His Holiness Avadhuta Sri Ramakrishnananda Babaji Maharaja is called “Prabhuji” with great respect and love by those who have been initiated as his disciples, as well as his many devotees and those who follow him. Prabhuji is a religious philosopher, a tantric master, an ascetic, a realized spiritual master in several of the main yogic paths, especially, hatha, raja, bhakti and jñana; and one who lives in the transcendental realm. Prabhuji came into this world in Santiago, Republic of Chile, on March 21st, 1958. When he was an eight-year-old child, he had a mystical experience that motivated him to search for the Truth and set the course of his life.
Prabhuji dedicated most of his youth to examing, inquiring into and experiencing different religions and spiritual paths. Following many years of study, he realized that this childhood experience was a mysterious initiation that Existence itself had given him. Aware that this gift was only the seed of wisdom, he had to continue revealing it through spiritual practice and meditation.
His insatiable spiritual quest led him to travel to many countries in search of spending time with religious or spiritual personalities who could offer him some information and guidance about his early transcendental experience. On this quest, he traveled around Chile for two years before expanding his horizons to other South American countries when he was twenty-one, and went as far as Brazil. In the years to come, he traveled to countries and cultures that were so distant for him, such as Europe, the Middle East, India, Canada, and eventually the United States, where he now resides.
Throughout his three decades of searching, he studied and practiced different spiritual paths. As a young child, his paternal grandmother taught him about Shamanism and Santeria. Later on, he devoted himself to the Umbanda religion. When he was a teenager, he delved into Christianity (Catholicism, Seventh-day Adventism, and Jehovah’s Witnesses), with his studies of the Old Testament arousing his curiosity for the Semitic roots of the Christian faith. This path led him to the Middle East where he learned Aramaic and became fluent in Hebrew, the original languages of the Bible. He had the opportunity during many years in Israel to go deep into the theoretical and practical aspects of Judaism, as well as study the Bible, the Talmud, the Shulchan Aruch, Hassidism, and Kabbalah under the guidance of important rabbis and sages. He expressed his understanding in Judaism in three Hebrew books that were published in Israel: The Short and Long Path from Here to Here, Ayeka, or “Where are you?” and Hineni or “Here I am”.
He first began to learn about the path of Hinduism in 1976, when he visited a Vaishnava Gaudiya temple in Puente Alto, Chile, which was under the guidance of H.H. Sripad Atulananda Acharya. Back then, Prabhuji studied how to follow the strict Vaishnava rules and regulations that the Hari Bhakti Vilasa scripture describes. This code of conduct made up an integral part of Prabhuji’s life in the years to come.
During 1983, Prabhuji maintained frequent correspondence with Mother Krishnabai, disciple of Swami Ramdas. After some time of exchanging letter, the great master gave him her blessings.
He learned kriya-yoga, both in theory and on the practical level, of Yogananda Paramahamsa, and was initiated as a Kriyaban in 1988 within the “Self Realization Fellowship”.
Additionally, he dedicated extended periods to studying many different religions such as Buddhism (Thera-vada, Mahayana, and Tantric), Taoism, Sikhism, Tantra (Dakshinacara and Vamacara), Neotantra, Western philosophy, Sufism, yoga, (karma, bhakti, hatha, raja, kundalini, mantra, and jñana), Hinduism (Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism, and Smartism).
He delved into the philosophy of Zen following his interest in martial arts, particularly Karate Do, according to the Soto and Rinzai traditions. In India, the venerable Medhananda, a monk from Sri Lanka who follows Theravada Buddhism, taught him about meditation.
For many years, Prabhuji dedicated his life to the study of hatha yoga, and he was certified as an instructor, teacher and master in the discipline, becoming an authority in the field throughout his 20 years of instructing this yogic path. His intense studies were accredited by institutions such as the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta, Yoga Research Foundation, Integral Yoga, Ananda Ashram, World Yoga University, Swami Sivananda Yogasana Research Center, Rishikesh Yoga Peeth, Ma Yoga Shakti International Mission, and Aham Brahmasmi Yoga Mandir.
His profound studies and twenty years of teaching turned him into an authority in the field of hatha yoga, during which time he prepared his most dedicated students to become hatha yoga instructors and teachers.
