Dhirendra Brahmachari

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John Hills discusses the World Conference on Scientific Yoga Conference program schedule with Dhirendra Brahmachari and Amrit Desai.

Dhirendra Brahmachari (12 February 1924 – 9 June 1994), born Dhirendra Choudhary in village Basaith Chanpura, Madhubani, Bihar, was a yoga teacher of Yogi Bhajan who taught Kundalini Yoga in the West and founded 3HO.[1] Dhirendra Brahmachari was also yoga mentor of Indira Gandhi –The former prime minister of India[2] He ran ashrams in Bhondsi (Gurugram in Delhi NCR), Jammu, Katra and Mantalai (near Sudhmahadev in Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir) and wrote books on yoga.[citation needed]


He was born in a brahmin family[3] He later got Inspired by reading the Bhagavad Gita, he left home at the age of thirteen and went to Varanasi. His guru was Maharshi Kartikeya whose ashram was at Gopal-Khera, about twelve miles from Lucknow. Dhirendra Brahmachari studied yoga and associated subjects there.[4] In the 1960s he was invited to travel to the U.S.S.R. as a hatha yoga expert to train Soviet cosmonauts. Jawaharlal Nehru later invited him to teach yoga to his daughter, Indira Gandhi, to improve her health. He became influential politically in 1975–77 when Mrs Gandhi dissolved Parliament, declared a state of emergency and suspended civil liberties.[5]

In the late 1970s, Dhirendra Brahmachari promoted the benefits of yoga in a weekly program called "Yogabhyaas" which was broadcast on Doordarshan, the state-owned television network.[6] He introduced yoga as a subject of study in Delhi administered schools, a considerable innovation.

He was the owner of Vishwayatan Yogashram in the centre of Delhi, now known as the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga. He also owned campuses in Jammu, Katra and Mantalai, plots of land he had received through his Indira Gandhi clout.[5] Known as "the Flying Swami", he not only helped her form decisions and make appointments, but he also executed some of her orders.[5]

He wrote books on yoga in Hindi and English including 'Yogic Sukshma Vyayama' and 'Yogasana Vijnana'.[citation needed] His ashram at Mantalai is spread over 1008 kanals of land with private airstrips, hangar, a zoo and a seven storey building in gandhi nagar, Jammu.[citation needed]

Nowadays there are three known successors of Dhirendra Brahmachari yoga tradition: Bal Mukund Singh from India, Reinhard Gammenthaler from Switzerland and Rainer Neyer from Austria.[citation needed]

Criminal charges[edit]

Mr. Brahmachari was charged with buying an aircraft in the United States during the Emergency imposed by Mrs Gandhi and smuggling it into the country without paying customs duties, but he was never tried. Dozens of other criminal cases were filed against him and many dragged on till his death. In one case, he was accused of illegally importing gun parts from Spain for his factory, which had a licence to make guns only with local materials.[5]


Dhirendra Brahmachari died in a plane crash, along with his pilot, when they hit a pine tree on June 9, 1994, while landing at his religious retreat and yoga school in Mantalai.[5]


  1. ^ Deslippe, Philip (2012). "From Maharaj to Mahan Tantric: The construction of Yogi Bhajan's Kundalini Yoga". Sikh Formations. Vol. 8, no. 3. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  2. ^ Tandon, P.D. (21 May 2001). "The truth about Indira". Outlook. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Yogi Swami Dhirendra Brahmachari Ji | Yoga Guru of Indira Gandhi - a former Prime Minister of India". www.yogaguruswamidhirendrabrahmachari.absyogaindia.com. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". www.worldyogadirectory.com. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ a b c d e "Dhirendra Brahmachari, Yoga Master, 70". The New York Times. Associated Press. 10 June 1994. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  6. ^ "Speculation rife about Swami Dhirendra Brahmachari's estrangement from Gandhi family". India Today. Retrieved 1 June 2018.


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