His Holiness Swami Shantanand Saraswathi
Inspiration and Founder
He mirrors the minds of those around him. Infinitely sensitive to every phenomenon and for whom every phenomenon is a stimulus capable of provoking an infinite series of thoughts, he is a man whom admirable texts cannot exhaust, do not even define.
He says little, yet moves the young and old to action. An Indian by birth, a swami by choice, a sadhu by temperament, his ideas are nurtured by the simple, universal truths repeated endlessly in all cultures – serve, love, give – selflessly.
Homeless in the literal sense of the word, yet firmly entrenched in the hearts of all those who seek the answers to the eternal mysteries, he guides by the light of the Masters.
He creates outside the realm of reason, real yet symbolic worlds. His words confound and enlighten simultaneously. They are open to a multitude of meanings. Together they form a myriad of tiny mirrors that reflect the minds of his listeners.
Perhaps the most striking quality of his words is the way they dismantle beliefs and notions foisted by years of schooled wisdom. And at the end of it all, to glimpse in a strange intangible way, the quintessence of things as they always were and always will be.
Such insights, though rare and precious, are sufficient to inspire, to motivate action to take that one extra step towards realizing a dream.
“Follow any path, religion or doctrine, but believe it sincerely, because the sincerity of your belief will illuminate and guide you to the ultimate goal – God.”
This was the simple ideology Swami Shantanand Saraswathi gave to his audience when he first spoke of God, love, life and religion.
He had arrived in Kuala Lumpur for the first time in 1971 with a prayer to his great master Swami Shivananda of Rishikesh: “Dear master, I do not know why you have brought me here, but let me be worthy of your love and grace.”
He gave illuminating talks on almost every conceivable subject pertinent to life and living, but most of all it was the way he spoke of God’s love that filled the hearts of those who heard him. He taught the universal message found in all religions: Love for God and service to mankind.
His warm and affectionate manner made it possible for the young and old alike to learn from him that God is Love. Love that can be expressed in many ways, chief of which is service to mankind. This touched the hearts of many.
In 1981, with the help of Gopal and Radha Shetty and Sivadas and Vatsala, he established The Temple of Fine Arts. This was to become the beautiful beginning of a unique vision – helping the youth of today rediscover the magnificent cultural and artistic heritage of India to which they belong. In the twenty five years past, Swamiji had established this shrine of music and dance in Singapore, Australia, India and Malaysia, with the latest centre in New Jersey, USA in 2004!
More significantly, The Temple of Fine Arts had become a centre of artistic, cultural and spiritual expression and exploration for its members and its students.
Click here to watch our "Adhisaya Aananda" video that enunciates the core values of The Temple of Fine Arts set up by Swamiji.