Om Swami | Biography & Teachings Of The Monk Who Sold His Porche

Om Swami is an ‘unconventional monk, best-selling author, and serial entrepreneur’ who lives in his ashram in Himachal Pradesh.

It is believed that he possesses yogic abilities, including complete regulation of his heartbeat, the ability to alter the temperature of his body, and control over his blood pressure.

Om Swami is most famous for his unique life story of traversing from tech entrepreneurship to monkhood, having meditated for over 15,000 hours.  During his change, he spent over a year meditating in solitude in the Himalayas!

Furthermore, he says he now rarely meditates in the traditional sense, and is instead in a constant meditative state. 

Nowadays, Om Swami is a guiding force in sharing yogic meditation methods in the modern world.

He’s responsible for having created meditation apps Black Lotus, and Sadhana; as well as regularly writing a blog on omswami.com and sharing discourses on his YouTube channel. 

Om Swami has authored several books, the most famous being “If Truth Be Told: A Monk’s Memoir“. He is also known as “the monk who sold his Porsche” due to his drastic life change.

In this article we will take a look at the below:

  • Om Swami’s Life And Background
  • His Teachings
  • His Impact
Om Swami with a halo over his head

Who Is Om Swami: Life And Background

Early Life

The youngest of three siblings, Om Swami was born in 1979 in Chandigarh, India, to a middle-class Brahmin family.

From a young age, Swami displayed a profound inclination towards spirituality and diligently studied a variety of Vedic and astrological texts. Through this study, he became a professional astrologer during his teenage years.

This remarkable young man was a high achiever right from teenage-hood. He was a Vedic scholar, had completed an IT course, spent time working the stock market as a hobby, and worked part-time as an editor for a weekly business paper called The Business Times.

After quitting his editing job, he pursued academic studies in Australia, and eventually became an Australian citizen.

Education And Business

After completing a bachelors in business, and a masters in business administration in Sydney, Om Swami founded a software company and expanded its operations internationally.

By the time he was 26, Om Swami was a self-made multi-millionaire with stakes in multiple businesses! 

Even as a successful entrepreneur and business owner, he held spiritual values even in this material-based stage of his life. He claims that he would hire the best people, pay them double the market rate, and never asked for his employees to fill time sheets or work to a quota.

four business people talking

His Spiritual Journey

Following his spiritual inclination that he had since childhood, in 2010 Om Swami decided to renounce all of his wealth, handing over his businesses and embarked on a spiritual journey in India.

Arriving in India, he was introduced to a Naga saint in an ashram near Varanasi. The Naga saint initiated him into the path of renunciation, and he received a new name – Swami Sarvananda.

However, his time with the Naga was far from peaceful, as he experienced great discomfort for four and a half months. The fiery sadhana practice saw Om Swami forced to go without food and basic necessities.

This marked his initial trial of perseverance on his journey of ‘finding God’, as the Naga exposed him to severe malnourishment and mistreatment in the name of the guru-disciple custom.

Om Swami left the ashram, and retreated further into the Himalayas, where he spent 13 months in solitude – a total contrast to his fast-paced corporate lifestyle.

Living in isolation, he would sometimes meditate for up to 22 hours a day, with regular 10 hour non-stop sessions. In the midst of wild nature and animals, he says here he discovered his truth.

He explains intense conditions and introspection can develop spiritual understanding, but only for those with strong determination:

“Living in extreme solitude can be depressing in the beginning… A period of silence and solitude is a must for the sincere seeker.”

– Om Swami
a man meditating in solitude in nature

Om Swami’s Spiritual Teachings

Om Swami says he reached samadhi via a yogic path of self-transformation. 

This spiritual path of self-transformation starts with a process of self-analysis, observing the mind and body through a variety of individual elements, including the below:

  • Personality
  • Ego
  • Desires
  • Fear
  • Belief

With this intellectual understanding of the self attained, the path to liberation happens through transformation on four levels: moral, emotional, physical, and mental transformation.

Om Swami expounds a variety of classic yogic sutras and Hindu instruction to boil down a core practice to bring about spiritual transformation. These core practices include:

  • Body cleansing
  • Body maintenance
  • Concentration
  • Relaxation
  • Observing silence and solitude

Om Swami explicitly says that he can attest to this teaching, due to his own direct experience. 

a man washing himself by a river

Om Swami’s 4 Ways Of Being

His teachings also include 4 ways of being or acting:

#1: Kindness

“A random act of kindness needn’t always be a material offering. Even a word of encouragement, a compliment, a helping hand can be equally, if not more, profound. Make such acts a habit and Nature will reciprocate in kind.”

#2: Truthfulness

“Truth is the only long-term anchor of a good life. It redeems you. In fact, the path of truth is the only path of salvation. For, truth is liberation. It is the only end.”

truth written on a sandy beach

#3: Happiness

“You think, speak and act in a manner that fosters happiness and you’ll be increasingly happy” and “I don’t think there’s any more to happiness than noble actions, gratitude and contentment.”

