About Dandapani

Dandapani is a Hindu priest, entrepreneur and a former monk of 10 years. After graduating university with a degree in Electrical Engineering he left it all behind to become a Hindu monk under the guidance of one of Hinduism’s foremost spiritual leaders of our time, Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. For 10 years he lived a life of serious personal discipline and training at his guru’s cloistered monastery in Hawaii.

When his vows expired, he chose to venture out into the world making New York City his home. He works with entrepreneurs and some of the top athletes in the world in helping them understand and leverage their mind so that they can be the best at what they do. He does this by empowering them with tools and teachings that have been used by Hindu monks of his tradition for thousands of years. Among his clients are companies such as Fortress Investment Group, ICONIQ, McKinsey, Ribbit Capital, Red Ventures, Sprinklr, Nike, Trivago, AMEX, Bloomberg LP, and more.

His TEDx talk has over 5.6 million views and both his GoalCast videos garnered over a total of 75 million views in just five months. He and his wife are also passionately creating a 33-acre Hindu spiritual sanctuary and botanical garden in Costa Rica to further their mission.

FAQs

Why do people call you a monk?

Dandapani is formerly a monk, now a Hindu priest.

Dandapani wears the traditional garb of a Saivite Hindu priest. The dress of Hindu monks and priests is very similar and it is not easy to tell them apart.

Yes. In Hinduism there are two paths. One is of the monastic and the other of a householder. The monastic path is for monks who live a celibate life. Priests fall under the category of householders and can get married. Dandapani is married and lives with his wife and daughter in the United States.

Yes, in fact, they are encouraged to do so. Since Hindu priests are householders they follow the guidelines that have been outlined for householders in the Hindu scriptures. The four goals of a householder, called purushartas in the Sanskrit language, are artha (wealth), kama (love), dharma (righteous action) and moksha (liberation or Self-realization). Householders should amass wealth in a righteous way and make a positive difference in this world with this wealth.

The lines are a symbol of Saivism and represent anava (ego), karma (law of cause and affect) and maya (illusion).

The beads are called Rudrakshas which literally translates to “Rudra’s eyes” or “Siva eyes.” They form a mala (necklace) that is often worn by Hindus.

The Rudraksha is a bead that comes from the Elaeocarpus ganitrus tree commonly and often known as the Blue Marble tree. The tree produces a blue fruit which is edible but has an acquired taste. When you clean off the meat of the fruit you will find one of these beads within.

There are four sects within Hinduism and Dandapani belongs to the Saivite sect. Followers of Saivism worship Siva as Supreme God. The philosophy is firmly based on the Vedas and Saiva Agamas – the core scriptures of Hinduism.

Dandapani subscribes to the Saiva Siddhanta philosophy (Monistic Theism) also known as Advaita Isvaravada in Sanskrit. Here’s an excerpt from his guru’s book, Merging with Siva, that explains the philosophy perfectly.

“Monism is the doctrine that reality is a one whole or existence without independent parts. Theism is the belief that God exists as a real, conscious, personal Supreme Being. Monistic theism is the dipolar doctrine, also called panentheism, that embraces both monism and theism, two perspectives ordinarily considered contradictory or mutually exclusive, since theism implies dualism. Monistic theism simultaneously accepts that God has a personal form, that He creates, pervades and is all that exists–and that He ultimately transcends all existence and that the soul is, in essence, one with God.” – Subramuniyaswami, S. S. (2002). Merging with Siva. Kauai, HI: Himalayan Academy Publications.

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Making an Impact

Have the tools and insights I’ve shared changed your life?

In 2013, Dandapani and his wife purchased land in Costa Rica to create Siva Ashram. Siva Ashram is a 33-acre Hindu spiritual sanctuary and botanical gardens located on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. It was founded with a mission to share and perpetuate the teachings Dandapani teaches and to help bring more awareness around the conservation of nature and the planet.

Learn More

Siva Ashram

Nosara, Costa Rica

Want to say “Thank You”?

Have the tools and insights I’ve shared changed your life?

If the tools and teachings that I share have impacted your life in a positive way or changed your life and you would like the opportunity to say “Thank you”, you can do so by sponsoring a tree or more at Siva Ashram.

We are creating a spiritual botanical garden and nature reserve on Siva Ashram’s 33-acre spiritual sanctuary in Costa Rica and we would appreciate your help. We’ve planted over 2,000 trees and plants in the last seven-years and we will plant thousands more in the coming years. You can sponsor a tree at the link below.

I want to sponsor a tree
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