Vanamali Mataji

Vanamali Mataji lives above the Ganges River in her Vanamali Gita Ashram in Rishikesh, India.  She has been on the faculty and Advisory Board since it first began.  She is considered one of India’s rare female mystics and is author of numerous books about ancient Vedic scriptures, Yoga, and Hinduism, including The Play of God; Nitya Yoga; Sri Rama Lila; Sri Krishna Lila; Sri Devi Lila; The Lilas of the Sons of Shiva; Srimad Bhagavad Gita; and Sri Hanuman Lila, which includes a foreword by the popular American kirtan singer Sri Krishna Das.  She was a longtime friend and contemporary of Swami Kriyananda, founder of Ananda.  The altar in her ashram includes photos of many of the great saints and sages of India from various religions and traditions, though she considers herself a devotee of Krishna, and her name “Vanamali” is the garland of wildflowers worn by Krishna.