Our Lineage

Our lineage teachings, called Kundalini Vidya or Traditional Kundalini Science, are based on scriptural and oral sources for yoga, Vedanta, and Kundalini. These ancient teachings were brought forward 500 years ago for the benefit of modern seekers and passed down through the centuries from one teacher to one heir. Swami Chandrasekharanand Saraswati (1930 – 2016) of Rishikesh, India, passed the teachings to his disciple Shivarpita.

Swamiji and Shivarpita were ordained in the Saraswati order, which specializes in preserving Sanatana Dharma, the knowledge of the Veda. Saraswati is the Vedic goddess of learning, language, and culture. The monastic order is one of ten founded by Adi Shankaracharaya, the great revitalizer of Vedanta in eighth century India, who made profound commentaries on the the principal Upanisads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Brahma Sutra, and the Yoga Sutra and who authored many important texts of Advaita Vedanta.

Swami Chandrasekharanand Saraswati (called “Swamiji,” a title of respect and endearment for Vedic monks) was born in Tamil Nadu in 1930. After completing his college education and initial work life, he took vows of renunciation in 1956 at the age of 27 from his master, Swami Bodhanand Saraswati. Swami Bodhanand had masters degrees in Sanskrit and in Ayurveda and instructed Swamiji in Ayurveda, Sanskrit texts, and Kundalini Vidya, the teachings of his spiritual lineage. His master was Swami Krishnanand, whose master was a female sage, whose master was in the line of all the holders of the lineage dating back to Gomutigiri Maharaja, who founded the Gurukula (place of study with the master) of the lineage at Kalishwara Mahadev temple in Himachel Pradesh near the Beas River in the Himalayan Mountains of Northern India. This spot has been a holy site from at least the time of the Ramayana and is where Gomutigiri was bestowed the lineage teachings inwardly upon finding and meditating before an ancient Siva linga that is revered there to this day.

Having resolved to find a spiritual master, Swamiji met Bodhananda Maharaj after a nine months search. When Bodhananda, who was eighty years old at the time, finally accepted Swamiji as his student, Bodhanand initiated Swamiji and instructed him to do intense practice in the forest by the Ganges in the foothills of the Himalayas. Swamiji was also instructed to do intensive contemplative study of the Vedic scriptures, which he did by walking to nearby Rishikesh to study with learned scholar-practitioners there. During his study of Vedanta, Swamiji developed a special interest in the sage Patanjali, compiler of the Yoga Sutras and author of treatises on Sanskrit grammar and the Ayurvedic health system. Upon completing his studies, Swamiji deepened his spiritual practice, receiving the blessed Chitrini process from Kundalini Shakti, and reaching the spiritual goal at age 33. Having had years of continuous experience, he wanted to leave the body and merge fully with the One, but his master told him he must stay in the world for a particular purpose. When it was time for Bodhanand to leave his physical body, he gave Swamiji his spiritual knowledge as heir to the lineage.

Swamiji then became a wandering mendicant, walking the length and breadth of India for twenty years, providing Ayurvedic services to villagers and learning the unique knowledge of other sadhus. During this time, he was initiated by three great adept (siddha) masters of South India: Kakabhusanda, Tirumular, and Agastya, receiving their inner instruction in the sacred science and being granted adept status himself. Kakabhusanda is a siddha being of light who has seen seven universes. Tirumular is the 7th century Shaivite saint who authored the Tiru Mantiram, a renowned treatise on yoga. Agastya is known for explaining the highly refined Siddha medical system as well as authoring works on grammar and other sciences.

After completing his circuits throughout India, Swamiji returned to Rishikesh for his senior years and to await the fruition of his master’s prediction of a karmic intersection, the arrival of his mother from a previous life. While on pilgrimage and retreat in Rishikesh in 1986, Bri. Shivarpita (Joan Harrigan) met Swamiji, and he agreed to help guide the seeker, who had been ardently practicing Yoga and Vedanta for ten years while living disengaged from the world. Educated in the Catholic tradition, Shiva had developed an early interest in Christian mysticism and Eastern philosophy, practicing yoga while in college and studying the Yoga/Vedanta philosophy while learning Western psychology in graduate school. She researched the effects of hatha yoga and breath awareness on stress for her doctoral dissertation. Widowed in her youth, an experience that deepened her spiritual quest, she contemplated the underlying similarities in the teachings of Yoga/Vedanta, Jesus, and psychology. Prior to meeting Swamiji, she had been doing regular spiritual practice and study while offering spiritual instruction and counsel to spiritual aspirants. But she was not satisfied with her level of spiritual development and went to India in the hopes of deeper spiritual advancement.

Under Swamiji’s spiritual guidance, the block in her process was quickly removed, and she was blessed with initiation by the Great Master, Kakabhusanda. Receiving the spiritual name Shivarpita, the brahmacharini (renounced initiate) was accepted as Swamiji’s disciple according to the Great Master’s directive, and has been trained as heir to the teachings of the lineage ever since. She is the first Westerner to receive the lineage teachings. She was later given permission to write down some of the teachings for the benefit of seekers, and they are published as Kundalini Vidya, the Science of Spiritual Transformation. She now serves North America and the United Kingdom as the director of PKYC-USA at the Oneness Sanctuary, while Silvia Viryanand Eberl, directs PKYC-India in Rishikesh for the rest of the globe.

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