Founded and directed by Dr. David Frawley D. Litt., (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri), the Vedic Institute serves as a vehicle for his work, offering on-line access to go with his many published writings. The institute works with associated organizations throughout the world. It encourages a deeper study of the Vedic teachings in all forms and branches and is interdisciplinary in approach.
We now have on-line versions of all our courses. Our website addresses our international audience, its views and its concerns, and tries to maintain a global perspective.
Dr. David Frawley founded the ‘Vedic Research Center’ in 1980 for his work on the Vedas that he had been pursuing since 1970. This early work focused on research into the Rigveda, the oldest Vedic text. In 1988, Vamadeva expanded the center into the ‘American Institute of Vedic Studies’ to promote Yoga, Vedanta, Ayurveda and Vedic Astrology as Vedic knowledge systems.
Yogini Shambhavi Devi (Shambhavi.Yogini@gmail.com)joined this work in 2004 and offers consultations, retreats, training programs and personal guidance, particularly in the field of Shakti Sadhana. This greatly enriches the perspectives and insights that Vamadeva began. Yogini Shambhavi is one of the most important women gurus coming out of India today and holds many sacred traditions of the Himalayas.
In terms of Ayurveda we teach the foundation of Ayurveda for wellness, right living, and countering common diseases. Our specific focus is on Ayurveda and Yoga psychology as addressing the complications of our high tech society and drug-based medicine, including the spiritual aspects of Ayurveda.
In terms of Yoga, we teach Raja Yoga, the approach of the Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Sutras, with reference to Vedanta or the Yoga of knowledge, and an emphasis on Yoga psychology and the science of consciousness. In addition we teach the spiritual Tantric Yoga of mantras, deities, working with the subtle body, the chakras, Kundalini and Shiva/Shakti energies.
In terms of Vedic astrology or Jyotish, we emphasize the astrology of healing, Vedic medical or Ayurvedic astrology, yogic astrology, mantras and deities relative to astrological remedial measures. We also examine mundane astrology, social, political and civilizational issues. We do offer astrological consultations.
In terms of Vedic counseling, we emphasize an integral approach combining Vedic knowledge systems of Ayurveda, Yoga, Vedanta and Vedic astrology, along with teaching Vedic dharma and karmic life-management.
We also have courses in Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma, the foundation of all the dharmic and Vedic traditions.
Besides these online courses we have many books, articles and social media presentations extending to Vedic translations, ancient history from a Vedic view and civilizational issues confronting India and the world today.
Connecting with the Vedic Institute
As our work is educational and web-based, you can easily connect with us through the internet, including our over one hundred on-line articles as well as four on-line courses relative to Ayurvedic Healing; Ayurvedic Astrology; Yoga, Ayurveda, Mantra and Meditation; and Integral Vedic Counseling. Each course consists of extensive special course lessons, readings from our published books, and enhanced by special illustrations, audios and videos.
You can also find information on our over forty published books going into twenty-five languages worldwide, including excerpts and some on-line versions.
Note that we do not have an on-site center that is open to the public. We do not operate any clinic or store for people to visit, receive treatments or buy products. Our work is mainly online and by special programs and conferences throughout the world.
Contact Information: Best way to contact us is by email. We do not offer any phone contact without prior email communication.
American Institute of Vedic Studies
PO Box 8357, Santa Fe NM 87504, USA
We have many foreign web visitors, particularly from India but worldwide. Dr. Frawley’s twitter account (@davidfrawleyved – twitter) has three hundred thousand followers, including prominent leaders in India up to the Prime Minister, Sri Narendra Modi.
We have several special fields:
- Vedic Astrology consultations with Yogini Shambhavi Devi (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Vedic Consultations with Vamadeva (Dr. Frawley) on Spiritual or Medical Issues.
- Study of Consciousness with a new book The Yoga of Consciousness coming out shortly.
- Vedic Yoga and teaching prime Vedic practices of mantra, pranyama and meditation.
- Projection of Vedic knowledge for the coming millennium.
- Vedic Shaivism: the Integration of Shaivite and Shakti teachings or spiritual Tantra with the older Vedic teachings.
The background and philosophy of the American Institute of Vedic Studies can be understood by the following presentations of Vedic Knowledge Systems and Hindu (Sanatana) Dharma.
The Vedas are a vast set of spiritual teachings dating from the dawn of history. They consist of the mantras of numerous great Himalayan yogis and seers, who were said to have founded the spiritual paths for humanity at the beginning of this world-age over ten thousand years ago. The Vedas are the origin of Hindu Dharma and have influenced religions and philosophies all over the world. The Vedas contain the basis for the spiritual traditions of India that arose in the Himalayan region, including those of Yoga, Vedanta, Puranas, Tantra, Ayurveda and Vedic astrology. The Vedas also contain keys to the Pre-Christian traditions of all Indo-European peoples – the Greeks, Romans, Celts, Germans and Slavs – whose ancient languages and cultures resemble the Vedic. The Vedas reflect the ancient solar religions and enlightenment traditions that once dominated the world from Mexico to China.