Complementing this expertise, he studied chiropractics in the prestigious “Health Institute for the Back and Limbs” of Dr. Sheinerman. In 1993, he graduated as a professional chiropractor.
Furthermore, Prabhuji has obtained the recognition of venerated Hindu spiritual authorities due to his wisdom and devotion. Prabhuji has also been awarded titles such as Yoga-shiromani, Krishna-bhakta and Yogacarya, personally from His Holiness Swami Vishnu Devananda; Yoga-ratna, granted by His Holiness Swami Jyotirmayananda Sarasvati; Bhaktivedanta and Bhakti-shastri, obtained directly from His Holiness Sri B.A. Paramadvaiti Swami Maharaja; and many other titles, such as Pracarya, Yoga-pravina, Veda-vidyalankara, and many more.
His elevated knowledge in Hinduism and yoga is certified by diplomas and titles from highly-regarded organizations such as Jiva Institute for Vedic Studies in Vrindavan, Prana Yoga Ashram, PatanjalaYoga Kendra, Rishikesh Yoga Peeth, Vrindavan Institute of Vaishnava Culture and Studies, among others.
Within Sanatana Dharma, Prabhuji benefited from the personal guidance and training of great spiritual masters of their time such as Swami Vishnu Devananda, Swami Swaroopananda, Swami Mahadevananda, Tamala Krishna Goswami, Narahari das Babaji, Swami Swahananda, Swami Krishnananda, Krishna das Babaji, Sant Keshava das, Swami Viditatmananda, Swami Dayananda, H.H. Swami Satchidananda, H.H. Swami Narayana, His Holiness Krishna Das Babaji H.H. Swami Pratyagbodhananda, H.H. B.A. Paramadvaiti Maharaja, H.H. Sripad Bhakti Srirupa Radhanti Maharaj, and others.
Over the many years of ardent seeking, he met incredibly elevated beings, spiritual philosophers, pastors, rabbis, priests, roshis, Kabbalists, yogis, tantrikas, gurus, disciples, mystics, shamans, guides, and masters of different traditions, lines, paths and religions. In India, Mataji Reena Sharma, an incarnation of Mahadevi, or the Divine Mother of the Universe, gave him initiation in the great wisdom of Tantra Shakta.
In 1986, he was initiated with the name Ramakrishna by His Holiness Swami Vishnu Devananda, founder of Shivananda Ashram. Then in 1995, following a long period of practice and study of Hinduism, he was initiated into the sacred order of renunciation as sannyasa, and given the name Swami Ramakrishnananda Saraswati from His Holiness Swami Jyotirmayananda, disciple of His Holiness Swami Shivananda Saraswati of Rishiskesh.
Despite his spiritual development and progress, Prabhuji did not yet feel fully realized. It was in India, in 1996, where he was blessed with the opportunity to find his spiritual master, His Holiness Avadhuta Sri Brahmananda Babaji Maharaja, disciple of His Holiness Avadhuta Sri Mastarama Babaji Maharaja of Rishikesh, who initiated and accepted him as a personal disciple.
After this precious encounter with his spiritual master, Prabhuji entered a period of intense meditation for several months. His devotion and commitment to his spiritual master has been complete and unreserved, and on one August afternoon in 1997, the transcendental experience from Prabhuji’s childhood returned and never left.
During the decades of tireless seeking, learning and discovering, Prabhuji received a multitude of certifications and has been credited with various titles by renowned organizations such as Jiva Institute for Vedic Studies in Vrindavan, Prana Yoga Ashram, PatanjalaYoga Kendra, Rishikesh Yoga Peeth, and Vrindavan Institute of Vaishnava Culture and Studies, among others.
Prabhuji’s non-dual message is refered to as “the path of recognition,” which is the synthesis of the spiritual path that this great master traversed throughout his life. It reflects all the spiritual paths that he has journeyed throughout his life. His Vedantic teachings have helped innumerable seekers living around the globe, live their lives with peace and serenity. The essence of his message is to awaken spiritually and transcend the ego, the next step in the evolutionary process of the human race. As Prabhuji teaches within the Advaitic philosophy, “only God really is and all beings are Divine in essence”.
