of modern life.
Swami Omkarananda’s exceptional knowledge of both Eastern and Western
culture, religion, art, science and general tendencies particularly fitted
him for the task of presenting a synthesis of Eastern wisdom and spirituality
with Western culture and civilization. The timeless infinite Power operates
in and through him; thus he is in a position to unify in himself all religions,
and to present a supra–religious synthesis which is established solely
in the eternal Truth, the Truth that transcends the psychological realm
and touches the ultimate Reality, yet is immediately present and can be
A personality of outstanding humility and modesty, of profound knowledge
and wisdom, an aesthetic, open-minded towards art, beauty and culture,
Swami Omkarananda considers himself in the first place a servant to the
individual and to mankind, whose noblest concern is the never-ending help
poured out to each and everyone. He knows in a wonderful way how to place
himself in the soul of others and to align himself to the needs and mentalities
of those seeking his help and advice, so that he meets the scientist
as a scientist, the artist as an artist, the seeker after Truth as the
spiritual light on his path to God-realization. Nobody ever leaves him
without having obtained that type of mental nourishment which particularly
suits his need.