His Holiness Sivarama Swami is a senior monk and spiritual teacher of the devotional path (Bhaktiyoga), a 5000 year old spiritual tradition emerging from ancient India. He is the author of over 15 books which elucidate the teachings of Bhakti further and is the inspirer behind the world-renowned Krishna Valley community in Hungary; a self-sustained eco-village founded on the principles of ‘simple living & high thinking’.
Born Peter Letai, to an upper-class Jewish family in Budapest in 1949, his family emigrated to Canada during the failed Hungarian revolution. Despite attaining an Engineering degree with colourful prospects of a successful career, providence changed when he came in touch with the five thousand year old text, Bhagavad-Gita As it is, an ancient manual enlisting practical answers to the universal questions of life.
In 1973, Sivarama Swami found and accepted his guru A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Committing himself to the basic practises of the Bhagavad-Gita, Sivarama Swami renounced his former material ambitions with a dedicated venture for conscious living. He moved into the society’s temple in Montreal, shaved his head, adorned the robes of monk and accepted the sacred relationship of initiation (diksha), the eternal bond between student and teacher. His guru, Bhaktivedanta Swami, within 12 years had inspired a worldwide generation of young people to give up their polluting habits and transformed them into resolute spiritual practitioners. He saw the urgent need for the teachings of the Bhagavad- Gita and analogous spiritual texts to be spread far and wide to flood the world with fulfilment and inner-happiness.
It was in 1979 that Sivarama Swami officiated his decision of becoming a renunciate and accepted the name Sivarama Swami, now a travelling monk with no personal motivation other than to aid his guru’s mission to see the world a better place.
Sivarama Swami has had a colourful life taking him through all continents of the world with particular responsibilities for managing projects in the U.K., Hungary, Turkey & Romania. Today Sivarama Swami travels regularly between the East and West, inspiring thousands in their spiritual practices and sharing the teachings of Bhakti-yoga. Most of his time is spent in Hungary where he resides within the spiritual haven, Krishna Valley.
He has directed a wealth of social welfare projects, opened schools, eco-friendly farm communities, temples and facilitated the expansion of the Food for Life charity, an organisation dedicated to providing free vegetarian meals for those in need. In recognition of Sivarama Swami’s meritorious activities, he was presented with the second highest award of the state, the Gold Cross of Merit highlighting his charitable, humanitarian and value-creating initiatives.
Despite living a life of excitement and spontaneity, Sivarama Swami remains a simple yet self-satisfied person; happiest in moments of meditation and teaching.