In 2003, he established the Vishwa Dharma Mandalam, a not-for-profit religious organization based in New York and dedicated to spreading the wisdom of Vimukti Yoga, or “The path of Recognition”. Its The mission publishes books, CDs and DVDs, maintains websites and offers many different satsangs, courses, workshops and meditation retreats throughout the year, which are personally created by Prabhuji.
His Holiness Sri Avadhuta Mastarama Babaji Maharaja is the heart and soul behind the Vishwa Dharma Mandalam, which has the approval of H.H. Avadhuta Sri Brahmananda Babaji Maharaja, and the warm blessings of H.H. Srila Narahari das Babaji Maharaja, H.H. Sant Keshavadas, H.H. Krishna das Babaji, and H.H. Swami Krishnananda Saraswati.
In recognition of his Vaishnava roots, in 2005, Prabhuji restated his vows of sannyas directly with H.H. B.A. Paramadvaiti Maharaja,a disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
In 2010, Prabhuji founded the Vishwa Dharma Institute, an online spiritual source on which his teachings of Vimukti Yoga is taught. This educational venue features hundreds of discourses and online seminars taught personally by Prabhuji and also his more qualified disciples.
One year later, in recognition of his elevated state on the transcendental plane, his spiritual master initiated him into the sacred order of Avadhuta Babaji, giving him the name of Avadhuta Sri Ramakrishnananda Babaji Maharaja.
In 2012, Prabhuji founded the Vishwa Dharma Ashram in Round Top, New York, USA, a rural establishment nestled on 47 acres in the Catskill Mountains. That same year he set the foundation of Vishwarupa Ganapati Mandir, a temple that serves as a place of pilgrimage in New York State that is dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.
Over the decades, Prabhuji has been given the support, respect, appreciation and official recognition from respected authorities within the ancient Hindu religion. His literary works are many, with the books being Yoga – Union with Reality, Kundalini Yoga and Tantra as it is.
Lately, H.H. Avadhuta Sri Ramakrishnananda Babaji Maharaja’s health has caused him to step back from public life and he now lives a life of seclusion in nirjana bhajana, or “solitary worship”. His days are filled with contemplation, prayer and meditation in the Vishwa Dharma Ashram, nestled in New York State’s Catskill Mountains, USA. In this tranquil place, surrounded by forests and creeks, he shares the direct experience of his true nature with sincere seekers who come to him in search of advice, guidance and instruction.
In January 2012, Prabhuji stopped receiving new monastic disciples and he officially renounced to the Vishwa Dharma Mandalam, placing the organization in the hands of three close disciples, his spiritual successors: H.H. Yogacharya Swami Ramananda, H.H. Yogacharya Swami Durgananda, and H.H. Yogacharya Swami Omkarananda. Despite being retired, Prabhuji is active in his various humanitarian project due to his conviction that “serving human beings is serving God.”
Pranati Mantra of Prabhuji
nityaṁ niṣkāma-yogī tattvasya vettā ’vadhūtaḥ
sānandāgre sthito yaḥ śrī rāmakṛṣṇābhidhānaḥ
nityaṁ tṛpto na kāmaiḥ saṁsāra-bandhair na yuktaḥ
brahmānanda-prapūrṇas tvāṁ taṁ guro ’haṁ namāmi
“I offer my reverences to you, Avadhuta Shri Ramakrishnananda! Always established in supreme ananda (bliss), you are named for and protected by Sri Rama and Sri Krishna. O Knower of the Truth, you are the ever-satisfied, desireless yogi. Free of all attachments to the material world, you are perpetually overflowing with the bliss of Brahman.”
tantre mantre ca vede yasyāsti pūrṇādhikāraḥ
bhūtātmānau vyatītya prāptaṁ padaṁ yena siddham
bhedān bhittvā hyaśeṣān svasmin sthito yo vareṇyaḥ
īśāvāsyaṁ hi yasmai viśvaṁ guruṁ taṁ namāmi
“O excellent master of all Tantras, mantras and Vedas, you have attained the state of perfection. Having abandoned all sense of partiality, you have transcended matter and spirit and become situated in your own Self. O most beloved and venerated, the one who perceives the Lord everywhere in this world, to you I offer my humble reverences.”