Anyone interested in the spirituality and mediation looks for a Guru or a teacher who can guide him in the right direction. The land of India is full of Gurus, spiritual as well as religious. These are the people who have promoted spirituality, meditation, love, peace, brotherhood, serving others and other such humanitarian values to people in India and the rest of the world.
In this section on Indian Gurus, we have provided a brief biography of
the following spiritual and religious leaders in India...
Adi Shankaracharya was the first philosopher who consolidated Advaita Vedanta, one of the sub-schools of Vedanta. He believed in the greatness of the holy Vedas and was a major proponent of the same.
Andal was a 10th century Tamil poet who is revered as a saint in the southern parts of India. Infact, she is considered as one of the twelve Alvars (saints) and the only woman Alvar (saint) of Vaishnavism (a cult devoted to Lord Vishnu).
Bharat Thakur is one of the spiritual masters of India who have received international recognition. The founder of Artistic Yoga, he has numerous meditation workshops to his credit.
Bikram Choudhury, the founder of Bikram Yoga, is one of the most popular fitness gurus in Hollywood. He is also the founder of the worldwide Yoga College of India.
The full name of BKS Iyengar, one of the most renowned yoga gurus in the whole world, is Belur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar. Popularly known as Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar, he is man who founded the Iyengar Yoga.
Sri Aurobindo was one of the most talented as well as prolific spiritual leaders of India. Along with that, he was a brilliant writer, who published 68 volumes of sophisticated literary knowledge.
Avvaiyyar was a female poet of the ninth century, who lived in the southern parts of India. She is known, not only for her extraordinary poetry, but also, as a noble and revered saint. The term 'Avvaiyyar' means ' respected old woman' or 'Grandmother'.
Swami Chinmayananda is counted amongst the most notable spiritual leaders in India. He was considered as an authority on the ancient Indian scriptures, especially the sacred Bhagwad Gita and the Upanishads.
The founder of Arya Samaj (the Society of Nobles), Swami Dayanand Saraswati was one of the greatest religious leaders ever born in India. He was responsible, to some an extent, in bringing back the age-old teaching tradition of 'Gurukul'. He advocated for the equal right of women
Guru Nanak Dev
Guru Nanak Devji was the founder of one of the largest religions of the world, Sikhism. He was also the first amongst the ten Gurus of the Sikhs. He believed that there is only one God and we can reach him through any religion, be it Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, etc.
It is difficult to pinpoint who exactly Gyaneshwar was. He had so many talents in himself, that it is not easy to explain his contribution to the Indian culture in a single sentence.
Sant Kabir is considered to be one of the greatest poets as well as mystics ever born in India. He believed that human beings are equal and being one with God is the ultimate aim of every individual.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is the creator of the transcendental form of meditation, along with being the leader of the Transcendental Meditation Movement. One of the most renowned spiritual Gurus of India
Mata Amritanandamayi Devi is one of the most loved and most respected spiritual leaders in India. Fondly known as Amma, she has only one aim in life, which is to provide people with her supreme guidance
Mira Alfassa, later named as 'The Mother', was the spiritual partner of Sri Aurobindo. After Sri Aurobindo renounced the worldly life and went into seclusion, she looked after Auroville, also known as Sri Aurobindo Ashram.
Saint Mother Teresa is perhaps the greatest human being who has ever lived in this world. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in October 2003. She had only one aim in life, to serve the poor, the destitute, the needy and all those who were dejected by the society.
Namadeva was one of the most famous poet saints of the thirteenth and fourteenth century. He was the composer of hundreds of 'abhangs' (devotional songs).
Nammalwar was a Tamil Poet, regarded as one of the twelve Alwars in India. He is quite renowned for his beautiful hymns dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The main aim of Nammalwar's life was to serve the Lord
Osho was one of the most renowned as well as most controversial spiritual leaders of his times. During the 1970s and 1980s, he was known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.