As such, the Vedas represent the ancient global spiritual culture and yogic approach to life behind the earliest mystical traditions and our deepest spiritual heritage as a species. The Vedas are centered in the deepest spiritual and self knowledge – the unity of the individual soul with the Divine. They teach us that there is only One Self in the universe, in which is bliss and liberation from the cycle of karma and rebirth. Vedic knowledge expands from this central point to help us understand the meaning of our existence on all levels including the physical body and the world of nature.
The Vedas present the mantric key behind the entire process of cosmogenesis, but this key is cryptic and requires special insight and instruction in order to access it. Vedic science represents an integral spiritual science, necessary to bring about a truly harmonious global civilization. It provides both knowledge of our True Self as well as that of the conscious universe in which we live, revealing all the secrets of nature and natural law. As such, it is probably the most important body of knowledge for all humanity.
The Four Vedas
- The Rigveda is the oldest of the four Vedas and presents the key wisdom of the ancient Rishis. It reflects the power of the Divine Word or universal mantra. It is the most important Vedic text that all the others derive from or are based upon.
- The Yajur Veda presents the Vedic ritual, which inwardly is a practice of Yoga involving speech, breath and mind. About a third of it is mantras from the Rig Veda.
- The Samaveda is the Veda of music and song showing the ecstasy of Self-realization. It consists entirely of Rig Veda mantras set to a different and more complex chants.
- The Atharva Veda provides additional special mantric insights for particular issues including healing. It contains many mantras from both Rig and Yajur Vedas, as well as many of its own.
The Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita
The Upanishads are clearest and most understandable portion of the mysterious Vedas. They present the spiritual secret of the Vedas, the knowledge of the Supreme Self or Divine I-am. They contain many yogic secrets as well. There are over a dozen old Upanishads of the late Vedic period with over a hundred Upanishads from later times. The Bhagavad Gita teaches the essence of the Upanishads, the great teaching of Vedanta.
Vedangas and Vedic Astrology
There are six limbs of the Vedas of which the most important is Jyotish or Astrology. The others are Chhandas (Meter), Nirukta (Etymology), Shiksha (Pronunciation), Vyakarana (Grammar), and Kalpa (Ritual). Most of these deal with sound and mantra. Vedic astrology unfolds the entire science of time and karma, making it essential for our right living both individually and collectively. Knowledge of our birth chart through Vedic astrology helps us navigate through the winding streams of our karma toward the timeless goal of our soul. Jyotish has its own vast literature like the Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra or the works of Varaha Mihira.
Upavedas and Ayurveda
There are four Upavedas or Secondary Vedas of which the most important is Ayurveda or Vedic medicine. The others are Dhanur Veda (martial arts), Sthapatya Veda (Architecture) and Gandharva Veda (Music). Ayurveda is not just a medical system but shows us how to find well-being and harmony in terms of body, mind and soul, covering our entire nature physical, psychological and spiritual. Knowing our individual Ayurvedic constitution and the appropriate life-style for it we can maximize all the potentials of our being and attain the full life of our soul. Ayurveda has many classical texts like Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, and the Ashtanga Hridaya of Vagbhatta.
Yoga in the deeper sense
Yoga is the practice of Vedic knowledge that develops our inner faculties through meditation, leading us ultimately to Self-realization. While there are many forms of Yoga, the main classical system is the eightfold or Ashtanga system which constitutes the Raja Yoga of Patanjali. This in turn reflects older traditions found in the Mahabharata, Puranas, Upanishads and Vedas. Raja Yoga is an integral science of asana, pranayama, mantra and meditation based upon dharmic living principles. Its popular physical side in the West today is only its outer aspect.
Vedanta is the practical philosophy that arises from the Upanishads and systematizes their teachings. Its Advaita or non-dualistic form, such as found in the works of Shankaracharya, teaches the unity of the soul (Jiva) and the Creator (Ishvara) in the Supreme Self (Paramatman) or Absolute (Brahman) beyond time, space and karma. Devotional philosophies of Vedanta, like those of Ramanuja, Madhva and Chaitanya, emphasize the Divine as the Supreme Person (Purushottama).
These are encyclopedias of sacred knowledge and stories, covering all aspects of life and culture. There are about twenty Puranas and two Itihasas, the Mahabharata and Ramayana, the stories of Krishna and Rama. Yoga, Vedanta, Ayurveda and Jyotish are common topics in them, often explained in great detail. The Puranas are probably the most extensive and profound yet neglected spiritual literature coming out of India.
Tantra is a profound yogic path of ritual, mantra, and meditation. It centers on the devotional worship of Lord Shiva and his consort, the Goddess or Divine Mother. Real Tantra is concerned with the integration of male and female energies in the psyche through internal yogic practices. The sexual Tantra popular in the West is only the lower side of this greater system.
Tantric insights and practices are important in Yoga, Ayurveda and Vedic astrology. The worship of the Ten Great Wisdom Forms of the Goddess (Dasha Mahavidya) is one of the key Tantric practices, as is the Sri Vidya or knowledge of Sri Yantra.