A neo-Hindu spiritual leader bridging eastern and western spiritual traditions.

Vishwananda, born Mahadeosingh ‘Visham’ Komalram in 1978, is a German religious leader and the founder of Bhakti Marga, a neo-Hindu organization with a global presence. His teachings blend elements from eastern spirituality with aspects of the western spiritual tradition, aiming to offer individuals a personal experience with the Divine, transcending culture, gender, or age.

Early Life and Formation of Bhakti Marga

Vishwananda’s spiritual journey began around the year 2000 when he reported receiving messages from Jesus and Mother Mary. This led him to establish Bhakti Marga in July 2005, after purchasing a property in Steffenshof, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. The organization rapidly expanded, acquiring a larger property in Springen near the Rhine-Main area in 2008, which serves as its main ashram.

Teachings and Practices

Vishwananda teaches Atma Kriya Yoga, his version of kriya yoga, and has initiated many into brahmacharis (celibate monks) and swamis, though married individuals can also join as devotees. He emphasizes a personal connection to the Divine, integrating elements of eastern and western spirituality.

Recognition and Allegations

Despite the spiritual acclaim, Vishwananda’s journey has not been without controversy. In June 2007, he was accused of stealing relics from churches, which he claimed was to save them from destruction. However, his contributions to peace and spirituality have been recognized, as seen in 2015 when he was awarded a peace pole and a certificate for his accomplishments in promoting world peace.

In 2021, he established the Hari Bhakta sect, marking his influence in the Vaishnava tradition. Furthermore, Vishwananda has been consecrated as a Russian Orthodox priest and maintained a chapel in Springen even after being excommunicated, showcasing his eclectic spiritual engagements.

Global Influence

Vishwananda has a significant following worldwide, conducting darshans (blessings) in numerous countries and cities, reaching over 133,000 individuals. His influence extends across continents, with media outlets recognizing him as one of the world’s most revered gurus for his universal appeal.

Legal Challenges and Personal Life

Vishwananda faced allegations of sexual abuse in 2022, which led to legal action against the German public broadcaster Hessischer Rundfunk. The Hamburg Regional Court concluded that many of the core allegations were procedurally untrue, resulting in several injunctions against making public allegations of sexual misconduct.


Vishwananda is also an author, with works like “Just Love: The Essence of Everything,” “Bhagavad Gita Essentials,” and a commentary on the Nārada-bhakti-sūtra, further contributing to his teachings and spiritual insights​​.

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