Guru Paramahansa Yogananda was one of the distinguished yogis of India. He was the one responsible for taking the teachings of meditation and Kriya Yoga to the western countries.
Pandurang Shastri Athavale
Pandurang Shastri Athavale, popularly known as Dada, is a philosopher cum social reformer. He is credited with being the founder of the Swadhyay Movement. Not present in the world anymore
It is believed that Maharishi Patanjali was the avatar of Adi Shesha - the Infinite Cosmic Serpent upon whom Lord Vishnu rests. He is considered to be the compiler of the Yoga Sutras
Ramakrishna was one of the greatest religious leaders ever born in India. He believed that every individual must have only one aim in life i.e., the realization of the Ultimate Reality.
Baba Ramdev is a renowned Yoga teacher. Through the medium of television, he has taken the art of yoga to each and every household far and wide. He is the host of a program named 'Divya Yog' that airs on Aastha TV everyday
Sathya Sai Baba
A great spiritual leader, Sri Sathya Sai Baba preaches the path of spirituality to one and all. His main aim in life is to serve the mankind and provide tem with proper guidance
Shirdi Sai Baba
Sri Shirdi Sai Baba is considered to be the epitome of spiritual enlightenment and religious harmony. One of the greatest saints ever born in India, He is believed to be a manifestation of God.
About Shri Yogendra Shri Yogendra was the founder of 'The Yoga Institute' situated in Santa Cruz, Mumbai. A firm believer of yoga, he founded the institute to promote the science of Yoga throughout the world.
Swami Sivananda was a responsible for promoting the philosophy of Yoga and Vedanta amongst the people of India as well as the world. He was also the founder of the Divine Life Society
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a famous spiritual leader of India. He is credited with being the initiator of a foundation, known as the Art of Living Foundation. His aim in life is to teach people cope up with the stresses of everyday life
Surdas is one of the people who had great influence on the cultural heritage of India. He was a poet, a saint and a musician and played all the parts with the same finesse.
Swami Vivekananda was the disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahansa. He founded the Ramakrishna mission to spread the teachings of his Guru throughout the world.
Swami Satyananda Saraswati
Swami Satyananda Saraswati belonged to the Dashnami lineage of Adi Shankaracharya. He is one of the members of the tribe of Swamis who are called for the order of "Saraswati".
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is a world-renowned mystic and yogi of Indian origin. The founder of Isha Yoga as well as of Isha Foundation, he is also a very famous poet. His aim in life is to help people in manifesting their own spirituality.
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, or Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois, counts amongst the world-renowned yoga teachers of India. A student of Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, he is currently teaching at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute of Mysore, founded by him. His yoga shala attracts thousands of foreign students every year.
Swami Yogeshwaranand Saraswati
Swami Yogeshwaranand Saraswati was counted amongst the most popular as well as most learned Yogis of the 20th century. His life, which was spent mostly in the Himalayas, is the perfect example of extreme renunciation
Tukaram was one of the greatest poet saints ever born in India. It is quite renowned for his contribution to the Bhakti Movement of Maharashtra. Read this biography further to know more about the Sant Tukaram.
Maharishi (the great sage) claims the distinction of being the author of the holy epic 'Ramayana', consisting of 24,000 verses. He is also believed to be the author of Yoga Vasistha
Rishi Vishwamitra is considered to be one of the most revered rishis (sages) of the ancient India. As per the holy Puranas, there have been only 24 Rishis in India who have the Gayatri Mantra.
No one ever wondered that the great Mughal Emperor Akbar would pass on a simple Sufi saint’s name to his son. Reason being that the latter had foretold the birth of his son and Akbar, as a mark of respect, bestowed the name Prince Salim to his first son, who later succeeded him to the throne as Emperor Jahangir.
Nizamuddin Aulia aka Mehboob-e-Elahi, which means Beloved of God, was one of the greatest saints of the Christi Order in South Asia. The order was involved in drawing close to God through renunciation of the world and service to humanity.