Spiritual Humanist from India to Speak at UT’s Baker Center

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Sri Viswayogi Viswamjee

Sri Viswayogi Viswamjee

KNOXVILLE — One of India’s most respected holy men will speak at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, on Friday, Nov. 6, as part of his 10th visit to the U.S.

Sri Viswayogi Viswamjee will lecture on “Vision 2020: Peace & Unity, a New World Reality.” The talk will begin at 7 p.m. in the Toyota Auditorium. A reception begins at 6:30 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the Center for International Education, UT’s Ready for the World and the Baker Center, the visit is part of Sri Viswamjee’s tour across the U.S. to spread his message of unity and peace.

Sri Viswamjee, 65, was born Viswanatha Sastri. He worked as a high school mathematics and English teacher in Guntur, India, and, according to an online biography, “after 21 years of rigorous penance, mortification of body with celibacy, he attained siddatwa,” or Hindu sainthood.

In Hinduism, the saints are the medium through which God reveals himself. His followers believe he is the incarnation of Lord Dattatreya.

Sri Viswamjee’s home, just southwest of Guntur, is the site of the Universal Integration Pillar, a three-story shrine that can hold up to 1,000 worshippers at a time. The pillar is described as Sri Viswamjee’s “envisioned symbol of oneness of humanity.” The dome has a dove and pillar with four lions representing vision, truth, character, and purity and unity. The Universal Integration Pillar has eight entrances, each representing a major religion in the world.

Also near the Sri Viswamjee’s home is the Mother and Child Hospital, which he built. It provides free health-care services.

Sri Viswamjee has been traveling across U.S., meeting government and religious leaders, doctors, intellectuals, students and interfaith organizations and talking about his message of universal and unconditional love and tolerance of others.

For more information about Sri Viswamjee, see http://www.viswaguru.com.

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely, (865-974-5034, amy.blakely@tennessee.edu)

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