During the troubled times of the last few years, many people turned to the soothing powers of religious practices. Aware of this simple truth, Priyanka Anand and expert meditator and internationally acclaimed author-monk, Om Swami, joined hands to launch the Vedic Sadhana Foundation (VSF), which helms the popular Sadhana app that is a beacon in the lives of many people. The founders join Sunday Guardian for a chat about their visionary foundation and everything it has to offer. Excerpts from an edited interview:
Q: How and why did you enter this field?
A. Priyanka Anand (PA): I have an MBA in Finance from the University of Technology, Sydney and a Bachelors in Medical Science from the Western Sydney University. I also have over 10 years of experience working as an executive leader on largescale strategic programs that handle multi-million-dollar international projects across the education, government, non-profit and financial services industries.
I started VSF to recreate the beauty and prosperity of the Vedic civilization. I run this organisation with a tech start-up mentality with strict adherence to the core values of providing exceptional service, truth, and creating a positive impact.
Sadhana App is a free offering to benefit society and is run on philanthropic funding. I ensure that the funds of the donors are used most judiciously in furthering the cause of preserving Vedic teachings, and adding value to the stakeholders and society at large, for every penny is a sacred offering made to revive the cultural roots of India.
Om Swami is the visionary behind the organization’s mission. It’s his sadhana experience of three decades, knowledge of the Vedas and a solid background in software technology that has given shape to this platform for digital worship.
Om Swami (OS): The Vedic ideology is not a few thousand but a mere few hundred years away from extinction. If we don’t revive the Vedas, they will perish one day. This is why I was so keen to spearhead this concept and make it available to the world at large.
Q: What are the services you offer under VSF?
A. PA: We offer a unique digital platform for Vedic worship to users, through our immersive Sadhana app. There are no paywalls, no advertisements or restrictions, and it is easily accessible on any smartphone – android and iOS. It has been made to serve humanity and is available in two languages Hindi and English as of now.
The powerful Vedic traditions of mantra chanting, sacred fire offerings, and daily prayer rituals are no longer tied to visiting the temple or being dependent upon a temple priest. One can easily follow the path of the Vedas and experience the transformational power of guided rituals in stunning 3D and 2D digital temples, with five core Vedic worship rituals of Mantra Japa, Nitya Puja, Yajnas, Abhishekam and potent Sadhanas.
There is currently no other offering exactly like Sadhana App in the market. It’s a first of its kind pioneer in the faith tech industry, committed to innovation and bridging the gap between the ancient Vedic way of life and the fast-paced needs of the modern age.
Imagine how empowering it is to do the rituals yourself and feel connected to the Divine yourself.
Q: Have you felt the need for your services increase after the pandemic?
A. OS: As nature’s play forced us to be in lockdown and spend some time with ourselves and others around us, this gave many people time to reflect on the big questions. People needed hope, support, and faith.
The pandemic also gave many people a reality check on their mental and emotional health, and the practice of Sadhana became even more important. As Sadhana not only allows for that bond to be created with the inner divine but develops a strong EQ (emotional quotient) where you are self–aware about your emotions, and those of others around you. This is a powerful strength to have if we want to grow as a strong nation. Only technology has incredible power and reach to make an impact at a global level and effect deep change, and we leveraged this technology to serve humanity.
Q: How else is VSF engaged in helping others?
A. PA: Vedic Sadhana Foundation is raising funds to add new features and bring Vedic Wisdom to people in the Sadhana App. We are reaching out to philanthropists who would like to be part of this transition and fuel new and innovative development.
I believe that staying connected to your cultural roots and nourishing our spirit with prayer and worship is as essential to our existence as eating, breathing, working and exercising. So, I would say, it is important to stay connected to your roots, believe in yourself, and have faith in the source of divine wisdom that lives within you, which is ever ready to support and guide you.
The whole power of the universe lies inside you, waiting to be unleashed and transform your life. Believe in your own power, for you can live a magical life beyond imagination! A strong inner foundation built on the wisdom of the sacred Vedas, is your biggest anchor in life, that can carry you through anything in life with utmost grace and dignity.
Reaping the rewards of mantras, daily worship and fire offerings is a most vital benefit of using the app. Spiritual upliftment and self-discovery are what drive the app, and not entertainment or leisure.
OS: If you feel you are in bliss and that you are living a meaningful life, and especially if others around you are helped by your endeavours, there is not an iota of change you need to bring about in you. And you probably don’t need this. But if you are looking for an anchor of truth in life, then the Vedic path is the path to unparalleled freedom and spiritual growth.
The Sadhana.app is available to download for free on Google Play store and App store. The Sadhana team can be contacted on [email protected]
Noor Anand Chawla pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com.