Founder of Bhakti Marga
The Path of Devotion
Paramahamsa Vishwananda is the founder of the international organisation known as 'Bhakti Marga', which means the 'path of devotion'. It is through Love, and with Love, that Paramahamsa Vishwananda has inspired a global community to share His wisdom, teachings and spiritual practices with the world.
All of Bhakti Marga's efforts and offerings are dedicated to supporting His mission of awakening bhakti in everyone to live a life of devotion to God.
2005 Launched the Bhakti Marga Mission
The Bhakti Marga mission was launched on Paramahamsa Vishwananda's 27th birthday. He then began to travel the world to give Darshans, lead pilgrimages, build communities, and initiate brahmacharis into the Bhakti Marga Spiritual Order.
Founded the Spiritual Order
Devotees who wish to formalise their commitment to following His teachings and guidance may take initiation into the Bhakti Marga Spiritual Order and the Sri Sampradaya.
Initiations include Devotee, Brahmachari and Brahmacharini (monks and nuns), Rishi (teachers), Swamis and Swaminis (Masters). Of note, Paramahamsa Vishwananda is the first Sri Sampradaya Acharaya to initiate women as Swaminis.
Introduced Devotional Art
Paramahamsa Vishwananda introduced painting as a meditative way to deepen a connection with the Divine in form, and Bhakti Marga Art has evolved a lot over the years.
The Sri Bhutabhrteshwarnath Mandir is its crowning glory, with its art prominently featured on all the walls of the temple. Paramahamsa Vishwananda's guidance was sought in every phase of the 100+ murals and wall reliefs. Today, Bhakti Marga Artists are in demand all over the world to paint temples and offer classes.
Introduced Devotional Music
Devotional music is an important feature of every Bhakti Marga event and Paramahamsa Vishwananda encourages everyone to sing along. He praises kirtan and bhajans for their ability to help us forget about ourselves, awaken our hearts and express our devotion.
Unprecedented in history, Paramahamsa Vishwananda has woven together the rich temple worship practices of the Sri Sampradaya with classic Vedic hymns and intimate, ecstatic devotional love songs that glorify the Divine in many forms. These practices offer a unique opportunity to experience and express bhakti through loving devotional service to the Divine.
Planted Seeds for Community
Paramahamsa Vishwananda often speaks about how important it is on the spiritual path to associate with positive, like-minded people. Inspired by His teachings, Bhakti Marga communities are present in more than 80 countries on six continents. These groups gather regularly for events, courses and worship. They truly reflect the Sanskrit concept of vasudhaiva kutumbakam: the world is one family. Guests are always welcome.
2007 Introduced Bhakti Marga Sadhana
Daily meditative and yogic sadhana (or spiritual practice) was first introduced in the form of Atma Kriya Yoga. Paramahamsa Vishwananda is a Kriya Yoga Master and a direct disciple of Mahavatar Babaji. Together they chose to bring forth Kriya Yoga techniques that develop bhakti and allow practitioners to experience their own unique relationships with the Divine.
To support and strengthen communities, and to help people stay connected with the practices that elevate them, Paramahamsa Vishwananda has inaugurated 30 temples around the world. All temples welcome visitors who wish to come and celebrate the Divine in the company of bhaktas.
2013 Opened Shree Peetha Nilaya
Masterfully using experience as a teaching tool, Paramahamsa Vishwananda called upon residents and devotees to work together to completely refurbish an abandoned seminar complex to house His main ashram. Teaching by example, He was ever-present during the renovations, and a major part of every construction decision.
It took six years of love, patience and unity to turn the seriously damaged building into the beautiful centre it is today. Shree Peetha Nilaya, the abode of Maha Lakshmi, opened to the public in 2013.
Following Paramahamsa Vishwananda's lead, additional ashrams have been built by His Swamis around the world. As of 2018, ashrams are open in India (Vrindavan), Latvia (Riga) and Russia (Moscow). Three more are under construction in South Africa, Czech Republic, and two more in Russia.
2015 Created the Just Love Festival
To bring music that glorifies the Names of God to a wider audience, and to create an uplifting experience of Divine Love, Paramahamsa Vishwananda started the Just Love Festival. The three-day spiritual party has quickly become Europe's largest spiritual music festival attracting world-renowned international artists and thousands of guests.
2018 Inaugurated a Hindu Saint Museum
Throughout the years, Paramahamsa Vishwananda has collected an impressive array of over 500 relics from the most esteemed and revered saints in all of Hinduism. Now on reverent display in the Hindu Saint Museum at The Ashram, He invites everyone to come and venerate those who lived a life of Divine Love and who saw God in everyone and everything.
Inaugurated an Extraordinary Temple
The Sri Bhutabhrteshwarnath Mandir is a testament to Bhakti, saturating the senses with the Divine on every level: art, scriptures, music, worship practices, the lives of saints, and a community of lovers of the Lord. Inspired by the Shreemad Bhagavad Gita and Shreemad Bhagavatam, more than 100 wall paintings glorify the pastimes of Krishna, avatars of Lord Narayana, Vaishnava saints, and the bhaktas who loved them. The art alone is worth a trip to see this beautiful expression of Bhakti.
The temple is the crown jewel of Shree Peetha Nilaya and invites everyone to attend prayers with ‘Live from the Ashram’ broadcasts available through The Ashram website.