#4: Discipline

“Let’s be honest, to maintain self-discipline requires a constant supply of motivation and self-control. Mindfulness alone doesn’t cut it, you’ve to have the will to act on your intention.”

Om Swami’s Spiritual Views

On being questioned on what a mantra to follow is, Om Swami replied “Live. Love. Laugh. Give”. On being asked to confine it to one word, he replied “Give”.

Om Swami’s Spiritual Views On Religion

Om Swami is of the view that this life is precious and all religions, regardless of their positive or negative aspects, are simply external concepts for an internal truth.

He emphasizes the importance of realizing this truth in order to transcend religious dogma. However, he also believes that ‘truth’ is subjective, and has many external manifestations:

“Einstein found it in a laboratory. Buddha found it under a tree. Edison found it in a light bulb. Socrates exemplified it by drinking hemlock and Christ deified it on the cross. Bill Gates found it in Microsoft and Steve Jobs found it in Apple.”

– Om Swami (an excerpt from his book: If Truth Be Told: A Monk’s Memoir)
two peoples hands on a laptop

Om Swami’s Spiritual Views On Enlightenment

Om Swami holds a unique perspective on enlightenment. According to him, abstinence is not the answer, but rather a life brimming with love, passion, and truthfulness is what leads to enlightenment.

He also makes a clear distinction between religion and spirituality, emphasizing the global violence that has been perpetrated in the name of the former. Rather than following religion, Om Swami advocates meditation as the path to discovering God.

Om Swami’s Spiritual Views On Eternal Truth

Om Swami believes that there is an eternal truth: that every individual has the right to live their life to the fullest and enjoy every moment.

This right is granted by nature simply because one is breathing and alive. It is crucial to have a compassionate outlook and avoid causing harm to others.

Ultimately, one’s own truth is the highest experience of God, and it is essential to pursue your passion, whatever that may be.

a man with fractals coming out of his body against a purple backdrop

Om Swami’s Impact

Despite being a highly respected spiritual leader and bestselling author, Swami shuns the limelight and has no interest in fame or gathering crowds.

Instead, he prefers to connect with his readers through his captivating books and inspiring discourses on his popular YouTube channel. Alongside his busy writing schedule, Swami also owns a peaceful ashram and runs a thriving blog and website.

Om Swami The Author

Swami is a bestselling author who has written multiple books on meditation, wellness, and spirituality. Some of his notable works include Kundalini: An Untold Story, The Wellness Sense, and If Truth Be Told: A Monk’s Memoir.

Om Swami’s Sri Badrika Ashram

Om Swami provides a quiet space in the Himalayas for anyone to come and practice their sadhana, be it meditation or mantra chanting. He offers space to stay for a small nightly donation, and depending on the time of the year offers various events and discourses.

“If there’s one thing everyone must gift themselves in their lives, in my humble opinion, it is a stint of Himalayan solitude. It is transformational”

– Om Swami
an ashram with people sitting on the grass

Black Lotus App

Om Swami, leveraging his tech background, produced a meditation app called ‘Black Lotus’. It uses a proprietary framework called ‘RARE’, and is designed to foster meditation habits. The app is said to have had 30 million minutes of practice clocked by over 1 million users!

Om Swami TV YouTube channel

With currently over 250,000 subscribers, Om Swami shares his insights via his YouTube channel. His videos cover his projects, ways to live and how to tackle everyday problems from a spiritual perspective.

further Reading

Om Swami updates his blog regularly, so if you’re interested in learning more about him and his views, that will be a great place to visit next!

If you’d like to learn more about yogis and their impact in the world, why not check out our other articles:

Photo of author
Born and raised in London, Luke is a passionate writer with a focus on travel, yoga, philosophy, and meditation. As a certified yoga teacher having studied under a swami in Rishikesh, Luke now lives in India pretty much just practising yoga, meditating and writing articles! Luke's life arc has gone from somewhat turbulent to peaceful, and he considers yoga and meditation direct methods to sustain introspective insight to manifest peace and happiness, despite life's challenges. Luke's passion for meditation has led him to complete multiple meditation retreats, where he spent almost 40 days in silence in the last two years. He practices various meditation techniques such as Vipassana, Anapana, and Metta Bhavana, each adding to his knowledge and experience of the true self. Most recently he meditated in Jaipur, India, and before that lived for a short spell in a monastery with forest monks in Northern Thailand. To Luke, yoga is more than just a physical exercise; it's a way of life that helps him cultivate a stronger mind-body connection. As a young man with arthritis, Luke understands the importance of observing and controlling his body, and yoga has been a vital tool in his journey to better health and well-being. The practice of yoga has not only helped him manage his symptoms but has also given him a new perspective on life. Luke's love for yoga and meditation is not limited to a single tradition or practice. He's fascinated by the spiritual teachings of all types of religious philosophy, including Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity for their essence and wisdom. His passion for spirituality is what drives him to continue learning and growing, and share his knowledge with other people. Luke in his spare time is an avid chess player, cyclist and record collector. He also has experience with addiction, and so sponsors multiple people from different walks of life in their recovery programmes.

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