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Saraswati Susannah

Saraswati is a certified Yoga teacher, Shiatsu Practicioner and Ayurvedic Practicioner i. T.

and holds a master degree from the University of Vienna in Cultural and Social Anthropology.

 

She has been living and learning in India for extended periods of time over the last 13 years, studying, practicing and experiencing the timeless ancient traditions at their roots.


She has received initiations into the authentic path of
Sri Vidya, the path of Shakta Tantra (Shakti is the universal life-force, creative energy, personified as Devi or Universal Mother), which she aspires to live, love, honour and practice in her every breath.


She has been in individual
apprenticeship with Swami Gurusharan for many years, with whom she compiled and documented the practices of the
5 elements into a practice system called Swakriya Yoga. She continues receiving his guidance in studying Vedic Astrology.


Her Guru is the outstanding female Saint
Sri Ma Anandamyai (1896 - 1982) in whose lineage she has been initiated by one of her closest disciples, Ashok Baba Kulkarni.

In her classes Saraswati opens up a
sacred space where our true inner Self can be experienced. She shares the teachings with high standard, depth and compassion.

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My path...

 

I was born in Vienna, Austria with my father being a musician in the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and my mother being at home with me and my younger sister. The somewhat priviledged lifestyle I was born into was comfortable, but it left my soul unsatisfied, as my spiritual disposition did not find any resonance in my surrounding.

Since my early childhood, I have been a child of Nature, I was fascinated and enchanted by its beauty and I was eager to discover the mystical truth underlying this wondrous creation called "the universe".

As soon as I was old enough to travel the world alone, I set out to seek the supreme knowledge. Suspecting that it must be out there somewhere, preserved in cultures that have not been completely taken over by modernity and a capitalist mindset. I searched in the Amazon rain-forrest, in the Andes of Peru, in the traditions of medicine women, priestesses and midwives in Ghana / West Africa and ultimately found was I was looking for in India.

I completed master studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology in the University of Vienna and was learning traditional healing arts - Shiatsu, TCM and Ayurveda. I was experimenting a lot with meditation and was granted some deep experiences and mystical insights which encouraged me to keep searching for a teacher and for authentic guidance...

 

When I first came to India to study Yoga I finally found what I had been looking for,  an age-old science of consciousness and enlightenment, accessible and universal.

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This was the most significant turning point in my life. I traveled to India every year to study and practice Yoga in depth. I was trained to be a yoga teacher and developed teaching skills. At first, it was very satisfying, but at a certain point, I felt that something was missing. My practice was kind of dry and I was yearning for the experience of true inner connection with the Divine and guidance on the path.

This is when Devi began making herself noticed in my life. She is Shakti - the creative force of life, worshipped in Shakta Tantra, the ancient Indian Goddess Traditions.

 

I first became aware of Her through the poetic Sanskrit hymn "Saundarya Lahari", meaning "Waves of Beauty" an esoteric text written by the great philosopher Adishankaracharya devotionally describing each and every aspect of Devi.

She was my Mother! I felt the deep need to surrender myself to Her and I prayed for Her to guide my every step and to teach me everything there is to learn. There was and is that deep inner certainty that I am Her daughter and that She takes care of me.
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This was my first encounter with Sri Vidya Tradition, an ancient an well-guided Wisdomschool. I had a very clear recognition that this "Goddess" described and worshipped here was the One I had always been seeing in the form of Nature and longing to be one with.

She was and is my Universal Mother! I felt the deep longing to surrender myself to Her and I prayed for Her to guide my every step and to teach me everything there is to learn. There was and is that deep inner certainty that I am Her daughter and that She takes care of me.

Soon after Sri Ma Anandamayi, the most outstanding and influential female saint of the 20th century, became meaningful in my life. Without yet knowing much about Who She was, I simply started putting Her picture on my altar. I would just sit in front of it and feel the comfort and motherly warmth radiating from Her. Her sweet presence gave me strength.

 

About a year later I met Swami Gurusharanananda whom I am eternally grateful to for opening the path for me. He was raised in the tradition of Ma Anandamayi. Our spiritual connection was immediate and deep and he introduced me to the tantric philosophy of the 5 elements and the practice of their purification - Bhuta Shuddhi. After some years of intensive study and practice under His guidance, we began refining it into the teachable practice system SWAKRIYA YOGA (www.swakriya-yoga.com) which we are teaching together in Europe and India.

 

I felt deeply blessed to walk this path. But my longing to be formally initiated into SriVidya and into Ma's Lineage was still unfulfilled. It took 2 more years before one of Ma Anandamayi`s close disciples, Ashok Baba Kulkarni, who has been guided in Sri Vidya by Ma Herself, came into the ashram in Madhya Pradesh, where I was living at the time. I asked Him to give me Diksha and after 3 months he received the guidance from Ma to go ahead with initiation.

And this is how my path with the Goddess began unfolding .....eventually it lead me from North India to South India, the cradle of Devi Worship. I settled in Auroville and dedicated my practice to Devi in Her many forms. My path at that time was full of obstacles and tribulations and they seemed to be necessary to strengthen the bond with Divine Mother more and more. I was holding onto Her feet as much as I could to get through the storms.

I was blessed to be welcomed and accepted as a student by a Jnana Yogi in Tamil Nadu, who asked me not to make his name public, from whom I received further initiation into Sri Vidya.

 

What I was eventually inspired to call Saundarya Yoga is the way in which my Sadhana with the Divine Mother, especially with the Dasha Mahavidyas and Nitya Devis unfolded.

 

Devi's Daughters is a platform for women who long to fulfill their full potential, share the love for the Divine, to explore and apply traditional tantric and vedic wisdom and practices to realize our own Divine Nature. My deepest desire has always been to share this experience of Oneness in overflowing joy and celebration.

 

I feel blessed and humbled to be able to study different Vedic Sciences and Arts, with outstanding teachers in these fields.

​​

Odissi Classical Dance with Sujata Mohapatra, Colleena Shakti and mentor and friend Rekha Tandon. This exceptionally beautiful, refined and demanding dance form gives me the opportunity to express my devotion to the Divine through literal embodiment.

Ayurdeva, the Science of Life and Healing, the Traditional Indian Medicine System which I feel very fortunate to study with K.P Khalsa, Karen O'Donella and other outstanding teachers.

Jyotish - Vedic Astrology, which I am blessed to be able to study with my dearest companion on the spiritual path, Gurusharanji.

I bow to all my teachers in respect and gratitude for so much love and generosity.

First and foremost I bow to Ma, my Mother, who is leading me each step of the path.

JAI MA!

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