On today’s episode, Duane speaks with spiritual leader and author Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati. In her book Hollywood to the Himalayas, she shares the journey of her transformation from trauma and abuse to healing and freedom. Her hope is to bring people into the natural state of freedom, peace, and joy and, ultimately, free people from suffering, pain, and addiction.

Although Sadhvi has written other books on her teachings, she reveals that this was the first time she shared her actual full story – uncensored, raw, deep, vulnerable, honest, and genuine. She decided to write the book after seeing how critical it is to bridge spirituality and humanity at this time when too many people are in the throes of human struggle, including addiction.

Sadhvi grew up in Hollywood. She lived a privileged life, had access to the best education, and graduated from Stanford University. And yet, as everyone with addiction understands, something was bubbling beneath the surface. 

At an early age, Sadhvi dealt with sexual abuse and abandonment and, as a result, was yearning for love and approval. While she was succeeding beautifully in every external way, inside she felt like she had done something wrong and there was something wrong with her. Addiction became her go-to stress response and it never occurred to her that she could be free.

We can get so lost in our trauma to the point that our feelings of unworthiness begin to permeate everything about us. Therefore, it’s very important to find grace. Otherwise, we can get lost in our wounds.

At the age of 25, Sadhvi went to India and had an extraordinary spiritual awakening experience. It was unexpected, unanticipated, and unsought for on any conscious level. From that moment on, she knew she was one with all of the Divine creation and the rest of her life began.

In this episode, you will hear:

  • Sadhvi’s journey through addiction and spiritual awakening
  • Letting go of pain and the identification with pain
  • Practicing to keep the mind on track
  • How we become slaves to our thoughts
  • What forgiveness means
  • The two arcs of the book, Hollywood to the Himalayas

Key Quotes:

[03:18] – “It seems so critical today that we bridge spirituality and humanity.”

[16:02] – “The dilemma with using psychedelics to get there is you have to just keep using them, which of course does not benefit anyone when you substitute awakening for addiction, and instead of freedom, you end up a slave.” 

[18:10] – “What to do comes really naturally once you have an experience of who you are. The dilemma for so many of us is we don’t know who we are and so we don’t know what to do.”

[20:03] – “The most extraordinary lesson has been that our freedom is our highest goal… and the question always is – is this pain, is this grudge, is this identity – is it worth my freedom?”

[20:43] – “We act like thoughts run the show. We act like we are slaves and the thoughts are the master.”

[23:46] – “Forgiveness says regardless of what you have done to me, regardless of what your anger, ignorance, fear, confusion, your patterns, regardless of what those made you do to me, I still deserve to be free. That is my birthright.”

[26:55] – “Regardless of how stuck you feel, you can be free. You have that veto power.”

[29:10] – “You’re not your body any more than you are your car. Your car is a vehicle that takes you places. Your body is a vehicle. It’s what the soul is using on this particular leg of the karmic journey, but you’re not the body.”

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Supporting Resources:

Hollywood to Himalayas: A Journey of Healing and Transformation