Swami Sankarananda, a pilgrim for peace, spent two-and-a-half years walking more than 6,300 miles across the United States – on foot. Completing his journey in early 2016, he now tours in his “Yoga for Peace” minibus, sharing theories, examples and practices to help individuals discover inner peace. The Swami will be visiting Louisiana and leading a silent retreat at Swan River Arabi, Friday, Jan.13- Sunday, Jan. 15.
Formerly president of a billion-dollar, hi-tech company, Swami Sanarananda felt unfilled by wealth and external pleasures. After experiencing yoga, he gave up corporate life and spent 1-1/2 years in an ashram in India, becoming a disciple of Swami Sivananda. Honoring all faiths and paths, Swami Sankarananda believes there is but one Truth spoken of by all the great teachers.
The Swami began his cross-country trek in Pasadena, inspired by the Peace Pilgrim Mildred Lisette Norman who began walking Jan. 1, 1953, also in Pasadena. She continued traversing the United States for 28 years. The final, easterly destination for both was Egg Harbor, N.J where a celebration of Peace Pilgrim’s life is annually held.
“I walked mostly two lane roads through the southwest desert in the winter, close to the Mexico border, then through Oklahoma and used route 66 to come north for the summer walk through the upper midwest, touching the Atlantic at Staten Island,” he said.
Like Norman, he carried bare necessities in a backpack, including a sleeping bag, razor, toiletries, socks, camera, phone and one-liter “magic” water bottle, often sleeping outside. Without money and asking for nothing, he was yet sustained throughout his journey by the generosity of strangers. He walked on faith.
“I am encouraged to have faith and believe that what I really need in life will make its way to me,” he told the Elephant Journal.
Swami Sankaranada is available to speak before groups or for media interviews.